What Physicians Report on and how to Increase Physician Engagement

Physician reporting is one of the areas of the healthcare industry that needs to be improved upon more and more. Effective physician reporting is essential to the proper delivery of care and an improvement of processes. So What do Physician Report On? Physicians report on a lot of things and it is important to involve physicians at the onset stages of any organizational changes. Physicians will buy into a new methodology much more quickly if they are engaged in its development. Bringing physicians into the decision-making process early gives them a sense of ownership and control and helps them see the value in what’s been done. This early stage involvement trickles down throughout the organization. Early involvement also increases the ease of information flow.  Health Organizations and health scholars seek better ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of physician reporting.

How to Increase Physician Engagement

Bring Medical Leadership on Board

Once a healthcare organization leaders have set their vision, one of the things they need to do to set it in motion is to find leaders in the medical field to help them pass the message. Think of it as influential marketing. Once the medical professionals and physicians who have the respect and admiration of their colleagues buy into an idea, the rest of the medical community are more likely to follow and join in on the idea.

It’s also great to get leaders in the industry who have political capital and a loyal followership like the chairman of a board or research heads or published and respected surgeons. When physicians of this caliber promote the idea their colleagues, telling them where the organization is headed and why it will benefit them individually and as part of the team they believe. The champions should focus on what success will look like. If they can paint an attractive vision, it will help overcome the early fears and keep everyone onboard through the inevitable bumps and complications that arise in any sort of project of this magnitude.

If Your Project Is Large, Choose One Area of Focus

Large projects are harder to understand. Avoid trying to make too many changes at once. To avoid that very real concern it’s best to choose one small area to start – preferably one where there are low risk and high reward. People have short memories, and any early enthusiasm that was generated will quickly dissipate if there’s no progress or reward after a short time. Starting in one area manages expectations produces faster measurable results.

Build a Broad but Specific Guidance Team

This means building a team that includes someone from each area or the organization that changes are going to be implemented at. And not just anyone, pick people that interact with patients and have a working knowledge of their department and all are nuances.

Once You Have the Plan, Follow It

Stick to the plan and stick to dates and deadlines. While flexibility is necessary at times, it is important to follow the plan to show seriousness and respect for the people. When there’s a lackadaisical attitude towards meeting deadlines by the people who set those deadlines, it sends a message to the rest of the organization that they neither take the plan nor themselves seriously. This could be upsetting and disrespectful especially to physicians who are very busy and could put the time dedicated to the plans for other use.

How to Maintain Physician Engagement

One of the ways to do that is to increase and improve physician engagement by increasing their willingness to be a part of the processes. Physicians will be willing to be more engaged and be part of the reporting process if the following is done

Cleaner Data

As mentioned above, the paperwork for physician reporting does tend to get pretty messy. Physicians shouldn’t have to worry about fixing data after the report is created. The systems and processes put in place on top of a data warehouse mitigate data quality issues, from front-line data entry errors to problems with free text in EMRs.

Unique Patients

Physicians often cite special circumstances in response to performance comparisons with other physicians. Running a Pareto analysis (the 80/20 rule) or Key Process Analysis with the data warehouse and adjusting for disease severity reveals just how different a physician’s patient population actually is.

Current and up-to-date information

Physicians need current and accurate information so they know how they are currently performing. When data is old and stale it becomes irrelevant to the time and hinders proactiveness.

Granular Data

With this, Physicians can drill down to the individual patient level to see what care has been provided. They don’t have to rely on a three or six month average of an entire patient population.

Saving Time

Having trustworthy, clinically relevant data helps identify patient care gaps and improvement opportunities. Up-to-date reporting helps physicians evaluate their improvement efforts so they can spend their time wisely.