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Service Lines Growing, But Aligning Physicians is Tough

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2012

The foundation and society help develop clinical guidelines, prioritize technological needs and collaborate in financial and capital planning for the hospital system, Arbuckle explains.

Establishing data programs to help physicians within the system has been a key element in improving protocols, says Hendel, but so has the importance of working on physician relationships with each other and with hospital leadership—areas that other hospital and physician leaders are sometimes too slow to embrace.

"Culture eats strategy for lunch," Hendel says, referring to the importance of people-to-people programs in physician alignment within a hospital system. "We've had a two-pronged effort here," she adds. "We have the data and strategic parts of aligning with physicians, but we've also been sensitive and aware of the cultural alignment aspects, with our physician society leading the way on a shared vision, a shared mission, a shared understanding and involvement where we—as a health system—should be focused."

"That has helped pave the way. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a great basis to start," Hendel says.

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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