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Physicians are skilled healthcare professionals holding either a MD or a DO degree. All physicians on the medical staff of Akron General Medical Center possess a degree from an accredited medical college, have completed a residency in an accredited program and may have specialty and/or subspecialty training. All physicians practicing at Akron General Medical Center are licensed by the State of Ohio and are credentialed and recredentialed in accordance with Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' standards.

Whether you are planning on a hospital stay or have been admitted unexpectedly, understanding how you are going to be cared for is important. During your stay, you may be referred to a hospitalist physician, either by your primary care physician, or through the hospital. This information may help you understand what hospitalists do and how they can be an integral part of your care team.

How is a hospitalist different from your primary care physician?
A primary care physician usually works as part of a practice and is trained to provide general care for a variety of common conditions. When a patient has to be hospitalized, the primary care physician may refer the patient to a hospitalist, but will still remain the patient's primary care physician.

What is a hospitalist?
Hospitalists are physicians whose primary professional focus is to provide quality care to you during your hospital stay. These doctors work with your primary care physician and other healthcare professionals to monitor and serve all of your inpatient needs. At your time of discharge, if you do not have a primary care physician, you may call 330-344-AGMC (2462), Akron General's free physician referral service.

When a primary care physician might refer you to a hospitalist
A primary care physician sometimes refers patients to a hospitalist if he or she:

  • Chooses to focus on office-based care
  • Cannot be at the hospital as often as needed because of distance or scheduling

What to expect when your primary care physician refers you to a hospitalist
When you are referred to a hospitalist, he or she will work with your primary care physician to coordinate your care. Your primary care physician will share your medical records with him or her so that you can receive the most appropriate care. This includes any tests, procedures and medications you might have had or will need.

The hospitalist will examine and monitor you during your stay. It is a good idea for you to also share your medical information with the hospitalist and to communicate any preferences at that time. He or she will also see that you have medications and instructions, as needed, for going home.

After your discharge, the hospitalist will send your updated medical records to your primary care physician and let him or her know if you will need follow-up care. After you leave the hospital, your primary care physician will again be your main care provider, seeing you for follow-up or taking care of medication refills.

You should expect to receive separate statements from Akron General Medical Center and for services provided by your hospitalist or hospitalist group, since most hospitalists are not employees of Akron General Medical Center, but are independent practitioners.

If you do not have a primary care physician, contact Need-A-Physician, Akron General's free physician referral service.

Registered Nurses (RN's) play an important role in your care at Akron General Medical Center. They are licensed and skilled healthcare professionals holding anywhere from an associate's degree to a master's degree in Nursing. All nurses employed by Akron General Medical Center are licensed in the State of Ohio and maintain competencies in accordance with Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' standards. Nurses are responsible for coordinating your plan of care, monitoring your condition, and partnering with your physician to see that your medical needs are met. In addition, your nurse will collaborate with other departments, such as Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition and Dietetics, to optimize your care. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's), who work under the direction of an RN, may also be assisting in meeting your care needs.

We Provide Relationship-Based Care
Relationship-Based Care is the model of care here at Akron General. It is a way of providing care that is focused on you, the patient. Throughout your stay, a primary registered nurse will coordinate your care with you, your doctor and other members of the healthcare team. Associate nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants and student nurses may also assist with your care. Be sure to tell us how we can make your care the very best.

Social Workers

Care Managers
At any point during your stay, you may be assigned a care manager. Care managers are registered nurses who function as care coordinators, communicators, liaisons and advocates. They work closely with your family, your physician and the other members of the healthcare team to assist with the coordination of your care while you are in the hospital and to arrange those services that will be needed once you are discharged. Depending on your needs, they will assist you obtaining home care services or medical equipment. Care managers may also help to arrange your transfer to another acute care hospital or to an extended care facility (nursing home), depending upon the direction given by your physician.

Referrals to the care managers may come from the patient, family, physician or any member of the healthcare team who may determine a need. In addition to the above role as a discharge planner, other functions of the care manager include making referrals to a social worker and communicating with your insurance company regarding your stay. Working with the patient and family, the care manager facilitates the delivery of individualized, high-quality, coordinated and cost-effective care.

How is a care manager different than a social worker and a nurse?
A social worker typically provides interventions and assistance to patients and families, focusing on crisis intervention and psychosocial counseling. The social worker serves as a consultant for processing issues such as guardianship, power of attorney, living will and financial and health program coverage.

Although care managers are nurses, they are not involved in giving direct patient care. They are responsible for facilitating care and discharge planning.

Halo Nurses

Allied Health Professionals
Many of your care providers will not be physicians or nurses, but belong to a group of professionals know as Allied Health professionals. These highly skilled individuals are members of a patients medical team that in collaboration with your physician, assist in the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; and rehabilitation. An allied health professional, that possibly will be assisting in your care during your stay, may include radiology technologist, respiratory therapist, medical sonographers, dietitians, medical technologist (laboratory), physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech language pathologist, just to name a few. Training for allied health professionals varies depending on the area of specialty, such a master degree for therapist work in our Rehabilitation Services Department. Similar to the nursing field, allied health professionals must be licensed, through a professional credentialing body, to ensure the highest quality of patient care.

Date Updated: 09-APR-2009

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