Skip to Main Content

Yale Gastroenterologists Design Conference to Discuss Inpatient Care

November 22, 2021
by Jane E. Dee

Although their role is relatively new, gastroenterology (GI) hospitalists have made significant impacts on endoscopic practices at medical centers across the country, including at Yale.

The GI hospitalists from Yale School of Medicine’s Section of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine say their role results in efficiencies ranging from improved endoscopic operations to better patient care and satisfaction. Through improved interdisciplinary care coordination, the GI hospitalist can provide more efficient inpatient care, reducing delays and barriers to endoscopy, they say.

Informal conversations with their colleagues from other medical institutions convinced Yale’s team of GI hospitalists, Michelle L. Hughes, MD, assistant professor (Digestive Diseases), Kenneth Hung, MD, MS, assistant professor (Digestive Diseases) and Darrick K. Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor (Digestive Diseases) of the benefit of holding more formal discussions about the GI hospitalist role. Since no conference on the topic currently existed, they decided to create one themselves.

“The GI Hospitalist Model: Addressing the Needs of Hospital-Based Care,” is being planned as a virtual symposium on Dec. 4. The half-day conference is organized under three themes: the state of inpatient GI care and the role of GI hospitalists; the benefits of GI hospitalists in clinical and non-clinical fields (education and research); and developing a GI hospitalist program.

Discussions will be led by Hughes, Hung, and Li as well as their colleagues and collaborators from other academic institutions and private practice. Hung will discuss, “Improving Practice Productivity and Quality of Care,” while Li’s topic is “The GI Hospitalist as Clinical Trialist.” Mark Pochapin, MD, the former president of the American College of Gastroenterology, is also a presenter. His talk is titled, “Supporting Professional Development for GI Hospitalists.”

Hughes will begin the conference with a brief discussion of, “What is a GI Hospitalist? “Over the past two decades, the hospitalist model grew in prevalence as practitioners increasingly moved away from providing concurrent inpatient and outpatient care,” Hughes had recently said in a paper, “The Role of the Gastrointestinal Hospitalist in Optimizing Endoscopic Operations,” which was published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America. “At its core, the GI hospitalist model is structured around a gastroenterologist who provides on-site care to hospital-based patients,” Hughes said. She also discussed the structure of the GI hospitalist model, advantages to gastroenterologists and their practices, and the challenges of developing and implementing this model. Several of the paper’s co-authors also are scheduled to speak at the Yale conference.

Loren Laine, MD, professor of medicine and chief of YSM’s Digestive Diseases Section, will conclude the meeting with his talk, “The Future of GI Hospitalist Programs." "The benefits of GI hospitalists in improving the timeliness and quality of care likely will lead to the incorporation of GI hospitalist programs in many large hospitals around the country in the coming years,” he said.

The GI hospitalist model can enhance the practice of endoscopy, the speakers agreed. “As GI practices and endoscopic operations continue to evolve, the GI hospitalist paradigm represents a transformational opportunity for improving endoscopic quality and efficiency, and, ultimately, the patient experience. Greater awareness of this model and tailoring it to fit the needs of the individual GI practice or endoscopy unit will be key to practice sustainability and growth,” Hughes said.

To register and for more information, go to the Yale CME Portal.

Since forming one of the nation’s first sections of hepatology and then gastroenterology over 50 years ago, Yale’s Section of Digestive Diseases has had an enduring impact on research and clinical care in gastrointestinal and liver disorders. To learn more about their work, visit Digestive Diseases.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on November 22, 2021