Each October at ACEP’s annual Council meeting, the ACEP Council elects new leaders for the College. The Council, which represents all 53 chapters, 33 sections of membership, the Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, will elect the College’s President-Elect, four members to the ACEP Board of Directors, the Council Speaker, and the Council Vice Speaker. This month, we’ll meet the President-Elect candidates. In September, we’ll meet the Board of Directors candidates, and in October, we’ll meet the candidates for Council positions.
The following Board members are candidates for the office of President-Elect. They responded to the following question:
What are the top two issues facing ACEP members today, and how should they be addressed?
Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP (California)
Current Professional Positions: attending physician and co–managing partner, Napa Valley Emergency Medical Group; medical director, Medic Ambulance; executive VP, chief medical officer, Newsura Insurance Services (insurance brokerage)
Internships and Residency: emergency medicine residency, LA County–UCLA Harbor
Medical Degree: MD, University of Illinois (1990)
Candidate Question Response
There are many important issues facing emergency medicine. I believe the top two issues facing ACEP members today are the constant challenge of adapting to the changing practice environment and the struggle to protect fair payment for our services.
Changes in the health care environment have forced emergency physicians to be more than just great physicians. We have to deal with gaps in resources and also be great managers of personnel, information technology, resource utilization, and coordination of care. Every day our job becomes more difficult. Our scope of practice is continuing to expand. We have to cover gaps in patient care as specialists become increasingly unavailable. We are tasked to maintain satisfaction and department efficiency and at the same time manage more patients even when inpatient beds are functionally or structurally unavailable.
ACEP must advocate to decrease the administrative burdens that do not add value to patient care. We have to work with IT vendors and government regulators so we spend less time in front of a computer and more time connecting with patients. We have to make sure “every click counts” and the efficiency of computerized physician order entry and electronic medical record systems improve. We have to establish standards and distribute the best practices to our members.
We need to educate emergency physicians how to more efficiently manage and supervise not only a constantly changing group of nurses but also nurse practitioners, physician assistants, scribes, and other members of the emergency medicine team.