Hospitalists are doctors who specialize in caring for patients in the hospital. They serve as attending physicians and provide consultations on behalf of other specialists.
Why is a hospitalist providing my care and not my doctor?
By being present in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our team of hospitalists can:
- Respond more quickly to any urgent or emergent health care need that you might have
- Be readily available to discuss the results of your diagnostic tests and your treatment plan with you and your family
- Allow your regular physician to have more time to schedule appointments for you in their office. This allows more time for him/her to focus on preventive health for you, and treat urgent problems that don’t require hospitalization.
- Better focus on the increasing severity and complexity of illnesses affecting hospitalized patients. Simply put, patients are sicker now than ever before.
- Hospitalists have specialized training and experience in the care of those diseases causing hospitalization. This complements the specialized training that your primary care physician has in providing your outpatient care.
When may I expect to see my hospitalist?
Hospitalists always see unstable patients first, followed by patients who are ready to be discharged. They then visit the remainder of their patients. Hospitalists always see each patient daily. They make additional visits as needed and to discuss important test results.
When may my family speak with the hospitalist?
Hospitalists are available in person or by telephone during the day. A night hospitalist is available if your question or concern cannot wait until your regular hospitalist is available the next day.
How does my primary care physician know what is happening to me in the hospital?
Your primary care physician is notified at the time of your admission, of any significant changes in your condition while in the hospital, and on the day of your discharge. The hospitalist provides your primary care physician with a detailed summary of your hospital course including test results, consultations with other physicians, and your discharge medication list. They also ensure timely follow up appointments with your primary care physician and inform him/her of any additional tests needed when you see him/her in the clinic.
What happens if I have a problem between the time I leave the hospital and my first clinic appointment?
If you have questions or concerns, you should contact your primary care physician. If you have an emergency, please call 911 or report to the nearest emergency room.
View a list of hospitalists who practice at Sacred Heart Medical Center.