Hospitalists

In-hospital Specialists at MarinHealth Medical Center

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the needs of hospitalized patients. Because our practice is hospital-based, we have an insider’s perspective on the hospital’s departments, personnel, and operations. This allows us to provide the highest quality care to the patients we serve.

Most hospitalists are trained in Internal Medicine. Because our patients are hospitalized when we see them, we are very experienced in taking care of people who are acutely ill and who have many medical problems. We do our best to understand each patient as an individual, explain their illness and test results, and respond to questions and concerns. We work out a treatment plan that is optimized to each person’s needs.

Hospitalist Responsibilities

  • Coordinating the patient’s entire care team, including consulting with physicians, therapists, nurses, and case managers.
  • Sharing information with the patient’s primary care provider (PCP) and any relevant specialists at admission and discharge.
  • Keeping the patient informed about their condition, tests, procedures, medications, and treatment plan. Hospitalists at MarinHealth Medical Center visit their patients at least once a day, depending on the patient’s condition.
  • Serving as the patient’s in-hospital advocate and addressing their questions and concerns.
  • Keeping a designated family member informed about the patient’s condition if the patient is unconscious or too ill to communicate.
  • Planning for the patient’s discharge and preparing a detailed summary for the patient’s PCP and other physicians where appropriate, with any relevant follow-up care instructions.

Patient Care Around the Clock

Our hospitalists provide the Medical Center with 24-hour in-hospital physician coverage to provide direct physician access to patients who are admitted at night or have changes in condition that need urgent evaluation. It is possible that patients may see more than one hospitalist during their stay, and when this happens, we provide each other with detailed information about the pertinent medical issues and needs.

Communicating with the Patient’s Family

If a patient is not able to comprehend the care plan, it is good to designate a point person, usually a spouse or relative, who can be kept informed about their condition. This is so one person may serve as the liaison between the patient’s family and the care team. The hospitalist will update that individual regularly and be able to answer any questions and address concerns that have been raised. The designated point person then can update any other family members. The hospitalist’s daily visit is the best time for families to ask questions and offer input, but we can also call the designated point person if needed if no one is available during rounds.

Planning for Discharge

MarinHealth hospitalists start thinking about their patient’s discharge long before it happens. The hospitalist works closely with our case managers, who provide patients with discharge options and answer their questions in detail. Estimated discharge date and time is shared in person and on the communication board in the patient’s room. The Hospitalist will review the plan, including any medication changes, with the patient or designated point person prior to discharge. The hospitalist will share a summary of the hospitalization with the patient’s outpatient primary care provider and any relevant specialists involved in their care.

Close Engagement for Better Outcomes

Our hospitalists are physician leaders in the hospital and are actively involved behind the scene to drive high-quality patient care. We serve on many committees, including Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Performance Improvement, Medical Executive, and more. We are champions of hand-hygiene and are partners in many initiatives designed to drive patient safety.