The co-training between primary care physicians (PCP) and specialists can make the difference between an average rating on patient experience and an excellent rating. Today, reputation is one of the most important aspects in an increasingly consumer-centric and competitive healthcare industry.

A study was done by the JAMA Network Open, brought new data that illuminated a critical area for healthcare providers: your reputation among your peers. According to the study, specialists perform better on patient experience assessments when one of their colleagues is the patient's primary care provider.

The study even showed that even if the doctor who provided the first care to the patient did not refer him directly to the specialist, the fact that the patient knows the physician's colleague is enough to result in better communication and decision-making by the specialist. The researchers further stated that this is because the expert wants to maintain a good reputation among his peers.

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"The influence of peer observation and approval is likely to be highly influential in medicine, and can be deployed more productively," the study explains. "Doctors are motivated to show all their competence to other colleagues in the profession, not just for financial gain (e.g. attracting more patients from referrals), but they can also gain job satisfaction from maintaining high standards set by being watched."

It turns out that physicians care what their colleagues may think of them, which may have motivated many to practice more patient-centered care.

The study collected data from the years 2016 to 2019 to assess the impact on the care provided by specialist physicians using information from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, researchers identified primary care physicians and cross-referenced information from specialist physicians who had studied together for at least one year, being that period in the faculty of medicine, residency or scholarship.

The time lag showed that this coincidence of studies was not exactly common, with only 3% of the primary care physicians and specialists analyzed having any training together. But where this has happened, the changes in patient care have been remarkable.

The researchers observed a nine percentage points higher rating of specialist care when these specialist physicians and the physicians providing the patient's initial care trained for at least one year together. And unsurprisingly, the study also showed that this trend was even greater in cases where the physicians were at the same educational institution.

Even more, these improvements were apparent in 9 out of 10 items that were addressed in the patient experience test, including clarity in communication and decision sharing.

The researchers controlled for several variables and also relied on testimonials from primary care physicians offered during direct and indirect referrals. Furthermore, the team found that the same specialist can have different patient experience scores, depending on whether they trained with the physician who initially saw the patient or not.

This all indicates that higher patient satisfaction scores go to specialists who studied or trained with a primary care physician and these results are specific to this type of situation and that if the doctors were taken into account individually, they would not have the same positive assessment. The researchers also confirmed that these physicians' higher scores in patient satisfaction are because they take the opinion of their colleagues into account and want to maintain a good reputation.

In addition, the specialist and primary care physician may have shared values, leading to a higher level of accountability to colleagues, the study team said.

Collective training and study between specialists and primary care physicians bring not only the aforementioned improvements but also contribute to improving clinical quality more than other initiatives on this front - and even to public reporting. The researchers said this could have policy implications for an industry striving to improve the quality of life.

But it is still unrealistic to think that all the specialists and primary care physicians had some interaction during their years of study, therefore, it is necessary to give credit and encourage better care within the medical teams that already exist within the clinics.

The findings of the present study, and its extensions, could have major implications for healthcare delivery organizations, as they suggest potentially large quality gains from models that encourage interactions between co-workers and professionals – such as team consultations, digital consultations that promote direct communication, peer coaching, and multispecialty case discussions,” the researchers said.

More generally, our study suggests that non-financial strategies to leverage physician professionalism, including pressure to live up to peer expectations, can generate gains in many dimensions of care without requiring specific decision interventions that risk eroding. of intrinsic motivation when implemented in aggregate”, they concluded.


Medical teamwork

Team-based healthcare recognizes that several key factors influence a patient's care and that each of these must work together to generate the best care outcomes. Since the human factor is one of the most important, which are the members of a care team - who can be doctors, nurses, medical assistants, specialists, and other non-clinical professionals, and which are essential to care for a patient, according to a National Academy of Medicine report.

“The fundamental concept is that a team is a group of individuals who coordinate their actions towards a common purpose, which in health is the prevention or treatment of disease and the promotion of health,” wrote the Academy authors.

The management software for medical clinics and health offices in Ninsaúde Apolo is perfect for multidisciplinary teams, as it can serve several health specialties at the same time. This makes it easy for the entire team to locate and add information about a patient, without having to go through the trouble of digging through paper records or even having to personally ask other staff members about a patient's status.

Team care can be successful when all members are on the same page, and this requires:

  • A clear and common goal;
  • A culture change that facilitates teamwork;
  • Supporting organizational structures;
  • Effective teamwork coaching.

When these factors are implemented, the patient's experience changes for the better, as the patient will notice that the team works well side by side, and he will feel more secure in performing any procedure.

The study's evidence also showed that physicians who work in good teams, or with colleagues who have a good relationships, become happier in their profession, as well as suffer less from symptoms of stress and burnout.

As the healthcare industry continues to embrace value-based care, it will be essential for organizations to restructure to meet high standards of care. By doing so, healthcare professionals can deliver better clinical outcomes while delivering a better overall patient experience.

So, did you like the tips? Keep following the blog for more content like this. Are you a healthcare professional but still don't use management software? Get to know the system for Ninsaude Apolo clinics.

Source: Patient Engagement Hit [1] - Patient Engagement Hit [2]