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HM15 Q&A: Why Is It Important That Hospitalists Be Agents of Change?


QUESTION: SHM CEO Larry Wellikson, MD, MHM, calls the country’s roughly 48,000 hospitalists “agents of change.” The Hospitalist asked HM15 why is it important that hospitalists be those people?

“Because our healthcare system is broken in a lot of ways, and a lot of patients fall through the cracks or they don’t get good follow-up. Part of helping that and helping to fix our system is being willing to make changes and think of innovative ways, new ways to do things.”

–Lorrie Saville, NP, assistant medical director, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, Va.

“We have to stay dynamic, and change is the nature of things. We have to change what we do to adapt to new environments and new circumstances. … We have to keep an eye on the goals, which are cutting costs, length of stay, decreased rates of mortality, and patient satisfaction.”

–Hospitalist Ahmed Farag, MD Rex Hospital, Raleigh, N.C.

“For me, for patients’ sake, we always need to be in good practice. We should always be up to date. When we don’t actually go through quality improvement projects or we don’t try to obtain or achieve certain milestones, then we’ll always be behind. We could actually be harming a lot of patients without necessarily knowing. … It’s important from a patient perspective; that’s why it’s important to me and should be important to every physician.”

–Hospitalist Zahra’a Salah, MD St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital, Livonia, Mich.

“Because nobody else is doing it. In my opinion, hospital medicine over the years has become the operational machinery for the health systems and hospitals around the country. By all means, I think the hospitalist should be at the forefront to leading the change, or whatever we call the new evolution of medicine in the country.”

–Ajay Kumar, MD, MECP, FACP, SFHM, chief, Department of Medicine, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn.

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