Heal the relationship between physicians, administrators for better care delivery

two people shaking hands

The rapid changes to care delivery within the healthcare industry have strained the relationship between physicians, who just want to care for patients, and the administrators charged with ensuring the practice’s business efficiency, writes Sachin H. Jain, CEO of CareMore Health System, in Forbes.

Much of the frustration and cynicism felt by physicians experiencing burnout can be traced back to those controlling the business-oriented side of hospitals and care practices, according to Jain. Among physicians, “there is a real belief that everything would be better if my administrator colleagues just backed off and let them get back to taking care of patients,” he writes. Previous reporting by FiercePracticeManagment has demonstrated this phenomenon’s corrosive effect on physician morale and its potential to disrupt a practice’s smooth operation.

For healthcare organizations to weather industry changes effectively, Jain says it’s essential that they improve the relationship between physicians and administrators. He provides a set of key starting points to kick off the effort:

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  • Address the information gap from both sides of the equation. While physicians’ relative lack of comprehensive understanding of the financial side of medical practice has received much-needed attention, Jain says it’s equally important to build and expand administrators’ clinical knowledge. He recommends intensive clinical shadowing as an excellent opportunity to anchor administrative discussions in common clinical ground more solid than “buzzwords like ‘population health’ and ‘value-based healthcare.’”
  • Encourage greater physician involvement when developing processes. Front-line physicians seldom show up on the committees charged with redesigning care, says Jain, and that means those processes get developed without the benefit of those ultimately delivering the care to patients.
  • Respect clinical titles. While Jain admits it seems like a semantic quibble, lumping physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, and others under the title of “provider” actually devalues the unique skill sets and experience those clinicians bring to the table.

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Communication between physicians, management crucial for cost savings