Physicians are one of the major building blocks of any healthcare ecosystem. The success of a healthcare organization and its efforts depend greatly on physicians. Thus, organizations need to understand that patient engagement is quintessential for better health outcomes and business improvement.
The importance of physician engagement was emphasized even back in 2015 by the Gallup physician engagement survey. The results indicated a 51% higher number of inpatient referrals in the case of engaged physicians as compared to disengaged physicians. A lot has changed in 2021 when healthcare uncertainty is higher, and the healthcare ecosystem has become more challenging. This calls for increased focus on physician engagement.
What is Physician Engagement?
Physician engagement is aimed at facilitating engaging physicians in healthcare setups such as hospitals and clinics. This ensures a positive relationship between customers and physicians. It also enables a trust relationship between the organization and the physician.
Top Benefits of Physician Engagement in Healthcare
Engaged physicians are more likely to be committed to the healthcare practice, thereby boosting the overall performance and health outcomes. When they relate to a shared goal of success with the organization, they contribute actively to it. This also makes them more receptive to changes, feedback, and performance improvement programs in the hospital.
Better Patient Care
Engaged physicians are more likely to be committed to patient health and welfare. They will make better decisions as well as engage the patients better. This is conducive to better health as well as business outcomes.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Most often, well-engaged physicians facilitate positive patient experiences. This can be attributed to effective communication and thus less scope for malpractice. Good communication also increases customer satisfaction with treatment and after-treatment care.
Less Referral Leakage
Financial benefits are easier to come by with better-engaged physicians as it helps increase the number of inpatient and outpatient referrals. Networking also increases when physicians are engaged, and this increases inpatient referrals.
Challenges in achieving Physician Engagement?
Despite physician engagement being the need of the hour in healthcare, here are some barriers to physician engagement:
These include mindset issues such as response and receptiveness to change. Physician burnout that stems from long hours, changing regulations and dissatisfaction with career trajectory can greatly affect the organization’s patient engagement efforts.
Healthcare setups that are stuck to stringent rules and regulations and fail to incorporate policies conducive to employee morale often encumber their own physician engagement goals. It is a prerequisite for healthcare organizations to adopt a holistic approach.
These issues include problems caused due to local or state laws that hinder physician engagement.
Top Physician Engagement Strategies
Here are some strategies that healthcare organizations can adopt to achieve a highly engaged physician base:
Know What Physicians Expect
In all setups, it is important to listen to your employees and understand what they expect. Healthcare is no different. When you know their concerns and try to address them, your physicians gain trust in your intentions, leading to a productive relationship among the physicians and the organization.
If you keep the physicians in a constant loop, it will enable you to ideate together and develop mutual trust. Keep communicating about policies, practices, goals, etc. Also, encourage suggestions and feedback.
Appreciate & Reward
It is important to facilitate a basic framework that allows collaboration between the organization and the physicians. You can do it by appreciating and rewarding physicians who contribute positively in terms of oversights to help make the service offerings better. This will lead to effective cooperation by encouraging leadership and ownership. Also, offer constructive feedback that will help them to perform better.
Encourage them to be Partners
Cannot emphasize enough on including physicians in decision-making will help them be more productive. It will also encourage them to suggest measures for quality improvement. Restructure the organization in a way that allows them to monitor the process and compliance with policies. It is also helpful to convey the rationale behind the policies and how they will help the business and patients.
Talk about Results
Additionally, to discuss new policies, it is also a good idea to let them know the results. This will increase accountability and boost enthusiasm. Also, facilitate an open forum for them to discuss any shortfalls or victories.
How Mobile Technology Improves Physician Engagement
Mobile technology has well penetrated all facets of life. It holds good for healthcare too. Read on to know how mobile technology can help with physician engagement:
- Apps enable users to monitor patients and offer better care
- Offers useful patient data at the disposal of patients
- Enables enhanced care capabilities
- Allows remote patient monitoring using wearable devices
- Allows issue detection in early stages
- Allows physicians to monitor the daily activities of patients and engage with them
- Ensure better communication
The increasing penetration of technology in the healthcare domain and the scope for innovation has made the road to physician engagement an easy one to travel for healthcare organizations. It will lead to a sense of security among the physicians and better health outcomes.
Contact Syra Health us to help you drive robust Physician Engagement for your medical enterprise.