What is Physician Engagement?
Physician Engagement Definition
Physician engagement is a strategy used to create stable relationships between physicians and healthcare organizations. A higher rate of physician engagement correlates with enhanced patient care, lower costs, greater efficiency, and improved patient safety – as well as higher physician satisfaction and retention. Properly executed physician engagement strategies are a critical success factor for navigating the integrated nature of delivery system transformation, enabling better quality care across the board.
Benefits of Physician Engagement
- Developing a more engaged patient base and, ultimately, improved care outcome.
- Increasing in-network referrals due to a greater sense of connectedness, value, and influence among physicians.
- Deepening commitment to physician development and performance growth, often leading to improved patient care.
- Reducing referral leakage resulting in considerable financial gain within the network.
Common Physician Engagement Questions
- Why is physician engagement important? Physician engagement optimizes the patient’s experience while providing additional revenue via increased referrals. Once actively engaged through a mutualistic relationship, physicians provide ~3% more outpatient referrals and ~51% more inpatient referrals. This loyalty can help improve physician alignment, which allows you to increase your market share and drive revenue.
- What are the main barriers to successful physician engagement? There are three primary barriers to achieving physician engagement: Personal, organizational, and systemic. Each requires a different strategy to be overcome:
Personal barriers involve an individual physicians’ attitudes and mindsets, especially whenever new technology is introduced and a learning curve is present.
Organizational barriers are represented by structure, culture, policies and procedures that discourage the development of engagement.
Systemic barriers are created by political forces such as local, state and federal regulators, legislators, and rule makers.
- How can providers improve physician engagement? Organizations can improve their physician engagement efforts by gaining a deep understanding of individual providers, defining strategic goals, implementing the tools necessary for alignment, and tracking alignment efforts.
An emphasis on communicating goals with physicians is one of the best ways that hospitals and health systems can improve their engagement levels. Continuous communication with physicians will also provide competitive intelligence and a better understanding of the market through their daily interaction with patients.
Another way to improve engagement is by providing outreach teams with insights from claims-based market intelligence and referral patterns. With this information, physician liaisons can consolidate all physician activity into a holistic view of a physician’s actions across an organization’s target market. From there, liaisons can better understand physician activity and have individualized, productive discussions with them.