New Study Shows In-House Recruitment Technology Investments Lag Behind

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Sponsored by Jackson Physician Search, the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) examined the ways in which in-house teams use technology for applicant tracking, time management, communication, and general staff productivity.

The study revealed investments in technology to support physician recruitment lags behind other technology investments by hospitals and health systems. Additional findings from the Physician Recruitment Technology Utilization Study include:

  • 44% of organizations made a significant technology investment (defined as greater than 10k) over the last twelve months to assist with daily recruitment processes.
  • 17.5% reported their organization had never invested in technology of this kind.
  • 36.8% said they use an Excel spreadsheet to track and manage search and candidate activity.

Go to the AAPPR website to download the full Physician Recruitment Technology Utilization Study.

Five Ways to Remove Bias When Recruiting Female Physicians

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When you consider that 58% of the U.S. civilian workforce is female, it stands to reason that a similar percentage of female physicians in our country might exist. That reasoning would be incorrect, as only 34% of U.S. physicians are female, and only 18% of hospital CEOs are women[i].  These disparities are disappointing, as women are just as accomplished at practicing medicine as their male counterparts.  In a comprehensive study of 1.5 million Medicare patients, those treated by female physicians had significantly lower mortality rates and readmission rates when compared with male physicians at the same hospital.

The reasons why the recruitment and hiring of female physicians lag behind men are unclear, but it would appear that there is an unintentional or unconscious bias against them.  Studies have shown that women are less likely to be promoted or hired based on their gender, and a 2016 survey of almost 6,000 physicians found that much of the discrimination was specific to mothers.  Since it has been established that a gender bias exists, let’s focus on what healthcare administrators can do to remove bias from their recruitment and hiring practices.

Recognize if Bias Exists

One of the first things any administrator can do to determine if bias exists within their hospital or healthcare system is to take a good hard look in the mirror.  What is your current ratio of male to female physicians?  Consider that 46% of all physicians in training, and 52% of medical students in the U.S. are females, your physician hires within recent years should be more reflective of those ratios.  It is easy to have a conversation with those who are doing the recruiting and hiring without it being accusatory. There may be valid reasons why there is a disparity in the genders of your physician staff, but it is always worth having the discussion.

Ensure Internal Policies Don’t Penalize Women

Family leave policies vary by organization, and in some cases, they unintentionally penalize women.  While it is harder to track the policies within private companies and hospitals, in academic medicine, university policies only grant an average of eight weeks of paid family leave.  Female physicians shouldn’t be in a position of having to be concerned that maternal responsibilities are going to impact their career or standing in the workplace negatively.  Policies to support child-rearing, lactation, and other familial responsibilities should be carefully considered.  In the long run, family-friendly policies will benefit both male and female physicians, increasing engagement, lessening burnout, and improving retention.

Take Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Seriously

A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine found that a staggering 40 – 50% of medical students reported experiencing sexual harassment by faculty and colleagues.  In addition to sexual harassment from colleagues, women physicians are also more likely to experience harassment from patients.  It is believed that the harassment may even be underreported for fear of retaliation, and physician burnout studies show that it is a significant factor for female physicians. Sexual harassment training, while necessary, doesn’t go far enough, and many proactive organizations have implemented online reporting systems to encourage individuals to report incidents and track repeat offenders.

Conduct Bias Prevention Training

Have your recruitment and hiring staff ever had implicit bias training?  Even if you don’t believe that gender bias exists within your hiring practices, it is a worthwhile undertaking as a strategy to ensure that bias is recognized if it arises, and also as a means to address it.  There are evidence-based programs that help leaders develop strategies to combat bias in hiring, compensation, and promotion practices.

Encourage Formal Mentorship Programs

Having a formal mentoring program will benefit all of your physicians, not just your female staff.  Sponsor networking events that encourage physicians to identify potential mentors that they may otherwise never meet.  Peer mentoring programs, providing a platform for female physicians at similar career stages to get together, is another incredibly beneficial way to help them navigate issues that are unique to women.  Some groups are focused on building skills and networking, while others serve as a collaborative sounding board.  Whatever the purpose, it is another easy strategy to implement in support of your female physicians.

