Public Policy

Planned Partnerships

“It’s very important for all of us to work together to continue to grow,” says DeNuccio, who cites AMA’s courses in practice management, QI, and patient safety as educational opportunities for hospitalists. “Our interest is in the patient. That’s what this is all about. The AMA and OMSS feel strongly that the profession needs to call the shots about how care is delivered in hospitals. They see that engaging the hospitalist is in the interest of the patient.”

SHM and AAPA: Educating Together

Hospitalists and physician assistants (PAs) work hand in hand to care for their patients. At the national level, SHM and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) are coordinating educational programs to ensure PAs and hospitalists are properly informed and learning from the same page.

“It’s a very broad spectrum,” says Sharon Kulesz, AAPA director of alliance development and education. “We provide physician assistants with information about hospitalists, and we provide physicians with information about the benefit of working with physician assistants.”

Along with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), AAPA and SHM have coordinated educational programs at SHM’s annual meeting for hospitalists, and recently developed a stand-alone “Boot Camp” series for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to learn more about HM.

Kulesz notes, however, that not all of the education is exclusively for hospital-based workers. Some of the efforts are geared toward educating the public about hospitals’ patient-care teams. Regardless of the topic or the audience, the key is a comfortable working relationship between teams, she says.

“Our work with SHM is the model that I would like to use in all of our collaborations,” Kulesz says. “SHM gets us. They get what we can do and how a collaborative approach can be of benefit to everyone. It’s like an extended family.”

Join Team Hospitalist

Interested in sharing your professional insight on a variety of HM-related topics? Team Hospitalist is looking for a few good physicians. E-mail your CV and a letter of interest to Editor Jason Carris, [email protected].

Patient-First Collaboration

The new Hospital Care Collaborative takes a team approach to hospital-based care. More than simply a partnership, the group brings together groups that represent healthcare professionals in the hospital—hospitalists, nurses, case managers, respiratory therapists, social workers—to find common approaches to QI and patient safety.

“As a group, the Hospital Care Collaborative is looking for ways to work together to improve the care of the hospitalized patient,” says Larry Wellikson, MD, FHM, CEO of SHM. “We’ve developed common principles, which have been ratified by each of our boards. At its core, the collaborative is looking for real-world ways to integrate medical professionals and help hospitals take a new approach to patient care.”

Part of the answer is in the education, development, and promotion of high-performance teams in hospital settings, Dr. Wellikson says. For instance, if a patient is admitted to the hospital with a blood clot, each team member has the opportunity to contribute his or her expertise and coordinate with others. The hospitalist might make the diagnosis, which leads to the prescription from the hospital pharmacist. With the diagnosis and list of prescriptions in hand, a nurse can then explain to the patient how the medications will affect their daily routine.

“In modern healthcare, no one professional or professional society can have all the perspectives you need,” Dr. Wellikson says. “In SHM’s approach, we’re looking at the hospital as a community, not a building. The problems we’re trying to solve are complex, and it requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Knitting the perspectives and expertise together will be the key to treating the patient in the 21st century.” TH

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