President’s Perspective: Competitive Analysis in a Digital Framework

Pino D. Colone, MD

MSMS President

I am honored to submit the first of my President’s Letters as the 156th President of your Michigan State Medical Society. There is no stronger voice for Michigan’s physicians and patients.

Competition. As physicians, we’ve been wired for it. All through school, residency and beyond, we know what it takes to get ahead.

But once we’ve entered practice, our competitive instincts start to abate slightly. We become more comfortable with our skills, our patients, and our care teams. When excellent care giving becomes our sole professional mission, it becomes easy to focus all our dogged personal and intellectual energy on our patients, rather than on a race to the top of our unique health care markets. Plus, collaboration just feels better than competition.

At the Michigan State Medical Society, we’re all about collaboration. But we also recognize the benefits of competition when it comes to boosting patient experiences and outcomes. We know it’s often competition that drives innovation, boosts quality, and supports a robust health care marketplace for our entire state.

Right now, our state’s physicians are grappling with a number of dynamic forces that impact their practices in profound ways. The introduction of open notes for patients, the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, and the shifting marketplace for telehealth combine with other ongoing issues to put pressure on our work. We have been forced to redesign our digital infrastructures and look for new ways to engage with our patients online. Telehealth demands the same qualities of an in-person visit: your undivided attention, the years and expertise of your training, and your expert medical assessment and diagnosis, and should be reimbursed as such.

We must also be honest with ourselves about where we stand in our respective health care marketplaces. What are we building, and for whom? How can we deliver extraordinary patient experiences while ensuring the transparent sharing of information?

In this issue of Michigan Medicine®, we’ll explore that all-important competitive analysis in the context of a new digital framework. Patients today find us online, not in the phone book. What do they see when they come looking? How can we make sure it’s truly representative of our work? How do we verify a online review, knowing one negative review may cost you patients and damage your reputation?

These are among the many questions we’ll try to answer—but we recognize it is only the beginning. Each physician has a good deal of work to do in the months and years ahead. So read on, then check in with us. At MSMS, we’ve got your back—and we’ll be a resource every step of the way.

No matter what your competitive analysis looks like.

Pino D. Colone, MD, MSMS President