A Loyola University Health System study has found that high-risk surgery patients experienced significantly shorter hospital stays when they were seen by general internists trained in managing medical complications in surgical patients.
Patients who underwent high-risk orthopaedic surgeries experienced shorter stays when their care was co-managed by hospitalists and their surgeons. And, the study found, patients reported they were treated by doctors with more courtesy and respect.
The study was published in the July, 2009 issue of the journal Orthopedics.
“We accomplished significant improvements in efficiency and quality in the care of complex surgical patients,” said lead author Dr. Michael Pinzur, professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
“Our cost of care also was significantly less than that of other academic medical centers,” Pinzur added. “And the sicker the patients, the greater the savings.”
Researchers followed 86 of Pinzur’s high-risk surgical patients who were co-managed by hospitalists from the Division of General Internal Medicine. These patients were compared with 54 similar patients who underwent surgery before the co-management program began.