Six Tips for Measuring Hospitalist Program Performance

Liz Jones , July 19, 2010

Nelson suggests having six to 10 measures on a dashboard. According to Martin Buser, MPH, FACHE, founding partner at Hospitalist Management Resources, LLC, a hospitalist consulting firm in Del Mar, CA, those measure should include:

  • Patient satisfaction
  • Readmission rates
  • Implementation of clinical pathways
  • Achievement of core measures

    Measure what the CEO measures

    Hospitalist leaders should align their program dashboards with the dashboard the CEO presents to the board so that everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction. For example, if the CEO is measuring readmission rates for the entire hospital, the hospitalist program leader should be measuring readmission rates for the program.

    Stick with the same format

    Don't present patient satisfaction data using a pie chart one month, a bar graph the next month, and a line graph the next month. "Stick with the same format all the time so people's eyes can quickly fall on the numbers that matter," says Nelson. If it is a three-page report, the first page should always contain the same type of information (i.e., patient satisfaction) as the previous report.

    Compare hospitalist program performance to others

    Buser recommends that hospitalist program dashboards compare the hospitalist program's performance against the rest of the medical staff and against national benchmarks to tap into their competitive nature. National benchmarking data can be found at Thomson Reuters (, Premier, and Volunteer Hospitals of America. In addition, The Society of Hospital Medicine and the Medical Group Management Association will publish this September the 2010 State of Hospital medicine Report based on 2009 Data. Check here for updates.

    Liz Jones is an associate editor at HCPro. She writes Medical Staff Briefing, Hospitalist Leadership Advisor, and Credentialing & Peer Review Legal Insider. She can be reached at

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