5 Measures That Help Make Hospitalist Programs Work Better

Hospitalist programs are still comparatively new and are, therefore, continually changing so that they fit better in the overall treatment framework. Read further to get some tips on how as a primary care practice, you can install procedures and processes that bridge the gap between hospitalists and PCPs to provide better care.

Hospitalists are experts in the field of internal medicine who take over patient care from PCPs as soon as the patient is hospitalized. From then on, they become the single point of contact for any care-related aspect concerning those who fall under their umbrella. Coordinating with the specialists, keeping families abreast with the latest care-related developments, and carefully watching the treatment plan to prevent slip-ups as well as optimize care are all essential aspects of a hospitalists job profile. Unfortunately, though, often a gap in communication between the PCP and the hospitalist can become a significant cause for adverse health outcomes. PCPs are now revamping their processes to avoid such catastrophic eventualities. Some excellent examples of such changes are:

  1. Hiring A Continuity and Discharge Coordinator – A coordinator or navigator who can ascertain better communication between various individuals post-hospitalization can help prevent mishaps occurring due to lack of synchronization.
  2. Involving Utilization Management (UM) And Care Management (CM) Teams – UM concepts can be very useful in evaluating the accuracy and the necessity of procedures and consults done on inpatients. The UM and CM staff can also check the appropriateness of 24-hour observations.
  3. Tracking Data – Information concerning elements like utilization, length of hospitalization, and readmissions can be studied carefully to find areas of improvement. Measures to hone these processes and procedures will help elevate patient satisfaction through better results.
  4. Holding Monthly Review Meetings – The Primary Care Practice’s UM team and physicians can meet the Case Management team and hospitalists on a monthly basis to review all the cases that are being managed to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  5. Introducing Customer Satisfaction Forms – As the patients are at the focal point of all healthcare initiatives, it is vital to get their perspective as well. Patient input can help you discover, understand and provide what they are looking for.

All the initiatives mentioned above are beneficial in achieving many positive goals. These include:

  1. Awareness of Existing Issues - It is possible to improve only when you know where the voids exist and what needs to be done to fill them.
  2. Better Patient Satisfaction – As utilization figures, quality of service, and health results improve, so does patient approval.
  3. Lower Rate Of Complications – The number of complications arising from a lack of proper communication is reduced dramatically.

It is possible for hospitalists, specialists, and PCPs to work harmoniously to deliver the best quality care that every patient deserves. Such an integrated approach is bound to leave a positive mark on the lives of your patients. It will also give the physicians involved a deep sense of satisfaction that comes only from a job well done and the thought of a satisfied customer.

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