I introduced this new service to aim at assisting my patients in receiving a higher quality of hospital care. Currently, the Lee Memorial Healthcare System contracts with hospitalists. Therefore, many of my patients end up admitted to a hospital where they are assigned doctors I have not selected.
Specialists also frequently pick hospitalists without my direct input, complicating matters further. This lack of continuity is a poor way to manage patient care and often results in less than desirable outcomes.
Research in the past has shown that “patients cared for by hospitalists were less likely to be discharged to home and were more likely to have emergency room visits and readmissions after discharge. They also had fewer visits with their primary physician and more nursing facility visits after discharge.” (Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug 2, 2011) This is evidence indicating that in the current hospital environment it is crucial to have your primary physician as your advocate and care overseer; a physician who has known you, your family, and your medical history for (often) years.
Patients using my Inpatient Hospital Advocate service report high satisfaction. Many have stated that the ability to contact me at any time during their hospital visit provided emotional relief, along with better outcomes and more efficient care. The hospitalists and nurses caring for the patients were likewise grateful to benefit from my assistance as well. Several patients stated that they were extremely grateful that I had created this service, as they had been afraid of how things could go in a hospital without their “main” doctor there to watch out for them.
As your Inpatient Hospital Advocate, I personally come to the hospital to visit you and review your chart including your diagnosis, treatment, and medications. I will also inform and educate you and your family about what is occurring and why. I will contact the physicians involved in your care including the hospitalist, who in the present hospital system serves as your admitting doctor. I will inform them of your relevant history, assisting in any way I can.
Using my electronic medical records and having 24/7 access to this information, I can provide the most up-to-date information to the healthcare team taking care of you. I will also be your advocate for appropriate discharge planning, to help prevent unnecessary nursing home placement or other inappropriate treatment plans. My goal is to enhance the quality of care received during your hospitalization, as this is one of the most critical times of your health care.
Now a key component of my concierge practice model – the Inpatient Advocate Service is for you to receive my personal and direct attention while you are in the hospital.
My documentation of time involved with hospitalized patents shows that, on average, I visited each hospitalized patient 4 times and spent 4.8 hours managing their care. If hospitalized even once during the year, patients who have the Premier program saved 35%! Several patients have had more than one admission during a single year, further locking in additional and substantial savings. An additional benefit of the Premier concierge membership is that during hospitalization participants have 24-hour-per-day direct phone access to me (via their special hotline phone number) from any hospital in the country.
By choosing this service, you recognize the importance of having your primary physician advocating on your behalf. By contracting with me, I am truly aligned to do what is in your best interest, not with third parties’ or the hospital’s agendas. Your recognition of this key distinction raises the bar for my commitment to serve you above and beyond the current declining standard of care, a standard which too often arises from the distorted third party payer model.
As your Inpatient Hospital Advocate, I look forward to providing you with my expertise while significantly improving your quality of care and inpatient experience during your hospitalization.