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  • Writer's pictureCw Young

The Hospitalist

A specialist who provides continuity of care


‘Hospitalist’ might not be a term most people are familiar with, nor is it a position that smaller community hospitals typically employ. A hospitalist is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. And in the patient-centered Hardin Medical Center, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Klein, is one of our hospitalist. Unlike traditional primary care physicians, hospitalists focus on managing and coordinating the care of patients who are admitted to the hospital.


           



From beginning to end, the hospitalist is responsible for admission and the patient’s initial assessment. From their assessment, the hospitalist will develop a treatment plan and coordinate care with different healthcare providers, such as nurses, specialists, and therapists. Daily management is overseen by the hospitalist, so that any change in condition or care is communicated to him or her by other healthcare providers. The hospitalist is the point of care. This can include ordering diagnostic tests, adjusting the treatment plan, or coordinating care with another specialist.


            Having a hospitalist dedicated to patient care allows other primary care professionals to focus on preventative or outpatient care. Patients prefer having a hospitalist because they know there is a single person orchestrating all the moving parts of their care. Questions from the patient or family are directed to one person and similarly, updates, treatments, and concerns are addressed by the hospitalist. When it’s time for discharge, the hospitalist coordinates the transition from the hospital to the outpatient setting and makes sure that patients have appropriate medications and follow-up scheduled.


The hospitalist healthcare model is becoming more common as it provides a specialized and personal approach to managing the complex and acute medical needs of hospitalized patients. It’s just one more reason the quality and safety of the patient experience at Hardin Medical Center is the number one priority.

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