Survey finds major inconsistencies in physician leadership training

There is a growing impetus to develop more robust physician leadership training initiatives, but few hospitals are walking the talk, according to a recent survey.

Ninety percent of physician leaders agree that an understanding of finance and access to capital is important in their profession, yet only 47 percent say their organizations have a formal physician leadership training program that addresses this, according to the joint survey from the American Association of Physician Leadership and the Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis.

For those organizations that do not have a leadership program in place, 84 percent of respondents said they are unaware of plans to launch one.

The respondent pool of 2,030 was made up of medical directors (28 percent), staff physicians (20 percent), CMOs (19 percent) and other high-level executive roles.

"The survey results demonstrate the timely need to educate and empower physicians as leaders within healthcare organizations," said Paul Keckley, PhD, managing director of the Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis. "In order to hold physicians accountable for value-based care, it is imperative to create consistent methodology for managing costs and delivering high-quality care."

Here are three key findings from the survey:

  • 63 percent of respondents believe business knowledge in purchasing goods and services for the organization was important or very important.
  • 65 percent said business knowledge in negotiating with lenders or investors was important or very important.
  • 78 percent believe the ability to evaluate risks associated with acquisitions or new businesses is important or very important.

Developing more comprehensive physician leadership training programs with the tools, competencies and knowledge to successfully navigate the healthcare system will be instrumental in preparing for success as hospitals and health systems become increasingly driven by value-based metrics and risk-sharing arrangements.

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