Innovator Name: William A. Hazel, Jr., MD
Position: Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
VHIN: Considering the delivery system changes underway and the move towards more team-based, coordinated, and integrated care, what should Virginia’s healthcare workforce look like over the next 5-10 years?
Hazel: Due to the long lead time and expense of training health professionals today, our initial efforts should be to encourage existing practitioners to be more collaborative in our approach to patient care. While this does not necessarily mean a full integration of practices, it does mean that providers in a treatment community should share best practices, develop common treatment protocols, and communicate regularly as we care for mutual patients.
Over time, we need for providers to have the skills required for working in teams but we also need to develop a cadre of professional team leaders who understand not only the art and science of practice but who also have the administrative and managerial experience to deliver highly reliable services.
Of particular concern is the need for more flexibility in our healthcare workforce. For the foreseeable future, we will not have one size fits all delivery of services in the Commonwealth. We will also see the art and science of care evolve. Our systems of care must be adaptable. We must find a way to modernize our legal and regulatory structures so that quality and safety can be assessed at a team level as well as or in place of individual degree based licensing.