Posts filed under ‘Hospital Care’

Hospitalists rising: a brief overview


Hospitalists are one of the fastest growing physician specialties in the medical field today, and the increase in the number of hospitalists attests to the value of their role in our changing healthcare landscape. In this entry, we’ll provide a general overview of hospitalists, and expand on the topic in our ongoing series about the hospitalist trend. The series will include entries on emerging hospitalist specialties, such as orthopedic hospitalists and neurology hospitalists, and discussion of the value hospitalists deliver, the hospitalist’s role in an ACO environment, and how healthcare reform may impact hospital medicine. Stay tuned!

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The term “hospitalist” was coined in the mid 1990s, and describes physicians who exclusively provide care for hospitalized patients. The hospitalist specialty is unique in that it is organized around a site of care (the hospital) rather than say, a particular organ (such as a cardiologist). A majority of hospitalists are trained in general internal medicine,1 but specialized hospitalists are now becoming more common as well. Emerging hospitalist specialties include neurology hospitalists, oncology hospitalists, OB-GYN hospitalists and orthopedic hospitalists.

According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, 11,159 physicians identified themselves as a hospitalist in 2003.1  As the graph below shows, this number has dramatically increased in less than ten years, to 34,799 hospitalists in the U.S in 20121, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.05% in this period.

(click for an enlarged version)
Hospitalist growth

The rapid rise in the number of hospitalists is proof of the role’s increasing value to healthcare providers today. Hospitalists serve as important intermediaries in the continuum of care. Unlike hospital physicians who stay in a specific department, such as an emergency medicine physician, hospitalists manage and help care for patients throughout their hospital experience, following them from the ER into the critical care unit and arranging post-acute care.1 They differ from primary care physicians because they do not have separate office-based practices where they see patients. Hospitalists work in shifts in the hospital, and often on block scheduling in which they work 5-7 consecutive days for 10-12 hour shifts, followed by 5-7 days off.2

This setup is valuable for a few key reasons. First, primary care physicians have less hospitalized patients than ever before, and it makes less sense for them to take valuable time to travel to the hospital and make rounds. With hospitalists overseeing care for hospitalized patients, primary care physicians can focus on caring for patients in the outpatient setting.

Secondly, hospitalists provide increase access to care in the hospital. As hospitalists are based in the hospital,  they are much more accessible to patients than their primary care physicians, especially when there are crises or changes in the patient’s condition.

Finally, hospitalists have expertise in providing and coordinating care in the inpatient setting.Their familiarity with the hospital environment, staff, protocols and resources allows them to efficiently coordinate and expedite patient care and most importantly, reduce the length of a patient’s stay.1

This reduced length of stay and the corresponding reduction in hospital costs is the key incentive for hospitals to install hospitalist programs, and they’re doing so at a fast pace. A 2007 survey of 5,000 community hospitals by the American Hospital Association (AHA) showed that 83% of hospitals with 200 beds or more utilized hospitalists, and projected that about 58% of all US hospitalists have hospital medicine programs, with an average of 9.4 hospitalists per hospital.3

As the hospitalist concept gains ground in US hospitals, new specialized hospitalist groups are growing too. We’ll explore these emerging hospitalist specialties in our next blog entries.

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Sources

1. http://www.hospitalmedicine.org/

2. http://www.acponline.org/medical_students/career_paths/hospitalist/

3. http://www.todayshospitalist.com/?b=articles_read&cnt=762

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September 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM 2 comments

Performance Incentive Programs are Changing Hospital Purchasing Patterns


With Medicare to apply a 1% penalty to hospitals with high rates for Hospital-Acquired Conditions in FY 2015, many hospitals are curious to know how to keep patients from developing these conditions. A recent survey MedSpan conducted looks at one way to help prevent this issue.

Continue Reading August 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment

Why Market Access is Crucial for Healthcare Marketers Today


Market access has changed dramatically over the years and is becoming a high priority for healthcare marketers. Read on to learn about these changes and how to address the complexities of gaining access.

Continue Reading July 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM 1 comment

Simplicity is Best!


Sometimes, the simplest change to a product’s features can deliver outstanding returns. Our client’s product category is widely used and has been for decades, innovation can be challenging. However, changing the color of a component of their product and wowed their customers.

Continue Reading March 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM 1 comment

Competitive intelligence on a ICU/CCU product’s new feature


This study shows an example of MedSpan’s competitive intelligence studies for medical device manufacturers. Based off our results, we were able to provide our client with insight as to what users like about our client’s competitor’s device and what other features users would like the device to contain.

Continue Reading November 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM 1 comment

Case Study: Crossing the Hospital-Alternate Site Continuum


This study demonstrates how one of our clients was able gain information on how to improve their marketing strategy for a product in order to retain customers as they moved from the hospital to an alternate site of care.

Continue Reading October 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM 1 comment

Differentiating a Core Hospital-based Therapy


In this case study we examine which product characteristics are most influential towards brand selection for our client’s product and which enhancements could drive brand preference towards their product.

Continue Reading September 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM 1 comment

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