RIVER FALLS, Wis.
River Falls Area Hospital has introduced a hospital medicine program. The program, which launched shortly before Christmas, is staffed by hospitalist doctors – specialist physicians who care only for hospital patients – and replaces the former practice of primary care doctors rounding on the individual patients.
"We are excited to see our hospitalist program come to fruition," said hospital president David Miller. "We believe patients will receive enhanced care, as there will be a dedicated physician onsite to care for them during any hospitalization. We also know this model will free up primary care doctors to spend more time in their clinics seeing patients."
A hospitalist sees all inpatients daily and works closely with a patient's primary care doctor and other specialists participating in the patient's care. Hospitalists are experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and coordination of care of hospital patients and focus on the provision of hospital medical care, answering inpatients' questions and coordinating plans for discharge.
At River Falls Area Hospital, staffing of the hospitalist program is provided through a professional services agreement with Vibrant Health Family Clinics. A lead hospitalist will be hired within a year; interim leadership is provided by Dr. Ben Morgan and ongoing support of the program is provided additionally by Dr. Jeffrey Larsen, Dr. Amaris Moore and Dr. Dan Zimmerman, with out-of-hours support from additional Vibrant Health physicians.