Research Letter Examines Perceived Hospitalist Workload and Patient Safety

 

Henry J. Michtalik, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues surveyed 506 physicians to examine the perceived effect of the average hospitalist workload on patient safety and quality-of-care measures.

According to the authors’ results reported in a research letter, 40 percent of physicians reported that their typical inpatient census exceeded safe levels at least monthly; 36 percent of these reported a frequency greater than once per week.

“Hospitalists frequently reported that excess workload prevented them from fully discussing treatment options, caused delay in patient admissions and/or discharges, and worsened patient satisfaction. Over 20 percent reported that their average workload likely contributed to patient transfers, morbidity, or even mortality,” the authors comment. (Online First)

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 28, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1864