Press release from Dearborn County Hospital
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Dearborn County Hospital (DCH) will initiate a Hospitalist Program for inpatient care beginning on Wednesday, October 16. The program will bring four new physicians to DCH and provide for around-the-clock onsite and/or on-call care.
A Hospital Medicine Physician (Hospitalist) is a physician whose practice is dedicated entirely to providing care for patients while they are hospitalized. Hospitalists do not have offices in the community, rather they partner to work cooperatively with and are in touch with area primary care physicians and specialists to oversee and coordinate care for patients during periods of hospitalization.
During the patient’s hospital stay, hospitalists will consult and communicate with the patient’s personal primary care physician on a regular basis, in order to better care for the patient’s overall needs. Upon the patient’s discharge, their personal physician will resume providing care.
Currently, most inpatients are seen by their admitting primary care physician once or twice a day, usually before or after their doctor’s office hours. During these visits, the physician reviews the patient’s progress and writes orders for testing, procedures or treatments, makes medication changes, determines a discharge timeline and meets with family and caregivers.
With a hospitalist available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, these activities can be performed throughout the day as needed allowing for a more streamlined continuum of care. In addition, patients whose conditions are unstable or more serious can benefit from the rapid availability of a hospitalist.
“Hospitalists are utilized in all Cincinnati hospitals and in fact, most facilities throughout the country,” explained Roger D. Howard, DCH President/CEO. “With the rapidly increasing number of regulations and new developments in healthcare today, it is difficult for physicians to keep abreast of all the changes. Hospitalists make it possible for primary care physicians to concentrate on office based medicine, allowing them to care for more patients.
“There is a shortage of primary care physicians now and it will become worse in the near future,” continued Mr. Howard. “Currently, the majority of primary care physicians looking to start a new practice or relocate their existing practice want to refer to and work with a hospital that has a hospitalist program. By partnering with the hospitalists for inpatient care, DCH and the community derive two major benefits. First, it helps our primary care physicians to better address the community’s needs by increasing the number of available office appointments. Secondly, it allows DCH to be more competitive in the recruitment of top flight primary care physicians.
“Not all of the hospital’s primary care physicians will utilize the Hospitalist Program,” added Mr. Howard. “Doctors were given the opportunity to partner with the hospitalists or to continue to see inpatients in the traditional manner. Independent decisions were made by each physician based upon how they felt they could best serve their patients and the community.”
Working with the hospitalists will be former DCH Intensive Care Unit Manager, Keri Amberger, R.N. As the program’s R.N. Coordinator, she will help to facilitate communication and direction between the hospitalists and the area’s primary care physicians, specialists and hospital departments.
“We are proud to partner with Sound Physicians for our Hospitalist Program,” concluded Mr. Howard. “Sound Physicians has an excellent reputation, on both a national and regional basis, for providing excellent patient care. We anticipate that their partnership with our hospital and medical staff will help us to continue to provide the best possible care for our patients.”
To learn more about the DCH Hospitalist Program, please visit the hospital’s website at www.dch.org.