Customer-Owner Panels for Physician Recruitment

Community engagement has been a high priority for Southcentral Foundation ever since establishing the Nuka System of care two decades ago. SCF has found that when customer-owners are engaged with the health care system, it leads to improved health outcomes and increased customer satisfaction. Previous blog entries have discussed some of the methods SCF uses for community engagement; however, SCF has recently piloted a new program with the support of the engaged and passionate Alaska Native community—a customer-owner panel for physician recruitment.

The panel was created by SCF’s Physician Recruitment workgroup with the goal of including the voice of the customer-owner in the interviewing process for family medicine physicians in primary care clinics. The first step was to create a pilot program using SCF’s Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle for improvement practices. The Physician Recruitment workgroup created the Customer-Owner Panel, which was made up of four members of the Physician Recruitment workgroup who were also customer-owners. The panel created an interview packet using the SCF behavioral-based interviewing guide as a template.

The panel then participated in five interviews, and after each interview, the interview packets along with their feedback were provided to SCF’s Medical Services Division’s administration. This first PDSA cycle revealed that additional data was needed, so a second PDSA was conducted.

For the second PDSA, the panel size was increased to ten, with new members coming from the Customer Experience Committee (CEC). An onboarding meeting was conducted with the new members, which included a review of the interview packet used in the first PDSA. The packet was updated and used in a second interview cycle, which was studied and determined to be successful.

With the success of the pilot program, SCF is moving toward full implementation of the Customer-Owner Panel, giving customer-owners a bigger role in physician recruitment. The panel will be fully implemented in the fall and will provide the opportunity for greater integration of the customer perspective into the interview process, as well as the opportunity for physician candidates to learn more about how SCF places customer-owners at the forefront of decision-making in the organization. For more information about the Customer-Owner Panel, or any other aspect of SCF’s interview process, contact the SCF Learning Institute today!