WELCOME TO WASHINGTON, D.C.! We are thrilled to be able to host the capital of emergency medicine conferences in the capital of our nation. ACEP17 is your opportunity to spend time networking with our colleagues from all over the United States and around the world. This is the place to be for outstanding education, research, and discussion and, most importantly, to look forward to the year in front of us and what we bring to the practice of emergency medicine from ACEP17.
This meeting is an opportunity to discover just how large the emergency medicine community is and how many different areas of focus and interest the specialty contains. I challenge you to attend section meetings, committee meetings, and networking events and to learn from as many offerings as possible at ACEP17. The future of emergency medicine rests in our multitude of voices and interests coming together to serve one purpose.
I am gratefully accepting the baton of leadership from Immediate Past President Rebecca B. Parker, MD, FACEP, in a continuous, sustained, multiyear effort on our specialty’s behalf to attain our goals. Becky has done an outstanding job representing us, and I look forward to her continued contributions.
I want to share with you some of the major initiatives that our College—supported by committee members, staff, the Board of Directors, and hopefully your assistance—will be working on this year.
- We will focus on efficiency and streamlining in the College and our own practices. We will work to find ways to decrease bureaucracy and improve the efficiency of daily practice. We have over 100 objectives directly tied to improving the practice environment. This means you will be able to spend more time caring for patients and hopefully less time working in front of the computer and on work that does not improve patient care. We must make improving the emergency physician practice environment one of ACEP’s top priorities.
- Alongside increased efficiency of practice, ACEP will be improving communication to our members in a great leap forward. An all-new and member-focused website will be launching in early 2018, and our social media channels are evolving to focus even more closely on member needs. Just as you treat patients anytime and anywhere, all the information you need to practice will be at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.
- In this rapidly shifting political landscape, it is more important than ever that ACEP promotes the incredible value we provide in caring for all patients. We must educate the public, media, and government on our roles as expert diagnosticians and our roles as the entry point to medicine in the nation. We will be working with other EM stakeholder groups so we speak with a single united voice wherever possible. With this understanding, we must also be excellent managers of resources to provide the best care, as well as the best value for everyone.
- We will continue the battle against dishonest billing practices that harm our patients as well as our fellow emergency medicine practitioners. Renewed interest from the media, government, and insurance providers in repealing the prudent layperson standard puts lives at risk. ACEP stands with the prudent layperson standard as we have since its inception, and we will continue to advocate and encourage legislation that keeps it a national standard. Patients shouldn’t diagnose themselves out of fear their insurance company won’t cover a visit to the emergency department.
- We will continue to advocate for protection of emergency care benefits for our members during this time of great debate on health care policy within the government. Our patients should be able to access the emergency care they need when they need it without fear, and emergency physicians should be able to treat without fear as well.
Enjoy your time at ACEP17. I look forward to serving you.