IMPORTANT COVID-19 MESSAGE FOR CANDIDATES FROM OUR PRESIDENT, TONY STAJDUHAR

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Hello,

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, COVID-19 hit. I continue to be inspired by the way you, other healthcare workers, and first responders are responding to this crisis. Your dedication doesn’t really surprise me. But it seems when life is most difficult and people need help, you are the very people who transform into superheroes right before our eyes. It’s remarkable.

I want to reassure you that our entire Jackson Physician Search team is working overtime – day and night – to support you. One of our guiding values is to be an ‘Others First’ organization, so if you receive a call or email from us, I hope you will trust that our intent is not to be disrespectful or insensitive.

By nature, recruiters are great listeners. We want to listen and meet your needs – even if what you need most at the moment is to vent about the day’s challenges! We are committed to being the best matchmakers in the industry, but if in trying to meet your immediate needs, we happen to catch you at an inopportune moment, please let us know. We will always respect your wishes.

Our team has transitioned to a fully functional work-from-home model, allowing them to continue to connect you to our hundreds of clients across the nation – uninterrupted. We will continue to provide Nordstrom-level service and to think outside-the-box. We have been asked to adapt our process and assist with complying to new hospital policies. Some of these changes may include scheduling video interviews, or scheduling interviews outside of the medical campus.

Hopefully, sooner, rather than later, this crisis will pass. And as we all know, there is already a physician shortage that COVID-19 isn’t going to improve. While you focus on you and your family’s most pressing needs, we’re still focused on your future career goals.

I am praying for everyone daily, and our thoughts are with you and your family – please take care of yourself and feel welcome to call us at any point. Together, we will get through this and, hopefully, come away with valuable lessons learned.

Be well,

Tony Stajduhar
President

How the Traditional Physician On-Site Interview is Changing During Covid-19

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We’ve reached a point where the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is affecting us all. While this is uncharted territory for many, our healthcare system has successfully responded to pandemics and outbreaks in the past – always coming out stronger and wiser on the other side. We understand that this is an unprecedented time for physicians, nurses, and other care providers, and we are grateful for your dedication to protecting and restoring health in our communities.
 
As a physician recruitment firm, our mission is to facilitate the perfect match between a physician and a healthcare organization. We serve as an advisor to both throughout the recruitment process, ensuring a positive candidate experience. Currently, many of the healthcare organizations that we work with are making temporary changes to their on-site interview process for the safety and well-being of everyone. But even with these temporary changes, our clients are actively recruiting to fill physician vacancies.
 
So, as you keep your job search on track, we’re here to prepare you for three possible interview scenarios.
 

1. Continuing with on-site interviews but implementing additional screening

 
Understandably, some healthcare organizations have growing concerns about on-site interview visits. Pre-screening candidates is an effective strategy to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 on their campuses. Below is a sampling of screening questions you may be asked prior to scheduling an interview:
 
  • Are you currently under self-quarantine for COVID-19, because you have been diagnosed or have had direct exposure to an infected individual?
  • Have you traveled internationally in the last 28 days to China, Italy, South Korea, or any other countries with wide community spread?
  • Are you experiencing any flu-like or respiratory symptoms common to COVID-19, such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough?
 
Furthermore, healthcare organizations that are continuing with on-site interviews may medically screen candidates for fever and other symptoms upon arrival.
 

2. Moving the interview off-campus

 
Some healthcare organizations are eliminating the risk of exposure to patients, providers, and other employees by moving interviews to an off-campus location. Any location that offers a distraction-free and private area to focus everyone’s attention on the interview will work – hotel or airport conference rooms are two viable options.
 
While this means you likely won’t have an opportunity to meet quite as many staff members, take a campus tour, or get an overall “feel” for the environment, many healthcare organizations have professional pictures and recruitment videos that will suffice. Plus, you can still visit the community to better assess your family’s interest in relocating. If you need help with that, check out our blog about preparing for an on-site interview.
 

3. Using video conferencing to conduct a “virtual” interview

 
With some areas experiencing more rapid community spread than others, such as New York City, or in states under a stay-home order, travel is not advised. If the organization must temporarily suspend face-to-face interviews, many are inviting candidates to participate in a video interview using Skype, Zoom, or another video conferencing tool. First impressions are still key to recruitment success, so be sure to make eye contact and eliminate potential distractions. Prepare for it as you would an in-person interview. It might help you to make notes about what you want to talk about. Our guide on defining your physician brand can help you refine your talking points and zero in on what you want the conversation to focus on.
 
