Letters To The Editor

In Reply to: “Practical Application of Pediatric Hospital Medicine Workforce Data: In Reference to ‘Pediatric Hospitalist Workload and Sustainability in University-Based Programs: Results from a National Interview-Based Survey’”

© 2019 Society of Hospital Medicine

We appreciate the query by Drs. Douglas and Wilson. We hereby supply additional information that is critical for creating and administering sustainable staffing models.

For programs with a census cap, the majority cited 16 or fewer patients as the trigger for that cap. Nearly all programs with back-up used a census of 16 or fewer. Over 80% of programs cited a “safe 7 am census” as 16 or fewer. These data suggest that a census over 16 is appropriate to trigger additional clinical support.

Regarding clinical weighting of nights, nighttime shifts were often more heavily weighted than day shifts, but approaches to weighting varied and have not been validated. Alternate staffing models for overnight pager calls varied greatly by individual program.

This is a time of significant growth for pediatric hospital medicine, and national workforce data are essential to hospitalists, administrators, and most importantly, patients. Our study1 provides pediatric hospital medicine leaders with data for discussions regarding appropriate FTE and staffing model considerations. The insights generated by our study are particularly relevant in expanding programs and solving problems related to recruitment and retention.


The authors have nothing to disclose.


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