Vicki Smith-Daniels, faculty chair of graduate business programs in medicine and professor of operations and supply chain management at the Kelley School of Business, wrapped up a two-week national radio tour April 26 with a live appearance on the “News & Views” program hosted by Ronn Allen.
Among the topics of conversation, Smith-Daniels talked about consolidation in healthcare systems and the need for doctors to get closer to their patients at a time when they have less and less time to do so. She also highlighted the six curriculum themes that will be a focus of Business of Medicine MBA program – collaboration, innovation, analytics, transformation, optimization, and sustainability.
A few excerpts from the interview:
Ron Allen: What are you hoping to prepare your doctors for, what do you want them to become?
Vicki Smith-Daniels: Doctors, just by the decisions they’re making every day, they’re making medical decisions that impact business decisions. We want those physicians to make smart business decisions. So we’re looking at practicing physicians that are out there struggling with what is happening with healthcare reform, and we’re trying to give them a set of business skills that are going to help them navigate through the changes ahead.
Allen: Will this be reducing costs and improving patient outcomes, or is it going to be cutting down on income for physicians, how will it affect that?
Smith-Daniels: You’re getting at many of the issues that we’re all talking about. Physician income is clearly out there as a question. I guess the way we tend to look at it here at the Kelley School, with the discussions with some of the doctors who are considering our MBA program, is of course they want to find a way to be able to continue their practice and continue the income they have today, and to do that they have to think about how to deliver care differently.
Allen: What is the biggest thing I can expect to come out of this when you train these physicians to operate their practices with business principles?
Smith-Daniels: One, they’re going to learn to collaborate better. They’re going to learn to handle big data and technology. They’re going to learn leadership. They’re going to learn how to get more out of the existing resources they have. And finally, they’re going to learn how to build healthcare systems that are sustainable in the long run. So we’re really looking at this MBA program from a very different lens than a traditional MBA program. We’re looking at how do we address those challenges ahead and how do we bring the intersection of business and medicine together.