Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Comparison of resident and mid-level provider productivity in a high-acuity emergency department setting
  1. Khalief Hamden1,
  2. Donald Jeanmonod1,
  3. Deno Gualtieri2,
  4. Rebecca Jeanmonod1
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, St Luke's University Hospital and Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Abington Emergency Physician Associates, Lansdale Hospital, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca Jeanmonod, Department of Emergency Medicine, St Luke's Hospital and Health Network, 801 Ostrum St, Bethlehem, PA 18055, USA; rebeccajeanmonod{at}


Introduction Mid-level providers (MLPs) are used in many emergency departments (EDs) to provide care in a low-acuity, high-volume setting, and are able to see more patients and generate more relative value units (RVUs) than residents in this setting. It is unknown if MLPs are as productive as emergency medicine residents in a high-acuity setting.

Objective To determine if there are productivity differences between residents and MLPs, as defined by patients seen (pt/h) and RVUs generated per hour (RVU/h), in a high-acuity area of the ED.

Methods This is a retrospective review of emergency medicine residents and MLPs assigned to a high-acuity area of a single 45 000 volume community ED. Number of patients seen and RVUs generated were recorded, and pt/h, RVU/h and RVU/pt were calculated. Two-tailed t test was used to compare resident and MLP performance.

Results 55 MLP and 98 emergency medicine residency shifts were included for comparison. During the study period, MLPs saw 1.56 pt/h (CI±0.14), while residents saw 1.23 pt/h (CI±0.06, p<0.0001). MLPs generated 3.19 RVU/h (CI±0.29), while residents generated 3.33 RVU/h (CI±0.17, p=0.43). Residents generated 2.73 RVU/pt (CI±0.09), while MLPs generated 2.05 RVU/pt (CI±0.09, p<0.0001). In comparing the subgroup of postgraduate year 3 residents (PGY3s) with MLPs, MLPs still saw significantly more patients (1.30 vs 1.56, p=0.003), but PGY3s generated 3.58 RVU/h compared with 3.19 RVU/h for MLPs (p=0.06). PGY3s generated 2.79 RVU/pt compared with 2.05 for MLPs (p<0.0001).

Conclusions In a high-acuity area of the ED, MLPs see more patients per hour than residents, but generate fewer RVUs per patient. This suggests that residents may document more thoroughly than MLPs. Alternatively, MLPs may elect to see less sick patients even when working in a high-acuity area.

  • Effieciency

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.