Vision 2023: Developing the College's Next Strategic Plan and Shaping Its Future
As the ACC heads into the final year and a half of its current Strategic Plan, College leaders and staff have already begun the process to build an effective and comprehensive strategy that will chart the course from 2019 through 2023. To date, the College has designed a development approach and established a governance structure with member and staff planning teams; developed a foundational briefing document to help guide and inform the process; and worked with member committees and staff to identify the top strategic issues from their perspective. The next phase of the plan's development involves determining the College's key focus areas and desired outcomes, resulting in a clear depiction of ACC's strategic direction.
"When we began developing the current Strategic Plan…the health care environment was — as it is today — experiencing rapid changes in science and care delivery that mandated a dynamic approach to strategic planning." — John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC
ACC's existing Strategic Plan, which began in 2014 and culminates at the end of 2018, was designed to address the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid advances in science and technology, uncertainty about systems of medical care delivery, growing demand for cardiovascular care at a time of workforce transition, shifting practice settings and more. These issues, coupled with the need to help members meet the "triple aim" of improved health, better outcomes and lower costs, necessitated a plan that leveraged the ACC's core competencies like education, advocacy and quality improvement, while also focusing on enhancing member value and developing new skills and competencies that better fit the changing environment.
"When we began developing the current Strategic Plan, around the time of the ACC's 65th anniversary, the health care environment was — as it is today — experiencing rapid changes in science and care delivery that mandated a dynamic approach to strategic planning," says Past President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC. "The plan that we developed leveraged the College's strengths, but also allowed for flexibility to address the inevitable changes in the landscape of health care over the life of the plan."
"Our value is in our mission statement, which is ultimately all about the patient. Collaboration with each other, as well as with our counterparts in the U.S. and around the world, is key to our success." — Rick Chazal, MD, MACC
Over the last several years, the ACC has made significant progress in addressing the core strategies identified in the current Strategic Plan, including increasing member value and engagement, facilitating transformation of care, managing population health and providing purposeful education. The College has played an active role in shaping health policy through more focused advocacy, and leveraging data and information to improve knowledge and clinical practice.
The College has also experienced tremendous growth in both size and revenue. Membership has increased by 21 percent over the last five years, from 43,000 in 2013 to 52,000 in 2017. Much of this growth (84 percent) is fueled by an increase in international members. The College's cardiovascular team membership has also expanded. And ACC saw a 40 percent growth in revenue from 2012 to 2016, largely fueled by its National Cardiovascular Data Registry®. "The progress the ACC has made in these and other areas of our Strategic Plan is due to the commitment of ACC members and leaders to do what is best for patient care," says Immediate-Past President Rick Chazal, MD, MACC. "Our value is in our mission statement, which is ultimately all about the patient. Collaboration with each other, as well as with our counterparts in the U.S. and around the world, is key to our success."
"Development of the ACC's next Strategic Plan provides an opportunity for members to help the College evolve effectively." — Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC
As the ACC develops its next Strategic Plan, many of the critical issues that were relevant during the development of the current Strategic Plan are still in play, while several new issues have emerged. Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death around the globe. Given a growing and aging population, preventing and treating cardiovascular disease will need to continue to be a major priority if the College hopes to change this statistic. Major health care policy changes in the U.S. and globally have transformed the health care landscape with a range of practice management implications. At the same time, ACC members continue to be challenged with time management, workforce shortages as the burden of cardiovascular disease increases, maintenance of professional certification, and much more. "As these factors and others continue to evolve, it will be important to understand and consider the impact to ACC's stakeholders over the new Strategic Plan horizon," says Trustee and Past Board of Governors Chair, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC.
Ensuring a cardiovascular workforce that can meet these demands also remains a concern. The ACC has made significant headway over the last decade in recognizing the importance of team-based care, but there is still work to be done in this area. "Working in health care teams is perhaps more important now than it has ever been as health care laws are changing and are moving reimbursement models from a volume-driven system to a value-driven one," says ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. "Teams are no longer optional in this new health care landscape and luckily the ACC recognized the value of the care team early on."
"…it will be important understand and consider the impact to ACC's stakeholders over the new Strategic Plan horizon." — Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC
Additionally, there is a strong need to address diversity in the cardiovascular workforce. Recent studies have highlighted not only substantial salary differences between male and female practicing cardiologists, but also dramatically different job descriptions — despite sharing the same specialty. A workforce diverse in job function, sex, specialty, and race and ethnicity is necessary to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and growing cardiovascular patient population. "The ACC is working on many fronts to identify, foster and grow diverse leaders in cardiology," says Past President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, MACC, who also serves as chair of the ACC's Task Force on Diversity. "Diversity helps improve and ensure the crucial relationships between caregivers, communities and patients."
Rapid growth in technology and the speed and volume of information is also an ongoing issue on many different fronts, including how clinicians learn, how new science and research is shared, how — and which — patients are managed and treated and how individuals communicate in general. Interoperability and health information technology also pose challenges for practices, hospitals and the ACC in terms of its data registries.
"The ACC is working on many fronts to identify, foster and grow diverse leaders in cardiology." — Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, MACC
In the United States, health reform efforts continue. The transition from a volume-driven to value-based system is forcing clinicians to rethink how they provide care. Changes in the White House and Congress have only increased uncertainty for both patients and health care providers in areas such as access to care, medical liability, federal funding for research and education and physician reimbursement. Additionally, there are concerns related to the ability for international cardiovascular trainees to study in the U.S., as well as the need to share and exchange knowledge globally.
"Keeping strategic decision-making at the Board level, ACC's governance transformation allows for tactical, operational and management decision-making at committee and staff levels." — C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC
The ACC's new governance structure is also expected be fully in place in 2018, presenting new opportunities for a more strategic focus, as well as the emergence of new leaders. "Keeping strategic decision-making at the Board level, ACC's governance transformation allows for tactical, operational and management decision-making at committee and staff levels," says ACC Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC. "This makes room for more member volunteers to take on leadership opportunities at the College and provides a prime opportunity for leadership growth, development and innovation." Implementing these governance changes has been a priority of the ACC under its current Strategic Plan since 2016.
Over the course of the development of ACC's next Strategic Plan, members and staff will continue to work together to ensure that these and other relevant issues are surfaced and to identify strategies to address these issues.
"Development of the ACC's next Strategic Plan provides an opportunity for members to help the College evolve effectively," says Walsh. "The ACC exists because of the talented professionals who have committed their lives to improving and saving the lives of others. Working together we will succeed in realizing the ACC's full potential for its members, the patients they serve and the global cardiovascular community."
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Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Health Care Reform, Leadership, Liability, Legal, Medical Informatics, Patient Care, Patient Care Team, Quality Improvement, Registries, Trustees
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