Physician liaisons wear many hats, but most spend the majority of their time managing physicians’ issues. It’s important to document these issues so you have solid data to track all the way through to issue resolution. Having issue management as part of your physician relations program allows you to identify areas of improvement and solve problems for your providers. It helps you decipher whether issues are IT-related, patient-care related or something else entirely. It lets you pinpoint problems more efficiently so you can develop better solutions. If you successfully manage their issues to resolution, referring physicians will feel as though their input was heard and acted upon.
At the Tea Leaves Health 2nd Annual Client Summit in July, we learned the importance of issue management and resolution from one of our physician engagement clients. One presentation, provided by Libby Donathan, Lead Physician Relations Manager for Premier Health, touched on how important issue resolution is to margin improvement, how vital internal resources are to success, and how physician referral management (PRM) technology can help liaisons better manage issues.
Premier Health’s business development team focuses on referral tracking, issue management and volume data. And for Libby’s organization (like many others out there) getting issues addressed can pose a challenge.
Libby discussed three ways to eliminate barriers and turn issues into opportunities:
Break Down Silos
While it’s important to have experts and specialists in a particular field, it’s also important to break down the silos. If at all possible, your goal should be to have all of the separate silos work together by fostering informal linkages and connecting them effectively.
Get Internal Stakeholders on Board
While you’re spending time with the experts, begin to build relationships and trust. Teach providers about what you and your team can do for them. You cannot break down their barriers by yourself, so talk with them about how you can help them grow volume and make their lives easier.
Build Your Network
To feel supported, it’s important to build your network within your organization. Develop a full internal understanding about what you and your team does, and build relationships internally before externally. Communication is key to garner internal champions that believe in issue resolution.
Lastly, Libby explained the various ways her organization accomplishes this task:
- Respond to providers with an initial communication within 24 hours
- Get necessary support via internal advocates
- Develop a weekly report at the end of each week to send to the executive team
- Identify trends by pulling quarterly reports
- Hold frequent margin improvement meetings
- Recognize everyday leaders
- Celebrate the wins.
Premier Health uses the Physicianology PRM solution to identify and document pain points or difficulties with their referring physicians. They are able to: pull weekly reports, analyze data for their margin improvement meetings with easy-to-use dashboards, and pull their quarterly reports. These actions help them identify trends so they can take the best course of action.
If your organization would like to learn more about the Issue Management capabilities within Physicianology, contact us today.