Bedside Manner in the Digital Age - Hospitalists Make a Difference

The digital age has dramaticaly transformed the healthcare industry. Gone are the days of patient charts in old, fraying folders and struggling to read the chicken scratch of another physician. There's no more checking boxes on paper for medications given or even having to verbally ask a patient what their symptoms are. Instead, it's all stored in a computer in easy-to-read file that is simple to transfer between physicians or hospitals. Most would assume that this technology driven transformation has been all positive, but there are a few downsides. Luckily, having hospitalists on your staff can help!

With the rise in digital charting and technology-based patient care, patients can often feel left out of the equation. A physician rushes into the room, checks their chart and stats on the computer, adds any updates to their treatment plan, and can easily leave with only a few words said to the person lying in the hospital bed. It can seem as if bedside manner has gone the way of those old paper charts. 

This is where hospitalists, physicians who specialize in the hospital environment, can be a huge help. Unlike other physicians who may have their own private practice and only visit the hospital when on call or for rounds, hospitalists practice medicine in this environment day in and day out. They see the worry and confusion in patients and family members left behind when doctors interact with the computer more than the human patient. For this reason, hospitalists are more equipped to deliver compassionate patient care within the hospital setting.

Having a hospitalist program also allows you to focus on the aspects of care and bedside manner that are most important to your facility. Rather than relying on physicians that work in many different facilities and many different environments, you can have a team that is focused only on your facility and the type of patient care needed. By having hospitalists on staff, you can even institute specialized training geared specifically for bedside manner with a focus on including the human element into the hospitalists' daily routine.

We must also keep in mind the role that the digital age plays in the ease of patients to report their level of satisfaction. With online ratings and reviews rampant, it's key to employ staff such as hospitalists who have your facility's best interests at heart.


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