On-Boarding New Doctors Costs Real Money

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On-boarding a new physician is definitely an investment. If the process goes wrong, the cost to recruit a new physician can cost between $25,000 and $50,000 (compounded by the loss of revenue while the position is empty). According to the 2012 American Medical Group Management Association Retention Survey, groups with effective on-boarding program improved their turnover rate by 2%. Here are some suggestions to create an effective on-boarding program:

  1. Have a plan and assigned facilitator- Outline details as soon as the parties come into agreement. Customize the template you are using for each clinician's needs. A "facilitator" should be designated to oversee the team's efforts as they proceed through the credentialing, orientation, practice development, and integration components.
  2. Focus on practice development- Pay attention to the measure, "Time to Productivity", which measures the amount of time it takes for an employee to become a productive, valuable asset to the organization. The practice development plan should detail the strategies to realign the practice and revenue and productivity targets. It should also aim to ensure that the specific physician's goals are met so that he or she is satisfied.
  3. Formalize touch points- Maintain constant engagement with the new recruit and hold weekly meetings with him or her for the first month.
  4. Provide a mentor- New physicians can benefit greatly from the advice of a seasoned physician. A mentor should be willing to meet regularly, provide advice, help problem-solve, and offer alternative suggestions.
  5. Don't forget the small things- Little aggravations can turn an experience negative quickly. For example, make sure the new physician is listed on the organization's website. Important steps may be overlooked and result in negative first impressions.

Summary by Caroline Smith

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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.