What are the Benefits of Employing Hospitalists?

Hospitalists are doctors who specialize in delivering medical care to patients in hospitals. While this is a very basic definition, it is the more direct way to explain what a hospitalist does to people who are not familiar with hospital medicine and the role of professionals in this setting. If you are planning to study to become a medical doctor, or you simply want to understand how care in a hospital setting works, here is what you need to know.

What is the Role of a Hospitalist?

If you have ever been hospitalized for a chronic illness or ongoing acute care, you have probably been face to face with a hospitalist on several occasions. While you will develop more of a bond with the nursing staff, a hospitalist is a licensed physician who provides general care to patients who are hospitalized. The hospitalist will act as the patient’s primary physician when their physician isn’t present. Not only do hospitalists specialize in general practice, they are also the mentors who work closely with residents.

Further reading: What Does a Hospitalist do?

Where Can You Find a Hospitalist?

By definition, a hospitalist is a practicing physician who will assume the role as a physician-of-record for inpatients in a hospital facility, but that does not mean that is the only place that they work. Physicians earn the hospitalist title by spending at least 25 percent of their time practicing serving inpatients in hospitals. Some physicians only work at this capacity and others split up their time between their practice and the hospital.

Why Do Professionals Call the Hospitalist the New Generation of Physician?

When you are admitted to the hospital, it is not possible for your primary physician to rush to your bedside to treat you around the clock. In fact, most patients who experience short stays in the hospital will tell you that they did not see their physician once before they were discharged.

One of the reasons why your doctor does not come to oversee your health care is because there is a new trend in caring for patients in the hospital. The trend was adopted about a decade ago. Instead of putting financial strains on primary physicians, hospitalist specialists are onsite to deliver care. These board-certified internal medicine doctors are subspecialists who can work in intensive care, pulmonology departments or nephrology units.

What Are the Benefits of a Hospitalist-led Program?

Not all hospitals have implemented hospitalist-led programs. While there are still some advantages to having physicians oversee the care of their loyal patients, it makes a lot more sense to implement these programs when it comes to efficiency and convenience. When a hospital employs internal medicine doctors to provide general care for inpatients, the benefits include:

* Implementing new effective protocols
* Standardizing communications and discharge processes
* Implementing new systems to reconcile medication administered to inpatients
* Improve care of contagious diseases that spread across a community
* Optimizing the prevention of hospital-acquired illnesses

If you want to work as a hospitalist, it is important to research demand and salary reports. Since there is an increased demand for sub-specialists employed by both physician-owned practices and hospital-owned groups, pay is on the rise as well. In fact, compensation has increased by more than 18% over a period of just 5 years. These statistics show that now is the time for primary physicians to consider becoming hospitalists.