Expert Health Articles

Hospitalists

Nicholas Pottkotter, CNPNicholas Pottkotter, CNP

Certified Nurse Practitioner, Blanchard Valley Adult Hospitalists

As a hospitalist, I have received many questions upon entering a patient’s room. What is a hospitalist? Why isn’t my primary care provider seeing me? Does my family provider know that I am here? Are you going to be my new primary care provider from now on?

A hospitalist is a medical professional that specializes in hospital based medicine. Hospitalists have become more popular over the past decade as hospital care has become more complex. Hospitalists are usually a team-oriented group consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. As a group, they manage your care throughout your entire hospital stay.

Many patients ask “Why isn’t my primary care provider going to see me?” Not all primary care providers have hospital privileges to care for patients in the hospital setting, or they may prefer that hospitalists manage their patients while in the hospital. Your hospitalist will be in contact with your primary care provider, notifying them of your admission, requesting necessary records, discharge plan of care, and any areas that need addressed for follow up. Many hospitalist teams have members in the hospital at all times, 24/7, to ensure prompt patient comfort, address any laboratory or imaging concerns, and expedite care to a specialist when necessary.

The next time you, a family member, or a friend are admitted to the hospital, your care may be managed by the hospitalist team. Ask your primary care provider if they care for their own patients in the hospital or have hospitalists provide this specialized care on their behalf.