Blog2017-09-04T16:09:10+00:00

Jordan Search Consultants Blog

The ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry can be a difficult one to navigate. To help you stay in-the-know, Jordan Search Consultants’ Founder and CEO, Kathy Jordan, posts twice a month about a range of healthcare and higher education topics. Some subjects she frequently touches on include recruitment, organizational culture, candidate sourcing, population health, integrated care, physician leadership, and much more.

Want Kathy to answer a question you have or address a topic you’ve been wondering about? Email her here.

Mental Health Awareness and Care

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May is National Mental Health Month, a time when many organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), work to raise awareness about mental health in America. One in five Americans is affected by mental health issues like anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Raising awareness and providing timely, appropriate treatments to address these issues are important strategies for supporting a healthier population.

Mental health issues are on the rise among America’s children, teens, and young adults. The NAMI notes that half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and three-quarters of mental health conditions develop by age 24. A report from The Child Mind Institute reveals that anxiety affects 30% of children and adolescents. Untreated anxiety disorders have been linked to depression, academic failure, and double the risk for substance use disorder. According to a recent paper from the American Psychological Association, the rates of depression and severe psychological distress leading to suicidal thoughts and actions have more than doubled since the mid-2000s for young people between ages 12 and 25. Those who struggle with severe, untreated mental illness often experience homelessness and incarceration, environments that typically exacerbate their condition.

More psychiatrists are needed to help address the current mental health situation in America. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of these specialists to meet the current demand, and the shortage will only worsen in the upcoming years. In response, healthcare organizations are exploring new strategies to connect patients to the help they need.

Telepsychiatry is one way to extend psychiatric care services, especially to remote or rural areas. Psychiatrists can use video conferencing to offer appointments, evaluate patients, and discuss their medication. They may also use technology to advise primary care providers who have patients in need of a mental health-related diagnosis or referral.

Collaborative care is another type of partnership model between psychiatrists and primary care providers. Developed at the University of Washington, this approach embeds psychiatrists in primary care practices. The psychiatrist sees only the most challenging patients and provides oversight and consultative services for the practice’s other cases.

Expanding the capabilities of other providers and specialists to treat mental health needs is an additional way to offer services. Nurse practitioner psychiatrists are registered nurses who have completed additional training in mental healthcare and pharmacology and may prescribe medication. A few states, including Illinois, Louisiana, and New Mexico, have passed legislation allowing appropriately-trained psychologists to prescribe certain drugs, such as antidepressants, to treat mental illness.

Mental Health Emergency Rooms were created to assist people experiencing a mental health crisis episode and help ease the patient burden on traditional ERs and hospitals. It is estimated that 1 in 8 emergency room visits stem from a mental health-related issue. Because traditional ERs don’t have the time or expertise to treat these patients, and the chaotic environment can worsen their symptoms, some patients can end up heavily sedated, restrained, or hospitalized unnecessarily. Mental Health Emergency Rooms aim to calm, treat, and release patients in under 24 hours and are staffed by nurses, social workers, and psychiatrists. Patients who are well enough to go home are discharged and those who need further care are transferred to an appropriate facility.

While many challenges remain when it comes to addressing mental health in America, healthcare organizations must continue to seek out ways to provide mental health services to those who need it, as well as support mental health care providers. If your organization needs help finding qualified candidates who specialize in mental health, give Jordan Search Consultants a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

Red Carpet Recruiting

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In the midst of systemic physician shortages, recruiting top-tier providers has become even more challenging for healthcare organizations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate at the beginning of 2019 was just 4%. The unemployment rate for the healthcare industry was even lower, coming in at a mere 2.2%. Due to high demand, skilled healthcare providers have multiple job options – and the ability to pick and choose where they want to work. In this environment, healthcare organizations should be cognizant that the balance of power has shifted to job candidates. Organizations must roll out the proverbial red carpet throughout the recruiting process or risk losing qualified candidates to the competition.

The experience of a job candidate during the recruitment and interview process has a significant impact on their decision to accept – or reject – a job offer. In fact, according to a recent survey, 68% of job seekers believe the way they are treated as a job candidate is a reflection of how a company treats its employees. The same survey found that job candidates expect proactive, clear, and frequent communication from a potential employer. This is applicable to the entire recruitment process, from initial contact to interviews to a job offer. If a candidate doesn’t feel valued and important throughout the experience, they can – and likely will – go elsewhere.

