Many years ago, patients expected to see their doctors after being admitted to the hospital. Now, if you are hospitalized, you may, or may not be seen by your primary care provider. You are very likely to be treated, at some point, by a physician known as a hospitalist, who specializes in the treatment of patients during their hospital stay.
Most hospitalists are board-certified internal medicine or family practice physicians, although others may have subspecialties such as emergency medicine, pulmonology (lung care doctors), renal (kidney) specialty, or pediatrics. Hospitalists can be employed by the hospital or, as is the case at Intercoastal Medical Group, your doctor may employ them directly. And, while you may wish to see your own doctor, there are certain benefits of seeing a hospitalist.
Benefits of Hospitalists
Having doctors in-house means that they can take advantage of all the different kinds of leading-edge diagnostic and treatment tools. Having hospitalists on staff increases patient safety and reduces your length of stay as well as potential for mortality (because someone is working within the hospital system to oversee and coordinate your care). Much like a medical hub, with many different radiating spokes of care, hospitalists can serve as a single point of contact, which reduces confusion and increases efficiency of care during your hospital stay.
Hospitalists also see and treat a wide range of disorders, injuries, and conditions, giving them a broad base of experience to work from. They are there every day, to meet with the nursing staff, follow up on tests, address medication and treatment issues as they arise, and are able to see the same patient multiple times during the same day if necessary. Instead of sometimes waiting an entire day for the primary care doctor to arrive (usually after his or her usual office hours), and order labs and respond to lab results, a hospitalist can immediately add, change or discontinue medications and treatments.
The main drawback for hospitalists, if there is one, is that they do not have the long-term relationship you may have built with your primary care physician. Hospitalists employed by the hospital may not have as immediate access to your medical history, but hospitalists employed by your personal primary care physician have access to your records just as your doctor would through the practices’ electronic health record (EHR) system. As an Intercoastal Medical Group patient, you can be assured that your hospitalists speaks to your doctor regarding hospitalized patients routinely to keep them informed and ensure seamless continuity of care when you are discharged from the hospital.
At Intercoastal Medical Group, we are here to help you get more out of life. With over 85 different doctors in 8 convenient locations in the Sarasota and Manatee county areas, we have you covered with one-stop, comprehensive medical care. Call us today with the contact information on our Contact Us page or make an appointment online with one of our highly qualified, compassionate physicians.