Rush University Medical Center Associate CMO Dr. Brian Stein's top piece of advice? Avoid flawed data

After attending medical school at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center, Brian Stein, MD, came back to the organization in 2009 to work as an intensive care provider and assistant professor specializing in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine. He now also serves as the associate CMO at the medical center.

Recently, Becker's Hospital Review caught up with Dr. Stein to ask about his proudest moments at Rush University, the major problem in healthcare he wants to eliminate and the advice he would offer other associate CMOs.

Here's what he had to say:

Editor's Note: Responses were edited for length and clarity.

Question: If you could eliminate one major problem in the healthcare industry overnight, what would it be?

Dr. Brian Stein: I would improve healthcare accessibility for patients. Right now, we have this market that has so many different payers involved, which confuses patients and results in differential access to care. I think this creates inequity in terms of who can receive care and access the medications necessary to improve outcomes. I would change that if I could.  

Q: What has been one of your proudest moments at Rush University Medical Center?

BS: One of my proudest moments was being able to stand up our bio-containment unit for potential Ebola patients. When there was an Ebola scare in 2014, there was a concern that infected patients would be coming from O'Hare International Airport. We were able to stand up a containment unit in about a week that provided care equal to that of dedicated long-standing units across the country. The team — which included the infection control team, engineering, nursing, the CMO team and ICU team — worked in conjunction with our emergency department to set up the unit and protocols on an incredibly short timeline.

We even began receiving patients that same week. We never received any Ebola-positive patients, but we had patients coming with fevers from O'Hare that we had to rule out. We knew they probably had malaria, but during that time we had to treat them as if they had Ebola from a containment perspective. I was very proud of the work the team did to create this space in a tight turnaround time to prevent any potential spread of the disease.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would offer another associate CMO?

BS: Pay attention to detail and dig deep when it comes to data and how you analyze it. Completing a deep-dive into the quality of your data is imperative to make sure you're capturing what you think you're capturing, particularly with internally submitted or benchmarked data. There have been so many times where we are working on a project and the data we received in the first place was not accurate. If you don’t know what you are measuring, you really can’t hope to improve.  

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