THE CARE INTERVENTION SUBCOMMITTEE’S HIGH-PERFORMING PRACTICE STUDY IDENTIFIED SIX KEY ATTRIBUTES OF PRACTICES THAT WERE HIGH-PERFORMERS ON ED AND INPATIENT UTILIZATION. PHYSICIAN ENGAGEMENT WAS IDENTIFIED AS A KEY PRECURSOR OF PATIENT ENGAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIP. THE FOLLOWING TOOLS WERE DEVELOPED TO ASSIST PRACTICES IN IMPROVING PHYSICIAN ENGAGEMENT.
The “Five C’s” of Physician Engagement: Values, preferences and needs differ from person to person and understanding the factors that matter to physicians in your organization helps to understand how to catalyze and support provider success. Factors that might be key to physicians in your organization include:
- Compensation: Money and physical reward can be a motivator but has not generally shown to be a primary
contributor to engagement. Some physicians are highly compensation-driven and some not at all.
- Control: Creating programs and innovations in vacuums or silos and expecting that they be followed is a
fool’s errand. For physicians to be engaged in implementation, they must be engaged in design from the
- Competence: If you are asking physicians to do something that they don’t think has to do with providing
great care for their patients, it can be viewed as an arbitrary or merely administrative task. Ensure that there
is a link to the provision of meaningful and effective care to new programs and innovations.
- Collegiality: Physicians tend to learn best from other physicians (e.g, the “white coat to white coat” model).
Having a physician champion or colleague who is viewed as a thought leader can be a powerful catalyst for
change. This creates an opportunity for champion physicians to share their experience with pilot
implementation and ensure that the providers’ voice is incorporated in new program design.
- Competition: Physicians tend to be highly competitive and data matters to them. Openly sharing dashboard
performance, and the like in an unblended way both engenders a competitive spirit and enables practices and
physicians to learn from top performers.
Assess Your Current State: Begin with surveying the pulse of physician engagement in your practice by asking PCPs discrete questions to better understand clinician perceptions regarding engagement. This can be accomplished by developing a short survey instrument to assess current state. The survey should be led by a physician champion in your organization to ensure that the questions are customized to your practice and will provide the information that you need to determine your baseline levels of physician engagement. Some questions to consider drawn from the High Performing Practice key learnings have been crafted into an instrument that can be found in Attachment One. Alternatively, you may elect to craft your own survey instrument, preferably with physician input.
Aggregate Findings and Share Them with Physicians: Whether you are in a small practice or a large group or system, it is important to share aggregated findings in a safe and protected way, so that individual survey results are not compromised. Sharing aggregated feedback provides transparency and allows people to know that their input matters and that the organization is willing to look in the mirror to acknowledge the current state and work for improvement.