The Business of Medicine: Management Skills Every Physician Executive Needs

By: curativetalent

The healthcare marketplace in the United States continues to grow in size and complexity. As more and more members of the Baby Boomer generation hit retirement age, they face a number of chronic conditions that often require multidisciplinary teams of specialists and physicians. According to the American Hospital Organization, the current healthcare system will be radically transformed by the year 2030 as the over-65 segment of the population nearly doubles. In addition to a demand for the clinical staff necessary to treat the growing diabetes epidemic and chronic age-associated conditions like arthritis, cancer, and elective surgery for procedures like knee and hip replacements, medical executives will require relevant business skills to effectively manage the increasing demands and strains on hospitals and medical practices across the spectrum. 

From data analytics to traditional team building, industry experts have identified key crossover business skills that will be essential for physician executives in the evolving healthcare model, including understanding culture and team behavior, quality management and sensitivity analysis for patient care. According to a report by Dr. Robert Pearl, Executive Director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, and Alexander L. Fogel, MBA, MD Candidate, Stanford University School of Medicine, medical education should include a comprehensive business and healthcare management component to help immerse future doctors in new-economy skills like data analytics, as well as classic leadership and team building. In addition to providing quality clinical care, medical executives also face administrative challenges such as:

  • Cost reduction
  • Higher quality of care
  • Chronic disease management and collaboration between teams of physicians
  • Patient care and satisfaction
  • Navigation of a shifting and complicated health insurance and regulatory landscape

Taking an analytical approach to healthcare management allows executives to increase efficiency and profitability in several areas, such as identifying misallocation of resources and services like redundant or unnecessary testing, and longer patient wait times and appointments.

The Role of Data Analytics in Healthcare Management

Although data analytics in healthcare management has proven to be an effective tool in increasing organizational efficiency and profitability, according to a study by KPMG, as little as ten percent of hospitals and healthcare organizations incorporate it at a significant level. As hospitals and healthcare providers brace for the ongoing explosion of healthcare needs and costs among an aging population, medical executives can leverage data to improve the quality of care, reduce costs, and increase profitability in several ways:

  • Analyze patient statistics and behavior to determine areas where costs and services can be streamlined, such as duration of hospital stays and needs for follow up care
  • Identify and take steps to cut back on unnecessary emergency room visits, which are estimated to account for over $2 billion in yearly expenses
  • Modernize testing and diagnostic guidelines to identify areas of overlapping or unnecessary testing

Business Skills to Look for When Recruiting Physician Executives

  • Effective goal setting and communication skills, including the implementation and ongoing development of a culture of regular feedback and accountability among all team members
  • Performance management and organizational skills, including the ability to coordinate cooperation among diverse teams of health professionals and specialists tasked with managing multiple aspects of chronic conditions for a number of patients
  • Ability to foster a cohesive team culture among a broad range of clinical and non-clinical staff

At Curative, we specialize in recruitment and staffing for talented healthcare executives with a comprehensive background of clinical, organizational, and management skills to help meet your organization's strategic goals and deliver optimal care. Contact us today by calling 866-995-6077 or visit us online to discuss your medical staffing and recruitment needs.

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