Bringing new physicians onboard can be one of the most exciting and challenging parts of ASC management. New physicians create opportunities to enhance your center’s initiatives and fuel growth. Onboarding, however, can present challenges as you orient new physicians while simultaneously managing daily operations. Despite busy schedules maintaining focus on first impressions is important. Starting off on the right foot with new physicians is instrumental to establishing lasting relationships for your ASC and physicians alike.
What can you do to ensure smooth transitions that successfully engage new physicians? We sat down with Kelli McMahan, VP of Operations for Pinnacle III, for some advice. Here are her top five tips for successfully onboarding new physicians.
- Schedule an introduction & tour: Meet with new physicians before they begin performing procedures at your facility. Schedule time for them to tour your space. Introduce physicians to as many staff members, anesthesiologists, and physician partners as possible. This will help new physicians feel welcome and provide them with friendly faces to turn to or contact should they encounter any issues when they begin work at your ASC. New physicians may also wish to review available instrumentation and equipment. Make sure your clinical nurse manager, instrument technologist, and other staff members who are familiar with the potential needs of your new physicians, are available to answer questions during the tour. Navigation to the locker room, the Pre-Op/PACU area, or ORs can be challenging for new physicians. Make sure your new physicians leave the tour feeling comfortable finding their way around your facility.
- Provide a physician welcome guide: Provide a welcome packet to new physicians when they initially arrive at your facility. The packet should contain helpful information to successfully orient physicians to your ASC. Examples include, but are not limited to, your mission statement and core values, directions to your facility, important contact information, leadership bios, and relevant resources for new medical staff members. Include medical staff expectations from your medical staff bylaws, as well as information on how to start scheduling cases, access transcription services, obtain pre-op and post-op guidelines, and find resources for their patients. List your facility’s H&P requirements, block time guidelines, dictation instructions, approved procedures, and managed care relationships.
- Collect preference cards: Discuss with new physicians the importance of supplying preference cards that are applicable for all the services they intend to offer at your facility. Useful preference cards provide detailed information on physician preferences for supplies needed, OR set-up, and block time/clinic time. Preference cards can typically be obtained from any of the other facilities at which physicians worked prior to your ASC. Obtaining preference cards early will allow you and your staff ample time to prepare for the new cases and ensure the appropriate supplies are available.
- Arrange a meeting between physician scheduling staff & ASC scheduling staff: Your scheduling staff should plan on meeting with your new physicians’ scheduling teams to review scheduling processes. Your staff should take contact information, instructions, forms, and patient information packets to these meetings. They need to engage the new physicians’ staff and ask how they currently process scheduling information to other entities. Doing so will set the stage for both entities to work together to establish a mutually beneficial process for sharing appropriate information efficiently and securely.
- Follow-up with your new recruits: When new physicians arrive for their first day at your surgery center, be available to greet them and answer any questions. If you are not personally able to meet them on their first day, ensure you appoint a qualified designee to fill in on your behalf. Speaking with new physicians at the end of their first day will help you address issues that arose and instill confidence in your facility.
By following these tips, you can provide smooth transitions for new physicians joining your ASC. If physicians are satisfied with their initial interactions with your center, they are more likely to perform cases at your center for many years to come. Your success with new physicians will create a positive reputation and opportunities for more physicians to join your facility. Simply put, successfully engaging new physicians helps turn your facility into the center of choice. Wouldn’t having too many physicians to onboard due to your ASC’s growth be a nice “problem” to have?
Kelli McMahan – Vice President of Operations