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The best hospitalist practices are ones in which the doctors have a culture of ownership, even if they are employees of another organization and don’t have legal ownership of the practice. The structure of the practice (e.g., their schedule, compensation system, internal governance processes and role in the hospital’s medical staff) has a lot to do with fostering an ownership mentality and providing the conditions for it to thrive.

An effective hospitalist group leader is critical to the program’s success, and every group leader should continue to learn and grow through a process of ongoing leadership education and development.

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Hospitalist and hospital executives are happiest and programs are most successful when the hospitalist group has significant autonomy to make decisions about the practice themselves, and when all or most of the hospitalists are engaged in the decision-making process. But this requires that the hospitalists be connected to the consequences – economic and otherwise – of their decisions.

Each hospital medicine practice is unique, and there are no “one-size-fits-all” answers. Our job is to help our clients understand the range of options available—including their pros and cons—and then to make recommendations based on our understanding of each client’s unique situation. The ultimate goal is to help guide our clients in making their own informed decisions about how to move forward, and in building effective, mutually supportive hospital-hospitalist group relationships.

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