Pediatric Gastroenterology Hospitalists –Job Wanted?

A recent article (M Latorre et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021; 19: 871-875) describes “A Practical Guide to Establishing a Gastroenterology Hospitalist Program (in adult GI)”

Our group had flirted with the idea of a GI Hospitalist (GIH) many years ago when one of the partners expressed some interest. To establish this type of job takes a lot of planning.

Some of the key points:

  • “Proactively incorporating scheduling measures to provide the GIH with coverage and backup is important; otherwise the job can become easily overwhelming.” Outpatient faculty have to provide coverage to assure the individual is protected and covered for emergencies, weekends, and holidays. “Creating dedicated shifts with daily start and stop times allow for more control over the GIH’s hours.”
  • The authors note that when they began their GIH, the outpatient faculty rotated and assisted with afternoon consults/procedures to protect GIH from long days and burnout.
  • In adult medicine, a GIH can help improve GI practice profitability by allowing outpatient doctors to increase office revenue and endoscopic procedures. In pediatrics, it is possible that a GIH would generate more billings than outpatient counterparts due to increased procedural demands for inpatients.
  • GIH can improve patient care (timely endoscopy, focus on inpatient problems), improve continuity, and reduce costs similar to other hospitalists.

My take: If there is adequate help, especially to prevent long days and increased night call, this model could work in pediatric GI as well.

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This story below was NOT from ‘The Onion.’ NPR 6/10/21: