Brent James on Expanding Precision Medicine and Reducing Unwarranted Variations

Brent James, MD, former Executive Director and Chief Quality Officer at Intermountain Health, discusses the role of the leadership group in a healthcare delivery system.

“A minimum of 30% and probably over 50% of all money spent on healthcare delivery in the world today is waste.” Coming from that assumption, Brent James, MD, explains how better clinical results can be achieved by an efficient infrastructure for physicians. He further gives advice on how the leadership group of a healthcare delivery system can reduce unwarranted care variations by creating a structured environment with transparency of data and processes.

“Most of the advantages we have seen in reducing variation come from managing the context. We don't really need to motivate our clinicians so much as we need to make it really easy to do it right.” - Brent James.

  • The management builds a context that allows physicians to work efficiently and easily while reducing variation to a minimum through established protocols, systems, structures etc.
  • Key elements of building an effective framework are shared understanding, shared vision, and knowledge of big processes.
  • Part of a leadership group's key strategy should be transparency of data in care processes, which, at the same time, should be the primary determinant in selecting the right electronic record.


Brent James was invited as a speaker to the Executive Summit 2018

Brent James, MD, is former Executive Director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research and Vice President - Medical Research and Continuing Medical Education at Intermountain Health, a nonprofit health system in the U.S.