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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 26, Issue 3, Pages 130-132
Original Article

Improving Health Care Efficiency Through the Integration of a Physician Assistant into an Infectious Diseases Consult Service at a Large Urban Community Hospital

Melissa Decloe,1,2 Janine McCready,1,3 James Downey,1,3 and Jeff Powis1,3

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Toronto East General Hospital, Toronto, Canada
2Physician Assistant Education Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
3Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Physician assistants (PAs) have recently been introduced into the Canadian health care system in some provinces; however, there are little data demonstrating their impact.

METHODS: A retrospective case-control study was conducted between January 2010 and December 2013. Length of stay (LOS) and mortality were examined in the infectious diseases consult service (IDCS) compared with hospital-wide controls. The two-year period before the introduction of the PA to the IDCS of a large urban community hospital in Canada (2010 to 2011) was compared with the two-year period following the introduction of the PA (2012 to 2013).

RESULTS: Following the introduction of a PA to the IDCS, there was a decrease in time to consultation from 21.4 h to 14.3 h (P<0.0001). LOS was significantly decreased among IDCS patients by 3.6 days more than that seen in matched hospital-wide controls (P=0.0001). Mortality did not significantly change after PA introduction in either cases or controls.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: PAs can improve health efficiencies in the Canadian health care setting, leading to reduction in LOS.