Service Lines vs. Traditional Medical Staff Departments

October 25, 2011 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (ET)

Type “Service Lines in Hospitals” in Google and you will get over 4 million hits!

To paraphrase Mark Twain on the weather, everyone is talking about services lines – but is anyone doing anything about it?

Is this an idea whose time has come? Or is it just more consultant-speak? (Most of the Google hits are white papers from consultants.)

Does “service line” have a common definition or are people saying “service lines” but talking about very different things?

Is “service line” the same as “Institute” or “Center of Excellence?”

Join Horty, Springer & Mattern partners Linda Haddad and Barbara Blackmond as they explore this trend towards service lines and discuss how it can impact the traditional Medical Staff structure.

Specifically, they will discuss:

  • If you institute service lines, what happens to Medical Staff departments?
  • Do service lines and Medical Staff departments operate in parallel, separate tracks?
  • Do Medical Staff departments become redundant?
  • Do traditional clinical departments facilitate improvements in coordination of care?
  • What happens to physicians whose practice doesn’t fit neatly into a service line?
  • Would service lines prompt greater use of protocols and better position an organization for the future world of bundled payments and other reimbursement variations?
  • Would a proposal to re-organize the Medical Staff along services lines generate consternation among the general staff?
  • Traditionally, each Medical Staff Department Chair had a seat on the MEC?How would the composition of the MEC change under service lines?
  • Can you or should you keep departmental structure in place for a transition period, to help address any political issues?
  • Should you start with one or several areas, and gradually transition to others after gaining experience?
  • Is the concept much more than reorganizing departments? Can service lines blend physician leadership into hospital management? Should we think about service lines as clinical integration, one specialty or condition or population at a time?
  • What happens when an academic medical center wants to expand its service lines into a community hospital Medical Staff?


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