A Better Selection Process: Research-Based Tools for Physician Leadership Selection and Development

The typical process of reviewing a physician leader’s curriculum vitae, interviewing the individual and following up with reference checks can be a good start when searching for a new physician leader. However, there’s much more to finding the best physician for your organization than simply a review of one’s professional accomplishments.

There is a growing need for healthcare organizations to be able to identify physicians who can be moved successfully into leadership positions. Meeting the challenges facing healthcare organizations today requires not just great leaders, but great physician leaders. (National Center for Healthcare Leadership 2014). 

Correcting a wrong physician leadership decision can cost your organization 1.4 times the leader’s annual salary. A recent study by the Center for Physician Leadership Excellence found that cost of hire for a hospital chief medical officer can exceed $270,000 (not including severance for the incumbent leaving the role). Then, add the uncalculated toll that poor leadership may have on patient experience because of the low engagement and retention of your already-stressed clinical team. It becomes clear that there needs to be a better way to find and develop the right physician leaders.  Your patient satisfaction, service quality, safety and HCAPHS scores depend on it.

LAK Group’s Selection Assessment Tools

In-depth analysis and research-based decisions form the foundation for modern medicine, so it only makes sense that filling leadership positions follow a similar protocol. While there may be many standards or norms across organizations, each will always have its differences based on the type of organization, the patient base, and the current roster of physicians and clinical staff. 

The physician leadership assessment center solutions from the LAK Group dig much deeper than a review of accomplishments and recommendations, and instead focus on leadership capabilities and behaviors. The result is a research-based report that’s backed by validated physician leadership competency model and psychometric methodology or even your organization’s unique competency model to help you make a well-informed physician leadership decision.

How the Assessment Works

Our assessment process is engaging and meaningful for candidates and they can be administered in a completely virtual environment. That way not only is the timing of each assessment be flexible, to meet the needs of those with demanding schedules, but they are worthwhile to the candidates. Once the process is complete, selection committees are provided with a verbal report within 48 hours.

By participating in a behavior-based selection process, which helps identify leadership capabilities using a research-based leadership behavior model, the candidate experiences behavior simulations that include peer role plays, subordinate role plays, in-box challenges and business case role plays. Objective behavioral, personality and cognitive diagnostics are also observed. 

Our physician leadership assessment center provides four strategic advantages over traditional models:

  1. Observable Behaviors – Candidates are tested for their suitability based on relevant exercises and case studies that are tailored to a specific clinical environment and the level of leadership required.
  2. Eliminate Guesswork – Realistic, evidence-based data is provided about each participant’s qualities that will maximize the precision and impact of your decisions.
  3. Guaranteed Objectivity – Our assessment follows a meticulous process that incorporates multiple tools and assessors to ensure the highest degree of objectivity.
  4. Validity and Reliability – Our tools are built on lasting psychological theories that are backed up by decades of research and testing to deliver results that are highly valid and reliable.

Tools for Both Selection and Development

Proven methods for determining leadership capability, potential, readiness and fit are necessary to enable healthcare systems to make the right decisions. Whether it is filling a vacancy, identifying an internal candidate for succession or promotion, your organization will be able to make these decisions with more confidence than ever before. Our objective is to help you find the right people to fill the right roles with the right skills to make the right decisions, while retaining this talent for a long time.

The LAK Group physician leadership assessment center can be used flexibly to assess three levels of physician leaders for both selection and development purposes:

  • Entry Level – This role is responsible for a small group of physicians or clinical staff, typically doing the same or similar job in a similar location. He or she will handle shift assignments and day-to-day problem-solving tasks.
  • Mid-Level – This position reports to a chief, chair or other top-level unit leader, and is responsible for the functional direction of a group of physicians. He or she will make hiring decisions, train physicians and clinical staff and have financial and budget responsibilities.
  • Executive – This is a C-level position at the system-level of the organization and reports directly to the top system leader. He or she will set the system, hospital or practice strategy, make higher-stakes decisions and ensure that day-to-day operations align with the system’s strategic goals. 

Each completed assessment results in a comprehensive report that highlights strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. Development recommendations are also provided which are useful in career growth discussions for participants of all levels or for candidates to review for in-depth feedback on their strengths and development potential.

Why Choose the LAK Group?

Assessment is only the beginning. At the LAK Group, we also provide individual feedback sessions and development planning along with ongoing support and coaching. Our solutions are flexible, and when necessary, we partner with our clients to tailor our research-based content to their organization’s business language and culture. The result is a genuinely optimized assessment experience, because we believe that people are the competitive differentiator for organizations and communities everywhere.

If you have any questions regarding your organization’s physician leadership selection and development, or you would like to review your current process for lasting success, please contact Michael Grubich at 262-786-9200 or via email at mgrubich@lak-group.com.