In my last column I began providing a list of challenges for the membership and KMS to consider as we work to maintain and strengthen the quality of healthcare in our state. I began with the importance for the membership to remember our primary duty: our patients. This time I want to highlight a primary challenge for KMS.
The primary goal of KMS must be to assist Kansas physicians to provide optimum health care to the citizens of our state. We will work to continue our long-standing efforts to tirelessly provide physician input into our state government which will allow Kansas physicians to work with undo impediments and intrusions into the physician-patient relationship. With our excellent experienced staff, lead by Jerry Slaughter, KMS has fostered a credibility with the executive and legislative branches of state government that is no doubt envied by many state and specialty societies.
Further, where appropriate KMS must not be afraid to act to establish programs that will better the health of our patients. Recent examples include our joint quality effort with the Kansas Hospital Association, the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative. Another example is the joint KMS/KHA effort to make statewide electronic health information exchange a reality through the Kansas Health Information Network. For those not yet participating in the system, I hope that you will consider learning more about KHIN and see how this KMS, physician-lead initiative can help you care for your patients.
Of course KMS did not build KHIN alone in a vacuum. It took extensive collaboration with many groups, and it took financing. We are hence so fortunate to have deeply rooted and inseparable ties with KaMMCO. The KaMMCO Board understood that it was in the best interest of Kansas physicians, hospitals, and the entire provider community, as well as Kansas patients, to foster easier communication between health care providers and institutions. For this reason, they provided significant financial support to KHIN to make our network a reality. Thank you KaMMCO for your stewardship in this important Kansas initiative.
KMS must continue to vigilantly protect and support the ability of Kansas physicians to provide optimum health care to Kansas patients and look for innovative ways to better Kansas health care. With continued thoughtful input from our membership, leadership and staff, along with collaboration within the KMS corporate family and beyond, I am confident that we are up to the challenge.