Health System Transformation Through Physician Engagement

Employees are an organization’s greatest competitive advantage,1 and today’s employee demands more—more autonomy, more choices, more meaning, more flexibility, and more empathy from their employer.2 But engaging employees isn’t easy. In the U.S., just 34 percent of employees are engaged, and, perhaps most critically, 13 percent are actively disengaged.3 In healthcare, an industry facing changing reimbursement models and evolving regulations, the stakes are even higher on physician engagement. A recent study indicated that about 50 percent of U.S. physicians are experiencing burnout, a symptom of disengagement “marked by exhaustion, cynicism, and feelings of a loss of career purpose.”4 Burnout is also linked to a decline in the quality of care,5 a critical obstacle to health system performance in value-based reimbursement environments, which necessitate a focus on efficient care delivery and patient outcomes.

This piece is intended for health system leaders who want to improve physician engagement across the continuum of care. Physician engagement is critically important. As health systems increasingly shift to value-based care models, they have an opportunity to share the benefits of quality improvement and cost savings with their physicians. Health systems must develop a tactical plan to fully engage physicians and their teams in this effort.