Physician Engagement is Bound To Make an Impact on Patient Experience

Dr. Adam Tabriz

Physician Engagement is Just as Vital to Patient

Experience as is Patient Engagement, But it Comes with Challenges of its Own

Those familiar with the current healthcare policies and trends also realize the importance of patient engagement in their healthcare. The latter necessity is not merely because it helps people stay healthy and live longer.Nevertheless, engaging patients in self-care, from simple daily exercise routines to partnering with their doctors on clinical decisions, can improve the quality of care, reduce risks and errors, and ultimately lower overall healthcare costs.

Despite all the attention patient engagement received over the past decade, the concept of physician engagement has witnessed only a little attention.

Metaphorically speaking, the doctor-patient relationship makes the root and the Bole of a tree. Thus, one can see it as fruitful if physician engagement parallels patient experience.

Physician engagement is a continuing process that connects and facilitates the collaboration of every information physician with other medical professionals and stakeholders in the care of their patients.

The idea that it takes a village to care for a patient has not been so valid until today. However, since physicians traditionally have been solo actors in the healthcare arena, creating a shift in attitude carries its challenges.

The radical transition toward personalized healthcare and quality-driven reimbursement threatens physicians' sovereignty and independence unless they find themselves as the core player in the process.

Who leads healthcare will define the future of the domain; thus, engaging physicians to deliver the change concerning patient care and efforts to lead healthcare transitions, in general, is vital.

Studies have demonstrated that physician engagement can positively impact the overall quality of care.

However, authentic engagement is more than just some discretionary effort. It is about balancing objective and subjective values within a collaborative system. Thus, to evaluate the efficacy of physician engagement, one must also be able to measure its quality.

According to a piece published in medical economics, some ways to gauge physician engagement outcomes include:

  • The number of an idea or invention disclosures and whether they do it more than once
  • How eager they are to engage in conflict resolution
  • Whether they cover each other's back
  • How they talk about one organization and treat fellow employees
  • Their waste rates and how they measure the footsteps out the door
  • Frequency of volunteering to do things and truly show up and do them
  • Frequency of particular actions out of pure self-interest vs. organizational interest
  • Trust levels
  • The quality and quantity of networks
In general, the precursors to physician engagement are communication, incentives, accountability, opportunity, and interpersonal relationship.

One should anticipate improved outputs of optimal physician engagement: efficiency, innovation, job satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and performance.

We Still Have Some Work With Physician Engagement

Based on a survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) on August 2019, of 1121 participants who responded, 88% said they review patient satisfaction surveys at least once a year. Only 41%, however, confirmed that they review patient feedback every month.

Although patient satisfaction is only one aspect of the physician engagement process, it is a measure to improve the quality of medical service. Such feedback can be informal through various forms, comments, and scores or via online social platforms like Google, Healthgrades, and Yelp, to formal surveys conducted by the organization through groups such as Press Ganey.
Physician engagement can also transpire through benchmark processes comparing a practice against another or comparing an individual doctor to their peers.

Engaging physicians with the rest of the team members is the most productive way to build an experience from which every patient will benefit!

Physician Engagement Is Hardly Practical Without The Proper Planning And Execution

As described earlier, just like patient engagement, engaging physicians as leaders and core players of quality medical service is tedious. It requires a system that objectively matches patient and stakeholders' expectations with that of Physicians. For instance, formal surveys and informal feedback systems like yelp and google may be beneficial to improve physician insight into the corrective action plans. Nonetheless, they are subject to certain levels of impressionistic bias.

One should not be surprised by scenarios where physicians think they have done their best to provide the top care to a patient. Even so, they still have yet to satisfy the patient's expectations.

The aftermath of clinic visit Surveys is valuable. However, once patients write down their opinions and experiences on google, social media, and yelp, then undoing that would be a complex undertaking. That applies to all other scenarios between various stakeholders.

Physicians are no mind readers, and only a few patients can communicate their expectations.

Nevertheless, we can create a logistic system that allows a transparent environment within which physicians, patients, and all stakeholders can custom design their communicable expectations.

In that case, one can meet other patients’ expectations before they fail to deliver them. Furthermore, such a design needs an interactive, hybrid, and transparent system that extends point of care (POC) outside the physician's office and medical facilities to patients' homes and smartphones.

References

  1. Medical Economics. "How To Measure Physician Engagement." Accessed November 4, 2022. https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/how-to-measure-physician-engagement
  2. Perreira, Tyrone A, Laure Perrier, Melissa Prokopy, Lina Neves-Mera, and D David Persaud. "Physician Engagement: A Concept Analysis." PubMed Central (PMC), July 26, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6666374/
  3. PerfectServe. "Physician Engagement: What It Is & Why It's Important | PerfectServe." PerfectServe, July 20, 2021. https://www.perfectserve.com/blog/physician-engagement-what-it-is-why-its-important-2/
  4. Health Catalyst. "6 Proven Physician Engagement Strategies," March 6, 2015. https://www.healthcatalyst.com/insights/proven-physician-engagement-strategies/
  5. HealthLeaders. "10 Ways to Boost Physician Engagement." 10 Ways to Boost Physician Engagement | HealthLeaders Media. Accessed November 4, 2022. https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/clinical-care/10-ways-boost-physician-engagement
  6. Redmond, Katherine P. "Steps to Improve Physician Engagement." Physicians Practice. Accessed November 4, 2022. https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/steps-improve-physician-engagement
  7. Engaging Physicians to Lead Change in Health Care | HMS Postgraduate Education. "Engaging Physicians to Lead Change in Health Care," January 9, 2020. https://postgraduateeducation.hms.harvard.edu/trends-medicine/engaging-physicians-lead-change-health-care
  8. Healthcare Industry Data & Analytics. "Healthcare Industry Data & Analytics." Accessed November 4, 2022. https://www.mgma.com/resources/quality-patient-experience/engaging-providers-to-drive-optimal-patient-experi

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