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Updates from the SHMG hospitalist program

06 Aug 2017

By: Christine Clarke, MD, QOC Chair, and Shannon Priem, Marketing and Communications

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By Jefferson Loa, MD, Associate Medical Director of Salem Health Medical Group Adult Hospitalists and adult hospitalist physician; and Dana Wehrli, Director of Inpatient and Adult Hospitalist Program and Interim Director of the Medical Staff Office and Physician Engagement

The hospitalists have a number of updates to share about their various initiatives. First and foremost, we are excited that David “Tony” Blair, MD joined us as our new medical director in mid-July.

We are renewing focus in three key areas: quality and safety, patient experience and financial performance. Across the Salem Health Medical Group adult hospitalist program, improvements are being made in anti-microbial stewardship, reduced readmission rates and improved scheduling.

Patient safety

Our hospitalists educate patients on their medications – indications and side effects – as soon as a new prescription is started. Antibiotic prescriptions are written for an expected length of time so that providers have a chance to reevaluate continued antibiotic use each day while the patient is in our care.

There is also work being done to reduce readmission rates for patients with certain conditions like diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Our hospitalists are partnering with groups like the glycemic management team and skilled nursing facilities. Together they plan for discharge as early as possible to improve transitions and coordinate care.

Patient experience

Patient-provider communication is also being bolstered through the distribution of baseball cards that feature providers’ pictures. These efforts improve both patient safety and patient satisfaction.

Financial performance

Salem Health Medical Group adult hospitalists will be fully staffed by this fall with employed physicians, nurse practitioners and U-status staff. Scheduling is now occurring farther in advance to help accommodate provider needs and prepare for appropriate coverage based on expected census. These efforts have resulted in significant reduction in locum expenses.

We have many tests of change happening right now. If you are interested in our projects or ways we are improving patient safety, patient experience or financial performance, please feel free to reach out to us.