The American Medical Association (AMA) Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) provides a list of 12 principles for strengthening the physician-hospital relationship on their website. Several are worthy of highlight. The twelfth principle states:
Areas of dispute and concern, arising between the organized medical staff and the hospital governing body, are addressed by well-defined processes in which the organized medical staff and hospital governing body are equally represented. These processes are determined by agreement between the organized medical staff and the hospital governing body.
This principle is consistent with The Joint Commission revised medical staff standard (MS) 01.01.01. Jane Reister Conrad wrote an excellent post about the standard. ”The intent of the MS 01.01.01 is, inter alia, to establish a conflict management process in the event of a conflict between/among the medical staff, medical executive committee, and the governing body of a facility. The goal is to enhance patient safety and the quality of care by creating a positive working relationship between a facility and its medical staff.”
The third AMA principle states:
The leaders of the organized medical staff, with input from the hospital governing body and senior hospital managers, develop goals to address the healthcare needs of the community and are involved in hospital strategic planning as described in the medical staff bylaws.
In his 2012 book Healthcare Strategic Planning, Alan M. Zuckerman states: ”Few topics are as hotly debated today as how to involve medical staff members in hospital and health system strategic planning. The escalation of competition between physicians and hospitals over provision of outpatient services and, increasingly, entire high-margin clinical service lines, has created enormous complexity and confusion in this area….While no single approach fits every situation, constructive and careful physician involvement in the planning process is vital to effective planning…Little or no involvement of physicians in strategic planning is not an option.”
Our post last month highlighted the ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives) 2012 annual survey where 69% of respondents cited “Engaging Physicians in Improving the Culture of Quality” and 60% of respondents reported “Align with Physicians More Closely” as a specific concern. Let us know your thoughts about improving hospital-physician relationships.