To meet the needs of our patients, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center offers hospitalized patients access to physicians specializing in inpatient care around the clock. This allows private-practice doctors more time to see patients in their offices.

What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for hospitalized patients and acts as a primary care physician for the hospital. Because hospitalists do not maintain outside clinics, they can focus attention exclusively on your medical care inside the hospital.

What are the benefits of having a hospitalist?

The hospitalist can often help speed your recovery and shorten your hospital stay by following-up on tests, adjusting your treatment throughout the day, and meeting with patients and families regularly to update plans of care. Your hospitalist specializes in various kinds of acute medical care should a patient need urgent attention. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center also has a 24-hours-a-day 7-days-a-week hospitalist in house.

Why you might see several hospitalist physicians during your stay

Hospitalists at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center round on patients to maximize patient continuity of care. However, as the hospitalists go off service at the end of their cycle, your care may be turned over to another hospitalist.

What is the relationship between the hospitalist and my primary care doctor?

The hospitalist partners with your primary care doctor to administer and oversee your treatment while you are in the hospital, serving as your doctor until you are discharged. When you are discharged, your primary physician will resume your care. Reports from your inpatient stay will be sent to your primary physician upon discharge. The hospitalist may consult with your primary physician as appropriate.

The hospitalist and other staff at the hospital can assist you in finding a doctor after you leave the hospital. Records from your hospital stay can be sent to this doctor.

How is it determined which hospitalist will see me on any given day?

The Fort Walton Hospitalists have put together a schedule that maximizes physician and patient continuity. At first, you will be matched with the hospitalist that is available at the time of your admission. In addition, there are Physician Assistants and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners specializing in hospital medicine that work under the supervision of the hospitalist and assist in patient care.

What if my family has questions?

As with any other doctors visit, we encourage your family to be present when you are seen, to meet your caregivers and ask questions. Hospitalist physicians will see you at least once-a-day or more, if appropriate. It's a good idea to record your questions on a notepad for later discussions with your family and your doctor. Family members may contact the hospitalist(s) through the hospital's nursing staff.