6 Physician Retention Strategies

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , June 6, 2011

For instance, in their most recent employee satisfaction survey the majority of physicians were pleased with their compensation level. They felt, however, that communication between the administration and themselves was lacking. "Our people and culture committee will now develop a strategy to address this area," he says.

  1. Compensation: "The laws of economics hold true," says Schutte. "If you're in a popular location, your compensation structure will be lower. If you're not, such as in a rural location, it will be higher."

    Compensation structures should be clear and easy to explain, she says, and they should always be realistic based on the market. She adds that non-monetary benefits can also be factored in, such as flexible schedules that encourage better work/life balance.
  1. Primary Interviews: A well-planned interview process is an essential ingredient of retention, says Schutte. "The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior so know your candidate," she notes. "Having a structured, formal interview in which everyone knows what's going to be covered and what questions will be asked is also a great way to get an accurate assessment of the candidate's skills."

    Trinity Mother Frances Hospital uses a standard interview and a behavioral interview to screen candidates for their leadership potential and to get a sense for the direction these physicians might like to go with their careers, Stovall says.

Though millions may await you by reducing the turnover rates at your hospital or health system, there's one other benefit that may interest healthcare leaders.

"Like all health systems, in order to meet our strategic goals we need to maintain a predictable, reliable margin. …  It would be exceedingly disruptive and put our strategic plans in jeopardy if we returned to having high turnover," says Stovall. "We can't ever take for granted how important this is to maintain." 


Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "6 Physician Retention Strategies"

Francine Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE (6/10/2011 at 6:48 PM)
I appreciate the comprehensive approach organizations are taking to retaining physicians. As an executive coach for physicians I especially relate to the impact physician leadership and related collegiality-building programs have on physician engagement. Recently I led a workshop for physicians, introducing them to coaching skills to use with each other. For many it was the first time they'd had an opportunity to truly listen and get to know their colleagues[INVALID]after years of working together. Empowering, high touch, low tech, and[INVALID]as noted in the article[INVALID]-much lower cost than losing a good doctor.




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