Archive for December 2015

What’s Your Hospitalist Group’s Gross Happiness Index?

Since the 1970s the kingdom of Bhutan’s leaders have believed that the country’s “Gross National Happiness” is more important than its gross national product. They actually started measuring Gross National Happiness in 2010. When I think about factors contributing to sustainability in hospital medicine, I wonder if hospitalist group leaders should be measuring “Gross Group Happiness” and not just gross group product. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Bhutan’s 2015 Gross National Happiness Index suggests that increasing economic prosperity isn’t necessarily making Bhutan’s citizens happier. That struck a chord with me. Hospitalists today are earning more money than ever and are cramming their work into fewer annual worked days with more time off. But I have to ask: is that really the recipe for increasing hospitalist “happiness?” I believe that paying deliberate attention to hospitalist personal and professional well-being is a crucial strategy for ensuring that “hospitalist” remains…

Yes, Yes, Yes!

by Dr. Anna Arroyo Plasencia, SFHM
by Anna Arroyo Plasencia, MD, SFHM You have probably already seen SHM's Action Alert, Crisis in the Mental Health System.  I would have missed this item if a colleague hadn't mentioned it, though, this could not have come at a better time. America's mental health system is broken! As hospitalists, we are constantly asked to care for patients whose medical illnesses are complicated by their mental ones. This could not be truer than for addiction.  A colleague recently asked me to provide a curbside consult for a psychiatric boarder she was treating for alcohol and opioid withdrawal. Interestingly, I was also this patient's admitting hospitalist the week before. In addition to my day job in hospital medicine, I am a medical toxicologist and an addiction medicine specialist. My background provides a unique opportunity for me to become involved in patient care through management of the consequences of overdose. I am also…
Dr. Anna Arroyo Plasencia, SFHM is a hospitalist and medical toxicologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to Internal Medicine and Medical Toxicology, she is board certified in Pediatrics and Addiction Medicine and serves as co-director of a toxicology and addiction medicine clinic. Dr. Arroyo Plasencia completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and fellowship in Medical Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family.

Before the White Coat Gets the Modern Healthcare Spotlight in SHM Media Highlights

by Brendon Shank
SHM’s Before the White Coat podcast, hospitalist satisfaction, Choosing Wisely and Journal of Hospital Medicine research are featured in the latest roundup of media articles about the specialty. After celebrating its six-month anniversary, SHM’s podcast, Before the White Coat, was highlighted in a Modern Healthcare article -- in print and online -- reviewing the inspiration for its development and a few episode highlights. KevinMD.com featured Tracy Cardin’s blog post from The Hospital Leader earlier this month. In her post, she discussed the two requirements she believes are essential for an effective, satisfied hospital medicine group: strong leadership and adequate staffing. Also in the realm of hospitalist satisfaction, Press Ganey CMO Dr. James Marino blogged for Becker’s Hospital Review, noting that a number of hospitalists feel a lack of respect from colleagues; he delves into how he made this discovery and his recommendations. Choosing Wisely appeared in a recent article in the American…
Brendon Shank is the Associate Vice President of the Society of Hospital Medicine and is a member of the PRSA Health Academy Executive Committee. You can find him on Twitter, @BShank.

There Are a Million Stories in the Naked City

Hospital Allegory:  (Special thanks to Keiki Hinami). Three scientists are tromping through the wilds of a previously uncharted rain forest. They are captured by blood thirsty aborigines who scream and chant at them. The Chief approaches the first scientist as asks him, "Do you want death or do you want cheech?"  The natives whoop and holler.  The scientist, shaking in fear, has no idea what cheech is, but does not want to die, so fearfully chooses "cheech".  The aborigines yell and scream, yank out the scientist's eyeballs, slice open his abdomen, pull out his entrails until he crawls off moaning in agony into the jungle to die.  The second scientist is then approached. "Do you want death or do you want cheech?!"  The second scientist is in a state, saying convulsively over and over, "I don't want death; I don't want cheech!" The Chief demands an answer and the scientist,…

Money back Guarantee!

We’ve all seen hundreds of commercials of companies advertising products and services with a money back guarantee. The Men’s Warehouse, for example, has been guaranteeing to men across the globe for over a decade, “You’re going to like the way you look; I guarantee it!” But to date, no one has made such a “guarantee” in the healthcare industry. Buying a suit is not exactly like getting your gallbladder removed. Geisinger Health System President and CEO, Dr. David Feinberg, is doing just that. Their health care system has developed an application, called the Geisinger ProvenExperience, which can be downloaded onto a smartphone. After a procedure, a patient is given a code for the condition that was treated. With that code, they can enter any feedback they have on the services provided; and then they can request a refund if they are not fully satisfied. Most remarkably, the request for a…
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