Upstate News

December 8, 2004
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Hospitalists join University Hospital medical staff

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – University Hospital has joined dozens of academic hospitals throughout the country in adding hospital medicine to its delivery of care, using a hospitalist model.

Hospitalists are internists or medical subspecialists who work exclusively in the hospital setting. They assume the care of adult general medicine patients who typically are admitted through the Emergency Department and oversee and manage their care throughout their hospital stay, offering them a continuum of care. These patients do not have a primary care physician (PCP) or have a PCP without admitting privileges to the hospital.

University Hospital has hired two hospitalists, Anthony Karabanow, M.D., and Sastry Prayaga, M.D., with plans to hire more in the near future. In addition to patient care responsibilities, Karabanow and Prayaga supervise residents on the general internal medicine consult service and are faculty members in the College of Medicine.

Hospitals are a growing national trend intended to improve the quality and continuity of hospital-based patient care and medical education. Studies by academic medical centers indicate that the implementation of a hospitalist program generally leads to a 10 to 25 percent decrease in the length of stay and hospital cost. One study conducted at the Western Penn Hospital documented about a 50 percent decrease in readmissions.

“Because we practice exclusively in the hospital, we visit with our patients often and are immediately available to meet their needs,” said Karabanow. “We assess their clinical needs and coordinate all diagnostic treatments and processes. Our frequent visits allow us to see first-hand the patient’s day-to-day family dynamics that can have a direct bearing on their recovery and thus allow us to adapt our care accordingly.”

Karabanow and Prayaga work with an interdisciplinary team that includes social workers and case managers and provide education to residents who accompany them during patient visits and who also perform clinical care under their supervision.

Karabanow received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut Health Science Center and trained in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Prior to joining University Hospital, he was employed at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Concord, N.H.

Prayaga received his medical degree from Guntur Medical College in India and trained in internal medicine at St. Vincent Medical Center, Conn. Prior to joining University Hospital, he was a staff physician at Reading Convenient Care in Reading, Pa.

There are more than 3,000 hospitalists in the United States, many of whom are represented by the National Association of Inpatient Physicians.

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