Home From The Editor Inpatient rounder or hospitalist: Which one are you?

Inpatient rounder or hospitalist: Which one are you?

May 2005

Published in the May 2005 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

Are you an inpatient rounder or a hospitalist?

That may sound like an odd question, particularly if you’re not even sure what “inpatient rounder” means. But how you define the term “and how you answer the question “may play a key role in your future as an inpatient physician.

This month’s feature asks what hospital administrators are looking for from the hospitalists working within their walls. As hospital officials wise up to the ways that hospitalists can help them meet all kinds of goals, some are beginning to take a closer look at hospitalists. And not everyone likes what they see.

Several industry experts and hospitalists say that some programs are not doing enough. Sure, they manage patient care, but they fall down when it comes to managing length of stay, retooling systems of care and performing the other types of services that hospitalists are becoming known for.

Stacy Goldsholl, MD, a hospitalist who has started and run several hospitalist programs in her career, uses the term “inpatient rounder” to describe some of her colleagues. In her mind, these physicians see too many patients to do a good job of tightly managing length of stay and helping improve the quality of care.

The consensus is that programs that don’t go the extra mile in meeting the goals of their hospital “whether managing length of stay or helping earn pay-for-performance incentives “will go the way of the dinosaur.

The good news is that hospital officials are beginning to take notice of you, giving hospitalist programs clear opportunities for growth. The bad news is that that you may soon face more scrutiny. Now is a good time to ask yourself a simple question: Are you an inpatient rounder or a hospitalist?

Edward Doyle
Editor and Publisher