Hospital begins hospitalist program

Published 6:36 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

by Jan Godwin

Memorial Hospital and Manor introduced a new service for inpatients called a Hospitalist program.

Many larger hospitals throughout the country are taking the hospitalist approach to patient care. Hospitalists are highly qualified physicians who focus on each patient’s care while in the hospital, from time of admission to time of discharge.

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They do not replace the patient’s primary care physician, but work in close consultation with them to provide case management during the patient’s entire hospital stay.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 1, a medical doctor will be on site and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide hospitalist care for patients at Memorial Hospital and Manor.

Certified family nurse practitioners will be a part of the hospitalist team to assist physicians in providing efficient inpatient care.

A group of local physicians will provide complete care for the patients of physicians on staff who have chosen to use the hospitalist service and for patients who currently do not have a local physician.

All physicians working as hospitalists will admit patients, order diagnostic tests and lab work, plan treatment, consult with specialists and discharge patients from the hospital. After discharge, each patient’s hospitalization record will be sent to his/her primary care physician and the patient will follow-up with their own physician at his/her office.

“This new hospitalist program is a ‘win-win’ situation for our patients and our local physicians,” said Memorial Hospital and Manor CEO Jim Peak. “Using a hospitalist enables primary care physicians to be more available to patients in the office, while patients have better access to a physician during their time in the hospital.”

Cathy Willis, director of human resources and physician relations, said that Memorial’s new hospitalist program would also help with physician recruiting.

“At a recent physician recruiting event, several potential physician recruits wanted to know if we had a hospitalist program,” said Willis. “Many new physicians prefer working in areas where they have the opportunity to share patient care with hospitalist who will admit and care for their patients in the hospital. This alleviates heavy call schedules that physicians in small hospitals have at night and on weekends. It also allows the physicians to spend more time seeing patients in their offices.”

The administration of Memorial Hospital and Manor welcomes questions regarding the hospitalist service.

Patients are encouraged to discuss any concerns about hospitalist care with their primary care physician or contact Memorial Hospital’s public relations department at (229) 243-6187 or by e-mail,