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The hospitalist is a relatively new addition to the medical field, but their role is growing more important daily. Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. They collaborate closely with other doctors and nurses to provide comprehensive patient care. When a patient is admitted to the hospital, the hospitalist becomes their primary care doctor.
The hospitalist model of care has been shown to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. In addition, it can save money for both patients and hospitals. A recent study showed that patients cared for by hospitalists had a shorter length of stay and fewer readmissions than those who were not. Here is a look at the various roles that hospitalists play in modern healthcare:
1. Coordinating Care
One of the most critical roles of the hospitalist is coordinating care. They act as a liaison between the patient and the various specialists involved in their care. This coordination is essential to ensure that all patients promptly get the care they need. For example, if a patient needs to see a cardiologist, the hospitalist will ensure they can see one as soon as possible.
2. Managing Medications
Another critical role of the hospitalist is managing medications. They ensure patients receive the correct medications at the right time. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications. In addition, they may also be responsible for monitoring patients for side effects and drug interactions. A good example of this is a hospitalist who is responsible for a patient’s pain management.
3. Discharge Planning
Modern hospitalists are also charged with discharge planning. This includes working with the patient and their family to develop a plan for after they are discharged from the hospital. This plan may include follow-up appointments, home care instructions, and referrals to other specialists. The goal of discharge planning is to ensure that the patient has a smooth transition to life outside the hospital. In some cases, the hospitalist may even coordinate with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure they get the care they need after they leave the hospital.
4. Providing Education
Hospitalists also play an essential role in educating patients and their families. They may give lectures on various topics related to the hospital stay, such as what to expect and how to cope with being in the hospital. In addition, they may also provide educational materials, such as pamphlets and brochures. This education is vital to help patients and their families understand what they are going through and how to best deal with it.
5. Performing Research
Many hospitalists are also involved in research and clinical trials. This helps to improve the quality of care that patients receive. Also, it can lead to new treatments and procedures that can be used to help patients. Sometimes, hospitalists may even be the principal investigators of these studies. This gives them a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of their patients.
6. Serving As A Consultant
In some cases, hospitalists may also serve as consultants to other physicians. This allows them to offer their expertise on a particular case or procedure. For example, a hospitalist may be consulted on a case involving a patient with difficulty breathing. In this instance, the hospitalist would offer their opinion on whether or not the patient should be intubated.
7. Acting As A Patient Advocate
Hospitalist jobs also entail acting as a patient advocate. This means that they work to protect the rights of their patients. For example, they may help to ensure that a patient’s medical records are accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, they may help resolve any billing issues a patient may have. Finally, hospitalists may also work with a patient’s family to ensure they get the support they need.
The roles of hospitalists are constantly evolving. As the healthcare system changes, so do the roles of hospitalists. However, one thing remains constant: hospitalists play a vital role in the care of patients. They are an essential part of the healthcare team and play a significant role in the patient’s overall quality of care.