When Should I Transition to a Hospitalist Program?


Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?

Two questions we frequently get asked are: When should my organization transition to a hospitalist program, and do the benefits outweigh the costs of establishing such a program?

The simple answers are: You should begin the process now, and yes the benefits far outweigh the costs, especially with where healthcare is going today.

Even if you feel you are years away from needing a hospitalist program we recommend beginning the process now because of three critical factors.  One, it usually takes at minimum 6 months to recruit hospitalists and get them credentialed (in states like Ohio it can take up to 6 months for credentialing alone!).  Two, it is best to start the discussion now and engage your medical staff in the conversation so that when you do implement a program your physicians will be aligned and supportive (plus you may even convince some who normally wouldn’t to turn over their inpatients when the program starts). And three, its too late when your PCP’s decide they don’t want to admit or take hospital call any longer, or the physician who was taking everyone’s inpatients no longer can. Then you have a real problem where quick fixes usually result in poor patient care and can be very costly  (locums coverage).

Often the decision on a hospitalist program comes to a screeching halt when one examines the costs of implementing a service.  We firmly believe (through actual experience) that the benefits, which many are initially unforeseen, far outweigh the costs. High impact benefits you should take into account when looking at the cost of a hospitalist program include:  

  • Greater revenues from fewer ED transfers and the ability to treat sicker patients.
  • Greater nursing satisfaction: greater communication, quicker physician response time, and greater nursing confidence caring for more acute patients.
  • Total resolution of unassigned patient hospital call.
  • Far greater ability to recruit PCP’s, especially Family Medicine physicians.
  • Better quality of life for your PCPs:  dramatically reduced calls from the ED and floor, remove unassigned call burden, availability of an expert resource for ICU patients, and more time for their outpatient practice or personal life.
  • Improved quality performance: better core measure performance with standardized care and best-practice protocols, and reductions in complications and re-admissions.

Contact us to learn more about Hospital Care Group's custom solutions:

phone:   260-344-4035
email: mdrapala@hospitalcaregroup.net