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Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) is committed to our mission of elevating the quality and safety of women’s healthcare. OBHG hospitalists provide on-site support and coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year- adding many levels of value to a hospital program. The presence of an OB/GYN Hospitalist provides peace of mind for patients who are given the unique advantage of being assessed by a physician upon each visit, reduced risk for hospitals and much needed support not only for the physicians, but for the nursing staff as well. In an effort to better understand and support the nursing staff in our nearly 50 partner hospitals, OBHG recently interviewed some of those nurses to gain their perspective on the benefits of the program. We wanted to share with you some of their thoughts on their individual OBHG hospitalist programs and the changes they have made in their lives and that of their patients.
The general consensus was that the OBHG hospitalist program brings a level of comfort and security that nurses never experienced before; they are no longer required to make a judgment call on a patient’s status when a doctor is only available via phone. Having a hospitalists on-site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year alleviates fear and anxiety for nurses in many ways: they are not burdened with the pressure of having to make crucial decisions outside the scope of their license, it is no longer necessary for them to perform a delivery when the attending doctor cannot make it in time and they have the comfort of having a physician on-hand for any situations they might question. One nurse summed up this crucial change by saying, “we no longer have to experience the anxiety of making a judgment call in the middle of the night when the doctor on the phone can’t see the patient we are evaluating and we have to make uneasy decisions to admit or discharge a patient.”
All medical professionals are drawn to their individual vocation because of a desire to help people and to play a role in saving lives. Nurses who work with an OBHG hospitalist team have stated they have witnessed more lives saved than ever before. When an emergency occurs and the primary physician can’t be there immediately, they have the vital resource of instant access to a hospitalist experienced in emergent care. This is often the difference between life and death for a mother or child when time is of the essence. One nurse defended OBHG hospitalists by declaring, “other hospitals have tried to criticize the fact that we use an OBHG program, inferring it’s just another money-making initiative, but we who witness the hospitalists at work will tell anyone this is not true: the goal of our program is to improve the quality of care for women and this is exactly what we see each day.”
Nurses have seen significant improvement in patient satisfaction with the presence of the OBHG program. Patients have expressed to the nurses how much they appreciate being seen by a doctor on each of their visits and the relief of having their questions answered and fears alleviated by an OB/GYN. “We find that our patient satisfaction is much better. They just feel more secure with a doctor coming in to evaluate and educate them; it’s not just the nurse’s word they have to go on” assessed one nurse.
Additionally, nurses have noted that patients are significantly less likely to come back to the hospital after discharge for education reasons because the hospitalists and the nurses now work together to provide thorough education prior to discharge and this is extremely reassuring for the patient. “The relationship between the hospitalists and the nursing staff is wonderful because we work together as a team, side by side,” enthused one experienced OB nurse. “It is such a treat and a rarity!”
Aside from clinical improvements, many nurses report a much healthier hospital culture with a renewed sense of collaboration. The negative hierarchy often experienced between nurses and community physicians does not exist with OBHG hospitalists; they feel engaged in true teamwork with our doctors and that they are treated as competent professionals and partners. Additionally, the nursing staff values the time hospitalists spend forging relationships with the local physicians and hospital administration by getting involved in the hospital outside of just taking shifts: they attend faculty meetings, perform lectures, and engage in hospital sponsored safety programs, classes and leadership events. Nurses especially appreciate that OBHG hospitalists are willing to teach them and help them improve their own skill set. They enjoy learning from the doctors and value the extra time a hospitalist takes to explain something. This sentiment was evident in one nurse’s remark, “OBHG hospitalists are so wonderful to work with. They feel like family to us!”
The feeling of collaboration and support eases some of the unnecessary stresses of an extremely demanding role in women’s healthcare. The presence of Ob Hospitalist Group has reportedly improved nurse retention as well as increased nurse recruitment. During interviews, OB nurses are so awestruck at the concept of having a doctor on hand 24/7 that some partner hospitals are now experiencing a 100% acceptance rate for job offers. In fact, when nurses accustomed to working with the OBHG hospitalist program were asked if they would choose to work in a facility with an OBHG hospitalists program vs. one that did not offer it, the decision was unanimous- they would choose to work in a hospital with an OBHG program, hands down.
Perhaps the simplest and yet most profound assessment of the benefits an OBHG program provides to hospital nursing staff was one nurse’s response to being asked what working at the hospital was like before and after the OBHG program was implemented, she replied, “I can’t even imagine going back!”
We invite you to discover more about OBHG and the advantages that our customized programs deliver to our partner hospitals, physicians and patients. An OBHG representative would be happy to answer any questions you have as well. Or schedule a consultation today!
Written and published by OBHG Media. Copyright © 2013.