Despite all their efforts and incentives, most health systems struggle to engage their physicians. They send e-mails, post information on portals and publish newsletters. They might be communicating, but they are not engaging. The difference can make or break any organizationwide initiative.
Rather than simply pushing information at the doctors—a group that's time-strapped, on the move, and under incredible pressure to deliver quality care quickly and efficiently—engagement is a two-way information exchange. It pushes important information to doctors and pulls them in with interesting, relevant content and opportunities for collaboration.
Other industries have figured out how to engage their target markets by creating individual experiences that are based on behavior, preferences and use patterns. Amazon does this well when they learn about an individual's behaviors and adjust recommendations and outgoing messages based on what someone is likely to value. What would it mean for our physicians if we could engage them with this level of relevance and specificity? Healthcare can learn a lot from other industries.
With healthcare costs in the U.S. accounting for nearly 20% of GDP, we all have a stake in what can be achieved with healthcare reform. Our physicians are at the center of this transformation, and how they perceive and respond to the changes around them affects everyone. Health systems have a huge opportunity to engage physicians in ways that will support better decisionmaking and help deliver higher-quality care at a lower cost. It is time to rethink what you want and need from your physician engagement strategy.
Maureen Ladouceur is a vice president at Quantia, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm specializing in physician engagement IT solutions.