your life your health

Dr. James L. Holly is CEO of Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP (SETMA) in

As we move deeper into the 21st century, we do so knowing that the technological advances we face are astounding. Our grandchildren’s generation will experience healthcare methods and possibilities that seem like science fiction to us today. Yet that technology risks decreasing the value of our lives if we do not, in the midst of technology, retain our humanity.

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Here is a difficult question: “Can a healthcare provider help a patient develop virtue?” Without doubt, it is hard, but it is possible. Virtue is more than the development of habits, but virtue’s presence or absence will result in habits being formed. The healthcare provider can help a patient develop positive habits with accountability and reinforcement of positive conduct. The healthcare provider can promote virtue in the life of the patient by celebrating success, however small, and by cheering the patient on to success.

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James  Holly, M.D.

April 19, 2016, Dr. Michael Oszczakiewicz asked if due to his surgery schedule, I could fill in for him and speak to the Lamar University Pre-Med Club, similar to the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). I agreed. It was great fun.

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James  Holly, M.D.

Join a team

In his remarkable book “The Fifth Discipline,” Dr. Peter Senge, addressed the value and the power of a team. He said:

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Without question, the ability to prescribe controlled substances electronically is a major step forward in healthcare quality and safety. Yet, only 5 percent of physicians in the United States currently can perform this function; all can do it legally but only 5 percent are taking advantage of the ability.

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In the first week of January, as we reviewed the details of what we expected in December 2014 to accomplish in 2015, we were reminded of other years in which we had specific, stated goals. 

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In January each year, SETMA reviews the goals we established the previous year and sets goals for the coming year. In January 2015, SETMA partners, executive management and colleagues set the following goals:

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On May 21, 2015, Medical Home News submitted a series of questions to SETMA The first was: “You have an extraordinary passion for your practice, your patients, and you pursuit of excellence. Where does that passion come from?”

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SETMA’s team approach to inpatient care is a success, as demonstrated by the facts that our lengths of stay, quality metrics, cost of care and patient satisfaction are excellent. And this team approach is one of the reasons why the indigent, uninsured and unassigned patients for whom we care receive the same quality of care as our private patients. I would offer the following observations about SETMA’s team.

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Value-based payments are expected to focus more on outcomes – improvement in health – than process, or doing “things” to or for patients. For instance, value-based payments will focus more on whether patients’ treatments for diabetes are resulting in improved care rather than just whether patients with diabetes are receiving certain tests.

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