Reducing Paperwork to Help Combat Physician Burnout

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In January, Medscape released the results of their 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report.  This comprehensive report collected information from 15,000 physicians in 29 different specialties.  While 44% of physician respondents reported feeling burned out, and another 15% reported being colloquially or clinically depressed, the driver behind these responses may surprise you. Almost 60% of respondents reported that they are burdened by too many bureaucratic tasks like charting and paperwork.  The next closest factor as identified in the survey was spending too many hours at work which came in at 34%.

Clearly, if physicians are telling us that working too many hours is contributing to their feelings of burnout, imagine how frustrating it would be to know that paperwork and bureaucracy is one of the leading reasons for your long work days. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine determined that for every hour a doctor is treating patients, they are spending two hours on paperwork! Burdensome clerical activity is even creeping into the time physicians are examining their patients as the study found that almost 37% of the face-to-face patient time is spent on electronic health records (EHR) and other clerical work.

Ways to reduce administrative burdens

If the results of these studies sound all too familiar, here are several ways you can alleviate some of that workload and free up more time to spend on patient care.

Get Involved – Believe it or not, health care industry leaders and federal agencies all realize that change is needed to allow physicians to spend more time focused on their patient and less on recordkeeping. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is initiating changes to reduce the administrative burden on Physicians as part of its comprehensive “Patients over Paperwork” initiative. Physicians that have identified confusing and/or time consuming documentation are encouraged to report them to ReducingProviderBurden@cms.hhs.gov.

Share the Burden – Physicians at UCLA Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are reducing the amount of time they spend on documentation through new virtual note-taking technology, Our Notes. Developed by OpenNotes, the concept promotes having the patients participate in the note-taking process in collaboration with the physician.  Research has shown that involving the patient in documenting the visit leads to increased patient engagement and improved communication between the physician and the patient.

Smart Glasses – Another exciting tech development that healthcare organizations are piloting involves Google’s Smart Glasses.  Recently relaunched, the Smart Glasses are set up to link with proprietary software, like Augmedix, a remote scribe service that records all of the clinical notes for the physician.  Clinicians who are using this technology report that the device is shaving as much as 30% from their administrative time which can be used for additional patients or improving their quality of life.

Whether through regulatory changes, technology, or even hiring additional support staff, like Medical Assistants, healthcare industry leaders realize that changes need to be made to support physicians.  More doctors are feeling the effects of burnout and reducing the amount of time they are spending on documentation and bureaucracy is one way to help them manage their work-related pressures.

If you are ready to explore new career opportunities or find an organization that is a better fit for you personally and professionally, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.  Our team has decades of industry experience and a nationwide reach to find you the best fit for the next step in your career.

 

Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Five Ways Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Is your career as a physician becoming less satisfying?  Ranked as one of the most trusted professions, some doctors today are not feeling the…

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Physician salaries are increasing at a slower pace. According to the AMGA, 2017 was the first year that physician compensation increased by less than 2% in…

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Why Relationships and Workplace Culture Matter to Physicians

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Much has been written about the rising prevalence of burnout among today’s physicians, with estimates approaching up to 70% feeling the effects.  Unfortunately, when approaches on how to improve physician wellness and reduce burnout are addressed, they are usually centered upon self-care, practicing mindfulness, self-awareness and other strategies that place much of the burden on the physician themselves.  Organizations and administrators who are placing the burnout burden right back on the shoulders of their own physicians are losing sight of a much larger issue.

Physician wellness is directly impacted by workplace culture.  That is not to discount other underlying factors, including work hours, patient loads, and administrative burdens, lack of autonomy, excessive bureaucracy, and other frustrations.  What hospital administrators and executives might be overlooking is the fact that one of the top reasons physicians leave a job is a lack of cultural fit and not compensation.  Gallup reported a direct link between staff understanding an organization’s purpose and culture and the achievement of quality healthcare.

Physicians, like most people who have spent their life building a career, want a sense of fulfillment and personal accomplishment.  And, to achieve that holistically, it needs to encompass more than the patient-facing aspect of their professional life.  When they, like any employee, feels engaged in their work for an organization that espouses values similar to their own, they are happier and less likely to suffer from negative stressors.  A recent Mayo Clinic White Paper on Executive Leadership and Physician Well-being outlined nine strategies to promote physician engagement and reduce burnout.  Among the findings included organizational leaders having to acknowledge that there is a problem.  A Jackson Physician Search survey showed that administrators believe their physicians are much more in alignment with the organization than the physicians are in reality.  One consideration in finding out if there is a gap between belief and reality is through improved communication with staff at all levels.  Others rely on annual surveys to get the feedback they need to take appropriate actions.

