Research

Serious Upgrade for SHM’s 2016 State of Hospital Medicine Report

Great news! The long-anticipated 2016 State of Hospital Medicine (SoHM) Report was released last week to rave reviews. Pre-orders of the report blew away previous records, and that’s on top of the almost 600 hospital medicine groups (HMGs) that received free versions of the report as a result of participating in the survey. Again this year, the SoHM Report breaks down the latest statistics for a number of salary and workload benchmarks and a wide variety of HMG structural and operational characteristics that inform those two areas. I was privileged to be on a web conference last week in which SHM staffer extraordinaire Patrick Vulgamore, the primary writer/editor of the report, walked us through the enhanced online version. And I have to say it’s a massive upgrade to previous digital versions. Two extra-cool things about the new digital version: It is searchable. It can be accessed via a mobile app.…

Want To Keep Your Patient Out of the Hospital? Here Is Your Crystal Ball.

If I told you I planned to close a quarter of the country's cardiac catheterization labs, how would you react? You would probably express outrage and accuse me of mismanagement of our entire health system.  And that is to say nothing of all the harm that would come to patients.  But as docs, we reason in a prejudiced fashion.  We do medicine.  We write prescriptions.  We look at blood test results.  That is our profession after all.  It is how we extend lives and improve people’s well-being.  If we can measure, see, or manipulate a variable, anything attached to it must have value.  We have been trained to infer from that ethos with everything else taking a back seat. However, what if I then said I would reinvest every dime saved from those closures above and direct them towards all the people in our communities.  How many more lives might…

I left a pharma-sponsored research project. My reasons for doing so may be instructive.

  Not long back, I departed a pharma-sponsored research project.  I based my decision to leave in something I occasioned over a decade ago.  I thought it was time to share the episode and the lessons learned given the attention being paid to physician conflict of interest nowadays (as well as the annual Open Payments review and dispute period approaching). When I finished training, very few docs practiced hospital medicine—or even knew what the term hospitalist meant.  Several forward-thinking medical centers hitched their wagons to the hospitalist model, as did some astute information technology and staffing companies. However, few healthcare players embraced the hospitalist movement in a serious fashion like the pharmaceutical industry.  They realized hospitalists prescribed a narrow band of products, in big lots, within a centralized location.  The higher ups in the pharma sector saw the benefits in directing reps our way. Consistent with those goals, a physician…