Archive for September 2016

Readmission Rates & Innovative QI in Hospital Medicine News

SHM & Hospital Medicine in the News: September 15 – 29, 2016 Check out the latest hospital medicine and SHM-related stories in mainstream and healthcare-centric news. For the full stories, click on the links below: A Journal of Hospital Medicine study on the correlation between readmission rates and quality was highlighted in HealthLeaders Media. The Sacramento Business Journal ran a story highlighting hospital medicine’s continued growth and innovative contributions to healthcare, leading to a decrease in skepticism about the specialty. The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) recently released the second part of its two-part interview series with the lead author of SHM’s RADEO (Reducing Adverse Events Related to Opioids) Guide, Thomas W. Frederickson, MD, MBA, SFHM. Joseph Brogan, who attended SHM’s Academic Hospitalist Academy, praised the program and its faculty on a blog for the Duke University School of Medicine. As antibiotic resistance continues to be an issue, a…

Hospitalists Are Not Alone

I’ve been writing a lot about hospitalist satisfaction and career sustainability, but a just-released report from The Physicians Foundation shows just how widespread low physician morale and disenchantment with their profession really is. Every other year, The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on supporting the work of physicians and improving healthcare quality, conducts a massive national physician survey with the help of Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search and consulting company. The survey invitation was sent out by email to every physician in the country for whom the AMA has an email address on file; 17,236 of the roughly 630,000 physicians who received the survey invitation completed the 39-question survey. I hope a good number of them were hospitalists. The report is chock full of interesting findings, and I encourage you to take a look. Among the highlights, the survey found that more than half (54%) of respondent physicians…

Taking the First Steps to Becoming a QI Change Agent

by Aram Namavar, MS
Editor’s Note: Throughout the upcoming weeks, The Hospital Leader will feature posts from SHM’s 2016 Student Hospitalist Scholar Grant recipients describing the QI projects they conducted as a part of their grants. Applications for the 2017 grant are now open at www.futureofhospitalmedicine.org/grant and will close on January 11, 2017.  This is the third in the series from medical student Aram Namavar, MS. I can’t pinpoint the exact time that I was introduced to quality improvement. Was it when I set foot in Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for the first time as a student volunteer? Or was it during my adolescence when I would witness family members being readmitted too many times to count due to language and cultural disparities, or medication non-compliance? All I know is that my past experiences have propelled me towards a path of being a quality improvement change agent, and I hope to inspire others along the way. Since I…
Aram A. Namavar, MS, is a second year medical student at the Loyola University Chicago – Stritch School of Medicine. Aram has been involved in Quality since 2011 when working in patient experience and then to reduce hospital readmissions at UCLA Health. In 2014, Aram founded The Healthcare Improvement & iNnovation in Quality (THINQ) Collaborative within the Department of Medicine at UCLA Health. Inspired by his experiences, he co-founded the first Hospital Medicine Interest Group at a medical school in 2015 and then was elected to serve at the national level on SHM's Physicians in Training Committee.

Hospitalist Career Sustainability in the Face of Clinical Scope Expansion

We all know that hospitalists’ scope of clinical practice has been evolving in significant ways for a number of years. At many hospitals virtually all medical subspecialists have backed away from active attending roles and serve only as consultants. Surgeons are demanding greater hospitalist participation in surgical co-management, often as admitting/attending physician. For example, I’m guessing that around 70 or 75% of non-academic hospitalist practices now serve as admitting/attending physician for all hip fracture patients – though my experience is anecdotal and I’m not aware of any hard data about this. In larger hospitalist programs we are seeing some hospitalists dedicate their full professional focus to the general medical care of oncology patients, or stroke patients, or hip fracture patients. Hard-pressed intensivists are asking hospitalists to care for more ICU or step-down patients or to provide nighttime ICU coverage. And hospital administrators increasingly see their hospitalists as the answer to…

Respect the Body You Are Trying to Heal

“You must respect the body you are trying to heal.” I heard this said twice into my headphones, the second time more slowly and firmly than the first, while I sat on the runway about to take off. It continued to echo in my head over the course of the flight. As a physician, the reference to healing a body has obvious resonance. However, as I embarked on yet another gathering of healthcare leaders discussing how to make our healthcare system better, this assertion took on a broader significance. Clinicians often hear about – and experience daily – our “broken healthcare system.” There is little doubt that our system is sick, but it is not yet terminal. Physicians understand the art of treating a diseased person, bringing together clinical science and knowledge with emotional empathy and respect. Yet, when we become healthcare leaders, managers, or administrators and turn our sights…
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