In the U.S., the quality of acute surgical care  is threatened by a shortage of surgeons performing emergency procedures. This is due to the  rising costs of uncompensated care, liability concerns, declining reimbursement, and lifestyle considerations. We hypothesized that a surgical hospitalist program could improve timeliness of care, emergency department (ED) efficiency and physician satisfaction, resident supervision, continuity of care, and revenue generation.

Our preliminary benchmarks seem to validate this approach. Future research will assess the effect of surgical hospitalists on average length of hospital stay for several complex conditions and determine whether morbidity and mortality are reduced (which will require adequate sample sizes and a possible multicenter study). Patient satisfaction, and the satisfaction of the other non-hospitalist surgical faculty members, will be assessed through survey instruments.