How To Measure Physician Engagement
OCTOBER 11, 2016
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA
Everyone in sick care, it seems, wants to get engaged.
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. The world has an employee engagement crisis, with serious and potentially lasting repercussions for the global economy.
Unfortunately, we live in the land of no-shows. Guests don't RSVP or they do and don't show. Students enroll for free seminars and don't show. Employees volunteer to do things and don't show or complete the task. Patient no-shows for appointments and surgery are common. Meetup should have a “No-Show Hall of Fame”. Even surgeons are AWOL in the OR.
Physician engagement usually refers to whether or not doctors are aligned with organizational objectives and missions and have some institutional loyalty and affiliation. Worst case, they couldn't care less. Best case, they wear clothes with your logo on it. Fleece is the new black.
While many organizations are trying many different tactics to get their doctors engaged, when it comes to measuring their level of engagement and levels of improvement or decline after a particular intervention, things start to get as fuzzy as those fleece vests.
People who measure employee engagement for a living, people analysts, suggest measuring outputs, not just attitudinal inputs.
Here are some ways to measure physician engagement outputs:
1. The number of idea or invention disclosures and whether they do it more than once
2. How eager they are to engage in conflict resolution
3. Whether they cover each other's back
4. How they talk about your organization and treat fellow employees
5. Attrition rates. Measure the footsteps out the door
6. How often they volunteer to do things and actually show up and do them
7. How often they do things out of pure self-interest instead of organizational interest
8. What they talk about on the grapevine
9. Trust levels
10. The quality and quantity of internal and external networks.
True engagement is more than just contributing discretionary effort. It means aligning personal and partner values and balancing doing things that places the interests of your employer with WIIFM. In the end it is about showing up, not just raising your hand, when your betrothed needs you to.