Hospitalist Medicine

Doctor and nurse checking on patient in hospital bed

A Commitment to Clinical Excellence.

Springfield Hospital is proud of its long history as an innovator among small hospitals, mixing old and new methods to bring you personalized care. You won’t find the specialized equipment or experts you would see in a tertiary medical center, but we do excel in caring for common conditions. We were honored to receive a VHA Clinical Leadership Award for providing safe and efficient care – one of ten given among hospitals our size nationwide. Our clinical performance is rated at national benchmark levels.

Springfield’s Hospitalist Team.

Hospitalists are doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants that specialize in caring for patients who are ill enough to require hospitalization. Think of them as your in-hospital specialists. As hospital employees, they do not see patients outside of the hospital. Their sole responsibility is caring for you during your hospital stay, from the time you are admitted to overseeing discharge instructions for you and your primary care clinician once you are ready to leave the hospital.

Springfield Hospital has employed Hospitalists since 2001, a time when there were only a few thousand of these specialists in the country. Now there are over 30,000 working in nearly every hospital. (www.vha.com, May, 2013 2 Medicare Hospital Compare)

Who’s in Charge?

A member of our Hospitalist team will serve as your primary physician while you are here. If tests, procedures, or further consultations with specialists are needed, your Hospitalist will make those requests. A physician member of the Hospitalist team is in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you will always have a physician who understands your personal situation. During the day, you may be cared for by an experienced nurse practitioner that works closely with one of the Hospitalist physicians. This gives the team more time and a broader perspective to address your healthcare needs.

Understanding Your Needs.

All Hospitalists you may meet while at Springfield Hospital have extensive primary care experience. This gives them a unique ability to anticipate problems and provide you with the tools you will need to care for yourself at home once you leave the hospital.

How Will the Hospitalist Know Your History?

Hospitalists work closely to maintain seamless communication with your primary care physician. When you are admitted, they routinely access your chart through Springfield Hospital’s advanced electronic medical record. Nearly all local physicians are connected to this system, which enables the inpatient medical team to review your health history, medication records, and any tests and specialist reports from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and other specialty hospitals. By faxing a daily summary, Hospitalists inform your primary care physician of your condition and plan of care. At discharge, a summary that includes your care plan and any needed medications is faxed to your primary care physician and any relevant specialists.

What Happens if My Illness is Non-Routine?

Again, we may not be the largest hospital around, but what we do, we do well. We have a close working relationship with DHMC and other specialty hospitals and collaborate when referrals are necessary. We are in daily phone communication with specialists and, often, will set up a specialist appointment after discharge. If your situation is more complicated, we will arrange for you to be transferred to DHMC, or to another specialty hospital.

Communication is the Key.

In addition to keeping up to date on the latest developments in caring for hospitalized patients, our inpatient Hospitalist team specializes in using hospital resources to their best and safest advantage in caring for you. They meet daily with your nurse to coordinate your care so that you may recover more quickly and go home sooner. A hospital stay can be a stressful and emotional experience for you and your family. It’s comforting to know that your Hospitalist team is always available for your healthcare needs or to answer any questions. Patients and family members are encouraged to ask questions and discuss their care with the Hospitalist.

After You Leave the Hospital.

Our goal is to get you back to good health and to the comfort of your home. Your Hospitalist will provide you detailed instructions for your ongoing care once you leave the hospital, and share this with your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician and need assistance locating one, the staff at the hospital can assist you. Records from your hospital stay will be sent to your physician.