AMA Wire

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012

Hospital Practice News

Hospitals recognized for efforts in quality, safety

An annual report issued recently by the Joint Commission regarding quality and safety in the nation's hospitals recognizes 620 facilities that are leading the way in using evidence-based care processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes. See whether your hospital made the list by accessing the report, which is available on the Joint Commission website.

The report is part of the commission's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures™ program, which recognizes accredited hospitals that attain excellence on accountability measure performance. The program is based on data reported about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to be the best treatments for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke and venous thromboembolism.

The 620 hospitals on this year's list represent the top 18 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting core measure performance data for 2011. Each year, the percentage of recognized hospitals varies. Of the 620 Top Performers, 244 achieved the distinction for a second straight year by sustaining their improvement efforts.

Manual helps doctors with employment agreements

With more and more established physicians, as well as those completing training, becoming employees of hospitals, medical groups or affiliate organizations, it's important that they enhance their understanding and negotiating position as they navigate employment contracts and opportunities in these practice settings.

A manual from the AMA, the "Annotated Model Physician-Hospital Employment Agreement," can help. This resource addresses the specific needs of established physicians and those completing training who are preparing to negotiate an employment contract with a hospital or related entity.

AMA members can access the manual for free; nonmembers can purchase it through the AMA Bookstore. If you're not a member, join today.

Next AMA-OMSS meeting approaching fast

The AMA Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) Interim Assembly Meeting will take place Nov. 8–10 in Honolulu in conjunction with the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. Details about the AMA-OMSS meeting, including information about travel arrangements, are available online. Register (AMA login required) for the meeting by Nov. 1.

CME activities are among education program webcasts

Learn about physician leadership, engaging members of the medical staff to improve quality and the future of the medical staff organization by viewing new webcasts from the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section. Physicians can claim continuing medical education (CME) credit for watching the webcasts. Titles include:

  • "Doing the right thing for our patients: leading as a professional" (1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™)
  • "Engaging members of the medical staff to measure and improve quality" (1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)
  • "Future of the medical staff: strategies for re-engineering governance and operations to advance clinical and strategic imperatives" (1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)

AMA members can view these webcasts for free; nonmembers can watch them for $30 per credit hour. If you're not an AMA member, join today.

Guide can help physicians draft bylaws for medical staff

Medical staffs looking to draft or amend bylaws can use the fifth edition of the AMA's "Physician's Guide to Medical Staff Organization Bylaws." This valuable reference manual contains bylaws language that supports self-governance, addresses Joint Commission standard MS.01.01.01 and offers guidance on emerging issues in health care that impact the medical staff. AMA members have free access to the guide. If you're not a member, join today.

AMA offers expert guidance to employed physicians

Two new resources from the AMA aim to meet the unique needs of physicians who maintain employment or contractual relationships with hospitals, health systems and other entities.

The AMA's Physician Assistance Service answers physicians' questions and provides advice on physician-hospital issues such as employment and contracting, medical staff bylaws, credentialing, peer review, due process and medical staff self-governance. While the AMA cannot provide legal opinions or representation, it can provide assistance to physicians in matters pertaining to their relationships with hospitals, health systems and other similar entities.

The AMA also has updated its physician employment Web page to highlight a wide range of AMA resources for physicians who are employed or considering employment.