Hospitalization can be a stressful time for both patients and family. St.
Joseph Health Medical Group hospitalist coverage for our affiliated hospitals
in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Napa, Fortuna, and Eureka is designed to ensure
you receive the best care possible during your hospital stay.
Our highly trained physicians are experts in the needs of acutely ill patients
and continuously manage the treatment and progress of each patient. In
the past, patients would wait for their primary care physician to visit
once each day, either before or after office hours. Because our hospitalists
are onsite or immediately available 24/7, they round on patients as often
as needed and are available to respond to changes in a patient's condition.
While a hospitalist takes the lead when you are admitted to the hospital,
it is a team effort with your personal physician remaining informed and involved.
What is a hospitalist?
A hospitalist is a medical doctor who is an expert in inpatient medicine.
By exclusively specializing in the care of patients in the hospital, hospitalists
can provide around-the-clock care and hands-on coordination of your treatment
In the same way that cardiologists specialize in the care of heart patients,
hospitalists are physicians with specialized training and experience in
the care of hospitalized patients. The hospitalist coordinates all aspects
of your care and collaborates with your primary care doctor.
What types of hospitalists are there?
There are many different types of hospitalists to handle your care during
your stay at the hospital, including critical care, emergency medicine,
hospitalist, infectious disease, palliative, pediatric, and trauma.
Why am I seeing a hospitalist?
Your physician knows how important it is to have a specialist close by
when you’re in the hospital; therefore, he or she has asked the
hospitalist to care for you. Your family doctor has an office outside
the hospital and is sometimes unavailable during office hours. Your hospitalist’s
office, however, is the hospital which means he or she can be more accessible
to you and your family, respond more quickly to subtle changes in your
test results or condition, and more effectively supervise your care.
When will I see the hospitalist?
Hospitalists are available on-site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
In addition to seeing you daily during rounds, your hospitalist will check
on your progress and consult with staff about your condition throughout
the day. Being in the hospital full-time gives your hospitalist the flexibility
to check on you as often as needed.
Will the hospitalist be aware of my medical history?
Yes, your hospitalist has access to your medical records. Also, your primary
care doctor may brief the hospitalist on your medical background and condition.
The two will continue to communicate during your hospital stay, and upon
discharge, will coordinate any follow-up care or special needs you may have.
What are the benefits of a hospitalist?
Studies show that hospitalists improve the quality of care, increase patient
comfort, ensure frequent communication with the patient and their family,
and prevent delays in day-to-day care and discharge.
For many patients, the most important benefit is a hospitalist’s
ability to immediately respond to new information - such as test results
- or changes in a patient’s condition. This close monitoring of
a patient’s progress and hands-on coordination of all aspects of
care ensures patients receive the finest inpatient care available.
Will I see other physicians while in the hospital?
The hospitalists may consult other specialists - such as a cardiologist
- to assist in your care.
What happens when I’m discharged from the hospital?
Upon discharge, the hospitalist submits a report which contains important
information about your care with your physician to ensure the continuity
of care. Your physician will also be able to view all your medical records
and test results from your admission on your follow-up visit.