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Maximizing continuity

January 2017

Published in the January 2017 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

TO START OFF the new year, we’re taking a deep dive into an issue that affects hospitalists all the time: the day of the week that block schedules begin and end.

As our cover story explains, starting a block on one day instead of another can have repercussions that ripple throughout the hospital. Hospitalists know that handoffs can be chaotic, so they’re looking to minimize problems with continuity any way they can.

Some hospitalists swear that certain “switch days” provide better continuity of care. As with so much in hospital medicine, there’s no universally agreed upon day to start a block, but midweek (Tuesdays or Wednesdays) seems to be popular.

Some swear by starting blocks on Monday, saying it gives doctors the best chance of living the same schedule as the rest of their family. But Mondays can be a busy discharge day for patients who languished in the hospital over the weekend, and Fridays can be rough because of the rush to get patients discharged before the weekend.

It’s another example of how hospitalists work to reduce the gaps in continuity that can occur during handoffs.

Our coverage is also an example of the reporting you’ll find in Today’s Hospitalist this and every month. We dig into the details of hospital medicine like no other publication to help keep you informed.

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Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher