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Definition of a Hospitalist and Hospital Medicine

Hospital medicine: A medical specialty dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients. Practitioners of hospital medicine include physicians (“hospitalists”) and non-physician providers who engage in clinical care, teaching, research, or leadership in the field of general hospital medicine. In addition to their core expertise managing the clinical problems of acutely ill, hospitalized patients, hospital medicine practitioners work to enhance the performance of hospitals and healthcare systems by:

  • Prompt and complete attention to all patient care needs including diagnosis, treatment and the performance of medical procedures (within their scope of practice).
  • Employing quality and process improvement techniques
  • Collaboration, communication and coordination with all physicians and healthcare personnel caring for hospitalized patients
  • Safe transitioning of patient care within the hospital, and from the hospital to the community, which may include oversight of care in post-acute care facilities.
  • Efficient use of hospital and healthcare resources

Hospitalist: A Hospitalist is a practitioner who is engaged in clinical care, teaching, research, and/or leadership in the field of hospital medicine. Practitioners of hospital medicine include physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Approved By SHM Board on January 26, 2016