Are your physicians engaged? The current state of healthcare is chaos. Multiple payment systems, healthcare systems, the loss of independent practitioners, advances in medicine, the cost of technology, and an overall lack of participation from patients in their own healthcare have led to physician burnout. Who wants to be absorbed in that drama? Despite it all, physicians must be driving the bus through this healthcare commotion.
Transformation requires strong drivers. Physicians must be in the driver’s seat and actively engaged, or the bus will never get out of park. At the same time, physicians are anxious about the multiple changes occurring today and often fear not providing proper care. Quality physicians remain focused on putting the patient first, which is why winning their support is going to take more than financial incentives.
Physician engagement must be a long-term investment. Everyone agrees that healthcare is broken, but no one seems to know how to fix it, and the conversations continue to dwell on the problems—rather than solutions. Healthcare leaders must begin to shift conversations with physicians to discover their true needs and create a shared vision.
Don’t start with money; start at the heart of the issue—patient care. Acknowledge that the current healthcare status quo is insufficient to care for the complex patients seen today. There is enough data on healthcare comparisons to fill a room. Find the data that is important to your mission or vision and demonstrate how any proposed changes will improve efficiency, decrease suffering, and improve overall patient outcomes.
A shared purpose is still not enough. Even if the organization has a vision that resonates with the physician, a vision alone may not be enough to gain the respect of the individual practitioner. Physicians also care about how they are measured for success. Pull out the data and compare physicians side by side. Explain the measurement for success and make sure it is applicable to your organization and patient population. Physicians care about what measures are used, how the data is collected, how the data is analyzed, and how they compare to their peers. High-performing organizations are increasingly reporting to physicians how their personal performance compares with that of their colleagues—providing data in ways that intensify peer pressure.
Enhance physician resources—this doesn’t mean new equipment or lounges; it means having a highly skilled workforce at their disposal. Clinical Document Integrity (CDI) professionals can engage with physicians on documentation requirements and, in some instances, develop electronic health record (EHR) tools that support and enhance documentation.
Coding professionals work side by side with physicians and help them accurately describe the complexity of their patients. The benchmarks used to compare physicians come directly from the structured data of an ICD-10-CM or CPT code assignment. Understanding how this data relates directly to the quality of physician documentation will assist in accurately telling the patient’s story. Adding in pre-bill meetings that include CDI and quality can assist physicians in understanding quality reporting guidelines for hospital-acquired conditions (HAC). This will help gain the physicians’ trust for accurate data. Quality, experienced coding professionals are hard to find. That’s where CSI Companies comes in. Learn more here.
It will be the organizations that help physicians see the bigger picture, assist them in their career growth, and deliver the best outcomes that will recruit and retain the best people. At the end of the day, it must be a win-win relationship.
By: Lou Ann Wiedemann
Director Provider Coding, MS, FAHIMA, RHIA, CHDA, CDIP
Connect with Lou Ann on LinkedIn!