I recently read “Hospital medicine around the world” (ACP Hospitalist, July 2009) and am now more hopeful about my own hospital's efforts. I am presently working as a hospitalist in Columbia Asia Hospital in Bangalore, India. Our hospital medicine department was established about a year and a half ago. We are a team of four internists providing 24/7 inpatient care coverage for all internal medicine patients. We also offer consultations to other subspecialties when requested.
We are striving to promote the hospital medicine concept here and are aiming to achieve standards of excellence in patient care and promote better quality of life among physicians. We have been faced with a few challenges. This is a pretty new concept in India, and the first impression of our primary care physician (PCP) colleagues is “A hospitalist taking care of my patients? How would that impact my practice?” We have been trying to impress upon PCPs here the advantages of having a hospitalist: better-quality care, decreased duration of hospital stay, the luxury of patients having a consultant to communicate and address their immediate needs, and above all improved quality of life for PCPs who do not need to deal with the responsibility of inpatient care in the midst of a busy outpatient practice. We are also faced with the challenge of how to give our efforts an academic dimension in terms of teaching and training junior doctors and are looking for structured curricula that might help us in this regard.
Any input from others in our situation would be welcome and appreciated.
Prathima Ramaprasad, MD