Becker's Clinical Leadership Virtual Event: 5 Qs with Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer of Providence St. Joseph Health

As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the first Becker's Healthcare Clinical Leadership Virtual Event Sept. 9-10.

Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, chief clinical officer and executive vice president of Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, will serve on the panel, "Key Tips for Promoting Clinician Well-Being and Resilience." 


To learn more about the conference and Dr. Compton-Phillip's session, click here.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for style.

Question: What clinical initiative is taking up the most of your time and attention right now?

Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips: Providence is focused on three strategies in response to the COVID-19 crisis: respond, recover and renew. You can read more about how we are working to turn the crisis into an opportunity to reimagine healthcare on the Providence blog. We are transforming our model of care delivery and focused on shaping the future of health while always being here for our patients and communities.

Q: What is your biggest patient care concern amid the pandemic, and how are you working to address it?

ACP: Patients with chronic conditions are delaying their care and avoiding the emergency room because of COVID-19. A recent study from our heart institute showed that we had a 25 percent drop in patients with acute coronary syndrome, and unfortunately, more observed fatalities, presumably because people are delaying access to care, waiting until the damage is done. Patients need to know that we offer a safe environment for care. While it's important to socially distance, we do not need to medically distance from each other.

 Q: What's one lesson you learned early in your career that has helped you lead in healthcare?

ACP: 2020 has been a year of lessons, and much of our response has been listening to science and facts to make decisions. Early in my career, I became a staunch advocate to make healthcare affordable and accessible. Sticking to that mantra and staying committed to the needs of our patients and communities has led me to where I am today. 

Q: What's the most important way clinical leaders can support their team's well-being and resilience during the pandemic?

ACP: Listen to your team and create hope by choosing positivity and turning obstacles into opportunity. And make sure they are taking some time for themselves. So many of my colleagues have been working 24/7 for months. We have to care for our caregivers. Burnout is a serious risk. 

Q: Where are the biggest opportunities for patient safety or quality improvements in 2020 and beyond?

ACP: This pandemic gives us an opportunity for a real step change in improving patients' health outcomes and experience. Streamlining access by embedding virtual care into the mix has already happened; leveraging tools to create a seamless experience through a complex healthcare environment is next; and ensuring the patient financial experience is as smooth as the care experience will be the “digital back door." We need to continue the ongoing work on quality and patient safety, but now have the opportunity to put seamless care as the third critical leg to creating the best patient outcomes possible. 

More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:

Stigma attached to COVID-19 survivors may stall efforts to prevent virus spread
Study links higher ICU bed occupancy to more COVID-19 deaths
Case study offers new evidence that antibodies thwart COVID-19

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