As healthcare administrators continue to consider the means to navigate the looming physician shortage, it makes sense to ensure that they are implementing strategies that serve to benefit all of their physicians.  Promoting physician engagement and well-being is a critical component of reducing burnout and improving retention.  Equally important is rooting out any indication of gender bias and creating an environment where female physicians can thrive based on their skills and abilities.

Help bolster your organization’s recruitment program by partnering with a search firm that provides a nation-wide reach and is comprised of healthcare industry professionals.  Contact Jackson Physician Search today.

[i] https://hbr.org/2018/06/whats-holding-women-in-medicine-back-from-leadership

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When is the Right Time to Ask for Physician Recruitment Help?

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Time is money, especially when it comes to the amount of time it takes to fill a physician vacancy.  The costs that are accrued from the time a position becomes vacant to the date it is filled can reach up to $1 million in lost revenue, based on the specialty. Whether you are an administrator for a large system hospital or a small community health center, managing your time-to-fill rates are critical in today’s competitive physician recruitment and hiring environment.  More and more, organizations of all sizes are evaluating their internal recruitment and retention process to ensure they are maximizing their return on investment.  The stark reality of physician supply and demand is that no matter how good your internal recruitment teams are, there will always be a time when they could use some help from a trusted recruitment partner.  Let’s answer the question that more healthcare administrators find themselves asking, “When is the right time to ask for recruitment help?”

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, as it depends on a lot of factors that are specific to your organization.  Things to consider are the effectiveness of your current in-house recruitment operation, how many vacancies are currently in the pipeline and do the vacancies include hard to fill specialties like family medicine, psychiatry, internal medicine, and OB/GYN.  Another important consideration when determining the right time to partner with a recruitment firm is how many hats your in-house recruiters are wearing in addition to sourcing candidates.  Are they responsible for sourcing, screening, setting up interviews, coordinating site visits, participating in interviews, and coordinating credentials?  Let’s face it, recruiting is a lot more than sourcing candidates, and when you are projecting vacancies due to retirements or planned expansion, finding a reliable, trusted recruitment partner can be the difference between finding a candidate who is the right fit and settling on a candidate to fill a vacancy.

Hard-to-fill Vacancies

One scenario that qualifies as a perfect time to establish a relationship with a physician search partner is when you have a hard-to-fill vacancy.  The market for physicians is competitive as it is, not to mention finding one of the aforementioned high-demand/low-supply vacancies.  Enlisting the help of a trusted firm can help you access a broader pool of candidates, including passive candidates who are only casually keeping an eye on opportunities.  A professional physician search firm will provide you with access to detailed candidate information, the latest technologies, and proven systems that can cast a wider net to find your perfect candidate.  It is never wrong to have a trusted partner do the heavy lifting on those difficult-to-fill vacancies.

Short-staffed Recruitment Team

Every organization goes through periods where individual departments are short-staffed due to illness, maternity and paternity leave, vacations, promotions, etc.  Considering the costs we have already mentioned, no amount of time is acceptable to leave a vacancy dormant.  Once you have established that working relationship with a search partner, it becomes easier to off-load searches onto an external team if your internal team is currently understaffed or overwhelmed.  Each month on average, a physician vacancy is costing you up to $150,000, so it makes sense in every perspective to keep the flow of candidates going, no matter what the situation may be with your team.

Understand Your Numbers

It may sound simplistic, but if you don’t understand your key recruitment metrics, you may never know when you have a problem.  Benchmarking your process gives you insight that allows you to adjust to fill gaps.  You should measure key data points, such as Time to Fill, # of Interviews until Hire, Acceptance Rate percentage, and three and five-year retention rates.  If you know these numbers, you will know if you need to bring on external recruitment help. Your numbers should also tell you your total cost to hire and your return on investment.  If you need to calculate what your current recruitment ‘Return on Investment’ is, find an ROI Calculator here.

