Published on June 22, 2010

Hospitalists Care for Patients at Baptist North Mississippi

OXFORD, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi employs hospitalists to help better meet the needs of their patients. Hospitalists are internal medicine physicians who care for patients during their hospital stays. The hospitalist practice is one of the fastest growing medical specialties, with some 28,000 hospitalists practicing in the U.S. today, according to the Society of Hospital Medicine Philadelphia, the largest organization representing hospitalists and the practice of hospital medicine. The hospitalist practice is constantly growing at Baptist North Mississippi as well.

The hospitalists work with patients' primary care doctors and follow the patients' progress during their hospital stays. Hospitalists are in the hospital or on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are available at all times to admit patients and care for them while they are in the hospital.

"Our hospitalists work with the patients' primary care doctors to help ensure all patients' medical needs are met," said Dr. Brett Lampton, a hospitalist at Baptist North Mississippi. "The hospitalists keep the primary care doctors updated during and after the patients' hospital stays."

Because hospitalists are on call 24 hours a day, patients can receive more timely care and the hospitalists are able to make quicker decisions. Hospitalists can modify treatments or follow up on test results in a more timely manner, as well. Studies have also shown that patients treated by hospitalists have shorter hospital stays and spend less money on treatment.

Another benefit of hospitalists is improved communication among the medical staff. The physician is the point person for the patient's care and helps ensure that all doctors, nurses and other medical staff are communicating the same message to the patient.

Baptist North Mississippi continues to examine quality measures and length of stay to help ensure patient safety. One large advantage of the hospitalists program is the continuity of care, says Lampton. Patients' stays are, on average, 5.2 days, which exceeds the hospital's goal. Because of the hospitalists' seven-day work shift, patients are likely to have the same physician during their entire stay.

Hospitalists are often more familiar with the hospital, from the staff to procedures and systems. With Baptist North Mississippi making the transition to electronic medical records, hospital system familiarity is increasingly important.

Baptist North Mississippi is a 217-bed hospital in Oxford, Miss., that offers a variety of services, including cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, home care and hospice and a 24-hour emergency room. A recent expansion project brought a new emergency department, additional surgery suites and patient rooms and enhanced outpatient services. Since the hospital became affiliated with Baptist Memorial Health Care in 1989, Baptist has invested more than $140 million into the facility. For more information, please call 662-232-8100 or visit



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