Key Ingredients for Successful Physician Recruitment in Rural America
In last month’s blog we briefly touched on the challenges facing our rural healthcare organizations and the viability of our rural communities. In this month’s blog we would like to expand upon this topic and provide what we feel are key ingredients for successful physician recruitment in rural America.
Diversified Hospital Board
It is crucial that healthcare boards remain diversified and well represented across many of the industries that make up the economic livelihood of their small community. These industries include Education, Agriculture, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Construction, and Public Administration. It is not only important that these representatives have a seat at the table, it is essential that organization assess the skillset of each board member to assure they align with both the current and future strategic needs of the healthcare organization.
The success of rural healthcare organizations and its communities go hand and hand. Many times you will find that healthcare organizations are in fact one of the largest employers of its area. Because of this, their viability is tied directly to one another. Community involvement is vital to promoting and consuming the services their healthcare facilities have to offer. If community members seek services outside of the area, either by necessity or choice, this puts the future of rural healthcare organizations in jeopardy. These challenges, if not addressed, can lead to facility closure, increased unemployment and decreased census as families relocate to find sustained employment.
Despite the fact that rural communities have their challenges, they also offer alternative opportunities, lifestyles and benefits over urban settings. To attract healthcare providers it is important to showcase all that the community has to offer. Providers are more than likely to invest in the organization if they see future success of the community, their practice and their family.
There are no better people to lean on than the providers who are already working within the organization. Utilizing Physician Champions to help in the recruiting process may foster relationships as well as enhance collaboration amongst physicians to ensure future success. Physicians may provide a better perspective about practicing within the organization and what it’s like to live in the community.
It is important to identify candidates confident in their skills due to the fact that, in a rural setting, providers rely more heavily on clinical judgement, skills and expertise. When that candidate presents him or herself it is crucial that action be taken immediately. The timeliness of communication, interviews and negotiations directly reflects the organizations interest in the candidate as well as how the provider may view working relations with that organization in the future.