What is a Hospitalist?
When you have heart troubles you see a cardiologist. When you have a baby you see an obstetrician. And when you are in the hospital you see a hospitalist.
"A hospitalist is a provider who specializes in providing coordinated care to hospitalized patients with a wide array of illnesses," said Mandeep Gill, MD, interim medical director of St. Luke's Hospitalist program. "Being in the hospital all the time, hospitalists can promptly respond to patients' needs." Hospitalists work in partnership with the individual's family doctor. Our hospitalist team works 24/7.
"St. Luke's hospitalist team can be considered an extension of each patient's family doctor. We communicate with family physicians through personal phone calls and sending summaries and test results. Our care coordination team ensures that the important information has been passed on so that a family physician can take over once a patient leaves the hospital," said Dr. Gill.
Caring for complex illnesses
"Hospitalists are attentive to medically complex situations during hospitalization," Dr. Gill explained. They have expertise and specialized training in caring for difficult cases and complex patients. Hospitalists are able to diagnose, treat and identify potential problems.
Hospitalists also arrange any specialty care the patient may need and work together with those specialists to provide coordinated, evidenced-based, compassionate care. Delays in patient care are minimized because the hospitalist has flexibility during the day or night to respond to the needs of the patient, family or nurses.
When the patient is released from St. Luke's, the patient's family doctor gets all of the medical records from the hospital stay and the patient returns to their care. The hospitalist team arranges for close follow-up once the patient is discharged to ensure the ongoing treatment plan continues, even after the patient leaves the hospital. The hospitalist team also calls the patient at home to ensure the patient understands any new medications they may have been prescribed, talks about any follow-up appointments they may have and makes sure the patient continues to improve.