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.

Giving Thanks to Providers This Holiday Season

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The leaves are changing colors, the weather is getting chillier, and most of us are planning what we will be serving alongside the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. As we gather with friends and families for the holidays, we hope you remember to give thanks for the ways in which the healthcare industry and providers are making an impact on public health.

At Jordan Search Consultants, we are grateful each day for the healthcare providers we vet and place at client organizations throughout the country who take care of thousands of people each year. Without these professionals, the health of populations could not be sustained or improved.

We are specifically thankful for providers who work in rural communities to provide care for populations that have previously been underserved. Their choice of working in a rural area is not an easy one – rural providers tend to have lower incomes than their urban counterparts, while operational costs usually remain the same. Yet their impact is significant in helping to lessen some of the disparity in access that has been overwhelmingly prevalent in healthcare. Patients that would normally delay or put off care are now receiving it in a timely manner from providers who are invested in making a positive difference.

In addition, healthcare providers make significant contributions to the rural economy, helping to stimulate growth and development. Plus, when new hospitals or medical facilities are opened, new jobs are created. An estimated 14% of employment in rural America comes from the healthcare sector.

During this holiday season, we encourage you to give thanks to the healthcare providers in your life. Not only do they take care of us and our loved ones, but they are also working to provide care to those that need it most in communities across the country and the globe.

How to Assess Soft Skills During the Recruitment Process

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How to Assess Soft Skills During the Recruitment Process

When we think about the qualities that make a good healthcare provider, we often think in terms of training, experience, and academic knowledge. Yet what is often overlooked is the importance of soft skills.

What are Soft Skills and Why are They Important?

Soft skills are the characteristics that allow us to effectively interact and communicate with others. While soft skills are useful to have in any job setting, they’re critical in the healthcare industry, where providers must interact with patients and families who are often experiencing high levels of emotional distress.

While the majority of providers see an average of 19 patients a day, some report seeing up to as many as 50 or more per day. The oncoming physician shortage means this number will only continue to increase, making it even more important that patients receive as much value as possible from the limited time they have with providers. There is also increased pressure to deliver high quality patient-provider interactions as more organizations move toward tying compensation to patient satisfaction scores. Fortunately for providers, research has shown that developing an important soft skill – emotional intelligence – can positively influence patient satisfaction.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and manage one’s emotions, while also being aware and empathetic of the emotions of others. In the context of healthcare, it’s the ability to identify a patient’s emotions, show empathy, and be able to communicate effectively (read: in non-technical terms) with patients no matter their emotional state. This also extends to staff, colleagues, and anyone else providers interact with throughout the day.

The ability to collaborate is another essential soft skill, as providers are often expected to lead and support teams. Good leaders are characterized by their humility and capability to listen and receive feedback from others. This was highlighted in a study that linked leaders’ altruistic behavior with employees feeling more included, innovative, and willing to go beyond the call of duty.

How Do You Assess Soft Skills When Recruiting?

Every candidate will strive to make a good impression during an interview, but not everyone will have the necessary soft skills to truly excel in their position. Expanding upon the fundamentals of behavioral interviewing with strategically chosen questions about past behaviors can help reveal essential soft skills like emotional intelligence, collaboration abilities, and leadership potential.

Examples of these questions include:

  • What is the most difficult change you have encountered in your career and how did you manage it? How did you lead others through this change?
  • Can you give me an example of your most difficult and emotional patient and how you developed rapport? What did you learn through that process?
  • Give me an example of how you led a team through conflict.
  • Tell me about a time when you failed in a work setting. What happened? How did you handle the situation? What did you learn about yourself?
  • Tell me about a time you had to admit that you had made a mistake to others. How did you handle it?

You should also add in specific questions that relate to the role being filled. For example, a candidate interviewing for a surgical position might be given a situational question to uncover soft skills, such as “How would you inform a patient that an operation was unsuccessful?”

After the interview, include questions about soft skills when performing reference checks, such as how well they work on a team or whether they are skilled at actively listening and providing feedback. Managers and coworkers can provide firsthand accounts of what it’s like to work with a candidate, which provides helpful insight into how their soft skills are actually perceived by others.

