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Benefits of hospitalist care confirmed in new study
Date:12/19/2007

School of Medicine.

"A .4 day shorter length-of-stay per case multiplied by 5,000 cases annually will save 2,000 bed days and enable 500 more patients to be cared for each year without increasing the number of hospital beds. Moreover, there arent many interventions capable of achieving these kinds of efficiency gains," he added.

Researchers noted that the benefit to hospitals of more efficient patient traffic can be used to justify the cost of training programs.

"It appears clear that the benefits of hospitalist care really exist, so we can now turn our attention to moving the field of hospital medicine forward. Research into hospitalists is just one manifestation of research into better ways to structure programs," said Andrew Auerbach, MD, MPH, senior author on the study and associate professor of medicine at UCSF. The important thing from here is that hospital medicine capitalizes on opportunities to further innovate hospital services to maximize effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of healthcare.

In an accompanying editorial in NEJM, Laurence F. McMahon, Jr., MD, MPH, from the Department of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan, identifies hospitalists as an integral part of hospital care and the study as definitive evidence of the benefit they provide. He suggests that hospitalists as well as academic and policy leaders turn their focus to addressing the looming shortage of hospitalists and other generalists by addressing payment reform, and by increasing the role of hospitalists in academic medical centers, through the establishment of strong fellowship programs in hospital medicine.

Instead of comparison studies, new investigations should focus on quality improvement, comparative effectiveness, clinical informatics, the safety of patients and the translation of new medical advances to clinical practice, McMahon said.


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Contact: Lauren Hammit
lhammit@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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