Case Study: The Providence Telehospitalist Program
On-Demand Virtual Coverage
Many hospitals have traditionally used one of two staffing models to manage their inpatients and new admissions at night:
- Coverage by an on-call physician from home, either admitting the patient unseen or making an overnight trip to the hospital
- In-house coverage by a nocturnist physician
These staffing models can be inefficient and are often not cost-effective. Care can be variable based on whether the physician makes a diagnosis by phone, comes into the hospital, or puts the patient on holding orders until morning. On-call models can result in delayed treatment and contribute to clinician burnout, as well as financial losses in first day revenue by the facility. Nighttime coverage is vital to patient outcomes, nursing satisfaction, and the financial performance of the organization.
PSJH created a nighttime 7:00pm–7:00am telehospitalist program in 2014, which now covers six facilities across three states. PSJH found telehospitalist coverage addresses these challenges, assessing and treating patients quickly, consistently, and improving patient and organizational outcomes.