Novia Strategies Comments on Physician Engagement in the News

physician engagement

Achieving physician engagement can be challenging for hospital leadership, whether the organization’s goal is to shift towards a value-based care model or to prepare for changing reimbursement models under future healthcare reform. In fact, according to the Health Leaders Media 2017 Annual Industry Outlook, one in three hospital executives indicate that inadequate physician engagement is preventing them from transitioning to value-based care.

Novia Strategies recently addressed this topic in the news in several articles published by leading healthcare publications that focus on the significance of physician engagement and how hospitals can make progress in this area by forming physician partnerships and fostering clinical leadership.

In the May and June issues of Hospital Peer Review, Novia Strategies Chief Operating Officer Bill Denton, RN, MBA, comments on the importance of physician leadership to making clinical processes work more efficiently and effectively. In working with leading hospitals in their surgical departments, he finds that putting physicians in charge can make all the difference. He offers the example of physician-led operating room (OR) executive committees, which many hospitals form as task forces to identify problems and develop solutions. When leading these task forces, physicians are empowered to make decisions and are able to do so based upon aligned hospital-physician objectives.

Denton also emphasizes the importance of having a steady flow of reliable data to help guide decision-making by physicians when leading OR executive committees and in general. “Physicians rely on data and they respond very well if you give them the kind of data they need to solve problems and improve processes,” Denton says.

Physician preference cards are another area where hospitals can engage physicians to reach their mutual goals, according to Denton. Problems often arise when preference cards are changed so often that they bog down the surgical preparation and processes. Denton advises extracting data from preference cards to demonstrate for physicians where there is the greatest variability, and encouraging them to review their preference cards and where they can be streamlined, as well as to consider their peers’ preferences.

“The good thing is that not only does reducing the variability and the constant changes lower the costs, but it also will make it more likely that the surgeons get exactly what they have requested, with fewer errors resulting from the sheer number of variables and updates that the staff has to manage,” Denton says.

In Fierce Healthcare Hospital Impact, Novia Strategies Founder and CEO Nancy Lakier, RN, MBA and Vice President Donna Hopkins, MSN, RN, CMA provide commentary on a different aspect of physician engagement – the evolving, integral role of physician advisors in today’s hospitals.

“Hospitals across the country are making significant strides in achieving physician engagement through the invigoration of the physician advisor role,” Lakier comments. “Physician advisors are typically physicians who serve as a liaison between case management, the C-suite and the clinical staff, with the ultimate goal of delivering the best possible patient care and facilitating the patient’s progression throughout the care continuum.”

Lakier and Novia Strategies Vice President John Malone take another look at physician engagement in an article in Hospitals & Health Networks titled, Physician Engagement Can Reduce Clinical Variation. Here they examine how hospital executives are finding the need and opportunity to foster physician engagement and collaboration to reduce clinical variation – the overuse, underuse, different use and waste of healthcare practices and services with varying outcomes.

“By embracing a collaborative approach to physician engagement initiatives, hospitals can make significant progress towards reducing clinical variation while enhancing physician-hospital relations,” Lakier says. “In doing so, they can dramatically improve the value of care delivered to the patient, and position themselves and their physicians for stronger financial and operational performance in today’s competitive healthcare environment.”

For more information about how your organization can foster and benefit from improved physician engagement, please contact us.

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