Your Hospital Caregiver
By Steve Stahl, MD Hospitalist
If you should end up in the hospital, wouldn't you want to know that whoever is taking charge of your care knows your medical history, can make a speedy, accurate assessment of your condition and guide your treatment and recovery with confidence?
Over the last 10 years, most family and internal medicine physicians have stopped going to the hospital to care for their patients. Now, physicians who work for a hospital take care of most patients. But these hospital physicians don't have access to the information in a patient's office chart, not even an accurate medication list.
At New West, we believe our patients should be cared for by a team of expert providers who are familiar with each patient. That is why we have a New West Hospitalist Team. New West hospitalists review medical charts before seeing a patient in the hospital and communicate with the patient's primary care physician. They make sure that the patient's primary care physician has all the information they need from the hospital stay so the physician can provide the care the patient needs next time they are in the office. The hospital physician knows the referring physicians and works for them and the patient. We also carefully select which specialists we refer to; so that our patients get the best quality care.
Being in a hospital is a stressful time, and patients can feel vulnerable and alone. Having a hospitalist to advocate and oversee care is a priceless benefit.
"What ... hospitalists do is near and dear to my heart, in fact it is the reason I chose to have my doctor here at New West," said Barb, a patient. "I knew that if I landed in the hospital, someone would be looking out for me. Someone who had access to my
health records, and would be my advocate for getting the care I need during my stay and afterward upon discharge."
A New West hospitalist is in attendance upon a patient's admission, interacts with hospital staff and listens to what the patient wants. Before a patient is discharged from a hospital, a New West hospitalist learns about the patient's home situation and plans for a transition there or to another level of care.
Family members are important in this planning, and New West provides case managers to hospitalist physicians to help with discharge plans, and help the patient understand his or her options.
From start to finish of a hospital stay, New West physician hospitalists hold a patient's care in their hands, provide the connection and communication needed to keep the patient at the center of care, and help the patient navigate what can otherwise be a stressful and confusing experience.