How can healthcare organizations ensure job candidates feel like they’re getting the star treatment? Here are some tips for making sure that prospective employees feel valued and that your organization is putting its best foot forward.

Frequent Communication is Vital

Job candidates expect timely and quick communication; it is no longer acceptable to let days (or even hours) go by without responding to queries or sharing updates. This is especially true for healthcare providers that are currently employed and working long hours. Their time is precious; don’t make them wait on you. Check in with candidates regularly to emphasize that you’re keeping them top of mind.

Institute a Well-Oiled Interview Process

Create an organized and cohesive interview process and consistently put it into practice. Form a strong team of interviewers by assembling a good mix of ambassadors and talent who will showcase the organization and the best of your company’s culture. This team should include the hiring manager, the department supervisor, and a potential future co-worker. Consider including a representative from another department, as well. Discuss and decide on interview questions ahead of time so the candidate isn’t being asked the same question repeatedly.

Let Candidates Know What to Expect

Make sure your candidate knows what to expect during the interview process. Set an itinerary for the day and share it beforehand. Take the candidate out to lunch and/or dinner. (Be sure to communicate dress expectations well in advance so they can bring appropriate attire and feel comfortable.) In addition, make sure to designate one of your best people to greet the candidate on arrival, escort them to all meetings, and make sure they have time for breaks during the day. Once an interview is complete, let the candidate know when they can expect to hear from you regarding next steps, and honor that promise.

Make it Personal

Have everyone who spent time with the candidate during the interview process send a follow-up message noting that they enjoyed meeting them. If appropriate, indicate availability for further discussion should the candidate have any additional questions or concerns. Depending on the candidate’s communication preferences, these follow-up messages might be sent in the form of a handwritten note, an email, or a text message.

While compensation will always play a role in candidate decisions, savvy organizations know that the best candidates are interested in more than just the numbers. A healthy company culture and a collaborative workplace environment are just as vital for attracting top talent, especially when it comes to younger healthcare professionals. By showcasing how current and prospective employees (and their time) are valued throughout the entire recruiting cycle, healthcare organizations can increase their appeal – and the likelihood that candidates will choose to become employees.

If your organization needs help finding qualified candidates or constructing a strategic process like the one described above, Jordan Search Consultants can help. Give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

The Impact of High Performers Who Are a Poor Cultural Fit

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The Impact of High Performers Who Are a Poor Cultural Fit

In business, performance and results matter when it comes to the numbers; a healthy bottom line is essential to the sustainability of any organization. And a company culture that helps nurture an engaged, motivated workforce is just as crucial for continuing success. But what happens when you have a high-performing employee who is a poor cultural fit? While it may be tempting to focus only on their impressive sales numbers or prodigious output, organizations must take into account the ramifications of negative behavior on long-term success.

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, created a well-known Performance/Values matrix to use when evaluating employees. In this model, employees are classified into four distinct groups:

  1. Culture Fit/High Performer
  2. Culture Fit/Non-Performer
  3. Non-Culture Fit/High Performer
  4. Non-Culture Fit/Non-Performer

The Non-Culture Fit/High Performer was identified as the most problematic type because their behavior had such a detrimental effect on other employees. Although meeting or exceeding numbers-based goals is a favorable accomplishment, metrics alone don’t drive long-term organizational success. A positive and healthy working environment where employees feel respected and supported is just as vital. The most damaging result of allowing a Non-Culture Fit/High Performer to remain at an organization will be the loss of good employees who leave as a result of this professional’s toxic presence. This is especially true if the negative behavior is coming from someone in a supervisory role.

Organizations and managers should keep in mind the following questions when dealing with an employee who falls into the Non-Culture Fit/High Performer category:

  • Would their negative behavior be acceptable from an average or poor performer?
  • What message does their behavior send to the other employees about acceptable actions and attitudes?
  • How will their behavior affect the company in the short term andthe long term?

At Jordan Search Consultants, we understand the critical importance of cultural alignment when it comes to making successful provider placements. Our team takes the time to understand the needs of an organization andits culture, so we can find candidates who will be a good match on all levels. If you need assistance finding the right fit for your organization, give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

 

Conveying Your Organization’s Mission Effectively

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Conveying Your Organization’s Mission EffectivelyMost healthcare organizations have a crafted mission statement to describe the ideals and purpose of their institution. But merely posting those words on a wall or website is not enough to imbue them with value. An institution’s mission must be put into practice; the day-to-day actions and experiences of stakeholders, providers, and employees will always speak louder than any written statement. Organizations that work to fulfill their stated mission through active, daily implementation will see numerous benefits, including enhanced company culture, increased employee engagement, and the ability to attract quality job candidates with complementary personal values.

