Introduction As cardiologists specialized in the care of heart patients, hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. Many patients are being treated by a hospitalist who is not their family doctor, but provides them with medical care during their hospital stay. This essay is a review of an article by Martin Buser titled; Hospitalist Programs in the Age of Healthcare Reform. The article was published in the Journal of Healthcare Management in 2010. The article describes the current status of hospitalized programs, challenges and benefits of the programs, seven traits of a successful hospitalized program and the future of the programs. In the current health care systems, the primary problems of hospitals are continually shifting from the increasing number of uninsured patients to lack of beds in hospitals and insufficient number of physicians. With emergence of reforms in the health care system, there will be need for redesigning of the hospital programs through enhancement of hospitalist programs. This is because successful hospitalist programs have effective leadership, continued recruitment, exceeding patient expectations, proper support and maximum value. The scope of the article covers the current trends of the hospitalist programs, challenges and benefits, characteristics of a successful hospitalist program and the future of these programs. The content of the modern trends of the hospitalist programs has been highlighted briefly and to the point. The traits of a successful hospitalist programs have been described in depth. The content of these traits is important for decision makers in the health care systems to understand these systems sufficiently so that they would make informed decisions based on the perceived benefits. The content on the hospitalist systems has been presented by the author in the context of the modern age of health care reform, (Buser, 2010). In the current age of health care reform, hospitalist programs are a growing trend that improves work flow in hospitals. The current health care system has seen two thirds of hospitals using hospitalist programs. There is demand for more hospitals and a large percentage of emergency department unassigned patients would seek care from hospitalists. With hospitalist programs private referrals can double in volume. The current state of hospitalist programs shows that they care for a large percentage of mature and pediatric patients. The author of the article presents the challenges that hospitalist programs face and their benefits in the age of health care reform. Hospital administrators use hospitalist programs to relieve family physicians from the pain of caring for inpatients so that they can focus on their outpatients. Hospitalists pay more attention to inpatient management because of their consistent practice patterns. This helps reduce the length of stay and thus the costs associated with patient care. The hospitalist programs are beneficial to the emergency departments by increasing the efficiency of patient flow, improving responsiveness and reduced ED subspecialty calls. Other benefits of the hospitalist programs in the age of health care reform include earlier discharge of patients and staff related benefits such as assistance with surgical management. The responsiveness of the nursing staff will also be enhanced by the hospitalist programs. Successful hospitalist programs lead to an increased percentage of return on investment of health care institutions. The hospitalist programs face the challenge of requirement of proper leadership, planning, clear expectations and a business plan and their effectiveness is challenged by inability to retain hospitalists due to insufficient financial support from the management, (Buser, 2010). The traits of a successful hospitalist programs have been explained systematically by the author in this article to provide a basis for organization management to assess the level of success of their health programs. Hospitalist programs provide effective leadership in the age of health care reform. This is made possible through training of top management of the hospital or changing the management to meet the needs of new reforms in health care. The hospitalists programs use improved communication techniques such as aftercare calls that lead to exceeding patient expectations in health care. Successful programs also have proper financial support hence offer maximum value. A thriving hospitalist program is supportive to skilled and competent physicians. A successful hospitalist program never stops recruiting hospitalists. The program continually looks for potential talent to enable the hospital meet its demands. A successful program has a list of hospitalists waiting to join the health care practice. Successful hospitalists programs have a good design of organized success in the modern age of medical reforms. Successful systems have dedicated full time specialists who are supported by support staff who include clerical coordinators and clinical case managers. Fully equipped command centers also characterize successful hospitalist programs. Thriving hospitalist programs also have daily administrative rounds in the hospital, efficient communication and feedback and software systems that track and monitor the performance of patients. The author finally describes successful hospitalist programs as those that take risks such as the electronic medical record systems and computerized doctor order entry systems. The author briefly reflects on the future of hospitalist programs. Effectiveness of hospital leadership will be measured by understanding of the importance of hospitalist programs in supporting the core functions of the hospital hence determine success. Hospitalists are continually becoming hospitals effective partners for patient safety, quality improvement, efficient resource use and provision of health care system solutions. The new era of hospital care reform will be characterized with hospitalist programs being the key component of health care, (Berendt, 2011). Conclusion This review looks at the content, scope and relevance of the authors ideas on hospitalist health care programs in the modern age of health care reforms. The authors presentation of the current status of hospitalist programs, the benefits and challenges faced by the programs has been reviewed. The author presents an elaborate description of the traits of a successful hospitalist program to enable hospital leadership use the traits as a basis of evaluating their programs. The future trends of the hospitalist program have been given by the author. REFERENCES Buser, M. (2010), Hospitalist programs in the age of healthcare reform. Journal of Healthcare Management, 55(6), 378-378-380 Berendt, C. (2011). As Sampson regional continues improving patient care, it expands hospitalist program. United States, Washington: McClatchy Tribune Information Services, (5), 45-46-47. Order for a custom research paper from us today!
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