Doctor’s Orders: A Prescription for Getting Management and Physicians on the Same Page
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
Is your organization truly on the same page as your physicians? If not, you may be missing important opportunities to maximize the quality and costs of the care you provide. Poor alignment among management and medical staff can cost you greatly—in lower patient satisfaction, lower physician retention, and reduced profit margins.
“The relationship between physicians and health care organizations has been strained over the past number of years,” according to Roger Kaiser Jr., MD, managing director of Berkeley Research Group, LLC, a global strategic consulting firm that includes a focus on the health care industry. Kaiser spent many years as a practicing physician and a health care CEO before moving into the consulting side of the field. Here, he shares insights as to where—and why—these relational gaps exist, and offers his prescription for setting the situation right so everyone wins.
“I started practicing medicine in the early ‘80s. Back then, there were a lot fewer regulatory and bureaucratic regulations and requirements,” Kaiser says. “We didn’t have electronic medical records (EMRs), for example, and nothing came between me, the nurses, and the patients we cared for. Many of these additional time commitments are viewed by medical staff as non-value-add and a distraction between what they are trained to do best, which is care for the patient,” he explains.
He points out that the current requirements of health care thus hamper physician-patient relationships, leading many doctors to experience dissatisfaction and frustration on the job, and this feeling is especially common among physicians who practiced in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
“Hospitals and large physician practices need engaged and aligned physicians to optimize their cost and clinical outcomes. It is essential for an administration to have a clear strategy to align and motivate medical staff with around a common set of goals,” Kaiser says. “There are a couple of core elements that are important if a hospital is going to create a good physician relationship culture,” he adds.
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