Preserving Stewardship Of The Patient’s Story

The Vanishing Of Primary Care Physicians 

Traditionally, this has been the role of the primary care physician. However, among all the providers that paraded through this patient’s room, none was her primary care physician. Banished from the wards to achieve greater efficiencies and lower inpatient costs, the primary care physician is conspicuously absent from inpatient care. Hospitalists have been shown to effectively reduce inpatient lengths-of-stay. And the demands of an ever-increasing outpatient work load keep primary care physicians chained to their offices. While the efficiencies produced by this division of labor are well-documented, another silo has been created that further fragments patient care. 

In the process, the patient’s story is being muddled, and there is a negative impact on the patient and caregiver experience. In a study conducted in 2009, 75 percent of inpatients were unable to recall the name of the doctor in charge of their care.

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