The Hospitalist recently spoke with Brian Schroeder, MHA, FACHE, FHM, assistant vice president, Hospital & Emergency Medicine, at Atrium Health Medical Group in Charlotte, N.C., to discuss his participation in the State of Hospital Medicine Survey, which is distributed every other year, and how he uses the resulting report to guide important operational decisions.
Please describe your current role.
At Carolinas Hospitalist Group, we have approximately 250 providers at nearly 20 care locations across North Carolina. Along with my specialty medical director, I am responsible for the strategic growth, program development, and financial performance for our practice.
How did you first become involved with the Society of Hospital Medicine?
When I first entered the hospital medicine world in 2008, I was looking for an organization that supported our specialty. My physician leaders at the time pointed me to SHM. Since the beginning of my time as a member, I have attended the Annual Conference each year, the SHM Leadership Academy, served on an SHM committee, and participate in SHM’s multisite Leaders group. Additionally, I have served as faculty at SHM’s annual conference for 3 years – and will be presenting for the third time at HM20.
Why is it important that people participate in the State of Hospital Medicine Survey?
Participation in the survey is key for establishing benchmarks for our specialty. The more people participate (from various arenas like private groups, health system employees, and vendors), the more accurate the data. Over the past 4 years, SHM has improved the submission process of survey data – especially for practices with multiple locations.
How has the data in the report impacted important business decisions for your group?
We rely heavily on the investment/provider benchmark within the survey data. Over the years, as the investment/provider was decreasing nationally, our own investment/provider was increasing. Based on the survey, we were able to closely evaluate our staffing models at each location and determine the appropriate skill mix-to-volume ratio. Through turnover and growth, we have strategically hired advanced practice providers to align our investment more closely with the benchmark. Over the past 2 years, our investment/provider metric has decreased significantly. We were able to accomplish this while continuing to provide appropriate care to our patients. We also utilize the Report to monitor performance incentive metrics, staffing model trends, and encounter/provider ratios.
What would you tell people who are on the fence about participating in the survey – and ultimately, purchasing the finished product?
Do it! Our practice would never skip a submission year. The data produced from the survey helps us improve our clinical operations and maximize our financial affordability. The data also assists in defending staffing decisions and clinical operations change with senior leadership within the organization.
Don’t miss your chance to submit data that will build the latest snapshot of the hospital medicine specialty. The State of Hospital Medicine Survey is open now and runs through February 16, 2020. Learn more and register to participate at hospitalmedicine.org/survey.