Bringing generalists into the hospital: outcomes of a family medicine hospitalist model in Singapore

J Hosp Med. 2011 Mar;6(3):115-21. doi: 10.1002/jhm.821.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess a newly introduced hospitalist care model in a Singapore hospital. Clinical outcomes of the family medicine hospitalists program were compared with the traditional specialists-based model using the hospital's administrative database.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of hospital discharge database for patients cared for by family medicine hospitalists and specialists in 2008. Multivariate analysis models were used to compare the clinical outcomes and resource utilization between patients cared for by family medicine hospitalists and specialist with adjustment for demographics, and comorbidities.

Results: Of 3493 hospitalized patients in 2008 who met the criteria of the study, 601 patients were under the care of family medicine hospitalists. As compared with patients cared for by specialists, patients cared for by family medicine hospitalists had a shorter hospital length of stay (adjusted LOS, geometric mean, GM, 4.4 vs. 5.3 days; P < 0.001) and lower hospitalization costs (adjusted cost, GM, $2250.7 vs. $2500.0; P= 0.003), but a similar in-patient mortality rate (4.2% vs. 5.3%, P= 0.307) and 30-day all-cause unscheduled readmission rate (7.5% vs. 8.4%, P= 0.231) after adjustment for age, ethnicity, gender, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, numbers of organ failures, and comorbidities.

Conclusion: The family medicine hospitalist model was associated with reductions in hospital LOS and cost of care without adversely affecting mortality or 30-day all-cause readmission rate. These findings suggest that the hospitalist care model can be adapted for health systems outside North America and may produce similar beneficial effects in care efficiency and cost savings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Family Practice / trends
  • Female
  • General Practitioners* / trends
  • Hospital Departments / methods
  • Hospital Departments / trends
  • Hospitalists / methods*
  • Hospitalists / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Singapore