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The Quarterly


RACMA and the World Federation of Medical Managers Print E-mail
The Quarterly 2011

In 2008 the AMC wrote of the College:
"the Team considers it is essential for the College to develop compelling arguments for the need for medical administration to exist as a specialty and for the important contribution of well-trained medical administrators in complex modern health care systems to be appreciated by their natural allies and stakeholders. The Team is convinced of the value of the College and the speciality but is less convinced that this message has either been well communicated or appreciated by key decision makers in the health care industry.

Given the lack of international comparator entities the Team is concerned that the College needs to be very clear of the value it adds, and the Team remains concerned that the College may not be adequately communicating a succinct statement of what medical administration is as a speciality and the key value trained medical administrators make to modern health care provision."

RACMA has initiated the formation of a world-wide network of doctors involved in medical management. At a meeting held in Hong Kong in September 2010, a number of invited international representatives discussed their common interest in management and leadership of health services and in the potential value of international actions to promote clinical (medical) leadership to advance quality patient care and the performance of health services. The World Federation of Medical Managers (WFMM) was formed at this meeting in Hong Kong.

A group within the WFMM has continued to formulate the concept since Hong Kong with further teleconferences and the most recent meeting in April 2011 in Rome. Countries involved to date in the WFMM include Hong Kong, Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Israel, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Following the 2011 meeting in Rome, new members have joined from Portugal, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The WFMM has formulated a value proposition which includes the following:

Vision: To establish a recognized international network for the discussion of issues, research and development of standards and performance benchmarks in effective medical leadership by medical practitioners, physicians and doctors in management roles.

Mission: To develop leadership skills in clinicians and demonstrate the value proposition for doctors and physicians in leadership and management of health services worldwide.

The principal benefits for member organisations and individuals include:

1. Networking

  • Exchange information on matters of international interest in management of health services
  • Provide a mechanism for international collaborative information exchange, benchmarking and research
  • Act as a forum for common problems and approaches to solving problems specific to doctors in management
  • Provide a networked system of organizations to facilitate international cooperation and an international forum for interdisciplinary clinical collaborations.

2. Education and professional development

  • Provide an avenue for international sabbatical and exchange opportunities for medical managers
  • Support international discussions at conferences on topics of interest in medical management
  • Develop executive leadership skills in clinicians and demonstrate the value proposition for/of doctors and physicians in leadership and management of health services worldwide
  • Provide a forum for meaningful exchange between researchers/academics and educators of clinical managers e.g. translation of evidence into practice
  • Advocate (and contribute where appropriate) to development of internationally recognized executive level academic programs in health care management and leadership.

3. Collaborative investigations/'applied research'

  • Facilitate access to relevant population samples and resources for the conduct of research about clinician leadership
  • Creation/sharing of inventories of evaluation research being undertaken within the WFMM member organizations and countries
  • Encourage trends and gaps to be explored through research e.g. linkage between effectiveness of physician leadership and clinical outcomes
  • Promote the value and contribution of different approaches to research on medical management and physician leadership
  • Develop and maintain an international online resource locator of leadership programs and resources
  • Maintain via shared on-line site information relevant for members, e.g. developments, innovations, ideas, papers, conferences
  • Identify and support proposals to international sources for funding of research and researchers e.g. WHO

4. Benchmarking and audit activities

  • Develop an internationally endorsed framework of competencies for medical managers and leaders (to guide training, research and development of standards)
  • Develop responses to growing demand for comparability of service standards (recognizes mobility and access to health care)
  • Uncover the impact of culture, values and systems of health care
  • Identifying and sharing exemplary health care practices
  • Create an environment and the means in which innovative solutions are explored
  • In all that we do as a collaborative, we aim to be ‘top shelf’

5. Development of guidelines & standards

  • Evolve as an organization to promote develop, coordinate, promulgate, interpret, or otherwise maintain standards that address the interests of a wide base of doctors in management outside the standard-developing organization
  • Be the ’place’ to go for best practice advice and information about medical management and physician leadership.

Participants in the WFMM have agreed to make the following commitments:

  • Contribute their organization’s voice to this initiative.
  • Contribute information on key developments and initiatives of interest or value to others, including notices of conferences that are open to members of other organisations to attend.
  • Collaborate with international colleagues to validate the proposition that doctors with management training positively affect health system performance and help patients receive better health care.
  • On a rotating basis and as agreed by the WFMM committee, consider hosting an international WFMM session or supplementary program within their organisation’s major annual conference.
  • Build the WFMM identity and credibility by putting renowned member expertise to the fore at conferences and meetings.
  • Participate by delivering workshops and conference streams at member organizations’ conferences and meetings.

In the start up phase (the next 5 years ) the commitment of member participant resources will be in time, mostly in periodic teleconference participation and reporting back to each organisation on progress, but with some costs for personal attendance at annual meetings (expected to be held in conjunction with a relevant major member conference or meeting). There was discussion about membership of the WFMM at the Rome meeting where was agreed to recognize individuals as Affiliate members in recognition of the international differences in structures and organization for the representation of doctors in management.

RACMA will continue to provide the Secretariat function (including hosting a WFMM website) for the initial period as member organizations move to rotate this responsibility in time.

As the WFMM matures a more formal and substantial corporate structure will need to be established, staffing, funding and sponsorship will be considered.

There was discussion about membership of the WFMM.

It was agreed to recognize individuals as Affiliate members in recognition of the international differences in structures and organization for the representation of doctors in management.

Current organization members are: SIMM, EAMM, HKCCM, ACPE, Danish Medical Association (DMA) FMLM (UK), RACMA (Aus & NZ), ACPE (US), CMA, CSPE, CS (Ireland), ISMM (Israel).

It is believed that there is sufficient potential value to justify pursuing the vision of an international network as proposed above. It offers the prospect of being a valuable adjunct to the developmental activities and services of members and in time becoming an internationally recognised body championing the value of doctors and physicians in leadership and management of health services worldwide. A relatively low-cost and low-risk start-up phase is proposed but for that to succeed the active support and participation of members is essential.

Dr Karen Owen
Chief Executive, RACMA

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