With the extent of change in healthcare today, organizations need strong physician leaders. To compensate for the lack of physician leadership education, many organizations are sending physicians to external leadership programs or developing in-house leadership programs targeted specifically to physicians. The purpose of this paper is to outline the evaluation strategy and outcomes of the inaugural year of a Physician Leadership Academy (PLA) developed and implemented at a Michigan-based regional healthcare system.
The authors applied the theoretical framework of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and used surveys, observations, activity tracking, and interviews to evaluate the program outcomes. The authors applied grounded theory techniques to the interview data.
The program met targeted outcomes across all four levels of evaluation. Interview themes focused on the significance of increasing self-awareness, building relationships, applying new skills, and building confidence.
While only one example, this study illustrates the importance of developing the evaluation strategy as part of the program design. Qualitative research methods, often lacking from learning evaluation design, uncover rich themes of impact. The study supports how a PLA program can enhance physician learning, engagement, and relationship building throughout and after the program. Physician leaders’ partnership with organization development and learning professionals yield results with impact to individuals, groups, and the organization.
Few studies provide an in-depth review of evaluation methods and outcomes of physician leadership development programs. Healthcare organizations seeking to develop similar in-house programs may benefit applying the evaluation strategy outlined in this study.
The authors wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of everyone who worked on the PLA: the Physician Development Steering Committee, the Organization Development and Learning Team, Medical Staff Services, Health Sciences Library, coaches, and session facilitators. The authors thank a team of colleagues for their editorial assistance. Finally, the authors thank the update to 64 PLA participants who have completed the program since its inception.
Throgmorton, C., Mitchell, T., Morley, T. and Snyder, M. (2016), "Evaluating a physician leadership development program – a mixed methods approach", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 390-407. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-11-2014-0187Download as .RIS
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