Physician engagement is the intentional process of bringing physicians together with other healthcare stakeholders and staff with the intention of continuously improving care and patient experience. This healthcare stakeholders and staff range from the board of directors to hospital front desk staff and even investors.
For an organization to run smoothly, all members and departments of the organization have to run smoothly and be interconnected with each other. For healthcare organizations, this included the physicians as well. However, most of their time physicians aren’t as engaged in other aspects of the healthcare organization besides treating patients (which is their main goal). Understandably, they often have their hands full with patient consultations, surgery, attending to patients in the emergency room etc so they have little to no tie for administrative work. However, improving physician engagement in these areas is crucial for the overall well being of a healthcare organization. Physician Dashboards can help solve this problem. It’s a recurring problem that physicians show reluctance to participate in physician engagement partly because of the uncertainties it brings. In order to solve this problem and increase physician engagement using physician dashboards, it important to understand why physicians are reluctant in the first place.
There is no focus on Physician Engagement early in the process. It’s important to involve physicians at the onset stages of any organizational changes. Physicians will buy into a new methodology much more quickly if they are engaged in its development. Bringing physicians into the decision-making process early gives them a sense of ownership and control and helps them see the value in what’s been done. This early stage involvement trickles down throughout the organization. Early involvement also increases the ease of information flow.
Another problem is the lack of champions among the medical leadership team. Once the quality improvement team has set the vision, they need to find champions among the medical leadership to evangelize it. These “champions” are either senior physicians or physicians who are well respected by their colleagues or who have political capital in the organization. That doesn’t mean they’re issuing orders. Instead, they’re promoting it to their colleagues, telling them where the organization is headed and why it will benefit them individually and as part of the team. The champions should focus on what success will look like. If they can paint an attractive vision, it will help overcome the early fears and keep everyone onboard through the inevitable bumps and complications that arise in any sort of project of this magnitude.
Using Physician Dashboard and Scorecards to Increase Engagement
Measuring and sustaining outcomes improvement in healthcare is a top priority for industry leaders. But when it comes to the best tools for the job, healthcare leaders find themselves in a scorecard-versus-dashboard debate. This blog settles the debate with the recommendation to use both. Physician dashboards and scorecards used in tandem is the best way to measure and sustain outcomes improvement—scoreboards marry a scorecard’s big picture overview with a dashboard’s capacity to drill down to the details.
Dashboards for the Front Line: Front line staff (e.g., admissions staff, or coordinators, and nurse managers) use dashboards to monitor their daily progress in achieving system-wide outcomes improvement goals. For example, a health system Director of Support Services uses a dashboard to monitor call volume, wait times, and reported issues so he can react immediately.
Using Scorecards and Dashboards Effectively to Improve Outcomes: The best approach for measuring and sustaining outcomes improvement is pairing the long-term, big-picture nature of scorecards with the real-time, tactical capabilities of dashboards to enforce individual accountability and track performance at a timely cadence. But this two-pronged approach won’t work unless healthcare leaders truly understand the who, what, when, and how for each tool.