Recruiting Physician Champions for Improvement Projects
Having a physician champion on board can be an important benefit for clinically-based improvement teams. The physician champion plays a crucial role when it comes time to make the case for other physicians to support an improvement idea. They also understand the ins and outs of the processes already in place.
Wondering where to start when finding a physician champion? Here are three tips for successful recruitment:
1. Find someone who has a passion for the topic of your improvement work.
It may be easier to ask someone with an outgoing personality or someone you know well to be your physician champion; however, you’ll likely create more work for yourself on the back end. Instead, seek out someone whose personal passion closely aligns with the improvement topic. If they’re already invested in the work, you won’t need to push them to participate.
For example, if your improvement team wants to make sure all children coming into a clinic receive a healthy weight plan, find a physician who is specifically passionate about addressing obesity.
2. Be honest and realistic about the time commitment.
Doctors are busy and have limited time. It’s crucial for the improvement team to think about how the physician champion should participate and where he or she can best add value. Be upfront about the time commitments to avoid future frustrations for the physician champion and the rest of the improvement team.
And, remember to also be realistic in your expectations.
"Make sure the time commitment isn’t going to push doctors away. Think one to two hours a week," says Christopher Magryta, MD, a pediatrician at Salisbury Pediatric Associates in Salisbury, NC, and who was a physician champion on Rowan Regional Medical Center’s Best Fed Beginnings team. “I did feel guilty when I coudn’t do something for the project, like visiting another center to see what they were doing. It’s important to remember there is no dedicated time to do these projects. It’s outside the norm of regular practice and family time. I participate because I’m passionate, but it’s on my own time.”
3. Find an affable and open-minded recruiter.
No one wants to work with someone they don’t like. Make sure the person recruiting the physician champion is likeable and excited about the project. Recruiters should be willing to listen openly so the physician can comfortably voice any concerns, and they should be knowledgeable about the work, so they can address whatever questions arise.
Following these three steps helps ensure that you will have an engaged physician champion who will drive your improvement work forward.
Magryta, who worked to help hospitals improve their maternity care practices and obtain Baby-Friendly designation, says becoming a physician champion was easy for him. “I wanted to be there, I wanted to help out. I knew going in that the downstream effects were profoundly life-changing for these children. I saw that as a reason why my time was well spent.”
Interested in getting the most out of your improvement project? Take our free e-course, Quality Improvement 101 and learn how to leverage quality improvement fundamentals to drive change and improve health outcomes.
Are Your Hospital’s Website Images Safe-Sleep Friendly?
The internet is filled with unsafe images of babies sleeping. Hospital websites can set a much-needed positive online precedent. Here, learn what you can do make sure your hospital images are safe sleep friendly.
How to Improve Health Systems for Families: One Mom's Investment in Change
In 2004, after experiencing severe preeclampsia, Tara Bristol Rouse quickly learned just how complicated the health system can be. Now, after 15 years of advocacy, she’s sharing making things easier for families across the nation.
Families Drive Better Outcomes in Children’s Health
Christy Blakely and Elizabeth Aquino both have daughters with special healthcare needs. And both went on to become passionate family partners, advocating for change in the health system. When you read their stories, you'll see that change is possible, thanks to the power of family voices.
Driving Statewide Improvement in Perinatal Care
Across the nation, perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) are working to improve health outcomes for moms and babies by advancing evidence-informed clinical practices. In this article, learn about strategies for developing and sustaining a successful PQC. While the advice focuses on perinatal health, these ideas can benefit any quality improvement collaborative seeking to improve care delivery across a state or community.
Recent Legislation that Supports Better Children’s Health Outcomes
In recent months, there has been a surge of legislative actions for children’s health advocates. New laws have been passed that provide funding for programs and research initiatives essential for improving the health and well-being of children and families across the country. Here, NICHQ provides an update on the legislation and brief analysis on the impact on children’s health.
A New Study Reveals a Breakthrough in Examining Rare Events
Targeted efforts can help decrease the U.S.'s troubling high infant mortality rate. However, since infant mortality is considered a relatively rare occurrence, it can difficult to measure improvement efforts and assess impact. To combat these challenges, NICHQ leveraged a QI approach novel to the field of maternal child health: the use of statistical process control (SPC) charts. In this article, we share insight on how these charts can improve maternal and child health programs by helping them analyze and respond to rare events.