Hospitalists improve patient care From Spotlight on Health - Fall 2011
Before the hospitalist program began at St. Cloud Hospital in 2001, Karen Neis, RN, would regularly call a patient’s doctor at the clinic or at the physician’s home. Often, one of the physician’s colleagues would be on call for the group and knew little about the patient, so the nurse had to describe the patient’s health history and current condition over the phone.
Now, thanks to the hospitalist program, there are multiple physicians caring for patients in the hospital setting.
“Having a hospitalist at your side during a critical event is very comforting and reassuring,” said Karen, who has worked at St. Cloud Hospital for more than 30 years. “Hospitalists work as part of the team to provide the best care to the patient, acting not only as a healer, but a mentor by teaching the nurses what to look for and how to handle critical situations.”
Hospitalists can quickly assess the patients and take action to prevent complications. Continuous monitoring of patients allows for timely adjustments in their care, translating into shorter lengths of stay and lower cost for the patient.
“One of the great benefits to the patient is the ‘second opinion’ that each patient receives when the hospitalists change shifts,” said hospitalist Eric McFarling, MD.
“One doctor may see something with a patient that was not apparent to the other -- and vice versa.”
As specialists in internal medicine, hospitalists have a great understanding of the entire body.
“We often discuss the difficult and challenging cases so that we can share and teach each other,” said hospitalist Holly Peterson, MD.
“Central Minnesota is blessed with many great doctors and wonderful nurses, and we’re glad to be part of the health care team,” said hospitalist Darin Willardsen, MD.
Learn more about the CentraCare Clinic Hospitalists