Evaluating People & Processes + Improving the Practice Environment
By the very nature of its purpose, the Emergency Department is a uniquely challenging part of any hospital, and the demands for and on the physicians, who make it tick are ever increasing. Creating and maintaining positive provider morale requires ongoing commitment to strong ED leadership, appropriate staffing levels, a financially and operationally strong practice environment, work-life balance, and consistent demonstration that the hospital values the people who make up its emergency medicine team. Fostering this kind of culture will breed not only Physician and patient satisfaction but also physician and patient loyalty—aspects no hospital in today’s healthcare environment can afford to ignore.
In this guide, we explore four areas which can impact provider satisfaction:
Part 1: Recruitment and Retention
Now is a great time to find employment as an emergency medicine physician. But for hospital administrators trying to recruit and retain highly qualified candidates, times are tough. A 2018 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges showed that by 2030, the projected physician shortage for specialties including emergency medicine, anesthesiology, radiology, neurology, and psychiatry is between 20,300 and 36,800.
These projections persist even with moderate increases in APRNs and PAs, delayed Physician retirement, and changes in payment and delivery. In 2018, the American College of Emergency Physicians also reaffirmed their belief that there is a significant shortage of physicians appropriately trained and certified in emergency medicine.2 Add to that an aging baby boomer generation, a growing overall population, and an increasing shortage of primary care providers, and we have more patients than ever turning to Emergency Departments for help.
A shortage in physicians can mean more stress on the existing team, longer hours, more overtime, and general provider dissatisfaction with work. Lest you think the future is all gloom and doom, there is good news. Recruiting and retaining enough EM doctors to run an efficient EM program improves overall morale—and it’s not only possible but also uniquely within your control.