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Survey: Gap in what administrators, physicians perceive as strengths in practice

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A recent survey found a rather significant gap between physicians’ satisfaction and their experiences concerning key cultural attributes in their respective healthcare organizations.

What factors contribute to physician satisfaction with their organization?

The study focused on 14 cultural aspects within an organization, a physicians’ overall satisfaction as well as their perception of their organization’s performance concerning those aspects.

A companion study of hospital administrators found while administrators usually have a good sense of what is important to a physicians’ satisfaction concerning the organization cultures, administrators and physicians vary in how well they think their organizations perform.

The studies were conducted by Physician WellnessPServices and Cejka Search and released at the end of last quarter.

Disparities in what physicians want and what organizations give

“The study clearly shows areas of disconnect between what physicians look for and what they find – and what organizations think they provide,” said Dan Whitlock, M.D., Physician Wellness Services consulting physician. “In our work with physicians and health care organizations, we find that this often leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and cynicism, sometimes with behavioral impacts. At a time when physician engagement is of paramount importance and health care organizations seek to promote satisfaction and loyalty, closing these organizational culture gaps can have a strong positive impact.”

Many times, the cultural fit is a determining factor in a physicians’ decision to join a specific practice and a factor to leave in the end. It is costly for a practice when they have physician turnover and it is in their best interest to invest in a culture that meets the expectations of physicians.

Patient-centered care: the most important cultural aspect

The survey found that a patient-centered care focus was, by far, the most important cultural aspect to physicians. This aspect also had the smallest gap between administrators and physicians.

Other high-ranking cultural attributes for physicians were respectful communication, a team-focused environment and supportive management regarding errors and mistakes.

Attributes with the largest gap between what physicians’ considered important and what they perceived their organizations delivered were transparent communication, collaborative leadership style and organizational adaptation.

When searching for a practice to make your home, you need to list attributes most critical for your overall satisfaction. For some, that may mean choosing a non-traditional path like practicing rural medicine. You will want to spend time exploring if the administrators truly support those attributes most critical for a successful work environment.



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