Physician engagement is not a new phenomenon; it has been a top concern of healthcare leaders across the nation for years. With changes to reimbursement models and the shift towards value-based care, strong physician relations are imperative to the success of healthcare organizations, even more now than ever before.
What is physician engagement?
Physician engagement is being intentional to involve physicians in the decision-making process in the pursuit of continuous quality improvement, both through improved care and enhanced patient experience. Successful physician engagement results in physicians that are proud, loyal, and committed to an organization’s mission, vision, and values.
What are the benefits of physician engagement?
Highly-engaged physicians have been linked to enhanced patient care, better quality, higher efficiency, increased retention, improved physician satisfaction, and lower costs. The level of physician engagement can also have a significant impact on financial performance, as it reduces referral leakage and builds physician loyalty. The following are few additional benefits, according to a recent Gallup Physician Engagement Survey:
- Engaged physicians may give a hospital 3 percent more outpatient referrals and 51 percent more inpatient referrals.
- Engaged physicians are have a reported 26% higher productivity levels.
- In addition to better care and patient safety, physician engagement also has financial benefits as it reduces referral leakage and builds physician loyalty.
- Engaged physicians have a more engaged patient base.
- Engaged physicians are often more loyal, more co-operative, are willing to work through challenges while providing constructive feedback.
- Engaged physicians are dedicated to their patients and committed to the improvement of their organizations.
Factors drive physician engagement
Establishing and maintaining a highly-engaged physician team enables healthcare organizations to work together toward addressing the needs of patients more efficiently while providing a more positive patient experience. Factors that may help drive physician engagement include:
- Decision making related to clinical and administrative policy
- Physician involvement in decision-making related to operations
- Organizational Transparency
- Timely communication from leadership
- Increased control physicians have over their schedules
- Staffing support
- Work-life balance
Physician engagement is imperative to a healthcare organization’s successful shift toward value-based care. During this time of continuous change and transition, physicians that are committed and engaged are even more important to a healthcare organization’s success than ever.