Maintaining Momentum

How many times has your organization thought they had found the right candidate to fill a physician vacancy, only to find out that they accepted another offer? Once is too many if you are looking at your bottom line.  An often overlooked aspect of physician recruitment is what comes after you’ve sourced a candidate.  If your in-house recruiters are responsible for coordinating interviews, site visits, and everything else that goes into the hiring of a physician, then it pays to be cognizant of their workload.  When your team is juggling a lot of searches and the accompanying details, it is the perfect time to offload a couple of searches onto your external search partner to maintain the momentum with candidates that are already in the pipeline. Once a candidate is interested in your position, never drop the ball. From the first contact to the coordination of an interview, the interested candidate should feel reciprocal interest from your team. Allowing your internal teams to concentrate on maintaining that momentum while your external partner finds you candidates is an appropriate way to divide up the workload during periods of heavy activity. Here are a few key tips for maintaining momentum with a candidate:

  • The first contact with a presented candidate should be within 24 – 48 hours.
  • Set up an interview at the candidate’s earliest convenience. Be flexible!
  • Prepare a winning site visit. Don’t skimp, tailor the site visit to each specific candidate to show you are interested (please watch singular versus plural).
  • Don’t forget to recruit the physician’s family just as hard.
  • Have the framework of a contract in place and agreed upon by key stakeholders. Waiting on contract approvals is a sure way to lose candidates.
  • Maintain regular contact straight through the onboarding process.

Finding the right search partner can make all the difference in your recruitment process, but don’t discount how recruitment feeds into retention.  When you focus on the end result of finding the right candidate, you are in turn finding a candidate that naturally fits your organization and has a better chance to stay engaged, be productive, and want to stay in the position longer.  More than in years past, physicians want to find an organization that has a similar culture and values to their own.  Hiring for fit is the single best way to improve retention, and finding those candidates often requires more than posting your vacancy on a couple of job boards. Working with a recruitment partner is one way that you can expand the resources that are available to you and engage both active and passive candidates to your organization.

Jackson Physician Search is a healthcare industry leader and is poised to be the physician recruitment partner that your organization needs.  Contact our recruitment professionals today and learn how we can help you find physicians who fit, succeed, and stay.

 

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Jackson Physician Search featured in Top 10 HealthLeaders Clinical Care Stories 2019

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Survey data collected by Jackson Physician Search was featured in an article that made the Top 10 HealthLeaders Clinical Care Stories of 2019. Below is an excerpt from that article.

4 STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS CLINICAL STAFF SHORTAGES AT RURAL HOSPITALS

BY CHRISTOPHER CHENEY     SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

RECRUITING PHYSICIANS AT RURAL HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

survey report published by Alpharetta, Georgia–based Jackson Physician Search also includes a gloomy view of the rural physician workforce. “From 2013 to 2015, the overall supply of physicians in the United States grew by 16,000 but the number of rural physicians declined by 1,400. These facts compound the problem that while 20 percent of the U.S. population is rural, only 12 percent of the primary care physicians work in a rural area,” the survey report says.

The survey report, which is based on data collected from more than 150 physicians and 105 rural health system administrators, says four factors were found to be particularly effective in the recruitment of doctors in rural areas.

1. Autonomy: The survey found 43% of physician respondents consider autonomy as a significant goal in their careers. The physician survey respondents say they value practicing medicine without undue influence from executives. “Healthcare professionals—both nurses and physicians—want to have their voices heard, especially when it comes to issues affecting their practice of medicine. Rural hospitals have the advantage here when compared to a large bureaucratic health system,” Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search, tells HealthLeaders.

2. Team-based culture: Physician survey respondents say they enjoy working at healthcare organizations that have strong teamwork and collaborative decision-making. “Culture and fit are widely discussed as important factors for physicians in feeling engaged in the workplace,” the survey report says.

3. Recruit the family: Physician and administrator survey respondents say a family-friendly environment is a desirable aspect of a healthcare organization. “Highlighting the best aspects of the community and involving community leaders in the process will go a long way in demonstrating the community’s value to the physician. Specifically, taking time to ensure that spouses and significant others are engaged in the process can be a deciding factor once an offer is being considered,” the survey report says.

