Cardiologists Most interested in Hospital Employment

Nearly three-fourths of physicians surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers' PWC Health Research Institute said they've already aligned financially with hospitals through employment, joint ventures or directorships, and 58 percent said they want to move toward even closer financial relationships with hospitals. Sixty-three percent of cardiology specialists were interested in hospital employment compared with 48 percent of primary care physicians and 45 percent of all other specialists. Orthopedists were least interested. Though cardiology has been among the most lucrative, institute researchers noted that it has experienced the deepest cuts in Medicare payments. Asked why they wanted to align, physicians cited relief from growing financial and administrative burdens and fear of income loss in anticipation of reimbursement cuts. Visit www.pwc.com/healthindustries.

Mercy Staff Undergoes 'Healthification'

Mercy, a health care system serving Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, decided that if it wants to tackle the obesity epidemic in its communities, the best place to begin is within. So it recently launched "Healthification," an initiative to encourage its 36,000 employees to embrace a well-balanced life through good nutrition, physical activity, emotional and spiritual well-being and smoking cessation. First step: teaming up with NuVal, a system that ranks the nutritional value of food on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more nutritious. The findings often surprise; for instance, frozen, canned no-salt and fresh green beans all have the same score of 100. Visit www.mercy.net.

HIT Program Aims to Train 2,700 a Year

Hospital leaders looking to recruit IT staff may want to check out a recently unveiled website from the Midwest Community College Health Information Technology Consortium. The consortium consists of 17 colleges in 10 Midwest states led by Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Its goal is to train 2,700 people annually. The training program, supported by federal stimulus funds, takes six months or less.

Register Now for AONE Conference

The American Organization of Nurse Executives will hold its 44th Annual Meeting and Exposition April 13-16 in San Diego. With the theme, "Shifting Sands: Charting the Course," the meeting will include five tracks focusing on the impact of health care reform, leading for the future, patient safety and quality, care delivery and sustainability, and leveraging technology. For information, visit www.aone.org.