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Controversies in Internal Medicine
June 23, 2008

Hospitalists and the Hospital Medicine System of Care Are Good for Patient Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation:Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.



Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1254-1256. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.12.1254

Hospitalists, along with the evolution of the specialty of hospital medicine, are improving the delivery of care to hospitalized patients and are poised to revolutionize the system of hospital care delivery.1Initial research indicates that hospitalists reduce inpatient mortality2,3while demonstrating consistent reductions in health care costs.4Not only are adult inpatients benefiting, but pediatric hospitalists seem to have a similar impact.5,6With probably 20 000 or more hospitalists currently in the United States, this increasingly evidence-based intervention has experienced remarkable growth since the mid 1990s and has become part of the mainstream of health care delivery.7The Society of Hospital Medicine aptly defines hospitalists as “physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients,”8reflecting how they focus mainly on hospital care delivery and how to improve it. Hospital medicine continues to evolve and to meet the needs of hospitalized patients as well as providing multiple solutions to the hospital system of care delivery. There are many ways in which hospitalists can benefit patients: