Once you have allocated resources toward your performance improvement initiative, the next best practice in initiative implementation involves getting your clinicians to support it.
Engaging clinicians early in any initiative is crucial to success. If they decide against participating in the program, morale can suffer. Conversely, clinicians who embrace the program have testified to its worth in improving their practice, saving patient lives and enhancing morale.
We have worked with organizations that have used all the practices listed below to obtain clinician support and others that selected only a few from the list. Choose what will work best for your organization.
Clinician Engagement Best Practices
1) Select Clinician Champions
Social proof can have a significant impact on the opinions of peers. Positioning both a physician and nurse champion for this risk and safety initiative is critical to ensuring engagement of the staff. These champions are often the Medical Director or Assistant Medical Director for physicians and the Nursing Manager or Nursing Director for nurses.
2) Educate and Answer Questions
Before implementing the program, explain the reasoning for the program, including what each clinician is expected to get out of it. Outline the terms of their involvement along with an estimate of the time they need to allocate toward it. Then answer their questions. Help them overcome any mental obstacles to embracing the program in this introduction. Have clinician champions available to endorse the program and its expected benefits.
3) Create an Incentive
Depending on your organization’s structure, you might develop an incentive program with the physicians’ medical malpractice carrier. Some carriers are open to providing a premium credit or discount for participation in risk and safety programs like this.
4) Mandate Participation
Some organizations have required clinician participation in order to stay insured and/or receive a year-end bonus.
Once clinicians start the program, they frequently comment on the helpfulness of the relevant, case-based courses. Clinicians are typically a competitive group; they tend to self-start and engage in the assessment program since they are benchmarked against their peers.
After a plan is in place to obtain clinician support, establishing a secure funding stream is the next critical step to success. Learn more on this topic in our next blog.