The Influence of Hospitalist Continuity on the Likelihood of Patient Discharge in General Medicine Patients

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Abstract

Hospitalists responsible for specific inpatients may change during their hospitalization. To measure the association of hospitalist continuity with the adjusted daily discharge probability, 6,405 admissions (38,967 patient-days, 5,208 patients) to a general medicine service at a tertiary care teaching hospital in 2015 were investigated. Continuity was measured as the consecutive number of days–including weekends–a hospitalist treated a particular team of patients. After accounting for important covariables, discharge probability increased significantly with hospitalist continuity; the adjusted daily discharge probabilities for an average patient with a new physician vs. one on service for 4 continuous weeks were 18.1% and 25.7%, respectively (P < .001). Hospitalist continuity did not influence hospital mortality. Increasing hospitalist continuity could decrease hospital length of stay.

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