The key principles and characteristics of an effective hospital medicine group: an assessment guide for hospitals and hospitalists

J Hosp Med. 2014 Feb;9(2):123-8. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2119.


Background: Despite the growth of hospital medicine, few guidelines exist to guide effective management of hospital medicine groups (HMGs).

Methods: The Society of Hospital Medicine Board of Directors appointed a workgroup consisting of individuals who have experience with a wide array of HMG models. The workgroup developed an initial draft of characteristics, which then went through a multistep process of review and redrafting. In addition, the workgroup went through a 2-step Delphi process to consolidate characteristics and/or eliminate characteristics that were redundant or unnecessary. Over an 18-month period, a broad group of stakeholders in hospital medicine and the broader healthcare industry provided comments and feedback.

Results: The final framework consists of 47 key characteristics of an effective HMG organized under 10 principles.

Conclusions: These principles and characteristics provide a framework for HMGs seeking to conduct self-assessments, outlining a pathway for improvement and better defining the central role of hospitalists in coordinating team-based, patient-centered care in the acute-care setting. They are designed to be aspirational, helping to raise the bar for the specialty of hospital medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hospital Medicine / methods
  • Hospital Medicine / standards*
  • Hospitalists / standards*
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*