What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a medical doctor or nurse practitioner who specializes in caring for hospitalized patients. Hospitalists are trained in general internal medicine and other medical specialties. Because hospitalists typically do not maintain an outside practice, they can focus their attention on your medical care inside the hospital.

What are the benefits of having a hospitalist?

Your hospitalist specializes in the kinds of medical conditions that need to be treated in the hospital. Because the hospitalist typically does not have an outside practice, he or she has added knowledge of other departments and specialties and are very accessible to hospital nursing staff. The hospitalists can help to speed your recovery and shorten your hospital stay by following up on tests and adjusting your treatment plan throughout the day. Hospitalists have systems in place to communicate with your family and your primary care doctor as needed, especially at the time of admission and discharge.

Why might I see several hospitalist physicians during my hospital stay?

Hospitalists are a small group of specialists who cover admitted hospital patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Because no one person could do this on their pwn, they work as a team. This may result in you seeing more than one hospitalist during your stay and Northwest Medical Center.

What is the relationship between hospitalists and my primary care doctor?

The hospitalist partners with your primary care doctor to administer and oversee your treatment while you are in the hospital, serving as your regular caregiver until you are discharged. The hospitalsit will see you daily and manage your conditions, contacting your primary care doctor as appropriate and at the time of discharge. When you are discharged you will return to your regular doctor or other community-based caregiver to continue the care plan coordinated between your primary care provider and the hospitalist.

Can the hospitalists become my primary care doctor?

Patients retain their primary care provider and return to their regular caregiver after release from the hospital. The hospitalists' time is dedicated to inatients and they typically do not have outside practices. If you do not have a primary care provider, Northwest Medical Center operates a Primary Clinic where you can begin a relationship with a primary care doctor and the records from your hospital stay can be sent to that clinic.