How Northwestern Medicine’s new urology structure will help improve care

Opinion
Video

"We aim to provide the best quality care we can at the locations closest to our patients," says Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD.

In this video, Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD, discusses how Northwestern Medicine's Expanded Urology Leadership and Committee Structure improves upon previous models within NM and how it will improve patient care. Schaeffer is chair and Harold Binstein Professor of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

Transcription:

How does Northwestern Medicine's Expanded Urology Leadership and Committee Structure improve upon previous models within NM?

This structure that we've developed was something that we borrowed from the Blum Cardiovascular Institute; they have a well-engineered and well-deployed team of cardiologists throughout the network. However, this was the first for our specialty, and really the first for any surgical specialty done here. So, in many ways, we thoughtfully kind of evolved the program and took advantage of strategic opportunities to build out the team. We had some directionality based on the really nice work that was done within the Blum Cardiovascular Institute, and then we moved in parallel with the department of neurosurgery, which was also expanding in a systematic, thoughtful way, along the same lines as the department of urology was. So we, in many ways, learned hand in hand with them. We've been thoughtful and reflective. So we have a very good playbook for how to expand and deploy in the different areas.

How will this structure improve patient care?

We aim to provide the best quality care we can at the locations closest to our patients. I think we're achieving those marks in many of our different hospital areas. In Chicago, there's a tremendous flight to quality. With that in mind, our clinics are overwhelmed with patients who desire to be taken care of and be seen in our program. Obviously, we're flattered that that is true. We still have to think about strategies to balance the very high demand for our high-quality urology care with access and really taking care of all the patients who desire to be seen, but really trying to identify the highest acuity cases as early as possible so that we can get those individuals with more urgent needs in as fast as possible. So it is a challenge when you build a network full of really talented folks. People take notice, and so we do have an oversubscription problem, which of course, we're honored and flattered to have, and we're always working to accommodate and balance that with meeting the expectations of our patients.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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