A hospitalist is a physician whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Since hospitalists work only in the hospital, they are readily available to closely monitor, adjust treatment and address any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Medical research has shown that hospitalists can help increase the quality of your care in the hospital and reduce the time that you spend in the hospital.
Although they focus on inpatient care, hospitalists are trained in the same way as a primary care physician (PCP). Hospitalists work as part of a team of physicians to coordinate your care, working with any specialists involved in your care and communicating with your PCP. Hospitalists also help you transition to the most appropriate care when you are ready to leave the hospital, providing you with clear instructions.
Hospitalists coordinate with your PCP while you are in the hospital and oversee your care, from admission to discharge. After your discharged from the hospital, your PCP will receive a summary of your stay, including discharge instructions, medications that have been prescribed and recommended follow-up visits and treatments.