Do Physicians Spend Less Time With Patients in Contact Isolation? A Time-Motion Study of Internal Medicine Interns | Infectious Diseases | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
May 2014

Do Physicians Spend Less Time With Patients in Contact Isolation?A Time-Motion Study of Internal Medicine Interns

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2Biomedical Informatics Program at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(5):814-815. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.537

The use of contact isolation precautions for patients colonized or infected with drug-resistant or easily transmissible organisms is a widely accepted strategy for reducing transmission of hospital-associated infections. Although hospitals throughout the country have implemented these practices at great logistical and financial expense, there are few high-quality data to support their use.

Isolation precautions have unintended consequences, including a reduction in time spent with health care providers, lower patient satisfaction, and more preventable adverse events.1-3 Only a few small studies have measured the impact of contact isolation on time spent by health care providers with patients. Given recent advances in spatial tracking technology, we set out to measure differences in time spent by internal medicine interns with patients in contact isolation rooms compared with those in nonisolation rooms.

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