It seems the focus on metric as the mission has had a disengaging impact on those providing care. Furthermore, it has propagated clinician burnout and initiative fatigue that is ultimately undermining the ever-important pursuit of patient centricity.
This is not to suggest that there aren’t pockets of hope. As we collaborate with our network of more than fifty health system partners, we are routinely asked about scalable and sustainable models to building organizational capacity to improve. As our partners look to produce outcomes, they are doubling down on their greatest assets—their clinicians and teams—to lead the charge.
Their ambition is this: Equip their entire clinical enterprise with the skills to not only meet the demands of the changing healthcare landscape, but to also enable clinicians to thrive in the midst of daily challenges, transform patient connection, and support them to be their best.
As organizations embark on this ambition, a common set of questions arise about how to shift the focus to learning, development, and recognition:
HOW DO WE MEANINGFULLY PARTNER WITH OUR CLINICIANS TO LEAD THE CHARGE?
Bottom line: Clinicians want to practice in a place and in a way that is consistent with their values and belief system.
Organizations are taking notice. Increasingly, our partners have shifted their focus with their clinicians from data and scorecards to skill-building and improvement. In doing so, they’ve garnered clinician engagement by supporting their clinicians with resources to improve, and then acknowledging the advances that invariably follow. This simple strategy of developing clinicians and recognizing progress has proven to create compelling outcomes.
HOW DO WE ESTABLISH A COMMON SET OF SKILLS ACROSS OUR ENTIRE CLINICAL ENTERPRISE?
Faced with the demands of driving improvement across a large group of clinicians with immense demands on their time, the challenge of supporting clinicians with skills to connect with patients has been daunting. Developing clinicians works to improve engagement and performance, but scaling that development to all clinicians is a high hurdle to surpass.
To make learning effective, proven, fast, shareable, in the moment, and accessible 24/7, we designed an app-based micro-learning platform that delivers progressive skill-development programs to improve the patient experience. Our program allows for a certification experience to ensure every clinician has access to physician-designed tips that are short, relevant, and proven to work.
Internally-deployed programmatic certification programs enable you to truly align the priorities of the system, team, and individual in one concerted effort, thus triangulating three essential initiatives:
1. ARMING CLINICIANS WITH PHYSICIAN-DESIGNED TOOLS TO CONNECT, COLLABORATE, AND LEAD.
2. DELIVERING A SCALABLE APPROACH THAT ENSURES CONTINUITY AND FACILITATES IMPROVEMENT.
3. ESTABLISHING A PLATFORM TO CELEBRATE CLINICIAN PARTICIPATION AND IMPROVED OUTCOMES.
Let’s be clear: The point of this approach is not to mandate participation and award a trophy at the end. This is an approach that’s carefully designed to meaningfully engage all clinicians in learning, trying, and sharing together. The nuance is subtle, yet important. The ultimate objective is to celebrate organization, team, and individual participation and the application of new skills learned on the journey.
HOW DO WE KEEP THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE RELEVANT AMIDST COMPETING PRIORITIES?
By definition, learning organizations never stop learning. That’s the beauty of investing in this approach: learning never ends. By deploying a similar approach in healthcare, organizations can introduce foundational curriculum. Furthermore, progressive maintenance of certification ensures that learners have access to the tools and resources that will sharpen their skill-sets across an array of common challenges, from demonstrating empathy to navigating challenging conversations to managing difficult patient situations.
As healthcare leaders tackle the challenges of driving organizational alignment and improved outcomes, our partners would attest that the best approach to seize the day is to earnestly help clinicians become their best.
We’ve seen the magic happen innumerable times: As clinicians learn, try, and share together, they’re drawn by the personal satisfaction that comes from a deep connection to patients and peers, a return to purpose-driven work, and making a profound impact. Results like this are a collective win-win-win for clinicians, patients, and the healthcare system alike.
Learn more about our Patient Experience Certification Program designed to advance clinician knowledge in connecting with patients and support development through reward and recognition.
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Gidon Margolin is currently the president of Practicing Excellence. Prior, he served as the vice president of Health System Strategy at NRC Health, helping their partners accelerate patient experience transformation through innovative thinking, collaboration, and execution.