Friends of New London Hospital January/February 2013
Gregory Curtis, MD joined NLH in 2003 as an outpatient
physician. He recognized the importance of having
a Hospitalist program and how this medical specialty
was improving the quality of care inpatients received.
When I heard the hospital was developing the program,
I very quickly raised my hand to be a Hospitalist. I knew
the way that health care was evolving I would no longer
be able to give patients the time they deserved unless
our services evolved as well. I wanted to provide the
direct, insightful care that patients deserve.”
Carolyn Byrne and her husband Jim experienced the
compassionate care of the Hospitalists and the team
of nurses, therapists, caseworkers and staff at NLH.
My husband Jim was discharged from Dartmouth-
Hitchcock to New London Hospital where he stayed
for three weeks,” commented Mrs. Byrne. “He was
treated with great care and compassion by the entire
nursing staff and by Hospitalists Dr. Madan and Dr.
Bissah. All of the nurses and therapists were wonderful
and cared for Jim with such kindness and skill. They
were a comfort to me as well, answering endless
questions and listening to all my concerns and acting
on them. My goal was to eventually bring my husband
home. The team at NLH made that possible and I will
be forever grateful.”
Today, the Hospitalist program at NLH is ingrained
in the culture of the organization and the quality of care
an inpatient receives has improved. NLH Hospitalists
are on site seven days a week, 24 hours a day to
provide the immediate care patients need. If a patient
has a concern in the middle of the night, the Hospitalist
is able to quickly respond to their needs. Similarly
if a patient enters the emergency department (ED)
the ED is able to contact the Hospitalist and admit the
patient promptly. “The access
to care has significantly
improved,” commented Curtis.
The Hospitalist program has
made it possible to considerably
shorten the amount of time
a patient would wait between
their arrival in the ED to when
they are admitted and in an
inpatient bed. Rather than
having to call a primary
care doctor who may be
challenged for time, patients
have a physician who
is immediately available.”
The benefits of the Hospitalist program extend far
beyond the ED. The program has also improved
communications between clinical staff. A Hospitalist
becomes the center point for communication between
the patient, the primary care physician and other
specialists who may be involved in delivering medical
care. Specialists have the ability to consult and utilize
the Hospitalist group when they need to. For example,
the vast majority of orthopedic patient admissions are
facilitated through the Hospitalist program. Hospitalists
are also in frequent contact with a patient’s primary care
physician ensuring a smooth transition of medical care
when a patient returns home.
Working with other health care providers as well
as hospital staff, the Hospitalist team has played an
integral part in building new systems that have resulted
in a greater consistency in the hospital’s Medicare
quality measures. NLH has very high percentage scores
that are at or above the state and national performance
averages. The Hospitalists are actively
involved in projects that help provide
consistent care for patients and focus
on developing tools that help improve
things such as hospital readmissions
and hospital acquired infections.
I enjoy being a Hospitalist for two
reasons,” continued Curtis. “I love
the diversity of medical care I am
able to provide and all of the different
patients I am able to help. I have
also been able to witness the collegiality that has
formed between the staff — not just physicians but the
entire staff from nursing to admissions to the pharmacy.
NLH has a true team approach, we all work together
to provide the very best care for our patients and
their families.”
Hospitalist Program Enhances Patient Care and Treatment continued from page 1
NLH Hospitalists are
available seven days
a week, 24 hours a day
to provide the immediate
care patients need.
Hospitalists work very closely with the entire medical team
at NLH including orthopedics (James Murphy, MD,
orthopedic surgeon, shown with a patient) to provide
quality care for patients.