Clinical leaders, health system executives need to work hand in hand

High-quality, affordable and accessible healthcare increasingly relies on team collaboration and interdisciplinary work to deliver excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction. The challenges that healthcare organizations face today (e.g., continued recovery from the pandemic, rising costs, regulatory mandates, decreasing reimbursement, new technology, access concerns, etc.) create an urgent need for executives and clinical leaders to partner to help create healthy communities together.

With this in mind, MidMichigan Health has developed an internal Provider Leadership Institute (PLI) to train a bench of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, steeped in the health system’s culture, who will influence colleagues to focus on excellence, quality and patient satisfaction.

Provider leadership training maximizes the potential to influence healthcare and transform an organization’s culture by increasing provider competencies that directly add value to healthcare institutions. These competencies include team building, communicating with compassion, conflict management, strategic perspective, “how to influence,” adaptability, process improvement, change management, as well as financial management.

Research shows that when the C-suite aligns with well-trained provider leaders, and they work collaboratively, then quality/safety, access, affordability and patient-satisfaction levels all increase. In fact, using the American Medical Association’s Mini Z burnout survey, we found that our providers believed that simply knowing there was an opportunity for leadership training improved their overall resilience. This evidence was a deciding factor for getting support to roll out our own leadership institute.

Research also tells us that using skills and tools developed in leadership training allows these provider leaders to teach their provider colleagues to engage patients and families in their care and to communicate with compassion, both leading to better patient experiences. In addition, creating a pipeline of provider leaders helps to fill organizational leadership openings, board seats, committee spots and executive positions.

MidMichigan Health’s PLI steering committee welcomed its inaugural class of 10 provider “students” with a kick-off breakfast this past May. The program incorporates a learning framework that builds awareness, and includes interactive, experiential class sessions and team projects that will all contribute to personal growth and as benefit the health system. The yearlong program includes coursework taught by MidMichigan Health leaders and will conclude with a final group project presentation to senior leaders. Graduates will be awarded a competency certificate in medical management.

The service delivery goals in healthcare today are complex, but with successfully trained provider leaders working hand in hand with an organization’s executive team, world-class quality and the highest level of patient satisfaction will be achieved.


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