A hospitalist is a physician who provides medical treatment to individuals while they are in the hospital. Because hospitalists don’t maintain a private practice outside the hospital, their time is devoted solely to caring for hospitalized patients.
Hospitalists have many roles throughout the hospitalization process. Their primary responsibility is to provide care for patients who are admitted to the hospital. Because they are at the hospital throughout the day, they are able to provide the comprehensive care patients need. For patients, care by a hospitalist results in more visits, greater communication and faster test results. It also leads to decreased length of hospitalization and decreased readmission rates. In addition to the care they provide, our hospitalists are also liaisons, communicating with the patient’s primary care physician. They notify the primary care doctor of their patient’s hospitalization, collaborate on their care, review their medical records and report updates about their progress. In addition, they also work directly with hospital personnel regarding patient care.
If your primary care physician or specialty physician believes that a patient needs to be hospitalized, he or she will coordinate your admission. If you are admitted through the Emergency Department, your physician will be notified. When you are admitted to the hospital, our hospitalist will review your condition and medical records to get an complete understanding of why hospitalization occurred. They will visit you personally to access your condition, explain course of treatment, review your progress, establish a relationship with your family and communicate with other healthcare professionals including your primary care physician.
Patients benefit in many ways. First and foremost, our hospitalists provide care in the hospital 7 days a week. Because their sole focus is on hospitalized patients, they are able to focus solely on patients who have been admitted to the hospital. Before the hospitalist program, an admitted patient may have to wait to be seen by their primary provider until they could take time away from their office-based practice. In addition, hospitalists are based at the hospital so decisions can be made quicker, tests can be interpreted faster and care can be implemented sooner. This reduces the length of hospitalization, lowers costs and improves the quality of care.
When you are discharged, your hospitalist physician will transition medical care back to your primary physician, who will resume the responsibility for ongoing outpatient treatment.
For more information about the hospitalist program, please call 765-825-5131 ext 5230.