What is a hospitalist?
Traditionally, hospitalists are trained in internal medicine. They treat only patients who are admitted to the hospital, and they work in conjunction with your physician. Various studies indicate that hospitalists can reduce the average length of stay for patients and that they can lower medical costs by reducing readmission rates that stem from complications. These factors are influenced by the fact that hospitalists are usually based in the facility they serve.
What are the benefits of a hospitalist?
Hospitalists work with your primary care physician to provide quality care during your stay at MGH. This team effort is meant to complement the care you receive in your physician's office, and it allows for faster and more efficient treatment, and, many times, a quicker return home.
Why do I need a hospitalist?
Continuity is an important component in providing quality healthcare. When patients are admitted to the hospital, it becomes an even bigger concern, as self-sufficiency is sacrificed for dependence on the healthcare system. One of the ways MGH provides healthcare continuity is through hospitalists. Their experience makes them better at dealing with all types of patients, including the more seriously ill, because they see these cases on a more consistent basis. This training and experience increases the quality of care provided. Hospitalists also help relieve any backup of patients that may happen in the emergency department. Patients who are considered "unassigned"-those with no family doctor or who come from another community-are aided by the hospitalists, who can take their cases and begin treatment, without the patients having to wait on other physicians to admit them after office hours.
How does the program work?
An advantage of hospitalists is that they usually can act on the results of tests more quickly, as opposed to a primary care physician, who may not be in the hospital when the next step is to be taken. The sheer fact that hospitalists are on-site is a tremendous benefit for patients at MGH
Another important thing that hospitalists do is allow primary care physicians more time in their offices to treat patients. This team approach allows both groups of doctors to focus on the patients in each setting-the office and the hospital. MGH's hospitalists offer the best in general and acute care, coordinating with your physician to provide quality care.
Can I have my own doctor?
You do not have to be seen by a hospitalist if you prefer not to. You still mayl be seen by your physician. The hospitalist program just allows for more continuity of care because the hospitalist is always at MGH to care for you.
Learn more about MGH's hospitalists.
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