Medical Staff

Fragmented care increases patient length of stay

Hospitalist Leadership Connection, August 31, 2010

Fragmented hospitalist care can lead to longer patient hospital stays, according to a new study by IPC The Hospitalist Company, “The impact of fragmentation of hospitalist care on length of stay (LOS),” published in the July/August Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Researchers studied nearly 11,000 patients at hospitalist practices managed by IPC. They found that when other hospitalists (not the primary hospitalist who saw the patient most) provided care to pneumonia and heart failure patients, the LOS increased. A 10% increase in fragmentation is associated with an increased LOS of 0.39 days in pneumonia patients and 0.30 days in heart failure patients.

“Methods to reduce fragmentation should be explored, while more research is needed to identify the source of the relationship between [fragmentation of care] and LOS,” states the study.

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