Our expert physician recruiters should be viewed as a resource and are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Part of their responsibility is to aid communication between you and the hiring healthcare organization. Keep in mind that finding the perfect opportunity can take some time, so we will continue to share job opportunities with you via email. You can sign up for job alerts to receive those emails or visit our job board to see all our open searches.
 
 

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Match Day 2020: Amid Uncertainty, Still a Time for Celebration

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Match Day is a time for celebration at the 155 medical schools in the United States, as it marks the day residency and fellowship training positions are announced.  Unfortunately, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19, some of the planned activities are being canceled or scaled back to reduce the size of gatherings.  Covid-19 concerns aside, nothing should dampen the overall celebratory feelings of the more than 44,000 fourth-year medical students who are anxiously awaiting their match results. After four years of late nights, long days, and hard work, medical students across the nation can finally see the sun rising on their future careers.  In 2019, of the 44,000 registrants, more than 35,000 were matched to one of their choices.

While the majority of Match Day applicants receive a position to continue their medical training, there is a small percentage that does not get placed in one of the residency or training slots.  How does that happen and what can be done?  It’s important to understand the challenges the candidates you’ll be recruiting one day face.  Let’s answer some questions medical students who are about to graduate — and who will eventually become the next generation of physicians — might have about Match Day and beyond.

Why is there a shortage of residency slots?

One of the major contributing factors directly relates to an Act of Congress.  In 1997, as part of a Balanced Budget Act, Congress legislatively capped the number of residency training slots to be funded through Medicare.  At the time, it helped to reduce the Medicare budget.  Still, today’s physician shortage highlights the need for Congress to act with a greater sense of urgency.  In 2016, 2017, and again in 2019, legislation was brought to the floor of both Houses of Congress to address the physician shortage through an expansion of residency slots.  In each case, the bill stalled.

What’s next for those who don’t receive a match?

It doesn’t mean the end of their medical career, residency slots are still available.  The National Resident Matching Program®, in association with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, offer a joint Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).  This program allows applicants who didn’t match to a program of their choice to apply to residency positions that went unfilled after Match Day.  To be eligible for SOAP, applicants must be registered for the Main Residency Match.  Then, they must be eligible to enter graduate medical education on July 1, 2020, and be unmatched or partially matched on Monday of Match Week.

Not matching is just a temporary setback. Here’s what else can be done.

Medical school graduates have worked hard to get to this point and should know that not matching is only a temporary setback.  The worst course of action would be to give up.  There are steps that can be taken if match day and SOAP doesn’t work out.  Clinical Work is an option.  Typically, they won’t be able to participate in the direct care of patients, but that doesn’t mean they have to keep their clinical skills on the shelf for a year.  One of the best ways graduates can stay close to the action and be involved is to work as a scribe for a medical practice.  Practicing physicians will be grateful for any opportunity that frees them up to focus more on patient care and less on administrative activities.

Keeping graduates involved in the healthcare industry and on the path to becoming a physician is crucial.  It is also beneficial for healthcare administrators to utilize educated and motivated individuals.  Encourage graduates to focus on improving their skills, gaining clinical experience to enhance their resume, and help them get set up for a successful Match Day 2021.

Residency is a pivotal point on the path to becoming a physician and our best option for catching up with the demand for physicians. At Jackson Physician Search we work to support the hospitals and health systems across the nation that are training the next generation of physicians. If you need help recruiting residents or recruiting physician leaders to train residents, reach out to Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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How to Drive Retention by Creating an Inclusive Workplace

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The first thing most healthcare administrators think about when considering the current physician shortage is, “How are we going to recruit to fill vacancies?”  That is certainly a valid question, but it is one that needs to be asked in tandem with, “How are we going to retain the physicians we already have?”  According to Gallup research, workplace culture is one of the leading drivers of physician retention, and healthcare organizations that ignore that fact are setting themselves up for a steady stream of physician vacancies.

Over the past several decades, physicians graduating from medical school are increasingly diverse and come from a wide range of ethnicities, religions, and world views.  This level of diversity in our healthcare system is an achievement and reflective of American society in general.  But a diverse workplace doesn’t necessarily mean an inclusive one, and that is an important distinction.  An inclusive environment is supported by a workplace culture where the collective group of employees all feel welcome, valued, and included.  With the role that culture plays in retention, let’s review some strategies that will contribute to a more inclusive work environment.

Instill a top-down approach.

In healthcare organizations where the executives and other higher-level administrators are too far removed from what is happening in the trenches, there is no way of gaining a full appreciation of the actual workplace culture that exists.  A prime example of this was illustrated in the results of a study conducted by Jackson Physician Search, where significant differences were found in how executives and physicians rated their workplace culture.  For example, in response to a statement about physicians always being treated with respect, only 48% of physicians agreed versus 78% of the executives.  Administrators and other leaders have to be personally invested in fostering a culture of inclusion and engagement in their organization.

