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.