Creating A Follow-Up Care Plan: The Crucial Role Of Hospitalists

  • Healthcare Management
  • case management - HCAHPS
  • March 21, 2023

Hospitalists are key members of a hospital’s medical team that help plan, monitor, and recommend treatment.

Who’s Responsible For Following Up?

Creating an effective follow-up care plan is essential to ensure that patients receive the best treatment at the hospital. This step-by-step process ensures the patient gets continued care after leaving the hospital. Some consequences of not having a follow-up plan include patients leaving against medical advice (AMA) and high readmission rates. Poor hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems (HCAHPS) scores are also possible. Hospitalists play a crucial role in developing such plans based on extensive knowledge of the patient’s background, medical history, and available resources.

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The role of a hospitalist

When a patient is admitted, hospitalists are essential in providing the care needed. In addition to monitoring patient health during the inpatient stay, hospitalists are also necessary for creating follow-up plans that ensure continuity of care after discharge. These doctors are qualified to craft effective plans that meet individual needs. The plans consider the complexity of certain medical conditions due to the hospitalist’s well-rounded understanding of each patient’s condition. Hospitalists monitor changes in a patient’s health while hospitalized and are well-positioned to identify any red flags or additional treatments needed after discharge. Hospitalists also work closely with nurses, therapists, and other staff members to ensure all necessary steps are taken for a successful recovery following a hospital stay.

Better outcomes with hospitalists

Physicians specializing as hospitalists have become increasingly important in providing quality patient outcomes. At the start of a hospitalization, hospitalists develop a plan for continuing care that includes follow-up visits, additional tests, and specific medical services required after discharge. This helps ensure that patients receive timely and appropriate treatment. In addition, the plan encourages patients to adhere to medication regimens or other remedies necessary to maintain excellent health. When hospitalists provide such comprehensive follow-up care, patient outcomes improve. At the same time, feedback also improves, which can do wonders for the hospital’s reputation.

A multifaceted approach to care

Follow-up care plans are essential to the continuum of care for patients, ensuring the condition is monitored and managed after discharge. These plans typically involve regular visits to primary healthcare providers, medication regimens, and additional therapies. However, hospitalists may also provide further recommendations based on specialization or expertise. Hospitalists will often coordinate with other specialists to ensure that all aspects of a patient’s recovery are addressed.

Strategies for improved outcomes

By developing strategies for improved outcomes, hospitalists can ensure patients receive the best care after discharge. Hospitalists consider the patient’s medical history and current needs when formulating a plan to ensure appropriate interventions are made to improve outcomes. A comprehensive plan should include both long-term goals and short-term action steps that guide patients through recovery. These plans should start when the patient enters the hospital. Having a hospitalist as part of case management helps with proper strategizing.

A valuable human resource

Hospitalists play a crucial role in creating effective follow-up care plans. The doctor’s expertise, dedication, and commitment to patient care help significantly with follow-up. Patients can receive quality care with an emphasis on collaboration between hospitalists and other healthcare providers. Some hospitals do not have hospitalists as part of the overall structure. However, adding these expert physicians to the case management team can bring considerable rewards.

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