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8 Things Physicians Want from Hospitals

Adaptive Medical Partners | Healthcare News, Physician Recruiting

Engaged physicians are 26 percent more productive than disengaged physicians, according to a Gallup study. Indeed, the success of your hospital, and more importantly, patient outcomes and satisfaction, depend on having happy doctors.

Undoubtedly, you want to get the most out of your physicians. To do that, you must ensure you’re satisfying their personal and professional needs. Here are eight things physicians want from hospitals, along with tips on how your healthcare facility can provide them these things. Offer them these — and your healthcare facility and patients will reap the benefits.

1. Greater decision-making control

Based on research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), physicians desire more involvement in hospital decision making, as well as services that facilitate their practice of medicine.

The solution: It’s worth noting that some of the most successful healthcare organizations, like Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, are managed by doctors. Administrators should not only assess and understand physician needs, but also include them in the decision-making process. Give their ideas and opinions greater authority.

2. Career development

In general, career development is important to doctors of all generations. Considering that an incredible 87 percent of millennials say development is important in a job, it’s advisable that hospitals begin focusing on doctor growth and development sooner rather than later. Millennials are making up an increasingly larger percentage of doctors.

The solution: Make growth and learning a core part of the job. Provide financial assistance and motivation for your physicians to learn new skills and technology, as well as offer training and development programs in-house. Such programs should extend to doctors in all stages of career development.

3. The right location

Preferences differ. According to a 2015 Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey, there is no perfect setting that will make every doctor happy. Here were the findings:

  • 33.1 percent of physicians prefer a suburban community within 30 minutes of a major metropolitan area.
  • 23.2 percent prefer mid-sized cities.
  • 22.6 percent prefer major metropolitan areas
  • 14.2 percent prefer small cities.
  • 6.9 percent prefer small towns or rural communities.

The solution: Make location a part of your recruiting process. This way, you get doctors who will enjoy life outside your healthcare facility, whether that be in a big city or the countryside. There are tools that can help, like AMP Score™, a proprietary tool that analyzes key factors in the hiring process, including location.

4. Good compensation

Doctors do receive high salaries in comparison to the general population. But the fact remains that many have their complaints about unfair pay. Research does support them, as medicine’s top earners aren’t doctors. They’re insurance executives and hospital executives.

The solution: While it’s not advisable to start doubling salaries, craft attractive compensation packages that show you value physicians. After all, they are your most important people. In addition to a competitive base salary, offer other financial perks, like call pay, quality incentive bonuses and CME allowance.

5. Student loan reimbursement

It takes between 11 and 14 years to become a physician. It costs a lot of money, too. The average student loan debt a physician has at graduation nears $210,000, if you add on undergraduate loans. This creates financial stress for physicians just as they are beginning their careers.

The solution: If possible, reward doctors for staying with your organization by paying off some or all of their student loans. Making student loan reimbursement a part of your job offer will attract physicians to your hospital.

6. A partnership

Doctors certainly don’t want to be treated like a customer of the hospital. They don’t want or need to be appeased. They want to be partners of the hospital.

The solution: Dr. Bryan Oshiro, Chief Medical Officer at Health Catalyst, offers a solution to making doctors true partners of the organization. He recommends discovering a common purpose, being fully transparent, providing educational support, challenging physicians professionally, giving them more authority and being clear about standards and policies. Dr. Oshiro also says to build trust through frequent communication with physicians, be sure to identify and address issues in a timely manner.

7. Work-life balance

A 2017 Medscape survey found that only one out of 27 physician specialties doesn’t have high levels of burnout. That’s pretty alarming. Hospitals must address this important problem by establishing a burnout prevention strategy.

The solution: Don’t overwork doctors. Take steps to meet their emotional and personal needs. For ideas on what precisely you can do, get input from your physicians and take inspiration from other healthcare facilities. For instance, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis has created a wellness center with yoga mats and exercise space. At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, doctors are given time to meet and talk about methods to handle the strains of the job.

8. Community amenities

Again, preferences differ. It’s important to make sure you’re hiring doctors who’s needs outside of the workplace will be taken care of. Just as you don’t want them to be stressed while working, you’ll also don’t want your physicians to be dissatisfied with where they live.

The solution: Take steps with your current physicians to help them access resources and amenities. If recruiting new physicians, personalize the process based on the physician’s unique needs. You could highlight:

  • Job opportunities for spouses
  • Proximity to airports
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Schools
  • Shopping and dining
  • Arts and culture
  • Natural areas

Making sure your physicians are happy and productive

Remember that respect, support, communication, and trust are key to making sure you’re able to deliver all of these things properly. By providing them with these, you’ll ensure they’re in position to be successful at their jobs and thrive mentally, emotionally and physically.