This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Often seen as self-styled Lone Rangers out to save healthcare with their clinical know-how, physicians must do a better job becoming involved in partnerships to overcome turf wars and ego-driven barriers to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes.
Improving relationships within hospital systems is critical, with the need clearly reflected in the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2012, says Michael J. Dacey, MD, FACP, senior vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer for the 359-bed Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI.
"Many hospitals now have millions of dollars each year at stake on quality and patient satisfaction measures," he says. "In many cases, a hospital's entire profit margin and then some will be accounted for by successful performance on these measures. In order to succeed with these, hospitals and doctors must work together."
It may not be easy.
The industry survey reveals that 10% of physicians blame themselves for the "healthcare industry mess," although three times that number—30%—see physicians as the ones who will save healthcare. And 13% say that physician disrespect and abuse of nurses is prevalent at their organization.