Washington, D.C. — A new non-profit, collaborative effort was launched December 1, 2011, called Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care (Doctors Helping Doctors). The organization’s goal is to support the transformation of health care, initially through greater use of health information technology (IT), which plays a foundational role in improving the quality, safety and efficiency of care.
On the Doctors Helping Doctors website, physicians share their insights — through videos, audio programs, stories and blog posts — about why they decided to adopt health IT, the impact it has had on their practices or organizations, the initial challenges they faced, and the strategies they used to overcome those challenges.
Doctors Helping Doctors is a collaborative effort led primarily by doctors — for doctors, engaging non-profit, clinician-led organizations and medical societies to provide input, identify physician leaders who have successfully transformed care through health IT, and highlight resources that will be helpful to physicians. Collaborators include the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Physicians, the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS), and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association also serve in advisory roles.
Peter Basch, MD, an internist with Washington Primary Care Physicians and medical director of ambulatory EHR and Health IT Policy for MedStar Health, is one of the founding Board members of Doctors Helping Doctors and serves as its initial chair. “Our goal is to help other doctors navigate how to use health IT to make care better, safer, and more effective,” said Basch. “With ‘meaningful use’ incentives now being offered by federal and state programs to support the use of health IT, we have the opportunity to determine what we can do as doctors to leverage this investment to transform health care.”
Other founding board members include:
- William Bria, MD, chief medical information officer, Shriners Hospitals for Children and president of AMDIS;
- Michael Zaroukian, MD, PhD, chief medical information officer and professor of medicine, Michigan State University and medical director, clinical informatics and care transformation, Sparrow Health System; and
- Janet Marchibroda, chair of the Health IT Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center, who serves as the organization’s initial executive director. Contact Janet (email)
“Doctors Helping Doctors enables physicians to share in their own words, based on their own experiences, why they decided to begin using electronic health records, the challenges they faced and the strategies they used to overcome those challenges,” said Bria. “These lessons will be extremely helpful to other physicians as they consider making the same journey.”
“Preparing for future health care payment and delivery system changes means being able to provide the highest quality of care at the lowest possible cost and the highest possible value. The EHR represents a powerful tool to help achieve those results,” said Zaroukian. “Doctors Helping Doctors is designed to help physicians succeed under new models of care and payment.”
Doctors Helping Doctors is currently supported by unrestricted grants provided by the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, the Optum Institute for Sustainable Health and Siemens Health Services.
“Doctors play a critical role in transforming the U.S. health care system to one that delivers higher quality, safer, more cost-effective care for patients,” said Soon-Shiong. “We are pleased to support the work of Doctors Helping Doctors to help pave the way for true health care transformation.”
To learn more, go to www.doctorshelpingdoctorstransformhealthcare.org