Residual Effects of Turnover
Patient psychology also plays a role, affecting hospitals on a deep and damaging level. The mere exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon by which familiarity creates comfort, reassurance and relief, supports the idea that a familiar physician can help reduce the stress levels and overall health of a patient. A recent Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG) study reported that patients whose Primary Care Physician (PCP) had left their medical group had significantly more hospital admissions, emergency and specialty visits, and laboratory and x-ray tests. These patients also had dramatically reduced satisfaction scores and greater disenrollment rates – a fact that, with the rise of internet ‘healthcare scoring’ websites, could affect a medical establishment for years.
Shifting Strategy to Stop the Bleeding
Physician retention programs and policies are therefore becoming crucial to the long-term success of hospitals and medical groups. HealthLeaders Media recently published a story about the Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, reporting that without a physician retention program the organization experienced an average of 14% turnover, yet just 5 years after implementing a formal retention program this was reduced down to 4%, saving the organization an estimated $1 Million for every physician that stayed with the group. Other studies further illustrate the crisis. According to a 2008 physican retention survey conducted by Cejka and AMGA, one in seven physicians leaves within the first two years, and the Journal of Applied Psychology stated in 1998 that the initial three weeks of employment is the best time to secure the loyalty of new employees.
A “Gracious” Welcome
With these statistics in mind, creating and maintaining a warm welcome is the focus of many physician retention programs. “People often assume that reimbursement might sit at the top of that list,” says Pamela McKemie, the senior vice-president of LocumTenens.com, which sponsored a survey in 2006 of more than 2,500 physicians on the issue of retention. “Although money matters, our survey indicated that what are more important for them are issues around loss of autonomy, patient overload, and respect.”
Provide the Essentials From the Start
Respect can be displayed in a variety of ways, yet as the universal symbol of physicians, a high-quality and personalized lab coat is an effective way to acknowledge the prestige and professionalism of an employed medical professional. Medelita, a lab coat and scrubs manufacturer founded by a clinician, has developed a following among the medical community as a company that places quality above mass bottom-line production.
Invest in Your Physicians & Patients With Medelita
Medelita offers a select number of products, with a focus on perfection of design and details. From the finished inside seams to the curvature of the sleeve, every Medelita product is beautiful, simple, and sophisticated, intuitively designed and tailored with the medical professional in mind – including performance fabrics that provide not only comfort, but also functionality. Medelita lab coats are even made from breathable technologically advanced cotton that works to prevent stains and repel fluids, including blood.
A gesture as simple as a beautiful lab coat, when integrated into a physician retention program, could help hospitals and medical groups welcome new physicians. For Anne Kennard, MD, her Medelita lab coat reflects the prestige of her position, “I got my Medelita white coat. [...] Now, I walk in confidently, knowing that I look professional and polished.”
Click Here to Request More Information about our retention program essentials package that your medical group can use to compliment your retention program. You may also call us at 877.987.7979 to speak with a retention program specialist.