4. Administrator role in recruitment: With physicians ranking culture high as a desirable attribute at healthcare organizations, rural hospital CEOs and other top administrators can be a decisive factor in the recruitment of doctors, Stajduhar says.

“Based on our survey, a well-designed, on-site visit that makes the physician and their family feel welcome and highlights the community culture is the No. 1 factor in picking a practice location. They need to be able to see themselves as part of an active and vibrant community, and to enjoy working in the organizational environment. Painting a picture of the vision of the organization and how they fit into building the future is essential. The senior leadership of the organization must be involved and take a lead role in the process,” he says.

Read the full article here.

Healthcare Administrators: Planning Ahead for 2020

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As the calendar turns to a new year, things that are top of mind for most people are keeping New Year’s resolutions.  Most of us want to achieve things that will make us healthier or happier, but for Healthcare Administrators, there are no resolutions that can help answer the many questions that will dominate the healthcare landscape in 2020.  Here are just a few of the topics that healthcare administrators should be planning for in the year ahead.

Physician Retirements

In 2020, one of every three practicing physicians will be of retirement age.  Considering the ultra-competitive physician recruitment landscape, healthcare administrators have to stay out in front of their staff retirements. Aside from the inevitable quality of care issues and placing additional burdens on remaining staff, physician vacancies created by turnover or retirements are a huge threat to already tight margins. The Association of Physician Recruiters (ASPR) has reported that, annually, as many as 40% of physician vacancies go unfilled. These vacancies can result in up to $170,000 per month, depending on the specialty.

The good news is that healthcare administrators can prepare for any potential retirements and ensure that they don’t incur a surprise vacancy.  In a Jackson Physician search survey, 80% of physicians stated that initiating the retirement conversation was their responsibility, but only 52% felt comfortable doing so. This key piece of information bears repeating, ‘only 52% of physicians felt comfortable bringing up the retirement conversation.’  Create an environment or provide your physician staff with a mechanism that will help facilitate retirement discussions. It may be a simple as sending out surveys or even tasking HR with helping walk physicians through the conversation.  Proactively addressing this sensitive subject may result in creating a transition plan that works for the physician and the organization.

Addressing Physician Burnout

As important as it is to proactively discuss potential physician retirements within your staff, it is equally important to ensure you understand your internal levels of physician burnout.  It would be disingenuous to claim that your staff isn’t suffering from any measurable levels of burnout, especially if you reviewed Medscape’s 2019 survey that found 50% of doctors are suffering from burnout, depression, or both.  The key for administrators is to recognize that burnout is a serious problem and find ways to engage your physician staff in understanding what is contributing to it and collaboratively working with them to find solutions.

According to Mayo Clinic research, levels of burnout are improving as more organizations have developed interventional programs, but experts caution that more organizational change and research are necessary to continue the trend. Not surprisingly, a majority of physicians claim that the maintenance of electronic health records continues to be a major stressor that impacts overall job satisfaction. If administrators could focus on one major topic to alleviate physician stress, they would have to look no further than streamlining their eHR process.

Consolidation Climate

Aside from anomalies in 2004 and 2006, the mergers and acquisitions climate in the healthcare industry remained pretty flat until 2010 and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.  Since then, consolidations have become the name of the game for both health plans and healthcare providers.  Unfortunately, all of these consolidation activities have not resulted in lower costs for consumers, but the move towards achieving economies of scale doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.  Several factors are feeding the consolidation frenzy, including record-high healthcare spending, continually shrinking margins, and now the wild card of having a transition to value-based reimbursement as opposed to traditional volume-based payments.  In many cases, the success of these record numbers of mergers is yet to be determined, but it is clearly a focus in the industry to keep considering new partnerships to achieve operating efficiencies, cost controls, and greater flexibility to make capital investments.

Digitization of Healthcare

Administrators throughout the healthcare industry can all point to the amount of money they are spending on technology, but much like the consolidation question, it is unclear how much this digital transformation is benefiting consumers.  In many ways, the healthcare industry is lagging behind the digital revolution that has transformed other industries, but many administrators are betting that continued investments in technology and data will drive a reduction in costs and improvements in delivery.

