The results indicated a win-win situation: better for the surgeon and the patient. And not only that, but it was also cost efficient.
Patients treated using the acute-care model were more likely to: get into surgery quicker and be released quicker, which can save hospitals money.
"There have been studies that have shown that patients do better with acute care surgeons in the hospital, but what our institution's study also shows is that this arrangement also helps with cost, and that's important to convince hospitals and departments to try to support the model of acute care surgeons," Dr. Robyn Richmond, one of the study’s authors, said.
Richmond said in addition to the cost saving, she believes the shift in shifts could also benefit the future of medicine.
"We think it's important for upcoming generations of surgeons too to see what a flexible schedule we have on place," she said.
Now, Richmond said the researchers will evaluate additional variables that may affect outcomes of a 12-hour shift model, to make sure it is the shorter shifts that improved conditions.
“A multivariable analysis will eventually need to be done to make sure that the outcomes we obtain are truly attributable to the shift model," Dr. Ariel P. Santos, the study’s coauthor, said. "Is it wellness of the surgeon, or the skill of the surgeon or some other variable? We want to make sure we eliminate those variables that potentially could change the outcome as well as the result."