Survey Says…

It’s that time of (every other) year! Once again, your hospital medicine group (HMG) has a unique opportunity to contribute to our collective understanding of the current state of hospital medicine in the United States. SHM’s State of Hospital Medicine Survey kicked off this week and will be open until February 16th. I strongly urge you to take the time to participate.

I have been integrally involved in SHM’s survey processes since 2006 and am deeply committed to this important work that SHM does on behalf of its members and the entire specialty of hospital medicine. Here are several reasons why it’s more important than ever that your group participate this year.

  1. The information contained in the State of Hospital Medicine Report is used by HMGs – and by hospital and physician enterprise leaders – to justify proposals and make operational decisions. The field of hospital medicine is evolving rapidly in this complex and fast-moving environment, and we all need more and better information to successfully navigate these changes. Every group’s information is crucial to understanding what’s happening in the world of hospital medicine, regardless of its size or situation. You can be part of the solution!
  2. SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee has worked hard to streamline the survey instrument and participation process, fine-tuning questions, eliminating questions that have become less relevant over time or are deemed too burdensome relative to the value they proved, and adding a few questions about areas of current concern such as staffing shortages, use of locums, admitter/rounder models, and unit-based assignments.

Survey participation yields several benefits directly to you:

  1. A free version of the resulting State of Hospital Medicine Report

  2. Entry into a drawing to win one of several prizes, including complimentary registration to an SHM Leadership Academy, and one of four complimentary registrations to either HM18 or a pre-course (If you submit by the “early submission deadline” of January 31st , you’ll receive multiple submissions to the drawing.

  3. Perhaps most importantly, if you fail to participate, your group’s way of doing things won’t be represented in survey results. And you won’t have a leg to stand on if you want to complain that survey results don’t adequately reflect your group’s characteristics.

Other key things you need to know:

  • HMGs serving a single site (or multiple sites but functioning as a single integrated hospitalist group) can use the online survey tool.
  • Organizations with multiple HMGs serving multiple sites (including management companies) can request the Excel multi-site survey tool by contacting [email protected].
  • If you work for a hospitalist management company or a large multi-site health system, please check with your organization’s leadership about collaborating on a centralized approach for survey submission. SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee has representatives that will be happy to work with individual organizations to facilitate their survey participation (email [email protected] to inquire).
  • SHM licenses compensation and productivity data from the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA’s) Compensation and Production Survey; that survey is also open for participation between now and February 16th. I strongly encourage SHM survey participants to also complete the MGMA survey as well so that we have the best compensation and productivity information possible.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough how important this work is for our specialty and how much we need each and every group’s participation. I know it’s time-consuming and you are busy with other priorities, but please, please consider setting some time aside to participate in this year’s survey – or encourage your group’s leaders to do so – to help shape the future of hospital medicine.

Leslie Flores

Leslie Flores is a founding partner at Nelson Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants, a consulting practice that has specialized in helping clients enhance the effectiveness and value of hospital medicine programs as well as those in other hospital-focused practice specialties since 2004. Ms. Flores began her career as a hospital executive, after receiving a BS degree in biological sciences at the University of California at Irvine and a Master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota. In addition to her leadership experience in hospital operations, business development, managed care and physician relations, she has provided consulting, training and leadership coaching services for hospitals, physician groups, and other healthcare organizations. Ms. Flores is an active speaker and writer on hospitalist practice management topics and serves on SHM’s Practice Analysis and Annual Meeting Committees. She serves as an informal advisor to SHM on practice management-related issues and helps to coordinate SHM’s bi-annual State of Hospital Medicine Survey.

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