Regardless of which tactics you choose to use, vetting a candidate for soft skills is essential to ensuring that they are capable of performing the requirements of their position and are ultimately a good fit for your organization.

If you need assistance in understanding how your recruitment program assesses soft skills, Jordan Search Consultants can help. Email us or give us a call at 866-750-7231.

The Importance of Timeliness When Recruiting Millennial Candidates

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The Importance of Timeliness When Recruiting Millennial Candidates

Millennials have become an undeniable force in the workplace; in 2016, they became the largest generation of workers in the labor market. In an extremely competitive hiring environment, healthcare organizations looking to recruit Millennial providers must tailor their communication efforts throughout the hiring process in order to secure this cohort. Organizations who demonstrate responsiveness as well as a willingness to engage with Millennials via their preferred tool – a cell phone – will have an edge. According to a Gallup poll, texting was the most commonly used method of communication for younger Americans.  Healthcare organizations who are unable to cater to the distinct communication preferences of this generation run the very real risk of losing qualified candidates.

When considering Millennial candidates, it’s imperative to understand how extensively their lives and technology are intertwined – and how this affects their expectations and the ways they communicate. A recent article on offers an enlightening look at how gaming, the internet, and mobile technology shapes the lives and outlooks of Millennials.

  • Multiplayer online gaming, where players don headsets to play games with other participants all over the world, has helped fuel the Millennial tendency to desire instant feedback, engage in diverse collaboration, and make a difference with their contribution.
  • With the internet, and the ability to search for information using search engines like Google, Millennials have always had information at their fingertips. They are accustomed to getting answers to their inquiries almost instantaneously.
  • The rise of mobile technology and social media have heavily influenced the ways in which Millennials interact with others. According to one study, nearly half of Millennials look at their phone more than 50 times a day. Texting is a dominant and preferred method of communication.

Millennials’ lifelong embrace of technology (and the way it has shaped their communication tendencies) informs how they prefer to interact with potential employers. Keep these key tenets in mind when recruiting Millennials:

  • Choose Texting over Email. Millennial candidates overwhelmingly prefer to communicate by text message. In our experience, Millennials will reply to a text almost immediately, but it may take days for them to reply to an email message.
  • Respond Promptly. Millennials reply to texts quickly, and they expect the same behavior in return, including from potential employers. They desire prompt feedback – evidence that the organization is serious about their interest.
  • Remember That Time is of the Essence. When it comes to scheduling interviews, extending offers, and negotiating contracts, timeliness and fast turnarounds are imperative. Millennial candidates have limited time and availability. If an organization takes days to confirm an interview date, it’s very likely the candidate will have given that time slot away to someone else. When it comes to contract negotiations, quickly resolving issues and making adjustments is crucial. We have witnessed a candidate walk away from an offer and take another job due to frustration over how long contract adjustments were taking.

Because of our extensive experience working with Millennial candidates, Jordan Search Consultants understands what it takes to recruit and secure individuals from this generation. If your organization needs assistance finding the best Millennial providers, Jordan Search Consultants can help. Email us or give us a call at 866-750-7231.


Conquering the Challenge of Candidate Sourcing

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Conquering the Challenge of Candidate Sourcing

Healthcare organizations across the nation are well aware of the workforce challenges facing the industry. While the demand for healthcare providers continues to increase, the available supply is shrinking. For healthcare organizations seeking to fill open positions, being able to find top-quality candidates is essential. It’s also the most time-consuming part of the recruitment cycle. For many organizations, their outlay of resources would be better spent on the later stages of the recruitment cycle, when it is time to interview, conduct site visits, and extend offers to candidates. By utilizing Jordan Search Consultants as your candidate sourcing partner, organizations can bypass the long process of weeding out unqualified contenders. Instead, you can spend your time interacting with already-vetted, quality candidates.

