Influence of in-house attending presence on trauma outcomes and hospital efficiency

Jessica A. Cox, Andrew C. Bernard, Anthony J. Bottiggi, Phillip K. Chang, Cynthia L. Talley, Brian Tucker, Daniel L. Davenport, Paul A. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background The influence of in-house (IH) attendings on trauma patient survival and efficiency measures, such as emergency department length of stay (LOS), ICU LOS, and hospital LOS, has been debated for more than 20 years. No study has definitively shown improved outcomes with IH vs home-call attendings. This study examines trauma outcomes in a single, Level I trauma center before and after the institution of IH attending call. Study Design Patient data were collected from the University of Kentucky's trauma registry. Based on the Trauma-Related Injury Severity Score, survival rates were compared between the IH and home-call groups. To evaluate efficiency, emergency department LOS, ICU LOS, and hospital LOS were compared. A separate subanalysis for the most severely injured patients (trauma alert red) was also performed. Results The home-call group (n = 4,804) was younger (p = 0.018) and had a higher Injury Severity Score (p = 0.003) than the IH group (n = 5259), but there was no difference in Trauma-Related Injury Severity Score (p = 0.205) between groups. In-house attending presence did not reduce mortality. Emergency department LOS, ICU LOS, and hospital LOS were shorter during the IH period. Emergency department to operating room time was not different. There was no change in trauma alert red mortality with an attending present (20.7% vs 18.2%, p = 0.198). Conclusions In-house attending presence does not improve trauma patient survival. For the most severely injured patients, attendings presence does not reduce mortality. In-house coverage can improve hospital efficiency by decreasing emergency department LOS, hospital LOS, and ICU LOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-738
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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