Nash General Hospital Meets Physician Shortage Head-On with "Teams of Two"

Using fewer physician resources leverages nurse practitioners and physician assistants to bolster patient care

Nov 12, 2015, 07:50 ET from Eagle Hospital Physicians

HOT SPRINGS, Va., Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Like many rural and small-town hospitals, Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount, NC, faced physician recruiting challenges exacerbated by proximity to big-draw university hospitals. To cost-efficiently improve programs with an inventive staffing solution, Nash turned to Eagle Hospital Physicians (EHP) and its Clinical Performance Management (CPM) services.

Under the leadership of Dr. Bill Harden at Nash, EHP implemented a CPM program that increased mid-level staff—physician assistants and nurse practitioners—while maintaining or improving readmission rates relative to periods when there were more physicians on staff. EHP's rigorous three-step CPM process revealed a unique "teams-of–two" opportunity where four in-house physicians and four mid-level staff members pair off daily and divide rounding responsibilities, while visiting new admissions together.

"It is a great way for all of our physicians to devote their time to the patients who need them most—in the CCU, for example," said Dr. Harden. "It also is helpful if one of our patients needs to be seen quickly when I am tied up in the ER or CCU, and my mid-level colleague can see them straight away."

EHP will be on hand to discuss Eagle's CPM programs in Booth 12 at the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association 89th Annual Meeting, Nov. 10-13, in Hot Springs, VA. They will explain how the program, backed by EHP's 17 years of hospitalist management experience, expertly identifies problem areas and recommends clinical experience-based implementation of proven strategies and ongoing partnership to help hospitals achieve significant and impactful results like Nash's.

"EHP gives hospitals more than a blueprint; we construct tailored solutions based on our real-life knowledge and a continuing clinical performance partnership that addresses metrics and unanticipated issues," said Dr. Talbot "Mac" McCormick, M.D. and CEO of EHP. "With Nash's CPM program, shared and structured responsibilities between physicians and mid-level staff improved patient care without imposing a financial burden."

Shared responsibilities, shared benefits
At Nash, Dr. Harden and other physicians review and co-sign progress notes from mid-level staff, following up when necessary. Such shared responsibility allows a limited number of physicians to stay closely involved in their patients' progress without daily visits. This interaction benefits both physicians and mid-level staff, according to Dr. Harden, and helps bolsters consistency and continuity of care when staffing changes occur.

"Mid-levels learn from being exposed to different physician philosophies, practice styles and areas of expertise, while they also are able to bring new doctors up to speed quickly in hospital systems and processes," said Dr. Harden. "Physicians also gain experience in working with mid-levels, which doesn't occur much in medical school."

About Eagle Hospital Physicians
Eagle Hospital Physicians develops and supports hospitalist physician practices serving client hospitals in more than a dozen states. The company works with hundreds of hospitalists and through its physician leadership focuses on clinical innovation, advanced analytics and quality improvement. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Jan Sisko,, 678-461-7438

SOURCE Eagle Hospital Physicians