Questions & Answers
-Robert R. Harding, M.D.
-Latrina C. Lemon, M.D.
-John C. Mincks, M.D.
Our doctors at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg are pleased to share their knowledge on health-related topics that matter to you and your family. Robert Harding, MD, Latrina Lemon, MD, and John Mincks, MD, are hospitalists, board-certified physicians specially trained to care for you in the hospital.
Q: How did you decide what kind of services to make available at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg?
RH: Long before we began building Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg we listened closely to the people of this community when they discussed their desire for convenience and choice. We talked with local physicians and clinical staff to determine best practices in all areas of the hospital. There were a number of decisions to make regarding programs and services and the medical staff and administration worked on them together in total partnership.
LL: In all the areas where patient care is provided, we have deployed leading-edge technology that enhances safety and quality throughout the facility. We've also improved the way we transition older adults from the hospital to their home or to another level of care. As Dr. Harding said, we all worked together. So the people that actually provide the care - physicians and clinical staff - had an early and ongoing role in the way patients would receive care. This kind of collaboration at the clinical and administrative level is something that defines Riverside Health System in general and the new hospital in particular. I think the future of medicine, no matter what course health reform takes, will be about this teamwork between management and medical staff and the very positive impact it can have on patients.
JM: We have meetings each morning between physicians and and clinical staff to better allocate resources, improve patient care and focus on safety. It's part of what we do on a daily basis and it's another example of shared decision-making. Other hospitals may follow a similar path, though I don't know of any facility where the doctors have a stronger voice in the services that will be available to patients.
Q: What's the role of a hospitalist when it comes to surgery?
RH: For patients having surgery, we provide needed care during and after the procedure as well as the entire time the individual is in the hospital. Along with treating patients, however, we also coordinate care with the surgeons and any specialized services. We get some help in this area because the new technology in the RDHW operating rooms increases our connectivity to our patients.
As hospitalists we're not directly involved in the surgical procedure itself. However, we can more easily monitor the progress of our patients who are having surgery.
What we have then is an ongoing and real-time look at what's going on with the people we are caring for, even if they're in the OR. That capability is an important part of the overall coordination and collaboration between every member of the care team and it helps create a better experience for the patient.
Q: You describe hospitalists as doctors who take care of patients in the hospital so I'm wondering, where does my family doctor fit into the picture?
RH: We work very closely with all physicians who refer to Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg. I've spent considerable time talking with Williamsburg doctors to discuss the ways we can help you get the most personalized inpatient experience possible. To assure that your transition of care is seamless, we also provide a detailed report for your primary care doctor on the day of your admission along with a discharge summary within 24 hours after you leave the hospital. This type of teamwork is basic to the way we coordinate your care.
JM: As part of that coordination of care, Dr. Harding, Dr. Lemon or I stay in contact with your family doctor or any specialists involved in your care if needed. Because hospitalists are available at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg 24/7, we can better care for you throughout your inpatient stay. And we can continue to keep your entire health team informed about you treatment plan and your progress.
LL: It's definitely a team process and I think it's important to add that we carefully document every aspect of your inpatient care in your electronic medical record (EMR) and then make that information available to everyone who's part of your care team. The EMR assures that your medical history, the medications you're taking and any other relevant medical information is something we can quickly access and share among your care providers.
This EMR capability is important because the more information we have about your past and current health status, the more thorough we can be in discussing your health options with you.
If you have a question for our RDHW hospitalists, please send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.