Geographic CohortingFeb 15, 2023
Our division has been hard at work making improvements and adjustments to our processes. One of the main areas for improvement was changing the way patients are assigned to our hospitalist teams. With input from our team and in coordination with the patient flow team at the hospital, we were able to implement geographic cohorting of patients for many of our teams.
What is Geographic Cohorting?
Geographic cohorting of hospitalized patients means that patients with similar medical conditions under the care of a group of providers are located in the same hospital unit. This allows for more strategic and efficient ways that hospitalists care for the patients assigned to their service. This practice simplifies processes for both hospitalists and individuals within the hospital institution (such as nurses, therapists, social workers and care managers). Our main geographic cohorting efforts include:
- Standardizing unit assignments to ensure grouping of similar patient populations
- Aligning certain hospitalist teams to specific units
- Ensuring teaching services are co-located with their assigned patients
- Allowing for streamlined multi-disciplinary care on the geographic nursing units
Benefits We Have Seen
We have seen a direct positive impact and received positive feedback since starting this practice. By having our team in the right location, DHM hospitalists can develop a stronger team dynamic with their unit staff and interdisciplinary teammates and more efficiently provide care to our patients. As our division continues to grow and care for increasing patient numbers, we plan to continue and possibly expand our geographic cohorting processes to optimize patient care and help contribute to provider job satisfaction.
To learn more about geographic corhorting along with some positive and negative perceptions that can follow, check out this published scholarly article by our Division Head, Dr. Marisha Burden and a few colleagues across the country.
While geographic cohorting has provided positive results, there are many different system aspects our team needs to continuously monitor and adjust. We are always striving for a thriving team, and with a thriving team comes great results!
Relevant Publications and Articles:
- Article published on The Hospitalist by Joseph R. Sweigart, MD, SFHM, FACP
- Kara A, Kashiwagi D, Burden M. Closer to or Farther away from an Ideal Model of Care? Lessons Learned from Geographic Cohorting. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Sep;37(12):3162-3165. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07560-y. Epub 2022 Apr 12. PMID: 35415791; PMCID: PMC9005021.