Another strategy identified by the Mayo Clinic paper recommends cultivating community in the workplace. This goes further than celebrating achievements and having pot luck luncheons.  More importantly, it is fostering the unique relationships that physicians have with their colleagues. In the past, a physician’s lounge was a place where doctors would go to discuss shared experiences, develop interpersonal connections, and seek and provide critical peer support.  Today’s focus on productivity requirements, administrative burdens, and other clerical demands have contributed to the erosion of these collegial relationships and can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation for the physicians.

Strengthening values and culture is a strategy that most health care organizations, until recently, have not given the weight of importance that it deserves.  In most healthcare-related organizations, the mission statement speaks to serving patients and providing compassionate, quality care.  What’s often missing is that to achieve that mission, an organization’s culture, values, and principles must be in alignment, thereby creating the foundation for achievement.

Other strategies to promote physician engagement, as discussed in the Mayo Clinic report, include the promotion of flexibility and work-life integration, providing the resources for self-care, and facilitating organizational studies to research new approaches supporting their physician team.

To see all nine strategies for physician well-being from the Mayo Clinic report, click here.

To learn more about how culture, values, and fit matter when filling your physician or advanced practice vacancies, contact the industry experts at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

How Culture Affects Physician Retention

Culture and Physician Retention

Imagine a workplace where medical professionals at all levels are highly respectful. Too many hospitals today are losing…

Physician Burnout and Cultural Fit

The Link Between Physician Burnout and Cultural Fit

Physicians today are suffering the effects of burnout at higher rates than ever before.  If someone were to…

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How Smart Recruitment Helped An FQHC Expand Services

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The state of Healthcare for FQHCs and Rural Communities

According to data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will have a projected shortage of physicians that could reach over 120,000 by the end of the next decade.  Especially hard hit are rural communities, served by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which are dealing with primary care shortages and also a lack of resources to address other healthcare needs.  In communities throughout the U.S., healthcare providers are struggling with an increased demand for behavioral, mental health and addiction treatment services.  In rural America, the problem is compounded because FQHCs are often relying on family practice physicians to provide these expanded services to the community.

In 2000, Congress passed the Drug Addiction Treatment Act, known as DATA 2000, allowing physicians to prescribe FDA-approved medications for the treatment of addiction and other mental health needs. Originally, DATA 2000 was enacted with restrictions limiting the number of patients a family care practitioner can treat at one time under the plan.  As the mental and behavioral health needs of the community grow, practitioners at FQHCs are applying for waivers that expand the number of patients they can treat under DATA 2000.

This scenario serves to illustrate how critical it is for FQHCs in rural communities to effectively recruit and retain primary care physicians who not only have the skills but are willing to earn the certifications necessary to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of their communities. Today, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers, almost 70% of Health Centers have a physician vacancy.

How one Rural FQHC Expanded Services and Access to Care

In many communities, the local health center is the sole healthcare provider available to the residents who live there.  FQHCs operate under federal funding and often rely on grants and other creative funding sources for recruitment purposes and expansion of services when needed.  Recently, an FQHC located in rural Vermont was dealing with a primary care vacancy at the same time they were trying to expand their mental health services offering.  Because of the length of time needed to fill vacancies in the past, they turned to Jackson Physician Search for help in meeting the stringent timeline associated with a federal grant they had received.  The grant funding was set to expire within a few months leading the FQHC to find a recruitment partner with national reach and a proven success rate.  Their requirement called for a family care physician who had experience treating all age groups and would also be willing and able to meet the certification requirements for a DATA 2000 waiver.  The waiver was a critical component of the FQHCs expansion of services for the growing mental and behavioral health needs of their community.  Ultimately, JPS presented a successful candidate that met the family practice requirements, was open to an accelerated relocation process, and will have the DATA 2000 waiver certification completed within the time required.

The above recruitment story is all too familiar to many FQHC Administrators.  As the primary care shortage continues impacting the healthcare industry, health centers will be navigating these challenges while finding new ways to serve their communities.

