Thanks, Hospitalists

March 5, 2020  |  Category: Physicians

Each medical specialty delivers its own distinct value, and all deserve to be celebrated. It just so happens that today (March 5) is the day officially designated to recognize my specialty: hospital medicine.

Hospitalists direct a patient’s care during hospitalization. They are responsible for optimizing the quality of care for each patient, ensuring care efficiency, coordinating with hospital care teams across various specialties, and transitioning patients to the providers that assume care post-discharge. In short, hospitalists play a vital role in caring for hospitalized patients. I became one for just that reason.

Unfortunately, hospitalists also have frequently been the “guinea pigs” for inpatient electronic health records (EHR) system. That’s because, as hospital employees, they have no choice but to use the systems installed there; you might say they are a “captive audience.”

Across the U.S., some 60,000 hospitalists spend many of their working hours (not to mention “pajama time”) within the EHR inputting data to meet the significant administrative requirements of their jobs. Over the past decade, the administrative burden on hospitalists has increased dramatically, in part due to the promulgation of EHRs. The growing emphasis on detailed documentation, both for clinical and billing purposes, also increases the administrative burden on physicians; again, hospitalists bear the brunt of this, because they see upwards of 15 patients a day within the facility.

It stands to reason, then, that hospitalists have a compelling vested interest in optimizing EHRs to streamline physician workflow and the physician user experience. As the heaviest users of the EHR, they often are in the best position to assess how supportive or distracting the system is, how it impacts their ability to deliver optimal patient care, and how it contributes to (or mitigates) physician burnout. Some have become power users of these systems, which makes them a valuable resource for other providers at their facility, as well as vital partners with vendors, IT professionals and clinical informaticists seeking to make IT systems better clinical support tools for physicians.

We at PatientKeeper do what we do in service to hospitalists and other physicians, who only want to provide the best patient care possible, as efficiently and effectively as possible; and we are indebted to providers at our customer sites for their partnership.

So happy National Hospitalist Day to all my hospitalist peers. Thanks for your dedication to providing the best care to the sickest patients, with professionalism and compassion, at hospitals and post-acute facilities everywhere.

Dr. Chris Maiona, M.D., SFHM
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Maiona helps guide PatientKeeper customers in how they can improve their physician experience and clinical outcomes utilizing PatientKeeper products, and brings a clinical voice to the product design and implementation processes. Dr. Maiona has devoted much of his career to hospital medicine, both as a practicing physician and executive at provider organizations. Prior to joining PatientKeeper, Dr. Maiona was national medical director at Team Health and IPC Healthcare, focused on performance improvement, patient experience and quality. Previously, he was in charge of hospital medicine at several multi-site practice groups in the Boston area and Maine. He began his career as a hospitalist in Macon, Georgia. Dr. Maiona received bachelor’s degrees from Boston College and University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. Board certified in Internal Medicine, he is an Instructor in Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and is active in the Society of Hospital Medicine, where he is a Senior Fellow Hospital Medicine (SFHM).