Change is happening once again for OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. As with most things in recent years, it’s again for the better and will improve patient care.
It’s not news to anyone that patients admitted to hospitals are cared for by various medical personnel, to include physicians. It’s the type of physician that’s making headlines.
No longer will Ottawa’s primary care physicians be required to conduct inpatient rounding and complete medical care of hospitalized persons on top of or in addition to their already full schedule of outpatient appointments on a given day. Now a hospitalist physician who specializes in the care of patients in the hospital will provide the care and report back to patients’ primary care doctors.
Brian S. Rosborough, M.D., who serves as Regional Director of OSF Medical Group’s I-80 Region as well as Chief Medical Officer for the hospital, says the decision came about after reviewing data from hospitals with existing programs that demonstrated hospitalists provide better quality of care and patient satisfaction when compared to traditional care by primary physicians in the hospital.
“We expect this new system of care to be more efficient and extremely beneficial to our patients,” said Dr. Rosborough. “When this is implemented, patients may notice shorter stays as the hospitalist follows up on test results and adjusts their treatment throughout the day. We also expect the hospitalist’s availability to improve communication with family members who have questions, and help with post discharge planning and emergencies.”
Robert B. Maguire, MD, who will serve as Medical Director of the new OSF Saint Elizabeth hospitalist program, echoed his sentiments, adding that it’s also good for patients who aren’t hospitalized. “Because we have hospitalists dedicated to providing care in the hospital, doctors should be able to spend more time with their patients during office visits,” said Dr. Maguire. “Anyone who has ever experienced an interruption or cancellation of a scheduled appointment because their doctor was called to the hospital can appreciate this!” Dr. Maguire points out the presence of the hospitalist on site at the hospital throughout the patient’s inpatient stay provides accessibility for nursing and other ancillary staff that the old fashioned system could never provide. “Frankly, the nurses love having the ability to confer with the hospitalist and get questions and patient care issues answered immediately,” remarked Dr. Maguire. “This is the sort of system that allows us to provide excellent, truly interdisciplinary care to the hospitalized patient. Virtually all large hospitals and many community hospitals in this country are moving toward a hospitalist based model of inpatient care because of these decided advantages.”
Dr. Maguire is a long-time Ottawa physician with extensive training and experience in caring for patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. He is board certified in internal medicine and his clinical interests include cardiology, diabetes, high blood pressure, hospice, and lipid management.
Besides the benefit to patients and the caregivers themselves, the program is also being established to reduce health care costs and advance quality and safety.
Working with 24ON Physicians / In Compass Health, Inc., OSF Saint Elizabeth is in the process of carefully screening and selecting additional physicians who will work alongside Dr. Maguire and be devoted to the care of hospitalized patients.
Patients who are hospitalized with general medical/surgical conditions can expect to begin being seen by a hospitalist physician around November 17. This new program does not apply to patients in OSF Saint Elizabeth’s Family Birth Center or those requiring an inpatient stay for behavioral health.
A special “Celebrate Health” program geared toward the community will be held on Wednesday, December 10 at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. Presented by Dr. Maguire, the evening lecture will aim to clear up any lingering questions, as well as explain in more detail some of the changes that are happening in health care and why.
For more information about hospitalist physicians or to register for the December 10th Celebrate Health program, contact the community relations department at OSF Saint Elizabeth by calling (815) 431-5441.