Physicians know medicine, but not all are leaders.
Leadership roles in health care are ever-evolving. Achieving high value for patients must now be the overarching goal of health care delivery, with value defined as the health outcomes achieved per dollar spent. “What does it mean to be healthy?” is the question driving conversations regarding the definition of quality care.
Who better to guide this definition than those who work with patients directly? Physicians must be prepared to answer the call.
Healthcare organizations must empower physicians with the skills necessary to be effective leaders and embrace this focus on value delivery. This is why a strategic, organizational commitment to their leadership development is imperative to the transformation of modern healthcare. Placing physicians at the forefront of your leadership development strategy will serve to create true change in the way healthcare is delivered in the United States.
To cultivate aligned and engaged physician leaders, trust physicians to lead, and empower them to do so daily as your organization’s primary agents of change.
Healthcare organizations can promote the alignment and engagement that is needed by providing meaningful opportunities for physicians to lead. Actively engage physicians in your organizational strategy by asking physicians to lead in areas like the patient experience, readmissions, and reduction of outcome variations. Create intentional projects for both administrators and physicians to work on together. This partnership experience, and reciprocal trust-building, is directly linked to increased physician satisfaction and engagement, improved organizational alignment, and improved quality and safety metrics. It is a successful dyad model that will get results.
Our partnership with The Iowa Clinic provides evidence that high performing health systems start with physician leadership.
The Iowa Clinic, P.C. (TIC) is the largest physician owned multi-specialty group in Central Iowa with more than 140 physicians and healthcare providers practicing in 37 specialties. TIC was formed in 1994 and serves a population of 1.1 million, averaging 400,000 patient visits each year.
Like any other large multispecialty group, TIC was created by merger and consolidation of many diverse practices over time. Having a culture of “one group” has always been the goal of the TIC especially in facing the rapid change in healthcare. In order to transform its culture and not only survive but thrive in uncertain times, TIC recognized the increasing need for physician leadership.
TIC’s Board of Directors Chairman, Steven R. Herwig, said:
“National healthcare reform will have far-reaching effects on efficient and effective healthcare delivery. The transformation that is occurring in healthcare requires us to take our leadership capacity to a higher level by focusing on and providing additional skills and leadership tools that are beyond clinical skills.”
The Leadership Institute at The Iowa Clinic (LI TIC) was established with the goal to transform the leadership DNA at all levels of the organization and to create a strong pool of physician and healthcare leaders that impact TIC’s ability to fulfill its mission. This goal included engaging physicians and healthcare leaders in driving the healthcare transformation and enabling their success by providing them with the necessary skills to make it happen:
The Leadership Institute at The Iowa Clinic Skills Improvement and Loyalty Self-Assessment: Participants reported the following high impact improvement (% improvement in skills compared to before attending LITIC):
• 133% improvement in the ability to lead others.
• 200% improvement in the ability to work in teams.
• 350% improvement in the ability to think strategically.
• 167% improvement in the ability to effectively communicate and influence.
• 325% improvement in the ability to deal with difficult issues and situations.
• 140% improvement in the ability to manage the practice.
• 125% improvement in the ability to impact practice volume/revenue
• 150% improvement in the commitment to and active engagement in ensuring TIC’s success.
As one graduate noted:
“The Physician Leadership Institute has taught me that doctors can work together in a collegial manner to help shape healthcare reform, rather than just waiting to react to the change and hope to survive.”
Providing physicians with leadership development is one of the most powerful investments that can be made in the future of your organization, and in the transformation of modern healthcare.