National Hospitalist Day is a newly established health recognition day and will be celebrated annually on the first Thursday of March. This year, National Hospitalist Day falls on March 7, 2019. Massena Memorial Hospital wants to recognize the crucial role these physicians play in caring for patients in the hospital and coordinating their care.
What is a hospitalist? A hospitalist is a physician who cares for patients while they are hospitalized. Dr. Jayant Jhaveri, Internal Medicine, St. Lawrence Internists, added, “MMH’s Hospitalist Program is a group of four physicians who specialize in caring for patients in the hospital and do not have an outpatient medical practice. The Hospitalists talk to primary care physicians and specialists on a frequent basis for continuity of care.” MMH’s Hospitalist team consists of Nargish Akhter, MD, Romith Naug, MD, Wai Phyoe Kyaw, MD, and Ammar Kafa, MD, whom are general internal medicine and family practice physicians.
When patients are brought to MMH, the Hospitalists are a key part of the admission process. Dr. Romith Naug said, “We are responsible for admissions; we decide whether the patient should stay or if they can be safely discharged.” After admission, these physicians keep a close eye on each one of their patients. They will visit their patients several times a day, if needed. “We diagnose and manage patients’ care and work closely with allied health professionals to ensure that all facets of their care are addressed,” said Dr. Naug. Furthermore, MMH Hospitalists are familiar with every specialist and department in the hospital, which allows them to follow up on patients’ test results and adjust their care plans throughout the day.
Hospitalists also focus on continuity of care. When a patient is severely ill and unable to receive care in an outpatient setting, their primary care physician will refer them to a Hospitalist. The Hospitalist will analyze the patient’s record to develop a better understanding of their needs and to provide them the best care possible. The communication does not end here; Hospitalists continue to work with a patient’s primary care physician throughout the duration of their hospital stay. Once a patient has recovered and is ready to be discharged, the Hospitalist is sure to discuss further treatment needs, arrange follow-up appointments, and send the patient’s hospital records to their primary physician.
MMH Chief of Medicine, Dr. Birinder Singh, Nephrologist/Hypertension Specialist, said, “MMH’s Hospitalist team is the quarterback for the patient and works in tandem with the outside primary care and the specialists to maintain that continuity of care in order to provide the best care. This is especially true if your primary care/specialist is in Massena. We have made significant changes over the last couple of months to streamline this process.”
MMH Hospitalists are here for you and your family. They strive to provide you high-quality, well coordinated care, while welcoming any questions that you or your family members may have. Since the Hospitalists are in the hospital 24 hours a day, they make time to communicate with each patient and their family members and provide honest and considerate answers to their questions. Providing an excellent patient experience is a core value of MMH, and good communication between a provider and their patient is large part of a positive experience. MMH Hospitalists keep patients and their families in the loop.