6 principles to integrate leadership between physicians and hospitals

The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) this week released a new set of guiding principles to help hospital leaders integrate their clinical and business skills.

As the healthcare industry undergoes rapid change and structural reforms, such as the push to transition to value-based care, more clinicians move to the hospital sector and some into leadership roles, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Coordinated co-governance between executives and doctors can help drive the necessary transformation, leading the AHA and AMA to collaborate for more than two years to compile the principles.

The six principles for successful integrated leadership models call for:

  • Integration and alignment between physician and hospital leaders on a broad array of issues, including expectations and values; financial and non-financial incentives; goals and their measures; shared strategic planning; and patient engagement strategies
  • Executive-clinical physician integration at all levels, including nurses, with teams of clinicians and hospital or practice managers co-leading the initiative
  • A structure that provides for collaborative decision-making while preserving physician autonomy
  • Participatory collaboration based on trust
  • Information infrastructure that allows for the reporting of performance data at all levels
  • Accessible, transparent clinical and business information by all participants throughout the continuum

"To lead the changes needed to move the healthcare system forward, many physicians and healthcare organizations may contemplate options for greater alignment and strong relationships to cultivate an environment centered on teamwork," AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D., said in a statement. "The new Principles support having more physicians in the boardroom and in key roles at the executive level so hospitals can succeed in the reformed models for healthcare delivery and payment."

There are several steps hospital leaders can take to help to ease physician integration, Peter Angood, M.D., CEO of the American College of Physician Executives, told FierceHealthcare in an exclusive 2014 interview, such as clearly defined performance measures, a mutual code of conduct and leadership training.  

To learn more:
- read the principles (.pdf)
- check out the statement