Collaborative Physician Engagement News

Three posts this week provided the inspiration for Collaborative Physician Engagement News.

I.  In Addressing Physician Engagement, Chris Van Gorder, CEO Scripps Health, San Diego, CA, said:

 Engagement has not been an issue for us. Maybe it is because we have a physician leadership cabinet that we established 14 years ago where all of our elected chiefs and vice chiefs meet with us monthly to work on all the issues affecting the healthcare system. Technically the physician leadership cabinet is an advisory body but I would argue that it is the second most powerful organization at Scripps, second only to the board of trustees. And that was easy. That was just bringing them in and transparently sharing information. Engagement is not just a word. You have to give physicians decision-making authority. If they have the same information, they make the same decisions we would have made but they make it faster. I feel better about the decisions in the end because I know that the clinical needs of the patients are being met. They aren’t just business decisions being made. They are joint decisions.

As I wrote in Collaborative Complementarity, the role of a physician advisory group does not conflict with the duties of the Medical Executive Committee (MEC).  In fact, it can strengthen the MEC by invigorating a new generation of physician leaders. In full disclosure, I know Mr. van Gorder, who presented me with the ACHE Dean Conley Award in 2009.

II.  In Patient and Physician Engagement – the Missing Step, Dr. Dike Drummond wrote:

Engagement cannot be ordered, mandated, forced or simply expected. Patient and physician enrollment must happen first. Enrollment is the act of saying YES to the benefits your program will provide, whether it is a treatment plan for a patient or a new corporate initiative for your staff and providers. Plan for Enrollment. Get very clear WIIFM [what’s in it for me] and over-communicate these points. Give them a chance to choose to engage FIRST. Ask questions to allow your people to help you design the enrollment process.

As I wrote in Collaborative Culture, most physicians enjoy bottom-up processes more than top-down edicts.  They prefer being inspired to being supervised.  The only way that I know to develop a common culture is to allow physicians to play a role in shaping it.

Collaborative Physician Engagement News: A link from resilience to engagement

III. In Resilience: A Lesson From Sochi, Prof. Sydney Finkelstein wrote:

In business we have a word for it — resilience. It’s often the secret sauce that separates the highest achievers from the mass of people who are perfectly capable, but not exceptional. If doctors could prescribe resilience, we’d all want it. The complacent and the arrogant do not accept personal responsibility. For them, failure is someone else’s fault. The good news is that each of us has the potential to live a resilient life on and off the job, if we choose to. It may be difficult to do, sometimes even unfathomable, but that just makes it all the more powerful and important. It takes confidence to be resilient…. Bouncing back from failure requires, by definition, that you recognize something has gone wrong, and you were the one who made it happen. After years of studying failure in organisations around the world, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that humility and open-mindedness in the face of mistakes is the single best thing you can do to improve results. Everyone fails. But not everyone recovers from failure. The key is to learn from it rather than get beaten by it. Being open to new information — even better, going out of your way to learn what you wish wasn’t true — is the hallmark of a resilient leader. How else can we adapt and change if we don’t know what’s really going wrong?

As I wrote in Collaborative Resilience, physicians learn early in their training to pick themselves up after getting thrown off their horse. Engaged physicians can be a powerful source of organizational resilience.

What do you think? As always, I welcome your input to improve healthcare collaboration where you work. Please send me your comments and suggestions for improvement.

Kenneth H. Cohn © 2014, all rights reserved Disclosure: 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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