Here are the biggest priorities for Prisma Health's first ambulatory CMO

Saria Saccocio, MD, is the first ambulatory CMO of Richland County, S.C.-based Prisma Health. She spoke with "Becker's Ambulatory Surgery Centers Podcast" about her priorities in her position.

This is an excerpt. Download the full episode here

This interview was edited lightly for clarity. 

Question: What are the top three priorities as the ambulatory chief medical officer?

Dr. Saria Saccocio: Being the first ambulatory chief medical officer for our health system, it was a new world for all of us. What we recognized was missing is just as much focus and intensity on the ambulatory or outpatient spaces as we see in our acute care world. 

I'll use an example of quality. So we believe in leading with quality, and I'm sure that's not much different than most health systems across the country. But in order to do that like we've done in post-acute and acute care spaces, it takes focus on the metrics. It focuses on our performance and figuring out how we measure what quality looks like in the ambulatory spaces. Our value-based contracts have created that image for us.

That landscape has clearly been laid out for us to identify where the cost of care is going. Can we reduce hospital admissions and unnecessary visits to the emergency department? Are we catching cancer early by screening mechanisms that we know work and reduce mortality and morbidity? Are we managing chronic disease the way we should? This is what makes the difference in the work that we do. 

Finally, it has become more important that the light shines on opportunities we have for patient access — not through the lens of a hospital, not through the lens of the practice, but through the patient's eyes. How do they view access? What's important to them? Convenience? Whether it's through a virtual visit or in-person care? How do we meet patients and their families in a different way than we ever had before?

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