Currently, data is king in healthcare.  From the collection of genetic information for analysis and insight into potential future risks, down to the plethora of information being collected through digital health apps that are helping consumers manage chronic illnesses and personal wellness.  However, in spite of the investments, healthcare administrators are still hard-pressed to point out tangible benefits.  In a PwC Health Research Institute survey, only 38% of provider executives stated that digital transformation is incorporated in their corporate strategic plans. Further, less than a quarter of healthcare companies employ a chief digital officer.  This is significantly less than in other industries. When asked about workforce strategies going into 2020, provider executives appeared to be responding to their internal lack of technology talent as 33% stated that they would be investing in digital skills and emerging technologies training for their workforce.

As is the case in most years, healthcare executives are navigating several major challenges that are occupying their time and attention.  In 2020, the healthcare industry will continue the shift toward value-based payments and the digitization of information that is woven into every aspect of healthcare delivery.  Physician vacancies will still be a major area of concern that will have to be dealt with through a comprehensive recruitment strategy and a focus on retention.  All of this and more seemingly contributes to another tumultuous year within the industry.

Staying out in front of these issues will be critical for healthcare administrators.  If your organization can benefit from partnering with an organization comprised of respected healthcare industry professionals, contact the Jackson Physician Search team today to learn how we can help keep you ahead of the curve.

 

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Recruiting for Retention in Rheumatology: Best Practices in 2019 and Beyond

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Rheumatology Practice Management December 2019 Vol 7 No 2 – NORM Highlights

Meg Barbor, MPH

Grand Rapids, MI—There is a current shortage of full-time rheumatology providers in the United States, and it is only getting worse. In the next decade, adult patient demand for arthritis care is expected to increase 25% to 50% because of the aging population, and ultimately, the supply will be one-half of what is considered optimal.

According to Michael R. Byman, Senior Director, Jackson Physician Search, Atlanta, GA, and a leading authority on medical staffing trends, successfully recruiting for retention in rheumatology requires that those doing the recruiting first understand what is driving the physician shortage, so they can then set themselves apart and offer competitive opportunities to desirable candidates.

“With current data suggesting we’re primed to face a 50% shortage of rheumatology providers by the year 2030, understanding the competitive landscape is the first step to recruitment success,” Mr. Byman said.

At the 14th annual National Organization of Rheumatology Managers Conference, Mr. Byman provided an overview of the state of the rheumatology provider market and outlined practical recommendations that organizations can incorporate into their recruitment and retention strategies.

Click to read the full interview.

Policy and Politics Affecting Physicians Heading Into 2020

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Regardless of what side of the political aisle you find yourself, it isn’t hard to argue that legislative policies and politics have created a sea change in the healthcare landscape over the past decade.  Now, as we stand on the doorstep to 2020, it is safe to assume that more legislation, driven by politics, will continue being a catalyst for change in the future.  For now, with our sights clearly set on the New Year ahead, let’s examine some of the policies and politics that will be affecting physicians and healthcare in general.

Will Congress pass legislation to address the impending physician shortage?

Yogi Berra once famously said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” When Yogi uttered those words, he was referring to Mantle and Maris hitting back to back home runs, but today it could be attributed to legislation that is stalled in Congress for the third time since 2013.  The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act was introduced in the House and Senate in 2013, 2017, and again in 2019, but has yet to advance any further.  The current iterations of the bill (S.348/H.R. 1763) have received bi-partisan support and are both designed to increase the number of residency positions eligible for graduate medical education payments under Medicare for qualifying hospitals.  Over five years, this legislation would increase the current number of slots by 15,000 and is strongly supported by the American Hospital Association.  Considering the toxic partisanship that currently exists in both houses of Congress, it will be interesting to see if these bills are taken up at some point, once the legislative session resumes after the holiday break.  At a minimum, it might show the voting public that things can get done in Washington.

How much risk does value-based care pose to providers?

The ongoing transition from volume-based to value-based care has been slowly building throughout the past decade, arguably with no consensus best-practice models to emulate. A Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) report states that in the near-term, “providers will increasingly face both upside and downside financial risk in their arrangements with health plans.”

