Digital Health

How Visibility into Compensation and Performance Can Boost Clinician Retention

How Visibility into Compensation and Performance Can Boost Clinician Retention

Shelly Slowiak, Customer Success Leader, Clinician Nexus

Clinicians, like most professionals, are likely to be more engaged when they have a clear line of sight into individual and organizational performance metrics impacting their compensation. These metrics are most commonly tied to productivity, patient experience, outcomes and more.

Yet, historically, there’s been a lack of transparency as to how these metrics and goals align with compensation - making it challenging for clinicians to know where they are performing well, and areas where they could improve.

The problem lies primarily with the traditional measurement process – manual documentation and/or disparate systems for tracking and analyzing clinical compensation and performance. As organizations enhance their services to focus more acutely on patient experience and outcomes, the ability to effectively track and report on progress related to these goals is critical. SullivanCotter’s 2023 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey found that 75% of organizations include ’Patient Experience’ as a performance metric in their clinicians’ incentive plans. The prevalence of a ‘Clinical Outcomes’ metric is smaller but still very significant at 41%.

Improving engagement

Quick and easy access to accurate performance data is an effective way to help clinicians and care teams make progress on these goals. However, achieving this with manual tracking methods or via multiple disparate systems is difficult and can often introduce errors and inconsistencies. It may also cause delays in the feedback process.

By creating a single source of truth that leverages integrated data and automated systems and processes, health care leaders can more easily create transparency and encourage performance and productivity improvements using actionable, real-time data. And clinicians can see – in the moment – how their compensation aligns with their performance.

Having greater alignment between performance and compensation can lead to a deeper sense of organizational trust and job satisfaction. With centralized data in real time, key stakeholders, even beyond individual clinicians and their managers, gain better insight into whether individuals and teams are reaching expected goals – and if and where they need additional mentorship or guidance.

Reducing operational burden

Additionally, it is important to help ease some of the burden on compensation administrators. Clinical compensation plans are growing increasingly complex, and many organizations are struggling to keep up with the demand of effectively tracking and analyzing such a large dataset.

This is where automation can help. The adoption of innovative cloud-based platforms and software services within health systems has accelerated their ability to deliver the right data to the right people at the right time. By utilizing tools that reduce much of the manual data management, this frees up compensation administrators to liaise with clinicians on more critical compensation questions and issues as they arise.

Case Study: Supporting the shift to value-based care models

When the leadership of a mid-sized health system wanted to automate and better manage clinician pay and performance across its expanding medical group, the organization first tried building an application in-house.

After 18 months of internal challenges, building the application internally proved to be too difficult. The organization then selected and implemented Performance Suite, a cloud-based platform from Clinician Nexus. It brought together different data sets into a centralized system and helped to automate the compensation and performance management process. This application allows them to flex and scale as they add or change value-based incentives, modify compensation plans and analyze the impact of Evaluation and Management CPT code changes.

Enabling a thriving workforce 

With the ultimate goal of delivering best-in-class patient care, organizations must develop a better understanding of what drives performance, identify opportunities for improvement and enhance clinician engagement in support of important organization-wide goals. Delivering timely and accurate insight into clinical performance helps to improve alignment between expectations and reality – allowing clinicians the ability to assess their progress and pivot as needed.

Adopting and implementing scalable changes to align with current best practices and technological advances can be daunting. However, health systems must continue to evolve to meet both patient and clinician needs. Investing in a foundation of accurate, actionable and timely compensation and performance data – data aligned across the organization, visible to all stakeholders and instantly accessible – builds trust and creates the supportive environment in which today’s clinicians want to work.

About the author 

Shelly Slowiak is the Customer Success Leader for Clinician Nexus, a division of SullivanCotter. With her longstanding experience in helping health care organizations utilize technology to administer their clinician compensation and performance programs, Shelly and her team partner with customers to deliver a best-in-class platform for clinical placement management, clinician engagement and retention. 

In her role, Shelly leads an expert team of customer-focused professionals to help clients to enhance results and drive greater value. She has an MBA in Health Care Management and is a Certified Medical Assistant.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.