Home From The Editor When it comes to hospital administrators, a little education can go a...

When it comes to hospital administrators, a little education can go a long way

January 2006

Published in the January 2006 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

This month’s issue is packed with articles on clinical topics, but one article you don’t want to miss has nothing to do with hospitalists as clinicians. It instead talks about hospitalists as members of the hospital community.

Because hospital medicine is still relatively young, the specialty is something of an unknown entity at many hospitals. Sure, administrators have heard that hospitalist programs can help their bottom line, but they have little experience working with “or understanding of “hospitalists.

As many of you know from firsthand experience, getting past the misconceptions and myths about hospital medicine can be a problem, particularly when you try to make the case for hiring more physicians or nurses for your service.

The experts typically say that the best solution is to make sure that hospital administrators understand the value you bring to your facility. A little education, they say, goes a long way when it comes time to negotiate a new contract or ask for more staff.

The article on page 19 of this issue is a good example of the wisdom of that advice. It looks at the hospitalist group at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., which has had considerable success cementing a relationship with hospital administrators.

It hasn’t always been easy, but the group’s efforts have led to a big payoff in key leadership roles for hospitalists “and reimbursement specifically for its involvement in quality improvement activities.

Why should any of this matter to you? I realize that you already have your hands full, but as a new year begins, consider spending some time getting to know your hospital’s administrators “and give them a chance to get to know you.

It will help not only your own hospitalist service, but the growth of the specialty as a whole.

Edward Doyle
Editor and Publisher