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Physician-Hospital Relations in the News: Four Keys to Sustainable Collaboration

I agree that both physicians and hospital leaders feel that they are working in a state of siege and that the confluence of declining reimbursement amid rising expenses, complex regulations, and heightened consumer expectations make conflict inevitable. Occasionally the tensions between patient survival and organizational survival can make us forget that we agree on the […]

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Engaging Physicians in Cutting Expenses

When I teach graduate students in health administration, I pose the following question to them: “What is the most expensive device at your hospital?” Invariably, they reply the MRI scanner, CT scanner, or PET scanner. They look at me dumbfounded when I tell them that the physician’s pen dictates the majority of their hospital’s expenses. […]

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Engaging Physicians in Improved Marketing Efforts

Although many physicians may focus on advertising as marketing or promotion, they recognize the importance of understanding and meeting or exceeding the needs of patients in their communities. Patients often follow physicians’ advice regarding where to seek care. Physicians need to know what services other physicians offer to promote their services. Hospital leaders can play […]

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A Creative Way to Engage Physicians

In response to a frequently asked question, “How can you engage physicians who do not want to have anything to do with the hospital?” a physician colleague responded: “If they do not want to have anything to do with you, ask them why not!!…..that is a definable set of reasons and (mis)perceptions you might have […]

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Cutting-Edge Physician Recruitment Strategies

Overview Your ability to recruit and retain physicians is key to your organization’s ability to function in an increasingly competitive marketplace Considering all specialties, physicians generate on average $1,500,000 annually The longer it takes to fill key positions, the less revenue you have to fulfill mission-critical responsibilities Put technology to your advantage Invest in a […]

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Keys to Understanding the Relationship Between Primary Care and Hospital Revenue

A Summary of Marc Halley’s New Book: The Primary Care-Market Share Connection: How Hospitals Achieve Competitive Advantage, by Marc Halley, Chicago, Health Administration Press, 2007, Points to remember include: The true measure of market share is the number of primary care physicians (PCPs) who refer patients to a hospital and its affiliated specialty physicians. […]

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Keys to Successful Electronic Healthcare Record Implementation

At a recent conference, a vendor remarked wistfully that the process of implementing an electronic health record is only 20% technology and 80% change management, process improvement, and physician engagement. On page 59 of their book, The Executive’s Guide to Electronic Health Records, Chicago: Health Administration Press, 2007,, Smaltz and Berner quote an article […]

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Hot-Button Words to Avoid in Healthcare

A West-Coast internist wrote that health-care professionals could benefit from “interventional marriage counseling” because they talk at rather than to each other, not hearing what the other side is saying. Although the reasons are multifactorial, hot-button words, such as “but,” “just,” and “you” can stress relationships and interfere with collaboration. But How many of us […]

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Competition: An Opportunity to Improve Physician-Hospital Collaboration?

In Chapter 3 of my book Better Communication for Better Care, I offered a 3-part strategy for dealing with competition: 1) Proactivity 2) Collaborative Conflict 3) Containment I will address proactivity today and discuss the other parts of the strategy in subsequent ezines. Hospital executives bring considerable resources to the table. As a result, negotiations […]

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