Posts by Leslie Flores

Does Your Onboarding Process Really Get Folks On Board?

Not long ago, I had a conversation with a good friend who is the hospitalist medical director for a five-hospital health system in the northeast. We were commiserating about how hard it is to recruit new hospitalists to rural and small-town settings and the high risk of rapid turnover despite all the energy invested in recruiting and onboarding them. As we discussed how new hospitalists are oriented into his organization, I learned that like most hospitalist groups, my friend’s group focuses onboarding efforts on making sure that new providers know how to find their way around the hospital and use the EHR, complete required training modules, are credentialed with payors, and are aware of applicable policies and procedures. They also see this time as a probationary period to ensure the new group member has adequate clinical skills and behavioral competencies. This conversation got me thinking about the crucial relationship between…

Equal Time for Hospital Execs

Last month, I wrote a letter to hospital executives, urging them to deliberately invest their own personal time and effort in fostering hospitalist wellbeing. I suggested several actions that leaders can take to enhance hospitalist job satisfaction and reduce the risk of burnout and turnover. Following publication of that post, I heard from several hospital executives and was pleasantly surprised that they all responded positively to my message. Several execs told me that they gained valuable new insights about their hospitalists’ challenges and needs or that they planned to take action on one or more of my suggestions that had never occurred to them before.  Especially useful to them was the idea of a hospitalist “hierarchy of needs,” in which basics such as well-designed work (including adequate staffing), belonging, and esteem must be addressed before expecting hospitalists to undertake “self-actualizing” work, such as engagement in organizational performance improvement initiatives. Their…

An Open Letter to Hospital Executives about Their Hospitalist Programs

Dear Hospital Executive, If you are like many of the hospital leaders with whom I regularly talk, you’re probably concerned that your hospitalist program isn’t delivering the value you need in this metrics-driven and cost-constrained environment. You may see your hospitalists as disengaged free agents who either don’t know, or care too little, about contributing to the success of your organization beyond seeing the patients on their list. They may complain repeatedly about being overworked, underappreciated, or dumped on, and you worry they will leave soon for greener pastures. As a former hospital executive myself, I sympathize. You have a lot of important challenges to manage, and the hospitalists are highly educated, well-paid professionals, for Pete’s sake. Whether your hospitalists are employed by your organization, a local private group, or a management company, you are paying a lot for a vital service that ought to run more or less on…

Serious Upgrade for SHM’s 2016 State of Hospital Medicine Report

Great news! The long-anticipated 2016 State of Hospital Medicine (SoHM) Report was released last week to rave reviews. Pre-orders of the report blew away previous records, and that’s on top of the almost 600 hospital medicine groups (HMGs) that received free versions of the report as a result of participating in the survey. Again this year, the SoHM Report breaks down the latest statistics for a number of salary and workload benchmarks and a wide variety of HMG structural and operational characteristics that inform those two areas. I was privileged to be on a web conference last week in which SHM staffer extraordinaire Patrick Vulgamore, the primary writer/editor of the report, walked us through the enhanced online version. And I have to say it’s a massive upgrade to previous digital versions. Two extra-cool things about the new digital version: It is searchable. It can be accessed via a mobile app.…

Hospitalists Are Not Alone

I’ve been writing a lot about hospitalist satisfaction and career sustainability, but a just-released report from The Physicians Foundation shows just how widespread low physician morale and disenchantment with their profession really is. Every other year, The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on supporting the work of physicians and improving healthcare quality, conducts a massive national physician survey with the help of Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search and consulting company. The survey invitation was sent out by email to every physician in the country for whom the AMA has an email address on file; 17,236 of the roughly 630,000 physicians who received the survey invitation completed the 39-question survey. I hope a good number of them were hospitalists. The report is chock full of interesting findings, and I encourage you to take a look. Among the highlights, the survey found that more than half (54%) of respondent physicians…