3 ways hospitals can provide meaningful feedback to docs

As healthcare transitions to a pay-for-performance payment model, hospitals must adjust their feedback systems so physicians can better identify opportunities to improve, Quint Studer, founder of outcomes-based healthcare consulting firm Studer Group, told Becker's Hospital Review.

He offered tips for how hospitals can develop a feedback system that gives physicians meaningful, timely performance data, including:

1. Develop the metrics early.

Even though only a portion of federal reimbursement is tied to performance-based measures, that amount will increase over time so hospitals should start now to create a dashboard of physician performance metrics. Studer explained starting early will allow the medical staff to slowly get used to the new metrics and also will give the hospital time to address any resistance.

The feedback system should include between six and eight performance measures for the optimal number, according to Becker's. As hospitals add more metrics, they must highlight which metrics matter most so physicians don't feel overwhelmed, Studer noted.

2. Include physicians in the process.

To get physicians to accept the switch to pay-for-performance and embrace the performance data, hospitals need physician buy-in from the start, Matthew Bates, senior leader with Studer Group, told Becker's. To do so, Bates recommended including physicians in the selection of performance metrics. Hospitals also can tailor some metrics to physicians' individual habits or behaviors.

Mayo Clinic Administrator Ron Menaker shared similar advice at this year's Anesthesia Administration Assembly in Miami, saying healthcare organizations should avoid assuming their staff will fight change and incorporate them in the process, FiercePracticeManagement previously reported.

3. Give frequent, consistent feedback.

With pay tied to certain behaviors and improvements, physicians must have frequent and regular reviews that provide meaningful data. Rather than an annual timeframe, hospitals should hold physician performance reviews each quarter and eventually make them a monthly process, according to Becker's. With monthly reviews, physicians get data that is timely enough to adjust their behaviors and make improvements.

To learn more:
- here's the Becker's piece