I am often asked by hospital executives looking to contract with us or physician groups looking to partner with us what makes APP different from the other emergency department (ED) and hospital medicine (HM) groups out there. I believe it comes down to a few critical factors outlined below:
- We are a MANAGEMENT company, not a staffing company. You’ve probably heard me say this a number of times, but what does it actually mean? It means we assume full responsibility for and accountability of the departments we serve. While we recognize that we may not necessarily “own” every aspect of the ED or HM program, we must assume responsibility for its clinical, operational and financial performance, and we must proactively address areas for improvement and lead the action plan.
- We recognize the importance of LOCAL leadership. We know that healthcare is delivered locally. I’ve often said the most important hire we make is the on-site medical director of each program. He or she must be enabled to make critical decisions and lead the activities that result in a successful hospital partnership. Our role is to support that individual to ensure his or her success.
- Our DYAD LEADERSHIP model is also critical to our success. This team consists of a regional medical director and a regional vice president who is a former hospital executive. This seasoned team oversees a group of hospital contracts within a defined geographic region and ensures we meet our patient-focused goals while also remaining fiscally sound.
- Strong and regular COMMUNICATION. We know from your responses on our surveys that communication is important to you. Toward that effort, we have established a number of communication patterns to ensure our front-line physicians and APCs are kept up to speed. From the Support Center, we provide regular email updates, this quarterly newsletter, and our biannual State of the Union conference call. We also ask our medical directors to share with you our quarterly Regional Huddle conference calls and conduct quarterly meetings with their teams.
- Consistent, high-quality STAFFING. Our recruiting team is among the best in the business, affording APP what is likely the lowest locums usage rate, typically under 0.5% each month. This ensures a stable, full-time team that becomes part of the ED/HM program, the hospital, and the local community.
- We lead in QUALITY. We have invested in a number of resources to ensure we capture, report and track a host of quality measures. We conduct Monthly Operational Reviews (MOR) with each regional team where we review the metrics for each individual program and discuss the action plan for improvement. We then share that information with our hospital partners in a monthly operational meeting where we report on successes and outline plans for improvement.
- Lastly, we recognize that ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL. Unlike some groups that offer a standard model across all clients, we have as many models as we have clients, ensuring that we create a flexible, dynamic model that allows our local teams the autonomy to develop and implement a strategic plan that best meets the needs of each hospital and its community.
Through our intentional and continuous focus on these factors, APP successfully differentiates itself in a crowded market. Our 100 percent client retention rate reinforces the fact that we’re focused on the right areas to ensure we continue to exceed the expectations of our patients, physician and APCs, and our hospital partners.