When it comes to healthcare recruiting, it’s essential to work with a partner who not only understands the ins and outs of the healthcare industry but will also spend time getting to know your organization’s culture. Cultural alignment between the organization and a candidate matters immensely when it comes to recruitment and retention. In addition to possessing the necessary skillsets, a potential candidate’s personality and values need to be a good fit with your organization and the communities you serve in order for them to be a long-term match. Whether our clients are utilizing our Candidate Sourcing Service or our other recruiting service offerings, Jordan Search Consultants is focused on finding candidates who will work well with an organization on all levels.

At Jordan Search Consultants, we envision our Candidate Sourcing Service as an infinity sign. We believe in the importance of partnering with healthcare organizations to ensure that our work integrates seamlessly into your recruiting process, saving you time and money. This model ensures quality candidates are sourced, with NO PLACEMENT FEES.

Organizations have benefited from utilizing Jordan Search Consultant’s Candidate Sourcing Service in numerous ways: 

  • Delivers Top Talent: Jordan Search Consultants is able to cast a wide net for talent, using a proprietary physician and executive database with more than 850,000 prospects as well as other specialty-specific databases. We screen top contenders against your organization’s particular requirements, corporate culture, and more.
  • Saves You Time: Investing in a recruiting outsourcing program, like our Candidate Sourcing Service, can reduce the time-to-hire by 43%.
  • Saves You Money: Because we are saving your organization time, and you can place multiple candidates from our sourcing efforts with no placement fee, we are saving you money. In fact, clients report that they have saved up to 60% or more compared to contingency and retained search models.
  • Increases Staff Productivity: Our service takes the time-consuming process of identifying qualified candidates off your plate so your staff can move forward with other priorities.
  • Enhances Retention: Because you are presented with top-quality candidates specifically pre-screened per your organization’s criteria and culture, you are interviewing people who are more likely to take the position—and remain for the long term.
  • Enhances Reputation: Our sourcing outreach initiatives continually put your organization’s brand and opportunities in front of external candidates and stakeholders. Consequently, your organization stays top-of-mind for current and future candidates and industry leaders.

If your organization is interested in gaining a competitive recruiting edge (and regaining time for other projects), Jordan Search Consultants is here to help. Email us 0r give us a call at 866-750-7231 to learn more about our Candidate Sourcing Services and how we can assist you with your healthcare recruiting needs.



The Importance of Empowering Female Healthcare Providers

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By Kathy Jordan

As the founder and CEO of Jordan Search Consultants, I know firsthand that women bring unique and innovative leadership skills to all professions, including that of healthcare. In fact, having women in the highest ranks of leadership directly correlates with increased organizational profitability. And although the gender ratio is starting to shift toward a more balanced distribution in the world of healthcare, there is still much that needs to be done in order to encourage and equip female providers to continue to pursue careers and leadership paths in medicine.

In 2017, the number of females entering medical school surpassed the number of male enrollees for the first time. As more women physicians, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Physician Assistants (PAs) enter the traditionally male-dominated field of healthcare, organizations must recognize and respond to their particular needs. By advocating for women in the healthcare industry, and taking steps to support and enable their success, forward-thinking organizations will reap the benefit of building a strong workforce that is inherently well-equipped to navigate the collaborative nature of the evolving healthcare landscape and address the challenges of current and future physician shortages.

Only about one-third of physicians in practice now are female. However, when the current classes of medical students finish residency in a few years, the majority of new physicians will be female. Currently, women physicians do not receive the same pay (and they often do not receive the same respect) as their male counterparts, despite producing better outcomes. These inequalities undoubtedly contribute to the higher rates of disengagement and burnout of female physicians. To recruit and retain more women doctors, healthcare organizations must implement hiring policies and work environments that recognize their value in a supportive and substantial way. This includes committing to salary transparency and less pay disparity, providing leadership and growth opportunities (including mentor relationships), creating systems that allow for more flexible work schedules, supplying access to supportive professional communities, and offering better maternity leave policies and childcare options to encourage work-life balance and decrease burnout.

