What a Great Idea!
With all of the problems in our current healthcare system, it will be nice to write about something positive this article. Hospitalists. What is a hospitalist you might ask? Well, let me tell you. Under the old system, when you stayed overnight in the hospital, in addition to your inpatient care, your doctor would make “rounds” to check on you while staying in the hospital. So for example, if you were in a car accident and suffered a fracture, your private orthopedic surgeon would check on you once or twice a week when they visited the hospital to check their other in-patients. The problem was that they would not necessarily come to visit when you were in pain or had a question or concern. Moreover, it was not optimum for the doctor because it was inefficient to have to physically come to the hospital and deal with traffic, lost time out of the office, etc. In addition, it was not very business savvy. It was costly for the insurance companies, while providing no financial benefit to the hospital.
Now under the new system, the hospitalist enters the picture. The hospitalist is a board certified doctor based in the hospital around the clock. The quality of care is better as the doctor is available anytime the patient experiences pain or has a question. The hospital is happy because the patient is getting a better quality of care. The patient is happy because they have access to a doctor when they need it. The private doctors are happy as they can be more efficient staying in their office. The insurance company is happy because it is a better quality of care for less cost to them.
So now the challenge becomes to come up with other ideas that make sense. It seems that if the politicians, insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals all work together they could come up with other new concepts like the hospitalist.