Hospital Medicine Fast Facts 10 Key Metrics for Monitoring Hospitalist Performance
- Volume data: Measurements indicating “volume of services” provided by a hospitalist group or by individual hospitalists. Volume data, in general terms, are counts of services performed by hospitalists.
- Case mix: A tool used to characterize the clinical complexity of the patients treated by the hospital medicine group (and comparison groups). The goal of case mix is to allow “apples to apples” comparisons.
- Patient satisfaction: A survey-based measure often considered an element of quality outcomes. Surveys, often designed and administered by vendors, are typically designed to measure a patient’s perception of his or her overall hospital experience.
- Length of stay: The number of days of inpatient care utilized by a patient or a group of patients.
- Hospital cost: Measures the money expended by a hospital to care for its patients, most often expressed as cost per unit of service (e.g., cost per patient day or cost per discharge).
- Productivity measures: Objective qualifications of physician productivity (e.g., encounters, Relative Value Units).
- Provider satisfaction: The most common metric addresses referring-physician satisfaction and uses a survey to measure perceptions of their overall experience with the hospital medicine program (e.g., the care of their patient and interactions with the hospitalists). Other providers could be monitored for satisfaction, including specialists and nurses.
- Mortality: A measure of the number of patient deaths over a defined time period. Typically, the observed mortality metric is compared with expected mortality.
- Readmission rate: Describes how often patients admitted to the hospital by a physician or practice are admitted again, within a defined period following discharge.
- Joint Commission Core Measures: These are evidence-based, standardized “core” measures to track the performance of hospitals in providing quality healthcare. Four diagnoses are included: acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, community-acquired pneumonia, and pregnancy and related conditions.
To download “Measuring Hospitalist Performance: Metrics, Reports, and Dashboards.” Visit the “SHM Initiatives” section at www.hospitalmedicine.org.