UCLA doctors where you may not expect them
In addition to the more than 180 primary and specialty care offices throughout the greater Los Angeles region, UCLA Health also has physicians who specialize in caring for hospitalized patients in 17 community facilities and counting. Here is what you need to know about our hospitalist program:
Always call your primary care office first
Unless there is an emergency that requires 911, you should always call your primary care office first if you are sick, injured or have a health concern.
Based on your symptoms, your location and other factors, a member of your health care team will either ask you to come in and see your primary care physician; tell you to go to an after-hours office to receive urgent care services; or direct you to a nearby hospital for emergency care. This is where our inpatient providers, called hospitalists, come into play.
Once you are headed to a specific location, a member of our team can call ahead and request that a UCLA Health hospitalist oversee your care if you are admitted to the facility.
If you go directly to the emergency department, you should identify yourself as a UCLA Health patient and present your laminated hospitalist card, available in our primary care offices. If you are admitted to the hospital, our hospitalist team will then oversee your care.
Expect care to be coordinated with outside providers
UCLA Health hospitalists in all 17 locations can access your electronic medical records. This means that a hospitalist can review your complete medical history without expecting you to remember this information, and avoid re-ordering imaging studies or lab tests you have already completed.
Once you are admitted, a hospitalist will notify your primary care physician and coordinate your inpatient care with other specialists, including cardiologists, nephrologists and pulmonologists.
If you are admitted to a community hospital and need highly specialized care, you will have first priority for a transfer to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center or UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, where our physicians handle the most complex cases.
Enjoy a smooth transition home
Before you are sent home, a hospitalist will prepare a discharge summary that details what happened during your hospital stay, which is then sent to your primary care physician and relevant specialists.
They will also write a prescription for any new medications, refill most existing medications and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments.
This content ran in the Fall 2019 issue of The Checkup, a UCLA Health community newsletter on how to live your healthiest live.