When a hospital's emergency and hospitalist providers work under a collaborative model, providers in both departments become champions of each other’s causes, yielding benefits for patients, the staff, and the hospital at large.
Many hospitals and health systems operate like football teams. They say they are "integrated," but in reality, they are a collection of more-or-less functional silos. They never do the difficult work of breaking down those siloes so they can realize their full potential.
By contrast, a truly integrated health system is more like a basketball team. Players have positions, but those roles are more flexible. Everyone plays offense or defense as the situation demands. Handoffs and communication are fluid and constant throughout the game.
And what a difference this type of play makes to the patient! The integrated system moves faster. The players are constantly working together to plan and execute the next move. From the patient's point of view, this translates into being cared for by one cohesive team as they move between departments — and even hospitals.
It’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of hospitals in the nation staff hospitalists who see approximately 70 percent of a hospital’s patient population. With 30 percent of healthcare dollars spent in hospitals, hospital medicine is involved with nearly 20 percent of healthcare dollars in the US, or 4 percent of the US GDP.
In addition to financial involvement, hospitalists are fully intertwined with patient experience and patient satisfaction scores which can impact everything from reimbursements to market share. Furthermore, the number of practicing hospitalists has grown exponentially over the last several years, from around 2,500 in 2000 to approximately 47,000 in 2015, and the numbers continue to rise.
Vituity recognized the importance of the hospital medicine specialty years ago and has worked to implement sustainable hospitalist programs within client facilities over the past several years. By focusing on goal alignment and culture integration, Vituity has created positive, lasting change among their client facilities.
Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Ill., is one example. Vituity was already staffing Memorial's ED when it began managing the hospital medicine service in 2014. The following infographic shows what the teams achieved together over the next two years.