Hospitalists are doctors who manage and coordinate a child's care while in the hospital. Hospitalist work with other health care teams, including medical and surgical doctors, nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and nutritionists. They also communicate with a patient's primary care physician to ensure that he or she has all the information they need to continue to care for the patient when they go home from the hospital.
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), hospitalists also serve as teachers for medical students and residents and engage in various types of medical research.
Your care with a hospitalist
From an initial evaluation in the Emergency Department or in a coordinated transfer from another facility, throughout your admission, our hospitalists' goal is to provide our patients with excellent care.
A hospitalist sees the patient each day they are in the hospital and directs their treatment and care. If the patient needs tests, a procedure, or a consultations with specialists, the hospitalist makes these requests. The patient and their family are encouraged to ask questions and discuss their care with the hospitalist. Hospitalists are available for inpatient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Benefits of hospitalists overseeing your care in the hospital
A hospitalist cares for patients only in the hospital and has no outside medical practice. This allows hospitalists to devote their full attention to care for and treat patients in the hospital. Studies have shown that hospitalized patients feel more satisfied and tend to have better medical outcomes when they are cared for by a hospitalist.
The relationship between your hospitalist and primary care provider
After a patient is admitted to the hospital, the hospitalist communicates with their primary care physician about their medical history, medications, and plan of care. The hospitalist also contacts a patient's primary care provider if there are any major changes in their medical status or treatment. When a patient is discharged, the hospitalist provides them with discharge instructions and arranges for any prescriptions they need. The hospitalist also sends a discharge summary of detailed findings and treatment plans to the patient's primary care provider. For follow-up treatment of their condition, the patient is encouraged to make an appointment with their primary care provider.
How Hospital Medicine bills for its services
The Hospitalist Program bills a patient's insurance for services incurred during their hospitalization. Services provided by the hospitalist team are billed separately. An additional hospital bill will be issued that covers the hospital/facility fee (for example, room, supplies, etc.).