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A Study Reveals the Benefits of Hospitalists

Narrator:        This is Science Today. A hospitalist is a physician who takes care of patients solely in a hospital setting and the field is one of the fastest growing specialties in medicine. In the largest study to date evaluating the outcome of in-hospital care by various physician types, findings show that care by hospitalists resulted in shorter stays and lower costs to patients. Andrew Auerbach, a hospitalist and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, was part of the study team.

Auerbach:       The aim of the study was to just compare the outcomes of length of stay, costs, readmission, mortality between these three key groups: family docs, general internists and hospitalists.

Narrator:        Compared to general internists, patients cared for by hospitalists had a length of stay that was shortened by nearly half a day.

Auerbach:       That length of stay difference at a place like UCSF that has ten thousand discharges a year, you could fit more people into your hospital from ER or do more elective surgeries - those kinds of things that are really critical when hospitals are 101 to 105% full all the time.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.