The role of a hospitalist, it seems, creates confusion for the typical patient. Many know, for example, that UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown has a team of hospitalists who care for patients while they are in the hospital.
But do you know what they do?
Hospitalists are specialists. That is, doctors who specialize in care delivery for patients in the hospital, including the transition of care to the ambulatory setting, which is a role developed in response to the increasing complexity and specialization of medical care.
Availability of Hospitalists
The UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown hospitalist program, which consists of doctors and nurse practitioners, is available in the hospital 24/7 to provide the best care at the right time for you.
"It is very important to have hospitalists on-site at all times in our hospital to help take care of our inpatients," said Russell Adams, MD, Regional Chief Medical Officer and hospitalist. "We work closely with our team members at surrounding UnityPoint Health facilities to ensure we always have physicians ready to help."
Your Hospital Stay
If your provider requests the services of a hospitalist while you are an inpatient, the hospitalist team will make certain that you're treated well and comfortable.
"We want to make sure that every patient's hospital stay is pleasant while we help them recover so they can return home as soon as possible." Dr. Adams said. "Hospitalization can be a lot to handle for many patients, so we want to do the best job we can for them."
While you are in the hospital, your hospitalist remains available for consultation and is kept informed of your admission, discharge and any change in your condition.
After discharge from the hospital, you'll be seen by your primary care or regular provider.
Caring for Complex Illnesses
Hospitalists also have expertise in caring for complex patients and illnesses. The Marshalltown hospitalist team has specialized training to help deal with more difficult cases and is able to diagnose, treat and identify potential problems.
Your hospitalist will:
- Coordinate hospital care, including ordering diagnostic tests and establishing a treatment plan
- Arrange for specialty care
- Work with specialists for more coordinated, evidence-based, compassionate care
- Respond – day or night – to your needs and those of your family and nurses, resulting in fewer delays in care
When released from UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown, your family doctor receives all the medical records from your stay. The hospitalist team then arranges for a close follow-up to ensure the ongoing treatment plan continues, even after you've left the hospital. A hospitalist may call you at home to ensure you understand your newly prescribed medications and any plans for follow-up appointments. This will ensure your health continues to improve.