Practice Economics

Q&A with Hospitalist Administrator Amit Prachand


 

Amit Prachand, MEng

Division Administrator, Hospital Medicine

Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine,

Northwestern University, Chicago

Question: What motivated you to join SHM’s Administrators Task Force (ATF)?

A: I wanted to be able to directly interface with the community of leaders in similar administrator roles in order to obtain a stronger perspective of the role, its rewards and challenges, and of the creative solutions different practices have implemented to address issues relevant to hospital medicine and the overall healthcare delivery model. I was also relatively new to hospital medicine practice management, and even healthcare, so I wanted to put myself in the best position to soak in as much as possible as well as help facilitate the sharing of ideas amongst my new group of peers.

Q: How is the Administrators Task Force moving HM forward?

A: One of our main thrusts in the task force is to help expand the administrative membership in SHM. As hospitalist programs mature and the environment in which hospital medicine is practiced evolves, it is imperative that we develop the community, the infrastructure, and the tools required to partner with our stakeholders—both internal and external—to help lead hospital medicine forward.

Q: Has your participation in the Administrators Task Force helped your group?

A: The ATF has helped develop direct lines of communication with peers. This helps when it come to issues for which we are finding the best solutions for; areas such as on-boarding of new physicians, negotiations with hospitals, coding and billing improvement, and meaningful performance reporting.

Q: How is the task force helping hospitals improve patient care?

A: By having a peer group on the administrative side, I believe we are now able to more readily share ideas that support the ideas around patient-care improvement that are being shared amongst the physician membership.

One of the key roles we play as an administrator is to help develop the systems and structures that help improve patient care. That may range from advocating for physician representation on certain hospital committees to facilitating a process/QI project that involves hospitalists and other members of the extended patient-care team, such as physicians from other medical specialties, nursing, pharmacists, case management, bed management, environmental services, and information technology.

Q: How is the task force helping hospitals improve healthcare overall?

A: We are continually improving the infrastructure for administrators to share ideas and solutions to address overall healthcare issues (payment reform, readmissions, compliance, cost). It is through this infrastructure that we can identify best implementation practices of ideas. The webinar series (www.hospitalmedicine.org/roundtables) that we’ve developed addresses many of the issues that healthcare in general is facing. This series has exceeded expectations for participation and interest.

Q: What do you like most about your job as an administrator?

A: It is never dull, always exciting. From the firefighting to the long-term planning, the role keeps me on my toes. I enjoy being in a position that is so tightly intertwined with so many critical functions and disciplines across the medical center in a profession—hospital medicine—that is continuing to lead advances in healthcare delivery.

—Brendon Shank

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