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All Aboard the HM Train


 

A small Illinois hospital has joined the ranks of facilities—including its neighbors—in adding a hospital medicine (HM) program. The Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus, in Silvas, Ill., began providing full-time hospitalist coverage on Dec. 1.

As the influx of hospitalists allowed local primary care physicians to stop making hospital visits, the Illini Campus rushed to fill the gap with its own HM program. "We were the last acute care hospital to implement a hospitalist program," says Chuck Bruhn, CEO of Illini Campus. "It had become a medical community issue."

Illini Campus, located near the Quad Cities on the western Illinois-eastern Iowa border, is a 149-bed facility with an average daily census of 50 to 55 patients. Its sister facility, the Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, Iowa, has had a successful hospital medicine program since 2005. Genesis' agreement with Cogent Healthcare, Inc., recently expanded to manage the program at Illini Campus, with round-the-clock coverage, including one full-time hospitalist.

Just two weeks after implementation, "the hospitalist program is growing much more rapidly than we had anticipated," Bruhn says. "They’re already covering a census of 14 patients a day. We're already talking about adding a physician extender."

Bruhn is pleased with the way the fledgling program has taken root. "We see it as a definite improvement, not only to quality and continuity of care, but to expediency of care. And the hospitalists provide additional support; they provide education to our clinical staff."

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