Hospital Interns Spend Only 13.4 Percent of Time in Patient Rooms


MONDAY, June 13, 2022 — Interns spend only a small proportion of time with hospitalized patients, according to a study published online June 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Michael A. Rosen, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from real-time locating system (RTLS) badges worn by 43 internal medicine interns during the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

The researchers found that during 95,275 hours of observations, 13.4 percent of interns’ time was spent in patient rooms (mean time, 96.8 minutes) during a 24-hour period and 33.3 percent was spent in physician workrooms (mean time, 240.9 minutes). There was variance in the mean percentage of time at the bedside during a 24-hour period from 8.8 to 18.3 percent. Variance in the mean percentage of time at the bedside was seen by clinical service type, from 11.7 percent for nononcology subspecialties to 15.4 percent for oncology. Individual interns accounted for 8.1 percent of overall variance in time spent at the bedside during a 24-hour period.

“These findings suggest that an RTLS can provide granular information about where medical residents spend their time in the hospital and can inform interventions to improve the training environment,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to several pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract/Full Text

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