Despite the benefits of working in a group practice, physicians often underestimate the challenges that come with working as a team. The good news is that research compiled by Monthly Prescribing Reference can help you combat the top stressors that dissolve the glue that keeps groups together.
According to experts, practices that stick together prioritize the following initiatives:
- Divide "common duties" evenly. Rather than delegating non-patient-care work based on seniority, happy groups rotate chores, such as accounting tasks or purchasing equipment, noted a study from BMC Family Practice.
- Continuous communication improvement. "Whenever there was a big crisis within the group, it was when we no longer took the time to communicate," the BMC study noted. High-functioning groups also used various forms of asynchronous electronic communication to stay in touch, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
- Clear contracts. Instead of debating how to solve problems when they emerge, practices can preempt conflict by creating a clear contract that all partners understand. According to an article from American Medical News, groups should take the time to create what essentially amounts to a "medical partnership prenup," preparing the group for every possible contingency should a doctor leave the practice, such as managed care contracts, electronic health records and more.
To learn more:
- read the article from Monthly Prescribing Reference
- see the study from BMC Family Practice
- here's the abstract from the Annals of Family Medicine
- check out the article from American Medical News