When Brenda learned her mother would need rehab following her hip surgery, she felt overwhelmed by the decisions necessary for her mother’s care. The added emotional stress of her mother’s painful recovery delayed by an unexpected infection only added to an already difficult situation. It was during this experience that Brenda learned to appreciate the role of a hospitalist.
What is a hospitalist?
Though relatively new in the field of healthcare services, a hospitalist’s role is quickly growing in importance. When you or your loved one is in need of extra care, a hospitalist is there to provide it. Dr. Robert Cho, Lead Hospitalist at Hoag Orthopedic Institute explained a little more about what he does on a daily basis.
“A hospitalist facilitates between the hospital and the post-acute care facility in order to monitor what is going on with their patients,” he said. “We oversee patients daily in hospitals to keep track of progress. Then, after examining the patient’s background and treatment, we help determine when the patient is ready for discharge to go home or transfer to a skilled nursing or rehab facility.”
Hospitalists take a multidisciplinary approach when discharging patients. The standard practice of a hospitalist is to sit down with social workers, case managers, and discharge planners to discuss the patient’s background, insurances, home environment and support. The overall goal is to achieve an easy discharge without interrupting the recovery process.
What does this mean for the patient?
As the loved one of a patient, the hospitalist and medical team provides a comforting level of support. The access to professional opinions and extensive knowledge of resources is an invaluable platform to help a loved one make decisions about the best care for the patient.
The benefits to the patient include a continuity of care. Patients are followed from the hospital to post-acute care by physicians, physical therapists, and case managers. For example, Dr. Cho makes medical rounds at the hospital, but he also makes rounds at Palm Terrace Healthcare and Rehab Center
“Continuity is an important part of care because we see patients in the hospital, we see them in the post-acute care setting as well, and we know exactly what is going on with them from start to finish,” Cho said.
At a time when reliable, consistent, effective care is imperative for recovery, having a hospitalist be a part of your medical team to connect necessary resources will make a huge difference in providing optimal healthcare services when it matters most.