There is a growing focus on patient experience and patient satisfaction scores as key indicators of quality for organizations in the healthcare industry. Because of this, hospitals and healthcare facilities are being forced to find and implement new strategies to improve the experience they provide to their patients.
Our guest blogger, William K. Cors, MD, MMM, CPE, FAAPL, is an experienced physician executive with a background that includes 15 years of clinical practice and over 20 years of executive hospital/health system management experience, plus additional experience as a national healthcare consultant.
His recipe for a great patient experience? Great practitioners. Here’s a five-step process for how to find them. (Or read the full blog post written by Dr. Cors here).
1. Recognize that past behavior is the best predictor of future success.
Making better hiring decisions requires a clear and credible understanding of a physician-candidate’s past performance—pertinent documentation is mandatory as is a real-world grasp of performance in clinical settings. Professional references are the best source for insight on past performance.
2. Determine in advance what competencies to look for.
Practitioner performance is about more than technical ability. Adopt or adapt vetted frameworks from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or The Joint Commission (TJC) to identify multiple performance factors and establish a clear rubric for recruiters and hiring managers.
3. Develop a rigorous credentialing process.
Apply the basic principles of medical staff credentialing and privileging to the employment process when evaluating an applicant. Diligent organizations recognize that multiple sources of information should be pursued simultaneously and checklists should be established to flag—and resolve—potential conflicts before moving forward.
4. Practice behavioral-based interviewing.
To understand how a practitioner would handle actual case scenarios, ask. Behavior-based questions explore how a practitioner handled a situation in the past, allowing hiring managers to probe a practitioner’s strengths and weaknesses, decision making processes, and even hidden biases.
5. Apply best practices when seeking peer references.
Peer references are the best way to understand the current competency of a practitioner to perform requested privileges. References who’ve directly observed a practitioner’s performance should be asked specific questions about clinical knowledge, skills, and judgement. Peer references can also shed light on a practitioner’s “soft skills,” their ability to communicate effectively with staff and patients, embrace your organization’s culture of care, or conduct themselves professionally at all times.
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