In addition to the increasing number of female physicians entering the healthcare workforce, there are currently more than 270,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. The vast majority (88%) of NPs are female. The role of Physician Assistant, one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S., is also predominantly filled by women. With current physicians facing increased patient loads and more administrative burdens, NPs and PAs have stepped in to fill the gap by taking on more responsibilities. By partnering with physicians as part of a team, they are able to provide much-needed primary care services to patients. Not only does this arrangement help decrease patient wait time, research has also shown that when women are part of a group, collaboration, collective intelligence, and overall performance of the team increases. Additionally, women are often inherently stronger in soft skills such as empathy and are able to ensure a patient feels heard and cared for. One study showed that 65 percent of patient satisfaction was linked to empathetic communication during their visit – an important consideration in the ongoing shift to value-based models of care.

Clearly, women bring unique and valuable skills to the field of healthcare, including the ability to engage with patients, improve care, and support collaborative innovation. But more must be done to encourage and support their career and leadership goals, and fairly compensate them for their work. By working to empower female providers in meaningful ways, organizations will also equip themselves for future success.

If you’d like to learn more about how to support and advocate for female providers in your organization, call 866-750-7231 or email me here.


The Negative Effects of Physician Administrative Tasks on Patient Care, Satisfaction, and Wait Times

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The widespread implementation of electronic medical record (EMR) systems (also known as electronic health records or EHRs) and an increased patient population have given rise to heavier workloads and more administrative burdens on today’s healthcare providers. In addition to increased stress on physicians, this reality has also had negative effects on patient care, satisfaction, and wait times.

The hours physicians spend on administrative tasks is significant. A recent report showed that physicians now spend the majority of their time on electronic paperwork and far less time face-to-face with their patients. When patient-provider visits are shortened, the quality of care a provider is able to offer suffers. It becomes more difficult to have meaningful conversations about a patient’s mental and emotional health, or to explore the possibilities and merits of lifestyle changes to address or mitigate health issues.

Another side effect of the overwhelming amount of required notes and documentation is an increased risk of burnout. One study found that physicians who reported not having enough time to complete EMR documentation were almost three times as likely to show symptoms of burnout. When physicians experience burnout, it interferes with their ability to provide quality care to their patients. Burnout often manifests as depersonalization, or detached feelings, toward patients. And when a provider is unable to demonstrate empathy, patient satisfaction decreases.

Inefficiencies in an organization’s office or operational procedures also exacerbate the problem of heavy administrative burdens – and lead to longer patient wait times. When patients experience long delays before they see a provider, satisfaction levels plummet. Dissatisfaction with wait times has been shown to negatively affect patients’ perception of their entire experience, including the quality of care provided by physicians and other caregivers.

Streamlining organizational operations and eliminating inefficiencies has been shown to ease administrative burdens, decrease wait times, and increase patient satisfaction. One healthcare provider significantly decreased patient wait times by implementing a “lean” process in their office. This included identifying wasted time, areas for improvement, addressing bottlenecks, and reallocating some administrative tasks to non-physician staff members. As a result of adopting this methodology, they saw an 85% decrease in patient wait times.

While electronic medical records (and the administrative tasks and time they require) are here to stay, organizations can mitigate the negative effects on patients by redistributing the administrative workload, examining and adjusting office procedures to increase efficiency, and implementing tactics to make wait times less onerous for patients. Doing so will benefit physicians, patients, and the health of the organization.

If you’re looking for the right healthcare candidates to equip your organization to succeed, Jordan Search Consultants can help. Email us or give us a call at 866-750-7231.

Leveraging Hiring Incentives in Physician Recruitment

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Leveraging Hiring Incentives in Physician Recruitment

The effects of the current and looming physician shortage are readily apparent in the healthcare industry. When it comes to physician availability, patients aren’t the only ones struggling to find a provider. Healthcare organizations are also finding it difficult to hire the most desirable physicians due to an extremely competitive environment – especially when it comes to primary care physicians. In addition to offering attractive base salaries, it has become commonplace for organizations to include hiring incentives in order to procure the best candidates.

