GBMC's Hospitalist Program Explained
Hospitalists are part of a medical subspecialty that focuses on coordinating care during a patient's stay. "They know every square inch of the hospital," says Dr. Greenawalt. They are board-certified in Internal Medicine and do everything from recording patient information to interpreting diagnostic tests and creating treatment plans. Hospitalists are directly involved in patient care and work to coordinate with specialists and the patient's primary care provider. "It's all about coordination," says Dr. Greenawalt, "it's so important that the outpatient doctor is kept in the loop."
Hospitalists visit each patient several times per day to make sure that treatment is going smoothly and to answer any questions they have. Nationally, hospitalists see an average of 15 patients per day, but GBMC has reduced this number to 13 to make sure every patient gets the highest possible level of care.
Although hospitalists do communicate with recent patients to make sure they are getting appropriate care after their discharge, patients cannot make a follow-up appointment with a hospitalist. "By definition, the hospitalist is a physician that takes care of someone who is already within the walls of the hospital," Dr. Greenawalt explains. Part of every patient's care is the creation of a solid plan to transition them back to home life.
Ashley and Dr. Greenawalt also discussed the role that mental health has in patient hospitalization and how it's important for hospitalists to take the extra steps to ensure that proper care is given to these patients.