Association of hospitalist presence and hospital-level outcome measures among Medicare patients
BACKGROUND:Hospitalists have been shown to lower patient costs through better resource utilization and decreased length of stay, but it is unclear whether hospitalists are associated with quality of care. We examined the association between the presence of hospitalists and 30-day predicted excess all-cause hospital mortality and readmissions among Medicare patients admitted to a hospital with any of 3 conditions: heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. METHODS:Using national hospital-level, case mix-adjusted, risk-standardized, 30-day all-cause excess mortality and readmission data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we used descriptive and bivariate statistics to illustrate trends across hospitals. Using multivariable ordinary least squares regression to control for hospital-level characteristics, we then estimated the association between the presence of hospitalists and predicted hospital mortality and readmission. RESULTS:After multivariable adjustment, the presence of hospitalists was associated with lower probability of readmission for all 3 target conditions. No significant associations for any of the target conditions were found in all-cause mortality models. CONCLUSIONS:Hospitalists are already integral to the delivery of inpatient care at most institutions. This study, however, showed an association at the national level of the presence of hospitalists with an important and timely quality measure: reduction of readmission rates. Future research is indicated to explore specific causation pathways for the impact of hospitalists on quality of care.
Knowledge of termination of pregnancy (TOP) legislation and attitudes toward TOP clinical training among medical students attending two South African universities
UNLABELLED:Provision of safe, voluntary, termination of pregnancy (TOP) in South Africa is challenged by an insufficient number of TOP-trained clinicians. Medical students' understanding of TOP legality and their attitudes toward TOP training are indicators for future service provision. We administered a 63-item questionnaire to explore these issues at the University of Cape Town and Walter Sisulu University. Ordinary least squares regression assessed predictors of TOP legislation knowledge and training attitudes. RESULTS:Of 1308 students, 95% knew that TOP was legal in South Africa, but few (27%) understood the specific provisions of the legislation beyond 13 weeks' gestation. Sixty-three percent desired more information about TOP. In multivariate models, female, white and sexually experienced students and students more advanced in school had better legislation knowledge (all p < .01). Attending religious services regularly (p < .01) was associated with lack of support for TOP training, whereas being in a relationship (p < .01) was associated with support for TOP training.