According to a 2018 report by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), compensation for primary care providers rose more than 10% in the previous five years, almost double the increase seen in specialty fields. The report, which used data from over 136,000 providers across the United States, showed median earnings of $257,726 for primary care physicians, and $425,136 for specialists. Organizations must stay abreast of current compensation trends for the positions they wish to fill – to attract the best candidates, offering a competitive salary is paramount. In addition to specialty, geographic location is an important variable when determining compensation. The top-earning states for physicians are Indiana, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Nevada, while the lowest-earning states are Michigan, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Maryland. In most industries, urban areas offer higher salaries, but that’s not always true in healthcare. For example, the median income for an anesthesiologist in a non-metro area (defined as an area with a population of 50,000 or less) was $469,057, nearly $25,000 more than the median income of anesthesiologists located in urban areas. With some exceptions, most specialists in rural locations can expect to make more than their urban counterparts. Specialty, geographic region, and location all play a part in determining what constitutes an attractive and competitive compensation offer.

When recruiting physicians, examples of typical incentive offerings include a signing bonus, continuing medical education (CME) support or reimbursement, and a relocation allowance. According to MGMA’s DataDive Provider Compensation database, which represents 147,000 providers in a variety of specialties, the most recent median signing bonus for a family physician without an obstetrics certification was $28,000, the median amount for CME support was $2,750, and relocation allowance was $7,050. For physicians specializing in internal medicine, the median values were as follows: a signing bonus of $20,000, CME support of $3,500, and a relocation allowance of $7,800. While these numbers reflect the median values of various specialties, we’ve also seen signing bonus amounts of up to $50,000 and relocation allowances ranging from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the specialty and the desirability of the candidate.

Organizations who wish to hire a resident or fellow once they complete their training may offer a monthly stipend as a hiring incentive. Typically, a monthly stipend offer is contingent on an early signing commitment and can range from $1,500 to $3,500 per month for the remainder of their training. When it comes to recruiting younger candidates right out of residency, loan repayment programs are also a very desirable incentive. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the median amount of loan debt for recent medical school graduates was $200,000. Typically, organizations will pay a monthly or yearly sum toward loan repayment in exchange for the candidate working full-time for an agreed-upon amount of time. One example: When seeking physicians to fill rural job openings, Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system, offered $100,000 in loan repayments over five years. Some healthcare systems also offer a retention bonus where the physician receives an agreed-upon amount ($25,000, for example) after each year of service to an organization.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to determine the best hiring incentives and amounts; much depends on the type of position, organizational resources, geographic location, and the individual candidate. At Jordan Search Consultants, we spend time getting to know the organizations we recruit for – and the candidates we recruit so that we can help develop innovative recruitment packages that attract the best candidates. For help and insight on finding and hiring the right provider for your organization, email us or give us a call at 866-750-7231.

The Continuing Evolution of Telemedicine

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Telemedicine, which uses digital monitoring tools and communication platforms such as email, text, and video conferencing to connect patients to providers, is increasingly being utilized to provide a variety of remote care services. It is especially helpful for patients who live in rural areas and must travel considerable distances to see a provider or specialist. Recent legislative changes and emerging technologies are fueling the growing use of telemedicine to bring much-needed healthcare services to those who need it most.

In hospital settings, telemedicine is most often used to provide off-site radiology reading services and timely stroke care. Acute remote stroke care, known as telestroke, is common in emergency departments that do not have stroke experts or radiologists on the premises. Telestroke connects on-site personnel with remote experts who assist in giving a prompt diagnosis and treatment recommendations. For patients suffering a stroke, time is of the essence. Swift treatment is necessary to reduce the occurrence of subsequent stroke-related disabilities.

Telemedicine is also used for diagnosing and treating non-emergency primary care issues that need immediate attention, such as the flu, lower back pain, conjunctivitis, and urinary tract infections. With telemedicine, patients can receive faster access to care because they don’t have to wait several days for an in-office appointment. In fact, SSM Health, based in St. Louis, recently unveiled an initiative that offers virtual appointments within an hour of the request, for a flat fee of $25. Telehealth appointments for non-acute issues such as these can also be capably managed by Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, freeing physicians to concentrate on more complicated or urgent cases.

Telemedicine also works well for assisting patients who are living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Affordable and convenient access to preventative care is an effective tactic to keep patients healthier – and reduce healthcare costs. The Center for TeleHealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson focused on engaging and educating their diabetes patients in addition to remotely monitoring their blood glucose levels. As a result, they were able to completely eliminate diabetes-related emergency room visits within six months.

