Procedural Competency Among Hospitalists: A Literature Review and Future Considerations

Link to article at PubMed

J Hosp Med. 2021 Apr;16(4):230-235. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3590.


BACKGROUND: As general internists practicing in the inpatient setting, hospitalists at many institutions are expected to perform invasive bedside procedures, as defined by professional standards. In reality, hospitalists are doing fewer procedures and increasingly are referring to specialists, which threatens their ability to maintain procedural skills. The discrepancy between expectations and reality, especially when hospitalists may be fully credentialed to perform procedures, poses significant risks to patients because of morbidity and mortality associated with complications, some of which derive from practitioner inexperience.

METHODS: We performed a structured search of the peer-reviewed literature to identify articles focused on hospitalists performing procedures.

RESULTS: Our synthesis of the literature characterizes contributors to hospitalists' procedural competency and discusses: (1) temporal trends for procedures performed by hospitalists and their associated referral patterns, (2) data comparing use and clinical outcomes of procedures performed by hospitalists compared with specialists, (3) the lack of nationwide standardization of hospitalist procedural training and credentialing, and (4) the role of medical procedure services, although limited in supportive evidence, in concentrating procedural skill and mitigating risk in the hands of a few well-trained hospitalists.

CONCLUSION: We conclude with recommendations for hospital medicine groups to ensure the safety of hospitalized patients undergoing bedside procedures.

PMID:33734979 | DOI:10.12788/jhm.3590

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