The coordination and care of patients in a hospital setting from admission to discharge.
A hospitalist is a doctor whose primary focus is caring for these patients. They work entirely within a hospital setting to coordinate care throughout a patient’s hospital stay. Although they do not see patients in clinics or other outpatient settings – hospitalists only serve as a temporary manager of a patient’s care while under hospitalization – hospitalists do keep in contact with primary care physicians to provide continuity of care once patients are out of the hospital. The hospitalist coordinates care, orders and evaluates tests, adjusts medications, makes necessary referrals, answers questions and updates family members. After the patient’s discharge, the patient returns to their usual primary care provider.
Patients benefit by having hospitalists as it provides them with 24/7 physician access, as well as expedited care, in-hospital consultation with patients and their families, and post-care.