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What is a Hospitalist

What is Hospital Medicine?

Hospital Medicine is a medical specialty dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients.  Hospital Medicine activities include clinical care, teaching, research, and leadership related to the field of general medicine in the hospital setting.  Physicians whose primary professional focus is hospital medicine are called hospitalists. 

What is a Hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a medical specialist who provides quality medical treatment to individuals while they are in the hospital while specializing in all aspects of a patient’s care from the time they are admitted until the time they are discharged.  The main goal of a hospitalist is to provide the best, safest, most efficient care to hospitalized patients.

What does a Hospitalist do?

Hospitalists work with residents, medical students, and other physicians to help provide optimal care during a patient's hospital stay.  Hospitalists serve as the point of contact for questions or updates in order to direct all necessary aspects of treatment and determine a comprehensive plan of care.

In addition to their core expertise managing clinical problems of hospitalized patients, hospital medicine practitioners work to enhance the performance of hospitals and healthcare systems by:

  • Prompt and complete attention to all patient care needs including diagnosis, treatment, and the performance of medical procedures (within their scope of practice).
  • Employing quality and process improvement techniques
  • Collaboration, communication, and coordination with all physicians and healthcare personnel caring for hospitalized patients
  • Safe transitioning of patient care within the hospital, and from the hospital to the community, which may include oversight of care in post-acute care facilities.
  • Efficient use of hospital and healthcare resources1

What doesn't a Hospitalist do? 

Hospitalists do not care for patients outside of the hospital.  This means their dedication to care is only within the hospital boundaries while a patient is hospitalized.  Once discharged from the hospital, the primary care phsycian resumes responsibility for medical care. 

1. hospitalmedicine.org