The impact of twice-daily consultant ward rounds on the length of stay in two general medical wards.
Clin Med. 2011 Dec;11(6):524-8
Authors: Ahmad A, Purewal TS, Sharma D, Weston PJ
Excess average length of stay (ALoS) not only results in an increased cost to hospitals but also increases the risk of hospital-acquired infection and thromboembolism. Various factors suggested to affect ALoS have yet to demonstrate a significant impact in clinical practice. Increased consultant input has been identified as an important factor influencing ALoS. As a result, a radical and innovative consultant job plan, replacing twice-weekly with twice-daily ward rounds (WRs) on a university teaching hospital's two medical words has been designed. The number of discharges (NoDs) significantly increased (p < 0.01), ALoS reduced (p < 0.01), whereas, readmission rate and mortality remained unchanged (p = NS) over 12 months following twice-daily WRs compared to two other wards with twice-weekly WRs. This innovative model resulted in almost doubling the NoDs and halving the ALoS. This study suggests that ALoS can be reduced and sustained with a cultural and behavioural shift in consultant working patterns, without affecting readmission rate or inpatient mortality.
PMID: 22268301 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]