Another challenge that poses a risk for physicians and providers, in general, is how unsettled the variation of payment models still are, as they continue to be reformed.  As both Medicare and commercial payers keep payment models in flux, physicians, hospitals, and health plans are going to be experiencing greater shared risk.

How is consumerism affecting physician care?

While it may have taken longer than in other industries, there is no questioning the impact that consumerism is now having on the healthcare industry.  Much of the impetus for consumer-driven change grew out of the Affordable Care Act, most specifically the creation of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), tasked with studying new models and expenditure reductions. Today, consumers have more healthcare choices than at any other time in history.  From choosing a health plan that best suits their needs to making choices on when and where to seek care.  Consumerism within healthcare is only going to increase, and it is forcing a significant change in the way healthcare is marketed, transparency and structure in the cost for services, and convenience offerings to match patient lifestyle.  All of this places inherent pressure on the physician who is providing care, as the power of the consumer affords the patient leverage and options that may not have existed in the past.

How much will the 2020 election impact physicians?

While it is not in the interests of this space to delve too deeply into the political arena, it is important to look at how the 2020 election may impact physicians.  According to a wide-ranging report on the top health issues of 2020 by PwC Health Research Institute (HRI), it is unlikely that the outcome of the election is going to bring about a massive change in the healthcare industry.  Instead, no matter which party wins, expect regulatory changes and other lesser impactful legislative changes.

Things to be on the lookout for include Medicare Part D reform, drug pricing reform to include transparency and possible linkage to overseas pricing, and additional Medicaid reforms.  One thing that won’t change in 2020 is increased healthcare spending.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are projecting that US healthcare spending will increase from $3.8 trillion in 2019 to at least $4 trillion in 2020.

Although it is difficult to project how much change will be driven by the election, healthcare will be a topic throughout the 2020 cycle as a recent survey by HRI indicated that 71% of adult Americans of both parties are voting for a candidate based on the stated healthcare policies or ideas.

If you are searching for an opportunity that can provide you with more stability in this unsettled healthcare landscape, contact Jackson Physician Search today and let our industry professionals help find your perfect practice setting.

 

How AI and Tech Are Impacting Physicians

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Four Ways Technology is Impacting Health System Administrators

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When discussing artificial intelligence and the use of other technologies in healthcare, it is natural to assume that doctors are impacted the most. While this assumption has merit, the proliferation of technology throughout the healthcare industry is having just as much of an impact on healthcare administrators.  From ethical concerns to financial decisions, technology will be a talking point in health system boardrooms for years to come.  Here are four ways that technology is impacting health system administrators.

  1. Using Data To Improve Care

There is an incredible amount of information currently being collected by healthcare providers, but the question on many administrators’ minds is how to best utilize it to improve patient care.  Some forward-thinking organizations are utilizing the data as research into best practices for clinical care.  Referred to as a learning health system, data analytics are used as part of a larger effort where clinicians and administrators collaborate on ways to present evidence-based information to patients.  This approach is utilized to influence patients in taking a more proactive approach to their own health and also to improve care in the future.

  1. Telemedicine and Beyond

Although telemedicine has yet to be widely adopted, it does hold promise as a way to increase access to care and hold down costs.  Some health systems are taking it a step further and creating virtual care centers, where every patient is evaluated remotely.  Virtual care requires a patient to communicate with their care provider via a video link while the physician gets vitals and other information through an iPad application.  Administrators are wrestling with these technologies to determine how much of an investment to make and how much willingness there is within their patient population to alter the nature of doctor-patient interactions.

  1. Ethics in the Age of Technology

There is no disputing the amazing technological advancements that have been made in recent years.  Things that were previously known only to science fiction movies are now in the mainstream.  Consider the diagnostic enhancements of artificial intelligence, the precision of robotic surgeries, nanotechnology and gene therapy.  What hasn’t kept pace with the technology, however, are the policy and ethical guidelines for utilizing everything technology can offer. Healthcare administrators are lacking the over-arching support that robustly debated and published guidelines provide when tackling the ethical complexities that exist as technology proliferates.

