Home From The Editor Hospital medicine’s next round of innovations

Hospital medicine’s next round of innovations

March 2008

Published in the March 2008 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

While hospitalists work in a specialty that is still establishing itself, some physicians are already finding room for innovation in the way they do their jobs. Those innovations are the focus of several of the stories in this month’s issue.

A good example is the rounding patterns of hospitalists. Why should physicians have to treat patients who are scattered across different units and floors of their hospital? Doesn’t it make sense to put all of those patients in one unit so the hospitalist doesn’t have to waste precious time running from floor to floor?

The obvious answer is yes, but as hospitalists who have tried to make that change have found, the devil is in the details. There are practical considerations “hospitals have to make sure that physicians in one unit aren’t swamped with patients “but the experts we talked to in this month’s cover story say these issues aren’t insurmountable.

Another issue we explore: Does it make sense for hospitalists to handle both admissions and existing patients? Our commentary, which is part of the new blog series, makes a case for segmenting the role of hospitalists into admitters and rounders.

We’ve explored the idea of rounders and admitters in these pages before, but this commentary takes the discussion in a new direction by comparing hospital medicine to manufacturing and computing.

While there are major differences between medicine and these other industries, the author finds some interesting parallels.

What does this mean for you as a practicing hospitalist? I hope that as you read this month’s issue, you’re inspired to find ideas for innovation in your own practice. If you do, I’d like to hear from you.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor and Publisher