Translate the organizational mission into valued business goals

By incorporating mission aims into a definitive business goal, organizations send the message that their higher purpose is just as valuable as the bottom line. When institutions implement specific actions to support that goal, mission statements become an active force versus a passive proclamation.

Champion mission values in daily operations

Company culture – the way an organization’s values are expressed in day-to-day operations and interactions – is established through the actions and direction of leaders and managers. In the healthiest organizations, a company’s stated values and mission are evident in the workplace environment. When mission values are actively promoted by leadership, they become a positive part of company culture.

Create organizational mission ambassadors

Recognize and reward employees who are supporting the organization’s mission. Employees who find meaning in their work and feel appreciated become positive ambassadors for an organization. Verbal affirmation, recognition in company-wide publications, or other positive reinforcement are all ways to emphasize the value of an organization’s mission, promote employee engagement, and create organizational mission ambassadors organically.

Discuss the organization’s mission during interviews

When hiring new employees, look for candidates whose personal values will align with those of the organization. During the interview process, spend time explaining the organization’s mission and ask candidates how they see themselves furthering that mission. When personal and organizational missions are in alignment, everyone wins.

To convey missions effectively, organizations should bring their stated purposes and values to life. An organization’s mission must be experienced as a valued tenet of business that undergirds and informs daily decisions and interactions. Organizations that are able to accomplish this will benefit from increased employee engagement, less turnover, and an appealing company culture to attract top-tier future job candidates. Jordan Search Consultants understands the importance of alignment between a candidate’spersonal mission and that of an organization. If you need assistance finding candidates for your organization, we can help. Give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to recognize and address physician burnout

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Physician burnout has become an increasingly common phenomenon in the healthcare industry. Burnout is defined as a response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. In a 2018 study of over 15,000 U.S. physicians, 42% reported feeling burned out. The personal effects of burnout include increased risk for cardiovascular disease, shorter life expectancy, misuse of alcohol, broken relationships, depression, and suicide. In addition to negatively affecting physicians, burnout also has a detrimental effect on patient outcomes. Physician burnout is associated with a lower quality of patient care, reduced patient satisfaction, and double the risk of involvement in patient safety incidents. Plus, when physicians leave due to burnout, finding and training replacements is costly for organizations.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has compiled a list of seven warning signs that physicians can use to determine if they might be on the road to burnout:

  1. You have a high tolerance to stress
  2. Your workplace is exceptionally chaotic
  3. You don’t agree with your boss’ values or leadership
  4. You’re the emotional buffer for your patients
  5. Your job constantly interferes with family events
  6. You lack control over your work schedule and free time
  7. You don’t take care of yourself

Physicians spend much of their time and effort caring for others and often neglect to care for themselves. Self-care activities that physicians can use to combat burnout include exercising to reduce stress, spending time with loved ones, or taking part in other restorative activities. Talking with counselors or other mental health care professionals to address feelings of burnout is also recommended.

While healthcare organizations may feel that physician burnout is a personal issue, much of what contributes to burnout is related to a physician’s working environment. Institutions can and should address organizational-level stressors to help keep physician burnout at bay. Promoting self-care, creating a culture of collegiality and community, and allowing time for work that is personally meaningful to the physician can help. The Mayo Clinic has instituted these and other organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout. As a result of those efforts, their rate of physician burnout is one-third lower than the national average. Another resource example comes from the American Medical Association. Their free, open-platform program called STEPs Forward™ was created to help physicians and organizations improve their working environments and help prevent burnout.

Neither physicians or healthcare organizations can afford to ignore the personal, professional, and financial costs of physician burnout. Addressing the issue should be a shared responsibility; physicians cannot be expected to shoulder burnout alone, especially when organizational stressors are a significant contributor. Institution-level changes to combat the problem will have a positive effect on both the wellbeing of physicians and the bottom line. And physicians who acknowledge their own needs and invest in self-care will benefit both personally and professionally.

