High-risk surgery patients have shorter stays in hospitals when seen by general internists trained specifically in managing medical complications, says a study carried out by the Loyola University Health.
The study published in the Orthopedics journal, also reveals that patients who underwent high-risk orthopedic surgeries with the co-management program, experienced more courtesy and respect from doctors.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Michael Pinzur, Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine said, “We accomplished significant improvements in efficiency and quality in the care of complex surgical patients. Our cost of care also was significantly less than that of other academic medical centres. The sicker the patients, the greater the savings.”
The study, compared observation of 86 of Dr. Pinzur’s high-risk surgical patients, co-managed by hospitalists from the Division of General Internal Medicine, with that of 54 similar patients who underwent surgery before starting the co-management program.
Patients followed for the study included those who underwent complex surgical procedures like foot reconstructions and had high-risk conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart and kidney problems.
Patients’ average stay ratio was 0.86 before the co-management program started while the program caused the ratio to drop to 0.69. This meant that hospital patients would now stay an average of 3.8 days as opposed to the usual expected stay of 5.5 days.
Under the co-management program, 76% of the patient group said doctors communicated well with 90% saying they were feeling courtesy and respect.