PERFORMANCE CONSULTING & TRAINING
Any healthcare organization is only as good as its medical staff. The best physicians will provide the best care and every hospital has in place a medical staff organization whose job it is to ensure that the quality of care is as good as it can be.
They do this through recruitment, peer review, credentialing, and privileging – a seemingly rigorous process to regularly evaluate performance, which is vital for sustaining quality of care in any healthcare organization. However, the structure and processes of most medical staff organizations were designed for the healthcare system of yesterday and no longer fulfill their essential mission.
At last count, 67 percent of physicians were employed and 33 percent independent. More young physicians and more women physicians are employed, while more older men physicians remain independent. Older men also tend to dominate positions on the medical executive committee (MEC) and as department chairs, which can cause some generational and gender issues. Competing practices are often represented on medical staffs, which presents conflicts of interest. And because more care is being delivered in outpatient settings, direct observation must give way to indirect evidence to assess peers and quality of care.
This all leads to more and greater challenges beyond the formal evaluation of physicians for credentialing and privileging. It leads to a host of problems that increase risk and undermine the quality of care itself.