21st Century Musings on Physician Engagement

In The Winds of Turbulence: A CEO’s Reflections on Surviving and Thriving on the Cutting Edge of Corporate Crisis, Howard Putnam wrote that turbulence is inevitable- misery is optional.  We may not control the events that overtake us, but can influence our responses by what we think, say, and do.

I enjoyed reading William Jessee’s post, 5 Components for a Culture that Promotes Physician and Employee Engagement, especially the first two:

  • Passionate, dedicated leaders
  • Incredible persistence
  • Communication
  • Mutual trust
  • Recognition and reward

As I mentioned in a post that I wrote on physician engagement:

  • Conflicting opinions in times of rapid change are inevitable.  When properly managed through transparency, predictability, and mutual respect, conflict can build trust.
  • A social compact that invites physicians to communicate and buy-in can avoid surprises, set ground rules, and guide daily behavior
  • Chunking long-term tasks into 2-3 week outcome-related milestones, quick fixes that are fixed correctly to the mutual satsfaction of both parties, and celebrating success are ways that we can start now to improve physician engagement.

I feel passionately about physician engagement because it can boost revenues, cut expenses, and most importantly, improve clinical outcomes.  In Medical Staff Relations: A Practicing Physician’s Perspective, physician champions discussed orthopedic implants, consolidated vendors, decreased clinical variation, and saved their hospital millions of dollars.

In this decade of healthcare transformation, in which progress is neither linear nor predictable, we need news that gives us hope.

Happy holidays.  As always, I welcome your input to improve healthcare collaboration.

Kenneth H. Cohn

© 2012, all rights reserved


I have not received any compensation for writing this content. I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

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