Why is a hospitalist caring for me?
A hospitalist is caring for you probably because your primary care physician requested it. Your hospitalist works at St. Luke's full time, dedicating his or her practice entirely to the care of hospitalized patients. Your hospitalist will care for you during your entire stay at St. Luke's.
How does my hospitalist's practice work?
Your hospitalist is in charge of your care and treatment and will see you every day you are at St. Luke's. He or she is available to discuss your care with you and your family members and to answer any questions you may have. Your hospitalist may also consult with other doctors regarding your care. He or she will make arrangements for any prescriptions you may need after you are discharged. However, because hospitalists do not have outpatient practices, you will not have an appointment with your hospitalist after discharge. Instead, you may be asked to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or another physician. You may contact your hospitalist after you are discharged if you have any questions about your stay.
What is the relationship between my hospitalist and my primary care physician?
They work closely together. Your primary care physician can give your hospitalist information about your past health, and the two can discuss any significant findings or events. When you are admitted and discharged, your hospitalist sends detailed reports of findings and treatment plans to your primary care physician. Though your hospitalist oversees your care while you are at St. Luke's, your primary care physician is welcome to check on you at any time during your stay. When you are discharged, you return to the care of your primary care physician.
What if I need another specialist while I'm in the hospital?
Your hospitalist can arrange for any necessary consultations with specialists. If you have been seeing other doctors at St. Luke's or elsewhere, be sure to let us know so we can keep them informed about your hospital stay.
What if I don't have a regular primary care physician?
The St. Luke's hospitalists and other staff at the hospital can help you find a doctor to see after you leave the hospital. Records from your hospital stay can be sent to this physician.