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Mayo Clin Proc. 2009 Mar;84(3):248-54. doi: 10.1016/S0025-6196(11)61142-7.

A systematic review of outcomes and quality measures in adult patients cared for by hospitalists vs nonhospitalists.

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Cardiac Hospitalist Service, Central Utah Clinic, Provo, USA. michael.peterson@hsc.utah


A systematic review of English-language literature was undertaken to answer the question, "Are there differences in cost or quality of inpatient medical care provided to adults by hospitalists vs nonhospitalists?" A computerized search was performed, using hospitalist and either quality, outcome, or cost as search terms. References from relevant articles were searched by hand. A standard data-extraction tool was used, and articles were included on the basis of quality and relevance. The reports that were included (N=33) show general agreement that hospitalist care leads to shorter length of stay and lower cost per stay. Three reports show improvement in outcomes for orthopedic surgery patients who had hospitalist consultation or comanagement, 3 reports show improvement in markers of quality of care for patients with pneumonia, and 2 reports show improvement in aspects of heart failure management. Further research should seek to determine why differences in care exist, whether these improvements might be generalized to other physicians, and whether hospitalists provide demonstrable benefit in other areas of care.

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