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Professional-Growth Planning Is Essential to HM Group Success


In the changing healthcare landscape, hospitalists are being asked to be leaders and managers in their day-to-day activities. Often, the HM director will need to help provide hospitalists in their groups with the skills they need to succeed, says Bryce Gartland, MD, FHM, associate director of the hospital medicine division and medical director of care coordination at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.

“Critical to that is making sure you’ve got a standardized structure in place for ensuring their professional growth and development,” he says.

HM group directors can invite experts to conduct feedback sessions on particular areas of concern or send their hospitalists to outside training, he says. For example, SHM hosts a Leadership Academy that offers a “Foundation for Effective Leadership” course, along with two more advanced leadership seminars.

The American College of Physicians offers the “Leadership Enhancement and Development” (LEAD) program, and the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California at San Francisco offers several leadership initiatives.

In my view, quality improvement is really where hospitalists make their hay in being a value added to the hospital.

—John Bulger, DO, FACP, FHM, chief quality officer, director, HM service line, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.

It also is incumbent on HM directors to get their physicians training in quality improvement (QI), asserts John Bulger, DO, FACP, FHM, chief quality officer and director of the HM service line for Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. “In my view, quality improvement is really where hospitalists make their hay in being a value added to the hospital,” he says.

SHM’s Center for Hospital Innovation and Improvement offers a wide variety of tools and resources to educate hospitalists on QI. SHM also has a Quality Improvement Skills pre-course at its annual meeting in April in San Diego.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., that focuses on healthcare best practices, and the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research at InterMountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah, have respected QI training programs.

QI training also comes from mentorship and putting hospitalists on QI-related committees. “That really has a twofold benefit for the hospital medicine group, because you are also able to stretch your reach,” Dr. Bulger says. “Now you’ve got a hospitalist on that committee who can report back to you and tell you what’s going on, and help you be involved in the changes going on in the hospital.”

Lisa Ryan is a freelance writer based in New Jersey.

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