Jordan Search Consultants specializes in matching the right candidates with the right healthcare organizations. If you need recruitment assistance, give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

 

 

 

How Healthcare Organizations Can Engage Medical Students & Residents

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As organizations strive to meet the demands of a healthcare landscape shifting toward value-based care and a burgeoning patient population, they will also need to take into account the United States’ aging population. By 2030, the number of Americans over 65 will have increased by 50%. This demographic includes a significant amount of physicians. One-third of currently practicing physicians will be of retirement age in the next decade, affecting the supply of available doctors. In order to prepare for what lies ahead, including the looming provider shortages, healthcare organizations will need to adjust their recruitment strategies. Forward-looking establishments will incorporate tactics to attract and engage medical students and residents – the future of the physician workforce.

For medical students, early exposure to unfamiliar geographical areas or particular specialties can introduce them to possibilities they may not have considered before. One way to accomplish this is through immersion programs. These programs benefit the students by providing hands-on experience early on in their studies, one-on-one mentorship with established physicians, and exposure to the realities of caring for a patient population. One such example can be found in North Carolina. The North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians partners with the five medical schools located in the state to provide summer immersion programs for students who have completed their first year of med school. These two- and four-week programs offer the students exposure to Family Medicine and on-the-ground experience working alongside a practicing physician. In Pennsylvania, Altoona Family Physicians has created programs for med students at all stages of their training. They offer clerkships, summer preceptorships, and shadowing opportunities which allow the students to do sub/acting internships, fulfill rotation requirements, and explore specialty electives. In addition to the programs themselves, there are also desirable extras like free housing, free food at the cafeteria, and daily teaching lectures – targeted benefits that draw medical students from across the nation to their organization. It’s no coincidence that these two examples are aimed at attracting doctors to primary care and family medicine – specialties on the front lines of patient care. A recent Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report projects a shortage of up to 49,300 primary care physicians by 2030.

Programs designed to attract more residents to your organization also provide future payoffs since a majority of residents will stay in the area where they did their residency. This is especially salient when it comes to organizations located in rural areas. By increasing resident placement opportunities, organizations can also expand the pool of local physicians – and future job candidates. Mercyhealth in Rockford, Illinois, recently created two residency programs to draw residents to the area and increase access to healthcare for patients in hospitals and clinics. Their internal medicine residency program is also affiliated with the University of Illinois College of Medicine, offering residents access to the university’s library services, the capacity to conduct research, and other academic benefits.

As healthcare organizations work to enfold residents into their ranks, they also need to keep in mind the Millennial mindset. An important characteristic of today’s Millennials is the desire for both mentorship and a collaborative work environment. Organizations with healthcare leaders who can model leadership styles to meet these expectations will have an advantage in retaining members of this workforce. Leaders who are able to embrace simultaneous leadership – accepting input from their team and engaging in open discussion while still remaining the acknowledged authority to make final decisions – will allow Millennials to feel respected, mentored, and fully engaged in their work.

Healthcare organizations who are willing to invest in medical students and residents through meaningful hands-on experience, mentorship, and effective leadership styles will see a payoff from these efforts. Organizations who engage future providers early will have a significant edge in their efforts to recruit them later. Need help finding the right candidate for your organization’s present and future needs? Jordan Search Consultants can help. Give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

 

 

A Conversation About Population Health

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With David B. Nash, MD, MBA, Founding Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH)

In 2015, Jordan Search Consultants interviewed David Nash, the Founding Dean and the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy at the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) and an innovator in defining the term physician leader and training methodologies for these professionals. Three years later, the healthcare industry is still evolving. As we move away from the traditional fee for service model, from volume to value-based payment systems, and the health of populations becomes a central focus, physician leadership becomes even more salient.

Population health is broadly defined as the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. Population Health Management is defined as the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes.

A quick Internet search reveals that today approximately 12 universities across the nation offer graduate degrees in population health, although Jefferson College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University was the first. As a physician leader at the forefront of this population health evolution, Dr. Nash has some unique perspectives to share.

Q: How has the focus on population health shifted in the three years since we last spoke?

A: Population health is much bigger today than it was three years ago. The journey from volume to value is well underway and the navigators on this journey are those who have been trained in the science of population health management. My friend and colleague, Dr. Rita Numerof, founder of Numerof & Associates, a healthcare strategy consultancy based in St. Louis, and her team release the results of their State of Population Health Survey each year. Four hundred C-suite healthcare executives responded; 95% of these respondents rated population health moderately, very, or critically important.

Q: How are healthcare organizations addressing population health?

