Browse By Topic and Related Items

Topic Browser

Related Items

Bookmark and Share

The Appropriate Patient Census

From: The eWire, 10.05.2011

More than half of survey respondents say 11-15 patients a day is ideal

by Michael O’Neal

What's the appropriate number of patients that an FTE hospitalist should see in one day? More than half of those surveyed on the-hospitalist.org believe they should see between 11 and 15 patients. According to two members of Team Hospitalist, 10 to 20 patients per day is a reasonable guideline.

"On average, 15 to 18 patients per day is a pretty easy-to-manage number," says Rachel George, MD, MBA, FHM, CPE, chief operating officer for Cogent HMG's west and north-central regions. But daily patient census depends on several factors, such as the types of patients admitted, the length of the doctor's shift, and the level of support from other staff on duty, she explains.

Readers were given one of five choices to respond with: "10 or fewer patients," "11-15," "16-20," "21-25," and "more than 25." Of the 421 responses, 51% felt that the average full-time hospitalist should see from 11 to 15 patients per day, followed by 35% who say they'd prefer to see 16 to 20 patients. Six percent voted for "10 or fewer." Only 4% of respondents said 20 or more patients a day was optimum.

"Honestly, I try not to get fixated on numbers," says Ken Simone, DO, SFHM, founder and president of Hospitalist and Practice Solutions in Veazie, Maine. As a consultant, he says that rather than trying to expect physicians to attend to a standard census, HM groups should focus on acuity of illness and quality of care, and let patient needs dictate the staff required. Dr. Simone also recalled working with some groups who have delegated one or more staff members to handle admitting and screening, so that hospitalists can concentrate on the patients already in beds.


This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. No part of this article can be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients, or customers by contacting our reprints department at reprints@wiley.com. Copyright © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine, administered by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

current issue

July 2014

Search

The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

Copyright © 2000–2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. or related companies. All rights reserved.

ISSN: 1553-085X