The effect of house officer rotation on inpatient satisfaction and ward atmosphere: Preliminary findings

L. F. Sparr, D. H. Ruud, D. H. Hickam, T. G. Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Continual rotation of house officers builds discontinuity into the physician-patient relationship in teaching hospitals. This has led to speculation about the problem of residents and interns leaving their patients in the midst of hospital treatment. This article uses prospective data to assess the effect of house officer turnover on levels of patient satisfaction with hospital care and on patient perception of the hospital environment. Two inpatient cohorts defined by whether or not they had undergone a house officer change were matched by age and diagnostic category. Although survey instruments were significantly correlated, there was no significant difference between the two inpatient cohorts overall or on any of the survey subscales. The survey showed good satisfaction with the hospital, doctors, and nurses in both test groups. The authors draw a preliminary conclusion that patient satisfaction with medical care and with the hospital atmosphere remains constant, independent of termination of the doctor-patient relationship. Results from other reports linking patient satisfaction with continuity of care have been mixed. In discussing the limitations of their study, the authors point out that their findings are based on single-site data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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