Can you spot your physician flight risks? AI can.

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Amidst the national shortage of physicians and the current challenges of physician recruiting, smart healthcare organizations are increasing their focus on physician retention. Since less attrition means fewer roles for recruiters to fill, it’s logical to suggest that physician recruiting should start with physician retention.

Fortunately, in our new era of AI, medical leaders have access to tools that can inform more targeted retention strategies. 

Winnow AI, for example, can predict which of your physicians are flight risks. 

Seeing into the future of your organization’s attrition might seem like a far-fetched promise, but the science is real. AI offers healthcare organizations a dramatic improvement from the status quo alternative of zero insights. Medical leaders are now empowered to be proactive with their retention efforts and potentially save their organizations millions of dollars in replacement costs.



Consider the depth of the problem that AI helps to solve.

Nationally, attrition is skyrocketing. Since 2020, about 20% of health care providers have left their job, and some estimates predict that 47% may quit by 2025. A qualitative study in 2023 from the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that physician attrition rates rose 43% between 2010 and 2018, from 5.3% to 7.6%. 

Interestingly, most of the doctors from the study who left their position (54%) didn’t retire; they just left for a better job. Which means that medical leaders have a chance of retaining these physicians if given the awareness that they are flight risks who require retention strategies.



And that’s important because replacing physicians has become a harder, longer slog than ever. The latest Internal Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report from The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) found that the healthcare industry is going on its fifth straight year of fewer open physician positions being filled, despite an increase in the number of active searches.

The long, hard slog is also costly.

One “conservative” estimate is that organizations spend between $500k and $1M to replace a single physician, according to Christine Sinsky, MD, FACP, vice president of professional satisfaction at the American Medical Association (AMA). 

And the implications extend beyond recruitment expenses alone. Turnover also results in productivity losses and disruptions in continuity of care. Workloads fall onto remaining physicians, which can spike stress and burnout and tank job satisfaction.

Everyone loses when physicians leave. So how can we stem this exodus by identifying which physicians are flight risks before they actually leave?

Enter Winnow AI.


Winnow’s predictions aren’t magic. All of the platform’s analyses – for recruiting as well as retention – start with data. 

With the process of physician hiring, Winnow’s AI leverages deep data to identify ideal fits for open physician roles. The same data drives Winnow’s analytics around flight risks. 


Here’s how: 

Winnow is loaded with the NPI numbers of every physician in the country, as well as thousands of data points about each of these physicians, to paint a picture of every one of the approximately one million physicians in the country. Winnow’s AI is constantly processing publicly available information for each physician, such as:

  • Work history: When and where have they changed jobs?
  • Career experience: Where are they in their professional journey?
  • Life experience: Where are they in marking personal milestones, such as marriage and children?
  • Patient demographics: Assessing the typical characteristics of the patients treated by a physician reveals insights into a physician’s patient population and their healthcare needs.
  • Patient volume: Is patient volume decreasing? This might suggest reduced engagement or interest in the organization.
  • Referral patterns: An increase in referrals to other specialists or healthcare facilities might suggest clues about the physician’s abilities or satisfaction with their job.
  • Geographic mobility: If a physician is increasingly providing services in other locations, that could provide a clue about searching or preparing for other job opportunities.

Winnow’s AI synthesizes a blinding array of these types of elements on a regional and specialty level. The platform’s machine learning and predictive analytics examine those clues in an unsupervised way, meaning that humans are allowing for the machine to override subjective heuristics and invite unfettered pattern recognition. 

Those patterns can include the risk factors of leaving one’s job.

And with these insights, medical leaders can be proactive and develop targeted, effective retention strategies. 

Understanding your flight risks not only empowers your organization to mitigate those risks; it also allows you to plan for your replacement needs far in advance. 

Now organizations can be proactive in beginning the search process for an opening that might not reveal itself for 12 months. With an average time to hire currently standing at six to eight months for physicians, this ample lead time provides organizations with a distinct competitive advantage and gives them time to choose the right fit, not just any hire. 

AI isn’t perfect at predictions, but it’s much better than humans.

Winnow AI processes thousands of data points, objectively and at rapid speed. The platform provides an opportunity to get directionally correct at a big problem – flight risks.

As a counterpoint to the AI process, human medical leaders looking at the same physician team are saddled with biases, assumptions, and a brain that can only process a fraction of the data as AI. All at a much slower speed, to boot.

Winnow is an imperfect model, but the alternative is…nothing. 

And besides, perfection would be terrifying. Winnow isn’t aspiring to be Big Brother; the platform is simply designed to deliver a set of unique insights that can be combined with human insights to support physician retention. 



Interested in seeing how Winnow AI can guide your organization’s retention efforts? 

Let’s start with helping you target the physicians who need the most attention.  Pick a time for a 30-minute flight risk audit. We’ll identify your flight risks, explain the data that drives these predictions, and explore how Winnow AI can help your organization build and maintain a thriving physician team.

Can you spot your physician flight risks? AI can.

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