A: The tenor and tone of population health is more harried and higher pitched as we start 2019. Those at or below the poverty line are not healthy, and the U.S. is the only western nation where this is the case. The income disparity is wider than at any point in American history and so this conversation becomes increasingly important. Volume-based healthcare is not sustainable and value-based is; we can no longer mop up the floor, we must shut off the faucet. The population health management construct provides a way to deliver better care at lower costs and requires transparency and accountability for outcomes across the continuum of care. Healthcare organizations are shifting to this way of thinking and they are hiring healthcare consultants and physician leaders trained in population health management to help them. This includes a paradigm shift for data collection, capacity building, and innovative partnerships. Numerof’s third annual study (conducted in collaboration with our organization) finds that while nearly all healthcare providers see population health as an important next step, the shift in the business model has proven difficult to achieve due to institutional hurdles and concerns over financial losses.

Q: What type of physician leadership is needed to achieve this shift?

A: In addition to flexibility, a willingness to learn and to listen, a deep understanding of organizational culture, and an interest in, and ambition for, healthcare improvement is needed. Physicians who will lead us into this population health era need to be change agents and well trained in change management. More frequently, we are seeing organizations appoint a Chief Population Health Officer who has specific data and analytics training and who can interpret and close the feedback loop with other physician leaders across departments. These leaders know that they must incorporate social determinant data into their approach to healthcare and gain clarity around what healthcare problems we are solving and for whom. Lack of clarity, lack of action, and lack of leaders trained in population health management are the reasons many initiatives fail.

Q: How can we best train the physician leaders so necessary to the future of healthcare?

A: Leaders at all levels must be flexible, courageous, and resilient. They must develop an understanding of diplomacy and behavioral economics to work with colleagues to improve efficiency and healthcare outcomes. Population health is not a new concept; in an era where healthcare costs are skyrocketing it is no surprise that there is a resurgence of interest to deliver better care at lower costs. The leaders who will make this possible will help rethink the business model to keep populations healthy and costs contained. Achieving lower costs and better health outcomes requires ensuring patients are getting the right care at the right time and at the right place in the care continuum.

Q:  Are you seeing an increase in enrollment since well-trained leaders in population health are so essential to taking healthcare organizations to this value-based model?

A: It is the 10thanniversary of the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) and enrollment has continued to increase each year. We now offer two degrees in population health: a Masters in Population Health Management and a Masters in Population Health Intelligence. The latter requires a more in-depth mastery of population health analytics, predictive analytics, and augmented intelligence. These analytics have become increasingly important as population health leaders need to know exactly how and what to extract from a tsunami of data.

Q: How can we best recruit and retain these physician leaders?

A: Leaders are attracted to innovation, action, and commitment. Millennial physicians have a deeper understanding of social determinants of healthcare and want employers to be aware, educated, and provide resources to address and tackle these issues. In a 2018 Millennial Survey conducted by Deloitte, millennials and those in generation Z wanted to drive societal and economic change. The companies and leadership teams most aligned with them in terms of purpose, culture, and professional development are likely to attract and retain the best young talent. This is true in the physician space as well.

Q:  We are seeing more and more healthcare organizations providing “wraparound care.” Do you believe this will continue?

A: Wraparound care is the future of primary care. Eventually, all healthcare organizations will practice under the wraparound care model—and it will be for everyone, not just the severely or chronically ill, high-utilization patient population.

Q: How do you think physician education will change in the coming years?

We must start training physician leaders in medical school. Population health management needs to be integrated into the medical school curriculum. The pushback health education reformers always get is that to add something we must also take something away. My argument is that you don’t need to take something away; instead, you need to revise the format of the education. Do away with lectures and utilize more online tools. By changing the format, you can add in topics essential to today’s physician leader. The question is not whether population health is the future but rather, when will population health be the guiding principle at every healthcare institution and at what pace will this change occur?


David B. Nash is the Founding Dean and the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy at the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH). JCPH is dedicated to developing healthcare leaders for the future. A board-certified internist, Dr. Nash is internationally recognized for his work in public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development, and quality-of-care improvement. Repeatedly named to Modern Healthcares list of Most Powerful Persons in Healthcare, his national activities cover a wide scope. Dr. Nash is a principal faculty member for quality of care programming for the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) in Tampa, FL. He serves on the NQF Task Force on Improving Population Health and the John M. Eisenberg Award Committee for The Joint Commission. He also is a founding member of the AAMC-IQ Steering Committee, the group charged with infusing the tenets of quality and safety into medical education. Dr. Nash was recently appointed to the Board of the Pharmaceutical Quality Alliance (PQA) in Washington, DC.

