Always Standing By
Providing patient-centered care in a safe and compassionate environment is important to us. That’s why our hospitalists are key members of your care team. They provide and oversee your care, consult with or call specialists and communicate with your primary care physician.
“There’s always a hospitalist in the medical center, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take care of urgent needs,” says Tsuyoshi Okawa, MD, hospitalist director at Providence Little Company of Mary. “Because taking care of patients admitted to the hospital is our primary responsibility, we’re very attuned to patients who need acute care and close monitoring.”
Dr. Okawa has been a hospitalist for more than 20 years. He remembers when patients used to come into the emergency room and the ER staff would call the patient’s primary care physician (PCP). “The patient’s PCP would often develop a treatment plan without seeing the patient,” he recalls. “Now the ER doctor calls the hospitalist, who goes to see the patient in the ER, providing more hands-on care.”
Dr. Okawa notes that our hospitalists are also dedicated to the coordination and continuation of care after patients are released from the hospital.
“We have a post-discharge clinic, called the Coordinated Care Health Center, and it’s just a block away from the hospital. We often have patients follow up before they see their own doctors, so that they’re closely monitored,” he says.
Patients who can’t go home right after discharge may be transferred to a skilled nursing facility. Our hospitalists staff several of the skilled nursing facilities, which provide continuity of care.
Like many Providence Medical Associates hospitalists, Dr. Okawa was trained in internal medicine. Others have training in family practice.
Another kind of hospitalist is called a laborist, also known as an OB-GYN hospitalist or obstetric hospitalist. Our laborists are available 24 hours a day to care for expectant moms. They help manage childbirth and any emergencies in the medical center when the patient’s regular obstetrician is not available or is en route to the hospital.
Giving birth is a transformative experience. Our laborists ensure that patients always have the expert care they need and help prevent complications for mom and baby.
Whether you’re having a baby or undergoing surgery, we know that being in a hospital can be frightening. However, studies show that both hospitalists and laborists enhance patient safety, which leads to better medical outcomes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Okawa says hospitalists and laborists at Providence Little Company of Mary were unsung heroes, working extra hospital shifts and providing lifesaving care to many patients.
For more information on Providence Little Company of Mary hospitals, call 844-925-0942.