Primary care physician involvement during hospitalisation: a qualitative analysis of perspectives from frequently hospitalised patients

Link to article at PubMed

BMJ Open. 2021 Dec 1;11(12):e053784. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053784.


OBJECTIVE: To explore frequently hospitalised patients' experiences and preferences related to primary care physician (PCP) involvement during hospitalisation across two care models.

DESIGN: Qualitative study embedded within a randomised controlled trial. Semistructured interviews were conducted with patients. Transcripts were analysed using qualitative template analysis.

SETTING: In the Comprehensive Care Programme (CCP) Study, in Illinois, USA, Medicare patients at increased risk of hospitalisation are randomly assigned to: (1) care by a CCP physician who serves as a PCP across both inpatient and outpatient settings or (2) care by a PCP as outpatient and by hospitalists as inpatients (standard care).

PARTICIPANTS: Twelve standard care and 12 CCP patients were interviewed.

RESULTS: Themes included: (1) Positive attitude towards PCP; (2) Longitudinal continuity with PCP valued; (3) Patient preference for PCP involvement in hospital care; (4) Potential for in-depth involvement of PCP during hospitalisation often unrealised (involvement rare in standard care; in CCP, frequent interaction with PCP fostered patient involvement in decision making); and (5) PCP collaboration with hospital-based providers frequently absent (no interaction for standard care patients; CCP patients emphasising PCP's role in interdisciplinary coordination).

CONCLUSION: Frequently hospitalised patients value PCP involvement in the hospital setting. CCP patients highlighted how an established relationship with their PCP improved interdisciplinary coordination and engagement with decision making. Inpatient-outpatient relational continuity may be an important component of programmes for frequently hospitalised patients. Opportunities for enhancing PCP involvement during hospitalisation should be considered.

PMID:34853107 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053784

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