In 2008, Memorial Hospital implemented the hospitalist program at our facility, and the results for our hospital, physicians, and patients throughout our community have been great.
What is a hospitalist, anyway? Hospitalists are fully-certified, trained physicians who work full-time at the hospital treating patients. They can provide comprehensive and immediate care without worrying about the need to return to their office to see waiting patients. For that reason, many of the local primary care physicians (PCPs) in our area have voluntarily given up their hospital privileges and rely on hospitalists to treat their patients in the hospital. However, these PCPs still have the choice to opt in for hospital privileges if they prefer.
Hospitalists don't replace your primary care physician, but they work in close communication and partnership with him or her collaborating to make sure you get the most effective treatment at the moment you need it. Hospitalists work with patient information coordinators (PICs) whose sole job is to transmit patient records to patients' primary care providers.
So much of healthcare happens outside the hospital, and physicians in our community appreciate the hospitalist program, because it means they can focus on providing essential care in the community knowing that their patients are getting quality care at the hospital. As a model for delivering healthcare, hospitalists are gaining in popularity. Ten years ago, there were only about 12,000 hospitalists across the country. Today, there are more than 44,000 and the number is growing.
Memorial Hospital's eight hospitalists provide care for patients around the clock, seven days a week. They care for patients from the time of admission to discharge, ensuring timely medical attention for all patients when needed.
Hospitalists are partnering with our hospital and healthcare providers across this region to make communities healthier.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Hospitalist Team will be there for you throughout your stay. They will:
- Assess and treat your medical condition.
- Keep your referring physician informed of your progress
- Coordinate your hospital care including all diagnostic tests such as x-rays, blood tests, or other exams.
- Arrange any specialty care, therapy, or consultations with other specialist (such as cardiology, general surgery, pulmonology) and other specialties as needed for your care.
How will my doctor know what is happening during my stay in the hospital?
- Your physician is notified upon your admission and will be kept abreast of any significant changes that occur while you are with us.
- Once you are discharged, your doctor is notified and details of your hospitalization will be communicated.
- Every effort is made to assure a smooth transition to your primary care physician.
Why would a Primary Care Physician go to an outpatient practice only and have a Hospitalist take care of their inpatients?
- Allows Primary Care Physicians to devote more time to seeing patients in their office.
- Because hospitalists are available 24/7 and do not have an outpatient practice, they are able to focus their time on the provision of care to the inpatient population and create a sense of urgency throughout the hospital.
- Being readily available allows them to follow-up on test/procedures and other clinical issues in a timely manner and discharge patients, as they are medically ready to be discharged.
- They are actively involved in care management and begin planning for discharge at the time of admission.
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