Hospitalists are physicians that are specially trained to care for hospitalized patients. They are responsible for managing patient care and treatment on a daily basis from the time a patient is admitted to the hospital until they are discharged. Hospitalist physicians spend their day in the hospital so any urgent needs can be addressed in a timely fashion. They are very up-to-date with practice guidelines and the latest information in treating acute care needs.

All of the hospitalists at Parkridge Medical Center are trained, certified and experienced. Their experience represents a variety of medical disciplines, most commonly Internal Medicine. Our hospitalists work as a team, so you may see more than one during your hospital stay. These physicians will be happy to answer your questions regarding your plan of care. Our hospitalists are familiar with key staff in the hospital, including medical and surgical consultants, discharge planners, clergy and other employees. This familiarity enables hospitalists to rapidly respond to issues that may arise during your stay in the hospital.

Your physician's office will contact the hospitalist service and refer you for care. You will be admitted to the hospital by one of our hospitalist physicians. Shortly after you are admitted, the hospitalists will assess your condition based on information provided by your physician and a physical examination. They will order tests, medications and treatments based on your healthcare needs.

Yes. The hospitalist communicates with your physician on a regular basis in several ways: electronically, by phone, and person to person. A copy of your discharge summary and follow up plans are available for your physician's review within 24 hours of your discharge.

The hospitalist will see you daily and be in charge of your care while you are a hospital patient. They will attend to any special needs or emergencies that may arise. They may consult other specialists to ensure that you receive the most appropriate care for your illness. If you are having surgery, your surgeon may request the hospitalist manage your medical needs while in the hospital. The hospitalist will prescribe medications at discharge, but they do not authorize refills. Refills on medications will be written by your primary care physician after you leave the hospital.

In the past, hospitalized patients may have been used to seeing their physician or his/her partner very early in the morning. With the hospitalist service, this may be slightly different. Since hospitalists are here all day and see many patients, they prioritize needs and may even see some patients in the afternoon. But again, any needs may be addressed by telling your nurse, and he or she will ask the hospitalist. Many times, these needs are taken care of even before you are seen by the doctor.

Plans for discharge begin when you are admitted to the hospital. Each patient is assigned a case manager who offers patients and families assistance with various options and decisions that will be made for discharge. The hospitalists work closely with our team of case managers, therapists, pharmacists and community resources to ensure the most appropriate decisions are made with regard to your continued care. After discharge, you will return to your primary care physician for your follow-up care.

While in the hospital, you may ask your nurse to contact the hospitalist 24 hours a day for any issues. After discharge, you should contact your primary care physician or the physician recommended to you by the hospitalist.