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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hospitalists improve quality of care

Hospital staff are working so fast that it's easy for them to forget to do something, or to give short shrift to some patients. It's good to have a special kind of doctor, who works full-time in the hospital, focusing only on inpatients – a "hospitalist."

A study last month found evidence of the positive role that hospitalists play. Patients with serious illnesses like stroke, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia recovered the fastest when cared for by hospitalists. On average, care by hospitalists enabled patients to leave the hospital about a day sooner than patients treated by other doctors. As Dr. William Southern, the lead author of the study, said, "We believe hospital-based physicians offer the highest quality of care."

Advice for patients choosing a hospital:
Look for a hospital that employs hospitalists.

Labels: hospitalists, archives of internal medicine, William Southern, length of stay, hospital readmission, complex discharge planning

Read more useful advice from a different study in the same medical journal , or read more from Sena Desai Gopal’s summary in Monday’s Boston Globe, or the Sept. 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

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