Physician Onboarding: Four Steps in One Process

May 1, 2014

by Nancy Vessell

Nancy Vessell profile picWith 40 to 60 new physicians arriving every year to serve an eight-hospital system and its medical group, where 40 people are involved in physician recruitment, onboarding, orientation, and retention, the opportunity for “dropped balls” measures in the tons.

That’s according to Jim Zache, vice president of physician recruiting and physician relations at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, based in Milwaukee, WI.

Those four critical steps – starting with hiring physicians, then preparing them to see patients, acclimating them to the hospital, and finally keeping them happy and busy – are four distinct functions that often reside in sepa­rate departments. But they can still be well integrated, Zache says.

In fact, at Wheaton, those functions are touched by 40 people in about 20 departments throughout the enterprise. If the ball is dropped as it’s passed from one department to the next, the damage can be substantial. That’s how Wheaton’s new integrated system was born.

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