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Ready for the next wave of innovation?

Keywords: Physicians in hospitals play a big role in quality innovations

Published in the August 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Are you prepared for the coming wave of innovation that's about to hit your hospital? Two stories in this month's issue focus on how new innovations are playing out in hospitals and the key role that hospitalists are expected to take.

Our cover story examines how hospitalists are taking a new approach to an old issue: communication during handoffs. While some argue that the gold standard for handoffs is face-to-face communication, that's just not always possible.

That's why some hospitalists around the country are reinventing how they hand off patients. By tweaking how they do handoffs—and sometimes relying on a host of technological tools—some groups have been able to shave precious minutes off handoffs without losing any information in the process. Our coverage might give you some ideas about how to streamline your own handoffs.

Another story looks at a much newer issue for hospitalists: value-based purchasing. Under this plan, which takes effect in the fall, Medicare will reward and punish hospitals for their performance on a key set of quality measures.

You've probably heard about value-based purchasing over the last year or so, but our coverage gives an in-depth look at how the plan will affect hospitals—and how hospitalists can help. The bottom line is that hospitalists will need to step up and assume a leadership role, because the clinical conditions covered by the new incentive program represent the bread and butter of hospital medicine.

Value-based purchasing is a threat to hospitals—the penalties can be significant—but it's also a big opportunity for hospitalists. Because this is a specialty that was borne out of innovation, I'm excited to learn about how hospitalists will help make the innovation work. Drop us a line and let us know how hospitalists at your hospital are involved in value-based purchasing.

Edward Doyle
Editor & Publisher

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