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Internal medicine network: Is it a newsworthy idea?

Published:August 04, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2016.07.024
      According to a recent study on medical discharge records (SDO) [
      • Ministero della Salute
      Rapporto annuale sull'attività di ricovero ospedaliero. Dati SDO 2013; luglio 2014.
      ] in Italy, internal medicine today takes in charge mainly elderly patients affected by complex diseases in phase of exacerbation. The first 4 diagnosis related groups (DRGs), cardiac failure, pulmonary edema, pneumonia, septicemia, confirm the internal medicine role in the management of acutely ill complex and poly-pathological patients. These patients need repeated hospitalization for continuous monitoring and high technological support. Heavy impact of the internal medicine in hospital activity is confirmed by DRGs' weight reaching values over 1.5 for many of the first 10 DRGs and by the evidence that internal medicine admissions represent 27% of urgent admissions and are coming from emergency in 83% of cases. Acutely ill complex patients' management is one of the internal medicine prevailing activities, requiring the internist's soft skills. Moreover, 55% of the admissions in Italian hospitals are classed as emergencies, 42% of these are admitted in the medical area, and only 24% in the surgical area [
      • Pietrantonio F.
      • Piasini L.
      • Spandonaro F.
      Internal medicine and emergency admissions: from a national hospital discharge records (SDO) study to a regional analysis.
      ].

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