If your organization has a physician recruitment need, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search to find out how we can help.

Physician Recruitment Issues Affecting FQHC

What to Do About the Biggest Physician Recruitment Issues Affecting FQHC’s in 2019

As physician recruitment becomes even more competitive each year, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are feeling the brunt of the challenges. Jackson Physician Search…

Extreme Physician Shortage

What You Should Know About Physician Recruitment ROI

The combination of the current workforce shortage and an ineffective recruitment strategy can be costly to your organization and the community. The physician shortage…

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2019 Hiring Outlook for Residents

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If 2019 is your last year of residency, you are probably in the full-on throes of securing your first job post-residency!  While it can be a stressful time, it is also an opportunity to solidify the notion of getting your physician career off to a successful start.  Since 2019 will be spent exploring opportunities, let’s take a look at what is in store for Residents this year.

The good news is that you chose a career that is in high demand and will be for the foreseeable future.  In 2018, physician jobs grew by 7% compared to 5.1% in 2017.  As the national economy continues to grow, more people will be in the workforce, presumably leading to more individuals having company provided healthcare.  Here are several things to consider when exploring your post-residency job opportunities.

Geography Matters.  As it does in real estate, location can play a large part in deciding on your first job.  Those who are flexible in where they settle down will have greater choice and opportunities.  For example, while physician job postings across the board grew significantly in 2018, the overall demand was highly dependent upon geography. Growth was highest in areas like Tucson (20%), Los Angeles and Chicago (19%), Little Rock, Arkansas (18%), and Baltimore (17%).

Consider going country.  Many young physicians are drawn to large urban areas with the idea that it is where they will earn the most money.  While true in many cases, it also comes with its share of cautionary tales.  Large urban practices are not for everybody, and some young doctors can get lost in the shuffle.  An alternative may be to practice in a rural setting where you may have an opportunity to begin your career with better work/life balance.  Practicing in a smaller community setting gives you a sense of stature, and forces you to utilize all of your skills (and develop new ones).  Plus, compensation concerns are not the issue they were in the past.

Do your homework.  Because of the demand market, there is no need to jump at the first opportunity you are presented with during your job search.  Instead, treat each opportunity as you would a puzzling medical condition. Avoid jumping right in with a decision and do some homework on the organization. How stable is their leadership team, do they have a solid strategic plan for addressing the rapidly changing healthcare landscape?  If it is a smaller physician practice, what is their rate of turnover, are any key players planning to leave or retire? Understanding the business is just as important as the nuts and bolts of any offers they are presenting.

Culture and fit matters.  As important as it is for you to understand the organization as a business, it is equally important to understand its workplace culture.  The interview process is a good place to assess the culture of a potential work environment.  Spend some time in the coffee shop or cafeteria and strike up a conversation with some of the physicians or residents you meet. If it is an opportunity out of state or in a location you are unfamiliar with, spend time in the community, and visit the chamber of commerce to learn about recreational and cultural activities.  All of this matters if you want to set yourself up for making the right decision.

Only you can determine the best “first” job for your career as a physician.  It takes introspection to determine what type of practice setting is going to be your best opportunity for success. No physician wants to jump into what they thought was the perfect opportunity, only to find themselves exhausted, disillusioned, and back out on a new job search within a few short years.

If you are looking for a career partner that can help you navigate the process of finding a successful opportunity post-residency, Jackson Physician Search has an experienced team of recruitment professionals and a nationwide network of relationships to help you find your best fit. Contact us today.

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Physician salaries are increasing at a slower pace. According to the AMGA, 2017 was the first year that physician compensation increased by less than 2%…

Physician Recruiter and Team

How to Ignite Your Career with a Physician Recruiter

Not every job search is created equal.  For many professions, a job search can be as comprehensive as visiting a job board…

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Overcoming the Extreme Physician Shortage in 2019

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For several years now, healthcare industry thought leaders have been telling us that there was a looming physician shortage on the horizon.  Initially, it was reported that primary care was going to be the hardest hit because of an aging baby boomer population, an influx of newly covered patients through the Affordable Care Act, and the fact that over 30% of active physicians will be 65 or older by the year 2030. The initial primary and urgent care perspective still rings true. However, the physician shortage is actually impacting specialties across the spectrum of care.

