A five-hospital system in Northern Indiana located just outside the Chicago metropolitan area required a shared recruitment plan to address the need for multiple select specialties. Critical to creating the shared plan was obtaining buy-in from all five facilities. To foster that buy-in, HSG set the tone for inter-hospital meetings and negotiations by stressing that the individual hospitals would be able to accomplish more in their communities by cooperating and compromising.
How HSG Helped
For each specialty, our recommendations were based on:
- Which hospitals were currently pursuing recruitment for that specialty;
- Where recruitment was justified, but not currently being pursued; and
- Service areas where specialties were desired, but recruitment wasn’t justified.
For dermatology, recruitment was justified for all five hospitals, but only recommended for one. Management at the one facility wanted to recruit dermatology as a community need, but the four other facilities were facing many other higher-priority recruitment needs. HSG suggested a regional strategy to create a shared service, but noted that as a community service, there was minimal positive economic impact for any of the hospitals—instead it would be a joint community service effort.
At three hospitals, only part-time clinic hours were needed in endocrinology; however, one hospital needed a full FTE. Recruitment into that area was recommended, with limited clinic time provided in the markets of the three other facilities.
In one hospital’s market, primary care physicians and specialists alike told us that additional physician services were needed in neurology. After investigating, we found there wasn’t enough volume to justify an additional full-time physician. There were also quality concerns with an existing provider, precipitating the need. This provider was included in the inventory and the numbers did not reveal a need in the market. Because recruitment was justified in neighboring markets, a regional effort was recommended.
In total, 129 recruitments were recommended for the system over a 3-year period. Of those recruitments, 33 were identified as shared recruitments.