Effective physician management must be a priority of every hospital CEO who has acquired physicians, every practice manager, and indeed, every provider. Whether a single physician practice or a 500 provider hospital, the goal is the same; keep physicians happy and productive.
Physicians’ falls into several categories and as such have different expectations and priorities. Recognizing this and meeting those expectations creates the environment for productivity to flourish.
In regard to physician management, there are many ways to categorize physicians and many studies have been done to effectively use personality differences to predict what kind of physician a personality is best suited. But for this purpose, we will use 4 broad categories.
- Dr. Digital – as the title implies, this physician embraces technology and easily converts from manual to electronic medical records. They use technology to their advantage and love new “gadgets”. They may be a success at your organization when they are the physician champion of new technology. Get them involved in digital decision making and they will be happy and productive.
- Dr. Listener – usually an older and established provider who allows patients to talk. This Physician is good for organization as he attracts and keeps loyal patients who keep coming back for generations. He may be digitally challenged, so hire a scribe for him to complete the EHR. Because he takes time with patients, be sure the coding of his visits is appropriate. Don’t be afraid to use his time with patients to your advantage by making sure you are coding everything done during visit. His average office visit coding may be higher than most.
- Dr. Cutter – this may be your most productive physician. He/she lives and breathes to cut. They are constantly beating the bushes for cases and will work long hours in OR for big dollar cases. The downside is that they do little else. Documentation is usually behind and sketchy so maximize their time with a very good coder and scribe. Use this physician on trauma committees and recognize them as heroes. They will love it and work even harder.
- Dr. Meticulous – analytical, entrepreneurial and an asset in board meetings when spreadsheet knowledge and bigger picture efforts are outlined. They are good utilizers of ancillary services and are driven to find answers. They can be picky, but most often strive to find right answers to tough questions. They usually have excellent staffs that are also meticulous in their efforts. An asset to the organization and though requiring more time and effort, a leader who can influence others.
Of course no one falls into a single category. Most are a complex combination of the above and the real challenge is to take the time to get to know the physicians well enough to discover their assets and deficits. Physician management will be the key to your organizational success.