Defining your strategy and creating a common understanding with your physicians is a crucial first step to building a high-performing group. Aligning it so that it supports your organizational strategy is likewise crucial.

Tip 1: Align group and organizational strategy.

As you start the process, executive and physician leaders should first review the organization’s plan and define the priorities the physician group must embrace to support the overall strategy. Without a plan, you will not meet your objectives!

 Tip 2: Define priorities around the eight key elements.

In developing your operational priorities, recognize that you may not be able to tackle all of them simultaneously. Systematically evaluate efficiencies among the eight key elements to set your priorities. 

Tip 3: Understand the financial implication.

A focused plan, using these standards, will help your group’s financial performance. Document that in a financial plan and define accountability for financial performance. Set appropriate metrics to measure against and be disciplined in assessing the results! 

Tip 4: Develop Action Plans to guide implementation.

Action Plans must define the steps, owners, timeframes, and resources required. These plans are also a key tool in creating accountability. Hold people’s feet to the fire! 

Tip 5: Involve your physicians in the planning.

To get your physicians in the right frame of mind, we like to start with a simple directive: describe the ideal group, one with which they would proudly associate. That helps physicians begin to think about possibilities on both the clinical and business sides of the equation. You need their input! 

Tip 6: Ensure your physicians understand and support the plan.

The best way to accomplish this is to engage them – all of them – in plan development and priority setting. An all-day workshop at the beginning of the planning process is very useful. In addition, a presentation of the completed plan (preferably by physician leaders) will help at process end. 

Tip 7: Appropriate numbers of both primary care and specialty physicians must be addressed.

A physician needs analysis, supplemented with an assessment of the strategic needs of the hospital/system, will help ensure the group has the right number and mix of specialties to reach your financial objectives. 

Tip 8: Geographic dispersion of the group members must be addressed.

As you disperse physicians, you must also focus on aggregation. Groups of physicians create synergies; spreading them into small cohorts is a weak strategy. Larger groups equal a strong market presence. 

Tip 9: Define and remove barriers to plan success.

Consciously focus on barriers. Understand that early physician involvement (Tip 5) will help, as that can grow into a major barrier if not managed. 

Tip 10: Measure the plan’s effectiveness.

Quarterly reviews of the performance on objectives and actions, with the Physician Advisory Board, will propel the process and encourage accountability. We also like to share these results with all physicians on a semi-annual basis. Structured communication is a key to success.

Get all the tips by downloading “67 Tips for a High-Performing Physician Network.”

Travis Ansel

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Strategy