Improved Inpatient Care through Greater Patient-Doctor Contact under the Hospitalist Management Approach: A Real-Time Assessment

Link to article at PubMed

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 26;18(11):5718. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115718.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine the difference between hospitalist and non-hospitalist frequency of patient-doctor contact, duration of contact, cumulative contact time, and the amount of time taken by the doctor to resolve an issue in response to a medical call. Research Design and Measures: Data from 18 facilities and 36 wards (18 hospitalist wards and 18 non-hospitalist wards) were collected. The patient-doctor contact slip and medical call response slips were given to each inpatient ward to record. A total of 28,926 contacts occurred with 2990 patients, and a total of 8435 medical call responses occurred with 3329 patients. Multivariate logistic regression analyses and regression analyses were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: The average frequency of patient-doctor contact during a hospital stay was 10.0 times per patient for hospitalist patients. Using regression analyses, hospitalist patients had more contact with the attending physician (β = 5.6, standard error (SE) = 0.28, p < 0.0001). Based on cumulative contact time, hospitalists spent significantly more time with the patient (β = 32.29, SE = 1.54, p < 0.0001). After a medical call to resolve the issue, doctors who took longer than 10 min were 4.14 times (95% CI 3.15-5.44) and those who took longer than 30 min were 4.96 times (95% CI 2.75-8.95) more likely to be non-hospitalists than hospitalists.

CONCLUSION: This study found that hospitalists devoted more time to having frequent encounters with patients. Therefore, inpatient care by a hospitalist who manages inpatient care from admission to discharge could improve the care quality.

PMID:34073471 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph18115718

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