Advantages of Hospitalists

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Baptist Health Corbin: Advantages of Hospitalists

Physician SHANNON PERKINS, MD explains a hospitalist’s role and describes the support these onsite physicians provide to patients, to the nursing staff and to a patient’s doctor.

Advantages of Hospitalists Health Talks Transcript

Shannon Perkins, MD

A hospitalist is a doctor that mainly takes care of patients in a hospital setting. Primary care providers, about 20 years ago, realized that the requirements to take care of acutely sick patients are quite different than chronically ill patients. So hospital medicine came about because primary care doctors needed more time in their office to take of their patients and provide better care for their hospitalized patients quickly. At Baptist Health Corbin, we have six hospitalists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Three doctors are always on at one time. However, if something happens, we have three other doctors we can call for help. The advantages to the patient with having a hospitalist on staff is that they know that no matter what time of day, if they start getting sicker, that person is going to come to their room and evaluate them, and the patient won’t have to wait 30 minutes for their doctor to leave the house and come in and see them. They’ll only have to wait a few minutes. The doctor will be there to evaluate them and to help them with any need. The nurses told us they feel safer because, if a patient is critically ill and they know that a hospitalist is already at the hospital, it doesn’t matter what time, they can get hold of us faster and we can take care of the problem quicker, which is safer for the patient.