It’s more than a one-hour sensitivity training.

It is safe to say that any healthcare organization that doesn’t conduct periodic sensitivity, diversity, or other bias-related training sessions will not have an inclusive workplace environment.  But these training sessions are only part of the solution.  Utilizing a one-hour training class to check a box is not getting it done.  As alluded to with our top-down approach, sensitivity, and other training sessions have to be used to develop proactive, actionable items that can be implemented throughout the organization.  The classes are a tool to help educate leadership and staff at all levels about behaviors that are inappropriate.  A proactive result from the training might include a mechanism for reporting bias or a strategy for how to deal with employees who exhibit harmful behavior.  Another way a healthcare organization can demonstrate a true commitment to inclusion would be in the formation of an employee-driven inclusion committee. Most likely, your organization has a celebrations committee, forming one that is dedicated to driving a more inclusive workplace is a strong first step.

Give everyone a voice.

If you don’t have a clear picture of what type of culture exists in your workplace, it is important to find out before it is too late.  A Mayo Clinic study on physician burnout and well-being cited workplace culture as a major factor in physicians leaving to find a better opportunity.  Creating an environment where all staff is encouraged to respond to workplace surveys or participate in focus groups is the only true way to understand workplace culture.  It is critical for healthcare administrators to think about the type of culture that will keep staff engaged, drive them to better performance, and support the organizational brand. A few keys for managing this include:

  • Conduct a full audit or assessment to gain a data-driven measure of the environment.
  • Identify gaps regarding inclusiveness and bias.
  • Collect, measure, and report on the data.
  • Develop strategies and set goals, and publish them.
  • Communicate why you want an inclusive culture and how it impacts the bottom line.

Celebrate Your Diversity.

We have already suggested the formation of an inclusion committee, but even if you aren’t prepared to take that step, you can still celebrate the diversity within your workplace.  It is important to remember that it is as much about celebrating and recognizing diversity as it is about removing bias.  From creating breast pumping rooms to having meditation or prayer rooms, employing physicians and other staff from such diverse backgrounds means that unique solutions are needed.  Another strategy to combat unintentional bias is with a more creative pot luck program. Let’s face it, your hospital or health system has regular pot luck luncheons, we all do.  These informal gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to center them around a different ethnic or cultural background.  Encourage your teams to discover new recipes and post fun cultural facts that will help everyone to appreciate and gain a better understanding of varying cultures.

Encourage Gratitude.

Most healthcare organizations have some form of gratitude program.  Is it effective?  How many of your physicians make an effort to formally recognize others?  A well-constructed and properly intentioned gratitude program is one that encourages anyone to recognize anyone else at any time. Whether it is a patient recognizing their doctor or nurse, a doctor recognizing maintenance staff, or a nurse highlighting a security guard, gratitude should always be more than a “program.”  Having a culture that fosters the expression of gratitude can be a powerful part of a healthy workplace environment.  It is also a means to understand and eliminate unconscious bias that may exist by learning who is being recognized and how often.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to learn which departments are engaged with the recognition program and which aren’t?  Or if physicians were being recognized by staff, but they weren’t reciprocating that appreciation in return.  Using these tools to identify gaps and taking actions to address them is a valuable exercise in developing a healthier workplace.

If you need help finding ways to recruit and retain physicians for your vacancies, partner with a firm that was founded on decades of healthcare industry success. Contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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New AAPPR Survey Sheds Light on Physician Recruitment Technology Adoption

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There’s no disputing that physician recruiters benefit from today’s sophisticated recruitment and marketing technologies. To hire physicians who fit the culture and will succeed in the role, recruiters need to be able to reach them where they are with the right messaging. Technology serves to streamline that process. Let’s look at the ways in which in-house recruiters use technology and how access to the right technology stack differs based on the size of the organization.

 

New Survey by the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) Clarifies Technology Adoption by In-house Recruitment Teams

Jackson Physician Search recently sponsored a new AAPPR survey that examined how in-house physician and provider recruitment professionals use technology for applicant tracking, time management, communication, and general staff productivity. The resulting survey, titled ‘Physician Recruitment Technology Utilization and Satisfaction Study,’ shed much-needed light on how healthcare organizations – both large and small – invested in and used this technology. In the process, AAPPR learned that investments in technology to support physician recruitment lags behind other technology investments by hospitals and health systems.

