Medical executive committee meeting topics

Medical executive committee (MEC) meetings are the place to tackle the pressing questions that the events of the past several months have raised. For example, the MEC should discuss what it can do to ensure that the hospital does not become the focus of an Office of Attorney General investigation for unnecessarily performing high profile procedures, such as cardiac and orthopedic surgery. Does the MEC have faith in the systems that monitor the appropriateness and quality of procedures performed in these areas? Is the medical staff paying adequate attention to spinal fusion procedures performed in the facility? How does the MEC know that the cardiac bypass program is well managed?

The MEC might also consider adding to the "reservoir" of good will it has with its governing board—an area that is severely lacking in some facilities. For example, a number of boards have seemingly lost confidence in the elected medical staff leadership. These boards have taken steps to improve quality without first consulting and partnering with the MEC. A growing number of medical staffs are involved in legal actions to prohibit boards from taking such action. These medical staffs believe the boards' actions violate bylaws. However, courts are not the best place to discuss such matters. Remember, the scars left by such disputes last for years and compromise real progress.

Medical staff leaders must confront the challenges before them. Remember, the obstacles exist and it's up to you to decide how best to overcome them.