|ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND DEVELOPMENT
|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 147-149
Workforce, work hours, and workforce vitality: Toward new models of trauma coverage
Michael D Grossman
Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, Bethlehem, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
|Date of Web Publication||21-Apr-2017|
Michael D Grossman
Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA, 18015
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
There are growing problems with the supply of trauma surgeons and/or willingness to participate in trauma care. Solutions proposed include the use of nonsurgeon providers and the development of an acute care surgery model to enhance the attractiveness of training in the field. We propose that immediate modification of clinical operations within trauma centers may address some of these problems and improve patient care and safety. The use of structured shift work models with efficient systems for communication and handoff may improve workforce utilization and vitality both in the near and far term.
The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Interpersonal and communication skills, Practice-based learning and improvement, Professionalism, Systems-based practice.
Republished with permission from: Grossman MD. Workforce, work hours, and workforce vitality: Toward new models of trauma coverage. OPUS 12 Scientist 2008;2(3):1-2.
Keywords: Clinical coverage models, shift work, trauma, workforce vitality, work-hours
|How to cite this article:|
Grossman MD. Workforce, work hours, and workforce vitality: Toward new models of trauma coverage. Int J Acad Med 2017;3, Suppl S1:147-9
| Introduction|| |
In addition to the creation of an acute care surgery model intended to enhance the appeal of training in trauma surgery, recent publications in the Emergency Medicine and Trauma literature suggest that there is an opportunity to reassess the roles played by “classically” trained trauma surgeons and emergency physicians (EMPs).,, Other authors point to an “unattractive” field of trauma surgery and widening gap between supply and demand for trauma and critical care coverage., While EMPs cannot completely fill these gaps even if they were so inclined, they might provide a valuable partnership for surgeons in remodeling trauma care., The validity of fellowship training to enhance the skills of EMPs in this regard has been discussed as has the utility of the American College of Surgeons standard requiring a surgeon physically present to participate in all trauma resuscitations.,
While these discussions are ongoing, it is reasonable to consider different models of care for trauma surgeons that might enhance the appeal of the specialty. Such models are in existence and have proven successful alternatives to more traditional approaches. These can be viewed as modifications to the operating system before replacing the machine.
With the initiation of the 80 h workweek in resident education, there has been increased attention focused on the concept of shift work. Although problems with communication and handoffs have been identified, it seems clear that the shift concept inherited from our colleagues in Emergency Medicine is here to stay. Traditional trauma coverage schemes have utilized 24 h continuous shifts often spilling over into the next 24 h period resulting in 30–36 h “days.” While it is physically and emotionally possible to provide these shifts, it may not represent a safe or “attractive” practice pattern and may not be sustainable over the long term.,,
At the St. Luke's Regional Level I Resource Trauma Center, we have begun to utilize a night float system for in-house attending coverage that extends from 17:00 to 09:00 h and provides the day before and after the night shift as free time. This time can be considered as administrative time or academic time. Night calls are bunched into float segments leaving consecutive weeks free of night call. Providers express that they feel refreshed and invigorated when they arrive at the hospital for a shift and that they can be productive during their nonclinical hours. The effect is to remove the float from the daytime coverage scheme during the week reducing redundancy of staff available during weekday daytime hours.
Continuity of care is provided by covering services such as Intensive Care Unit, trauma and emergency surgery in weeklong blocks. To facilitate an orderly handoff and establish effective transfer of information from the off-going night float to the day team, there is an established 1.5 h morning report. This report takes the form of a daily educational conference, in which all new admissions are presented, and established patients are reviewed to determine a plan of care for the day. Radiographic and laboratory studies can be reviewed through a large wall mounted monitor interfaced to the hospital digital radiology and laboratory systems. All information is summarized on a patient list updated at least twice per 24 h period.
Exhibit 1. Members of the St. Luke's Regional Level I Resource Trauma Center Physician Group. Top (left to right): Dr. Marc Portner and Peter Thomas. Bottom (left to right): Dr. Brian A. Hoey, James Cipolla, Michael D. Grossman, Nathaniel McQuay Jr, and William S. Hoff.
Large physician groups present complex dynamics, particularly when the variable of resident participation and education is factored in. Our own model is attending physician based with a strong interrelationship between attendings and a dedicated, core group of advanced practitioners. The advance practice model in trauma care has become well established., Our relationship affords significant autonomy to the advanced practitioners in the management of our ward service and outpatients and includes these practitioners as valued members of the team with an equal stake in decision-making and group operations. Thus, the morning report brings all team members together and allows efficient handoffs whereby all team members understand the practice patterns of their teammates, share accountability with them, and trust that in their absence, high-quality patient care will be provided. This has a salutary effect upon individual and team morale.
The model is helpful in maintaining improved morale and may actually result in better patient care as the float seems more inclined to engage proactively in rounding, family communication and teaching during what have been traditionally considered “off hours.” If improved morale results in increased faculty retention or ability to recruit new faculty, it has achieved the purpose of improving workforce vitality. This in turn offers a potent solution at the local level to the supply–demand issues facing trauma centers and affords a potential advantage to those who employ such a model.
Justifications for re-publishing this scholarly content include: (a) The phasing out of the original publication after a formal merger of OPUS 12 Scientist with the International Journal of Academic Medicine and (b) Wider dissemination of the research outcome(s) and the associated scientific knowledge.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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