Winter 2005

Hospitalists Are a Key Part of Care

Sam Hawgood, M.B. B.S.

Medicine is becoming increasingly complex. Whereas 50 years ago a hospitalized child might be seen by his or her family pediatrician or perhaps one specialist, a child may now be seen by four or five subspecialists, each with unique expertise. A specialist team handles each piece of the therapeutic puzzle. Hospital systems themselves have likewise become more complex, and simply coordinating patient preparation and procedures often requires a traffic director.

The child's primary physician is often now geographically distant from the hospitalized child. The answer is to bring back a generalist pediatrician — a hospitalist — whose responsibility is to maintain an overview of the hospitalized child's care. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital makes use of hospitalists for many of our hospitalized pediatric patients. Our goal is to improve care through enhanced communication, not only between medical and surgical specialists, but also between the hospital, referring physicians and the patient's family. Hospitalists are a key part of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital's dedication to improving communications before, during and after hospitalization. By providing continuous coordination of care, our goal is to promote healing, enhance safety and increase satisfaction.

Please see our story on hospitalists and contact me at (415) 476-9181 if you have any questions or comments.

Sam Hawgood, M.B. B.S.
Physician in Chief
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

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