Healthcare News & Insights

5 strategies for stronger physician-administration partnerships

To handle all the changes coming in health care, hospital execs will have to have solid relationships with their physicians. Here are five strategies to help you form those strong physician relationships. 

177337349Not long ago, hospital administration and facility doctors worked separately from each other — with administration focusing on business decisions, while doctors focused on providing care.

But that disjointed system is on the way out, thanks in part to changes in the industry that are centering health care around quality of care and value-based reimbursement. Now hospital execs and doctors will have to work together in order to develop strategies and provide top-level, patient-centered health care.

Getting physician engagement is especially important now that many hospital boards are hiring more execs with non-medical backgrounds to help facilities navigate today’s financial challenges. Those leaders will need physician input to address healthcare related issues plaguing many facilities.

Connecting doctors and decision makers

To help execs develop stronger ties with their doctors, consider these six strategies from Lisa Goren’s Becker’s Hospital Review article:

  1. Create rules for engagement. Collaboration is the best way to build trust between administrators and providers — be it through joint decision making, problem solving and strategic planning.  Goren says compact team agreements and shared governance councils provide good frameworks for effective collaborations. To get physician buy-in, as well as to help administration fulfill their strategic goals, execs may want to include physicians in their succession planning.
  2. Develop metrics. In order to improve operations as a team, make sure you and your physicians are using the same measures to gauge success. Meet with physcians, then develop three to five metrics to measure and track.
  3. Center meetings around patient care. Meetings should always revolve around care delivery, rather than individual preferences or precedence, Goren writes. That means finding ways to connect with physicians that don’t overly disrupt care. “Consider brief, but regular, huddles and longer, but more occasional, meetings,” Goren says.
  4. Start with small wins first. Any strong bond between administration and providers will take time to develop. Build momentum for your future collaborations by starting with small manageable projects  to help cross-disciplinary teams get comfortable with each other. These “small wins” can then lead to bigger innovations for the rest of your facility, as well as form a culture of teamwork in your organization.
  5. Celebrate and share successes. Take time to acknowledge success in your organization by sharing regular updates or success stories. Not only can this motivate workers for other collaborations, it also shows the rest of your organization that administrations and physicians can successfully work together and create meaningful outcomes and changes.

 

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