Furthermore, healthcare organizations with smaller in-house recruitment teams who perform 50 or fewer searches per year are at a disadvantage in this competitive physician recruitment environment, as they have made fewer investments in recruitment technology.  Larger healthcare organizations and health systems (those who conduct more than 200 searches per year) often have more resources to spend on technology that can create efficiencies in their recruitment and hiring process.

 

Investments in Physician Recruitment Technology

With the astronomical pace of advancing technologies, one would assume that healthcare organizations would all be investing in technology as a way to improve efficiency and create greater success in physician and provider recruitment.  According to survey respondents, 60% of organizations have made sizable investments in technologies designed to improve the daily processes of their recruitment professionals.  As expected, larger health systems have invested more money and more frequently, while smaller health systems report that they have never made a significant investment in recruitment-centered technologies.  Overall, less than half of the survey respondents cited a large investment in technology in the past twelve months.

Larger healthcare organizations that employ sizable in-house recruitment teams are better positioned to take advantage of available technologies that can create an edge in the competitive recruitment environment. Smaller health systems typically don’t have the budgets to support major tech investments. One way smaller healthcare organizations can level the playing field is by partnering with an outside physician recruitment firm that can provide smaller organizations with access to technology and candidate pools that they don’t have on their own.

 

Types of Technology in Use

Applicant Tracking Systems and Customer Relationship Management Systems

Out of all available technologies, over 94% of in-house recruitment professionals are utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and/or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  Unlike the difference between large and small health systems concerning technology investments, it appears that an ATS and/or CRMs are integral to recruitment teams of any size.  Almost 90% of the smallest healthcare organizations and up to 100% of the largest health systems are using an ATS and/or CRM.  The difference between large and small organizations is that the larger in-house recruitment teams are using commercially available ATS/CRM technologies.  Small health systems with fewer in-house recruiters are using homegrown systems such as Excel spreadsheets or other systems they have developed in-house.

While spreadsheets are good for many things, managing critical recruitment functions is not one of them. These types of inefficiencies in the recruitment process can be the difference between landing the perfect candidate for your physician vacancy or losing out to a competitor. Smaller in-house recruitment teams that are losing candidates or are unable to reach candidate pools need to advocate to their administrators that a technology boost is needed.  A compelling case can be made that with today’s physician shortages, having a digital recruitment strategy is a critical component in finding and hiring qualified candidates.

 

Broadcast Emails

The key to successful physician recruitment is to reach candidates through a variety of means. From engaging them on social media platforms or connecting with them via email, physicians are as digitally connected as most Americans.  Utilizing broadcast emails was another area where the size of the organization didn’t matter in the survey results.  Almost 83% of all healthcare organizations use broadcast emails in their sourcing efforts.

For medical practices, hospitals, and healthcare systems, physician recruitment has become much more than posting openings to job boards or sending out mass emails to candidates in their database.  Targeted recruitment is the key to reaching passive physician candidates who are not actively seeking new opportunities.  This is another area where large in-house recruitment teams and permanent physician search firms have an advantage – they are more likely to have well-nurtured and segmented candidate pools.  Smaller healthcare organizations can close this gap by developing a relationship with a trusted search partner.  An experienced physician recruitment firm can supplement an in-house recruitment team’s efforts with a digital recruitment strategy that includes access to a nationwide candidate pool and critical technologies.

 

Other Software Technologies

One of the more surprising aspects of the recruitment professionals’ responses to the AAPPR survey was an apparent lack of motivation to integrate other sources of software technologies designed to create efficiency in their processes.  For example, software designed for time management, social media management, or onboarding functions are only used by a small fraction of in-house recruitment teams.  The largest health systems, and especially those that employ ATS and CRM systems, are more likely than others to use these additional types of software, but the small numbers were still surprising.  Only 8% of recruiters use time management software, another 8% use a social media management platform, while only 13.5% use onboarding software.

Clearly, technology is ubiquitous in today’s society.  You would be hard pressed to name someone who doesn’t use a cell phone than to name five people who do, but the inconsistent usage of recruitment and other software technologies is certainly something to keep an eye on over the next few years.  As competition in the physician recruitment marketplace continues to increase, healthcare organizations of all sizes will continue to look for ways to gain an edge in attracting candidates to their searches.  In many cases, that edge can be gained through finding ways to implement technology solutions to create efficiency and improve communication channels with those they are trying to reach.

If you want to partner with a physician recruitment firm that combines decades of industry experience and access to the latest recruitment technologies, contact Jackson Physician Search today and learn more about what we can do for you.

The Jackson Physician Search team wishes to thank AAPPR for conducting such a well-conceived and informative survey and for allowing our sponsorship. You can download the full ‘Physician Recruitment Technology Utilization and Satisfaction Study’ here.

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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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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

By

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.