The Georgetown University Hospital has received a four-year $750,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to aid in converting the Hospital Outpatient General Medical Services to a physician group practice.
Georgetown is one of 15 teaching hospitals nationwide to receive grants from the foundation for the purpose.
One-fourth of all visits to physicians in this country last year were made in hospital outpatient settings, according to the American Hospital Association. Teaching hospitals, which comprise only five percent of all hospitals in this country, accounted for more than 25 percent of the hospital-based ambulatory care visits.
"These institutions were not designed for, nor were their staffs recruited or oragnized to serve as the personal physician for thousands of people," said the foundation's president. Dr. David E. Rogers.
Most teaching hospitals offer a variety of specialty clinics each dealing with a specific disease. Under that system, in which a physician rarely serves to develop an overall plan of care, medical care means multiple visits to multiple clinics.
Under the physician group practice, medical service is provided to patents in a setting similar to that in a private physician's office, allowing the physician to coordinate health care for each person.