Mr. Spaeth writes about the relationship between hospital administration and the physician, and how that relationship affects the quality of medical care delivered to the patient. The article focuses on the differences between the employment structure in an academic teaching hospital, and the open, independent contractor medical staff typical of a traditionally smaller community hospitals. The individual traits and nuances of these structures and how they can be distinguished from one another create dynamic differences in the approach for quality care. Peer review, credentialing, and management of adverse outcomes are just a few of the ways in which hospitals continue to strive to provide higher quality care, but the way these methods are implemented and performed in different hospital structures are dramatically different, yielding distinct results. Mr. Spaeth argues that the challenges faced by community hospitals in their effort to provide higher quality care and eliminate medical error are exacerbated because of their unique structure and the particular relationship physicians share with the hospital and its administration.

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