In its relatively brief tenure in the House of Medicine, Emergency Medicine has undergone significant changes both in internal structure and the delivery of acute care.
In 50 years from the Alexandria project, the practice has added a Board, widespread residency and fellowship training, and brought the “ER” to the front of the delivery system. Given the impact and input of demand and capacity against the backdrop of challenging mechanisms for payment, new perspectives must be considered. In addition, the consolidation in health care and the movement to delivery systems that are virtual require adaptation to the acute care practice.
In the late summer of 2020, amid the Sars CoV 2 pandemic, then-ACEP President William P. Jaquis convened a series of summits to examine the forces that influence our practice, and the potential future changes to our specialty. A small group of thought leaders provided the initial construct of the summits, breaking them into four domains – patients, people (workforce), practice, and payment, recognizing that none of these domains are independent of the others. From that framework, four summits (virtual) were held with leaders in those domains along with a small invited audience of experts to discuss and reflect on each presentation.
Below are the recordings and manuscripts, which attempt to capture and distill that rich discussion. The ideas set forth may challenge the current ‘norms’ of practice. There may be other major forces that either accelerate or cause deviation from these predictions, as we have already experience from the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer them as a starting place, to help develop a roadmap to prepare ourselves and our specialty for the changes ahead.
In the related “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” summit, panelists discussed what was done during the COVID-19 crisis that worked and didn’t work, and what emergency medicine as a specialty should do to better handle the next pandemic.
There were eight one-hour sessions –