Patient Satisfaction should never be 100%

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Patient Satisfaction should NEVER be 100%

Patient satisfaction is all the rage these days. It is also a never ending ethical bind for doctors. If your administration thinks you can run your practice like Disney, I know you can feel the heat of the inappropriate pressure to make everyone happy.

I am all for having a supremely satisfying visit to my doctor. It will never be like a 90 minute hot rocks, full body massage ... and when I'm the patient, I will take what I can get.

The problem with comparing a visit to my healthcare provider and
- a massage
- or a meal
- or a hotel stay
- or a trip to Disney World

... is simple. They are not comparable ... for heaven's sake.

If you think you can run a healthcare organization like Disney, you are setting up a battle between Patient Satisfaction on one side and Quality and Safety on the other

============

In health care, 100% Patient Satisfaction is 

- Dangerous for the physician and the patient

- Unethical and a violation of "Primum Non Nocere"

- If your employer expects this of you as a physician, it is a glaring sign of a physician leadership vacuum

If you are doing your job well ...
There will always be a small minority of patients who must leave disappointed 

============

How Patient Satisfaction is Measured

Read More

Tags: physician leadership, patient satisfaction

Physician Burnout - How to Turn the Corner

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician burnout: How to turn the corner in your life and practice

No matter how exhausted and overworked you may feel right now -- no matter how frustrated with your practice or your out-of-balance life you may be -- there is a way to turn this corner.

Working harder is not the answer though

If you want different results in your life, you must take different actions

What got you here won't get you there

Don't fall into this trap

You can get to a place where you are running so fast - just to keep up with your current reality - that you don't have time to do anything more or anything different. I have heard people say over and over, "I am too busy to even think about doing things differently". 

Here is the key to getting out of this Catch 22, the key to getting out of this mind trap.

You have to find a way to step out of the flow of your life - in order to see things from a more strategic point of view - where the things you want to change can come into sharp focus

This lesson actually came to me from the world of the entrepreneur. 

You see, a person starting a small business can often end up overwhelmed by the details of being a solo entrepreneur. There is so much to do to coordinate your product/service, marketing, accounting and payroll and managing employees. It is a fairly close match for all the balls a physician has to keep up in the air -- and it can get equally unbalanced. 

Entrepreneurs have to learn this mantra sooner or later

Read More

Tags: physician burnout prevention, dike drummond, physician wellness retreat, Physician burnout, the happy md, physician coaching, intention journaling, work on your business

Physician Burnout's Highest and Best Use

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout's highest and best use

From within the misery of physician burnout it is difficult to see, but there is a purpose to this suffering. Burnout actually has a highest and best use. When you do a good job of burning out, you will look back on this as an important turning point in your life. A turning point for the better.

I have worked with hundreds of burned out doctors and physician leaders at this point and a clear and universal pattern has emerged. Let's see if you can see it too.

Try this snippet of anthropologic research

Think of a physician you respect and look up to - someone you feel has their act together in their practice and private life. Ask if you can have a cup of coffee and a conversation with them. When you are together, try this question.

"Please, tell me your burnout story."

Read More

Multitasking makes you stupid - do these 3 things instead

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Multitasking makes you stupid 

The neuroscience is clear, multitasking does not work. It is not a "skill" you can develop. It is not something you can possibly get good at. Multitasking is an urban myth in my opinion. In a healthcare setting, it can actually threaten patient's lives.

The reason multitasking does not work is simple to explain

Your attention - the bandwidth of your awareness - has a finite capacity. There is only so much attention to go around. You get the best results when you give ALL of it to a single task or observation.

If you are doing one thing ... say reading an MRI report on one of your patients

And you add in a second activity at the same time ... say taking a phone call (and trying to continue to read the MRI report)

Your available attention for each individual activity has instantly been cut in half. You are now half as good at reviewing an MRI report -- and your phone conversation will have half the quality it would if that was the only thing you were doing.

Congratulations - your multitasking (just two tasks in this case) has allowed you to instantly do a half-assed job. Unfortunately we are just getting started.

Here is the mathmatical relationship between multitasking and quality

Read More

Tags: dike drummond, the happy md, physician leadership, batch processing, multitasking makes you stupid, multitasking

Physician Burnout - Why Working Harder Never Works

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - Why working harder never works

In my coaching practice, working with hundreds of over stressed physicians, every single one is a supremely hard worker.

Our residency training values hard work above all else ... to the point of nearly working each of us to death at some point. If there is anything a physician knows how to do ... it is work hard.

It is our default reaction to any challenge. We put our nose to the grindstone and try to overwhelm it by the sheer volume of our effort.

