On December 1, RMH launched an Inpatient Pediatrics Service to better serve the medical needs of children and newborns while they are in the hospital.
RMH developed the initiative in collaboration with community pediatricians, family physicians, the Harrisonburg Community Health Center and the RMH Medical Group. The Inpatient Pediatrics Service provides around-the-clock care to children while they are patients at RMH. These physicians focus on the care of newborns and children in the Emergency Department, Nursery, and hospital nursing units. They work in a collaborative, flexible manner with local pediatric care providers.
“RMH is committed to delivering the highest quality care to every patient. We support community-based physicians in doing the same,” said John McGowan, M.D., President, RMH Medical Group. “To that end, we are pleased to be partnering with community pediatricians to extend the spectrum of medical care for children and newborns in our community.”
Dr. McGowan said the service will eventually include several board-certified pediatricians who have obtained additional experience in the acute care of hospitalized newborns and children. The pediatricians will be members of the RMH Medical Group. They will use best practices in delivering care to young patients, focusing on the conditions common in hospitalized children and assessing and caring for newborns during the first days of life. Physician recruitment should be completed by summer 2013.
As with the hospital-based physician program for adults, when a child is discharged from the hospital, his or her medical care will continue with the family’s chosen primary care provider. There will be close communication between the inpatient and outpatient physicians during a handover in care.
Dr. McGowan noted that some local physicians have chosen to continue to follow their pediatric patients while they are hospitalized. Parents should check with their local pediatric care provider if they have questions.
“The inpatient pediatrics service will allow local providers who chose to do so to focus exclusively on what they do best: keeping the children of our community healthy and out of the hospital,” said Dr McGowan “Like physicians in other types of practices, community pediatricians are struggling to balance care of patients in their offices with the care of patients in the hospital. This service, developed with and in support of our community pediatricians, will enhance care both in and out of the hospital setting.”