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CMAJ. Jun 15, 1999; 160(12): 1735–1737.
PMCID: PMC1230412

A physician-centered intervention to shorten hospital stay: a pilot study


BACKGROUND: Studies of length of stay (LOS) in hospital usually focus on physician-independent factors. In this study, the authors identified physician-dependent factors and tested an intervention aimed at them to determine its effect on LOS. METHODS: A prospective comparison of LOS on 2 general medical wards in a tertiary care teaching hospital before and after the intervention. The pre-intervention (control) period and the intervention period were each 4 weeks. The intervention consisted of a checklist for planning management and discharge. RESULTS: Overall, the mean LOS was shorter during the intervention period than during the control period, but the difference was not statistically significant (12.0 and 14.4 days respectively, p = 0.13). The difference was significant on ward A (11.0 v. 14.7 days respectively, p = 0.02) but not on ward B (13.0 and 14.0 days respectively, p = 0.90). INTERPRETATION: An intervention at the level of the admitting physician may help to shorten LOS on a general medical ward.

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Selected References

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