The primary goal of physicians is to provide the best care to patients. A good way to ensure continuous and improved care is to have good feedback. Physician reporting is a feedback system that can achieve this improved care. However, physicians get overwhelmed with the loads and loads of paperwork involved in physician reporting. In addition to that physicians don’t trust some of these reports and think of them as a waste of time. Health research organizations seek to solve this problem of physician reporting.

Health Organizations and health scholars seek better ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of physician reporting. One of the ways to do that is to increase physician engagement by increasing their willingness. So how do you do this? Focusing on physician engagement early on is a good place to start.

It is important to involve physicians at the onset stages of any organizational changes. Physicians will buy into a new methodology much more quickly if they are engaged in its development. Bringing physicians into the decision-making process early gives them a sense of ownership and control and helps them see the value in what’s been done. This early stage involvement trickles down throughout the organization. Early involvement also increases the ease of information flow. Now engaging physicians for better reporting does not come without barriers some of these barriers are:

A need for an uptick in Physician reporting often comes alongside organizational changes and policy introductions. This makes physicians preoccupied with concerns about losing their autonomy or having a drop in their income levels. Physicians usually have to deal with increased patient loads and an onslaught of new regulations, laws, and guidelines. As mentioned earlier, physicians also feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handles all the paperwork because of how time-consuming it is. They also lack an understanding of how their behavior contributes to healthcare waste and inefficiency. Hospitals and payers believe that employing physicians is the primary means of securing alignment. Instead, a holistic approach by combining multiple alignment levers (e.g., personal autonomy, clinical autonomy, colleagues, IT department) would be more effective. Organizations have the misconception that compensation is one of the most important drivers for physicians but that’s not always the case.

Now that we know all or most of the setbacks to physician reporting, let’s discuss the ways we can improve on it.

Cleaner Data: As mentioned above, the paperwork for physician reporting does tend to get pretty messy. Physicians shouldn’t have to worry about fixing data after the report is created. The systems and processes put in place on top of a data warehouse mitigate data quality issues, from front-line data entry errors to problems with free text in EMRs.

Unique Patients: Physicians often cite special circumstances in response to performance comparisons with other physicians. Running a Pareto analysis (the 80/20 rule) or Key Process Analysis with the data warehouse and adjusting for disease severity reveals just how different a physician’s patient population actually is.

Current and up-to-date information: Physicians need current and accurate information so they know how they are currently performing. When data is old and stale it becomes irrelevant to the time and hinders proactiveness.

Granular Data: With this, Physicians can drill down to the individual patient level to see what care has been provided. They don’t have to rely on a three or six month average of an entire patient population.

Saving Time: Having trustworthy, clinically relevant data helps identify patient care gaps and improvement opportunities. Up-to-date reporting helps physicians evaluate their improvement efforts so they can spend their time wisely.

The long-term goal is better patient care. Data can be a powerful catalyst for changing behaviors and improving outcomes. When physicians are engaged in the reporting process and feel a sense of ownership of the data, they’re better positioned to improve outcomes.