Analyzing the Time and Value of Housestaff Inpatient Work

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 13, no. 8, Aug. 1998, p. 534-540

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1998

by Timothy R. Dresselhaus, Jeffrey Luck, Brian C. Wright, Roger G. Spragg, Martin L. Lee, Samuel A. Bozzette

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The objective of this study was to determine time allocation and the perceived value to education and patient care of the weekday activities of internal medicine housestaff on inpatient rotations and to compare the work activities of interns and residents. It concluded that improved data collection methods demonstrate that housestaff in the program, particularly interns, spend much of their workday in activities that are low in educational and patient care value. Selective elimination or delegation of such activities would preserve higher-value experiences during reductions in overall inpatient training time. Planners can use automated random sampling to guide the rational redesign of housestaff work.

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