According to Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) research data, the primary care shortage can be as many as 43,100 by the year 2030, while non-primary care specialties may experience a shortfall of up to 61,000 physicians.  Within those numbers, certain specialties, such as emergency medicine, neurology, psychiatry, anesthesiology, and others may experience a shortage of between 18,600 and 31,800 by the year 2030.

As concerning as the data is currently, it may actually get worse before it gets better. There is a large segment of our population that remains underserved.  According to AAMC data, as barriers to utilization are lifted through health law changes, more non-insured Americans are accessing health care.  Studies show that if all Americans accessed health care at the same levels as those who have typical employer-sponsored health care, we would need close to 100,000 additional physicians to provide their care.

There are no easy solutions to resolve the physician shortage crisis, but here are a few things worth keeping an eye on throughout the rest of 2019.

Increase residency programs.  Medical schools have taken steps to increase class sizes, yet the federal bureaucracy hasn’t increased support for residency programs commensurately.  The AAMC is calling on lawmakers to increase residency slots by an additional 3,000 annually for five years to support an increase in practicing physicians.

Streamline licensing process for international medical school graduates.  Did you know that almost 25% of today’s physician workforce are international medical graduates? Studies show that while these international graduates provide care on par or better than U.S. trained doctors, they face a cumbersome and complex licensure process to practice here. Further, they are required to complete redundant training programs here in the U.S. before licensure. At the risk of oversimplification, lawmakers and healthcare industry leaders should be able to resolve this by promoting legislation that simplifies the process.

Rising salaries and creative compensation.  Since 2013, salaries for Primary Care physicians have risen 10%, and in many cases more based on geographic location.  Because competition for physician services is so fierce, healthcare organizations are finding new and creative ways to entice candidates to their vacancies.  Signing bonuses and tuition repayment is one way that physicians are making more money, but other enticements include flexible scheduling, reduction or elimination of “call,” and much more.  Facilities in rural and underserved areas are feeling the recruitment crunch because the enticements they used to be able to offer exclusively, are now becoming commonplace.

Balancing non-physician utilization and technology.  Most organizations have focused their physician shortage efforts on developing a greater reliance on non-physicians.  Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and locum tenens are all being used in greater numbers to fill workforce vacancies. Additionally, technologic innovations can also serve to increase access to care and increase the efficiency of monitoring and managing a chronic condition. Mobile health technology and the utilization of biometric sensors are increasingly more popular among individuals who are interested in being more involved in their healthcare.

Jackson Physician Search can help your organization address both short- and long-term physician shortage strategies.  Our recruitment professionals have decades of industry experience, and our thought leadership can provide you with proven strategies to improve your physician recruitment and retention programs.  Contact us today to learn more.

Benchmarking Your Recruitment Tactics

Benchmarking to Improve Your Recruitment Process

This is the second in an ongoing series summarizing the findings in a recent white paper published by the President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar. To read “Physician Recruitment: The…

Create a Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

How to Create a Cultural Blueprint for Successful Physician Recruitment

Culture is defined as “values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that employees share and exhibit on a daily basis in their work and in the community”. And, lack of cultural fit is among the top…

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What to Do About the Biggest Physician Recruitment Issues Affecting FQHC’s in 2019

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As physician recruitment becomes even more competitive each year, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are feeling the brunt of the challenges. Jackson Physician Search, in partnership with CommonWealth Purchasing Group, recently published a white paper on the Issues Affecting FQHC’s.  Here is a brief synopsis of the major talking points.

Shrinking Candidate Pool

The National Association of Community Health Centers is reporting that at least 95% of all health centers are reporting a clinical vacancy, with 70% of those being a physician opening.  Because CHC’s are expected to be managing the care of more than 35 million patients by 2020, not having candidates to fill vacancies is going to be impacting communities across the United States.  As you might expect, primary care is the hardest hit regarding vacancies, but keep in mind that CHC’s are providing a broader range of services than traditional primary care. Reports show that less than 6% of medical students plan to practice Family Medicine and 2% are pursuing internal medicine.

Compensation Models Have Changed

In years past, CHC’s would promote “non-monetary” benefits to practicing in a CHC. Things like a better schedule and quality of work/life balance, all used to be part of the draw to a small health center. Those advantages are no longer exclusive to CHC’s and rural practice settings.  Now, hospitals of all sizes are using every means available to attract qualified candidates in this highly competitive recruitment environment.  Salaries and sign-on bonuses are rising, loan forgiveness is being offered, and FQHC’s are having a difficult time keeping pace.

