What is a hospitalist?
The term hospitalist is used for healthcare providers who are specialized in the care of patients in the hospital. A hospitalist can:
- Promote high quality and high value health care for all hospitalized patients
- Advance the art of hospital medicine through education and research.
- Improve hospital care through collaboration with the rest of the healthcare team.
All hospitalists are board-certified internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants with training in internal medicine.
How Hospitalists make a difference:
- Treating hospitalized patients: Hospitalists provide high quality, on site care to hospitalized patients and allow primary care physicians to focus their time and attention on their office patients.
- Reducing length of stay: Studies show that hospitalists can reduce patient lengths of stay up to 30 percent and can reduce hospital costs by up to 20 percent.
- Maximizing throughput and improving patient flow: With their unique view of the continuum of care, hospitalists can positively affect throughput at every stage.
- Taking on hospital leadership positions: To address the need for clinical leaders, hospital administrators are increasingly offering leadership development opportunities to hospitalists as they are well positioned to view and change system processes.
- Improving patient safety and quality of care: Many hospitalists are champions for quality improvement within their institutions. The demand for reductions in medical errors within the hospital setting and the demand for new ways of thinking about end-of-life care are catalyzing the growth of the hospital medicine specialty.
There are many advantages of hospitalists in the care hospitalized patients. One advantage is that hospitalists’ have more expertise in caring for complicated hospitalized patients on a daily basis. They are also more available most of the day in the hospital to meet with family members, able to follow-up on tests, answer nurses’ questions, and simply to deal with any problems that may arise. In many instances, hospitalists may see a patient more than once a day to assure that care is going according to plan, and to explain test findings to patients and family members.