New Roles for Healthcare Delivery

Most of us know that hospital staffing is made up of doctors and nurses. But if you haven’t visited a hospital lately, you may not know about the evolving set of specialties found in today’s hospitals.

A relatively new trend in the care of hospitalized patients is the “hospitalist, ” a doctor who specializes in the care of such patients. In most instances, it will be the hospitalist, not your primary care physician, who will be treating you during your stay.

Hospitalists are most often board-certified internal medicine doctors who have training and experience in caring for the complexities of the hospitalized. Because they do not have a community practice, they’re able to concentrate on patient care, testing and timely communication with everyone from the patient to their families, other physicians and the nursing staff.

A hospitalist’s “home base” is the hospital, so they are experts at navigating the policies and protocols within that setting. This is a great benefit to the patient. The downside is the hospitalist may not be familiar with a patient’s medical history or current medications.

Hospitalists should communicate with the primary care physician to get the information they need to treat a patient, and this is an instance where electronic medical records are particularly helpful.

Do you know a hospital that has a “hospitalist”? Let me know.



Author: Alice Reiter Feld
Ms. Reiter Feld has been in private practice for over 30 years. During that time, she’s proven to be a determined fighter for the rights of senior citizens and family members when it comes to elder care options, and on the importance of engaging an elder law attorney to plan and execute a personalized strategy. Her primary areas of practice under the “Elder Law Umbrella” include long-term care needs planning, asset protection planning, estate planning, probate, Veteran’s Benefits, and Medicaid planning and assistance.

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