Hospital Medicine. It might sound as redundant as an “afternoon matinee” or “true fact.” But the “honest truth” is that hospital medicine is a real, highly important, medical discipline that you or your family have probably used on a number of occasions, but never knew it had a name. So, what exactly is hospital medicine?
Hospital medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the care of acutely ill patients who have been hospitalized. Hospital medicine is characterized by the fact that the practice takes place in the hospital, and the patients are those who are in the process of being – or currently are – admitted.
How does Hospital Medicine Fit In?
One of the common questions asked about hospitalists is about the difference between hospital medicine and emergency medicine. Simply put, emergency medicine is defensive and very likely is usually a matter of life and death, when every second counts. Hospital medicine attends to situations that require expedited medical care but not necessarily in the same way as an ER physician. Hospitalists are an extension of your primary care doctor, crucial to allowing primary care doctors to be available to see patients in the office when you need them.
Benefits of Hospital Medicine
Dr. Robert Wachter first coined the term “hospitalist” in a 1996 article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which he described how doctors working in hospitals could not only provide outstanding care to patients, but could improve the management and flow of patients accessing hospital resources. By 2002, it was determined that the hospitalist model had resulted in a decrease in hospital costs by almost 14 percent, as well as an increase in patient satisfaction and quality of care. By 2009, hospitals without hospital medicine had nearly doubled the length of stay for patients than those who had hospitalists.
Hospital medicine provides the medical care a patient needs when they are hospitalized. And it is not only physicians who comprise the hospitalist model: depending on the hospital’s program, hospital medicine can include nurse practitioner care, physical therapy, physicians’ assistants, and residents.
Intercoastal Medical Group’s Hospital Medicine Department consists of physicians, non-physician providers, and nurses to make sure that you are taken care of at Sarasota hospitals, providing a true extension of the quality care to which you have become accustomed at Intercoastal.
The medical professionals at Intercoastal Medical Group know that is important to provide you the tools and education you need so that you can make informed decisions regarding your medical care and that of your loved ones. Reach out today to Intercoastal Medical Group at one of our area locations or request an appointment online. Our hospitalists have privileges at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital, where they see only Intercoastal patients that have been admitted for inpatient services.