Located in the Central East corridor, this three-hospital system, comprised of two adult and one children’s hospital, is a tertiary provider for an 18-county service area, encompassing both urban and rural populations. The system both employs physicians and provides recruitment assistance for independent physicians. They asked for:

  • a physician needs analysis that would support recruitment flexibility; and
  • a medical staff development plan that addressed community needs and the system’s strategic objectives.

While the organization is designated an “urban” provider, its services and medical staff  are the primary health resources for a much broader geographic area.  And, the age, health status and economics of the broader service area place significant additional demands upon the providers within its core, urban market.  Special consideration was also required for the organization’s pediatric subspecialists, who do not enjoy the support of pediatric residencies that are typically available at children’s hospitals.

Further, the organization required medical staff support for the recruitment plan. Thus, the process had to be transparent and physician leaders had to understand and accept the methodology and assumptions.

How HSG Helped

HSG implemented a comprehensive physician manpower planning process that included multiple quantitative and qualitative indicators.  We focused on developing an inventory that accurately reflected the physician availability in a market that includes many part-time physicians and physicians practicing at multiple locations. Needs analyses were completed for multiple service areas — the Stark III, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Combined, and  each county within the combined service areas. Analyzing the needs across multiple service areas:

  • provided the documentation required for recruitment assistance within the core market;
  • allowed succession planning issues by service area to be addressed;  and
  • offered direction for placement decisions for employed physicians and satellite office expansions to best meet organizational and community needs.

Adjustments were made to the national physician-to-population models to account for increased demand as a result of the area’s significantly older population and higher illness prevalence.  In addition, we developed a methodology to adjust the pediatric subspecialty ratios to reflect the lack of resident support.


The end result was an in-depth analysis of the full market and its component parts and a set of recommendations that addressed community and organizational needs through a process that was transparent to the physician leaders.  The clients received an objective, targeted and defensible plan that was fully supported by its medical leadership.