Sep 21 2023

Clinicians Are Key to Data-Driven Approaches to Patient Care

It’s important to include clinicians in discussions about organizational goals, financial management and performance reviews to optimize strategies.

To enhance patient outcomes, lower expenses and maximize resources, it is essential for clinicians to participate in their healthcare organization’s budget planning process. Understanding an individual’s impact on major practice objectives is vital for clinicians to provide necessary support in achieving these goals. Such an environment can inspire the entire system to strive for both improved patient outcomes and better financial returns.

It is crucial for clinicians to recognize that their efforts have a direct affect on improving patient outcomes. Clinicians and the organization’s leaders must partner to ensure that all patients receive timely patient-centered care and positive experiences. When clinicians are engaged and empowered to take tactical and analytical approaches, they can provide key insights to optimize strategies and allocate existing and additional resources to achieve the organization’s goals.

Here are some approaches healthcare organizations can use to be straightforward with their data to improve patient outcomes and provider performance.

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Involve Clinicians in Data Discussions from the Beginning

Healthcare leaders must prioritize bidirectional and transparent communication about data on performance and outcomes. While an open-door policy can be helpful, it is important to schedule regular meetings so that all stakeholders have reliable opportunities to discuss clinical, operational, financial and strategic matters. Consistently using this structured approach fosters an environment where everyone knows that their input is sought and valued and that there are opportunities for them to help improve the practice.

The implementation of systematic, metrics-based review processes allows healthcare organizations to optimize and standardize improvement strategies. To ensure successful implementation, it is essential that clinicians, who are the professionals responsible for executing these strategies, are actively involved in their creation.

All levels of clinic and health system leadership should be involved in the performance review process. Clinical performance feedback is essential to the ongoing development and education of clinicians, helping them to develop both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. It also provides transparency into areas of their performance that could impact a practice's quality of care, allowing them to improve those standards going forward. Most important, doing this in a transparent way communicates that all are focused on ensuring patients receive the best care possible.

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Best Practices for Data-Driven Clinician Performance Management

Clinician incentive plans should be aligned with overall strategic goals and created with input from all stakeholders. Well-designed incentive programs can enhance quality of care, job satisfaction and a practice’s overall culture.

Partnering with clinicians to choose the right quality metrics for incentive plans can increase quality of care, as well as patient and clinician satisfaction. These metrics ensure that clinicians are providing patients with high-quality care and that scarce resources are being used efficiently. Additionally, it is important to choose metrics that are achievable, so that clinicians feel they are in control of their success.

It’s imperative that clinicians participate in discussions about organizational goals, financial management and performance reviews. Such active involvement creates a culture of problem-solving around complex clinical and budgetary issues involving key stakeholders. By excluding these professionals from these conversations, organizations risk hindering their comprehension of both practice and patient needs. Ultimately, all individuals at every level within the medical practice share the same overarching goal: to deliver the best care possible to all patients.

To learn more, attend the session, “Data-Driven Clinician Performance Management” at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Leaders Conference taking place Oct. 22-25 in Nashville, Tenn.


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