What is a hospitalist?
A hospitalist is a physician whose practice is entirely focused on the care of hospitalized patients. CAMC’s hospitalists are board-certified in internal medicine or in family practice. Some have additional board certifications (geriatrics and psychiatry). A primary care physician may request that a hospitalist be in charge of a patient's care during their hospital stay. Emergency room physicians and other hospital physicians also refer patients to hospitalists. Hospitalists do not see patients outside of the hospital, so they are available to treat CAMC patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
About the CAMC hospitalist program
CAMC has a team of more than 20 hospitalists and 14 midlevel providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) working together to ensure the quality of patient care during their stay. The CAMC hospitalists also work with primary care physicians in the community to coordinate patient care from the time patients are admitted to the hospital until they are discharged.
How can a patient's family communicate with a hospitalist?
If a patient's family member would like to speak to one of the hospitalists while the patient is in the hospital, the family member should ask one of the nursing staff to page the physician.
What happens when the patient leaves the hospital?
When the patient is discharged, they will return to the care of their primary care physician. The hospitalist will make arrangements for any prescriptions they may need when they are discharged, but since the hospitalists do not see patients outside the hospital, the patient will not have an appointment to see a hospitalist after discharge. A discharge summary will be sent to the primary care physician. If the patient does not have a primary care physician, the CAMC hospitalist team can assist the patient in finding a primary care physician to see after leaving the hospital.