Improving Continuity Of Care For Our Patients
If your healthcare requires a stay at Klickitat Valley Health, you’ll be cared for by a kind of doctor you may not be familiar with: a hospitalist.
A Hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital and who usually does not have an outpatient medical practice. These doctors practice in the hospital, ordering appropriate diagnostic tests, monitoring their patients’ conditions, making treatment decisions with input from primary care doctors and coordinating patient care among all members of the hospital staff. This provides continuity of care.
Hospitalists are readily available, able to recognize and react quickly to any changes in their patient’s condition. Another asset is a specialized skill set in treating health problems common among hospitalized patients, such as pneumonia, infections, heart attacks and congestive heart failure.
When Will I See My Primary Care Physician?
Primary care physicians are referring their patients to a Hospitalist when their patients are sick enough that they can no longer be cared for in the outpatient setting. During your hospital stay, you will be seen by a Hospitalist. You will see your regular doctor soon after discharge from the hospital.
Hospitalists Provide Many Benefits to You and Your Doctor:
• Hospitalists keep a close eye on you.
In case of emergency, your Hospitalist is never far away. That’s because he or she works in the hospital and will see you more than once a day, if needed. Your Hospitalist knows every specialist and department in the hospital. Hospitalists assist you through a smooth and speedy recovery process by following up on tests and adjusting your treatment regimen throughout the day based on those test results.
• Hospitalists answer your family’s questions.
During critical and stressful moments, Hospitalists will provide honest and considerate answers to your questions. Since Hospitalists are in the hospital 24 hours-a-day, they are able to spend more time talking to you and your family about your care. There’s no time more important to communicate about your care than when you might be critically ill.
• Hospitalists help your primary care doctor be more available to you.
Having Hospitalists available to treat patients in the hospital allows your primary care physician to see patients in the office with fewer delays and interruptions. This means your doctor can keep you and your family healthy when you are not in the hospital and the specially trained Hospitalists can care for you in the hospital when you are at your sickest. Also, with a physician in the hospital at all hours of the day and night, it’s easier for you and your family to communicate about your condition.
How Does The Hospitalist Know About Me?
Hospitalists talk to primary care physicians on a frequent basis. At the time of your admission to the hospital, your primary care physician calls the Hospitalist and informs him or her of your condition and sends over records to provide as much information as possible about your illness. The process is similar to what your physician does when he or she refers you to a specialist for another opinion or for additional tests and treatment.
During the course of your hospitalization, your Hospitalist and primary care physician may talk further regarding your treatment. And at discharge your Hospitalist will communicate with your primary care physician to discuss your further treatment needs, help arrange follow-up, and prescribe the necessary medications. He or she will also send your hospital records to your primary care physician.
We’re Here To Help You Get Better!
What if I need another specialist while in the hospital? Consultations from other physicians are necessary in some cases, and the Hospitalist can arrange for these as necessary. If you have already been seeing other doctor at KVH, be sure to let us know so that we can keep them informed about your hospital stay.
What if I don’t have a regular PCP (Primary Care Provider)?
Our hospitalists and other staff at the hospital, can assist in finding a doctor for you to see after leaving the hospital. Records from your hospital stay can be sent to this physician.