The IMS Board of Directors has voted to implement a series of reforms to strengthen the Policy Forum model for organizational policy development. The reforms, contained in the Vista-Wayne Report, were discussed and approved at the recent IMS September Board meeting. They include the following measures intended to further increase member engagement opportunities:
- Utilize Social Media to Garner Greater Member Engagement and Promote Opportunities to Take Action Through the Policy Forum Process.
This starts with the creation of an IMS members-only Facebook group for greater peer-to-peer interactions throughout the year under the guidance of a handful of member moderators who will be tasked with helping to identify emerging trends and encouraging engaged members to bring their ideas to the Policy Forum process.
- Proactively Promote Policy Forum Engagement Opportunities in a Targeted and Consistent Manner.
IMS will adopt a clear means of promoting the subject matter under consideration during each Policy Forum cycle, and highlight previous Policy Request Statements (PRS) to showcase the elements of previously successful member submissions.
- Designate a Board Liaison for Each Policy Request to Increase Engagement with Authors and Strengthen the Final Policy Request Statements Submissions.
Starting with Policy Forum 21-1, IMS will begin assigning Board Liaisons to each PRS author who submits a proposal. Board Liaisons will be tasked with helping develop stronger request statements and serving as a guide and advocate throughout the process.
- Utilize Technology to Increase Opportunities for Member Engagement in the Policy Forum Process.
Increasingly, video and virtual options are providing additional measures for members to make their voices heard. IMS will be utilizing these technologies to allow for video Policy Forum testimony and virtual member participation during future Policy Forum meetings.
- Create Additional Opportunities to Engage and Celebrate PRS Authors Who Have Shown an Interest in Greater IMS Involvement.
PRS authors have taken the first step toward greater engagement with organized medicine. IMS will seek to celebrate this engagement and increase members’ exposure to policymakers by hosting an optional evening Speakers Reception in conjunction with each Policy Forum meeting.
- Establish Policy Forum Liaisons to Identify Local Issues and Solicit Policy Requests from Their Peers.
IMS staff have been directed to develop a model for the establishment of Policy Forum liaisons in communities across our state. These local IMS representative will seek to break down barriers to engagement by facilitating interactions across employers and clinics, working with local stakeholders to further elevate the voices and concerns of the local physician community.
- Develop a Model to Allow Members to Securely Submit Policy Request Statements on Sensitive Issues.
Staff have also been tasked with formulating a model for allowing for anonymous PRS submissions, which will help to facilitate member deliberations on sensitive subjects while protecting members from potential negative repercussions from outside forces for simply voicing their thoughts among their peers.
Staff will be convening stakeholder discussions to develop clearer models to implement these final two reforms, with the IMS Board of Directors further deliberating both measures at its December meeting. Implementation of the other reforms is already underway with the intention of having all reforms ready in time for Policy Forum 21-1 next April. For more information about these reforms, please view the Vista-Wayne Report or contact Dennis Tibben with the IMS Center for Physician Advocacy.