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The Influence of Hospitalist Continuity on the Likelihood of Patient Discharge in General Medicine Patients


Hospitalists responsible for specific inpatients may change during their hospitalization. To measure the association of hospitalist continuity with the adjusted daily discharge probability, 6,405 admissions (38,967 patient-days, 5,208 patients) to a general medicine service at a tertiary care teaching hospital in 2015 were investigated. Continuity was measured as the consecutive number of days–including weekends–a hospitalist treated a particular team of patients. After accounting for important covariables, discharge probability increased significantly with hospitalist continuity; the adjusted daily discharge probabilities for an average patient with a new physician vs. one on service for 4 continuous weeks were 18.1% and 25.7%, respectively (P < .001). Hospitalist continuity did not influence hospital mortality. Increasing hospitalist continuity could decrease hospital length of stay.

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