Employing infectious disease physicians affects clinical and economic outcomes in regional hospitals: evidence from a population-based study.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2014 Aug;47(4):297-303
Authors: Shih CP, Lin YC, Chan YY, Hsu KH
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Infectious disease physicians (IDPs) play a major role in patient care, infectious disease control, and antibiotic use in hospitals. The aim of this research is to explore the effects of employment of IDPs on patients' prognosis and the related medical and antibiotic expenses in hospitals.
METHODS: This population-based study provides evidence-based information on IDPs' contribution to patients' prognosis and antibiotic expenditure containment with inpatient claim data from the Taiwan Bureau of National Health Insurance in 2004. We further classified regional hospitals into those with and without IDPs and analyzed patient prognosis, length of stay, total medical expenses, and antibiotic expenses to test the effects of IDPs.
RESULTS: The likelihood of developing a poor prognosis among patients was found to be higher in non-IDP hospitals, with an odds ratio of 1.14 and a 95% confidence interval of 1.05-1.23 (p = 0.002). Medical expenses, excluding those of nonrestricted drugs, were found to be higher in the non-IDP group than in the IDP group. The total medical expenses were also found to be 10% higher in the non-IDP group than in the IDP group (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Employment of IDPs was likely to improve patient prognosis and reduce overall medical expenses. It is suggested that healthcare administrators consider the employment of or investment in IDPs as a cost-effective strategy for improving patient quality of care.
PMID: 23523046 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]