Hospitalist vs Primary Care Physician
Read Time: 3 minutesIn the past when a patient was admitted to the hospital, the patient’s primary care provider (PCP) would visit regularly to monitor the patient’s condition. However, this practice began to change a few decades ago as physicians got busier. This is where a hospitalist comes in. A hospitalist monitors patients each day and tracks patient progress. Due to the doctor’s generalist background, the doctor can create a treatment plan for the patient including ordering tests and prescribing medicine.
A vital part of healthcare
Researchers believe hospitalists are a vital part of the healthcare network. Due to the complexity of patient issues, admitted patients need experienced physicians that can quickly identify and treat health problems. Hospitalists have this ability and can also coordinate care with other specialists to ensure complete care.
How would a hospitalist benefit a rural hospital?
Rural areas already deal with a range of healthcare constraints. Lack of resources can bring difficulty for rural regions in attracting and keeping healthcare providers. Therefore, the providers in the area are often stretched thin. These physicians may struggle to divide time among regular patients and patients admitted to the emergency room. A hospitalist lifts the burden for primary care physicians that can’t make regular hospital visits.
The option to transfer care to a hospitalist can drastically reduce the workload for already strained PCPs. With an experienced hospitalist on staff in an emergency room, rural hospitals will be able to provide the care that every patient needs and deserves. Hospitals will also be able to properly stabilize patients before releasing the patient to the PCP.
Hiring a hospitalist
The choice to employ a hospitalist is one that requires careful thought and consideration. First, hospitals must evaluate the current resources and the patient population. Once a hospital has identified a clear need for a hospitalist, the staff can take the steps necessary for hiring one. Since rural hospital staffs tend to be small and physicians actively care for the same group of patients, hospitalists will be working closely with local physicians. Finding the right fit is vital in hiring new staff. Consider starting the conversation early about adding hospitalists to a care team.