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By reading this study, members will learn to:
- Develop a comprehensive process for conducting effective physician PI conversations
- Implement strategies for promoting the adoption of evidence-based practice
- Assess opportunities for aligning physician incentives through performance-based practice
- Evaluate approaches for engaging ambulatory-based providers in PI initiatives
Growing pressure on the health care industry to reduce costs while improving quality has made strong physician partnerships even more crucial. We’ve reached a critical juncture, where providers are defining how they will work together as health care transitions to a performance-based environment.
The partnership challenge—intensified
Organizations will take different paths in doing so, but all leaders must prioritize the development of a robust physician performance improvement (PI) strategy.
Focus on performance data transparency, evidence-based practice
With physicians in short supply, few organizations will have the option of winnowing down their physician network to only the highest-quality providers. Instead, organizations must focus on identifying new ways to partner with physicians to raise the quality bar.
Engaging physicians one-on-one with performance data will be an important determinant of PI success. This is still a relatively new and uncomfortable skill for many leaders, as 94% of organizations are not regularly providing physicians with their performance data through one-on-one conversations.
Physician PI strategies, meanwhile, must balance efforts to elevate individual performance with a systems-based approach to delivering more reliable, high quality, and cost-effective care. Evidence-based practice will be particularly crucial to this endeavor, and there is much room for improvement: 56% of physicians are not consistently using clinical guidelines when they are available.
Prepare for mutual accountability
To enfranchise physicians in PI goals and overcome the misalignment of the current reimbursement system, organizations will also need to adapt their physician incentives to balance broader performance metrics—and perhaps even entirely new measures—of clinical productivity.
Finally, as the scope of provider accountability expands across the continuum, organizations need to develop strategies for proactively engaging ambulatory-based providers in PI. While ambulatory performance management is uncharted territory for most providers, it is important to develop an ambulatory quality strategy now to position the health system for long-term success.
Essay: The New Performance Imperative