Physician Integration - What does this mean?

Our organization just went through another “re-organization” and the phrase “Physician Integration” was added to my title in a slightly revised role in the Table of Organization. By raising the question of what this means, I’m being somewhat facetious (I had better be clear about it, since it is in my title after all) … but shouldn’t we all have “Physician Integration” formally, or informally, after our titles? Since we are leaders in healthcare, aren’t we all expected to integrate physicians into what we do on a day-to-day basis? So, instead of Chief Operating Officer or Vice President for Strategic Planning … the roles should read Chief Operating Office & Physician Integration or Vice President for Strategic Planning & Physician Integration. These revised titles speak more to a “matrix” style Table of Organization emphasizing the role of physicians in everything we do.

Let’s not make light of this – it is key that physicians are part of our operations meetings, service line discussions, marketing/planning, nursing leadership, etc. Too often I have heard physicians separate leadership between “physicians” and “administration.” Quite frankly, I get a little frustrated when I hear this stated … I truly believe we’ve moved beyond this “old school” style of thinking of separate accountabilities and we really need to marry physician and administrative leadership as supportive, not exclusive managing styles. Another one of my soapboxes, I guess.

While it might not be necessary to specifically identify the term “Physician Integration” in each of our titles, it is important that we remember, recognize and reinforce the importance that physicians play in everything we do. This is the true nature of a dynamic, progressive and successful organization and a moniker I am proud to attach to my new title, and any other title I hold in my future care in healthcare.