3 ways physicians can better serve hospitals

As the healthcare industry transitions to a value-based model of care, hospital leaders are under increasing pressure to develop strategies to gain market share and meet rising patient expectations. It is thereby critical for hospital-based physician practices to align themselves with the goals of the health system and demonstrate proactive support of these goals’ pursuit.

The following are three ways hospital based physician practices can assist in achieving the hospital’s goals:

Quality of Care

High quality care is always the top priority for healthcare providers. With reimbursements now tied to outcomes, hospital leaders are seeking ways to ensure quality standards are consistently met and exceeded.

For example, in the OR, anesthesia plays a crucial role in the quality of procedural outcomes. When analyzing anesthesia processes, consider how the group handles issues such as infection control and safety practices, and whether their policies and procedures are based on industry best practices.  It is also wise to discuss with the physicians how they measure and report quality performance so they can in turn compare that performance to benchmarking data and identify areas for improvement. Every physician practice should be driven to achieve the highest quality of care to better support the patients and hospitals they serve.

Patient Satisfaction

Low patient satisfaction scores can negatively impact both reimbursement and the hospital’s greater value to its community. That is why it is important that your physicians understand their role in the patient experience. This experience includes everything from the way the patient is greeted by reception and support staff, to the face-time patients receive with physicians, to the way the billing and collection process is handled.

In the internet age, sites such as Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com are solely dedicated to rating the performance of both physicians and hospitals. Patients often choose providers and health systems based exclusively upon online reviews and social media threads; according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 83% of Americans look online to research health and medical information as well as physicians. Ensuring your hospital based physicians groups are providing the best patient experience possible and are maintaining a positive online presence has now become a significant driver of growth and profitability for hospitals and health systems.

Proactive Leadership

Strong physician leadership is key to a successful hospital/group partnership. Practice leaders should coordinate with hospital administrators to understand the hospital’s quality, satisfaction and growth goals, then work closely with his or her group to ensure it is helping to meet those goals. Here are some steps physician leaders can take to demonstrate proactive leadership:

• Participate in hospital committees to show an active interest in the decision-making process and the future success of the hospital
• Distribute satisfaction surveys to both patients and medical staff to ensure a positive work environment and patient experience
• Identify subspecialties or procedures your department is lacking, and explore opportunities to begin offering these services
• Encourage practice physicians to maintain certifications and participate in on-going training to provide the highest quality of care

It has become critical for physicians to address these areas and support the growth of the hospital they serve. However, it is perhaps even more important to put procedures in place to measure progress, identify areas for improvement and remedy problems before they threaten the security of the hospital’s future.

For additional information, visit www.enhancehc.com.