California: Enhancing Geriatric Health

osterweilA two day conference on geriatric health just took place in Long Beach, CA. Since society is aging, there is a growing need for specialist healthcare professionals. This conference aimed to figure out methods of enhancing geriatric health care, while helping the professionals develop their leadership skills. Participants include: nurses, health professionals and physicians, but the conference is focused on the business side of geriatric health.

The event was a great opportunity for participants to learn from geriatric health care leaders vis-à-vis the physician and managerial side, according to conference course chair, UCLA Professor of Medicine and SCAN Health Plan Medical Director, Dan Osterweil, M.D. This is necessary since, as Osterweil notes, the majority of those with a medical degree don’t have any business/finance background and this very soon becomes somewhat problematic.

In addition, given that within the next 20 years, a fifth of all Americans will be 65 or older, it’s crucial that geriatric care becomes “more efficient and less costly.” But in order for that to happen, those in the healthcare industry need to work on their management and leadership skills. And it is this that was the focus of the conference.

The annual Leadership and Management in Geriatrics (LMG) Conference was sponsored by SCAN Health Plan, in conjunction with the California Geriatric Education Center and the UCLA Academic Geriatric Resource Center.

Plans for Improving Senior Healthcare

At the end of March, healthcare professionals will convene in Long Beach, CA to brainstorm on better ideas for caring for America’s “expanding senior population.”  Clearly the group is looking to the future, since, as Dan Osterweil, MD pointed out, in 20 years’ time, “one of every five Americans will be 65 or older.”  Thus these individuals will need the appropriate care.  Osterweil is the course chair of the Leadership and Management in Geriatrics (LMG) Conference.   The aim thus is to make eldercare more “efficient and less costly.”  For this to be achieved, those in the healthcare profession need to “hone their leadership and management skills,” which is what the conference is focusing on.  

The LMG Conference has been running for a decade in order to help fill the gap in geriatric care.  Sponsored by SCAN Health Plan, it is run in collaboration with the UCLA Academic Geriatric Resource Center and the California Geriatric Education Center.   It offers its participants (comprised of all sorts of health professionals) to brainstorm new ideas on geriatric care as well as giving them the opportunity to get help and guidance from leaders in the field.

The ultimate goal of course is, according to Osterweil, to “actually change behavior in ways that lead to a better patient experience.”