Great Article by Professor Lake. One could not agree more with the contention that relevant health professionals reviewing patients and discussing problems, investigations, diagnoses, care and discharge plans as a team, and with the patient and family could only enhance the educational experience of the team. In today’s age of sub and super specialisation, our specialists and super specialists find themselves poorly placed to address patient issues outside their own speciality. This results in referrals and disjointed care which does little to address the patient’s concerns. Further it adversely impacts on a seamless patient journey within the healthcare system adding to our already overburdened health budget
Whilst competing demands, high turnover, sicker patients and more students and trainees are indeed challenges – the current workforce model does little to address those concerns. Under the current workforce model patients come in contact with consultants for less than 25 % of their entire journey within the acute health care setting as pointed out by the Garling Report. This call of urgent rethink of the current workforce models in place.
The Senior Hospitalist Initiative by the NSW Health addresses these concerns by promoting a highly skilled resident generalist workforce to pander to the educational, patient care needs within the acute healthcare setting. What we need, I suspect is a greater recognition of the value proposition such role provide to the acute health care setting at large. This would be an essential pre-requisite towards incentivization and greater adoption of such roles