What is a hospitalist?
A hospitalist is a board-certified physician whose practice is dedicated exclusively to providing care to patients while they are in the hospital. This means that the hospitalist can focus all of his or her attention on the patients who are hospitalized and be more readily available to these patients than a doctor who spends much of their time in an office setting outside of the hospital. At CarePoint Health, our hospitalists work in teams to provide coverage to hospitalized patients 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hospitalists are often Internal Medicine or Family Practice physicians; some of our hospitalists are also additionally trained in subspecialties such as Geriatrics or Critical Care.
Do hospitalists replace my primary care provider?
Hospitalists do not replace your primary care provider; they work with your primary care provider in order to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and treatment when they are in our hospitals. The physicians are in constant communication with one another and encourage patients to follow up with their primary care provider after discharge from the hospital.
If your physician is a CarePoint Health Medical Group physician, the hospitalists will have access to your office-based electronic records, and can help promote coordination of care across a spectrum of specialties.
How does my primary care provider know about my hospital stay?
CarePoint Health hospitalists will work closely with your primary care provider throughout your hospital stay, including notification during admission and discharge. In order to ensure a smooth transition of care, medical records are electronically updated and securely exchanged with your provider. Our hospitalists also help ensure that patients resume care with their personal physician(s) to promote what is known as “continuity of care”.
What are the benefits of having a hospitalist care for me in the hospital?
At CarePoint Health, our hospitalists work as a team to provide 24-7 care to patients in our hospitals. This means that they are more readily available to respond to hospitalized patients’ needs. Hospitalized patients often have conditions, symptoms or situations that are unpredictable. Our hospitalists are available to make decisions throughout the course of a patient’s hospital stay. They are immediately available if a medical emergency or a change in a patient’s condition arises. Hospitalists also will discuss care with specialists and create a coordinated care plan for patients, review and follow up on test results, assess a patient’s response to treatment and make care adjustments whenever necessary to help facilitate a speedy recovery. Because 100% of their time is dedicated to patient care within our hospitals, our hospitalists also have an in depth knowledge of our hospitals including the key departments, available technology, and internal and external specialists and resources that they can incorporate in order to provide well-orchestrated special care to all hospitalized patients.
By providing efficient and immediate care, patients can often see a reduced length of stay in our hospitals, which in turn improves patient satisfaction and quality of care. Overall, hospitalist programs can provide patients with better and faster care, less unnecessary tests, less discomfort and a better overall hospital experience.
What should I do after I am discharged?
Once you are discharged from the hospital, you should be seen by your primary care physician as soon as possible. Your primary care physician will review your health status and reconcile your medication list to ensure a safe transition.
After discharge, a registered nurse Transitional Care Coordinator will be contacting you by phone to review your medications, make sure you have an appointment with your primary care physician and to assess how you are managing your healthcare. The Transitional Care Coordinator can also assist you in making and keeping your follow-up appointments.
For more information, contact the CarePoint Health Transition of Care Coordinator at 201-858-2185.