Physician training beyond the clinical

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Physician training beyond the clinical

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | February 11, 2020
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HealthCare Business News spoke with three leaders at Hartford HealthCare (HHC): Rocco Orlando, M.D., chief academic officer; Clara Riley, director of organization development, and Catie Santarsiero, APRN, director of provider health and wellness, about HHC's physician leadership training program.

About a decade ago, it became apparent that medical school and residency training weren’t preparing physicians sufficiently to work in complex organizations. “We were getting great clinicians, but not necessarily folks who understood organizational structure or organizational change and how to use it to improve care,” says Orlando.

Physicians might claim that administrators didn’t understand the clinical world — and, conversely, administrators might claim that clinicians didn’t understand business decision-making. Yes, those complaints probably will never go away entirely. But understanding the issues and encouraging teamwork are part of the solution at Hartford HealthCare. It starts with ensuring that the right people are at “at the table” to candidly address concerns and arrive at consensus.

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Rocco Orlando, M.D.
A starting place is to gain an understanding of the pain points for the different people impacted by an issue. The ultimate goal, always, must be for all parties to ensure that decisions will provide the best experience and outcome for patients. Training helps create that bridge. To that end, the Provider Leadership Development Institute was started 10 years ago.

Here’s how it works
“We hold one full-day in class session on the first Wednesday of every month for nine months. In between, there’s project work. Providers are working on a very specific project that relates to our highest strategic goals in the organization. They’re working with a team and getting exposure in areas they otherwise might not have had contact with,” Santarsiero said. “They’re also getting the chance to use the skills, techniques, leadership competencies or knowledge shared from previous months so that they can practice it and give feedback to say what worked or didn’t work.”

Catie Santarsiero
The program is firmly rooted in HHC's culture, called “H3W”, How Hartford Healthcare Works, driven by 10 leadership behaviors. These include: “be in the moment,” “be curious rather than judgmental” and “have courageous conversations.”

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