A comparative analysis of hospital-based physician monitoring systems

Ricardo Arguijo Martinez, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of the multiple case-study was to determine how hospital subsystems (such as physician monitoring and credentialing; quality assurance; risk management; and peer review) were supporting the monitoring of physicians? Three large metropolitan hospitals in Texas were studied and designated as hospitals #1, #2, and #3. Realizing that hospital subsystems are a unique entity and part of a larger system, conclusions were made on the premises of a quality control system, in relation to the tools of government (particularly the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA)), and in relation to itself as a tool of a hospital. Three major analytical assessments were performed. First, the subsystems were analyzed as to their "completeness"; secondly, the subsystems were analyzed for "performance"; and thirdly, the subsystems were analyzed in reference to the interaction of completeness and performance. The physician credentialing and monitoring and the peer review subsystems as quality control systems were most complete, efficient, and effective in hospitals #1 and #3. The HCQIA did not seem to be an influencing factor in the completeness of the subsystem in hospital #1. The quality assurance and risk management subsystem in hospital #2 was not representative of completeness and performance and the HCQIA was not an influencing factor in the completeness of the Q.A. or R.M. systems in any hospital. The efficiency (computerization) of the physician credentialing, quality assurance and peer review subsystems in hospitals #1 and #3 seemed to contribute to their effectiveness (system-wide effect). The results indicated that the more complete, effective, and efficient subsystems were characterized by (1) all defined activities being met, (2) the HCQIA being an influencing factor, (3) a decentralized administrative structure, (4) computerization an important element, and (5) staff was sophisticated in subsystem operations. However, other variables were identified which deserve further research as to their effect on completeness and performance of subsystems. They include (1) medical staff affiliations, (2) system funding levels, (3) the system's administrative structure, and (4) the physician staff "cultural" characteristics. Perhaps by understanding other influencing factors, health care administrators may plan subsystems that will be compatible with legislative requirements and administrative objectives.

Subject Area

Health care|Public health

Recommended Citation

Martinez, Ricardo Arguijo, "A comparative analysis of hospital-based physician monitoring systems" (1994). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9528252.