  1. Can EHR Hurdles Be Overcome?

The concept of electronically managing every bit of patient information has turned out to be better in theory than in practice for many healthcare administrators.  And truthfully, physicians aren’t that thrilled about it either.  In a Deloitte survey of 3,000 physicians, only 10% responded that their current EHR system was fine as is.  For healthcare administrators, the technology itself is costly, but the human cost of time and effort to maintain the records dwarf any software costs.  Considering that electronic health records have been around for more than a decade, one would think that the many bugs would be ironed out by now.  Unfortunately, EHR systems were initially built on obsolete technology platforms with very little design consideration and no standardized guidelines.  There may be relief in sight as some technology experts feel that Blockchain technology can be the cure that EHRs desperately need.  Considering the current pain caused by EHR systems, the utilization of blockchain technology for health-related applications bears watching.

Technology advancements are inherently designed to simplify or enhance our lives and create efficiencies in the workplace and the world around us. For healthcare administrators, technology creates a unique set of opportunities and challenges to consider.  And the speed with which technology continues to shape the patient experience and impact the delivery of care puts more pressure on administrators to keep pace and stay ahead of the curve.

If you can benefit from partnering with an organization that has decades of healthcare industry experience, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search to learn how we can make a difference.

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How Artificial Intelligence and Tech are Impacting Physicians

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Fans of literary Science Fiction have been reading about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technological advancements for decades.  What has changed in that time is now, things that were once left to the imagination of authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, are becoming the mainstream.  Especially in the field of medicine.  As technology grows more ubiquitous, everyone working in healthcare are being forced to adjust to the many ways AI and technology are impacting the industry.

The impact of technology on how physicians perform their duties is perhaps more significant than anyone else in the healthcare industry. Let’s look at five ways AI and Technology are impacting today’s physicians.

Robotic Surgery 

Typically, when considering technology and healthcare, the first topic mentioned is the use of robotics in surgery.  The first documented use of a robot-assisted surgery occurred in 1985, while the first unmanned robotic surgery came in 2006.  Today, more than one-third of U.S. hospitals have at least one surgical robot.  The rapid growth of this technology is creating new challenges for physicians, young and old.  The biggest change for physicians is in learning how to use the latest robotic technology, with none more impacted than surgical residents. Before robotics, residents learned surgical procedures up close and hands-on at the patient’s side.  Now, surgery is performed at a console 15-feet away from the patient, and residents are forced to watch over the surgeon’s shoulder or observe at a second console.  These training barriers have to be overcome for physicians to keep up with the growth of robotic technologies in the surgical suite.

Disease Detection

One area that AI is clearly making a difference is in the early detection of diseases.  For example, over 12 million mammograms are performed annually in the U.S., yet 1 in 2 healthy women are misdiagnosed. When AI is used to translate mammograms, the results are returned 30% faster and with up to 99% accuracy, which has resulted in a reduction in unnecessary biopsies and patient stress due to misdiagnosis.  AI also performs a natural benefit by monitoring the data collected through consumer wearables and other medical devices. As advancements in AI continue to develop, look for the technology to detect life-threatening episodes earlier, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Decision Support Systems

Dosing errors make up 37% of all preventable medical errors.  Researchers found that AI can be used to determine the correct dosage of immunosuppressant drugs for organ transplant recipients, a process that typically included educated guesswork combined with practiced guidelines. AI is also emerging as an aid to clinical judgment and diagnosis.  AI can provide critical information to physicians by combing through the millions of genetic variants of a patient to determine a probability that one of them could cause a particular disease.

Virtual Reality Training

New technologies are used to augment physician training. Virtual Reality (VR) can provide physicians with targeted training on many clinical scenarios.  AI, through natural speech technology, can even respond to questions or challenge decisions made within the VR session.  Similar to how flight simulation transformed the aviation industry, VR is changing medical education and training.  While still in its infancy, the benefits of this immersive training are unquestioned.  VR provides trainees the ability to learn in a simulated, engaging hands-on environment, which allows physicians of all experience levels to learn at their own pace without risk to patient health.

