WHAT IS A HOSPITALIST ?
A hospitalist is a licensed physician who practices in a hospital and treats an array of conditions. These doctors work to treat patients staying in the hospital due to a variety of illnesses and injuries, so that patients can have a comfortable experience and feeling safe during hospitalization. Studies have even shown how hospitalists helped reduce the length of patient stays.
The need for hospitalists emerged from increasingly complex hospital patient cases. These cases needed dedicated physicians, rather than clinicians also managing ambulatory care and other clinical obligations.
WHAT DOES A HOSPITALIST DO?
Hospitalists provide general medical care to hospitalized patients. They lead the hospital medical team, coordinating care for inpatients. They may examine individuals as they ‘re admitted, ordering x-rays, diagnostic tests, and other lab work. Hospitalists examine test results, order treatments and medical services, and prescribe medications. For example, a hospitalist may order respiratory therapy for a patient with pneumonia. They may prescribe antibiotics for a patient with a kidney infection.
Many patients that end up in the hospital have complicated cases. They could have multiple health conditions occurring at once, making hospitalists incredibly important. Unlike specialists that work solely with one organ system or a certain patient demographic, hospitalists see it all. But they also refer patients to specialists when needed. Aside from clinical care, hospitalists also bridging the effective communication between patient, patient’s family and healthcare provider and may also pursue other endeavors, like research, teaching, and performing additional leadership duties.