Ask a Specialist: What You Should Know About Hospitalists

If you should end up in the Emergency Department, chances are you will encounter a hospitalist.  So what exactly are hospitalists and how do they care for you?  And what can you do to help them provide the best care?  Find out with Dr. Beata Summer-Brason, internist at The Queen’s Medical Center – West Oahu, in this segment of Ask a Specialist on Wake Up 2day.


Dr. Summer-Brason explains that a hospitalist is a physician (a board-certified internist or family practitioner) who coordinates care and helps diagnose and treat patients who require a hospital stay.


You’d encounter a hospitalist at most hospitals nationwide, and all hospitals in Hawaii. You’d most likely encounter one in the ER, iIf the ER physician feels your condition meets the criteria for hospitalization. You would not need one after you are released.


To ensure best care at a hospital:

  • Bring someone who knows your medical history and doctors’ names
  • Bring a list or bottles of all meds you take, including dosages and vitamins and supplements.
  • Have your caregiver or family member stay in the ER until after you speak with the hospitalist
  • Know your allergies to medications
  • Know what surgeries you’ve had, specifically different implants
  • Bring Advanced Health Care Directive or POLST form


Dr. Beata Summer-Brason says if you stay in the hospital, the hospitalist will see you once a day, answer questions, explain the daily plan, and let you know when you can be released from the hospital. If needed, he or she will request other consultants for their expertise on your condition.


T the hospitalist will communicate with your primary care physician and consultants, prepare a discharge medication list, provide information on follow up-appointments with your doctor, and work with social workers and case managers to assist with discharge planning if you are not able to safely return home when your medical condition has stabilized.


To learn more about hospitalists and what they do, join Dr. Summer-Brason for The Queen’s Medical Center – West O’ahu’s free Speaking of Health lecture called “Hospitalists … What You Should Know About These Physicians.”  That’s Thursday, May 19, from 6 – 7 p.m. at Queen’s – West O`ahu. To register, call The Queen’s Referral Line at (808) 691-7117 or go to

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