A physician practice management firm worked with Cardiologists L.C. (CLC) to make several changes and improvements in the following four areas: organizational, patient and physician relations, culture and operations.

Organizational Changes 

  • Completed management team assessment and coordinated restructuring
  • Recruited new director of clinical services and new group practice administrator
  • Developed and implemented new governance matrix
  • Developed and implemented executive committee election/term policy
  • Developed and implemented a slowdown policy for practice physicians to support retirement transitions and physician recruitment activities
  • Developed a plan and negotiated an agreement with The Finley Hospital for a satellite clinic
  • Developed a provider-based billing implementation plan
  • Developed a Heart Failure Program that facilitated closer alignment with St. Luke's Hospital
  • Developed an agreement for the training of three CLC physicians at the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center
  • Developed a strategy to increase vascular business and purchased three vascular disease management for deployment

Patient and Physician Relations Improvements 

  • Formed Patient Access Task Force
  • Expanded clinic hours and implemented after-hour appointment times
  • Implemented same-day appointment guarantee for referring physicians
  • Improved relationships with referring physicians and emergency department physicians
  • Increased physician participation in community education and events
  • Implemented the patient satisfaction survey with management
  • Developed action plans to improve patient satisfaction results

Cultural Changes 

  • Implemented monthly clinic newsletter to foster better communication with associates
  • Enhanced trust among CLC's senior management, associates, and physicians by improving communication and more transparent decision making
  • Created culture that focused on high performance and accountability
  • Developed a disruptive conduct policy to enhance staff relations with physicians
  • Created a collaborative spirit across the practice
  • Introduced the St. Luke's performance assessment and rounding tools to ensure consistency across continuum of care
  • Improved the Great Place to Work survey scores and associates' satisfaction scores
  • Developed mentor program within CLC

Operational Improvements 

  • Developed a comprehensive IT plan to improve clinic function and efficiency
  • Implemented midlevel-specific responsibilities with new employment agreement
  • Developed and implemented the operating budget for 2011
  • Created a set of management reports for the executive committee, managers, and board with industry benchmarks to ensure ongoing progress
  • Realigned work practices to help the practice move toward top-tier performance against national benchmarks

Return to related article: Integration Effort Helps Steer Cardiology Practice in a Positive Direction

Publication Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011