WEST BURLINGTON – Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center’s Hospitalist Program expanded services to its Fort Madison campus this week. The care of most adult patients who are admitted to the hospital will be overseen by hospitalists – physicians who specialize in providing inpatient care.
Hospitalists communicate with patients’ primary care providers throughout their stays. When patients are discharged from the hospital, their care returns to the primary care providers.
By practicing only inpatient medicine, hospitalists excel at managing acute diseases. Because hospitalists are based at the hospital, decisions are made quickly as situations arise. Treatments are modified and test results receive immediate follow-up. This helps prevent medical complications, reduces the length of hospital stays and lowers costs.
“The use of hospitalists helps ease the workload of primary care providers, many of whom may spend 12 to 14 hours a day caring for patients in their offices and the hospital,” said Matt Wenzel, president and CEO, Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center.
“With hospitals nationwide facing a shortage of physicians, having a hospitalist program helps retain the quality providers we have on the medical staff and is an asset in attracting new physicians to southeast Iowa.”
More than 80% of hospitals in the U.S. of comparable size to Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center have hospitalist programs. It was introduced at the West Burlington campus in 2010. The program has grown from a couple of hospitalist physicians to 12 full-time and five part-time physicians.