Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who are your hospitalists?
Hospitalists are predominantly internal medicine trained physicians who take care of patients admitted to the hospital. Hospitalists usually do not see patients outside of the hospital (e.g. in private practice). Their role begins when a patient is admitted and continues for the duration of hospital stay. When patients are discharged, responsibility for their care returns to their primary care physician (PCP).
2. How are hospitalists different from primary care physicians (PCPs)?
Primary care physicians (PCPs) generally see patients in the outpatient setting, whereas hospitalists only take care of patients admitted to the hospital. The advantage of being admitted to the hospitalist service is that you will have a doctor available to take care of you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. How will my PCP know that I am admitted? What happens when I am discharged?
We inform your PCP that you have been admitted to the hospital. When you are ready to be discharged we communicate this to your primary care physician with an update of what happened while you were in the hospital. In addition, we fax your discharge summary to your PCP's office, so that they have all the records of your hospital stay. Furthermore, if your PCP has access to the hospital electronic health records, he/she can follow your course in the hospital.
4. But why can't my PCP see me in the hospital? He/she knows me very well.
Some PCP's do see their patients in the hospital. However, for most it takes an immense amount of time and effort to balance their outpatient practice and see patients in the hospital. For this reason, hospitalist physicians see most people that are admitted. Furthermore, we communicate with your PCP to learn more about you!
5. Every time I am admitted, I see a different doctor. Does this decrease the quality of my care?
We are a large group of hospitalist physicians. For this reason, it is possible that you may have different hospitalists taking care of you each time you are admitted. We try our best to assign the same doctor to take care of you every time you are admitted to Saint Francis. However, sometimes it may not be feasible. For this reason, we have a very efficient and streamlined documentation process, so that every doctor assigned to your care will know the pertinent details to provide you with the best care possible.
6. Why do I see multiple hospitalist physicians during my hospitalization?
Our goal is to provide the best possible care around the clock. To achieve this, we have physicians working in different shifts. Shift work allows us to provide you with a physician in-house at all times. Due to this rotating pattern, you may be seen by different hospitalists during your hospital stay. We think providing full-time care, even if it is provided by multiple physicians, improves overall patient care.
7. What are the benefits of a hospitalist program?
- Care for the inpatient from admission through discharge
- Improved communication with the PCP
- Better physician availability
- Better communication within the health care team
- Consultation to all sub-specialists
- Administrative support
- Rapid Response Team/Stroke Team to provide immediate care if something goes wrong
8. How do I contact an AIMS Group hospitalist?
Please call the AIMS Office at 860-714-7446 during regular business hours and the section administrative staff will assist you in finding the hospitalist. After hours or on weekends please call Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center at 860-714-4000 and ask for the on-call hospitalist.
Ensuring a successful hospital visit: Help us help you!
Our strongest partner in care is you – our patient!
You can help us make your stay in the hospital better and safer. Some or all of your information may be in the hospital records or with your primary care physician, however, it may not be accessible to us at odd hours. Furthermore, we think it is good practice to verify all the information to be safe. It is nice to have the following information available when you come to the hospital (or as soon as you are admitted to the hospital):
- Your current medication list
- Your current allergy list
- List of your medical problems and past surgeries
- Names of doctors (PCP and specialists) that are involved in your care
- Living will
- Name and phone numbers of family/friends to contact in case of emergency
This handy Wallet Medical Form can help you to organize and keep track of your medical information. Please print and complete it and keep it in your wallet and purse in case you ever need to be hospitalized.
Department of Medicine, Section of Hospital Medicine
c/o Academic Inpatient Medical Services (AIMS)
114 Woodland Street, 4th Floor
Hartford, CT 06105
Phone: (860) 714-7446 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Page: (860) 720-1617 weekdays
after 4:00 p.m. and weekends
Fax: (860) 714-1508