J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Jun 1. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07674-3. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Communication with clinicians is an important component of a hospitalized patient's experience.
OBJECTIVE: To test the impact of standardized hospitalist information cards on the patient experience.
DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study in a U.S. tertiary-care center.
PARTICIPANTS: All-comer medicine inpatients.
INTERVENTIONS: Standardized hospitalist information cards containing name and information on a hospitalist's role and availability vs. usual care.
MAIN MEASURES: Patients' rating of the overall communication as excellent ("top-box" score); qualitative feedback summarized via inductive coding.
KEY RESULTS: Five hundred sixty-six surveys from 418 patients were collected for analysis. In a multivariate regression model, standardized hospitalist information cards significantly improved the odds of a "top-box" score on overall communication (odds ratio: 2.32; 95% confidence intervals: 1.07-5.06). Other statistically significant covariates were patient age (0.98, 0.97-0.99), hospitalist role (physician vs. advanced practice provider, 0.56; 0.38-0.81), and hospitalist-patient gender combination (female-female vs. male-male, 2.14; 1.35-3.40). Eighty-seven percent of patients found the standardized hospitalist information cards useful, the perceived most useful information being how to contact the hospitalist and knowing their schedule.
CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalized patients' experience of their communication with hospitalists may be improved by using standardized hospitalist information cards. Younger patients cared for by a team with an advanced practice provider, as well as female patients paired with female providers, were more likely to be satisfied with the overall communication. Assessing the impact of information cards should be studied in other settings to confirm generalizability.