Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hospitalists at Newport Hospital

While I have not been hospitalized at Newport Hospital for a long time, members of my family have. I thought it odd that you rarely spoke with your own doctor, but instead another one. This doctor was one that I was not familiar with & know I know why.

These doctors are a "new type of physician specializing in the care of patients while they are in the hospital." Newport Hospital has nine of these specialists.

"Hospitalists" are a new, fast-growing specialty around the world & you'll be seeing a lot more of them.

They work ONLY in the hospital & take over for the PCP while patients are in the hospital. The advantage being that they are always available, review charts frequently, & can call for consults as needed. This can be difficult for the PCP to do. "Nurses seem to agree that hospitalists 'bring it together for the patient.'"

It's important for these doctors to have good communication skills as they do not know their patients or their families. Something has definitely been lost here, but in these days of so much to do for PCP's, this would seem to be a useful solution, I suppose. We found it difficult to communicate with these physicians with aging parents. Instead, you are often referred elsewhere with communications definitely suffering. Your PCP may still visit & communicate, but that may well be iffy.

As a patient it is often difficult to communicate when you're in the hospital to begin with - you don't feel well, are often medicated, & not exactly "with it." Still, there doesn't seem much choice as medicine now often seems to be run as efficiently as the oldtime assembly line. Keeping costs down as low as possible is de rigeur. Yes, something lost, but hopefully, something gained too. Not much choice, really.

Any comments?

Thanks to "Newport this Week" & reporter VIRGINIA TREHERNE-THOMAS for the info
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