Torrance Memorial's Hospitalist Program
As the name suggests, a Hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring solely for acutely ill patients in the hospital, from the time of admission to discharge. Hospitalists are available 24 -hours to apply their specialized skills to hospitalized patients, while primary care physicians who once had to split their time between their office practice and the hospital are able to do what they do best-keep you and your family healthy.
Like leading hospitals across the country, Torrance Memorial has a well-established hospitalist program. Two hospitalist groups-Torrance Memorial Hospitalist Associates and HealthCare Partners Hospitalists - with approximately 40 physicians provide in-house round-the-clock care at the medical center. Torrance Memorial hospitalists are all Board Certified Internal Medicine physicians who are specifically trained to meet the needs of acutely ill patients.
Significant advantages of Hospitalist Physicians dedicated solely to hospitalized patients:
- 24-hour in-house availability
- Review test results
- Update care plans
- Communicate with patients and families in a timely manner
"The acceptance and growth of hospitalist programs is consistent with the trend toward specialization in medicine," comments Alexander Shen, M.D., Medical Director, Torrance Memorial Hospitalist Associates. "Most hospitalists have spent their careers working in hospitals. We focus our development and continuing education on the hospitalized patient. So we become very good at taking care of hospital patients," adds Shen.
Also very important to patients is how their care is managed once they leave the hospital. "One of our most important goals is to manage the patient's transition upon discharge back to their own primary care doctor," explains Chan Chuang, M.D., Lead Hospitalist, HealthCare Partners Medical Group. "We have in place many processes to make sure our patients' family doctors have the information they need to follow-up on each patient after hospitalization. As always, patients can help greatly in their own care management by maintaining a current list of medications they are taking and making sure they keep their follow-up appointment with their family doctor after they return home."
Over time, more types of hospital-based physician practices will likely evolve. One area of growing specialization is critical care medicine, where physicians focus their practices on the management of patients in intensive care units. "These trends toward more specialization are in line with our goals to continually improve the quality of care provided," comments John McNamara, M.D., Torrance Memorial Chief Medical Officer. "It means patients will have more physicians managing their care, but if the care is carefully coordinated, patient outcomes should be even better. That is our goal: continual improvement."