Covenant Health Systems

Hospitalists

While you are in the hospital, one of our skilled hospitalists will coordinate your care.

What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a doctor who has chosen to practice in a growing medical specialty that focuses on the care of the hospitalized patient. As a key member of your healthcare team and an experienced medical professional, the hospitalist doctor takes primary responsibility for your care while you are in the hospital. A hospitalist is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and, in the event of an emergency, is never more than a few minutes away from your bedside.

What are the responsibilities of hospitalists?

Because they practice only within the hospital setting, hospitalists are extremely familiar with the operation and services of the St. Joseph Healthcare System and can facilitate the highest-quality, most efficient care. Ongoing communication with you, the patient, your family, and your primary care physician is an important responsibility throughout this process.

The hospitalist has the necessary skills to choose all medical tests or evaluations, interpret test results, and make essential decisions about your individual treatment plan. Hospitalists have the ability to call in other physician specialists for medical or surgical consults or further treatment options. They have access to all key personnel, including social workers and discharge planners who can help you access the care and services you need after you leave the hospital, such as home health aides, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services.

What are the benefits of having hospitalist care?

Studies have shown that patients cared for by hospitalists had a shortened hospital length of stay by up to 12% and modestly lower costs, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (12/20/2007).

How does the hospitalist work with my primary care provider?

At the time of admission, your assigned hospitalist will review your medical records and discuss your condition with your primary care provider as necessary. The process is similar when a patient is referred to a medical specialist for another opinion or for additional tests and treatment.

During your hospital stay, when necessary, the hospitalist will contact your physician to discuss further treatment needs, prescribe the necessary medications, and help arrange follow-up care. Following discharge, your physician receives a full report detailing your healthcare status. By working together, your hospitalist and your primary care doctor, along with the other members of your hospital healthcare team, will ensure you get the best possible treatment while you are in the hospital and the care and services you need after you return home.

What if I don't have a primary care provider?

Our Provider Directory offers a complete listing of providers in our extensive physician network. Also you can call DoctorLink, our FREE physician referral line, at (800) 210-9000 for a list of providers who meet your individual needs.

Contact Information

Hospitalists
Tel: (603) 882-3000, ext. 63882
Remote access is for authorized physicians and employees only.