Rural Physicians Group treating Preston Memorial patients through Hospitalist Program

Posted Date: 8/8/2018
Dr. Madhuresh Kumar photo

Preston Memorial welcomed Dr. Madhuresh Kumar in July. Dr. Kumar is the first of the hospitalists with the Rural Physicians Group to join the medical staff at PMH. 

In addition to the launch of the Orthopedic Surgery Department, Preston Memorial Hospital has introduced a new Hospitalist team to reside on-site providing around-the-clock patient care. The Rural Physicians Group (RPG) began treating PMH patients on July 11. RPG is a group of physicians contracted to provide inpatient, ICU and observation care of patients. “The Rural Physicians Group specializes in rural health facilities and understands what a small community hospital needs,” Melissa Lockwood said, President and Chief Executive Officer of Preston Memorial Hospital.

Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the care of patients during hospitalization.  They coordinate care with a primary care provider so that when the patient is discharged from the hospital, appropriate follow-up care can take place.  RPG’s model of residing in the hospital setting enables hospitalist physicians to be more accessible to meet with family members, follow-up on patient testing and communicate with nursing staff on a 24/7 basis. Hospitalist services has various benefits, including increasing the safety of patients and reducing stress on primary care providers.

“Our new, in-house, 24/7 model will provide more consistent, accessible service and allow us to care for more patients locally,” stated Jennifer Nestor, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Preston Memorial Hospital. The on-call hospitalist provider will be readily available to speak with patients and families upon request. “We anticipate an increase in our volumes, a higher acuity of patients and hands-on physician care for our patients who require the most care,” Nestor said.

RPG physicians will rotate seven-day shifts, during which they are on-call 24/7. After a series of rotations, the hospitalists deemed the best fit will become permanent fixtures at PMH. One key physician from this group will be named the Medical Director of the Hospitalist Program. “In the upcoming weeks, we will implement a feedback process involving nursing staff, which is integral to the RPG business model,” Lockwood said. “Senior Leaders will have scheduled calls with RPG leadership to maintain open lines of communication for continuous program improvement.”

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