Dearborn County Hospital will expand its Hospitalist program in April to provide seven-day-a-week, around-the-clock, in-hospital physician care for hospitalized patients, according to a press release.
Hospitalists (hospital medicine physicians) and nocturnists (hospitalists who care for patients during the late evening and overnight hours) are doctors whose practices are dedicated entirely to providing care for patients while they are hospitalized. Hospitalists/nocturnists do not have offices in the community, rather they spend their entire work day/night in the hospital caring for inpatients. These physicians work cooperatively with the patient’s primary care physician and/or specialist to see that the best possible care is provided, 24/7 while the patient is hospitalized.
These doctors care only for hospital inpatients. They are in addition to and do not replace the emergency department physicians.
“The addition of nocturnists will help to ensure patient safety by making a dedicated inpatient physician available on-site for direct patient care throughout the evening and overnight hours. Through the use of both hospitalists and nocturnists, patients will receive a consistent high level of ongoing care throughout the 24-hour period,” explained Roger Howard, DCH president/chief executive officer.
“Nocturnists work with staff to monitor patients throughout the night, and they can react quickly to any change in condition .... (They) can make medication changes, request lab and imaging work and order some types of treatment, all to be performed as needed in the overnight hours. This allows for care to be provided in a more expeditious manner which can be especially important when treating critical, clinically complex or unstable patients.”