Why Physicians Love Their Hospital CEO -- Inside Physician Engagement
By Hayden McKaskle, Consultant (HCAHPs and other Surveys), HealthStream
Following my recent blog titled “Healthcare is, after all, a people business,” a client gave me a terrific article to read. “Five Reasons Why Physicians Hate Hospital Administrators” was a recent column by John W. Mitchell. It can be found in the LinkedIn group HealthCare C-Suite. This is recommended reading for anyone interested in better physician relations and improving physician engagement.
A summary of Mr. Mitchell’s article is as follows:
Five Reasons Why Physicians Hate Hospital Administrators
1. Lack of follow-up.
2. Ask us. Don't tell us.
3. We never see you.
4. You care more about money than medicine.
5. You never make a decision.
I believe there is truth in those five for most people and not just administrators. It did make me think about the backside of that title—that is, what do physicians love about their CEO?
In the latter part of 2011, I performed a Physician Satisfaction (HealthStream Physician Insights) report review for a rural community hospital. This facility typically scores very high in physician satisfaction. Although these results are due to a number of people, the CEO is a big part of the reason, and she has served there for over 10 years.
The Secret to Physician Satisfaction and Physician Engagement
There may have been a few minor suggestions for improvement that I offered her; but in the end, this session became an opportunity to explore best practices at this hospital, and she became the teacher. When I asked her what physicians want from a CEO, she was quick to respond. “They want an answer,” she said. “It is really that simple. When they come to me with a request, they don’t want an excuse. They just want a straight up, yes or no answer. If it is no, I tell them why; but I never give them an excuse. That physician might not always like the answer, but they will respect me over the long haul.”
Physicians want answers and follow-through on promises
Since that review session, I have quoted her numerous times in physician satisfaction report reviews with other hospitals. You can always tell the CEOs that already operate by that rule; their results almost invariably show the fruits of that approach. More often than not, hospitals with top physician satisfaction scores have an effective CEO who has been in place for a few years or more.
What do physicians want (or love) from their CEO? They want a straight answer from someone who will be around long enough to follow through on promises. There may be a bit of prescriptive medicine in there for all of us.
Learn more about HealthStream's Physician Insights Survey.