Hospital Physicians Offer Continuity of Care
to the Journal By
Martin Stallone, MD
care has changed in this country to reflect the different demands of outpatient
care and inpatient care. Although there are some primary care physicians who
continue to treat patients when they are hospitalized, the majority focus on
outpatient care. Physicians who see patients only in their offices rely on
“hospitalists,” which are doctors who specialize in caring for patients while
they are in the hospital.
do hospitalists do?
admitted to the hospital these days have special needs: hospitalist medicine
deals with this specific portion of the continuum of patient care. We diagnose
and treat medical problems that require round-the-clock care in a hospital
setting. By doing this, we enable primary care physicians to concentrate on the
patients in their offices. Primary care doctors no longer have to leave a
waiting room full of sick people, to drive to the hospital and admit someone
who is seriously ill.
do hospital patients benefit from this care system?
are in the medical center 24 hours a day. This means that if you have a
medical emergency at any time during your hospitalization, the hospitalist can
be at your bedside within minutes. Similarly, if you or a family member has a
question about your condition, we can be paged right away.
treat only acute illnesses every day, which means our hospital medicine skills
are fine-tuned. We are well practiced in avoiding complications, getting tests
done efficiently, monitoring a patient’s treatment and progress, and
coordinating the entire team of nurses, consulting physicians, therapists and
pharmacists to provide the best possible care.
hospitalists are working in the hospital every day, we are able to establish
and maintain good working relationships with other health-care providers on our
team. Nurses and colleagues can knock on our door or call us for immediate
answers. Having the hospitalist readily available enhances relationships that
are necessary for the delivery of good patient care.
hospitalists at Cayuga Medical Center also admit and treat patients who do not
have an established primary care doctor. This is a great service to patients
and their families. At the time of discharge, we refer these patients to a
local primary care doctor for follow-up care, which is important in maintaining
will the hospitalist know about me?
hospitalists will spend extra time learning about you. At the time of admission
to the hospital, we will speak with you and communicate with your primary care
doctor to get as much information about your medical history as possible. We
will also review any medical records from previous hospital admissions and
speak with your family. We use all of this information to provide the best
possible medical care.
I see my primary care physician?
the hospitalist is responsible for your treatment in the hospital, we always
welcome visits and information from your primary care doctor. We know they have
a valuable perspective on your medical history. At the time of your discharge
we update your primary care doctor on your care in the hospital, provide you
with prescriptions if needed, and send a report on your hospitalization to your
hospitalists at Cayuga Medical Center are part of Cayuga Medical Associates. We
are members of the community and we feel fortunate to be working with an
engaged and concerned patient population. We are here to provide the highest
level of patient care with the best possible outcomes.
Stallone is board certified in Internal Medicine and is the director of the
Hospitalist Program at Cayuga Medical Center.