Hospitalists (Inpatient Physicians)
When patients are admitted to a Ministry Health Care hospital, inpatient care may be managed by a group of specialized physicians called hospitalists. A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital. Hospitalists are proficient in managing a full spectrum of serious illnesses and specialize in providing hospital care 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Most hospitalists are general internal medicine physicians.
The benefits of a hospitalist include:
- Keeping a close eye on patients – Hospitalists are often able to see patients more than once a day, if needed. In the case of an emergency, they are never more than a few minutes away. Hospitalists have access to every specialty and department in the hospital to assist in a smooth and speedy recovery.
- Answering questions – Since hospitalists are in the hospital 24-hours a day, they are able to spend more time talking to the patient and family about their care.
- Monitoring treatment in timely manner – Hospitalists are able to order and interpret tests and provide care in an efficient and prompt manner.
Hospitalists manage inpatient care in conjunction with the patient’s primary care physician. At the time of admission to the hospital, the primary care physician calls the hospitalist and informs him or her of the patient’s condition. The physician may also send records to the hospitalist to provide as much information as possible about the patient’s illness and medical history. During the course of hospitalization, the hospitalist and primary care physician may talk further regarding patient care. At discharge, the hospitalist will communicate with the primary care physician to discuss further treatment needs, help arrange follow-up appointments and prescribe the necessary medications. Follow-up care will then be managed by the primary care physician.