Why Physician Loyalty Matters

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Listen to “Why Physician Loyalty Matters”

Katie Owens, Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) co-founder and president joins the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast for an energetic discussion about physician loyalty this week.

As we discussed with Katie, there are many ways we can measure, track and influence physician loyalty sentiments in our organizations and institutions. Today’s podcast is an in-depth exploration of what physician loyalty looks like and how to best amplify the driving forces behind it. 

Describing Physician Loyalty

At the core of physician loyalty is an emotional and professional connection to an organization.

Katie notes that through HXF’s partnership with PRC, she has spent a lot of time looking at national and local facility needs. 

Based on this research, she tells us that physician loyalty can be found in many of the following ways:

    The commitment physicians feel to investing thoughts and ideas into their organizations,

    Caring about the success of the hospital and clinical environment,

    Feeling a sense of ownership,

    Feeling as though their role is rewarding.

The Importance of Physician Loyalty

Supporting medical staff and advanced practice providers with tools and resources to feel engaged has never been more critical, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19. 

As Katie notes on today’s podcast, if the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything about physician loyalty, it’s that we must double down on efforts to engage physicians. 

“In our research with PRC we have demonstrated that when physicians feel that an organization is an excellent place to practice, they are four times more likely to recommend that organization to their peers, to their patients, and to their own loved ones should they need care,” Katie said.

It’s no secret to Katie that physicians want a healthy climate for their practice; they want to feel like they are a part of a team. And we know they seek healthy relationships with administration.

Key Drivers of Physician Loyalty

On today’s podcast, Katie describes what she sees as three major drivers of physician loyalty. According to the research, Katie has found these drivers to include: 

    When physicians feel the patient experience is a top priority. 

    A sense that administration is responsive to the physician’s voice when there are needs and concerns, and that these concerns are acted upon when reasonable. 

    A high degree of confidence in nursing’s care and treatment of patients.

Katie told us that those three components give physicians a sense that their patients are in safe, good hands.

“What I would also say is that engagement is a high standard, it means committing to evolving a culture in a pursuit of excellence,” she said. 

The truth is there are some organizations with an incredibly contentious or toxic environment with extremely high levels of burnout. However, it does not mean it is “too late” for physician engagement to become a priority. As we learned on today’s podcast, it is never too late.

“It just means you have to start at a different place to break down some of those barriers to rebuild trust,” Katie said. “It’s about eating the elephant one bite at a time.”

Ready to Learn More?

Listen now to Why Physician Loyalty Matters:

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Meet Katie Owens

Katie believes that the way we deliver and receive healthcare matters—not just for the patients, but for the caregivers, the providers, and administration, too.

As President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation, Katie is taking bold steps to assure that every organization has access to resources for engaging patients and developing their workforce to achieve results. Katie is an innovator, implementing new ways to deliver the best in patient-centered care.

She has influenced hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders to equip their cultures and instill competencies that create environments of person-centered excellence. Her fundamental tenet is that every person is worthy of an environment where they feel confident in receiving and delivering the best possible care. Known as a leader among leaders, Katie previously served on the HealthStream Leadership Team as Vice President of the Engagement Institute. She also served on the Baptist Health Care (BHC) leadership team in Pensacola, Florida, where she supported the system’s sustained journey to excellence. Katie has led teams of expert coaches dedicated to improving the quality of the patient experience and has been instrumental in creating leading-edge learning assets to support patient experience competencies. She is most proud of having grown Baptist Leadership Group to one of the most respected healthcare coaching practices in the country before being acquired by HealthStream in 2013.

Katie is the lead author of The HCAHPS Imperative for Creating Patient-Centered Excellence and is currently writing her second book about the importance of speaking the patient’s language. She is frequently quoted and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Financial Management Magazine and Hospitals and Health Networks. She is an energetic, internationally-recognized speaker and has presented for many highly-respected organizations, including American College of Healthcare Executives, Beryl Institute, Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Summit, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Connect with Katie Owens
More episodes with Katie Owens