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Reducing Provider Turnover

Written by: Dale D. Richardson, Principal at Medical Management and Consulting LLC

We all know how lengthy and costly the process can be to find and hire a physician/Advanced Practice Providers (APP), especially one who is a good fit for the practice. Therefore, it benefits everyone if the provider who is hired becomes a happy, productive member of the team Many healthcare facilities forget the importance of many common sense “onboarding” measures that can help provider retention. No matter how big or how small the clinic is, it is vital to integrate physicians/APPs into the practice, health system and community. Here are some effective tips that can really help!

  • Ideally, before the contract is signed, a hospital/clinic should learn the personal interests, as well as the clinical interests of the provider.
  • Prior to their arrival, engage the new provider into your community by sending/emailing upcoming events relative to their interests.
  • Provide additional information regarding schools and kid’s activities when appropriate.
  • After your new provider arrives, don’t forget the spouse. Whether male or female, providing opportunities for the spouse to assimilate into the community is a smart thing to do.
  • Send a welcome basket that is relevant to the provider or family interests.
  • On the clinical side, an orientation to the new health system/clinic for the new provider should take place. Administration should tour the provider through the hospital to meet the department heads. But, in addition, the medical director or one of the lead provider needs to tour the provider through the clinical departments.
  • Ideally, a provider who is considered a positive representation for the hospital/clinic should be aligned with the new provider as a mentor or “go to” physician during the first year. The end game is to introduce the new provider to all the individuals within the health system who they interface with during clinic days. This will assist the provider in getting up-to-speed faster contributing to a feeling of success in the new practice.
  • Key to integrating a provider to the electronic health record is to have an “EHR super user” or a knowledgeable provider instruct the new provider how to utilize the electronic record. This training may require 1 to 1.5 days but it is well worth it!
  • The provider mentor should set routine meetings with the new provider to answer questions that come up during the providers early tenure. The mentorship can pare back after year one, but it is good to maintain quarterly meetings to stay in touch.
  • Community involvement is noteworthy. Introducing community leaders during a lunch or dinner benefits the provider as he/she ramps up their practice, as well as encouraging community ties. The goal is to make the new provider a real and necessary component/addition to the community. Introductions to civic organizations allows the provider to highlight details of their practice. This also serves as a vehicle to market the provider and the health system.

Many of these tips can seem basic and elementary. But in our productivity-driven environment, these points are often overlooked leading to significant provider turnover.

If you have questions or comments, please email Dale at or call him at 970-658-7590.

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