In this large survey of hospitalists, 40% reported that their patient volume exceeded safe levels at least once a month, the that high volume often affected their ability to fully discuss treatment options, delayed admits or discharges, affected their ability to safely cross cover patients, or affected their ability to adequately hand off patients. Many also reported high volumes affected their utilization of tests, readmission rates, patient satisfaction, and quality of care. Hospital medicine programs need to continue to monitor workload, to ensure too high workloads do not result in care detriments for patients (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.