Success Story: Engaging Physicians and Staff as Systems Aggregate Practices
A religious-affiliated health system operating in metropolitan and rural markets had recently consolidated its 65 physician practices into one large group. While the move solidified the collaboration that already existed between the hospital and its physician practices and delivered the practices one step further towards systemization, it brought enormous change fatigue to the physicians involved. They lacked the understanding of the group’s strategic vision and were disengaged.
Leadership knew they needed a solution to manage the physicians’ stress, as the system continued to acquire and onboard new practices in metro and rural markets.
We were brought in to help leadership engage and communicate with physicians and associates within the employed physician group in a consistent, concise, compelling and timely fashion.
We began by conducting an internal communication audit to understand how communication efforts were perceived and to gauge the level of engagement among the physician group. We interviewed leaders, physicians, advanced practitioners and employees and conducted a quantitative survey that everyone within the organization had the opportunity to complete. From there, we identified the internal communications gaps and opportunities within the system.
The resulting targeted strategy met the communication needs of the stakeholders, as validated by the metrics we installed to assess performance.
Recommendations were to:
Create an infrastructure that facilitates consistent, timely communications
Manage change through engagement
Build trust with associates by increasing access to information
Build trust with physicians and advanced practitioners by increasing information flow and opportunities for personal interaction
Today, physician satisfaction throughout the system is strong. Communications clutter has been reduced by adhering to a clear, compact set with practices to communicate only relevant information. Internal communications best practices are being used to assist with onboarding of new practices.
Still in its implementation phase, the increased transparency and encouragement of information sharing has benefited all stakeholder groups. Physicians, advanced practitioners and employees are enjoying increased engagement, peer interaction and shared decision making.
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