Healthy and effective working relationships are important to all industries. Hospital/physician relations is no different. As some healthcare organizations have already learned, establishing a good working relationship with the number one business partner that hospitals have—physicians—is essential.
Sounds easy enough. Yet, this relationship is one that has been compared to water and oil, and talked about as suits against white coats, but does it really have to be that way? We say no.
The key to any good working relationship is establishing trust, teamwork and communication. Physicians are at the center of managing the care of the hospital’s patients. It’s important for them to be involved with all aspects of the hospital, including clinical and financial strategic decisions.
Trust, teamwork and communication go hand in hand. Without one you can’t have the others. Communication should begin with listening to physicians. Conducting a physician engagement survey could be the best way to hear what your physicians are thinking. The information received from such a study can be the starting point for a new working relationship between hospital leaders and physicians. But the results, which will tell a story of physicians’ needs and concerns, isn’t going to provide the magic bullet to make things better.
The key to improved relations is not reacting to physicians’ concerns but partnering with physicians and allowing them to be involved in strategic decisions, building trust among these two important groups. To do this it is important for physicians to have memberships on various hospital committees and boards to provide input from their perspective. Then as a follow up to this teamwork, involve them with communication about projects and programs that affect them.
Physicians are internal customers of the hospital, and just as you want to build loyalty with the patients you serve, loyalty needs to be built with physicians as well. If hospital leaders are committed to understanding physicians’ perspectives and engaging them in the decision-making process, dialogue can be productive between the two groups.
Working on the relationship between hospital leaders and physicians begins with engaging and partnering together. Professional Research Consultants helps healthcare organizations monitor physician engagement and alignment and can help your organization build a better partnership with physicians. PRC helps hospitals transform insights into action plans designed to improve physician relationships, encourage engagement, and reach organizational goals.