The Life of A Hospital Administrator by toriola1


									                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                   Hospitalists: Can You "Catch" One In The Hospital?
                                                              By Molly Shomer

  It's an emerging trend, and one that many patients find confusing and uncomfortable: their primary
doctor doesn't visit them in the hospital any more and doesn't manage their hospital care.

Primary care doctors are increasingly turning the care of their hospitalized patients over to specialists
called "hospitalists."

The hospitalist is a hospital-based doctor who does not see patients in an office-based practice. He or
she manages the care of patients only while they are in the hospital, turning them back over to their
regular physicians when they are discharged. During the time a patient is in the hospital the hospitalist
is responsible for all decisions about a patient's care.

Advantages of Hospitalists

The hospitalist usually knows the hospital, and hospital politics, very well. This often enables the
hospitalist to cut through red tape and "make things happen" more efficiently than office-based

Hospitalists are more readily available to respond to emergencies in the hospital. Nurses and other
care staff can usually reach a hospitalist more rapidly than an office-based physician, especially on
evenings and weekends.

Continuity of care within the hospital is often better. When primary care physicians manage inpatient
hospital care, the patient is often actually seen by more doctors, as doctors in larger practices often
take turns seeing all of the practice's hospitalized patients.

Hospitalists are usually more accessible to family members. Families don't have to try to "catch" the
doctor in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening when he or she is making hospital rounds
outside of office hours.

Disadvantages of Using a Hospitalist

The biggest disadvantage to the movement toward hospitalists is the loss of continuity of care between

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the primary physician and the hospital. The hospitalist has no previous knowledge of his new patient. If
communication between the primary care physician and the hospitalist is poor, it falls to the patient and
the family to fill in the gaps.

When a patient is discharged from the hospital the hospitalist relinquishes care back to the PCP. If
communication has not been good, the primary care physician often has little knowledge of what the
patient experienced in the hospital. Records are frequently slow to follow the patient, so on the first
follow-up visit the office-based doctor may have scant information.

Without adequate information the PCP frequently makes adjustments to treatment plans and
medications that are counter to the treatment plans initiated in the hospital.

How To Work With A Hospitalist

Be prepared. If your trip to the hospital is pre-planned, talk to your primary doctor about the hospitalists
in your chosen hospital. Find out which hospitalist communicates best with your doctor, and who your
doctor prefers to work with. If possible, ask your doctor to pre-arrange that this hospitalist will be in
charge of your care while you're in the hospital.

Arrive Armed: Never assume that things will go as planned. You may not feel well, and you will be
under stress. The chosen hospitalist may be on vacation, out ill, or unavailable. Take a synopsis of
your medical history, including the results of all recent tests, with you to the hospital. Whenever
possible have someone stay with you in the hospital until you have met your doctor and given him or
her all the information you have. Have that person take notes, including the names of all your hospital
caregivers, their contact information (phone and pager), and the location of their offices in the hospital.

Sign a Release: If you can, make sure to sign a release of information form when you are admitted.
This will give the hospitalist and everyone else on your medical team permission to discuss your care
with the person you appoint. Even if you have already given that person your Power of Attorney for
Health Care, signing a permission to release information is a good idea. You might not be so ill that
your Power of Attorney for Health Care goes into effect. In that case, without authority to release
information, you might find the staff is less than willing to share information with the person staying with

Molly Shomer helps families struggling with caring for aging parents. You can get answers to your
questions and find articles, resources, and the latest news, tools and support at

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                                               The Life of a Hospital Administrator
                                                        By Brent McNutt

A hospital is a big place where a lot of work has to be done: helping people get along with each other,
making sure the rules and regulations are doing their job, keeping a sharp eye on the expenses, and
plainly getting things done smoothly and without a hitch. The hospital then needs someone to step in
and make sure things are organized; allowing the doctors and nurses to do their jobs effectively and
without worrying about the little things.

A hospital needs an administrator to do just that:

 Management is one of the basic functions of a hospital administrator, making sure everything is
working the way it should. A properly managed hospital allows the different members of the hospital
(i.e. doctors, nurses, pharmacists, specialists etc.) to work in unison. This then allows for a system to
take root and guide the regular and routine procedures of all the staff in a hospital.

 Employment concerns like screening and promotions are yet another issue that a hospital
administrator has to deal with. An administrator must learn to be able to identify who would be most
qualified to be in a certain position, and a good administrator has to have a fundamental understanding
of both the person being considered and the position he or she is gunning for.

 Finance is one of the major responsibilities a hospital administrator has to have a hand in. Though the
bulk of the computing for profit and expenses is left up to an accountant, a hospital administrator would
make the decisions on financial solutions that will either make or break a hospital’s survival.

 Policies may be considered an offshoot of an administrator’s role in management, but it is unique in its
own right: drafting policies is like laying the path for the staff to follow. Drafting up good policies that will
work for the betterment of the hospital and its staff requires intimate knowledge of everything that goes
around in a hospital. This involves the implementation of the policies as well – making sure that they
are followed to protect both the hospital staff and the patients being cared for.

 These four aspects of administration are just the general duties of an administrator. The little things
and the specific tasks vary according to the level of an administrator, as well as the nature of the
hospital he or she will be working in. But there is one more aspect that has to be taken into
consideration, even if it is not strictly a requirement that will be listed in a hospital administrator’s job

 That aspect would be leadership. It is above all else one of the most vital functions of a hospital
administrator. Even if he or she pins down all the right moves in managing, employment, finance and
policies, it takes a measure of leadership for a hospital administrator to actually get the willing
cooperation of the staff to get things done properly.

 A question in mind, how can a hospital ever manage to thrive without a hospital administrator? It
simply is impossible.

Brent McNutt enjoys talking about urbane scrubs and urbane pants and networking with healthcare

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