Aisha T. Terry (formerly Liferidge) MD, MPH, FACEP (incumbent, Washington, D.C.)
Current Professional Positions: associate professor, emergency medicine and health policy, and senior advisor, emergency medicine health policy fellowship, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 39 – No 09 – September 2020
Internships and Residency: emergency medicine residency, University of Maryland Medical System department of emergency medicine, Baltimore
Medical Degree: MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill (2003)
ACEP’s greatest opportunity lies in boldly embracing the enormous opportunity to capitalize upon innovative technical advancement and data analytics in order to solidify emergency medicine as a premier leader of health care transformation, ensure the long-term solvency of College operations through non-dues revenue, and create sustainability of emergency medicine practice relative to quality standards and physician payment. ACEP’s clinical registry—CEDR—offers the perfect opportunity by which to accomplish these goals.
CEDR is currently used to collect and submit quality data to the federal government to evaluate emergency physicians’ provision of care. Since its inception in 2015, CEDR has collected data on over 50 million emergency department visits and saved emergency physicians over $300 million in avoided penalties. CEDR has even greater functional capacity, however. If fully optimized, CEDR could also serve as a vehicle for curating robust data, facilitating transformative research, and informing innovation around health care delivery. Strengthening CEDR’s technical infrastructure and diversifying its capacity would also provide the College with the ability to perform data analytics and pursue non-dues revenue by offering highly sought-after, real-time, robust emergency care data. A more widely adopted CEDR would additionally continue to foster high emergency medicine quality standards while protecting emergency physicians from penalties and creating eligibility for bonuses.
ACEP’s biggest threat is passivity as related to firmly defining the identity of our specialty and the roles of emergency physicians. This is necessary to ensure the longevity, growth, and integrity of our specialty. Emergency medicine must be identified as an essential safety-net health care service. Emergency physicians must be clearly named as the lead clinician in the ED and the primary stakeholder in EM practice models. The coronavirus pandemic has magnified for the world what emergency physicians have always known—that is, that EM is absolutely essential and of tremendous value to the entire health care system. As such, emergency care should be compensated accordingly, regardless of patient volumes, and viewed as a prized resource. ACEP now has an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize upon the momentum of the pandemic by insisting that policies and fiscal support structures fairly and durably recognize EM as vital and essential.
As a champion of quality care, ACEP must also be intentional about clarifying the identity of the emergency physician in the clinical setting. While advance practice providers are welcome and indispensable members of the ED team, their intended skill set does not equate to that of a physician, and patients deserve to have their care led and supervised by the clinician with the highest level of competency—an emergency physician. Finally, the role of the emergency physician relative to the management of their practice should be addressed. EM practice models have evolved such that physician autonomy in the decision-making process for the practice has declined. In some instances, this has resulted in a shift away from patient-centered approaches to care. ACEP should study this phenomenon and model options that promote physician-led practice management, without creating excessive burden or risk.