Published in the March 2015 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON PROBLEMS that hospitalist face? In our 2014 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, we asked hospitalists to tell us how often they encounter six problems in their day-to-day practice. Here’s a look at the questions we asked and the responses we received. All responses are from full-time adult hospitalists.
Of the six issues we asked about, hospitalists identified one “readmissions due to lack of follow-up care options ” as the clear winner. When asked how often they see hospitalized patients bounce back due to the lack of such options, 82% said frequently or sometimes.
More than 90% of hospitalists working for national hospitalist management companies and local groups reported seeing this problem regularly. While hospitalists in the Pacific region were less likely to see this as a problem (59% said they see it frequently or sometimes), more than 90% of hospitalists in the South said readmissions due to a lack of follow-up resources is a regular issue.
The next biggest problem on our list had to do with technology. When asked if EMR systems were having an impact on quality of care, 78% of hospitalists said it was a situation they encountered frequently or sometimes. One interesting finding: More female hospitalists viewed EMR-system problems as a regular issue (90%) than their male colleagues (73%).
Transfers were another hot topic. When it comes to inappropriate transfers from other facilities, 69% said they see patients who fall into this category frequently or sometimes. Hospitalists working at universities and medical schools were most likely to view this as a problem, with 84% saying they frequently or sometimes see inappropriate transfers.
Premature discharges, specialty care
Fifty-five percent of full-time adult hospitalists reported that they face pressure to discharge patients prematurely either frequently or sometimes, while 53% said they are asked to provide specialist care they don’t feel adequately trained for frequently or sometimes.
Finally, 50% of our respondents said that they frequently or sometimes see patients in the hospital because they believe the care of those patients was mishandled by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in a primary care office.