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How do You Get Medical Staff Buy-in? Listen

Emily Berry, July 20, 2009

As wonderful as your hospital's leadership may be, it alone cannot implement facility-wide change. Often times, it needs the help of the organized medical staff. The key is finding the right technique to achieve your medical staff's buy-in.

Benjamin F. Call, M.D., FACC, a past medical staff president, and current chairman of the Board of Trustees of Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, ID, says there are a number of techniques for achieving buy-in.

"Our hospital's gone through a series of transitions in its administrative style of management. There are several things we have done that have really made a big difference," he says.

The following are buy-in strategies his hospital has used successfully:

  • Every change initiative needs a champion, someone who's willing to take some personal risk to make it go forward. Be passionate about your cause, or find a champion for the cause who will share his or her passion for the cause with others to help grow support for it.

  • Educate yourself as much as possible about the issues you're speaking about so your audience sees you as an expert.

  • Encourage your medical staff leadership to become fully trained. Encourage them to approach learning the skills of medical staff leadership as they would learning a new medical subspecialty. Facilitate attendance at training courses, preferably off-site, on how to be an effective MS leader. It will open their eyes to a vision of what medical staff leadership is all about.

  • Show others specific data that backs up your point. It is hard to argue with hard data.

  • Help redefine the meaning of the environment. Inspire others with a vision that redefines the status quo as a stepping-stone to a desired future.

  • Build a link of trust and understanding

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