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 delays.
Successful physician engagement requires a solid understanding of the physician perspective as well as the unique role physicians play in delivering care. Engagement must focus only on relevant project components, and a means by which physician concerns can be addressed must be provided. Input solicited from the physician group must then be integrated into the larger clinical community voice, and overlaid upon the perspectives of the administration.
The Iridia Way
In our view, physician engagement is best led by physicians. As a result, 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.
Physician Engagement Success
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.
Using this approach, we have achieved successful engagement on many projects, including:
- Facilitating the efforts of a specialist physician group to develop and implement a new vision for their department
- Authoring a formal Statement of Expectations between physicians and administrators for a large Health Authority
- Providing physician liaison services to a multi-stakeholder team during the creation and implementation of a Regional Pacemaker Program
- Assisting a Corporate Communications Department with the development of a physician-specific communications plan
For more information, see how we led the Physician Service Planning process for the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. View the blog here.