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Hospitalists are physicians who limit their practice to the hospital setting. The hospitalists at NMMC in Tupelo are internal medicine physicians, whose role is to serve as a physician for patients who do not have at physician on staff at NMMC.
Hospitalists are experienced and skilled in managing the unique medical needs of hospitalized patients. They care for the patients' needs and are available to meet with families as needed. These doctors work closely with the patient's primary care physicians to keep them up to date on the patient's condition and treatment. When patients are ready to leave the hospital, hospitalists inform their physicians about any changes in medication, follow-up care and other needs.
Since its introduction in 1998, the program has been praised for its effectiveness by patients, physicians and The American Journal of Medicine. On average, hospitalists' patients have a shorter length of stay and lower health care costs.
Hospitalists fill an important role for physicians in outlying communities who refer patients to NMMC. They follow up with referring physicians, are available for phone consultations and help coordinate patients' care while they are hospitalized.
Another advantage is hospitalists make it possible for IMA-Tupelo physicians to see their office visit patients without interruptions or long waits, while ensuring their hospital patients are seen by a hospitalist. This is beneficial for all involved because physicians spend less time going back and forth from the office to the hospital. Patients aren't kept waiting in the clinic or hospital setting.