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Providence adds hospitalist program

Patients at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital now have access to a doctor every minute of every day via a new “hospitalist” program beginning in August.

Relatively new in the delivery of medicine, doctors in this discipline focus on all types of patients who are receiving hospital-based care.

According to PHRMH staff, recent studies show that hospitalist-attended patients have better medical outcomes, lower costs and shorter lengths of stay in the hospital.

Providence physicians Gary Regalbuto, Ryan Petersen and Jim Edwards have been recruited to implement the new service and will care for patients in the hospital, teach and provide leadership related to hospital care.

As needed, they will connect with hospitalized patients’ personal physicians for consultation.

Hospitalist programs offer patients round-the-clock access to a physician. As integral members of the 24-hour hospital team, they are familiar with key departments and individuals within the hospital, allowing for prompt connections with other health care personnel.

Petersen and Regalbuto are longtime community physicians, most recently working at the Providence Medical Group-Hood River Internal Medicine Clinic. Both are board certified internists.

Edwards comes to Hood River from Providence Seaside Hospital, where he has been a hospitalist for three for years. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois and was an intern and resident at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine.

“This is a win-win for our communality,” says Ed Freysinger, chief executive of Providence’s Columbia Gorge Service Area. “Patients in our hospital will be able to receive coordinated care by a designated team during their stay, and community providers will be able to focus even more on their patients in the clinic.”

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