Sunday, August 9, 2009
Hopitalization and the Continuity of Care
We are undergoing fundamental and profound changes in healthcare in the United States. In order to make the care within a hospital more efficient, and discharge patients in a shorter length of time, many hospitals have changed the physicians who are responsible for the care of the patient while in the hospital. A group of physicians trained to give inpatient care, but not outpatient care, has developed and they are called “hospitalists.”
As a result of hospitalist care, the length of stays of individuals has shortened dramatically. The tests performed and care given for patients with the usual complaints or problems have been standardized and streamlined so that any necessary tests are not forgotten, and care is given according to guidelines so that no necessary treatment is omitted. With shorter hospital stays, hospitals are able to avoid losing money and being threatened with bankruptcy or closure. Patients benefit by earlier discharge, with fewer complications and less chance that some mistake will be made in their care.