When building a physician friendly environment, we have to pay attention to the squeaky wheels.  

We all know a doctor like this one.  They complain a lot.  They are extremely vocal.  They are very time consuming.  Everything is a big deal.  It’s very frustrating to work with them.

Do you tend to just try to phase them out?  Do you ignore them?  Do you get angry at them?

Let’s try to see this doctor in a new light.  I prefer to see them as an unpaid consultant.  Think about it.  They tell you what issues the medical staff has with the hospital before anyone else does.  They are on the inside.  They’re in the know.  And guess what?  That means that you’re in the know and can potentially fix issues before they become any bigger!

Hospitals have to change the way they see issues that arise with physicians.  The only reality is the physician’s reality.  It may seem like no big deal to us as administrators.  But if it’s a big deal to the physician and the hospital doesn’t fix it, they’ll find other places to take their patients.  And, if it is bothering one physician, it is likely bothering others.

So, what to do with this unpaid consultant?  If an issue is brought up to you, listen to the complaint.  Apologize for the situation.  Take ownership of the issue.  Then, handle it immediately if you are able to or move it up the chain of command to the person that can.  Then, close that loop and let the person know what you did to rectify the situation.

If hospitals do this, their physician’s will feel like they care about their concerns, which they probably do.  And, if they do this every time, that vocal doctor might not have anything left to complain about.