Dr. Nash’s work is well known through his many publications, public appearances, and online column on MedPage Today. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and edited 23 books, including Connecting with the New Healthcare Consumer, The Quality Solution, Demand Better, and most recently Population Health: Creating a Culture of Wellness (2ndedition). He was the inaugural Deputy Editor of Annals of Internal Medicine (1984-1989). Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Medical Quality, Population Health Management, P&T, and American Health and Drug Benefits.

 

Helping Candidates Find the Right Fit

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As a premier healthcare recruitment firm, Jordan Search Consultants focuses on helping organizations find the right candidates for their needs. We also devote significant energy and effort to ensure that candidates find the best job for them. Fulfilling both sides of this equation is crucial to enhanced retention rates– and long-term satisfaction for both parties. At Jordan Search Consultants, we take the time to learn what’s most important to candidates, make sure they’re prepared for the job search process, and connect them to compatible organizations.

As a candidate, how do you know if an organization will be the right fit for you? Before you begin applying for positions, spend some time defining your career desires.

  • What are you looking for in your next move?
  • What type of organization do you want to work for?
  • What kind of patient population do you want to work with?
  • Where do you want to work geographically?

Rank your list of desired characteristics and benefits in order of importance. After that, consider the flip side of this exercise. What are the things you don’t want? Decide which ones are deal-breakers, and which ones are negotiable. This will help you narrow your search and focus your efforts on the most promising positions.

Next, make sure your CV is up to date, polished, emphasizes your qualifications, and highlights your strengths. Spend time thinking about a personal mission statement.

  • What drew you to healthcare?
  • What do you love about your career?
  • How do your passions benefit patients and employers?
  • What do you want to spend your time doing?
  • How do you want to care for patients?
  • How do you envision your career evolving?

Defining your personal mission statement will help you clearly express what you’re looking for in a position and an employer. Research the mission statements of potential employers – and how they go about fulfilling them. If possible, talk to employees at these organizations, and ask them about their day-to-day experiences. The best organizations for you will be the ones whose mission statements mirror your own, and who strive to express these values in a meaningful way.

As a candidate, even though you may be perfect for a position, it can often feel as though you’re sending your CV into the void during the application process. With Jordan Search Consultants, the experience is personal. We leverage our extensive network and in-depth recruiting strategies and experience to connect highly qualified candidates with compatible organizations. (Read about how we helped an OBGYN resident join a hospital that aligned with her career goals and values here.) At Jordan Search Consultants, we go above and beyond to ensure candidates are qualified, prepared, and connected to promising job opportunities.

If you’re a resident or fellow, contact Kathy Jordan at [email protected] to learn more about how Jordan Search Consultants can assist you in your job search.

Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Rural Communities

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The looming healthcare provider shortage is becoming more apparent to the nation as a whole, but one group, in particular, has long had firsthand knowledge of this reality: rural communities. Non-urban areas have always had a difficult time attracting and retaining healthcare providers. Although 20% of the nation’s population live in rural or remote areas, close to 90% of physicians are clustered around urban centers. This disproportionate ratio adversely affects the well-being of rural residents, who often face significant travel time and other obstacles in order to see a provider.

While it is challenging to recruit providers for placement in rural areas, Jordan Search Consultants is dedicated to filling this need. In fact, one of our founding principles is to improve population health by helping rural communities gain access to top-tier healthcare providers. Cultural fit is especially important when it comes to successful placement in rural areas. That’s why we spend significant time and effort to explore the needs and amenities within an organization and its community and delve into what’s important to candidates and their families. According to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, growing up in a rural community is consistently associated with choosing rural practice. At Jordan Search Consultants, we utilize passive recruitment tactics, keeping an eye out for providers who have ties to a particular area – and who might have a desire to return, given the right opportunity.

Another promising strategy to attract physicians to rural areas includes exposing more medical students and residents to rural practice opportunities during their training. Medical schools in several states offer rural immersion programs, where third- and fourth-year med students help care for patients in the community, under the supervision of primary care physicians. These programs expose students to the type of hands-on training they typically wouldn’t experience until residency. Additionally, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, 68% of physicians stay in the area where they completed their residency. States are taking note of this. Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas have all passed recent legislation to increase residency programs at rural hospitals.

