Patient satisfaction equal for physician, hospitalist care

Patients reported similar satisfaction scores for hospital care provided by primary care physicians and hospitalists, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Telephone interviews with patients discharged from three Massachusetts hospitals affiliated with Baystate Health--Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and Mary Lane Hospital in Ware--from 2003 and 2009 showed that hospitalists and primary care physicians received equal satisfaction scores for behavior, pain control and communication. Patients appeared slightly more satisfied with the quality of care offered by primary care physicians than by hospitalists.

To further boost patient ratings, hospitals could implement a hospitalist-nurse rounding system such as the one at Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC). After only two months of the multidisciplinary rounding, OSUMC saw patient satisfaction scores jump, reported The Hospitalist.

As part of the system, the patient and family receive a daily feedback sheet containing a picture of the hospitalist, a list of the care-team members, daily goals, upcoming tests and the expected discharge date.

"Right now we're rounding with hospitalists and nurses only, but a long-term goal is to expand it to include the social worker and other ancillary professionals," lead author and OSUMC hospitalist Eric Schumacher told The Hospitalist.

To learn more:
- here's the study abstract
- read The Hospitalist article

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