Union County Hospital offers hospitalist program
Union County Hospital is welcoming Dr. John Earnhart, who is serving as a hospitalist at the medical facility in Anna.
In 2006, Union County Hospital began offering a hospitalist program.
This service was usually only seen in larger hospitals, but was something local physicians supported.
Since the requirements of maintaining a hospital practice can be very inconvenient and take physicians away from time spent in the office, a growing number of primary care physicians decided to restrict their practices to seeing patients only in their offices.
Hospitalists are physicians who see and treat patients only while they are hospitalized.
These physicians typically have advanced training in managing sicker patients in a hospital setting and do not maintain an office practice outside the hospital.
When a patient needs to be hospitalized, he or she is referred by the family physician to the hospitalist, who cares for them while they are in the hospital.
After the patient is discharged, the record of the hospitalization is sent to the patient's regular family physician for his or her files.
The patient’s family physician can be kept informed about the patient’s progress and always has access to the patient throughout the time he or she is in the hospital.
A hospitalist can offer two important benefits to patients who are hospitalized.
They are usually trained to treat patients who have more serious conditions than a regular family physician would have.
Because of this training, hospitalists may feel more comfortable treating patients that would have been sent to a larger hospital far from home.
A hospitalist can focus only on those patients for whom he or she is caring.
Without the distractions that come from managing both an office practice and hospital patients, better attention can be paid to getting the hospitalized patient well.
Patients also benefit from the increased availability of a hospitalist.
Because the hospitalist only practices at the hospital, they are always available to stop by and see the patient to monitor their condition closer and to answer any questions the patient may have.
Union County Hospital officials say they are proud to offer the hospitalist service to the community and pleased to have Earnhart serving as a hospitalist along with Dr. Brian Reach, who also serves as the medical director for the hospitalist program.
“I am very excited to have Dr. Earnhart join our hospitalist team. He is brilliant and caring and will serve the people of our region and our program well," Reach said in a news release.