By: Marchelle Cagle, CPC, CPC-I, PCS
Hiring a new physician sometimes can take months or years depending on specialty, availability, and locality. Much time has been spent on physician interviews, salary considerations, employment contracts, insurance/hospital credentialing, malpractice enrollment, marketing, and etc. Often times this may be the new physician’s first employment position in a career he or she has spent years of school and planning to achieve and are usually eager to start treating and helping potential new patients.
The first day or year of this new relationship can be crucial for the new hire and the hiring physician or physician group. I was nervous my first day of any new job I started weren’t you.
When practices take the same care with physician orientation as they do with the candidate selection, the short term impact means a more comfortable staff and a more comfortable physician. Groups who assign a physician mentor during onboarding reported a lower overall turnover rate. The long term impact has potential to be even more powerful; it can positively impact patient outcomes and satisfaction, reduce liability risk, and improve long-term retention. Regardless of profession happier employees have been proven to be more productive long term employees.
So here are some simple but important tips to help with a successful physician orientation.
· Assign a point person to handle all aspects of the orientation. Often times this is a good way for the administrator/manager to start a good and solid relationship with the new hire.
· Commit to weekly follow-up calls to answer questions, introduce a new topic, or share any news. This will help ensure that your candidate remains invested in your practice.
· Alert the clinic staff, hospital staff, referral groups, and any other contract groups you work with that your new physician will be starting. Include a bio and photo if you can.
· Send a welcome packet which can include copies of key policies and procedures that might be helpful for the physician to review ahead of time.
· Provide a facility/physician directory so that the physician can start becoming familiar with referring physicians and campus amenities ahead of time.
Here is a link with a sample physician orientation checklist to help you stay on track.
Congratulations if you have recently hired a new physician and may you have a great future together!
Cagle Medical Consulting, LLC