Friday, February 22, 2008

OR in Hospitals: Hospitalist

Hospitalists are Doctors, Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners whose primary professional focus is hospital medicine.

As noted in other medical journals, there is a shift of responsibility of in-hospital patients from his/her primary care physician (PCP) to the hospitalists.
  • It allows the primary care physicians to see more patients in their offices
  • The hospitalists are more well equipped in dealing with important functions such as transitioning patients between healthcare settings. Such transfer requires coordinating tests, lab work, and medicines and conferring with other doctors, specialists, social workers, and case managers.
What does that spell to you? Operations Management! 

Specialization of workers to increase efficiency and to meet high demand.

At the moment, Wikipedia noted that this type of medical practice has so far not extended beyond the US. Although, articles suggest that Canada is also starting to have more and more of them. It's noted that more and more community hospitals and major academic centers employ hospitalists. It could be due to the fact that the lack of family physicians have created a lot of 'orphaned' patients who are arriving at the hospitals without a PCP. On those occasions, the hospitalists have to act as their most responsible physician.

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