Four Things that FQHC’s Can Do to Recruit and Retain Staff

  1. Develop a Brand Strategy and Recruitment Marketing Plan – Less than 25% of FQHC’s have a fully implemented marketing plan. Physicians today are more interested in things like organizational culture and work environment than in years past. This is an area that a smaller health center can excel at if the time and attention is paid to developing a winning brand that highlights culture, values, and work/life balance.
  2. Develop Local and Regional Outreach Campaigns – FQHC’s can compete through the development of training partnerships with local or regional academic institutions. Attracting and retaining local talent can be accomplished with a solid brand strategy, promoting training partnerships, shadowing and mentor programs and other similar community relationships that draw candidates into a facility.
  3. Create a Comprehensive Retention Program – Recruiting a physician is only one-half of the battle. Having to replace a physician can take as long as 24 months and cost more than $500,000. By developing internal systems that monitor physician and staff satisfaction and continually cultivate a positive workplace culture, health centers can proactively achieve better retention. Also, by focusing on the type of employee that embodies their culture, they are prone to attract and hire individuals who fit that culture.
  4. Review Your Compensation Model and Delivery Team – Health centers are no longer able to get physicians “at a discount.” Salaries are much more competitive today across all practice settings, so CHC’s are being forced to be more creative. Implementing productivity metrics is one way to improve a physician’s base salary. CHC’s are also more commonly offering 3- or 4-day work weeks as a quality of life benefit.  This trend coincides with the utilization of more nurse practitioners and physician assistants to supplement the staff.

There is no simple answer to how FQHC’s can compete in the ultra-competitive physician recruitment and retention environment.  What is required is a fully developed strategy that incorporates many or all of the elements identified.  As Community Health Centers continue to play an integral role in the healthcare industry and more importantly in helping the patients and communities where they are located, it is critical that we as an industry support their needs.

If you are looking for a partner with the resources, experience, and nationwide reach to help solve your critical recruitment and retention challenges, contact Jackson Physician Search and find out how we can help today.

 

Jackson Physician Search Issues Affecting FQHCs White Paper

[White Paper] Issues Affecting FQHCs: What will it take for Federally Qualified Health Centers to survive in today’s healthcare physician recruiting climate?

Physician vacancies are affecting the majority of health centers across the country. This paper examines some of the recruitment and retention challenges that Federally Qualified Health Centers are…

Physician Hiring Outlook

2019 Outlook for Hiring Physicians

For several years, reports of the ongoing physician shortage have dominated the headlines.  To give healthcare leaders the comprehensive information they need to invest and adjust…

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Is it Time to Reconsider the Benefits of Private Practice?

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In recent years, much has been written about the numbers of physicians leaving private practice for hospital employment.  Unfortunately for many, the decision to leave a private practice has turned out to be like “jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.”  Many physicians who thought it was time to leave a private practice setting are now having second thoughts or experiencing signs of burnout. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it is time to reconsider the benefits of private practice.

More Autonomy

When was the last time a hospital administrator asked you for your opinion on how to improve the patient experience or create a better staff culture?  In a private practice setting, those kinds of decisions are yours to make or at a minimum be a part of the discussion.  In private practice, you can base your decisions on patient care, not a policy drafted by others who may be several years removed from the doctor-patient experience.

Workplace Culture

In a recent study, less than 50% of physicians in a hospital setting feel like they are always treated with respect.  Increasingly, in today’s healthcare workplace, culture is playing a greater role in the recruitment and retention of staff. In a private practice setting, if you are experiencing a toxic culture, look no further than the closest mirror.  You and your practice partners have the ability to create whatever type of environment works best for you and the staff.

Work/Life Balance

In private practice, you get to control how many patients per day you are going to see. You also get to decide when and how much you are going to work.  Determining what the right work/life balance is for you is a decision that can only be made by you (and your loved ones).  The good news is that if the mood strikes and you want to get away for a few days in wine country or hit the mountains for a quick ski trip, you can make it happen.

Patient Relationships

In private practice, especially in a primary care setting, you are establishing relationships with the patients you treat. Studies show that an ongoing physician-patient relationship results in greater satisfaction for both the physician and the patient.  This improved patient experience also leads to more referrals and favorable outcomes. A private practice becomes part of the fabric of a community and being connected to that care setting cannot be discounted.

