|Study Finds Over Half Of US Hospitals Utilize Hospitalists
Data from a survey of 4,897 community hospitals
conducted by the American Hospital Association (AHA) indicates over
half of US hospitals have hospital medicine programs, and that there
were over 23,000 hospitalists in the U.S.
Annually, AHA provides the Society of Hospital Medicine
(SHM) with a special analysis on the prevalence of hospitalists. The
data is from 2007, the latest year available for the information.
Reasonable projections would put the figures at 58 percent penetration and 28,000 hospitalists in 2009.
"In 1996, there were perhaps 1,000 hospitalists
practicing around the country," said Joe Miller, MS, executive
assistant to the CEO for SHM. "Today, approximately 28,000 hospitalists
are improving quality of care and efficiency in hospitals everywhere.
The growth of hospital medicine is clearly one of the success stories
in healthcare this decade."
Other noteworthy findings from the 2007 AHA data:
- For hospitals with 200 or more beds, 83 percent have hospital medicine programs.
- On average, there are 9.4 physicians in a hospital medicine program, an increase from 8.3 physicians in 2006.
- From 2006 to 2007, the number of hospitalists grew 20 percent (from 19,000 to 23,000).
A hospitalist is defined as a physician whose primary
professional focus is the care of hospitalized patients. The
hospitalist assumes care of the patient from admission to discharge,
Addresses: Society of Hospital Medicine, 1500 Spring Garden, Suite 501, Philadelphia, PA 19130; (800) 843-3360, www.hospitalmedicine.org. American Hospital Association, One North Franklin, Chicago, IL 60606; (312) 422-3000, www.aha.org.