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Hospitalist Medicine

The term “hospitalist” refers to physicians whose practice emphasizes providing care for hospitalized patients. The hospitalist physicians of Indian River Medical Associates are dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients. This means providing superior and compassionate care by collaborating seamlessly with patients, families, primary care providers, specialists and support staff.

All aspects of inpatient care are managed in conjunction with your primary care physician. When you leave the hospital, our hospitalist team will communicate with your primary care physician regarding discharge from the hospital, as well as coordinate the appropriate post-discharge care services such as home health, specialized rehabilitation, and home IV infusion services.

  • 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.
  • 24/7 continuous patient coverage
  • Excellence in patient care, ongoing quality assessment and evidence-based medicine

Hospitalists are doctors, accompanied by advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), who devote their practice to the care of hospitalized patients. Indian River Medical Center Hospitalists are specialists in Internal Medicine. They see hospitalized patients who have been referred by primary care doctors, emergency room doctors or other physicians at the hospital. They do not see patients outside of the hospital.

Why is a Hospitalist caring for me?

Your own primary care physician may request that a Hospitalist be in charge of your care during your hospital stay. In this way you have the benefit of being seen by a doctor whose practice is entirely focused on the care of hospitalized patients. Additionally, this can enable your primary care doctor to be more available to you in the office, rather than trying to go back and forth between seeing patients in the office and in the hospital.

How does the Hospitalist practice work?

The Hospitalist will be in charge of your care and will see you every day to direct your treatment while you are in the hospital. The Hospitalist is available to you and your family to answer questions and discuss your care. Hospitalists work at the hospital full-time to provide for your care and attend to any emergencies that may arise. The Hospitalist may consult other doctors to participate in your care as well.

The Hospitalist will make arrangements for any prescription you may need when you are discharged. You may be asked to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or with other doctors soon after discharge.

Since Hospitalists do not have an outpatient practice, you will not have an appointment with the Hospitalist again after discharge.

What is the relationship between the Hospitalist and my primary care physician?

The Hospitalist and your primary care physician work together. Your primary care physician can provide information about your past health history to the Hospitalist, and the doctors can discuss any significant findings or events. With your consent, admission and discharge reports of findings and treatment plans can be sent to your primary care physician.

Your primary care physician asks the Hospitalist to be in charge of your care while you are in the hospital, and may check on you or discuss your care with the Hospitalist during your hospital stay. When you are discharged, you will return to the care of your primary care doctor.

What if I need another specialist while in the hospital?

Consultations from other physicians are necessary in some cases, and the Hospitalist can arrange for these as necessary. If you have already been seen by specialists at Indian River Medical Center or elsewhere, be sure to let us know so we can keep them informed about your hospital stay.

What if I don’t have a regular primary care physician?

The Indian River Medical Center Hospitalists, and other staff at the hospital, can assist in finding a doctor for you to see after leaving the hospital. Records from your hospital stay can be sent to this physician.

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