Balancing fiscal discipline with a compensation package that attracts and keeps top-notch pediatric hospitalists isn’t easy; CHCC does it. Hospitalist salaries remain stable, increase, or decrease based on a points accumulation productivity system. For his or her salary to remain stable, a hospitalist needs to earn 300 points monthly by taking admission histories, performing physicals, handling administrative tasks, and so on. The doctors keep records on billing cards; CHCC is moving toward personal digital assistants (PDAs) within the next year or two. The hospitalists are excellent recruiters. They’re hiring last year’s chief resident, and they continue to lure back previous top residents who add to group chemistry.
CHCC’s patients present constant challenges for hospitalists, and each young life saved is a story. Vida Vazquez, a one-pound, 10-ounce preemie, spent three months in the NICU and now leads a normal life.
A hospitalist doesn’t have to search her memory for long to find a satisfying case. Dr. Calhoun recently saw a 14-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy and restrictive lung disease who presented with a ruptured appendix.
“His lungs were so bad, and he was so air hungry, with severe stomach distension, but we couldn’t operate on the ruptured appendix because of his other health issues,” she recalls. “He was truly high risk, but we treated him medically and discharged him in seven days. He was smiling, as were the surgeons and the hospitalists, because we got him through it.”
It’s difficult to imagine hospitalists more engaged than CHCC’s. Their professionalism continues to grow. This year they’ve trained to take over sedation duties; they are also managing diabetes ketoacidosis and developing a viral meningitis clinical pathway. Maybe working in starships makes them reach for celestial outcomes. TH
Marlene Piturro regularly writes “Practice Profile.”
- Mohanty SA, Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU, et al. Health care expenditures of immigrants in the United States: a nationally representative analysis. Am J Public Health. 2005 Aug:95(8):1431-1438.