MANUSCRIPT: Impact of physician assistants on the outcomes of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia receiving chemotherapy in an academic medical center.
Inpatient academic medical center care historically has been delivered by faculty physicians in conjunction with physicians in training (house officers [HOs]). Alternative staffing models have emerged secondary to American Counsel for Graduate Medical Education work-hour restrictions. The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) care provided by a physician assistant (PA) service compared with a traditional model.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Data were retrospectively collected on patients admitted with AML for reinduction chemotherapy from 2008 to 2012. Primary outcome measures were inpatient mortality and length of stay (LOS). Secondary measures included readmissions, intensive care unit (ICU) transfers, consults requested, and radiologic studies ordered.
Ninety-five patients with AML were reviewed. Forty-seven patients (49.5%) were admitted to the HO service, and 48 patients (50.5%) were admitted to the PA service. Demographic data were similar between services. LOS was significantly different between the services, with a mean of 36.8 days with the HO model compared with 30.9 days with the PA service (P=.03). The 14-day readmission rate also differed significantly; it was 10.6% (five of 47 patients) and zero for the HO and PA models, respectively (P=.03). The mean number of consults with the HO model was 2.11 (range, zero to five) versus 1.47 (range, zero to four) with the PA service (P=.03). Mortality and ICU transfers were not significantly different.
The data demonstrate equivalent mortality and ICU transfers, with a decrease in LOS, readmission rates, and consults for patients cared for in the PA service. This suggests that the PA service is associated with increased operational efficiency and decreased health service use without compromising health care outcomes.