Ann Surg Treat Res.  2021 May;100(5):298-304. 10.4174/astr.2021.100.5.298.

A surgical hospitalist system in Korea: a preliminary study of the effects on hospital costs and postoperative outcomes

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the surgical hospitalist system on postoperative outcomes and hospital costs for surgical patients.
We reviewed the medical records of 522 patients who were admitted to the divisions of colorectal and gastrointestinal surgery for operation from September to December 2017 at Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea. All patients were divided into 2 groups; one that was managed by surgical hospitalists group (HG) and another that was managed by non-hospitalist residents group (NHG) after elective surgery. Postoperative outcomes and hospital costs were analyzed for each group.
Two hundred ninety-eight patients were managed by HG and 189 patients were managed by NHG after surgery. The length of hospital stay in the first group was shorter (9.6 ± 5.8 days vs. 12.2 ± 7.9 days, P < 0.001), the incidence of complications was lower (44.6% vs. 55.6%, P = 0.019), and the readmission rate was lower (3.0% vs. 6.9%, P = 0.046) in the HG than in the NHG. The difference in total hospital costs was not significant between the HG and the NHG (₩8,381,304 vs. ₩9,242,493, P = 0.559), but surgery-independent hospital costs were lower in the HG than in the NHG (₩3,020,873 vs. ₩3,923,308, P = 0.001).
The surgical hospitalist system reduced the length of hospital stay, the incidence of postoperative complications, and the readmission rates of surgical patients. This led to the effect of a reduction in total hospital costs.


Hospital costs; Hospitalists; Korea; Perioperative care; Surgery
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