What is a Hospitalist?
A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients and is consistently available to patients and their families during their hospital stay. The hospitalist's primary professional focus is the total care of a patient from the time of admission until the patient leaves the hospital.
A hospitalist is available to admit patients, address their immediate needs, change the level of care promptly and discharge patients at the optimal opportunity. A hospitalist will communicate the admission course to the involved primary care provider and any changes in course of treatment including procedures and medications.
What is the Role of the Hospitalist During a Hospital Stay?
Hospitalists specialize in hospitalized patient care. The hospitalist will coordinate medical care throughout a hospital stay with a focus on quality treatment and care. The hospitalist and the interdisciplinary care team involved in the patient's total care is available to spend the necessary time with the patient and family. All efforts are made to help the patient return home as quickly and safely as possible.
The hospitalist works closely with teams of nurses, case managers, pharmacists, therapists, lab technicians, imaging experts and other medical professionals to design and coordinate an individualized treatment plan for each patient.
How Does the Hospitalist Work with the Doctor?
While at Holy Rosary Healthcare, a hospitalist team will be referred to a patient by his or her primary care physician. The hospitalist will notify the personal physician upon patient admission, discharge and to replay all pertinent information regarding treatment. If a patient does not have a primary care physician, the hospitalist physician will provide a referral for follow-up and subsequent medical care. After leaving the hospital, all care will be transferred back to the primary care physician.
How Do Hospitalists Enhance Clinical Care to Patients?
There are many ways that a hospitalist enhances the quality of patient care, including:
- Delivering a comprehensive approach to care.
- Working closely through an interdisciplinary team including the primary physician plus specialists from physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, case management/social work, respiratory, nursing and other appropriate specialty areas.
- Providing an additional expert view of your health situation, safety precautions including falls, intoxications, addictions, high risk sexual practices, prevention, disease modification and streamlining of therapies.
- Educating patients and families to improve and best manage their health conditions.