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EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS: What is a surgicalist?

Surgicalists are surgical hospitalists, surgeons who provide care to trauma patients and other patients who arrive in the emergency room with immediate need for surgery.  This new type of surgical position is helpful in resolving the long-standing issue of how to provide surgical coverage in the emergency department.  In many hospitals, general surgeons are required to be part of a rotating on-call schedule for the ED as a condition of medical staff membership.  This article describes how Sutter Medical Center (Sacramento, Calif.) established a surgicalist model.  This large community hospital staffs 24-hour shifts with 3.5 full-time general surgeons, who are on campus when they are on duty.  Among the positive outcomes were a decreases in: time from ED to OR, cost per surgery, length of stay, and complication rate.

Source: SooHoo, R., and Owens, L.J. (2015, June). Beyond surgical call coverage: Reaping the benefits of a surgical hospitalist program. HFM. Healthcare Financial Management, 69(6), 46-49. Retrieved from http://www.hfma.org/Content.aspx?id=31006  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2005, rc@aha.org

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