A Patient's Guide to Hospitalist Services
Hospitalists work exclusively in the hospital monitoring test results, adjusting treatment as necessary and, in case of emergency, the Hospitalist is nearby. Hospitalists assist patients through their recovery process by following up on tests and adjusting the treatment regimen throughout the day based on those test results.
Hospitalists are available 24/7 to discuss any health concerns with patients and families, and to assist in everyone's understanding of the patient's condition and treatment.
Patients do not lose contact with their primary-care physician even though the Hospitalist is with them on a 24/7 basis. Though a Hospitalist may visit a patient multiple times a day, primary-care physicians may also visit. Hospitalists communicate regularly with the primary-care physician and patients are returned to their care when discharged.
Working as a team, Hospitalists and primary care doctors talk regularly. Upon admission to Cedars-Sinai, the primary care doctor will communicate with the Hospitalist and relay relevant information about a patient's condition, send any necessary patient records and provide a detailed medical history. This process is similar to what a physician does when referring patients to specialists.
When a Hospitalist discharges a patient, the primary care doctor will receive direct communication from the Hospitalist about the hospital stay and recommend further treatment options to the primary-care doctor. The hospitalist team will assist in arranging follow-up care, prescribe the necessary medications and send the hospital records to the primary-care doctor.
Hospitalists and primary care physicians are partners. Hospitalists are primarily responsible for a patient's care when hospitalized although primary-care physicians may visit the hospitalized patient. Because the hospitalist and primary-care physican are in frequent communication, physicians may wait to see the patient in their office after discharge.
Hospitalists are selected for their medical expertise, compassion and excellent communication skills. With a patient's permission, Hospitalists will answer a family's questions. During critical and stressful moments, they are there to provide honest and considerate answers to even the most difficult questions.
Since Hospitalists are available 24 hours a day, they have the flexibility to meet with patients and families at more convenient times and take the time necessary to discuss the patient's clinical status and plan of care.