Telemedicine tools are increasingly being used to monitor patient health and collect essential data. Mobile cardiac event recorders enable patients to capture an electrocardiogram of their heart whenever symptoms are occurring and instantly transfer that information to their providers. Digital stethoscopes can amplify and record the sounds of a patient’s heart and lungs. For remote video consultations, some telehealth platforms integrate directly with an organization’s EHR system, enabling the provider to easily reference a patient’s medical history while also providing real-time virtual care. And when off-hours telehealth monitoring was used in nursing homes, a 10% decrease in hospitalizations was observed.

The power and possibilities of telemedicine are exciting, especially for populations that cannot afford or easily access traditional healthcare services. At Jordan Search Consultants, our mission is to ensure that all people have access to top-tier healthcare services, no matter where they are located. If your organization needs help finding the right providers, including those who specialize in telemedicine, for your community’s needs, email us or give us a call at 866-750-7231.

Work vs. Paperwork: Navigating Healthcare Administration Challenges

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The complex and fast evolving landscape of America’s healthcare system has created unique challenges for both physicians and administrators. One of the most difficult issues facing healthcare organizations and providers is the industry-wide evolution from fee-based models of care to value-based models of care. To survive and thrive within this new business paradigm, healthcare organizations and their leaders must incorporate new systems and business models. As a result of these changes, as well as the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) to collect data, physicians have seen their responsibilities expand beyond patient care to include significant increases in paperwork and administrative duties. Consequently, physicians have less time to see their patients and report feelings of frustration and burnout. It can often feel that the goals of organization administrators and healthcare providers are at cross-purposes with each other. How do organizational leaders run an efficient business while also ensuring that physicians feel supported and enabled in their efforts to provide quality patient care? And how can physicians help administrators create and implement strategies that bolster better patient care and the bottom line?

An essential aspect of value-based care revolves around collecting patient data through EHRs and then analyzing it to determine treatment best practices. While electronic health records are meant to enable physicians to make more informed decisions for better patient care, poorly designed EHR systems can have a detrimental effect on providers’ ability to fully engage with their patients. Physicians who have to click multiple times to navigate a single electronic record lose time to the inefficiency of the interface and spend precious minutes looking at a computer screen instead of interacting with their patient. Additionally, too much unfiltered data can cause “alert fatigue.” A 2016 study found that primary care physicians received almost 80 EHR alerts on average per day – and spent more than an hour responding to them, even though most of these alerts ended up being dismissed as unimportant. When physicians are constantly hampered or overwhelmed by distractions such as these, the quality of patient care suffers, as does patient satisfaction, a key metric of value-based care and organizational success.

One of the ways healthcare administrators and leaders can help reduce wasted time for physicians – and cultivate acceptance of new methods and technologies – is to actively seek their thoughts and ideas about process implementations and refinements. This should include feedback on existing systems (like EHRs) as well as suggestions on how to improve delivery of care. Physicians on the front lines have invaluable firsthand knowledge of what works well – and what doesn’t. HealthPartners, a nonprofit health care organization in Minnesota, surveyed their physicians to identify administrative pain points and then implemented a multi-faceted approach to address them. This included creating designated care teams, streamlining workflow, using defined EHR templates, and shifting certain communication responsibilities from the physicians to other members of the care team. Together, these methods save their physicians more than 30 minutes a day.

The strategy of striving to understand the unique challenges facing each department should also be implemented in reverse. A physician’s training does not include a comprehensive education on healthcare policy, administration, finance, or organizational behaviors. Teaching physicians how the delivery of care is financed can help encourage acceptance of organizational change. For example, CareMore Health System has created an internal academy to educate their physicians about how healthcare is financed within their system in order to facilitate understanding of their organizational policies and decisions.

As healthcare organizations seek to create workplaces that encourage and facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration, adept leaders who can help close the divide between providers and organization administrators are needed. Physician leaders are well positioned to bridge this gap, bringing both clinical knowledge and experience with patient care as well as an investment in achieving larger organizational goals. David B. Nash, an internationally recognized expert in population health and physician leadership development, notes that physician leaders who want to successfully implement value-based care models will need specific skillsets: “In addition to flexibility, a willingness to learn and to listen, a deep understanding of organizational culture…is needed.”

