The Effectiveness of the Multiple-Attending-Physicians System Compared With the Single Attending-Physician System in Inpatient Setting: A Mixed-Method Study

Link to article at PubMed

J Prim Care Community Health. 2023 Jan-Dec;14:21501319231175054. doi: 10.1177/21501319231175054.


OBJECTIVES: Medical facilities have been required to effectively utilize insufficient human resources in many countries. Therefore, we qualitatively and quantitively compared physicians' working burden, and assessed advantages and disadvantages of the single- and the multiple-attending physicians systems in inpatient care.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we extracted electronic health record of patients from a hospital in Japan from April 2017 to October 2018 to compare anonymous statistical data between the single-attending and multiple-attending-physicians system. Then, we conducted a questionnaire survey for all physicians of single and multiple-attending systems, asking about their physical and psychiatric workload, and their reasons and comments on their working styles.

RESULTS: The average length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the multiple-attending system than in the single-attending system, while patients' age, gender, and diagnoses were similar. From the questionnaire survey, no significant difference was found in all categories although physical burden in multiple-attending system tended to be lower than that in single-attending system. Advantages of multiple-attending system extracted from qualitative analysis are (1) improvement of physicians' quality of life (QOL), (2) lifelong-learning effect, and (3) improving the quality of medical care, while disadvantages were (1) risk of miscommunications, (2) conflicting treatment policies among physicians, and (3) patients' concern.

CONCLUSIONS: The multiple-attending physician system in the inpatient setting can reduce the average length of stay for patients and also reduce the physical burden on physicians without compromising their clinical performance.

PMID:37191304 | DOI:10.1177/21501319231175054

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