In a recent webinar hosted by the Experience Innovation Network, network members had the opportunity to hear from Troy Bishop, MD, an internal medicine specialist from Summa Health System. In the webinar, Dr. Bishop showed the power of physician leadership to drive experience improvement.
A commitment to patient experience is not new to Summa Health System. Starting in 2010, Summa has built a solid foundation of best practices, including post-discharge care calls, nurse leadership rounds, improved communication etc. The hospital system achieved improvement across all HCAHPS domains except one. Physician scores were not improving because the system’s multi-specialty physician group, Summa Physicians, Inc. (SPI), had not been strongly engaged in playing a leadership role in driving change throughout the organization.
Identify a well-respected, passionate physician champion.
SPI executives identified Dr. Bishop as the right physician leader to spearhead physician engagement because he understands the dynamics of the organization and has the respect of his peers. He also participates as a teacher for medical interns and residents with Summa, and knows how to teach and mentor. Most important, Dr. Bishop practices medicine with genuine caring, a profound belief in the value and privilege of the relationships between doctors and patients, and a humility that makes him a natural leader within the organization.
Conduct a physician-focused town hall meeting.
Before beginning any specific initiatives, SPI conducted a physician town hall meeting to outline the importance of experience improvement and demonstrate the organization’s commitment to physician engagement. The meeting gave physicians an opportunity to voice obstacles and concerns, highlight inspirational but little-known best practices, and begin the process of crafting Always Events® for both patient care and physician support.
Join a network of like-minded peers.
SPI and Summa joined the Experience Innovation Network to provide a backbone of support to Dr. Bishop and other clinical and administrative leaders as they embarked on the transformation journey. Having access to a network of physicians who are also leading this work, a library of best practice examples, and on-demand coaching to help adapt and refine known and emerging best practices to the SPI culture and organization helped accelerate change.
Dr. Bishop and his partners set about implementing a series of guidelines, trainings, and inspiration to drive change. Using “the evidence and the obvious,” Dr. Bishop made the case for improvement, and showed his peers how small actions have a big impact. And these efforts have paid off. SPI physicians’ HCAHPS scores for key domains including Overall Recommend, Physicians Explain, and Physicians Listen, rose between 5-7% in the first year. And as a system, Summa received 100% of its value-based payment from Medicare in 2013.
Aside from improved scores, Dr. Bishop’s talk reminded us that if you truly want to see similar change at your facility, “You need to have a collective will to change and the right people to carry that will. If you have the will in your heart, all of these changes will come.”
Who can you tap within your organization to drive similar change?
The full Solution Brief on Leveraging physician leadership to drive experience improvement is available to all members of the Experience Innovation Network.