The following article is from Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC) and features Wapiti-affiliated physicians Thomas Fennessy, MD and James Kerr, MD.
If you're admitted to Huron Regional Medical Center, a physician who specializes in caring for hospitalized patients can oversee and coordinate your care. That's good news for you and your primary care physician (PCP). Traditionally, PCPs manganed the care of their patients who were admitted to the hospital for illness or injury. Now, however, many PCPs are so busy seeing individuals in clinic that it’s difficult to divide time to see hospitalized patients. That’s where hospitalists come in.
Hospitalists are physicians whose sole focus is caring for patients during a hospital stay so they can safely return home or move to the next level of care. Often trained in internal or family medicine, hospitalists can care for patients in almost every unit of the hospital, from the emergency department to postacute care.
In November 2019, HRMC established a hospitalist program featuring three physicians who take turns caring for patients and providing around-the-clock availability, typically for one week at a time. The program at HRMC is unique because PCPs can still care for their patients in the hospital, unlike other larger hospitals where only the hospitalist sees inpatients. HRMC hospitalist James Kerr, MD, has practiced family medicine and emergency medicine in large and small hospitals throughout the U.S. for more than three decades.
“During an average day at HRMC, I’m caring for six to 10 patients in the hospital and making sure they get the other services they need, such as physical therapy or laboratory tests,” Dr. Kerr says. “I also help arrange post-discharge surgeon or specialist consultations. When I’m not at the hospital, I’m always available by phone and can get there in minutes. I get to know all of my patients during the week that I care for them.”