Hypothesis: Improving team structure and heightening communication will help provide cost-effective and high-quality patient care for general surgery patients.
Design: This study surveys teamwork initiatives and their effects on specific variables related to patient care.
Patients: The study population comprised all patients admitted to the hospital's general surgery teams during 5 years 3 months.
Setting: Tertiary care hospital.
Interventions: A complete restructuring of the patient care team for general surgery patients admitted to the hospital. The intervention occurred midway through the study period.
Main outcome measures: Mean length of stay for general surgery patients as a marker of team efficiency and a standardized patient satisfaction survey.
Results: The mean length of stay after initiation of the restructured care team was significantly shorter than before initiation. The significance was present despite a consistent patient acuity measure and was associated with a high patient satisfaction level.
Conclusions: Restructuring the patient care team yielded a decreased mean length of stay while maintaining a high level of patient satisfaction. This analysis helps validate a hospital-wide initiative to maintain a high level of patient care while increasing patient volume.