Hospitalist Program

In September 2008, at the request of several local physicians who wanted the option to spend more time seeing patients in their offices and less time at the hospital, Chester River Hospital Center developed the hospitalist program. Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in taking care of patients in the hospital. Hospitalists focus solely on inpatient care—having no office or outpatient practice. Hospitalists work exclusively with patients while they are hospitalized and are available around-the-clock to respond to patient needs and answer questions. The hospitalists help the patient care experience be more efficient within the hospital setting. The hospitalists communicate with the patient's primary care physician to inform them of the patient's hospital stay. This is a medical care concept that is being used by many hospitals across the country in part due to the increasing shortage of primary care physicians.

What is a hospitalist?

Hospitalists are physicians who have the same skills and training as your primary care doctor, but have chosen to specialize in taking care of patients that have been admitted to the hospital. They do not have an office practice. Because they do not have the additional responsibility of seeing patients in an office, hospitalist physicians are able to be in the hospital 24 hours a day. This allows the hospitalist team to provide the best possible care to patients at all times of the day/night and to provide more frequent evaluations during periods when patients are most ill.

The hospitalist program also benefits your primary care physician. Knowing that his/her patients are being well cared for by the hospitalist team gives your primary care physician the ability to concentrate all of his/her attention to patients during office visits.

The goals of the hospitalist service are:

  1. to work as partners with your primary care physician in improving your health and quality of life

  2. to communicate effectively with patients and families

  3. to maximize our patient's use of the comprehensive services provided at Chester River Hospital Center

What can I expect in the hospital?

Expect the team of hospitalists to work closely with you, your family, and your primary care physician to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Because they have no office practice, hospitalists are here to see you as often as necessary each day. They are easily available to answer questions for you or your family. You can expect them to be an honest, compassionate, and skillful part of your health care team.

How does a hospitalist work with my primary care physician?

It is a team approach. The hospitalist physicians will communicate directly with you and your primary care physician to ensure that all important health information is available when you are first admitted. Your primary care physician may refer you for admission to the hospitalist service directly from office/clinic or you may be admitted through the emergency department. Regardless of how you are admitted, your hospitalist physician will work closely with your physician to provide important updates to your health. At discharge, the hospitalist will ensure that you have a follow up appointment with your physician and will provide the physician with a report of your stay.