We recently administered a “pulse” survey to gain insights on member priorities as we plan the next three years of Vision 2020. We reached out to the College’s Vision Advisory Group (consisting of the Executive Committee, Advocacy Council chair and past Executive Medical Director), past presidents, council members, members-at-large and staff to gather a broad range of perspectives.
We asked what they consider to be the most pressing issues facing the specialty, what are their most valued College resources and where we should focus our efforts in 2018-20. The responses were generally consistent across all groups and gave us important insights on the College’s future direction. The following are some high-level themes that emerged:
- Advocacy should be the College’s primary focus with the Annual Scientific Meeting and practice management rounding up the top three priority areas for the next three years.
- Efforts to raise public awareness of the specialty also came up high on the list, particularly with members being concerned the specialty is losing authority in the health care arena.
- While member communications did not rank as a high priority area, it became evident the College needs to continue to raise awareness of the vast resources and services available to our members.
What are the most pressing issues facing the specialty?
The most pressing issues fell under advocacy and practice management. They included concerns about compounding regulations, competition; decreasing income and payment issues, which were the top three issues across all stakeholder groups.
Controlling overhead in practice/administrative burdens, which has not been an issue presented to our stakeholders or a focus of the College in the past, also ranked high among all survey respondents.
MACRA consistently ranked as the fifth- or sixth-most important issue. Decisions to become an employed allergist or join/maintain an independent practice ranked low among all groups except for the Membership Council (mostly consisting of our younger members, FITs and new allergists).
Negotiating contracts, physician burnout, technology and telemedicine, and MOC ranked as less pressing issues facing the specialty; however, groups ranked them differently. Notably, physician burnout ranked higher among the members at large, the Vision Advisory Group, and the Advocacy Council than it did among others. MOC ranked as the least pressing issue when viewing the results cumulatively; however, it ranked higher than negotiating contracts and technology and telemedicine among members.
What are the most valued College resources?
Not surprisingly, advocacy and the Annual Meeting were at the top of the list of the most valuable resources.
All groups except for the Past Presidents Committee and the Membership Council ranked advocacy as the most valuable resource. The Past Presidents Committee and the Membership Council ranked the Annual Meeting as the most valuable, and the Vision Advisory Group ranked advocacy as only slightly more valuable than the Annual Meeting.
Both education and practice management ranked high, as well. The Past Presidents Committee ranked education as highly as advocacy. Education ranked higher than practice management for all groups except the Membership Council and the Advocacy Council.
Member communications and public communications ranked as the least valuable current resource; however, it is interesting to note that when asked where the College should focus its resources in 2018-20, promoting the specialty to the public was ranked as one of the top five priority areas.
Where should the College focus its efforts in 2018–2020?
When asked where the College should focus its efforts in the coming years, the feedback was clear-cut: almost every respondent ranked advocacy as the highest priority.
Members of the Advocacy Council were asked what advocacy-centric resources should be made available to our members. Their responses fell into two categories: guidance on government regulations (especially pertaining to changes in the Affordable Care Act) and support for understanding state laws.
Groups differed in how they ranked the second, third, and even fourth priority. Members-at-large ranked promoting the specialty to the public as the second-highest priority, with practice management and education as third and fourth, followed by the Annual Meeting. The Vision Advisory Group ranked the Annual Meeting as the second-highest priority, followed by practice management and education, with publication and member outreach and promoting the specialty to the public as the least important priorities.
Now that we’ve heard from our stakeholders, what are the next steps?
While we were not surprised by the results of the pulse survey, particularly regarding the top priority areas, we have a lot of food for thought as we develop the road map for the next three years. The Vision 2020 Advisory Group has already started discussing all the feedback from our stakeholders and is working on crafting our strategic plan for 2018-2020.