Building the team: Using efficient onboarding and orientation to create sustainable excellence in new providers

Insight Article - April 1, 2020

Recruitment & Hiring

Culture & Engagement

Andy Stonehouse MA
The first day on the job is always a stressful occasion for any employee. But when a medical practice brings on a well-educated and highly paid physician to a new role, those first days are absolutely critical, especially in building a long-term working relationship with that doctor.
Heather Healy, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FNP-BC, PMP, CEO with NursingPro Executive Consulting, said the onboarding and orientation process for providers is fundamental in establishing expectations and also making a new doctor or nurse feel like they’re a part of the team.  
“As healthcare is moving out of the hospital and more into clinic settings and outpatient surgery centers, there’s more demand and more need. There’s some higher turnover,” Healy said. “Hospitals are acquiring physicians and physician groups, and some of these docs have never really needed to be onboarded, because it was just their own practice. But now, organizations are having to create some onboarding systems.

"The market is exploding, and if you don't give people a good 90 days, they're not going to stay."
Healy spoke at MGMA20 | The Operations Conference Online, offering guiding and actionable principles in creating a program with sustainable outcomes, including improved provider satisfaction and retention with decreased turnover costs.

Her expertise is also applicable to addressing the different needs of nonphysicians, such as newly graduating nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), focusing clearly on defining the roles of staff and practice restrictions, as well as meeting state rules and regulations.

Healy cautioned that orientation and onboarding programs are only successful if the C-suite and physician leaders within an organization are fully involved, considering the costs of such efforts.
“You have to make sure that finance is on board, marketing’s on board, the CEO, because if you’re going to put money into all of the recruitment, but you don’t put money into retention, then you’re not adding any value,” she said.
But the payoff for a successful program — and a more engaged physician — can be huge, Healy explained.
“You’ll spend $10,000 to $30,000 recruiting a top-level physician who’s going to make $800,000 to $1 million, and if they can’t get onboarded and they can’t get to their computers, they can't get their logins, their passwords, they’re delayed 60 days to do a surgery, you've just lot $2 million ... and an upset doc," she said. "So, it’s vital that we get them onboarded as quickly as possible with the most effect.”



About the Author

Andy Stonehouse MA
Freelance Writer and Educator Colorado

Andy Stonehouse, MA, is a Colorado-based freelance writer and educator. His professional credits include serving as editor of Employee Benefit News and a variety of financial and insurance publications, in addition to work in the recreation and transportation fields.


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