What Are the Key Attributes of Hospital-physician Alignment? Complete This 7-question Survey.

Thursday, November 2, 2017 | Larry Sobal

What are the key attributes of hospital-physician alignment?

A few months ago I blogged about why we still struggle with physician alignment. That blog post, along with one on addressing TCG (trust, consensus, grit) deficiency in leadership teams generated the most responses I’ve had since I started this weekly blog almost two years ago.

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct various hospital-physician alignment exercises with organizations to explore the key attributes of physician alignment and how those attributes correlate with hospital quality and financial performance. This has produced some incredible discussions and insights as to what is, or isn’t, helping create the necessary synergies that hospitals and physicians need to be successful.

Those events and conversations have validated that alignment remains one of the more challenging aspects in healthcare today. From those exercises, and other informal surveys, I have identified 10 attributes that have consistently risen to the top as key drivers of alignment.

Now it’s time to launch a more extensive survey to help determine the most critical of those alignment attributes. To do that, I am asking you to take a few minutes and complete the following 7-question survey. Also, feel free to pass this survey link on to any other health care leaders you feel will have a valuable perspective to share. I’ll publish the full results in a future post.

Please note that when answering the questions you should think of hospital-physician alignment in the following context: “a highly functional state of agreement or cooperation between hospital executives and physicians with a common cause or viewpoint to mutually understand, and work toward, accomplishing the shared goal of providing value to patients.”

Take this 7 question survey on Hospital-Physician Alignment

It’s hard to argue that there has ever been a greater need for hospitals and their physician partners to collaborate and innovate together.

I’ve noted many times that we are in an era of unprecedented change in healthcare. Regardless of your opinion on the pace and type of change, it’s hard to argue that there has ever been a greater need for hospitals and their physician partners to collaborate and innovate together.

Hospital and health system executives recognize that they cannot be successful in accomplishing meaningful clinical transformation without high levels of physician alignment and engagement. At the same time, physicians are facing many challenges that are leading to higher levels of burnout and frustration. In order to prosper as a health care organization going forward, executives and physicians must learn to work symbiotically. This means both parties need to acknowledge the value of one another and agree to work toward mutual success.

As I work with organizations around the country to master effective methods of planning, innovating, implementing, solving conflicts, and producing meaningful and measurable improvements, I have noticed that organizations working in a truly collaborative partnership (i.e. have strong alignment) are more the exception than the rule.

The reason that synergy doesn’t seem to happen to everyone’s satisfaction has been described in a number of ways, but commonly I hear: “we just can’t seem to get in alignment with each other.”

If we can identify the key attributes of alignment, then organizations and their physicians will have a more concrete understanding of what to focus on in order to improve their alignment.

Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to complete the survey; I look forward to sharing the results.


llustration: Lee Sauer


Larry SobalLarry Sobal is Executive Vice President and a Senior Consultant at MedAxiom. He has a 35-year background as a senior executive in medical group leadership, hospital leadership and health insurance. Larry consults, writes and presents on topics relevant to transforming physician practices and health systems. His weekly blog post comes out on Thursdays and can be accessed at www.medaxiom.com.


About the Author
Larry Sobal

Larry Sobal, MBA, MHA, is CEO of a yet-to-be-named cardiology practice which is transitioning from employment to an independent physician group effective January 1, 2019. He has a 37-year background as a senior executive in physician practices, consulting, medical group leadership, hospital leadership and health insurance.

To contact, email: larry.sobal@gmail.com

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