Rural communities are also getting creative in the methods they use to attract providers, particularly Millennials. While small towns can’t offer the same salary ranges as urban areas, they are often able to provide a tight-knit sense of community, a characteristic that is very attractive to today’s Millennial workforce.

Jordan Search Consultants understands the importance of alignment between a candidate’spersonal mission and that of an organization and its community, especially when it comes to recruiting for rural areas. Whether we’re assessing a candidate’s strengths and values with in-depth questionnaires and interviews or flying in puddle-jumpers to visit isolated areas in need of providers, we do what it takes to find the right fit. If you need assistance finding candidates for your organization, we can help. Give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

 

Exploring Healthcare’s Response to Opioid Addiction in America

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The abuse of opioids in the United States is a growing crisis. According to a recent CNN article, experts place the number of Americans who abuse or are addicted to opioids at more than two million. In 2011, the year opioid prescriptions reached their highest peak, oxycodone was the drug most commonly involved in fatal drug overdoses. Since then, due to tighter regulation, the number of prescriptions for opioids has decreased by 29%. As a result, fatal overdoses due to prescription opioids have also decreased. However, there is still a troubling connection between prescription opioid abuse and progression to cheaper and more dangerous street drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that three-quarters of new heroin users started out abusing prescription painkillers. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that illicit opioids, specifically heroin and fentanyl, were the leading causes of overdose deaths between 2012 and 2016. Clearly, healthcare providers need to be mindful of the potential danger of prescription opioids. To that end, the CDC released a guideline for treating patients with chronic pain. In addition to outlining the risks and recommendations for opioid therapy, it strongly encourages physicians to first explore non-opioid treatment options.

Other national healthcare authorities have also acknowledged the gravity of the situation. The Surgeon General recently published a report on the opioid crisis and detailed a 5-point strategy to address the issue. Along with encouraging better practices for pain management, the strategy includes a focus on improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services. To help fulfill this goal, more healthcare providers who are trained to understand and effectively treat addiction disorders are needed.

Addiction Medicine is currently a self-designated specialty focused on the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of those struggling with addiction, substance abuse, and related health conditions and requires certification from the American Board of Preventative Medicine (ABPM). A key aspect of attaining Addiction Medicine certification is the ability to prescribe certain restricted narcotics, particularly buprenorphine, for maintenance or detoxification treatments. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there are only 4400 addiction specialists, far less than the number needed to treat the millions of Americans struggling with addiction. Because addiction disorders affect patients on multiple levels – physically, psychologically, and behaviorally – Addiction Medicine specialists must draw from a variety of skills and disciplines to provide the right treatment. They often need to incorporate internal medicine, mental health counseling, and social work as they diagnose, treat, and care for their patients.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends using medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to address opioid abuse. This holistic approach combines the use of FDA-approved medications (methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine), as well as counseling and behavioral therapy to treat patients. Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), physicians who go through the proper training are allowed to obtain a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for patients. And in 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) extended the ability to prescribe buprenorphine to trained and waivered nurse practitioners and physician assistants. However, access to specialists, healthcare providers, and counselors who are adequately trained and able to provide medication-assisted treatment varies widely from state to state.

Rural areas, in particular, suffer from a shortage of providers. One analysis found that less than 2% of physicians with buprenorphine waivers were located in small and remote rural counties, which are also the areas hardest hit by the opioid crisis. In response, some states are exploring innovative approaches to combat this issue, as documented by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Vermont developed a successful “Hub and Spoke” model of care, where medication-assisted treatment was implemented in local primary care facilities with the support of regional and embedded expert support staff. The state of New Mexico pioneered a care model known as Project ECHO (Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). In this model, university-based experts utilize televideo tools to educate, consult, and mentor rural providers on treatment approaches for their patients. Another strategy, known as the Massachusetts Model, was created at Boston Medical Center. Nurse care managers (NCMs) play an essential role in this collaborative care model, shouldering much of the patient’s care management, and acting as a liaison between patients and waivered physicians.

In many ways, the nation and the healthcare industry are only now starting to recognize the complexities of opioid dependency, abuse, and addiction. Is your organization staffed with providers who are educated and knowledgeable about perceiving, preventing, and responding to the realities of this public health crisis? If you need assistance finding the right candidates for your organization’s needs, Jordan Search Consultants can help. Give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.