Purpose. Hospital practices in academic medical centers have fewer medical residents available to provide hospital care, necessitating alternative models for patient care. This article reports a new model for care of inpatients with cardiovascular diseases. Method. In 1998, a new nonresident cardiovascular patient care (Cardiology IV) service was implemented that used a team approach of staff attending cardiologists, cardiovascular fellows, midlevel practitioners (nurse practitioners and physician's assistants), and nurses to evaluate and treat patients. Standard dismissal information was collected for all patients dismissed in 1998 to compare diagnosis-related group, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and 30-day readmission rates for Cardiology IV. These characteristics were compared with those for the remaining resident teaching services. Patients' satisfaction surveys from 1997 and 1998 were compared. Attending physicians' and internal medicine residents' satisfaction before and after the implementation of the new service was also compared. Results. Staff and resident physicians were more satisfied with their hospital rotations after this intervention was introduced. Optimal patient care was maintained, and efficiency enhanced. Patients on Cardiology IV had a shorter length of stay compared with patients on the resident teaching service. Conclusions. This new hospital model has provided an alternative to patient care without the need for residents and protects education on the conventional teaching services. This model maintains optimal patient care and has resulted in enhanced satisfaction of attending staff and residents.
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