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Hospitalists Offer Faster Service, But It Can Cost You

In-house hospital doctors are not Primary Care Physicians – so how can they properly diagnose patients or administer care?

Like most doctors, primary care physicians often keep busy schedules, making it nearly impossible to be at each of their patient’s bedside should they be admitted to a hospital for medical care. To address this issue, hospitals sometimes hire inpatient, hospital-based physicians called “hospitalists.” Hospitalists are meant to be onsite, ready to coordinate patient care in place of your primary care physician. While relying on a hospitalist can offer some benefits, there are downsides.

A hospitalist is oftentimes simply an internal medicine physician. They are typically not cardiologists, OB/GYN physicians, neurologists, or oncologists – who many people rely on for their primary care. Without this type of specialty training, a hospitalist must rely on other specialist to evaluate you and advise them as to how best to treat your conditions. The fact is, a hospitalist meeting you for the first time in a hospital will likely not be as familiar with your medical needs as your primary physician.

Hospitals hire and rely on hospitalists to offer prompt, onsite care to patients admitted to the hospital. They are hired for “medical management” of patient care. Problems can arise, however, if the hospitalist assigned to your care does not have the same specialty training or knowledge that your primary physician does. This can cause delays in treatment, misdiagnoses, needless complications, medication errors, and other medical mistakes leading to injury and death.

Each of these mistakes may form the basis of a Florida medical malpractice case. For example, if a patient is misdiagnosed because his or her doctor negligently failed to take a proper medical history, that patient may be injured needlessly and possibly bring a medical malpractice case under Florida law. Not all patients can be treated the same. Some cannot take the same medications, some are poor candidates for certain medical procedures, and others have pre-existing medical conditions which put them at high risk for various medical interventions. While hospitalists are charged with coordinating care for diverse patient populations, they are not always well qualified to manage care for the patients assigned to them.

Even other doctors are skeptical about how well hospitalists can care for so many  patients.

Medical errors caused by hospitalists who are not adequately trained to provide care to a particular patient can cause severe injury or death. Under these circumstances, patients and their families may have medical malpractice claims for the injury or wrongful death caused by medical negligence.

Are you suffering from a medical condition or ailment possibly due to a hospitalists’ failing to properly treat you or a family member while admitted to a hospital? If yes, obtain a free consultation from Viñas & DeLuca for help with a claim or lawsuit against a hospitalist or hospital by calling us at 305.372.3650 or send us a message and a representative will be in contact with you soon.

Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC, are trial lawyers experienced in handling medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death matters. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Please contact us.