Heritage Valley Health System Expands Hospitalist Program

Since they do not care for patients in outpatient offices, they are always available to quickly respond to any changes in a patient’s condition.  The mission of a Hospitalist is to ensure that patients receive the best possible quality care during their hospital stay, from admission to discharge.

“The changing climate of medical care regionally and across the United States has prompted the movement towards the use of hospitalists as the standard of care at hospital systems nationwide,” said John Cinicola, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Heritage Valley Health System.  “Hospitalists are increasingly being utilized at hospitals throughout the Pittsburgh metropolitan area with much success.  It is believed by many experts, that within the next few years, hospitalists will provide the majority of inpatient care at hospitals throughout the country.”

In addition to caring for patients in the hospital setting, another critical role for the Hospitalist is to coordinate care with a patient’s Primary Care Physician.  Through Heritage Valley Health System’s electronic health record system, a patient’s Primary Care Physician provides the Hospitalist with information about his or her medical history. In turn, the Hospitalist makes sure that the patient’s Primary Care Physician will receive information regarding his or her progress and condition during the hospitalization. 

“Our Hospitalists are very caring and competent physicians that have been covering for us for inpatient night time calls and admissions for the last three years,” said Tim Jackson, MD, internist with the Heritage Valley Medical Group practice office located at 500 Sharon Road in Beaver.  “They have done an excellent job caring for our patients during this period of time and we continue to have a close working relationship with this team of physicians.  With that said, I feel it is important for me to remind patients that that they should arrange a follow-up appointment with their Primary Care Physician after they leave the hospital so that we can manage their progress and address any further questions that they may have about their condition.”

The Program Director for Heritage Valley’s Hospitalist Program is Michael Cratty, MD, PhD, SFHM who is board certified in Internal Medicine – Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine.  He has been a member of the medical staff for the last three years.  In addition to Dr. Cratty, there are nine other physicians, a physician assistant and certified registered nurse practitioner that will cover both the Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley campuses.  All primary care physicians who are members of the Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley medical staffs have the option to work with the Hospitalists in the program.