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Why Physician Loyalty Matters – Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast

August 26, 2021

Katie Owens, Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) co-founder and president joins the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast hosted by our HXF partners for an energetic discussion about physician loyalty this week.

As discussed with Katie, there are many ways we can measure, track and influence physician loyalty sentiments in our organizations and institutions. Today’s podcast is an in-depth exploration of what physician loyalty looks like and how to best amplify the driving forces behind it.

Describing Physician Loyalty

At the core of physician loyalty is an emotional and professional connection to an organization.

Katie notes that through HXF’s partnership with PRC, she has spent a lot of time looking at national and local facility needs.

Based on this research, she tells us that physician loyalty can be found in many of the following ways:

  • The commitment physicians feel to investing thoughts and ideas into their organizations,
  • Caring about the success of the hospital and clinical environment,
  • Feeling a sense of ownership,
  • Feeling as though their role is rewarding.

The Importance of Physician Loyalty

Supporting medical staff and advanced practice providers with tools and resources to feel engaged has never been more critical, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19.

As Katie notes on today’s podcast, if the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything about physician loyalty, it’s that we must double down on efforts to engage physicians.

“In our research with PRC we have demonstrated that when physicians feel that an organization is an excellent place to practice, they are four times more likely to recommend that organization to their peers, to their patients, and to their own loved ones should they need care,” Katie said.

It’s no secret to Katie that physicians want a healthy climate for their practice; they want to feel like they are a part of a team. And we know they seek healthy relationships with administration.

Key Drivers of Physician Loyalty

On today’s podcast, Katie describes what she sees as three major drivers of physician loyalty. According to the research, Katie has found these drivers to include:

  • When physicians feel the patient experience is a top priority.
  • A sense that administration is responsive to the physician’s voice when there are needs and concerns, and that these concerns are acted upon when reasonable.
  • A high degree of confidence in nursing’s care and treatment of patients.

Katie told us that those three components give physicians a sense that their patients are in safe, good hands.

“What I would also say is that engagement is a high standard, it means committing to evolving a culture in a pursuit of excellence,” she said.

The truth is there are some organizations with an incredibly contentious or toxic environment with extremely high levels of burnout. However, it does not mean it is “too late” for physician engagement to become a priority. As we learned on today’s podcast, it is never too late.

“It just means you have to start at a different place to break down some of those barriers to rebuild trust,” Katie said. “It’s about eating the elephant one bite at a time.”

Ready to Learn More?

Listen now to Why Physician Loyalty Matters, and check out the Healthcare Experience Academy for on-demand courses about improving the patient experience through empathy, emotional intelligence and much more.