The delivery of healthcare continues to change rapidly, and Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York (LERHSNY) is making efforts to ensure the highest level of quality and care is provided locally. Beginning today, LERHSNY's Brooks Memorial Hospital campus will offer hospitalist services through an agreement with Medicor Associates of Chautauqua to all physicians and patients who desire to use it. Prior to this arrangement, Medicor had only been providing hospitalist services for their own patients. Recruitment has started to secure full-time physicians for the hospital.
"This program is one of the many things LERHSNY is doing to further our mission of improving the health of those we serve in a patient-centered, compassionate manner and allow patients to remain in their local community for care," stated Gary Rhodes, LERHSNY interim CEO. "A hospitalist program provides continuity of care and personalized attention for patients during the hospital stay."
Hospitals and physicians across the country are turning to hospitalists to enhance physician accessibility, coordinate treatment and provide seamless care to patients. A hospitalist is a medical doctor who specializes in caring for the various kinds of medical conditions that require inpatient hospital care. In addition to managing the clinical problems of acutely ill patients, the hospitalists will work to enhance the quality of care by:
Reducing the length of stay by providing prompt and complete attention to all patient care needs, including diagnosis, treatment and the performance of medical procedures (within their scope of practice)
Reducing hospital readmissions by employing quality and process improvement measures to achieve the best practices of care
Collaborating with all physicians and health care personnel to provide the highest quality of care and service for hospitalized patients
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is a hospitalist caring for me?
Your primary care physician may request that a hospitalist be in charge of your care during the hospital stay. In this way, you have the benefit of being seen by a doctor whose practice is entirely focused on the care of hospitalized patients. Additionally, this can enable your primary care doctor to be more available to you in the office, rather than trying to go back and forth between seeing patients in the office and in the hospital.
How does the hospitalist practice work?
The hospitalist team will be in charge of your care and will see you every day to direct your treatment while you are in the hospital. The hospitalist team, which may include a physician and physician assistant, works together with you, the nursing team, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and case managers to care for you. The hospitalist works at the hospital full-time to provide for your care and attend to any emergencies that may arise and is available to you and your family to answer questions and discuss your care. They may consult other doctors to participate in your care as well.
The hospitalist will make arrangements for any prescriptions you may need when you are discharged. You will be asked to make an appointment with your primary care doctor, or other doctors, soon after discharge.
Since hospitalists do not have an outpatient practice, you will not have an appointment to see the hospitalist again after discharge. You may contact the hospitalist after discharge if you have any questions about the hospital stay.
What is the relationship between the hospitalist and my primary care physician?
The two doctors work together. Your primary care physician provides information about your past health history to the hospitalist and the two doctors discuss any significant findings or events during your hospital stay. At the time of your admission and discharge, the hospitalist will prepare a detailed report of findings and treatment plans that is sent to your primary care physician.
Your primary care physician can ask the hospitalist to be in charge of your care while you are in the hospital but is welcome to check on you and discuss your care with the hospitalist any time during your hospital stay. When you are discharged, you will return to the care of your primary care doctor.
What if I need another specialist while in the hospital?
Consultations from other physicians are necessary in some cases, and the hospitalist can arrange for these as needed. If you have already been seeing other doctors, be sure to let the hospitalist know so that he/she can keep them informed about your hospital stay.
Safely transitioning patient care from hospital to primary care and post-acute care facilities when necessary
Creating an efficient use of hospital and health care resources
Hospitalists serve as valuable liaisons for both patients and physicians. They work as a team and will be available at the hospital or on call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because hospitalists focus on the hospital setting, there is a greater familiarity with Brooks Memorial Hospital's specialists and departments so communication and treatment can be expedited with other caregivers. When a patient is admitted to Brooks Memorial Hospital and their primary care physician has elected to utilize the hospitalist service, or if the patient has no primary care physician, a hospitalist will assume patient care during their hospital stay until discharge. Once the patient is discharged, the hospitalist transfers care back to the patient's primary care provider.