Hospital Fundamentals

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Abstract

Summary:

Under the current system, orthopaedic trauma surgeons must work in some form of hospital setting as our primary service involves treatment of the trauma patient. We must not forget that just as a trauma center cannot exist without our services, we cannot function without their support. As a result, a clear understanding of the balance between physicians and hospitals is paramount. Historical perspective enables physicians and hospital personnel alike to understand the evolution of hospital–physician relationship. This process should be understood upon completion of this chapter. The relationship between physicians and hospitals is becoming increasingly complex and multiple forms of integration exist such as joint ventures, gain sharing, and co-management agreements. For the surgeon to negotiate well, an understanding of hospital governance and the role of the orthopaedic traumatologist is vital to success. An understanding of the value provided by the traumatologist includes all aspects of care including efficiency, availability, cost effectiveness, and research activities. To create effective and sustainable healthcare institutions, physicians and hospitals must be aligned over a sustained period of time. Unfortunately, external forces have eroded the historical basis for the working relationship between physicians and hospitals. Increased competition and reimbursement cuts, coupled with the increasing demands for quality, efficiency, and coordination and the payment changes outlined in healthcare reform, have left many organizations wondering how to best rebuild the relationship. The principal goal for the physician when partnering with a hospital or healthcare entity is to establish a sustainable model of service line management that protects or advances the physician's ability to make impactful improvements in quality of patient care, decreases in healthcare costs, and improvements in process efficiency through evidence-based practices and protocols.

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