Hospitalists are hospital based internists, one of the newest fields in medicine as well as one of the fastest growing. Hospitalists treat patients in the hospital and then turn over care to the patient’s primary care doctor. Hospitalists manage a broad spectrum of conditions including stroke, infections, and complications of many diseases.
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, senior vice president and chief patient safety officer for The Doctors Company, the largest national insurer of physicians, states:
Over the last decade there has been a dramatic shift away from primary care–directed hospital care toward a model in which hospital-based physicians—hospitalists—provide care to inpatients. In fact, the hospitalist field has now become the fastest-growing specialty in the history of American medicine…We believe that as hospitalists continue to fill more roles within the hospital and higher demands are placed on them, the risk for being sued may also increase.
Hospitalists are trained to recognize and treat nearly every major medical condition. In part because their role is broad, these doctors may face charges of malpractice with ensuing litigation. Leading university medical experts are invaluable to the legal team in this type of lawsuit. Their medical expertise is apparent to the court and may well determine the outcome of the medical negligence case.