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Study: Hospitals Compete to Engage Physicians in QI

October 19, 2009
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While physicians are essential to hospital quality improvement efforts, competing time and financial pressures pose hurdles to doctor participation, a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) says.

According to the Washington-based research organization, though hospitals continue to face escalating demands to participate in QI and reporting programs, as more services shift to outpatient settings, docs may feel less obligated to volunteer the time.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, N.J., the Hospital Strategies to Engage Physicians in Quality Improvement study included interviews with hospital leaders in Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle, and identified strategies to involve physicians in QI. The study found that while medical staff bylaws encouraged physicians to “be good citizens” and participate in QI, the bylaws often lacked specificity. It also says that credible data is essential for identifying areas that need improvement and for securing physician participation, and that physicians assume they are providing good quality of care until they are shown data proving otherwise.

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