Hospitalized patients and their families now have the opportunity to visit with a physician anytime day or night at Memorial Medical Center—Livingston. This 24 hour available care is just one of the many benefits of Memorial’s new Hospitalist program.
According to David LeMonte, Administrator for Memorial Medical Center—Livingston, the hospital’s emergency department experienced a steady increase of patients over the past couple of years, which prompted Memorial to take a look at adopting a Hospitalist program. “Between treating patients at their clinics and making rounds at the hospital, our physicians were extremely busy. The Hospitalist program is designed to help alleviate some of the stress placed on our local physicians while providing a continuum of care for our patients,” said LeMonte.
Hospitalists, also known as “inpatient physicians,” are doctors who have expertise in dealing with health conditions that are generally treated in the hospital. Since Hospitalists do not have a practice outside of the hospital, they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When a patient is admitted into the hospital, the primary care physician can request a Hospitalist to care for their patient. The primary care physician will contact the Hospitalist, who will then admit the patient to the hospital and begin appropriate care. Upon admission, the primary care physician will share necessary medical information with the Hospitalist so that he is informed about the patient’s past medical history and current health condition. In return, Hospitalists provide the primary care physician with frequent updates regarding the patient’s diagnosis, condition, test results and treatment plan.
Local physicians have the option to visit their patients in the hospital, but the Hospitalist program offers doctors another avenue to avoid making rounds following a full day in their private practice. Patients also benefit by having continuous care without needing to wait on a visit from their primary care physician.When a patient is discharged from the hospital, he or she is released back to the primary care physician who has been given a detailed report and discharge summary from the hospitalist. The primary care physician then assumes responsibility for patient care.
“Memorial Medical Center—Livingston is pleased to be able to offer a Hospitalist program in response to what our community physicians and patients have asked for,” LeMonte said. “This program allows for more of our community patients to be cared for right here in Polk County instead of being transferred to other hospitals for their care. So far the program has positively impacted the quality of life for our patients and our local physicians.”
Currently, Memorial Medical Center—Livingston has two Hospitalists, Saleem Shamsee, M.D., a board certified family practice physician who also serves as the Medical Director of the Hospitalist program, and Bazgha Khalid, M. D., an internal medicine physician.
The Livingston Hospitalist program began in October 2011.
Hospitalists, like Bazgha Khalid, M. D., an internal medicine physician, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week solely within the hospital to see patients such as Howard Rowan (right), of Henderson.
Saleem Shamsee, M.D., a board certified family practice physician who also serves as the Medical Director of the Hospitalist program checks in on his patient Lois Lee (right), of Livingston.