As we explained in a blog post last year, a hospitalist is a physician who works full time in a hospital and specializes in providing care and treatment for hospitalized patients. Hospitalists function as a temporary PCP to oversee and manage comprehensive care plans. Hospitalists also perform around-the-clock examinations, monitoring and treatment management services for patients from the time of admission to the time of discharge.
While pediatric hospitalists perform many of the same duties, it’s important to note that pediatric hospital medicine is in fact different from traditional hospital medicine. Pediatrics is a medical subspecialty dedicated to the treatment of hospitalized pediatric patients by pediatric hospitalists. Because of this, inpatient pediatric care can be a bit different than traditional adult inpatient care.
Having a pediatric hospitalist program in place can offer respite to parents. By not having to travel to receive proper care for their child(ren), parents can have better peace of mind. Children can also stay within their own community to receive care, rather than having to go outside city limits.
Pediatric hospitalists perform many of the same duties as traditional hospitalists, but instead work primarily in pediatric wards, labor and delivery units, emergency departments, neonatal intensive care units, and the pediatric intensive care units. Pediatric hospitalists work with a child’s regular pediatrician and other physicians and providers involved in a child’s care. The pediatric hospitalist also updates the child’s pediatrician and gives them an overview of a child’s hospital stay and detailed instructions for any necessary further care upon discharge.
Typically, pediatric hospitalists are medical doctors who have had at least four years of medical school and three years of pediatric residency training. Board certification for pediatric hospitalists is through the American Board of Pediatrics. Pediatric hospitalists care for child patients in the hospital with a variety of medical needs including but not limited to:
- Infectious disease
- Surgery and recovery
- Palliative care
- Respiratory illnesses such as croup, pneumonia, etc.
- Common ailments such as the flu, strep throat, dehydration, and more.
- Newborn care
- Chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, and more.
Because children don’t always have the best communication techniques, it may be harder to understand why they feel a certain way. They also cannot be expected to answer medical questions or provide medical history like an adult, so it’s important to remain understanding and even-tempered as a provider, and work with the patient’s parents to obtain any necessary information.
Like a traditional hospitalist, children will receive effective, high-quality care and treatment under a pediatric hospitalist.
Pediatric hospitalists normally:
- Are available for 24/7 communication and assistance while on the job.
- Provide a comprehensive plan of action including treatment recommendations and progress.
- Accelerate the process of getting diagnostic test results and placing orders for medications and treatments.
- Is on hand to monitor progress and make treatment adjustments as needed.
- Is immediately available if an emergency occurs.
- Communicates with a child’s PCP and provides updates on the child’s condition.
- Upon discharge, coordinates follow-up care, treatments, and medications with the child’s PCP.
Perhaps the most important role a pediatric hospitalist plays is the role of improving a child’s experience and outcomes during a hospitalization.
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.