SIU School of Medicine

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Division of General Internal Medicine

Inpatient Hospital Care

What is a Hospitalist?

A Hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring exclusively for patients in the hospital. At SIU, a group of Hospitalists work as a team with medical residents and students.

Why is a Hospitalist taking care of me?

We, instead of your primary care physician, will be seeing you while you are in the hospital. On the Hospitalist service, you have the benefit of being taken care of by a doctor who is entirely focused on your care in the hospital. This enables your primary physician to devote all his/her time to their office practice.

Will the Hospitalist know about me?

Hospitalists communicate with your primary physician on a regular basis. At the time of your admission, records from your doctor will be requested and your condition discussed. Your primary care physician will be informed about your care at discharge as well, and will receive a copy of your records.

What are the benefits?

Hospitalists keep a close eye on you: in case of an emergency, we are never far away. Because we work solely in the hospital and are here all day we can see you more than once a day if needed. We know every specialist and department in the hospital and check on your tests periodically to make adjustments in treatment throughout the day. We are available throughout the day to answer you and your family’s questions for emergencies.

When will I see my primary doctor?

You will see your doctor soon after discharge for a follow-up appointment. If you do not have a doctor, we will help you find one and prescribe the necessary medications. Discharge instructions, admission notes, important tests, consultant’s notes and discharge summaries will be sent to your doctor within 1 to 2 business days.

Will the same Hospitalist take care of me during my stay here?

We make every effort to have the same Hospitalist see you every day. Because we work as a group, you may see a different Hospitalist or other member of the medicine faculty on the weekends.

Who is on the Hospitalist team?

THE ATTENDING is the Hospitalist, and the person ultimately responsible for your care. Attendings are members of the SIU School of Medicine faculty and have the important role of teaching the other members of the team.

THE RESIDENTS are licensed physicians who have completed medical school and are currently training as specialists in internal medicine. Residents are often the first physicians you meet upon being admitted to the hospital and the physicians you will see most frequently. The residents also take an active role in teaching the medical students on the team.

THE MEDICAL STUDENTS are generally in their third and fourth years of medical school. They are not only learning to manage complex health issues, but also to interview and examine patients and to document their findings. For these reasons, they may visit you separately to discuss an aspect of your care in more depth.

THE HOSPITALIST NURSE works closely with all the members of the Hospitalist team. This person is directly involved in patient education and the discharge process and will call you after your discharge from the hospital to ensure a smooth transition from your hospital stay back to your Primary Care Physician.

What are Rounds?

Typically occurring in the mornings, this is a structured time when the entire Hospitalist team gathers and visits their patients—this explains why you may see a large group of white-coated individuals in your room! During rounds, the team discusses diagnostic strategies and management plans for each patient. This is also very important teaching and learning time for the entire team. If you have any questions or concerns about your care, this is a good time to bring them up. However, please be aware that the members of your Hospitalist team are available throughout the day and can be contacted, at any time, by the nurse caring for you in the hospital.

Contact Infomation

While you are in the hospital, if you would like to speak with one of the Hospitalists, it is best to ask the nurse taking care of you to page the doctor. Either the Hospitalist or one of the other team members (typically the resident involved in your care) will answer you. We would be very happy to hear from you. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to let us know.

If you have recently been in the hospital under the care of one of the SIU Hospitalists and have questions about your care, please contact the Hospitalist Secretary at 545-6914. For immediate health concerns, prescription refills or follow up care, contact your normal PCP.

Discharge Information

It is our goal to make the discharge process as smooth as possible. We will work with you from the time of admission to enable timely and convenient service. Please make sure that you leave the hospital with he Discharge Instruction Sheet. This is an information sheet that explains the medications you should be taking and follow-up appointment(s) with your doctor or consultants.

View the article, "Where the Doctors are always in" for more information on our Hospital Doctors.