But the buck should stop with hospitalists when it comes to improving care quality, says Randy Ferrance, DC, MC, internal medicine and pediatrics medical director, Riverside Tappahannock Hospice, Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, Va.
“So many outside forces are working to constrain medicine in so many ways, I am hoping that we … can come together to so thoroughly and definitively improve the quality of our care that those outside agencies will feel comfortable stepping back and interfering less in how we practice,” says Dr. Ferrance.
When it comes to research, hospitalists could be in the driver’s seat, says R. Neal Axon, MD, assistant professor, medicine and pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
“The [National Institutes of Health] and the academic institutions who count on NIH funding have focused a great deal of publicity in recent years on ‘translational’ research that is supposed to move scientific discovery from the bench more expeditiously to the bedside,” Dr. Axon says. “Increasingly, hospitalists are the doctors at the bedside, and I see a huge opportunity for our specialty to both perform research and to set a relevant research agenda over the next several years.”
The bottom line is that hospitalists must focus on achieving three things, says Julia Wright, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine and director of hospital medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison. Her priorities are establishing hospital medicine as a specialty, creating uniform standards for hospitalists, and excelling in patient care and care-delivery systems. TH
Geoff Giordano is editor of The Hospitalist.