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Hospitalist: Collaborative Care for Complex Cases

Imagine an older patient who has sustained a hip fracture. Normally, that patient would be admitted to hospital for surgery, with an orthopaedic surgeon providing and managing the care. Now imagine that patient also has diabetes complicated by circulatory issues. The management of this patient’s care then becomes far more complex. 
To properly care for patients with multiple conditions, Mount Sinai has launched an innovative new model of care: the hospitalist service. The hospitalist is a physician – an integral member of the care team – who co-ordinates care for patients with complex health problems. Dr. Christine Soong, the hospitalist at Mount Sinai, works with hip fracture patients and manages their day-to-day issues both before and after surgery. Patients and families receive one-on-one attention from Dr. Soong, allowing surgical teams to spend more time in the operating room. One of the many benefits of this service is a 21% reduction in wait times for hip surgery at the Hospital and the lowest wait times for knee replacements in Ontario.
Dr. Soong also works with medical residents in the General Internal Medicine unit to expedite the process of admitting patients into the unit who have come to the Hospital via the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre. This has resulted in a 40% reduction in admission times from 5.2 to 3.1 hours.
Dr. Christine Soong and colleagues
Left to right: Dr. Christine Soong meets with colleagues Christina Fabbruzzo-Cota and Raynia Sauvageau to discuss a patient's care plan. 
“The overall objective of the hospitalist role is to improve the quality of patient care,” says Dr. Soong, who has been with Mount Sinai since 2011. “It is beneficial for everyone, as patients feel more confident when they have this level of support and continuity of care, and hospital processes become far more efficient. It allows us all to do our jobs better, and that ultimately impacts patients in a very positive way.”