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What are the Drivers for Physician Satisfaction?


What are the drivers for physician satisfaction in the hospital setting?


The key drivers are quality, efficiency, input, appreciation, and telling the truth. Specifically, physicians want the following:

Quality: Assurance that their patients are receiving quality care.

Efficient Operations: Lab results should be on charts when physicians do their rounding, operating rooms should start on time, nurses should have charts when they call physicians, transcriptions should be turned around quickly, and staff should be retained.

Input: When running small focus groups of physicians I have asked: “For you to feel great about practicing medicine at this hospital—and to feel that patients are receiving great care— what would our service to you and your patients look like?” I then worked with them to rank their suggestions in order of importance. I picked one I could impact, focused on it, and then communicated the results over and over.

Appreciation: Say thank you. Recently a person told one of our Studer Group Coaches that she heard me speak, and though she wanted to believe, she was skeptical. However, she took action anyway. She wrote a note to a physician thanking him for the patient care he provides, and then commented that his family must be so supportive of him. Some weeks later, at a community event, the physician’s wife came up to her to say how much her note had impacted her husband. The physician’s wife started to cry, saying that no one had ever thanked her for what she does to support her husband.

  • Point one: physicians appreciate being appreciated.
  • Point two: practice the behavior of recognizing physicians and focus on the positive.
  • Point three: understanding sometimes follows action.

Tell the truth. If you can’t meet a physician’s needs, explain why. Similarly, visibility, availability, and accessibility are also key drivers for physician satisfaction.

Key Discouragements for Physicians:

  1. Lack of input and follow-through.
  2. Inefficiency.
  3. Lack of proactive behavior. Once, I was at a Los Angeles hospital whose surgery nurse leader is phenomenal. Since she has arrived, they have not needed agency or registry staff, volume is up, and on time starts have significantly improved. She also put in a system that if the OR is running behind, physicians are updated consistently so they do not have to wait.
  4. Lack of appreciation for their time and skill.
  5. Vagueness. Sayyes, no , or when you will have a yes or no.