Memorial Hospital & Manor begins hospitalist program - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Memorial Hospital & Manor begins hospitalist program

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BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge is introducing a new service for patients.

The hospitalist program is already a feature in many larger hospitals across the country.

Critics say it reduces the interaction between patients and doctors, but supporters say it's more efficient and improves patient care.

Bainbridge's Memorial Hospital and Manor now employs hospitalists who work with admitted patients from the moment they walk through the doors... to the time they leave.

"Whenever you get to the hospital, the hospitalist is here with you," explains Cathy Willis, the Assistant Administrator of Physician Relations. "So if your plan changes they can make changes if they need to instead of your physician coming over from their office."

But officials ensure hospitalists will not replace specialized doctors and will work closely with primary care physicians to provide case management.

"We're not leaving them out at all," Willis assures. "Instead, it's like an extension. Once you're released from the hospital, all of your records go back to the primary care physician."

Memorial hopes the program will help bring more physicians to Decatur County.

"The new physicians today that come in, that's one of the first questions they ask is do you have a hospitalist program?"

Before, primary care physicians would have to set aside large chunks of time for hospital visits.

"Some of the physicians have chosen to still do that, which is fine," Willis points out. "But if they do not want to, they can send the admit to the hospitalist. They'll be in their office more and be able to take more time with patients in the office."

"We're very excited!" says Beth Hollis, a family nurse practitioner. "This is going to be a positive for everybody. For the physicians, the patients, the community and the nursing staff as well."

Officials say hospitalists will alleviate heavy call schedules, which in turn produces a higher standard of patient care.

Memorial Hospital and Manor is in its first full week of the new Hospitalist program.

Officials say it is already being well-received but encourage potential patients to discuss any concerns with their primary care physician because they decide whether to participate in the program.

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