This is the final part of a four part series addressing 4 common obstacles encountered when healthcare organizations attempt to convert physician performance data into behavior change. In the first part I covered Data Credibility. In the second part I discussed Speed, and in the third part I discussed Evaluation. In this final part of the series, I will briefly review the obstacle Engagement.
Without engagement, learning won’t occur, change won’t occur, and performance won’t improve!
Physician’s have a lot on their plate; time and attention are scarce, so meaningful engagement requires a strategic and well thought out approach. By overcoming OBSTACLE #1-DATA CREDIBILITY and OBSTACLE #2-SPEED, you can leverage individual performance data to build motivation and immediately connect it with effective training. By overcoming OBSTACLE #3-EVALUATION, that is, through more comprehensive evaluation, you will begin to uncover roadblocks, and fine-tune the physician learning experience to ensure it is not wasteful of time and is tightly aligned with both individual and organizational performance.
Pulling it All Together
We are currently wrapping up a pilot with a top 25 US News Report ranked Otolaryngology department, to improve patient quality and mitigate malpractice risk by training physicians to improve their documentation of diagnostic result interpretation and communication with the patient (including use of the patient portal to communicate and release results). Like most healthcare organizations these days, it was an uphill battle due to an already taxed clinical workflow, and physician burnout. One-half of this project included training physicians to change their existing behavior, and leverage existing Epic EHR functionality overlooked by the vast majority of physicians at this organization. The other half of the project was getting the physicians engaged and motivated to invest time to learn, and apply what they learn to achieve the desired on-the-job performance. Previous efforts to change physician behavior had minimal impact on the relevant performance metric tracked monthly, and engagement was unknown. Our team designed a solution to address all 4 obstacles mentioned in this series as part of a pilot. Data collected from their Epic EHR and reported on monthly was rapidly converted to personalized performance insights, and included in emails sent to physicians. These emails included information to build data credibility, and were delivered on behalf of the department chair and performance improvement specialist assigned to the project. Our software allows us to send these emails, while also tracking physician engagement in elearning or scheduling one-on-one meetings, enabling comprehensive evaluation. Figure 1 below demonstrates the cumulative engagement results achieved across three emails over six weeks. By accounting for the first three obstacles in our solution right from the start, we were able to overcome the last obstacle to converting physician performance data into behavior change, engagement!
Figure 1. Cumulative physician engagement across three notifications within 6 weeks.
Additional Motivational Tools that Improve Engagement
Here are a few additional tools from well respected physician leaders in the industry (Thomas Lee MD - Press Ganey; Toby Cosgrove MD - Cleveland Clinic) that can also help to drive physician engagement.
All 4 parts of this series, are from our latest White Paper, "Converting physician performance data into behavior change...4 obstacles...4 solutions"
About the Author
Over the last decade, Dr. Andres Jimenez developed training curriculums impacting over 1/3rd of all US physicians. Over the past 5 years, physicians in over 1,000 hospitals and clinics have used training software he developed. Dr. Jimenez completed the Dartmouth/Brown medical program, and continued on to General Surgery residency at Emory. He completed a fellowship in Educational Leadership at USC School of Medicine, and a Masters Degree in Education, with a focus on Instructional Design for Online Learning.