BWWMH adds hospitalists for in-patient care

Published 12:39 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

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Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital has partnered with Apogee Physicians to add a hospitalist program to their healthcare services, which provides patients with 24/7 care while hospitalized.

Hospitalists are doctors who specialize in treating hospitalized patients by working with the patient’s primary physician to provide the necessary care while in the hospital, while the primary physicians will provide care in their clinic.

Dr. Jaime Upegui

BWWMH CEO Doug Brewer said the program will enable the hospital to treat patients more efficiently as the hospitalists will be able to spend more time with each patient than a regular physician.

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“That hospitalist can see a patient three, four or five times a day. When the family comes in, they can meet with them because they’re here all the time,” he said.

Patients will also benefit from standardized care from the hospitalists and nurse practitioners using the same protocols that were developed through evidence-based learning of patient care from all of Apogee Physicians’ 5,800 patients across the country.

Dr. Jaime Upegui, Division II President with Apogee Physicians who will manage the program at BWWMH, said the program will cause a reduction of healthcare costs as the hospitalists can devote more time to patients resulting in an increase in quality of care and decrease in length of stay.

“The best outcomes are driven by specialists that are used to doing the same thing, basically being specialists in the hospitals,” Upegui said.

Upon the patient’s arrival, the hospitalist will contact the primary physician, provide updates throughout the patient’s stay and send a discharge summary to the physician, which will contain information such as the diagnosis, hospital course, medication and if any follow-up appointments are needed. If a patient does not have a primary care physician, the hospitalist program will work to connect the patient with one.

The program went live on Friday, Nov. 30 and consists of two hospitalists, two nurse practitioners and a patient information coordinator. One hospitalist and nurse practitioner will work alternating 12-hour shifts every other week. The hospitalist will stay on call during the nurse practitioner’s shift, as well.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, December 5 issue of the Demopolis Times.)