Around-the-Clock Coordinated Care
By John HustonNews December 17, 2014
Hospitalists are physicians whose primary role is to provide comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients. By coordinating care with primary care physicians, subspecialists, nurses and other members of the hospital care team, they help create a safer healing environment for patients.
"That is a huge satisfier for nursing and leadership,” says Nicole Deklotz, manager of Administrative Projects at Lake Forest Hospital. "Before, there were many modes of communication for the various physician groups. Now there is a primary line of communication 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
Having a full team of staff hospitalists also benefits the Patients First mission, since the physicians are held to in-house patient experience goals and serve on patient experience improvement committees, which allows for greater accountability, Deklotz said.
Stephen Keiser, director of Operations at Glenview Outpatient Center and Hospital Medicine at Lake Forest Hospital, says transitions are the key. "When you're discharged, that transition of care is so important because your primary care physician needs to be able to smoothly and successfully manage your care when you are back home,” Keiser says. “Strong communication with your entire care team is key to making this happen."
Having a team of staff hospitalists also allows for more consistent patient transfers to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. "It reinforces the quality standards that we have at Northwestern and it's a similar system downtown so it levels us up,” says Thomas J. McAfee, president of Lake Forest Hospital.
Vikram K. Devisetty, MD, MBA, MPH, medical director of the Hospital Medicine program at Lake Forest Hospital, notes that there is a reason why it is the most rapidly growing specialty in recent years. “Hospitalists manage patients with complicated medical issues and coordinate care with multiple subspecialists when needed. Hospitalists are experts at managing inpatient care,” Devisetty says. “If you’re going to build a new hospital, you need to have an excellent Hospital Medicine program to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to the large number of patients that come through those doors.”
Learn more about the hospitalists program at Northwestern Medicine, along with the hospital medicine specialty.