Hospitalist Care FAQ
MidState Medical Center introduced its Hospitalist Service in early 2003, yet many people still don't fully understand how the program works. Here are some frequently asked questions and responses that will clarify how your care will be provided:
- What is a Hospitalist?
- Hospitalists are specialized doctors who focus all of their attention and skills on caring for hospitalized patients. All MidState Medical Center Hospitalists are specialists in Internal Medicine.
- How does the Hospitalist Service work?
- Hospitalists provide patient care around the clock, seven days a week. No one person can do this alone, so they work as a team. You may work with just one, or you may meet all of them, depending on how long you are at MidState. They may consult with specialists, such as cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, or oncologists, for example, depending on the care you need.
- Why is a Hospitalist caring for me?
- Your primary care physician may ask that a Hospitalist, who cares only for patients in our hospital, and has special expertise in inpatient care, be in charge of your care. This enables your primary care physician to be more available to you in the office.
- How will my primary care doctor know how I'm doing?
- Our Hospitalists stay in touch with your primary care doctor when you are admitted to the hospital, when you are discharged, and all the important points along the way. You can count on the communication between the Hospitalists and your primary care doctor to be thorough.
- What if I don't have a primary care doctor?
- The Hospitalist, medical social worker, and case manager are each able to assist you in finding a doctor to treat you after you leave the hospital. They can work with you to set up your first appointment and will help make your transition from the hospital to the care of your new doctor a smooth one.
- What happens after I am discharged?
- Our Hospitalist service will assist you with your needs for approximately two weeks after your discharge, and then further care will be provided by your primary care or specialty physician. The Hospitalist will contact your primary care doctor to make arrangements for follow-up care. Because Hospitalists provide care only for patients in the hospital, you will not have an appointment with a Hospitalist after you leave. You primary care physician will be responsible for authorizing refills of prescriptions and following up on test results.
- How can my family and I communicate with the Hospitalists?
- A Hospitalist will see you at least once a day, and more often if needed. This is the best time to ask questions about your medical care. During the day, your nurse can page a Hospitalist to respond immediately to any urgent matters. If there are any changes in your condition and the Hospitalist thinks your family should know, your family will be contacted (with your permission). Your family members can also contact the Hospitalists through the nurses, but please designate one family member as the contact person. The nurse will assist you in finding the answers to any of your questions.