Hospitalist RNs Help Patients Transition out of the Hospital

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In a continuing effort to improve upon the patient experience at Renown Health, we have added hospitalist RNs to our hospital care teams. We created this position last spring to assist and support patients as they transition out of a hospital setting without disrupting their continuum of healthcare.

This spring, a new nursing position was created to not only help patients with their care, but to also help fellow nurses.

Establishing the hospitalist RN position was a direct result of Renown receiving designation as an accountable care organization (ACO). As such, Renown approaches a patient’s well-being knowing he or she will experience a range of healthcare needs — not just a one-time hospital visit.

“The hospitalist RN completes part of the hospital care team concept with a hospitalist physician, a registered nurse and in some cases an advanced practice nurse,” explains Denniese Joslyn, RN, Manager of Hospitalist Services. “The hospitalist RN works side by side with the physician to keep the patient’s short-term hospital stay on track and keep an eye on discharge transition needs and the post-hospital plan.”

Catering to the full spectrum of patient health positively impacts the way care is provided throughout the entire health system — which dramatically increases overall patient satisfaction.

The Role of a Hospitalist RN

Renown’s hospitalist RNs collaborate directly with hospitalist physicians to advocate for patients. They ensure patients experience a seamless transition from hospital stay to discharge to their post-hospital setting — be it home or a skilled nursing facility, for example — with no disruption in care.

It’s important to note that hospitalist RNs do not provide hands-on patient care. They serve as collaborative advocates, working individually with patients to assure they understand the need for their care, the nature of the care, when care is provided and the impact of the care on the patient.

“The hospitalist RN oversees the continuum of care throughout the acute care setting until the patient is safely returned to the appropriate ambulatory setting with a plan for wellness,” says Denniese.

The patients aren’t the only ones who benefit. One of the best parts of the job as a hospitalist RN for Amy Murphy, RN, CHPN, is advocating for patients as well as supporting her fellow nurses. “I am the physician’s right hand; however, I’m truly here for the patients,” Amy says. “And the opportunity to engage with other nurses during the course of my work makes the job fun.”

As a hospitalist RN, Amy works the same schedule as a hospitalist physician — 12-hour shifts with seven days on and seven days off. She works with the same hospitalist for each shift, then rotates to another physician and unit the next time she is back on the clock.

Currently, five hospitalist RNs work at Renown South Meadows Medical Center and Renown Regional Medical Center, with the goal to expand the position so that the number of hospitalist RNs corresponds with the number of hospitalist physicians.

For more information about Renown’s commitment to accountable care, click here.

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