July 15, 1944

Medical Care of the Discharged Hospital Patient

JAMA. 1944;125(11):817. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850290057028

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This publication reports a study dealing with the problem of providing improved medical care for hospitalized chronically ill patients, and a method of early discharge of ward patients at the University Hospital, Syracuse, N. Y., with follow-up care in the home by a staff physician is described. The need for continuity of medical supervision of patients discharged was shown by the fact that 84.1 per cent of all patients admitted to the medical wards during the period of the study (July 1, 1940 to Feb. 1, 1942) were suffering from chronic disease, and about one third of these had degenerative cardiovascular disease.

Only 59.3 per cent of patients discharged to their private physicians reported to them unless some special step was taken. Likewise only 23.2 per cent discharged to the outpatient department reported without follow-up. Excessively long periods of hospital care were called for by those patients discharged without referral

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