10 Things to Change About Physician Behavior

by Arlen Meyers

10 Things to Change About Physician Behavior

Disrupting sick care is the new parlor game. Of course, even the guy who coined the term “disruptive” now feels he has to defend himself, so I guess the good news is that we are becoming the victims of our own success. Most of the talk has been about changing patient/customer/consumer/prosumer/client behavior. The assumption is that engaging patients will create better health and insurance IQs. thus making patients better consumers, and that will translate into behavior change that will lead to cost savings. Many entrepreneurs, hospitals and doctors are spending billions to validate that assumption and most will be surprised when they get the results. So will investors. The hypothesis could be the Achilles heal of many business model canvases.

It’s time to look at physicians and surgeons through the same lens.

Here are 10 things I would like to change about how doctors think, feel and act and how to do them as a starting point to get us to the brave new sick care world:

1. How doctors make decisions about technology adoption

2. Adherence and compliance with clinical guidelines

3. Diagnostic decision errors and second opinions

4. Hand off errors

5. Emotional intelligence errors

6. Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset

7. Failure to recognize the socioeconomic and behavioral determinants of health disparities

8. Uncounscious bias when making medical decisions

9. Managing or mitigating conflict of interest

10. How medical educators treat students, residents and fellows

Engaging physicians to transform operational and clinical performance is a tough task. You must understand the barriers as well as what matters most when it comes to changing a person’s behavior and, then, have a strategy that is sustainable.

Happy employees make happy customers. If you want to change things, worry aboutchanging the doctor experience  instead of changing patient/consumers/customers/prosumers/clients.

The only thing harder than herding cats in trying to get them to change their spots. Try changing the rules, not people.

BTW: When was the last time you were able to change someone’s behavior? Here are some things to consider.

Hint: Data rarely does.

 
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Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org and co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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