A group of providers called hospitalists care for our inpatients. This means when you are in the hospital, you have a dedicated team of doctors providing your care around the clock. While most hospitals have been using a hospitalist service for many years, it is sometimes still confusing to patients. They want to know, “Who is this person taking care of me,” and “Where is my doctor?” Below are a commonly asked questions and answers to help you understand our hospitalist service.
A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the care of hospital patients and who usually does not have a private outside practice. All of SampsonRMC’s hospitalists are fully trained and board certified in the specialty of internal medicine and pediatrics or family medicine, and their time is solely dedicated to caring for hospitalized patients. One or more hospitalists are available at all times to see new patients or to help patients already in the hospital who may develop new problems.
If you do not have a primary care physician or if your primary care physician chooses not to see patients at Sampson Regional, you may be cared for by a hospital physician. Because hospitalists are in the hospital all day, this enables your primary care doctor to see patients in his/her office with fewer delays and interruptions. Your doctor will be able to devote more time to caring for the health of you and your family during office visits.
For many patients and physicians, working with a hospitalist team is a win-win situation. Hospitalists enable your physician to be more available to you in the office while the hospitalist is on hand to care for you when you are at your sickest. With a hospitalist available at all hours of the day and night, it’s easier for you and your family to communicate with a doctor about your illness.
In order to have a physician available at all times, the hospitalists have a rotating schedule. If you are hospitalized for several days, you may have to be seen by more than one doctor. If you are admitted at night, a different doctor will take over your care the following morning. This doctor will see you daily until he or she goes off duty (or unless you go home first). Through daily meetings, all of the doctors involved in your care will be thoroughly familiar with your medical condition and treatment plan, so they will work as a team in caring for you.
For certain medical problems, the hospitalist may ask another specialist, such as a surgeon, to assist in your care. Your hospitalist will coordinate consultations and procedures by other doctors, such as anesthesiologists and radiologists, and will discuss them with you.
Your SampsonRMC hospitalist will notify your primary care physician of your admission and may request information about your medical history that could be helpful in your care at SampsonRMC. Your primary care physician will also be notified about any important changes in your condition and may contribute to decisions about your care.