No matter how experienced they are, how many games they’ve won in the final seconds or how many championship rings adorn their fingers, star quarterbacks never take the field without first consulting their offensive coordinator on the game plan. In terms of medicine, the wellness game plan is never more critical for a patient requiring treatment in a hospital – where a different type of coordinator specializes in personally overseeing your care and connecting with your personal medical team.
As the title would suggest, a Hospitalist is a doctor who specifically treats patients within a hospital. Unlike most physicians who usually see patients at offices and clinics, Hospitalists are specialists in the field of inpatient medicine. They are general internists who treat newly admitted hospital patients and coordinate care with other hospital specialists assisting with a patient’s treatment. In an environment that can easily become overwhelming for those battling illness in an unfamiliar place, the Hospitalist is the constant medical advocate for answering questions, directing treatment and ensuring quality care throughout a hospital stay.
“We’re not replacing the patient’s primary care physician, it’s more like we’re their eyes and ears in the hospital when they can’t be there,” said Ajay Madhani, M.D. FACP, CEO of Advanced Inpatient Consultants Specialists, a 24-hour Hospitalist Service based in Vernon Hills. “Because primary care physicians must still adhere to regular patient appointment schedules, they can’t always be in the hospital when their patient needs them. As hospitalists, we partner with the patient’s regular doctor and specialists in directing treatment and providing consistent updates.”
The Hospitalist medical specialty gained popularity in the 1990s as the complexity of patient care also grew. With more specialists offering more advanced medical treatments than ever before, it means more physicians may be hovering over a patient’s bed at any given time. In addition to treating a patient and coordinating care among a hospital’s medical experts, the Hospitalist is also there to help patients understand their course of care and why they’re seeing certain specialists and undergoing specific tests – providing vital information and ensuring the patient never feels lost in the treatment process.
“From the perspective of a hospital patient worried about making a full recovery, he or she might easily think their condition is much worse as doctor after doctor comes by their room for a visit,” Dr. Madhani added. “A key role of the Hospitalist is being that familiar face for a patient in serving as the focal point that ties all the physician communications and information together, making for a better patient experience.”
The Hospitalist role is a mirror image of the patient’s primary care provider. They provide comprehensive medical care including diagnosis, treatment and management to deliver optimum care and provide a positive patient experience and outcome. “Collaborating with the patient’s primary physician, building a trusting relationship, and exceeding expectations with the patient are our goals” adds Dr. Madhani.
For all the great work happening inside hospitals, the Hospitalist is able to guide patients through customized treatment plans and help pull physician communications and medical information together – coordinating a positive outcome. To learn more about the role of hospitalists and Advanced Inpatient Consultants Specialists, please visit www.aichospitalist.com or call 847-535-7736.