Great Bend Regional Hospital has added a hospitalist program to its list of patient services.
A hospitalist is a physician or advanced practice provider (PA or nurse practitioner) whose sole responsibility is to provide care to patients in the hospital. This model of care delivery offers multiple advantages, both to patients and their primary care providers, with the end result of continued high quality patient outcomes.
GBRH’s hospitalist program began official operation on Sept. 5. The service will care for patients ages 18 and above. It is led by Dr. Mark Van Norden, a Family Medicine physician, who has worked at Great Bend Regional since 2009. He will be assisted by Mindy Joye, PA. Mindy has extensive experience working in hospital-based, critical care pulmonology in Topeka. Mindy began working at Great Bend Regional in August. Other providers who will help cover the hospitalist service include Dr. Celestine Ofoma and Dr. Stan Hatesohl. Dr. Ofoma is an Internal Medicine physician who has practiced in the Great Bend area since 2004. Dr. Hatesohl is a Family Medicine physician who has practiced locally since 2012. Throughout their careers these providers have 66 years of combined experience and look forward to providing high quality care to our patients at Great Bend Regional Hospital.
One of the most important benefits of the hospitalist model is improved care of the hospitalized patient. Traditionally, a patient’s primary care provider would make rounds each morning and then spend the rest of the day in clinic. This could make it difficult for the provider to coordinate with the patient’s family, who might not be present when the provider rounded early in the morning.]
If a patient in the hospital had issues, then their doctor had to break away from clinic to attend to the problem. With the hospitalist model, the provider is in the hospital for most of the daytime hours, making it easier and faster to respond to situations and making the provider more available to meet with family.
Another key advantage of the hospitalist program, is that it allows the patient’s primary care provider to focus solely on patients in the clinic, which reduces the chance that people will be left waiting because their doctor had to attend to a hospital emergency.
With the hospitalist program, admissions to the hospital will occur exactly as they have previously, with the only change being who attends to the medical needs of the hospitalized patient. Many patients are being admitted to the hospital through the Emergency Room. This will continue and, in fact, is made easier under the new model with the ready availability of the hospitalist.
Patients can also be admitted directly to the hospital from outpatient clinics, as the primary care or specialty offices will be able to communicate directly with the hospitalist to arrange a patient’s admission to GBRH.
The hospitalist will keep primary care providers updated on patient admissions and hospital progress. Upon discharge, the hospitalist will communicate with referring providers regarding the hospital stay and any follow up needs the patient may have. This ensures continuity of care for the patient.