Hospital Medicine Program
What is Hospital Medicine?
Hospital medicine is a specialty in which physicians focus on caring for patients in the hospital setting. Hospitalists work closely with the patient, family members, primary care physicians, specialists and other departments of the hospital to provide high quality and effective inpatient care. Our hospitalists are highly trained internal medicine and family practice physicians.
How does the Hospital Medicine Program work at Covenant HealthCare?
Covenant HealthCare, like many medical centers throughout the country, gives physicians on our medical staff the option of referring their patients to a hospital medicine specialist when their patients require hospitalization. The hospitalist manages the inpatient care while staying in close communication with the patient’s primary care physician. The hospitalist also acts as a liaison with other required specialists. Because the hospitalist works solely in the inpatient setting, he or she is very familiar with the hospital’s treatment and diagnostic departments and is readily available to see the patient whenever needed during the day or night.
How does the hospitalist know about your condition?
Hospitalists talk to primary care physicians on a frequent basis. At the time of your admission to the hospital, your primary care physician calls the hospitalist and informs him or her of your condition and sends your records to provide as much information as possible. The process is similar to what your physician does when he or she refers you to a specialist for another opinion or for additional tests and treatment. When you are ready to leave the hospital, your hospitalist will communicate with your primary care physician to discuss further treatment options, arrange follow-up care and prescribe necessary medications.
Communicating with your hospitalist
Your hospitalist believes that your family’s understanding of your illness is essential to the management of your care while you are in the hospital and the care you will need once you go home. If you or your family have questions for your hospitalist during your hospital stay, we recommend that you write these down and ask your hospitalist when he/she sees you in the morning. If you would like your hospitalist to meet with your family to discuss important care issues, please let your hospitalist know in the morning or contact the Hospital Medicine Program Office at 989.583.4220 or extension 3.4220 if calling from within the hospital. Family conferences are usually scheduled in the afternoon when the hospitalist has completed daily patient visits. Your nurse is also available to answer any questions you may have.
What are the advantages of inpatient care by a hospitalist?
A hospitalist is available in the hospital 24 hours a day and is able to keep a close eye on you and readily communicate with the nursing staff, other required specialists and your primary care physician.
Your hospitalist can assist you through a smooth and speedy recovery process by following up on tests and adjusting your treatment regimen throughout the day based on those test results.
Hospitalists are readily available to schedule a family conference to discuss important care issues at a time that is convenient for you and your family. Having you and your family understand your illness is essential to your care.
When do you see your primary care physician?
You will see your primary care physician soon after leaving the hospital. Complete records and reports will be forwarded to your primary care physician from the hospital.