Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2020 Nov;16(11):571-576.
Over the last 2 decades, there has been an increase in acuity among hospitalized patients and patients who present to the emergency department. As such, the role of the hospitalist as an inpatient medicine specialist has become increasingly important to many health systems. More recently, subspecialties in medicine have begun adopting the hospitalist model to care for their inpatients. This care delivery model helps provide continuity, potentially decreased cost and length of stay, and a better quality of life with a more predictable schedule for hospitalists and their outpatient colleagues. This model also aims to provide more timely consultation for inpatients, to help improve communication among inpatient caregiver teams, and to reduce redundant tests while also enhancing patient satisfaction. As a primarily outpatient procedure (and clinic)-based specialty, gastroenterology may benefit from the hospitalist model by being able to provide highly specialized care to acutely ill hospitalized patients with less disruption to outpatient schedules. This article discusses the structure of the gastroenterology hospitalist model, advantages to gastroenterologists and their practices, and the challenges of developing and implementing this model, as well as highlights the increasingly recognized value of this new paradigm in gastroenterology.