3 ways to boost physician retention in a shortage

While not everyone agrees on the severity of the physician shortage, retaining physicians in today's competitive marketplace should be a top priority for hospitals, according to an article from Healthcare Dive.

To recruit physicians who will stick around and keep the talented doctors you have, consider the following timely suggestions:

  • Get practical. Avoid abstractions and explain to physicians how organizational changes will affect their daily workflow, said Jonathan Niloff, M.D., vice president and CMO for McKesson Connected Care & Analytics. "If technology is being implemented, make sure the organization has actually aligned workflow to make the physician's job easier," he said. "For example, in an EHR, does the workflow follow logical steps or does a physician have to exit the program to continue work?"
  • Reduce bureaucracy. Simplifying organizational reporting structure--that is, ensuring doctors are totally accountable to no more than five people--is one of the top ways healthcare organizations can foster more positive working environments, according to Paul White, Ph.D., author of the Toxic Workplace Prevention and Repair Kit. However, hospitals do want to be careful not to give up too much of their bargaining power when shifting their governing structures, as tilting the tables too dramatically can cancel out gains made by improved retention, FierceHealthcare reported previously. 
  • Look at leadership differently. Leadership opportunities aren't necessarily a motivator for physicians. While about 20 percent of physicians participating in a recent survey conducted by Caliper, a talent management company, said they'd welcome the chance to shift to an administrative role, another 20 percent were flat-out uninterested. One of the top reasons physicians dislike leadership work is that it takes them away from patient care, FiercePracticeManagement reported previously. But these doctors may get excited about opportunities to work in an inter-professional community, such as with social workers or dieticians to ensure diabetic patients have access to healthy foods, Janis Orlowski, M.D., chief healthcare officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, told Healthcare Dive.

To learn more:
- read the article