How do you hold difficult conversations with doctors?

Expert Q&A with the Clinical Advisory Board's physician relations team

I sometimes dread my difficult conversations with doctors, from delivering performance reviews or trying to convince them to buy into our quality initiatives. There's got to be a better way, right?

We know – having certain conservations with providers can be challenging, and it isn't always easy to effectively communicate tough messages to strong-willed doctors. One of the best resources here is the Clinical Advisory Board's The New Quality Compact, which aims to help members develop a comprehensive process for:

  • Conducting effective physician performance improvement conversations;
  • Implementing strategies for promoting the adoption of evidence-based practice;
  • Assessing opportunities for aligning physician incentives to support performance goals; and
  • Evaluating approaches for engaging ambulatory-based providers in performance improvement initiatives.

Best practices are helpful, but what about real-world examples?

See our Physician Performance Improvement Compendium. There are case study examples of how other organizations have prepared physician leaders to engage their peers in quality improvement; it also includes tools and resources for leading peer-to-peer performance conversations.

You could also review the Crimson Continuum of Care's Modeling Difficult Physician Conversations, which includes a small video library that offers tactics on how to lead productive performance conversations, overcome physician opposition to data and performance tracking, and more.


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