Most HM groups (HMGs) participate in quality initiatives in their hospitals, according to new SHM research. Moreover, 7 out of 10 HMGs participating in QI initiatives are leading those efforts at their hospitals.
The findings are part of SHM’s 2008-2009 Focused Survey, the latest in a series of reports commissioned by the Practice Analysis Committee. The survey and report concentrate on topics of interest from SHM’s comprehensive, biannual survey of its membership.
The survey compiled responses from 145 HMG leaders. In addition to QI initiatives, participants in the survey responded to a variety of questions, including quality-based incentives, hospitalist turnover, and the use of part-time hospitalists.
These surveys answer the kinds of questions that often come up when hospitalists and hospitals begin to evaluate their performance and plan for the future.
—Joe Miller, SHM’s executive advisor to the CEO
“This is certain to be a conversation starter for hospitalists, hospital executives, and others,” says Burke Kealey, MD, FHM, medical director for hospital medicine at St. Paul, Minn.-based HealthPartners and chair of SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee. “The Focused Survey is an opportunity for SHM to answer some of the pressing questions that healthcare executives and providers have about managing a hospitalist practice within the larger context of the hospital.”
Hospital executives and hospitalists use SHM survey findings to better understand what is going on in the specialty, says Joe Miller, SHM’s executive advisor to the CEO. “These surveys answer the kinds of questions that often come up when hospitalists and hospitals begin to evaluate their performance and plan for the future,” Miller says. “We use their questions as source material for this survey, so we can help them answer questions like, ‘How are most hospitalists participating in QI?’ or ‘How are other hospitalists using part-time staff members?’ ”
Hospitalists Lead the Way
Hospitalists continue to be at the forefront of QI initiatives within their hospitals, according to the latest survey. Almost all respondents (96.5%) reported that their HMG participated in QI programs; the average HMG has six hospitalists playing an active role in QI within the hospital.
The survey also found that 72.1% of respondents involved in QI activity reported that their hospitalists were “responsible for leading project(s)” on QI initiatives.
“The findings about the active role hospitalists play in QI initiatives may surprise even the most staunch advocate of QI within the hospital medicine specialty,” says Leslie Flores, MHA, SHM’s director of the Practice Management Institute and leader of the Focused Survey research. “In essence, it shows that nearly every hospitalist group is active in promoting QI, and that the vast majority of them are taking a leadership position to improve quality. … It is remarkable and extremely exciting that hospitalists are so deeply involved in QI in their organizations.”