Study: Hospitalists cut hospital length of stay

Here's another data point which lends support for the hospitalist model. A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concludes that hospitals can reduce average lengths of stay by 12 percent. To conduct the study, Tufts University School of Medicine researchers followed 75,000 patients admitted to 45 hospitals between September 2002 and 2005. When analyzing the data, researchers found that hospitals cut lengths of stay about one-half day off of an average four-day stay. However, hospitalist charges didn't offer much of a savings over those imposed by general internists or family physicians. The study didn't address quality of care, so it's still not clear whether hospitalists can improve on broader patient outcomes. However, this does offer more evidence that hospitalists have an edge in managing inpatient cases efficiently.

To learn more about the study:
- read this piece from The Wall Street Journal

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