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MDH To Hire Hospitalist Physicians

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The McDonough District Hospital Board has approved the creation of a hospitalist physician program to add to the support of inpatient care. Acting on a plan prepared by consultant Dr. David Yu, the medical director of Hospitalist Services at Decatur Memorial Hospital, and with the support of the MDH medical staff, the plan calls for adding physician employees as soon as July 1, 2010.

“This is one of the hospitals efforts to enhance primary care support to inpatient services at McDonough District Hospital,” said President/CEO Stephen Hopper.

The hospitalist program will also support physician recruitment efforts underway at MDH as many physicians completing residency programs are seeking employment opportunities in which they can devote more time to direct patient care in their outpatient or specialty setting. Hospitalist staff physicians supervise medical care for patients admitted through the emergency room or directly by their primary care physician. The philosophy is that the hospitalist and the primary care physicians are partners in patient care.

Advantages of the program include the hospitalist availability on location in the facility to respond to care issues for inpatients, providing primary care physicians and other specialists with more time for office hours. The addition of hospitalists is designed to reduce on-call time for primary care and other physicians. MDH will seek its first hospitalist to begin the program July 1, and will add a second hospitalist as soon as possible.

“We see establishing a hospitalist program as a necessary element of future patient care and consistent with trends in health care,” Hopper said. “The hospital continues to focus on the recruitment of physicians to the community. We are working with our area physician offices to bring additional candidates to MDH and local practices in fields of internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, ear, nose & throat and obstetrics/gynecology. We know the loss of a few physicians has put a strain on area medical practices and we appreciate the extra efforts the medical community has made to serve the health care needs in the community. “

He explained that there are some additional steps that the hospital is exploring, such as the addition of on-site urgent care and improving the flow of patients through the Emergency Services Department at peak times.