At Jordan Search Consultants, we understand the importance of culture and personality fit, especially when it comes to healthcare leaders, administrators, and providers. If you need help finding the right candidate to help your organization move forward successfully, call us at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

Beyond Technology: Embracing Change in Orthopedic Medicine

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Orthopedic specialists are well acquainted with exploring the possibilities of change. Within the field of medicine, orthopedists are known for their early adoption of technology and willingness to consider new techniques to improve patient outcomes. Over the last several decades, technological innovations and instruments have completely transformed the way many orthopedic surgeries are performed, resulting in less invasive procedures and faster recovery times for patients. Now, as the healthcare industry undergoes a shift from fee-based services to value-based care, orthopedic specialists and leaders must apply that same spirit of adaptability to their professional worldview as they continue to work toward providing the best care possible.

As a whole, orthopedic surgeons are growing older. In 2008, the average age was 50.7 years old; in 2016, the average age had increased to 56.48 years old. And while many other specialties have moved toward a more balanced gender ratio of medical graduates, today the vast majority of orthopedic surgeons are still men. A recent report published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) noted that the number of female orthopedic surgeons in their ranks was less than 7%. Currently, 14% of orthopedic surgery residents are female. An article from The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery posited that the lack of female orthopedic surgeons in leadership positions within medical schools was detrimental to the recruitment of female medical students and suggested increasing female medical students’ exposure to orthopedics and female mentors in order to attract more women to the field.

The demand for orthopedic specialists is significant and will only continue to increase as the population ages. In the United States, more than half of all adults are affected by musculoskeletal diseases, and the most commonly reported conditions are trauma, back pain, and arthritis. Musculoskeletal issues are even more prevalent in older portions of the population, affecting almost 75% of those over the age of 65. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that in the next 40 years, the American population aged older than 65 will increase from 15% to 24%, and those aged 80 years and older will double, from nearly 4% to 8%. According to a recent blog post from Harvard Medical School, orthopedic surgeons currently perform over 600,000 knee replacements and approximately 330,000 hip replacements annually in America. Those numbers will undoubtedly climb in the years to come.

Over the last several decades, technology, research, and innovation have played an essential role in furthering the field of orthopedics. A recent Orthopedics Today article highlighted some of the most significant advancements, including the development of arthroscopic devices to diagnose and treat intra-articular pathologies, better joint replacement materials and procedures, and increasingly sophisticated imaging technologies, including ultrasound, digital x-rays, and CT and MRI 3-D modeling. It is estimated that almost 80% of orthopedic procedures can now be performed in an outpatient setting. The innovations mentioned previously were developed over the course of three decades, but the pace of technology production has sped up considerably in the last few years. While the possibilities are exciting, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) also urges caution. Their position statement on emerging technologies and medical devices encourages orthopedic surgeons to seek continued progress through innovation while also exercising due diligence, clearly communicating benefits and risks to patients, and tracking and sharing patient outcomes.

Analyzing patient outcomes to determine best treatment practices is a core tenet of implementing value-based care, the emerging model within the healthcare industry. The value-based care model will also influence the production of new medical technology, giving an edge to orthopedic device companies that can offer innovative products at an acceptable price. “Current innovations will need to solve unsolved problems or offer solutions to existing problems that deliver better outcomes and lower overall cost,” notes Scott D. Boden, MD, Chairman, Department of Orthopedics, Emory University School of Medicine, VP of Business Innovation, Emory Healthcare. As organizations and industries shift to accommodate this new paradigm, leaders and providers that are willing to adapt and collaborate to provide the best results for their patients are required. This is certainly true of those in the field of orthopedics, whose expertise, skills, and leadership will be increasingly needed in the coming years.

At Jordan Search Consultants, we understand the importance of skill, personality, and cultural alignment when it comes to matching candidates to an organization. If you need help finding the right fit, call us at 866-750-7231 or email us here.