Peninsula Hospital Center Sets 'Hospitalist' Specialty
Peninsula Hospital Center, affiliate of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, received approval from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine Educational Consortium (NYCO MEC), its academic sponsor, to initiate a fellowship in Hospitalist Medicine on April 18, 2007.
Hospitalist medicine, an emerging specialty, is the discipline concerned with the general medical care of hospitalized patients and a hospitalist's primary professional focus is hospital medicine. This innovate osteopathic graduate medical training program is the first of its kind in the New York area and indeed, one of the first in the nation. "This is a wonderful opportunity to place Peninsula Hospital Center at the forefront of academic medicine," said Dr. Peter Galvin, Peninsula Hospital Center's Chief Medical Officer, who is highly supportive of this new program.
The intent of this educational program is to draw primary care physicians to the Hospital Center for education while at the same time, improving care for hospitalized patients. Peninsula Hospital Center instituted its own hospitalist program in 2006- a program which has proven to be very successful- allowing for all-day medical supervision of patients who either have no doctor or whose private doctor has requested that these full-time hospitalist specialists care for their patients. This has resulted in greater attending physician-patient contact, as well as increased supervision of resident training. In other words, there are board certified full-time physicians "in house" every day.
Because hospitalist physicians do not leave the hospital after making rounds, they are available all day to attend to patients and to participate in the Hospital Center's newly implemented Rapid Response Team, a team which facilitates near instant bedside attendance for medical emergencies. Recent studies have shown that increased response time produces improvement in hospital patient outcomes. Martin A. Grossman, MD, Director of the Department of Medicine since July of 2006, enthusiastically endorses this new collaborative initiative between the Department of Medicine and the Family Practice Residency Program. "This program has been instrumental in improving outcomes, patient satisfaction and decreasing the time necessary for patients to remain in the hospital," stated Dr. Grossman. "This, of course, allows our patients to return back to the community to resume their normal lives after a stay in the hospital." The program has doubled in size over the last year to include the full-time employment of four hospitalist physicians with a fifth position recently approved.
Peninsula Hospital Center has long recognized the challenges associated with the responsibility of caring for the disproportionate number of elderly, frail nursing home patients as well as the underserved population in the area. By meeting this challenged proactively and adding full-time board certified hospitalists who are concerned only with the challenging care of these patients, the Hospital Center expects to see improvements in many of the indicators cited in recently published 2005 data surveys. With their special training in quality measures, these doctors are addressing many of the very issues evaluated by such research surveys on a daily basis.
"As hospital medicine becomes more and more complex with the advances in technology and medical breakthroughs, specialized training programs will become integral to physician education. Greater scrutiny by regulatory agencies and higher standards of care will require more hospitals to follow Peninsula Hospital Center's lead and actively embrace such hospitalist programs," stated Peter A. Guiney, DO, Director, Family Practice Residency Program. The recent recognition of PHC as a leader in the "Hospitalist movement" by the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine is further assurance that the Hospital Center is meeting today's healthcare challenges- and those of tomorrow.