Simplifying Administrative Tasks

One of the most significant areas of promise for the utilization of AI and technology is in streamlining the ever-increasing amount of administrative activities.  New technologies can improve administrative workflows such as charting, ordering tests, and filling prescriptions through the utilization of voice-to-text transcription.  Creating efficiencies like this allows the physician to have more time for direct care and more meaningful patient interactions.

Technology and artificial intelligence are already changing the way physicians are practicing medicine.  As advancements continue across the spectrum of care, the question to be answered will be how physicians can most effectively learn and interact with the technologies to continually improve patient care.

If you are looking to take your physician career to the next level, partner with a firm that can offer a nationwide reach and decades of leading industry experience, contact Jackson Physician Search and speak with one of our recruitment professionals today.

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How to Make The Most of Your Physician Job Search

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For Physicians, there has never been a better time to find a new practice opportunity.  With a projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by the year 2032, any doctor who is not happy in their current situation has plenty of opportunities to improve their circumstances or career trajectory.  Let’s look at five key things all physicians can do to ensure a successful job search.

Reconcile Why You Want a New Job

One necessary step physicians should take before they begin a job search is to determine all of the reasons why a new practice opportunity is essential.  Giving consideration to the reasons why you are ready to leave your current position is an important factor in finding the right new opportunity. The best way to accomplish this is to put pen to paper and list the reasons why you are ready for a change. Whether the change is to get out from under unmanageable work hours or to improve your job satisfaction, or maybe you want to advance your career by getting into a leadership position. Listing the reasons why you are ready for change can help you avoid getting into a similar situation in your new job.  It can also be helpful information to have when you are working with a physician recruitment firm.

Update Your CV and Prepare for the Interviews

Now that you have thought about why the time is right for a new practice opportunity, take the next step in the process by updating your CV.  In today’s high-demand climate, there is a real chance that you will be receiving job offers right out of the gate.  Taking the proactive step of updating your CV will help you keep the momentum of your search going forward. Now is also a good time to jot down questions that you may have for any potential new employers.  Administrators know that physicians who are actively searching will receive multiple offers, so don’t be surprised when they move quickly once you are on their radar.

Prepare for the Compensation Questions

Physician compensation is complicated and varies between organizations.  It is vital to understand your entire compensation package, including base salary, benefits, bonuses, and potential incentives.  Based on where you are at in your career, you may want to ask about student loan forgiveness or different retirement saving options.  It is also important to keep in mind the tax implications between states.  Fortunately, there are tools available to help you compare compensation in different locations.

Involve Your Family

Job searches don’t happen in a vacuum.  As important as it is for you to find the right opportunity for your career, it is equally important for your family to take part in the decision-making process.  Moving to a new location has a lot of serious variables to consider. Is it a good fit for your lifestyle? Are there quality schools for the children? What kind of weather is prevalent in that part of the country? No individual location or community is going to be perfect for every member of your family, but you need to consider how any move will impact everyone involved.

Career Advancement

At the end of the day, your job search should result in the advancement of your career.  That advancement can be professional, personal, or both. If you are at a stage in your career where you seek more control or a more significant say in the decision-making process, begin exploring leadership positions.  If your current situation requires you to work an unreasonable amount of hours, or you have become frustrated with a toxic work culture, then your job search should be focused on finding an organization that espouses values similar to your own.  The good news is that once you find the right practice setting, your life should change for the better. From having more free time to spend with the kids or finally having time for the occasional round of golf, a new job can be just the recharge your batteries need.

In today’s healthcare environment, physicians don’t have to remain in a job that doesn’t align with their lifestyle or values.  Demand for physicians is high and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.  If you are ready to begin exploring new opportunities, you may want to consider finding a partner for your job search.  An experienced recruiter has access to administrators and job openings that you won’t find on your own. Additionally, professional recruitment partners can help you work through contract negotiations, compensation packages, and also provide insight into organizational culture questions you may have.

Jackson Physician Search has a team of recruitment professionals with decades of high-level industry experience. They have a nationwide reach and established relationships with healthcare industry administrators in organizations of all types and sizes, giving you the best opportunity to find a position that takes your career to the next level.  Contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

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