UMHS President David Miller, M.D., shares top priorities for 2021

March 3, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

It’s been an extremely busy start to the new year for David Miller, M.D., who took on his new role as president of the U-M Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs for the medical school on Jan. 1.

With national expertise in urological oncology, quality improvement and health services research, and strong leadership experience as the previous UH/CVC chief clinical officer, he has big plans for how the health system and medical school can move forward in 2021. 

“Although challenging, last year proved without a doubt that we can accomplish some amazing, never-before-imagined accomplishments in health care,” he said in a recent message sent to all Michigan Medicine employees.

“I am confident that, if we continue to work together, we will reach all our goals. I believe if we focus on three major and overarching outcomes, we will become a better health care provider and a more enjoyable place to work. I hope that in your daily work, you will join me in keeping three areas top of mind.”

The three overarching outcomes include:

  • Improving access: Miller wants to enhance patients’ access to care by fully integrating all of the organization’s services seamlessly between inpatient, ambulatory, home care and virtual care services. This includes innovations in virtual care and “hospital at home” services, and strengthening partnerships with other regional hospitals and health care providers, which will not only offer greater care options, but provide equitable access for diverse patient populations.
  • Enhancing the patient experience: A consistent focus on high reliability, empathy and listening, will improve communication skills and ultimately make a positive impact on the experience of patients. It is critically important to educate all faculty, staff and learners in how to further enrich the experience for all patients and families.
  • Ensuring quality and safety: Teamwork must continue to occur to reduce hospital acquired conditions, such as pressure injuries, falls and sepsis. Clinical data and expertise, such as the Collaborative Quality Improvement partnerships with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, will help improve treatment for specific conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer. A focus on quality and safety can also address health disparities among underrepresented patient populations.

Miller also noted the significance of culture, and how all team members interact with each other and those they serve.

“My hope is that together we can foster an even stronger sense of caring, teamwork and inclusion, where everyone in our workforce feels an authentic sense of belonging.,” he said. “These are exciting, although very challenging, times. We see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we are on a path to greater stability after a challenging 2020, and we have learned many lessons about how we can advance health for our patients and communities.”  

Miller closed his message: “It is a privilege to work with all of you. I cannot thank you enough for your commitment to our patients and to each other. Let’s keep going together.”