Drip system for admissions to resident teams: Impact on workload and education

Academic Article


  • Objectives Assigning patients to a call team every fourth day (bolus system) caused the maldistribution of patients among resident teams and required additional faculty effort for overflow patient care. We changed to a continuous daily rotation (drip system) and examined the effect on clinical workload among resident teams, resident education, and faculty utilization. Methods This is a retrospective study based on the daily records of 7 am team census, the attending physician schedules for a pediatric hospital medicine service with 5 teams, and the measures of resident education, including noon conference attendance, scores on in-service examinations, and duty hour violations. Data from the bolus system (May 2014-June 2015) were compared with the drip system (May 2016-June 2017). Results Data from 348 bolus days and 338 drip days were analyzed. There was a decrease in interteam variation from 6.2 to 3.9 patients (P < 0.001). There were fewer days with the following: large interteam variation (143 to 25, P < 0.001), days with resident teams at or above capacity (26 to 11, P = 0.01), resident teams below a minimum 7 am census (133 to 18, P < 0.001), and days when additional faculty were pulled for clinical care (61 to 9, P < 0.001). Resident noon conference attendance was unchanged and there was no adverse effect on examination scores or duty hour violations. Conclusions Changing from a bolus to a drip model for admissions to inpatient teams resulted in a more even distribution of the workload and a more efficient use of physician resources without negatively affecting resident education.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Berger S; Nassetta LB; Hofto ME; Scalici P; Pass RF
  • Start Page

  • 635
  • End Page

  • 639
  • Volume

  • 113
  • Issue

  • 12