Caring for You During a Hospital Stay
When patients are admitted to Kirby Medical Center, in-hospital care is managed by a team of physicians called hospitalists. A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital and they are highly-proficient in managing a full spectrum of serious adult illnesses and medication management. Most are board certified in internal medicine, or a similar field, and have dedicated their careers to managing patients who are admitted to the hospital.
Kirby’s hospitalists work closely with your physician to insure seamless transitions from outpatient care, to an inpatient stay and until you are well enough to return home. When a hospitalist is overseeing your care, he or she will manage and coordinate all aspects of your stay in the hospital from admission through discharge, including organizing communication between the various physicians who may be involved in your care and treatment. They serve as the point of contact for physicians, nurses, you, and your family members.
Hospitalists are on-site at Kirby for patient rounding each day. During their time at Kirby, they check on patients and assure your care is going according to plan. They order, track, follow-up on and explain your test results. They are also available to meet with your family members during their rounding, as well as work with the nursing team to answer questions about your specific care plan.
The benefits of Kirby Medical Center’s hospitalists include:
- Answering questions – Family members are very important when it comes to your recovery. Oftentimes, questions arise throughout the day and our hospitalists can provide the answers when they are making their patient rounds.
- Monitoring treatment – Since hospitalists are hospital-based, they are able to order and interpret tests and provide care in a very efficient and prompt manner. Your hospitalist will know about you and your case because he/she consults with your primary care physician on a regular basis. Your physician also sends your records to the hospitalist to provide as much information as possible about your illness. The process is similar to what your physician does when he or she refers you to a specialist for additional tests or treatment. During the course of your hospitalization, your hospitalist and primary care physician stay connected.
- Transitioning care - While hospitalists do not provide ongoing primary or specialty care, upon discharge, he/she will communicate all the information about your hospital stay and the treatment you received with your physicians. Your primary care physician will be notified of the plan of care and will coordinate and manage your follow-up and treatment plan.
Questions about our hospitalists?
Q: Are most hospitals using hospitalists?
A: Hospitals across Illinois and throughout the U.S. have embraced a hospitalist model for inpatient care because it has proven to promote quality and effective care while insuring better patient outcomes. Also, the hospitalist is more available for communication with families.
Q: Won't I get better care from my own doctor, who knows me?
A: Your personal physician partners with Kirby’s hospitalists and will be an integral part of your recovery from an inpatient stay. Hospitalists work with our nursing staff to direct your care, adjust medications or interpret test results as needed. They report your condition and their treatment plan to your primary care provider and other physicians on your team. Hospitalists are also specially-trained in inpatient medicine. Just as outpatient medicine has changed over time to using specialists, inpatient medicine has done the same with hospitalists.
Q: Will I receive a bill from the Hospitalist?
A: You will not receive a bill directly from the physician. You will receive a bill from Kirby Medical Center for the care the hospitalist provides to you, along with the the other services you received while at Kirby.
Q: Does insurance cover the cost of Hospitalist?
A: Insurance policies that have hospital-stay coverage typically cover the physician care during that stay and this would include the services provided by a hospitalist. Kirby Medical Center accepts all major insurance plans as payment. If you have any questions about your bill please don’t hesitate to contact our billing department. Also, Kirby believes in providing the highest quality care possible for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay which is why we encourage you to learn more about the Kirby Care Assistance program.
Q:Is there anything special I need to do to prepare for hospitalization?
A: At Kirby Medical Center, we want our patients to have the best possible experience and we strive to always provide excellent care. You can help by making sure that you bring with you a list of your current medications, allergies, medical conditions and ongoing treatments, as well as a list of the names and telephone numbers of your physicians. You should also discuss Advance Directives with your family members. Additionally, we advise you not to bring any valuables with you such as jewelry or cash.Your safety and security are our number one priority.