Collaborative Benefits

I entitled this post “Collaborative Benefits” as a tribute to Barry Ronan’s excellent post, The tangible benefits of physician engagement. Mr. Ronan, who is the CEO of Western Maryland Health System, assembled a 12-member physician advisory group, to exchange ideas, concepts, issues and  complaints  to  prepare the medical staff to participate in value-based care delivery.

Topics that the President’s Clinical Quality Council addressed in its monthly meetings included:

  • the introduction of new information technology
  • ways to improve documentation
  • how to improve hand-offs between hospitalists and primary care physicians
  • medication reconciliation
  • new approaches to reducing admissions and readmissions
  • physician scorecards

Mr. Ronan reflected on the work to date:

I thought getting our providers on board with a dramatic change in care delivery would be a monumental task, but it was made much easier through the concept of the council and this group of physicians.

Collaborative Benefits: A Similar Situation at Scripps

In Addressing Physician Engagement, CEO Chris van Gorder 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. We established our ScrippsCare accountable care organization and brought all of our independent practice associations and medical group physicians together several years ago and they are extraordinarily engaged.

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.

As I wrote in Collaborative Champions, physician champions are outstanding clinicians who have won the clinical respect of their colleagues and are invested in their communities. Roles that physician champions play include:

  • Presenting and discussing clinical data with fellow physicians
  • Minimizing physician-hospital battles
  • Creating a safe environment for learning
  • Helping to build transparency and trust

A systems approach to cultivating physician champions involves:

  • Engaging them in conversations likely to lead to results, for example:
    • – What is going well for you?
    • – What things are we doing that waste your time?
    • – How do you want to be remembered?
    • – How can I help?
  • Drawing up an action plan that shows meaningful outcomes at 2-week intervals
  • Reviewing progress with physicians at least monthly
  • Closing the loop
  • Celebrating success at least quarterly

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 © 2015, 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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