The Hospitalist Project


Seeking to Improve the Overall Quality of Health Care Provided, One Patient at a Time

Shadowing Opportunities


Earn the opportunity to shadow Hospitalists on their day-to-day tasks.

Clinical Research Experience


Maximize your potential as a prospective physician through direct patient interaction and overall development of interpersonal skills in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

PI: David Meltzer, MD, PhD
Co-PI: Micah Prochaska, MD, MS

The Hospitalist Project is a research infrastructure measuring and analyzing the effects of hospitalists on patient outcomes, costs, and medical education.

Since 1997, a quality of care study has been conducted, “A Multi-Center Trial of Academic Hospitalists” which is now housed in the Section of Hospital Medicine. Over the years, this protocol has expanded from a research study to a research infrastructure and has become known as “The Hospitalist Project” (HP).   The overall aim to the current protocol is to develop and describe a research infrastructure while preserving all relevant and active elements of the original study.

Care of hospitalized patients by “hospitalists”—often defined as physicians who dedicate at least 25% of their practice to inpatient care—is a recent, growing and controversial trend in health care delivery in the United States. Despite the growth of interest in hospitalists, there have been few scientific evaluation of the concept. In 1997, “A Multi-Center Trial of Academic Hospitalists” was approved with a comprehensive aim to measure and analyze the effects of hospitalists on patient outcomes, costs, and medical education on the general medicine services.  The University of Chicago was the lead site and included 5 additional performance sites including: Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Iowa (UI), the University of New Mexico (UNM), and the University of Wisconsin (UW).  These sites collected data between July 2001 and June 2003.  Mercy Hospital, located on the southside of Chicago, collected data from January 2010 to October 2014.

The current primary aim of HP is to measure the quality of care and health outcomes on the general medicine services in the hospital. By looking at the continuation of care before, during, and after hospitalization, the process of the care and treatments given, and the level of wellness of the patient before and after discharge, we can more appropriately gauge whether or not the care we provide is not only sufficient, but also superior and more beneficial to the patient.  As a part of the study, we also look at factors affecting the medical education and networking of the hospital staff, in order to further understand how these aspects will ultimately influence the care given to patients.

Interested? Come join us!

We encourage volunteer and work-study students to apply for clinical research positions within our various projects.  If you are interested in a unique position that includes patient interaction experience, please apply here.

If you have any questions about the Hospitalist Project in general, please contact:

Selected Publications
  1. Chung PMorrison JJin L, Levinson W, Humphrey H, Meltzer D. “Resident Satisfaction on an Academic Hospitalist Service: Time to Teach.” American Journal of Medicine. 112:597–600, 2002. PMID: 12015263
  2. Meltzer D. “Hospitalists and the Doctor–Patient Relationship.” Journal of Legal Studies. 30(2):589–606 Part 2, 2002. PMID: 12647747
  3. Meltzer D, Manning W, Morrison JShah MJin LGuth T, Levinson W. “Effects of Physician Experience on Costs and Outcomes on an Academic General Medicine Service: Results of a Trial of Hospitalists.” Annals of Internal Medicine. 137:866–874, 2002. PMID: 12458986
  4. Meltzer D. “David Meltzer, physician and economist, discusses the new hospitalist movement.” Interview by Sarah Pressman Lovinger. JAMA. 289(4):411–3, 2003. PMID: 12533104
  5. Chaudhry S, Jin L, Meltzer DO. “Use of a Self–Report Generated Charlson Comorbidity Index for Predicting Mortality” Medical Care.43(6):607–615, 2005. PMID: 15908856
  6. Levine SK, Sachs GA, Jin L, Meltzer D. “A Prognostic Model for One–Year Mortality in Older Adults after Hospital Discharge,” American Journal of Medicine. 120(5):455–460, 2007. PMID: 17466658
  7. Clever SL, Jin L, Levinson W, Meltzer DO. “Does Doctor–Patient Communication Affect Patient Satisfaction with Hospital Care? Results of an Analysis with a Novel Instrumental Variable,” Health Services Research. 43(5):1505–1519, 2008. PMID: 18459954 PMC2653895
  8. Podrazik PM. Levine S, Smith S, Meltzer D. “The Curriculum for the Hospitalized Aging Medical Patient Program: A collaborative faculty development program for hospitalists, general internists and geriatricians,” Journal of Hospital Medicine. 3(5):364–93, 2008. PMID: 18836989
  9. Anderson WG, Pantilat SZ,. Meltzer D,Schnipper J, Kaboli P, Wetterneck TB, Gonzales D, Arora V, Zhang J, Auerbach AD. “Code Status Discussions at Hospital Admission Are Not Associated With Patient and Surrogate Satisfaction With Hospital Care: Results From the Multicenter Hospitalist Study.” American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 28(2): 102-108, 2011. PMID: 20713421
  10. Chung GS, Lawrence RE, Curlin FA, Arora VMeltzer DO. “Predictors of Hospitalised Patients’ Preferences for Physician-Directed Medical Decision-Making.” Journal of Medical Ethics. 38(2): 77-82, Feb 2012. PMID: 21697296
  11. Schaefer GR, Matus H, Schumann JH, Sauter K, Vekhter B, Meltzer DOArora VM. “Financial Responsibility of Hospitalized Patients Who Left Against Medical Advice: Medical Urban Legend?” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 27(7): 825-830, July 2012. PMC3378751
  12. Tak HJRuhnke GWMeltzer DO. “Association of Patient Preferences for Participation in Decision Making with Length of Stay and Costs Among Hospitalized Patients.” JAMA Internal Medicine. ():1-8. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6048. May 2013. PMID: 23712712
  13. Arora VM, Prochaska MT, Farnan JM, Meltzer DO “Patient Perceptions of Whom is Most Involved in Their Case with Successive Duty Hour Limit” Journal of General Internal Medicine, DOI 10.1007/s11606- 015-3239-0. July 2015.