Comparing academic and community-based hospitalists.

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Comparing academic and community-based hospitalists.

J Hosp Med. 2010 Jul;5(6):349-52

Authors: Malkenson D, Siegal EM, Leff JA, Weber R, Struck R

In 2006, hospitalist programs were formally introduced at both an academic and community hospital in the same city providing an opportunity to study the similarities and differences in workflows in these two settings. The data were collected using a time-flow methodology allowing the two workflows to be compared quantitatively. The results showed that the hospitalists in the two settings devoted similar proportions of their workday to the task categories studied. Most of the time was spent providing indirect patient care followed by direct patient care, travel, personal, and other. However, after adjusting for patient volumes, the data revealed that academic hospitalists spent significantly more time per patient providing indirect patient care (Academic: 54.7 +/- 11.1 min/patient, Community: 41.9 +/- 9.8 min/patient, p < 0.001). Additionally, we found that nearly half of the hospitalists' time at both settings was spent multitasking. Although we found subtle workflow differences between the academic and community programs, their similarities were more striking as well as greater than their differences. We attribute these small differences to the higher case mix index at the academic program as well greater complexity and additional communication hand-offs inherent to a tertiary academic medical center. It appears that hospitalists, irrespective of their work environment, spend far more time documenting, communicating and coordinating care than they do at the bedside raising the question, is this is a necessary feature of the hospitalist care model or should hospitalists restructure their workflow to improve outcomes? Journal of Hospital Medicine 2010;5:349-352. (c) 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.

PMID: 20803674 [PubMed - in process]

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