Research Article| Volume 111, ISSUE 9, SUPPLEMENT 2, 36-39, December 21, 2001

Passing the clinical baton: 6 principles to guide the hospitalist

  • Lee Goldman
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Lee Goldman, MD, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143-0120 USA
    Department of Medicine (LG, SZP), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
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  • Steven Z Pantilat
    Department of Medicine (LG, SZP), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

    Program in Medical Ethics (SZP), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

    Division of General Internal Medicine (SZP), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
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  • Winthrop F Whitcomb
    Inpatient Medicine Service (WFW), Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr. Pantilat is a Soros Foundation Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar and a recipient of a K23 Mentored Patient Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes on Aging.


      Hospitalist systems make it increasingly common for responsibility for a patient to be passed from one physician to another. During such transfers, patients’ outcomes and satisfaction can benefit from better communication between hospitalists and the primary care physicians whose patients they care for. We propose 6 principles to guide such communication, to ensure that critical information about patients is not lost and to optimize the quality of care. We also discuss special considerations for patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility or to home with home care.
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