Question: What is Physician Engagement?

Answer: A better means to draw from one of healthcare’s most highly trained and expensive resources.

Engaging a fluid pool of independent contracts is tricky task for even small organizations, so it is easy to understand why large health authorities who are appropriately dedicated to service delivery have a hard time including the perspective of physicians in its planning. Engaging any staff member, contracted or salaried takes time, energy and financial resources.   This creates a natural tension in the decision making process on where to allocate healthcare resources: do we spend it on actual service delivery or on internal improvements?

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The answer is simple, you spend it on both.  However, the spending has to be done critically and effectively.

Physicians are critical members of health care delivery systems. They are well-educated, highly compensated, and adopt key decision-making roles on clinical teams. Unfortunately, they often also constitute a fluid pool of independent contractors that are rarely easily engaged in key planning projects. Without engagement of these key stakeholders, many health improvement projects face significant risk of unnecessary challenges and possible delays.

Unnecessary challenges and possible delays impact service delivery, which inevitably results in wasted healthcare resources.  Front line healthcare professionals, including physicians need to provide that on the ground insight and feedback on the service delivery.

In our view, physician engagement is best led by physicians. In response, we have assembled a team of clinicians from a cross-section of specialties. They not only relate to the physician journey, but they also understand the physician mindset and appreciate how the doctor role fits within the overall care delivery system. Our physician leaders look to identify values and beliefs common to physicians and to the broader stakeholder group. From this foundation, specific mechanisms for, and the timing of, the engagement are identified. This approach ensures that physician teams are meaningfully engaged in a sustainable manner.

We’ve taken a classic stakeholder engagement mechanism and tailored it to get a better feedback loop for improved healthcare service delivery.  Imagine a healthcare service built by a team, that includes the perspective of all key resource, who wouldn’t want that?

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