The hospitalist movement in general pediatrics

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Purpose of reviewThe present review focuses on the latest evidence from the past 18 months related to pediatric hospitalist medicine.Recent findingsThe number of hospitalists continues to increase despite many programs not being financially self-supporting. Reports in the past have shown decreased length of stay, resource utilization, and costs with the hospitalist model. There are an increasing number of studies examining patient safety, quality initiatives, and communication issues such as ‘handoffs’ and family-centered rounds. The teaching role continues to broaden in scope and is highly valued by trainees. Pediatric hospitalist fellowship training programs are in an early stage of development. A list of core competencies as a framework for a pediatric hospital medicine curriculum has recently been published and should help to facilitate and standardize training. Recent publications suggest that there is still significant variation in the approach to and management of many common inpatient illnesses.SummaryIn general, there continue to be reports of positive outcomes as a result of the introduction of the hospitalist model in pediatrics. Much of the current literature is geared toward reporting on alternative models of care, inpatient quality and safety initiatives, and hospitalist teaching. What is still somewhat lacking is multicenter collaborative prospective clinical trials for common inpatient general pediatric conditions. The variation reported in the management of common conditions presents an opportunity for improving the quality, safety, resource utilization, and appropriateness of care.

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