OSF Saint Luke Medical Center

Hospitalists for Inpatient Care

OSF Saint Luke began its hospitalist program in 2010. The hospitalist trend nationwide can be traced back to the mid-1990s. Hospital Medicine (hospitalist program) is the fastest-growing medical specialty in the country and is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

Most leading hospitals in the country offer a hospitalist program. Our advanced practice providers care for hospitalized patients on the Med/Surg floor. 

Our team of hospitalists alternate seven-day work weeks and are available throughout the day and night during their shift. As hospitalists, they have the capability to respond to urgent patient needs within minutes, are available to order tests and view results in real time, and are generally available at any time to assist the nursing staff with questions or problems involving hospitalized patients.

Hospitalists partner with the patient’s family physician, providing regular updates and a copy of the discharge report. This ensures everyone on the health care team is well informed of the patient’s status. When patients are discharged from the hospital, they return to the care of their primary care provider.

Being on site 24/7 gives the hospitalist the ability to monitor their patients’ progress while working closely with nursing staff, physical and occupational therapy, imaging services, and lab to meet the needs of our patients and their families. Having a hospitalist available really helps with continuity of patient care, while promoting an excellent working relationship with the nursing staff.

What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a physician specializing in care for patients while they are in the hospital. Their time is devoted to caring for hospitalized patients. The hospitalist's job is to help stabilize and improve your health as quickly as possible. Hospitalists coordinate care with a team of nurses, specialists and other health care professionals to provide prompt, personal attention.

Hospitalists manage and coordinate all aspects of your hospital care – from admission until discharge – working closely with your primary care physician and/or specialist.

A hospitalist is available at OSF Saint Luke 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospitalists offer compassionate and timely care. Whether you have a question or you need urgent medical attention, hospitalists are available to meet your needs. Hospitalists are devoted to the care of hospitalized patients, which means they are available for personal discussions with you about your care. Hospitalists are specialists in the care of hospitalized patients much the same way that cardiologists are specialists in the care of the heart.

Your hospitalist will keep your primary care physician and your family informed about your progress in the hospital.

How can the hospitalist benefit me?

Hospitalists keep a close eye on you.

Since your primary care doctor spends most of the day in clinic outside the hospital, he or she cannot always be at your bedside when emergencies or concerns arise. Because the hospital is his or her "office," your hospitalist is never far away and can see you more than once a day, if needed. The hospitalist can assist you through a smooth and speedy recovery process by following up on tests and adjusting your treatment regimen throughout the day based on those test results.

Hospitalists can answer your family's questions.

There's no time more important to communicate about your care than during critical and stressful moments. Hospitalists are here to provide the answers in person – whenever possible. Since hospitalists are in the hospital all day, they are able to spend more time talking to you and your family about your care.

Hospitalists know the hospital inside and out.

Because hospitalists are in the hospital all day, they know every nurse, physician specialist, and department in the hospital. This allows them to focus on providing the best inpatient care possible.

Hospitalists and primary care doctors work together to provide better inpatient care.

For many patients, working with a hospitalist is a win-win proposition. Your doctor is free to devote his time to keeping patients healthy in the office environment – with fewer delays and interruptions. The hospitalist can be more available to care for you when you are at your sickest. With a physician in the hospital at all hours of the day and night, it's easier for you and your family to communicate about your illness.

How does the hospitalist know about me?

While you are a patient at OSF Saint Luke, your hospitalist will talk with your primary care physician on a frequent basis.

Here is how it works:

When you are admitted to the hospital, your primary care physician calls the hospitalist to inform him or her of your condition and sends over records to the hospital to provide needed information about your illness. (The process is similar to what your physician does when he or she refers you to a specialist)

While you are in the hospital, your hospitalist will supervise your care and may talk further with your primary care physician about your treatment.

When you are discharged from the hospital, your hospitalist will get in touch with your primary care physician to discuss further treatment needs, help arrange follow-up care, prescribe the necessary medications, and send your hospital records to your regular physician.

When will I see my primary care physician?

Your hospitalist and primary care physician will consult with each other about your progress as needed and your primary care physician may also visit you while you are in the hospital. You will go back to your regular doctor for continuing treatment after your discharge from the hospital. If you do not have a primary care physician, your hospitalist will help refer you to one when you leave the hospital.

Additional questions?

Just like your primary care physician, specialist, or any other physician, your hospitalist will send a separate bill for physician services performed. For that reason, hospitalist work will not be included in your hospital bill, but billed separately.