A common practice is to spend the least possible time acclimating the new physician to the clinic and get him to see patients as soon as possible. The benefit being that, the earlier a new physician starts seeing patients, the quicker the clinic starts making money and the patient load on other physicians decrease quicker.
Let us examine if this is indeed the best way to on-board a physician.
A physician is a significant investment to any medical practice. I say this because a new physician comes at a hefty price tag (his salary). Also he is expected to be taking care of a panel of about a thousand or more customers (patients). Additionally he will probably be doing this for a long time to come, and may some day even make partner at the clinic.
For the above reasons, we need to be very deliberate in our practice of on-boarding a new physician. We need to spend the necessary time and resources ensure that the physician has a smooth transition into his new home.
Some salient features of a successful on-boarding process are as follow.
1. Time to on-board. a young physician newly out of residency might need as long as a month to learn the various aspects of clinical practice. A physician with a few years of practice under his belt can complete on-boarding in less than a month.
2. Shadow multiple providers in the practice, so that the new physician can see various ways of practice and adopt the most efficient way.
3. Training in using Electronic Medical Records by an IT specialist.
4. Training in coding, billing, HR, legal, pharmacy to ensure appropriate management in these areas.
The on-boarding schedule should be provided to the new physician and all other players in the on-boarding process well in advance. This provides clarity and ensures a seamless passage, which the new provider will appreciate and cherish in the years to come.