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Cultivating Effective Physician Relationships: Insights from Intermountain Healthcare

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Anthony Raphael
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Cultivating Effective Physician Relationships: Insights from Intermountain Healthcare

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Emphasis on Two-Way Communication

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Intermountain Healthcare, a leading health system in the United States, underscores the significance of two-way communication in fostering strong physician relationships. Dr. Beau Bailey, a prominent figure at Intermountain, asserts that effective communication, trust, and respect form the backbone of positive relationships with physicians (source).

Harnessing Peer Relationships and Advocacy

Intermountain Healthcare has adopted a unique approach to strengthen physician relationships; it leverages peer relationships and advocates for frontline staff. By creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, the health system has successfully improved outcomes and care. This approach has been instrumental in developing a symbiotic relationship with one of the largest payers, leading to improved communication, reduced denials, and the development of friendships with medical directors.

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Supporting Frontline Providers

One of the critical elements in enhancing physician relationships is support for frontline providers. This emphasis on support is evident in Intermountain's approach to workload management. The health system strives to strike a balance between workload and support, providing reasonable workloads to physicians to ensure they can deliver the highest quality of care. This approach, coupled with two-way communication, forms the cornerstone of their strategy for improving physician relationships in 2024 (source).

The Impact of Virtual Visits

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A study on virtual visits highlighted the importance of maintaining existing physician relationships. Patients who had a virtual visit with an outside physician were 66% more likely to visit the emergency department within seven days compared with those who had a virtual visit with their own physician. The study suggests that primary care virtual visits may be best used within an existing clinical relationship (source).

Employee Feedback and Company Culture

Reviews and feedback from current and former caregivers of Intermountain Health offer a glimpse into the company culture and the relationships between physicians and the health system. While the feedback is mixed, it reveals an emphasis on collaborative teams and the company's commitment to delivering high-quality care at a sustainable cost. However, financial challenges and changes made to address them have raised concerns among employees (source).

Case Study: Dr. Mark A. Levstik

Dr. Mark A. Levstik, a family medicine physician at Intermountain Healthcare, embodies the ethos of the health system. He believes in a patient-physician relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and empowered decision-making. His dedication to educating and serving his patients underscores the importance of developing strong physician relationships (source).

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