Hospitalists: Inpatient care coordinators
Patients at Jennie Stuart Health benefit from the services of full-time hospitalists who specialize in inpatient care from the time patients are admitted until discharged. The Hospitalist/5th floor Medical-Surgical unit has 26 private rooms available for those in need of care.
They are: J.D. Littleton, DO, medical director; Pankaj Shah, MD; Parth Shah, MD and Steven P. Michael, DO. Unlike most physicians on staff, these physicians are employed by Jennie Stuart Health. In addition to the hospitalists, Sarah Chewning, RN, is the clinical coordinator for the group.
The hospitalists are available to deal with any change in a patient’s condition and see patients more than once a day to assess whether treatment is going according to plan, ensuring consistent, high-quality care. They also receive referrals from primary care physicians for a person’s inpatient care, provide consultation to surgeons and other specialists during the patient’s stay, and follow up on and order new studies as needed.
When there is more than one type of specialist involved with a patient, the hospitalist ensures maximum communication between the physicians, nurses and hospital support staff as well as the patient and family members. Upon patient discharge from Jennie Stuart, hospitalists brief the primary care physician (PCP) on the stay and the PCP resumes responsibility for the patient’s medical care.