Physician On-Boarding: Post-Recruitment Assimilation
You've recruited a top-notch physician in a key service line in a highly competitive market - congratulations! Now how are you going to keep him or her? Failure to follow through, warns Allison McCarthy, MBA, principal, Barlow/McCarthy, can result in your prize eventually being poached by another organization.
What you need is a plan to facilitate the transition from new recruit to full-fledged, loyal member of your medical team. McCarthy recommends that your plan address all six of these components:
- Management Infrastructure. A new physician needs assistance to become fully productive as soon as possible and a team approach tends to work best. While the recruiter or physician relations staff might coordinate and facilitate the overall plan, other hospital or practice managers -- from practice operations, marketing, managed care, and purchasing, among others -- can handle the details. Regular meetings of the on-boarding team will help ensure that goals are reached as planned and, if they aren't, corrective action can be taken to get back on track.
- Operational Systems. A recent survey by Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association found that almost a third of physicians who leave their practices do so because of practice issues. Operational systems are the nuts and bolts side of assimilation, and your plan should orient the physician to these details.
- Marketing and Referral Development. There's no such thing as overexposing a new physician to the organization or the market. Advertising, media relations, referral relations, and patient relations should all be part of the plan, with the marketing team going into action on the basics before the physician arrives.
- Professional Interface. Physicians often fall short of compliance goals for one reason or another. Use checkpoints to make sure that licenses, privileges, and payer credentials are progressing as needed so patient care activities can begin as scheduled.
- Hospital and Medical Staff Orientation. Schedule specific sessions to introduce the new physician to key organization leaders, referrals sources, and practice and call-coverage colleagues. He or she will also need to learn the mechanics of ordering tests, EMR software, and patient care protocols.
- Personal Transition. If relocation is involved, the new physician will need help finding a new home and, perhaps, day care, schools, and recreational opportunities for the children. If his or her partner also has a career, this means arranging networking opportunities and other professional introductions to help with the transition.
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Publication Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009