Compensation

Most private practice settings allow you to set your own fees and work as many hours as you want to earn more money.  Even more so, for sub-specialties, seeing more patients means more money versus hospital system salary structures.  Additionally, efficiencies and other workflow improvements have a greater impact on the bottom-line in a private setting.  As the owner or major partner of the private practice, you decide what to do with the profits earned.

If you are interested in learning more about the private practice opportunities that Jackson Physician Search has available right now, contact a recruitment professional today.  

 

Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Five Ways Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Is your career as a physician becoming less satisfying?  Ranked as one of the most trusted professions, some doctors today are not feeling…

5 Reasons Why Doctors Search for a New Jobs

Five Reasons Why Doctors Search For a New Job

If you pay any attention at all to the stock market or financial news, you already know that the economy is booming and…

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What is the ‘Physician’s Contribution’ Really Worth?

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This is the third article in an ongoing series summarizing the findings in a recent white paper published by the President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar. To read “Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment” in its entirety, find it here.

In our last article, we looked at how organizations can utilize benchmarking to drill down and find the true costs of your recruitment and hiring process.  While it is important to benchmark against national medians to understand how physician compensation and your recruitment costs will impact your return on investment, it doesn’t tell you the whole story.  Other variables that play an important role in ROI consideration are payer mix, your market’s clinician supply/demand, quality incentive payouts, and cost of living.

Finally, a big piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked is ‘Physician Contribution.’  Simply put, physician’s contribution relates to the typical inpatient and outpatient revenues, referral revenues, and other incomes not directly related to patient care. For example, a primary care physician can generate as much as $1.5 million in indirect revenue, from labs to imaging, and hospital admissions. Additionally, as much as 10% of primary care visits result in specialty referrals!

While examining the data, it is easy to pinpoint your revenue generation indicators, what your specific referral ratios are for each physician by department, and more.  With that, you are still missing pieces of the revenue puzzle.  Physician’s contribution also includes non-monetary benefits that can’t be discounted.

Non-monetary conditions include better staff morale and patient satisfaction because the department is fully staffed.  Patients are less likely to migrate to a new provider because their needs are being met in an environment that is noticeably more efficient and timely.  Physician retention and overall organizational culture will improve leading to lower turnover, shorter vacancies, and improved fill rates.  It is important to recognize the link between a healthy culture and physician recruitment and retention.  Healthy workplace culture is not a condition that is hidden from view. Being recognized as a great place to work is generally known within community circles and any physician, or any potential staff member, doing their due diligence on a job opportunity will learn that information.

Organizations that aren’t focused on creating a healthy culture will ultimately pay a price.  Research demonstrates a direct link between culture and performance measurables related to healthcare. In a healthy workplace culture where the clinical staff understands their role and how it relates to the organization’s mission and values, you can find a 33% increase in overall quality.

If your organization is behind the curve on developing and maintaining a healthy culture, or if you are looking to improve your recruitment and retention process, contact us today and find out how Jackson Physician Search can help.

Benchmarking Your Recruitment Tactics

Benchmarking to Improve Your Recruitment Process

This is the second in an ongoing series summarizing the findings in a recent white paper…

The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

This article is the first in a series of content that reflects upon the findings in a recent white paper published…

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Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

Benchmarking to Improve Your Recruitment Process

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This is the second in an ongoing series summarizing the findings in a recent white paper published by the President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar. To read “Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment” in its entirety, find it here.

In our first white paper summary, we highlighted how much vacancies are costing healthcare organizations. Now, let’s focus on how much it costs you to recruit and fill those physician vacancies.  As if healthcare organizations don’t lose enough revenue by having lingering vacancies in their physician ranks, having an inefficient recruitment process not only wastes time and money, it also keeps the vacancy open longer.

In thinking about your organization’s recruitment process answer this simple two-part question, ‘Are we measuring key recruitment metrics, and if so, are we acting on the data?’  If you answered no to either of the above, then your recruitment process is in dire need of attention.  Here are a few key indicators you should be measuring:

  • Time to Fill – Team Satisfaction Scores
  • # of Interviews to Hire
  • # of New and Returning Patients
  • Acceptance Rate percentage
  • Three- and Five-year retention rates
  • Physician Satisfaction Scores

Benchmarking your recruitment process from top to bottom allows you to reveal inefficiencies and make the necessary corrections for improvement. No matter how successful your recruitment process may have been in the past, as times change and the candidate profiles change, what worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today.

