“If the parent organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses took over a hospital and declared that no one could have a transfusion, no one would allow that,” Dr. Krebs argues. “If I have a patient that’s a Jehovah’s Witness, and they say, ‘I won’t have a transfusion,’ that’s very important. However, that person doesn’t have the right to impose their belief system on someone else.”
Dr. Krebs says he has the support of his medical community and his hospital, largely because, as a hospitalist, he’s been involved with the community all along. He says any hospitalist who hopes to influence standards of care should get involved, too, by sitting on or chairing a hospital committee, becoming an integral part of the medical community early on, and, above all, providing great care.
“If you leverage the facility you’re in to the Nth degree for income, you’re not going to be viewed as a partner, but as a vendor commodity, and you’ll have very little influence,” Dr. Krebs says. “There’s a benefit to being a hospitalist. You are in a unique position to exert influence on the hospital, because in some ways, both parties need the other to do well.” TH