During your stay at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital you will be cared
for by one of our staff physicians known as a hospitalist. These doctors
are board certified in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine and devote
their practice to patients in our hospital. Hospitalists are specially
trained to treat medical issues that most often lead to a hospital stay
and they manage your care until you are ready to be discharged.
Here is information that to help you better understand how your care will
How the Hospitalist Service works
An Emergency Department doctor or your primary care physician may request
that a hospitalist be in charge of your care. The Hospitalist Service
is made up of a team of doctors who provide around-the-clock care at Salinas
Valley Memorial. One member of the team will be in charge of your care
from the time you are admitted to the time you leave the hospital. This
doctor may see you more than once a day, if needed, to coordinate care,
order tests, arrange family conferences and make treatment decisions in
consultation with specialists and your primary care physician.
The hospitalist, along with a SVMHS nurse case manager, will help make
arrangements for any prescriptions and other follow-up care that you may
need after you leave the hospital. You may be asked to make an appointment
with your primary care physician or a specialist. If you do not have a
primary care physician, our Hospitalist Service will help you find one
and set up a follow-up visit. Your primary care physician will be responsible
for your care after you leave the hospital, including authorizing refills
of prescriptions and following up on test results. While you won't
have an appointment with the hospitalist after you are discharged, you
are welcome to contact that doctor if you have questions about your hospital stay.
Hospitalists and your primary care physician
The two physicians will work together on your care while you are in the
hospital. Your primary care physician will share information about your
health history with the hospitalist, and the two doctors will discuss
any significant findings. Your doctor is welcome to check on you and discuss
your treatment with the hospitalist at any time during your stay. The
hospitalist prepares detailed reports of your condition, test results
and treatment plans when you are admitted and again when you are discharged
and sends these records to your primary care physician. Your primary care
physician asks the hospitalist to be in charge of your care while you
are in the hospital.
If you or your family have questions about our Hospitalist Service, please
call (831) 759-3257.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Hospitalist?
Hospitalists are specialized doctors who focus all of their attention and
skills on caring for hospitalized patients. All Salinas Valley Memorial
Healthcare System Hospitalists are specialists in Internal Medicine and
How does the Hospitalist Service work?
Hospitalists provide patient care around-the-clock, seven days a week.
No one person can do this alone so they work as a team. You may work with
just one of them, or you may meet all of our Hospitalists, depending on
how long you are in the hospital. They may consult with
specialists, such as Cardiologists, Orthopedic Surgeons or Oncologists for example,
depending on the type of care you need. The Hospitalist, along with the
hospital case manager, will help make arrangements for any prescriptions
and other follow-up care that you may need after you are discharged. You
may be asked to make an appointment with your primary care physician,
or a specialist, soon after you leave.
Why is a Hospitalist caring for me?
Your primary care physician may ask that a Hospitalist, who cares only
for patients in our hospital, be in charge of your care during your stay.
This enables your primary care physician to be more available to you in
the office. If you do not have a primary care physician, our emergency
room doctor may request that the hospitalist take care of you while you
are in the hospital.
How will my primary care doctor know how I'm doing when I'm in the hospital?
Our Hospitalists stay in touch with your primary care doctor when you are
admitted to the hospital, when you are discharged and all important points
along the way. You can count on the communication between the Hospitalists
and your primary care doctor to be thorough, so he or she will be fully
informed of your progress.
What if I don't have a primary care doctor?
The Hospitalist, medical social worker and case manager are each able to
assist you in finding a doctor to treat you after you leave the hospital.
They can work with you to set up your first appointment and will help
make your transition from the hospital to the care of your new doctor
a smooth one.
What happens after I am discharged from the hospital?
The Hospitalist will contact your primary care doctor or make arrangements
for your follow-up care. Because Hospitalists provide care only for patients
in the hospital, you will not have an appointment to see this doctor after
you leave. Your primary care physician will be responsible for your care
after you leave the hospital, including authorizing refills of prescriptions
and following up on test results.
How can my family and I communicate with the Hospitalists?
A Hospitalist will see you at least once a day, and more often if needed.
This is the best time to ask questions about your medical care. During
the day, your nurse can page a Hospitalist to respond immediately for
any urgent issues. If there are changes in your condition and the Hospitalist
thinks your family should know, your family will be contacted (with your
permission).Your family members can contact the Hospitalists through the
nurses. Please designate one family member as the contact person for the
Who can I contact for more information?
If you have questions, comments or concerns about the Hospitalist Service
while you are in the hospital, please talk with your nurse.