Physician Compliance Engagement 101: Getting Docs Involved
The best way to start engaging physicians in your compliance and legal programs is to get to know them. It sounds so simple, yet it truly is the key to successful engagement. If you don’t know any physicians on the medical staff, start by meeting some. Get comfortable walking the halls. Introduce yourself freely and often. Ask another executive with good relationships if she can introduce you to key physicians you should know. Learn about physicians’ individual interests, their specialities, and their families. Make yourself visible and make it clear that you like hanging around doctors. Be knowledgeable about their profession, it makes a big impact with doctors. Building relationships with physicians at your organization is never a waste of time and is always the first step in engagement.
Establishing trust is key. If your medical staff does not trust the compliance team, in particular it’s leaders, you will never get them on board with your message.
Always frame compliance in terms of what doctors care about. Though this could differ from organization to organization, even physician to physician, a great place to start is with patients. Demonstrate how important compliance is to generating good outcomes in patient care. These issues are at the core of every physician’s priorities; what physician wouldn’t get on board with improving quality at their organization?
When it is time to revise policies and procedures, particularly when it affects physicians’ work, ask for their input. Place them on committees that steer compliance at your organization and truly listen when they give feedback.
Look to other departments within your organization that have successfully engaged the medical staff. How did they do it? What could you borrow from them? Identify leaders within the medical staff that understand the importance of compliance and ensure they promote key messages to their peers and across the organization. Making sure that at least a physician or two sits on important committees within compliance and legal is also best practice.
Lastly, we have found that physicians respond quickly when they hear about real-life examples of physicians getting into legal hot water. It is a good motivator for many!