Hospitalist: A physician who specializes in the
practice of hospital medicine.
Working out of Deaconess Hospital, Rockwood's Internal Medicine
Hospitalists offer comprehensive care for the acutely ill adult
population. They are experts in handling severe chronic
illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may be
present at the same time.
In addition to their core expertise managing the clinical
problems of the acutely ill, hospitalized patients, hospital
medicine practitioners work to enhance the quality of healthcare
- Prompt and complete attention to all patient care needs
including diagnosis, treatment, and the performance of medical
- Employing quality improvement techniques.
- Refering their patients to appropriate specialists as
- Collaboration, communication, and coordination with all
physicians and healthcare personnel caring for hospitalized
- Safe transitioning of patient care within the hospital, and
from the hospital to the outpatient clinic.
- Efficient use of hospital and healthcare resources.
What is a hospitalist?
A hospitalist, or "inpatient physician," is a physician
who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital. The
hospitalist manages your course through the hospital, ordering
tests and procedures, coordinating and consulting with specialists,
closely monitoring your progress, and staying in close touch with
you and your doctor. Our hospitalists are part of the Internal
Medicine Department at Rockwood and are residency-trained,
board-certified physicians in Internal Medicine.
Will the hospitalist talk with my doctor?
When you are admitted to the hospital, your primary care
doctor communicates with the hospitalist about your condition and
transfers the management of your care to the hospitalist. The
hospitalist develops a plan with your primary care doctor. The
hospitalist remains in contact with each patient's primary care
physician. Your primary care physician will be informed about your
care at discharge as well, and will receive a copy of your records.
This two-way communication between the hospitalist and your primary
care doctor enables a smooth transfer of care back to your primary
How can the hospitalist benefit me?
Often when a patient is hospitalized, the primary care
physician is not immediately available due to scheduled office
hours or significant patient load. Hospitalists see only
hospitalized patients, so they are readily available to respond to
any changes in your condition, seeing you as often as necessary to
provide you with the best care, and can arrange for immediate tests
and assessments. Your hospitalist knows every specialist and
department in the hospital, and will assist you through a smooth
and speedy recovery process by following up on tests and adjusting
your treatment regimen based on those test results.
Non-hospitalized patients also benefit from the hospitalist
program. Before this program was in place, physicians would have to
leave a waiting room full of patients and rush to the hospital if
there was an emergency. Now, physicians can be assured that their
hospitalized patients are getting the best of care without
interrupting their daily office schedule. After patients are
discharged, the primary-care physician once again assumes their