What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a medical doctor who is an expert in inpatient medicine. By exclusively specializing in the care of patients in the hospital, hospitalists can provide around-the-clock care and hands-on coordination of your treatment and progress.

In the same way that cardiologists specialize in the care of heart patients, hospitalists are physicians with specialized training and experience in the care of hospitalized patients. The hospitalist coordinates all aspects of your care and collaborates with your primary care doctor.

What types of hospitalists are there?

There are many different types of hospitalists to handle your care during your stay at the hospital, including critical care, emergency medicine, hospitalist, infectious disease, palliative, pediatric, and trauma.

Why am I seeing a hospitalist?

Your physician knows how important it is to have a specialist close by when you’re in the hospital; therefore, he or she has asked the hospitalist to care for you. Your family doctor has an office outside the hospital and is sometimes unavailable during office hours. Your hospitalist’s office, however, is the hospital which means he or she can be more accessible to you and your family, respond more quickly to subtle changes in your test results or condition, and more effectively supervise your care.

When will I see the hospitalist?

Hospitalists are available on-site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

In addition to seeing you daily during rounds, your hospitalist will check on your progress and consult with staff about your condition throughout the day. Being in the hospital full-time gives your hospitalist the flexibility to check on you as often as needed.

Will the hospitalist be aware of my medical history?

Yes, your hospitalist has access to your medical records. Also, your primary care doctor may brief the hospitalist on your medical background and condition. The two will continue to communicate during your hospital stay, and upon discharge, will coordinate any follow-up care or special needs you may have.

What are the benefits of a hospitalist?

Studies show that hospitalists improve the quality of care, increase patient comfort, ensure frequent communication with the patient and their family, and prevent delays in day-to-day care and discharge.

For many patients, the most important benefit is a hospitalist’s ability to immediately respond to new information - such as test results - or changes in a patient’s condition. This close monitoring of a patient’s progress and hands-on coordination of all aspects of care ensures patients receive the finest inpatient care available.

Will I see other physicians while in the hospital?

The hospitalists may consult other specialists - such as a cardiologist - to assist in your care.

What happens when I’m discharged from the hospital?

Upon discharge, the hospitalist submits a report which contains important information about your care with your physician to ensure the continuity of care. Your physician will also be able to view all your medical records and test results from your admission on your follow-up visit.