When building new care systems, such as Accountable Care Organizations, we find that many hospitals are working with their independent physicians before working with their employed physicians.
When asked why they are not involving their employed physicians from the start, they indicate that their hospital-owned groups are primarily focused on wRVUs (compensation model focused on volume) in a way that diminishes their ability to be engaged as clinical change makers. This line of thinking is a sure way to threaten your organizational culture, causing employees and physicians to lose confidence in their capability to make an impact.
However, with careful guidance and leadership, you can help your physicians view themselves as positive change makers. Below are some actions you can take to encourage contributions and collaboration in your healthcare community.
Schedule Monthly Clinic Meetings: Physicians need to meet with their respective peers regarding their clinic business operations and patient care processes. The agenda should include financial performance review, operational topics, quality matrix benchmarks and marketing/growth strategy. To build a successful culture, these meetings need to be led by hospital and/or clinic leadership regarding the agenda and the preparation only. To better engage your physicians in these discussions, coach your physicians to present and offer their thoughts in these meetings. Eventually, you want your physicians engaged in these discussions doing the majority of the speaking. Successful meetings of this type are held monthly and last approximately one hour.
Build Consensus: Effective medical groups build consensus between the physicians in the clinic. Physicians need to practice and develop interpersonal communication skills regarding the business and clinic environment. Ask questions and develop a common vision regarding the future and the necessary change.
Balance Business & Clinical Discussions: Have a balance in these meetings between business operations, work schedules and clinical operations.
Develop Expectations & Invite Participation: Build a participative culture for new physicians that you recruited to your community. Encourage them to participate in your clinic monthly meetings and offer suggestions and ideas. Remember, your new physicians need to understand business standards such as how many patient contact hours they have per week, as well as operational and diagnostic details, like the clinical elements they should be measuring for Type 2 Diabetes. Actively invite comments, and encourage their participation in making business and clinical decisions.
Improve your healthcare community by investing in your physicians’ development and making them your partners for positive change in your community.
Bill Clayton is Healthcare Consultant within Clark Schaefer Hackett. Bill focuses on compensation modeling and multiple types of physician success strategies for you organization.