People who are admitted to a hospital don’t always get to see their primary care physician right away or frequently. As a result, patients ask questions like “Where’s my doctor?” or “Why isn’t my primary care physician here to check up on me?” The medical field is responding to this medical care oversight by training hospitalists, a new breed of physicians. They will oversee patient care and well-being on a full-time basis for the duration of their stay in a hospital.
Understanding the Role of a Hospitalist
A hospitalist is a doctor that specializes in the care of patients in a hospital. This new generation of physicians exists to make hospital care efficient, convenient, and cost-effective. Besides the practical factors, though, hospitalists act as a more accessible medical practitioner that patients can be comfortable with.
A majority of hospitalists are board-certified internists. They have undergone the same training that internal medicine doctors did, including going through medical school, passing the board exam, and getting residency training. The one difference between them is that hospitalists opted to skip practicing general medicine.
How Hospitalists Help Patients
Hospitalists are more skilled and experienced at providing care for hospitalized patients. Availability is also another advantage. As they work at the hospital full-time, they are on hand to respond to the questions of nurses, follow-up on tests, take care of medical challenges that arise in the hospital, and meet with the family members of the patient. Furthermore, they can visit their patients more than once a day to update them on the status of their health and treatments.
How Hospitalists Help Hospitals
Hospitalists are more familiar with the hospital’s activities and policies. Thus, they can be more involved in various hospital committees. They can help improve trouble issues in the hospital, such as how to make patient care more cost-effective, how to establish better communication lines between the hospital staff and physicians, how to reduce medical errors, and how to improve patient safety.
These days, patients need not fully depend on the services of their primary care physician when they undergo hospitalization. They can have peace of mind knowing that their hospitalist has the necessary qualifications to deliver optimal care during their entire hospital stay.