Hospitalist Medicine Program
Patients admitted to the Richland Hospital now experience a new type of care – they will be cared for by inpatient specialty doctors called hospitalists during their stay. These specialists provide a new level of expertise and availability which enhances the quality of care already administered to patients at the Richland Hospital.
Chris Shannon, MSN, RN is the Medical Surgical Department Manager at Richland Hospital. He said, “The future of inpatient hospital care is coming to the Richland Hospital, and I’m very excited about this great, new opportunity we have to offer our community. The hospitalists will fit in well with our facility and patient population.”
Richland Medical Center doctors requested that Hospitalist Medicine be brought to the Richland Hospital. With hospitalists caring for hospital patients, primary care doctors will have an opportunity to focus all their energy on the patients in the clinic. Primary doctors will no longer have to struggle with the need to be in two places at one time. The result will be reduced wait times for clinic appointments.
Dr. Neil Bard explains that there are big benefits to the hospitalist medicine program. “With this program, patients and their families will be able to talk to the physician overseeing the hospital patient’s care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” he said. “In the middle of the night and on weekend, the hospitalists will always be there.”
The hospital specialty doctors will follow-up on tests and adjust treatment as it is needed. Changes in a patient’s condition or progress will be addressed without delay. Treatments will be communicated to the patient’s primary care doctor in much the same manner that any specialist would communicate with them. After a patient is discharged, he or she will follow-up with their primary care doctor.
Bard and Shannon agree that this transition is comparable to a change that happened when Richland Medical Center physicians stopped providing Emergency Department coverage at the Richland Hospital. Dr. Bard said, “Prior to that change, patients were accustomed to seeing Richland Medical Center doctors in the hospital Emergency Department. Today, patients go to the Emergency Department expecting to see Emergency Medicine doctors.”
Patients who will not be affected by the hospitalist medicine program include pediatric patients, obstetrics patients, and surgical patients. Shannon said, “Richland Medical Center physicians will continue to follow their Birth Center patients, and provide excellent prenatal, labor and delivery, and post-partum care to the community. Surgeons will have the option of having the hospitalists manage the medical care of their patients after surgery, which is very consistent with the care relationship currently being provided by Richland Medical Center doctors.”
Bruce Roesler, Richland Hospital CEO says, “The Hospitalist’s patient fees will be comparable to what patients have been charged for their primary care doctors from Richland Medical Center to provide their hospital care and insurance will work the same.”