For medical practices, having more unique doctors on staff and having doctors see more patients doesn’t necessarily lead to improved patient outcomes – and in fact, may have the opposite effect, according to a brief report in the June issue of Medical Care. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
The study shows that high blood pressure (BP) is less likely to normalize during times when the number of unique doctors on staff is higher and more patients are seen, suggesting that “[W]hen practices are busier, BP care may suffer,” writes Nancy R. Kressin, PhD, of Boston University School of Medicine, and the VA Boston Healthcare System and her colleagues. They add, “Our findings suggest that clinical operations factors can affect clinical outcomes like BP normalization, and point to the importance of considering outcome effects when organizing clinical care.”
Staffing Levels and Appointment Volume Affect BP Control
Using data from the electronic medical records system of a large, multi-clinic internal medicine practice, Dr. Kressin and colleagues looked at how organizational factors affected time to bring high blood pressure under control. The study focused on approximately 7,400 patients who had episodes of uncontrolled BP requiring treatment.