Introducing the Hospitalist
During your hospital stay the Hospitalist will:
- Provide the medical care you need in the hospital setting
- Secure the help of a specialist, if needed
- Partner with you in navigating your way during your hospital stay
- Make sure you get the best medical attention available by being your advocate
- Coordinate with your Primary Care doctor and help you transition back to their care upon discharge
The Role of Your Hospitalist Doctor
At John Muir Health, a Hospitalist is assigned to most patients. A Hospitalist is a doctor typically Board-certified in Internal Medicine or Family Medicine, who specializes in caring for people in the hospital. They partner with your Primary Care doctor to help coordinate your care while you are in the hospital. Your Hospitalist will provide you with excellent medical care. They are experienced in taking care of medically complex issues and work with all the members of your health care team to navigate you through your hospital stay. Hospitalists are present in the hospital 24 hours a day and you will see your Hospitalist at least once a day.
It’s nice to be able to address all your questions to one doctor during your stay. Your Hospitalist is involved in all aspects of your care and communicates with all other doctors and members of your care team. They can explain what tests and procedures have been performed, your test results, and what may come next. They will also be in the best position to answer any questions that come up and provide you with options for continuing care. Feel free to include a family member or caregiver in those discussions.
Keeping your Primary Care doctor in the loop
You may be wondering if your Primary Care doctor even knows you are here. Your Hospitalist will ensure that your Primary Care doctor knows why you are here, what’s been done so far, and what additional tests and procedures may be planned for the remainder of your stay. Your Hospitalist will also gather any medical history from your Primary Care doctor that may be important for your care.
After you are discharged from the hospital, your Primary Care doctor may also want you to be seen at the Post-Discharge Clinic, especially if you have complex medical needs. The clinic is designed for close follow-up after a hospital stay and is staffed by the Hospitalists. This facilitates a smooth transition out of the hospital and care coordination after your discharge.
It is likely that more than one doctor or specialist and several other members of your care team will be involved in your care during your stay. Keeping your entire care team on the same page is not an easy task. For this reason, your Hospitalist also coordinates communications among all your doctors and your care team. This way, everyone is fully informed on your condition.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the difference between Inpatient, Outpatient and Observation Status?
With Medicare or with some other insurances, your costs and coverage will be different depending on your admission status: Inpatient, Observation, or Outpatient. Upon admission, the attending physician writes an order for admission. Your insurance provider, not your physician, defines the criteria for determining your status.
What is NPO and why can’t I eat?
NPO means “nothing by mouth.” This is required for a variety of reasons, most often prior to a procedure or surgery when there is risk you could vomit or get pneumonia. Also, food in your digestive tract can affect certain tests which require an empty stomach.
Will I receive my home medications? Do I need to bring them from home?
Your home medications may be continued in the hospital. Sometimes your medications may need to be changed, stopped, or the doses may need to be adjusted. Medications are available and provided by the hospital pharmacy. If your home medication is not available or you want to take your own, you can bring it to the hospital, but it needs to be checked, labeled and stored. For your safety, your beside nurse will administer all your medications, including your home medications, while you are in the hospital.
When can people visit? Can my family stay overnight?
Visiting hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is so that you can get some rest. If there is a specific need for your loved one to stay overnight, please discuss with your nurse and attending physician.
What should I do with my valuables?
We recommend that you send your valuables home or ask your nurse about securing your personal valuables in the hospital safe. In the event that you can’t find an item, your nurse or the Security Department will check.
For more information contact:
Walnut Creek Medical Center Hospitalist Office
1601 Ygnacio Valley Road
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Phone (925) 947-3312
Fax (925) 947-3396
Concord Medical Center Hospitalist Office
2540 East Street
Concord, CA 94520
Phone (925) 674-2609
Fax (925) 674-2211
San Ramon Regional Medical Center Hospitalist Office
6001 Norris Canyon Road
San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone (925) 275-6117
Fax (925) 275-6148