Consistent hospitalist care linked to better patient outcomes, study finds

Patients who receive continuous care from one hospitalist during a hospital stay have better outcomes than those treated by several different hospitalists due to intermittent work schedules, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed 2014-16 Medicare data on 114,777 patient admissions from 229 hospitals in Texas. Patients received general medical care from hospitalists during three- to six-day hospital stays.

Patients treated by hospitalists whose work schedules allowed for care continuity had lower 30-day mortality after discharge, lower readmission rates, higher rates of discharge to the home and lower healthcare costs 30 days after discharge.

Researchers suggest efforts to build work schedules that promote more care continuity for hospitalists could help improve patient outcomes.

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