For starters, he said, don’t think it will be easy. “It is changing a culture that has been longstanding and well-entrenched, and that is never easy.
“Also, don’t think that there’s a standard way to do this. There is no evidence-based best practice out there that you can pull out of the literature and say, ‘Aha, here it is.’” Collaboration with other organizations that are also experimenting with the model can help.
Don’t wait until things have gotten so bad that there has to be a political or legislative solution. If that happens, “things could get real ugly real fast,” he said. “We have got to act, and we’ve got to act quickly.”
Finally, Knight said, don’t think it’s not worth it. “I believe healthcare is a calling. I believe that those of us who chose this as a profession did so because we had some very noble aspirations, and I think developing accountable care organizations can be a way that we can realize those dreams and create an environment where we can find true fulfillment and also provide the kind of care and the kind of services that out patients deserve.”
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.