Care for Patients in the Hospital

Years ago, general practitioners often had to "squeeze in" time between clinic appointments to check on their patients who were in the hospital. In the 1990s, a new medical specialty called Hospital Medicine, began evolving to help in these kind of situations.

Doctors in the new specialty are called "Hospitalists." They are trained to care for patients with serious illnesses or injuries in the hospital. Hospitalists know the "ins and outs" of working in a hospital setting and coordinate care with specialists. They are supported by nurse directors who assist by providing case management and communication support. Working together, this team plays an important role in helping patients recover. 

Patients in the hospital receive attentive care with the reassurance that a Hospital Medicine specialist is on-site at the hospital, around the clock.

Primary-care providers can continue to see other patients who need care in the clinic while knowing their hospitalized patients are receiving timely care and attention from a trained and trusted physician, 24/7.

When patients leave the hospital, hospitalists provide a smooth handoff to the patients' primary-care providers to ensure well-coordinated care after the hospital stay.

Hospitalists at PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth has experienced hospitalists who provide care in PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham.

From within the hospital: If you or your family member is under the care of a hospitalist, your nurse can contact the hospitalist or you can dial ext. 6841.

From outside the hospital: Call (360) 788-6841.

Note:  Hospitalists do not have clinic hours and do not see patients by appointment.

After a Hospital Stay

Hospitalists and the nursing staff will create a discharge plan for patients who are ready to leave the hospital. The plan includes steps you will need to take to continue getting better at home.