Unfortunately when you come to the dead end of burnout, working harder never works.

Here is why ...

If you work harder doing more of what you are already doing - you will just get more of what you've already got

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout, work life balance, life balance, prevent physician burnout, physician leadership, einsteins insanity

Physician Burnout - Who Will Save Us

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - Who will Save Us?

In this article you will learn why Physician Burnout is a Physician Leadership Issue and what to do when you realize no one is coming to rescue you.

========================

In articles and comments all over the internet, physicians do the same thing - blame, justify and complain about the work stresses we are under.

It is a futile show of frustration despite the fact that our concerns are legitimate.

On average 1 in 3 physicians are suffering from symptomatic burnout on any give office day. New levels of work stress seem to pile on each week. You can feel the longing to be rescued.

It is as if we are locked high in the castle tower, at the mercy of our evil captors - EMR, ICD-10 and Obamacare. Surely the king of everything that is right has dispatched a brave night to free us.

We shake our fists and ask "who is going to do something about this?" We dream of being rescued from these days of drudgery. This is not what we thought our practice would be like back in training.

All of these concerns are true and valid. AND understand one thing ...

Complaining and dreaming of a rescue is Playing the Victim - Pure and Simple

There is no brave knight coming to save you or anyone else

This only distracts you from Saving Yourself

Let me set a framework for addressing burnout effectively - the straightest path to meaningful change in your work day and your organization.

In the end you will see that Burnout is a Physician Leadership issue.

Read More

Tags: physician burnout prevention, dike drummond, Physician burnout, physician stress, physician leadership, physician stress management, disruptive innovation in healthcare

Patient Communication - What to do when a patient says thank you

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Patient Communication - What to do when a patient says thank you

I have asked hundreds of doctors to tell me a story of their most recent rewarding patient encounter. That patient interaction where, at the end of the day, they look back and said to themselves, "oh yeah, that's why I became a doctor."

These stories all have one thing in common.

No matter what the details of the case, each story always ends with the patient and/or their family and caregivers saying, "thank you."

Unfortunately, that same doctor can often miss the critical importance of these brief moments.

When a patient says thank you - no matter how rare an occassion this is in your practice - it is an opportunity for you to do two fundamental things:

1) Reconnect you with your purpose and sense of fulfillment in your practice and simultaneously inject energy to all three of your energetic bank accounts.

2) Give the patient and their caregivers the opportunity to connect with you in a whole new way.

If you don't take advantage of these brief moments of gratitude, they are quickly swallowed up by the pile of tasks in your practice day - and the opportunity is lost.

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout, patient communication, doctor patient communication, physician patient communication

Healthcare's new Age of Engagement - bold steps you can take now

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Healthcare is entering a new Golden Age of Engagement

Patient Engagement
Patient satisfaction and quality of care are built upon a new foundation of patient engagement. In this new age you will be compensated for the level of engagement you create with your patients.

Physician Engagement
As employed physicians become the majority in the United States, your organization will create a competitive advantage by building new levels of physician engagement with your providers.

In this article, I will show you the single most important skill clinicians and physician leaders must learn in order to thrive in the years ahead.

Why the "Age of Engagement"?

For the first time financial incentives are aligning with your ability to Engage your patients and your people

In this New Age, failing to reach new levels of patient and physician engagement will hit you right in the pocket book in clearly visible ways for the first time

Read More

Tags: dike drummond, physician engagement, physician alignment, patient engagement, patient communication, physician communication, coaching skills for physicians, powerful questions

Patient and Physician Engagement - the Missing Step

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Patient and Physician Engagement - the Missing Step

We are entering healthcare’s Age of Engagement- and something is missing.

In this article let me show you the missing link to patient and physician engagement. Understand this engagement blind spot, and you will immediately upgrade your effectiveness as a clinician and physician leader

Engagement definition:
The full and enthusiastic participation in a course of action.

Read More

Tags: physician engagement, patient engagement, physician leadership, empathy, whats in it for me, wiifm, physician enrollment, patient enrollment

Work Life Balance for Physicians - How to Tip the Scales

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Work Life Balance is key to preventing Physician Burnout - but exactly HOW do you create balance in the first place?

Here are 2 Key Actions (and 3 Power Tools) to help you create more balance this week - Field Tested and Doctor Approved. 

Read More

Tags: dike drummond md, Physician burnout, work life balance, work life balance for physicians, work life balance for doctors, work life balance tips, prevent physician burnout, boundary ritual, prevent burnout, bucket list, date night, scheduled spontaneity, physiican burnout prevention