CMC's hospitalist program gets new director
MANCHESTER — Dr. William Goodman has been named Catholic Medical Center’s new hospitalist medical director.
“I like science and I’ve always been amazed by the human body,” said Goodman. “I also enjoy speaking with people and helping them solve important problems.
Goodman will lead the Hospital Medicine Section as CMC’s official hospitalist. He will be responsible for implementing a new systematic approach to patient care that he was responsible for leading in the hospital’s ICU department.
A hospitalist is a doctor who specializes in in-patient hospital care. In the past, patients staying in the hospital would see a primary care physicians who split their time between regular patients and patients in the hospital. A hospitalist allows primary care physicians to focus on their patients within their practice and allows another doctor to handle the patients in the hospital.
One of the major reasons for Goodman’s promotion came as a result of his past successes, hospital officials said.
In 2008, Goodman spearheaded a systematic patient care approach at CMC that’s been widely written about and implemented throughout the country. The idea centers on having a team of doctors and specialists travel as a group from patient to patient. This team might include a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a nurse, a nutritionist, a pharmacist and any other specialist with knowledge relevant to a patient’s specific needs and issues.
The team travels from bed to bed and examines each patient in the morning. If an issue were to come up during these rounds, then the team could deal with it together in the moment. This allows communication between members of a patient’s care team to be more streamlined and clear, thus possibly avoiding in-hospital complications like negative medications interactions.
When Goodman implemented this approach in the ICU, he saw positive results in less than a year. Not only were patients liking the new system, but their care improved. They were getting better and leaving the hospital faster and they were avoiding hospital complications that were common in the ICU.
This success did not go unnoticed.
“The feeling was this worked on 20 beds, why can’t we take the same idea and apply it to 230 beds?” said Goodman.
The first step, according to Goodman, is assigning patients to doctors. Next, each patient’s team will be pieced together based on individual needs. Under the current system, a doctor’s set of patients are spread out over multiple floors and in different sections of the hospital. Goodman said he plans to assign doctors a floor or section of patients so once each team is assembled, they won’t have to be constantly going up and down stairs or the elevator.
“That would be terribly inefficient,” Goodman said.
Although this approach to patient care and the position of hospitalist is somewhat new to CMC, both concepts have been documented and implemented throughout the country and in various medical and public health journals.
“The trick is in implementation,” Goodman said.
Goodman went to Tufts University for medical school. He completed his internal residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was a critical care fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He earned a master’s in public health from Harvard University. According to Goodman, there’s around 20 beds in CMC’s ICU unit. In the Hospital Medicine department, there’s close to 10 times that amount. This proves a tremendous challenge in implementing. However, Goodman’s anything but worried about the increase.
“Yes, it’s a little intimidating, but I’m optimistic at the same time to get more people involved in the care process,” Goodman said.