Hospitalists are board-certified physicians, usually family medicine or internal medicine practitioners, who specialize in caring for hospitalized patients.
During their hospital stay, many patients are referred to a hospitalist by their primary care doctor. When the patients leave the hospital, they return to the care of their primary doctor.
Hospitalists also care for patients in the hospital who have no primary doctor.
Working with your primary care provider
Although you may be cared for by a hospitalist while you are an inpatient, your primary care provider will be notified that you have been admitted, updated on your progress, and consulted about your background and needs. Hospitalists will also contact your doctor at any critical point in treatment planning or consultation. And when it’s time for you to go home, the hospitalist coordinates follow-up care with your primary care provider.
Electronic health records also provide hospitalists immediate access to patient histories and medical information and allow referring doctors to follow their patients' hospital treatments.
Having a hospitalist direct your care could also mean you go home sooner, because a hospitalist is immediately available to order tests, interpret results, and approve your discharge.
Cambridge Medical Center has a team of hospitalists that provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for patients who are hospitalized.