‘WHAT’S UP DOC?: IT’S A SERIOUS QUESTION

ATLANTA - While improving your communications effort with physicians should be on your internal communications agenda, it's probably not high on the priority list, according to a recent study.

Doctors generally give only fair or poor ratings to their hospitals for keeping them up-to-date, listening and responding to their needs and ensuring they have a meaningful strategic role within the organization. Findings from the study were revealed by Kathy Lessor, director of corporate communications for Premier hospital alliance, during the annual conference of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development recently held here.

Ironically, CEOs and chief medical officers see it differently. Three-fourths of them think their hospitals/systems do a good or excellent job of ensuring physicians a meaningful organizational role and none of them gave their hospitals "poor" ratings in listening/responding to physician needs.

Physicians and CEOs agree that a lack of trust between physicians and administrative staff is a major stumbling block to developing successful relationships, and they believe improved communications builds trust. The study also found that leaving physicians out of organizational planning is a sure-fire way to sabotage relationships.

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