Laborists are medical doctors who work primarily in the hospital setting providing care for pregnant in-patients. Patients receive prenatal care from an obstetrician in the community, but when the time comes forlabor and delivery, the care is transferred to the in-hospital laborist. Postpartum care is returned to the original obstetrician. Many hospitals are moving toward a laborist setting, according to recent research from authors at the University of Pennsylvania. A new study published in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence examines the impact of laborists on in-hospital pregnancy care.

Researchers collected questionnaires from more than 4,000 patients cared for by hospital laborists. Overall feelings about laborist care were positive with 90% of women rating their hospital experience excellent. Seventy-five percent of participants rated their laborist as an excellent care provider. The positive experiences of women in the study could be associated with a transparent obstetrician/patient relationship during prenatal care as 85% of patients were told in advance that an outside physician may be handling labor as opposed to the attending prenatal obstetrician.

Source: Srinivas SK, Jesus AO, Turzo E, Marchiano DA, Sehdev HM, Ludmir J. Patient satisfaction with the laborist model of care in a large urban hospital. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2013 Mar 16;7:217-22. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S41969. Print 2013.