In recent years, a new specialty of medicine has emerged called "Hospital Medicine." Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in caring for patients during their stay in a hospital.
Because these physicians are based in the hospital, they are available throughout the day for admissions and emergencies. They take care of patients in the same manner as primary care physicians would. They order tests and treatment and consult specialists when appropriate. They also keep patients' primary care physicians abreast of any significant changes or developments while patients are in the hospital. Following discharge, hospitalists provide detailed summaries of the patients' stays to their primary care physicians for continued care.
Studies have shown that the benefits of hospitalist care for patients include extra availability and specialized focus during their stay. In addition, patients often report a decrease in the length of stay and lower rates of readmission.
Our hospitalists are board certified in family medicine and treat patients who have been referred by emergency room physicians, primary care physicians, or other physicians in the hospital. They also can serve patients who are admitted through the emergency room and who do not have a primary care physician. Our ‘team-care’ approach includes mid-level professionals (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) that augment and support both the hospitalists and referring physicians.
- Hospital care 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- In-patient medical care when referred by your provider
- Coordinating hospital tests and treatment programs
- Consulting with sub-specialists
- Intensive care
The hospitalist will be in charge of your care and will see you every day to direct your treatment while you are in the hospital. This doctor is available to you and your family to answer questions and discuss your care. The hospitalist works at the hospital full-time to provide for your care and attend to any emergencies that may arise. The hospitalist may consult other doctors to participate in your care as well.
The hospitalist will make arrangements for any prescriptions you may need when you are discharged. You may be asked to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or with other doctors soon after discharge. Since hospitalists do not have an outpatient patient practice, you will not have an appointment to see the hospitalist again after discharge. You may contact the hospitalist after discharge if you have any questions about the hospital stay.
Your primary care physician asks the hospitalist to be in charge of your care while you are in the hospital, but is welcome to check on you and discuss your care with the hospitalist anytime during your hospital stay. When you are discharged, you will return to the care of your primary care doctor.