New admissions per shift. Again, if there is an outlier, that metric should be detected rather easily.
Patient satisfaction. More and more, this is becoming an important measure of physician quality and is essential for competitive marketplaces. Of course, the quality of medical care will have its own parameters. And it is best left to use the existing, longstanding parameters that are used for the rest of the doctors in your system. There is no need to create an alternative system for the hospitalist.
If all of the above measures are better than the average hospitalist in the locality, then no one should worry about the hospitalist’s other activities, be it involvement in committee work, research, or browsing a newspaper or a cup of coffee in the doctors’ lounge. After all, one of the main reasons physicians opted for HM practice was to have the ability to control their workday.
This will, in my opinion, improve workforce satisfaction and improve productivity. It only makes common sense. It may be a hard pill to swallow for the administrators, but it is the right medicine for the doctor.
Rwoof Reshi, MD, hospitalist, St. Joe’s Hospital, St. Paul, Minn.