Hospitals increasingly are using hospitalists to manage inpatient care and eliminate the need for on-call physicians. The Society for Hospital Medicine reports that the term "hospitalist" was first used in 1996; today, it estimates that over 30,000 hospitalists are practicing in more than 3,000 institutions.
Hospitalists' popularity has flourished in recent years. According to data from the American Hospital Association's annual survey, the number of organizations with these programs increased by 69 percent from 2004 to 2009. Small hospitals (those with 49 beds or fewer) charted the most growth. Among hospitals with 25 to 49 beds, these programs grew 243 percent; and among six- to 24-bed hospitals, programs grew 156 percent. In rural hospitals, programs grew 175 percent.
The greatest percentage of growth occurred in the East North Central region (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), which showed a 93 percent increase.
For more information on AHA data, contact the AHA Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-422-2050