A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the care of patients in the hospital. They have completed medical school and a residency, usually in internal medicine.
There are currently 31,000 hospitalists practicing in hospitals across the nation.
How will a hospitalist work with me?
Together with your primary care physician (PCP), your hospitalist will plan and manage your treatment throughout your inpatient stay to help you achieve the best outcome possible.
Once admitted to the hospital, your hospitalist will coordinate your course of treatment during your hospital stay, including ordering diagnostic imaging studies and lab work. He/She will review all your tests and adjust your care based on your test results. Throughout your stay, he/she will continue to update you on your plan of care.
Your hospitalist will work with you and your family to personally answer and discuss any questions you may have about your illness, medications or other diagnostic and treatment processes during your hospitalization.
How will a hospitalist know my medical history?
Your hospitalist will spend extra time learning about you. At admission, if your care is assigned to a hospitalist, he/she will contact your PCP to review your patient history and review any notes in regards to your current condition. He/She will also review any past hospital records and gather information from you and your family.
Available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week
Since hospitalists are on site 24-hours a day, seven days a week, they are able to provide you with around-the-clock care. In fact, during your inpatient hospital stay, your nurse may page your hospitalist at any time, day or night, as needed.
Working in coordination with your primary physician
Your hospitalist will be in contact with your primary physician throughout your hospital stay. At the time of discharge, he/she will update your primary physician on care you received in the hospital including any prescriptions given upon discharge, further treatment recommendations or recommended follow-up care. When your discharge instructions are reviewed with you, you may be given an appointment for follow-up care with your primary care physician, or advised to call your physician to schedule an appointment.