At Connect 2021, we heard from two partners on how they implemented the Clinician Experience Project in their medical group and found great initial success.
At Connect 2021, we heard from two partners on how they implemented the Clinician Experience Project in their medical group and found great initial success. The first to share their story with us was Dr. Lynn Myers, Chief Medical and Quality Officer at Texas Health Physicians Group, who continues her story here…
Before we came up with Better Together Tuesday, our journey towards a valuable and effective well-being strategy had many twists and turns. We began with noncompulsory, in-person dinners, giving physicians a chance to share their stories and ask for advice from peers. These dinners were quite successful but only benefited the 15 to 20 providers that attended. With 1,100 physicians in our group, we needed something more accessible. This brought us to implement weekly hour-long virtual meetings before work at 7:30 or during lunch at 12. We provided a variety of content (from music therapy to chair exercises) and saw an increase in engagement, but we still fell short of the number of physicians we wanted to reach.
This shortcoming came with a realization. We all know the struggle physicians face when it comes to time management and their responsibilities – there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. We knew adding another responsibility wasn’t going to work. Still, we didn’t realize that having optional events take another hour of their time, even for a free dinner, was too demanding. Our providers were so spent that extending their day by one more hour was too much for them to bear. The entire purpose of this enterprise was to provide support for our providers, alleviating the burdens they currently carry. Hence, we knew right away that this method wouldn’t work.
From this realization, we came up with Better Together Tuesday. Instead of an hour, we just asked for 15 minutes each month, and rather than adding it to the beginning or end of their day, we scheduled it into their calendars like any regular meeting. Of course, we kept the ability for physicians to opt out. However, we found that many physicians would still attend as the brevity and accessibility of the meeting was much more favorable for them. Better Together Tuesday’s start with a five-minute tip from the Clinician Experience Project, leaving ten minutes for a directed discussion and questions. To help alleviate fears of participating, we leveraged the fact that our meetings are virtual by having participants write responses to questions first, then hitting send simultaneously. This eliminates the fear of going first or being the only person to respond, and often clinicians get to see how many of their peers struggle or succeed just like they do. With this added sense of camaraderie, we have seen greater participation. In fact, our numbers have been doubling each month since its start this fall. We seem to have found a scalable approach that is helping our clinicians.
Seeing Better Together Tuesday’s traction with our providers is extremely exciting. Because of it, I am happy to say that we will be continuing Better Together Tuesdays in 2022, and we will be further implementing it in our well-being initiative.
What strategies for coaching clinicians have you seen that work well? Let us know in the comments below or on Linkedin or Twitter.
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Lynn Myers, MD is the chief and medical quality officer for Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG). In this role, she leads quality initiatives/outcomes, clinical resource utilization, use of clinical information technology, medical education, and physician performance monitoring for physician practices within THPG.