Being admitted to the hospital can be a stressful, scary and overwhelming experience for you and your family. And your fears may be amplified if you learn you’ll be under the care of someone other than your primary care physician (PCP). How do you know you’ll receive quality care from someone who isn’t familiar with your medical history? We’re here to put your concerns to rest by discussing what a hospitalist is and how they greatly improve the safety, efficiency and quality of care you’ll receive during a hospitalization.
A hospitalist is a physician who works full time in a hospital and specializes in providing care and treatment for hospitalized patients. During your in-patient stay, a hospitalist will function as your temporary PCP to oversee and manage your comprehensive care plan. Hospitalists perform around-the-clock examinations, monitoring and treatment management services for patients from the time of admission to the time of discharge. Unlike PCPs, hospitalists don’t normally have outside medical practices, which means their only responsibility is caring for you while you’re in the hospital.
In terms of education and experience, hospitalists are usually board-certified physicians in internal medicine or family medicine. They’re qualified to identify, diagnose and treat a full range of internal conditions and diseases. Because hospitalists are on-site at the hospital full time, they’re skilled at efficiently managing care in the hospital setting. They fill a crucial care gap for hospitalized patients who experience long wait times and delayed services between irregular visits from their PCP. They also fill the care gap for patients admitted to the hospital without a primary doctor.
Keep reading to learn how a hospitalist can improve your patient experience and outcomes during a hospitalization.
Experience Effective, High-Quality Care and Treatment with a Hospitalist
As a patient, here are some of the benefits you can expect to receive if you’re under the care of a skilled hospitalist during your in-patient stay.
- 24/7 Communication and Assistance
Hospitalists don’t manage outside medical practices, which means they’re onsite at the hospital to provide 24/7 monitoring and care for you. A hospitalist is by your side from check-in through discharge, and available to answer any questions or concerns you and your family members have. You’ll receive timely examinations and check-up visits from your hospitalist, instead of experiencing long wait times between visits from your primary doctor.
- A Comprehensive Plan of Action
During your admission, a hospitalist will coordinate your care and treatment from start to finish. Hospitalists review medical charts, order imaging studies, diagnostic tests and labs, decide on treatments, prescribe medications, and order other medical services. If you need to see a specialist, a hospitalist will request a consultation. Throughout the entire process, a hospitalist will communicate with your PCP to discuss your medical history, treatment recommendations, and progress.
- High-quality Care and Treatment
A hospitalist’s sole responsibility is caring for you while you’re in the hospital. Because they’re on-site 24/7, hospitalists can accelerate the process of getting diagnostic test results and placing orders for medications and treatments. A hospitalist is on hand to monitor your progress and make treatment adjustments as needed. Perhaps most importantly, a hospitalist is immediately available if an emergency occurs.
- Expert Post-release Coordination
During your admission, your hospitalist will be communicating with your PCP and providing updates on your condition. When it’s time for you to go home, your hospitalist will coordinate follow-up care, treatments and medications with your primary doctor. Expert coordination and communication between your hospitalist and your PCP ensure a smooth transition post-discharge and no disruption to the care you’re receiving.
Research has found that hospitalist care and oversight can reduce the average length of a hospital stay by up to 30%. In turn, this can reduce hospital costs by up to 20%. Hospitalists are also more involved with patient care and hospital processes, meaning they see patients more frequently and are on top of scheduling consultations and getting test results back faster. This kind of personalized, around-the-clock care ensures better outcomes and fewer delays in administering necessary treatments and services.
Hospitalist care is a separate service from hospital costs, which will be reflected on your final bill after a hospitalization. Many insurance companies cover hospitalist services, although the exact amount of coverage depends on your individual healthcare plan.
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.