It’s no secret that 2022 has been a challenging year for recruiting physicians. With the number of physicians decreasing in nearly all areas of specialty and the number of vacancies rising, hospital recruiters may be more likely to fall into the trap of hiring the first physician who seems to check all the right boxes.
However, even though we are facing a physician shortage, this is not the time to get careless with recruiting, especially as more and more organizations transition to a value-based care model.
Instead, it’s the time to get smarter about leveraging tools and technology to determine which physician candidate is the right fit for your healthcare organization.
Importance of Evaluating Physician Performance for Recruiting and Network Development
With physician recruitment, it’s essential to validate that a candidate not only meets the basic requirements (i.e., the right degree and specialty) but also has a proven track record of a solid commitment to improved patient outcomes.
This is becoming increasingly important as value-based care models become more prevalent among payers.
Understanding the Value-Based Care Model
The U.S. healthcare system is expensive for everyone, including payers, providers, and patients. One reason is that patients keep paying for care without improving outcomes.
For example, at least 60 percent of Americans have at least one chronic condition, and over 40 percent have more than one chronic condition.
Many people with chronic conditions fall into a loop of continually seeking providers, taking medication, and being hospitalized, without ever getting better.
With a value-based care model, healthcare providers (i.e., physicians, nurses, hospitals, labs, etc.) get paid based on the quality of services rendered, which are associated with patient outcomes. In some cases, providers can earn additional incentives for providing high-quality care.
This is why many hospitals and healthcare organizations are starting to pay more attention to the patient outcomes a physician has delivered than other metrics.
Regardless of whether your healthcare organization is currently seeking candidates for open positions or not, it’s important to start finding physicians who demonstrate a commitment to delivering high-quality care.
Even hospitals that are not currently recruiting can benefit from meeting physicians with a proven track record of providing high-quality care that leads to positive patient outcomes. Thus, many hospitals and recruiters are focusing on building their networks.
Key Performance Metrics to Evaluate
Here are some performance metrics to consider evaluating during physician recruitment and network development.
Number of hospitalizations
Physicians should be actively involved in their patients’ treatment to avoid hospitalizations as much as possible. When a patient is discharged, the physician should find the right acute care facility to ensure the patient does end up re-hospitalized unnecessarily.
Physicians operating in a value-based care model should prioritize patient outcomes over pharmaceutical partnerships. Thus, reviewing a physician’s prescribing behavior during recruitment and networking is vital to ensure that the physician is not over-or under-prescribing medication to patients based on their ailments.
Specialist referral patterns
The goal of referring patients to a specialist should be to ensure that the patient gets the absolute best care. That’s why it’s critical to explore a physician’s specialist referral patterns and patient outcomes to determine if the physician is making referrals that are in the patient’s best interest.
Need Physician Data? We Can Help!
It’s crucial to recruit physicians focused on improving patient outcomes, especially when your healthcare organization is following a value-based care model. At the same time, finding clean and accurate physician data can be challenging if you don’t know where to start.
HealthLink Dimensions can help hospital recruiters access reliable physician data that can be used for hiring and networking purposes. Contact us to learn more!