Advantages of Hospitalists
Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Hospitalists handle the coordination of care for any condition. The other specialists they coordinate with are responsible for the procedures in their specialty.
Hospitalists Allow for Shorter Hospital Stays
No one wants a patient to be in the hospital longer then necessary. In the past, no one was there to expedite care. For instance, when a patient came to the hospital for observation after reporting chest pain, little time was actually spent observing the patient. Tests were ordered by one or more physicians and the primary care physician may have had to track down a heart sub-specialist or heart surgeon to get an explanation of the case. The sub-specialist may have then examined the patient. The test results would be sent to both physicians, who would have to track each other down again to discuss results. The process was just not efficient.
By having the hospitalist act as provider and facilitator, much of the inefficiency of waiting for the next step to happen is gone. The hospitalist is there on premises to make sure each step happens in a timely manner. According to a Health Sciences article in the winter of 1998, some hospitals report that hospitalists have reduced length of stay numbers by a full day.
Hospitalists Free Resources
By expediting processes, the hospital no longer has a patient in the ER waiting to be admitted. The hospital is also able to free up beds as patients’ wait time has decreased.
Hospitalists Facilitate Patient Discharge
A common complaint of patients is waiting around all day for their physician to arrive or for a surgeon to finish other cases and release them from the hospital. The hospitalist can give this approval much quicker, have the patient on their way home, and have the bed available for another patient.
Hospitalists Make Surgeons’ and Sub-specialists’ Lives Easier
When the hospitalist facilitates a patient’s care, surgeons and sub-specialists are free to devote their efforts to their specialty.
Hospitalists Open Lines of Communication
As coordinator, the hospitalist becomes the center point for communication. The patient, primary care physician, and sub-specialist all talk with the same person.
Hospitalists Save Money
The patient is not charged surgeon's rates when being treated by a hospitalist. The condensed timeframe allowed by hospitalists frees up resources, beds, the ER, and the intensive care unit. The patient saves out-of-pocket expenses and insurance companies save costs, since expedited care and being kept an extra night waiting for discharge happen less.
Hospitalists Improve Quality of Care
With hospitalists on staff, the patient has an attending physician 24 hours a day. A nurse does not have to call outside the hospital in the middle of office time or in the middle of the night to update a physician of a change in a patient’s condition. A hospitalist is on duty and can tend to it in a much more timely manner.
The hospitalist can care for a patient more intensively, seeing the patient multiple times a day, instead of a surgeon who may see them only once. Often this closer attention to the patient enables the hospitalist to make a better and faster diagnosis.
If a physician puts a patient in the hospital for chest pain suspecting heart issues, the hospitalist may understand the severity better, get immediate tests, and call in a cardiologist if necessary who can expedite the patient's care.