A 24/7 hospital medicine program most directly impacts four categories of stakeholders. With patient safety as top priority, closely followed by quality of care, hospitalists who engage in 24/7 coverage programs can effectively and appropriately address the physical, psychological, occupational and fiscal status of the stakeholders in Table 1.
SHM conducted a survey that assessed the productivity levels of hospitalists as well as various compensation figures for 2003—2004. Figure 2 lists some facts from that survey related to 24/7 programs (10).
Quality of care and patient safety rank as the primary reasons for implementing a 24/7 program. Patients benefit the most from round-the-clock medical attention as continuity of care increases their chance for quick recovery and reduces the potential for decompensation. Furthermore, length of stay and healthcare costs can be reduced, improving hospital financial performance and throughput.
In this era of increased scrutiny of the healthcare industry, there is a growing expectation that a physician will be available around-the-clock to attend to patients. Myra Rosenbloom’s efforts aspire to make this possibility a reality. The use of hospitalists on a 24/7 basis may serve to alleviate the evolutionary pressure being applied to hospitals and, over the short-term, provide a strategic advantage that appeals to a hospital’s patient community.
Dr. Goldsholl can be contacted at [email protected]
- Inlander CB. President, People’s Medical Society, Allentown, PA. Personal interview. August 9, 2004.
- Unpublished report, Covenant HealthCare Hospitalist Program FY 2004, Saginaw, MI.
- Freeman L Can hospitalists improve nurse recruitment and retention? The Hospitalist. 2001;5(6):7-8.
- Nelson J. Medical director, hospitalist program at Overlake Medical Center, Bellevue, WA. Personal interview. August 18, 2004.
- Williams MV. Director, Hospital Medicine Unit, Emory University School of Medicine. Email interview. August 13, 2004.
- Vidrine L National medical director, inpatient services Team Health, Knoxville, TN, August 20, 2004.
- Whitcomb WF. Director, Mercy Inpatient Medicine Service, Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, MA. Personal interview. August 23, 2004.
- Goldsholl S. Director, hospitalist program, Covenant Health Care, Saginaw, MI. Personal interview. August 23, 2004.
- Kosanovich J. Vice President, Medical Affairs, Covenant Health Care, Saginaw, MI. Personal interview. August 11, 2004.
- Society of Hospital Medicine Productivity and Compensation Survey, 2003-2004.