Mending a Fractured Culture

Physician-Hospital Partnership Transformation

​Craig Hogan​, MD, spends his days treating hip and knee disorders, ensuring his patients’ joints can move freely and with ease. He is the medical director of orthopedic surgery at University of Colorado Hospital, and since he came on board he’s been hard at work ensuring his department can run smoothly, too.

“It’s important for physicians to be partners with the hospital in order to be successful,” Dr. Hogan said. “When I first joined the team, employee satisfaction was quite low. Many people were not fully engaged, not allowed to work to their full potential. The department had undergone many leadership changes, which affected our efficiency and patient satisfaction.”

To tackle this problem, Dr. Hogan adapted the team’s leadership structure so that if they identified a problem, such as delays in a certain clinic, they could enact a solution with minimal red tape.

Mending a Fracture

Laura Nelson, practice manager of sports and hand orthopedics, explains that Dr. Hogan has been integral to the transformation of the outpatient orthopedic clinic.

“Dr. Hogan’s collaborative approach with both UCHealth leadership and the entire outpatient clinical team has helped unite us toward a common vision and goal,” she said. “His presence within the clinic allowed us to mend a culture that had been fractured, and in turn created a true environment of team work.”

Dr. Hogan, it seems, is the cartilage of the team, the flexible connector that supports those around him. “Everyone wants to be involved in something greater, to do more than they are currently doing,” he said. “They want to feel the pride and unity of building something great. We allowed people to work to the full scope of their abilities, which obviously benefited the department as a whole, but also allowed people to grow individually.”

Meaningful Improvements

Patrick Kneeland​, MD, medical director for patient and provider experience at University of Colorado Hospital, explains how Dr. Hogan’s success in the inpatient setting is due to his ability to develop new partnerships with other services, ensuring patients receive the highest quality care.

“Dr. Hogan takes challenges in health care improvement head on, and with creativity,” he said. “He works to break down the traditional silos that often prevent us from making meaningful improvements in health care. He is a team player and balances confidence and a healthy critique of the status quo with humility and a respect for tradition where it serves patients well.”

That humility is evident in Dr. Hogan, who explains that his path has been to be upfront and honest. “When you have to announce changes it’s important that everyone knows they’re not just for your benefit. They are for our entire department, our ancillary staff and the hospital as a whole. There are silos in any large organization, but you can often achieve engagement by identifying other departments that are experiencing the same challenges.”

However, for Dr. Hogan there is still a lot of work to be done. “Although our work has been successful, we want to continue to build on that momentum. We want to strive to be better in everything we do. The health care landscape is becoming increasingly complex, with bundled care payments on the horizon for lower-extremity joint replacement surgeries. My goal for 2016 is to be a leader on campus in establishing an interdisciplinary team tackling this change in health care policy.”

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