What is a hospitalist?
In the same way that cardiologists specialize in the care of heart patients, hospitalists are medical physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. Many patients are being treated by this new kind of doctor – a doctor who isn't their family doctor, but who is responsible for their medical care during a hospital stay.
Hospitalists are on site at the hospital seven days a week, 24 hours a day to provide you with ongoing and immediate care. They work as partners with your physician to provide you with the highest standard of care during your hospital stay. All Spartanburg Regional hospitalist physicians have completed specialized training in Internal Medicine, and are board certified eligible by the American Board of Internal Medicine, or acquire other indicators of expertise in the field, such as the Society of Hospital Medicine’s Fellowship in Hospital Medicine (FHM) or the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP) in Hospital Medicine.
Why is there a Hospitalist Program?
The advantages of this new type of care include increased efficiency, cost-savings and – most important – better patient care. For example, if a patient's test results come in at 8 a.m., after the family doctor has made his/her rounds, the patient may have to remain in the hospital until the family doctor returns the next morning and is able to read the results. Hospitalists, on the other hand, are able to read test results immediately, order different test results if necessary, and may prevent an unnecessary stay overnight. The hospitalist program provides assurance to both physicians and their patients that ongoing and immediate care will be provided to patients during a hospital stay.
How does it work?
If your physician or specialist believes that you need to be hospitalized, he or she will coordinate your admission with our hospitalist group. If you are admitted through the emergency department, your physician will be notified. Once admitted, the hospitalist group will be in charge of your care and see you daily. Throughout your stay, they will work together with your physician to ensure you obtain the best care possible.
The hospitalist group will:
- Assess and treat your medical condition
- Coordinate your hospital care
- Review your progress with your physician
- Establish a relationship with you and your family
- When discharged, transition medical care back to your primary physician, who will resume the responsibility for ongoing outpatient treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
How will my physician know what happens during my hospitalization?
The hospitalist group will be in frequent contact with your physician, relaying the details of your care. Your physician will also be notified if anything unexpected happens during your stay.
Will I see other physicians while in the hospital?
The hospitalist group may consult specialists (such as cardiologists or oncologists) to assist in your care if needed.
What happens on weekends and evenings?
A covering hospitalist is on duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Who will talk to my family while I am in the hospital?
With your permission, your family will be contacted by a member of the hospitalist group. A hospitalist will always be available throughout the day to answer any questions you or your family may have. You may also call your physician, who will have current information on your condition from our hospitalist group.
What will happen when I am discharged?
A member of the hospitalist group will discuss your discharge medications and other instructions with you. He or she will also assist in scheduling your first post-discharge office visit with your physician. Your physician will receive a summary of your stay, including discharge diagnoses, medications that have been ordered or provided, and recommended follow up visits or treatments.
What are the benefits to me?
First and foremost, high quality care is available to you around the clock, seven days a week, by highly trained physician specialists. You can see them as often as needed. Additionally, because hospitalists are based at the hospital, decisions are made quickly as situations arise. Treatments are modified and test results followed up immediately. This helps prevent medical complications, reduce hospital stays and lower costs.
Moreover, members of the hospitalist group have extensive training and hospital experience in caring for severely ill or injured patients. This results in more rapid and accurate clinical decision making for better outcomes and fewer readmissions. All Spartanburg Regional hospitalist physicians have completed specialized training in Internal Medicine, and are board certified eligible by the American Board of Internal Medicine.