The practitioners of hospital medicine called hospitalists are the fastest growing specialty in the United States. Virtually unheard of a generation ago, hospitalists now number approximately 30,000 and are practicing in 3,300 large hospitals and over half of community hospitals.
Hospital medicine, like emergency medicine, is a specialty organized around a site of care (the hospital) rather than an organ (like a cardiologist) or disease (like oncology) or a patient’s age (like pediatrics). The majority of hospitalists are physicians with a MD or DO degree. They work in the hospital and provide patient care, teaching, research and leadership related to hospital care. Hospitalists also develop and manage inpatient flow and quality assurance.
Hospitalists are employed by the hospital and their costs are mainly covered by professional billings and health insurance plans. Hospitalists often do the job that private physicians did while visiting their patients in the hospital while doing “rounds”. Private physicians find they can work more efficiently and are better off financially by seeing patients only in their office and letting the hospitalist take care of their patients while in the hospital.
Research shows that hospitalists reduce the length of stay, treatment costs and improve the overall efficiency of care for hospitalized patients. They are often leaders in quality improvement areas including transitions of care, co-management of patients, reducing hospital acquired disease, and optimizing the care of patients.
Anserve took a leadership position among answering services when it took on its first hospitalist account eight years ago. It has since acquired the technology, trained staff and state of the art on call software necessary to manage the complexities of the large multi doctor in-hospital practice. Anserve ‘s SMS technology, customized scripting and sophisticated dispatching system provides the timely and accurate communication necessary to handle hundreds of daily hospitalists calls. Anserve currently handles over one hundred hospitalists in six hospitals.