A recent survey found that 95% of physicians want to receive job information by email, but the volume of contacts they receive are watering down the effectiveness of solicitation. Over 39% of physicians report multiple job solicitations each week. Compounding the issue is that doctors are finding that they are receiving relevant information less than 10% of the time. It is critical for organizations to do a deeper dive into creating targeted emails that resonate with the recipients. Refining the email content to be more relevant can be achieved if you are collecting the data and acting upon the results.

An effective way to engage physicians who may be interested in a career move, is through social media, as a surprising 87% of physicians between the ages of 26 and 55 are using social media platforms. The key for savvy healthcare organizations is to attract passive candidates by producing fresh, interesting content that sets you apart from your competitors. If physicians are drawn to your content because it piques their interest, you are essentially recruiting them before they even know it.

If you feel that your recruitment process is suffering from the same old, same old and your vacancies aren’t being filled in a reasonable timeframe, it may be time for a total recruitment makeover.  Check out our ‘Guide to Developing a Strategic Physician Recruitment Plan’, or contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

 

Jackson Physician Search Physician Recruitment ROI White Paper

[White Paper] Physician Recruitment: The Cost to Hire and Return on Investment

President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, gives insight into how vacancies and recruiting can quickly become costly. If you’re looking to optimize your ROI when it…

The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

According to a 2018 Association of Physician Recruiters’ (ASPR) survey, 40% of physician vacancies in 2017 went unfilled.  The largest …

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Click the Get Started button if you’re ready to speak with one of our physician recruitment experts.

The True Cost of Physician Vacancies

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This article is the first in a series of content that reflects upon the findings in a recent white paper published by Tony Stajduhar, President, of Jackson Physician Search, titled Physician Recruitment: The Costs to Hire and Return on Investment.

According to a 2018 Association of Physician Recruiters’ (ASPR) survey, 40% of physician vacancies in 2017 went unfilled.  The largest number of hiring searches were for family medicine, hospital medicine, internal medicine, neurology, and urgent care.  With these shortages in mind, it is even more concerning when you realize that by 2020, almost 33% of active physicians will be 65 years of age and older.  If you are struggling with filling physician vacancies, check out our Guide to Physician Recruitment.  But first, let’s examine the true cost of physician vacancies.

Loss of Revenue 

The first and most obvious cost of a physician vacancy is the loss of revenue. For example, a Gastroenterologist generates almost $2 million in gross charges, while an Orthopedic Surgeon can generate almost $1.8 million in charges. Annualizing these numbers show that a hospital or medical group can lose between $150,000 and $170,000 per month for specialist vacancies.

Patient Migration 

Not as clearly defined, but just as critical are the numbers of patients that are lost while there is a vacancy. If a physician leaves, there is the danger of losing all of the patients that were already loyal to that doctor, especially if there is not a viable alternative already on staff. Hospitals and groups also lose out on referrals and the peripheral losses of not having a flow of patient to doctor and doctor to doctor referrals.

Market Share 

When vacancies are unfilled, that doesn’t mean that patients needing services halt until the position is filled. Anytime patients are forced to seek specific services elsewhere, your competitor is reaping the benefit. Once a competitor has an opportunity to develop a relationship with someone who was once loyal to your facility, the opportunity to recover them as a client diminishes exponentially.

Longer Time to Fill = More Costs

Different specialties have a wide variation in the typical time to fill. Bearing in mind the monetary losses and the ancillary losses the length of time your vacancy goes unfilled is critical. The ASPR reports that a family medicine vacancy is typically open 4.3 months, while a surgical vacancy can be open for 10 months or more based on the specialty and the location.

 

It is clear that the demand for physicians, coupled with a dwindling supply is not going away anytime soon. As physician vacancies continue to go unfilled and healthcare organizations struggle to manage the costs, the industry as a whole will be in a perpetual state of “all hands on deck” until the physician pipeline is stable once again.

If your organization is all too familiar with the costs associated with lingering physician vacancies, check out our report on How to Create Growth and ROI through Recruitment and Retention.

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