Medical directors ‘woefully’ underused, unengaged in long-term care settings: researchers

December 3, 2019

Physicians are calling on skilled nursing facility leadership to set up formal systems to help increase medical director engagement in post-acute and long-term care settings. 

The recommendation was one of several proposals made by physicians in a Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine editorial.

Researchers say that higher rates of medical director and physician engagement can help lead to improved patient outcomes of quality of care. 

They also are arguing that offering financial incentives and penalties can’t be the sole solution for improving quality and called on providers to seek a “more holistic and multidimensional approach” to help drive better engagement and ultimately, improve care quality. 

Other recommendations to improve medical director engagement suggested that healthcare leaders invest in internal frameworks for motivation to promote engagement, and clinician societies should collaborate with industry partners to create practical and agile tools for medical director and team training. 

“Many SNF medical directors and facility administrators remain woefully unaware of the importance of this role, the value of medical director partnership with facility management, and available support resources,” the authors wrote. 

“Yet, the pressure has never been higher for SNFs to implement care systems that are proportionate to the rising medical complexity and stakeholder expectation for quality.” 

The article was published in the December issue of JAMDA.