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December 20, 2018

 

WNH Launches Hospitalist Program 

In addition to the physicians staffed around-the-clock in the emergency department, many patients at William Newton Hospital (WNH) will now be cared for by dedicated hospital physicians known as hospitalists.

Hospitalists, whose focus is caring for patients while they are in the hospital, partner with all members of the patient’s healthcare team including the primary care physician or surgeon. This coordination assures patient care is tailored to meet individual needs.

In October, the hospital entered into a partnership with Rural Physicians Group (RPG) to offer 24/7 in-hospital coverage by board-certified internal medicine physicians. WNH hospitalists provide immediate responsiveness to both patients and nursing staff within acute, critical, and swing bed units.

“In recent years, medium to large hospitals have been staffing hospitalists because of the many benefits,” said Ben Quinton, William Newton Hospital chief executive officer.

According to Quinton, hospitalists allow primary care physicians to focus on their outpatient clinic practice, thereby “expanding access to primary care within the community.”

RPG works collaboratively with critical access hospitals like WNH to deliver that service in a rural setting.

“It’s a win-win,” continued Quinton. “The need to recruit and retain skilled physicians in this community has long been recognized. This change allows our existing primary care doctors to spend more time treating patients in their clinics, while patients who have been admitted to the hospital continue to receive quality, compassionate care.”

Each hospitalist is on site for five to seven days and works in close collaboration with community physicians, providing true continuity for patients admitted to William Newton Hospital. Several local doctors on staff at WNH have elected to utilize hospitalist care for their patients.

Dr. Angela Meyer, MD, internal medicine physician at Heath Professionals of Winfield, shared insights about the coordination of care between physicians.

“I have been so impressed with the level of care given by the hospitalists,” said Meyer. “With all the technology available at William Newton, I am able to monitor the care delivered in the hospital and provide the follow-up needed. The process flows well and provides a first-rate service for our patients.”

Karen Adamson, William Newton Hospital administrative director of ancillary services, spoke to how the program is going thus far.

“Patients are thankful for the care our hospitalists are providing and are comforted by having a physician immediately available 24/7,” shared Adamson.

Adamson indicated the teams working together to deliver comprehensive care, such as nursing, pharmacy, and physical, occupational, and respiratory therapy, are pleased with the change. She said one of the new practices put in to place is a daily care plan meeting.

“Our staff is excited to have consistent collaboration with the physicians each day,” Adamson commented.

During the next three to six months, WNH expects to solidify its hospitalist program to place physicians dedicated to meeting the ever-changing needs of the community. WNH and RPG are committed to developing a long-term partnership to optimize care goals.  

If you have questions about receiving hospitalist care, visit with your doctor.

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