Mercy Hospital Carthage Welcomes New Hospitalist Group

December 18, 2013

Members of the new hospitalist

group at Mercy Hospital Carthage.

CARTHAGE, Mo - A new team of physicians and nurses has started practicing at Mercy Hospital Carthage with the goal of providing more care for patients at the hospital while allowing local family doctors to stay in their clinics and offices. Dr. Bob Tyler and Dr. Doris Purvis, along with three nurse practitioners are the first installment of a new team practicing a relatively new specialty called hospital medicine or hospitalist. Tyler said hospitalists work specifically in the hospital, reducing or eliminating the need for family doctors to conduct their traditional “rounds” in the  hospital. “We are an addition to the staff,” Tyler said. “We’re part of the growth that is occurring here at McCune-Brooks. What we do is take care of patients that are admitted to the hospital, especially those on a medical-surgical unit or in an ICU, and we basically specialize in hospital medicine, which is becoming  a very formal sub-specialty in internal medicine.”

Purvis said the hospitalists stay at the hospital, allowing family and specialty doctors to work in their offices. “The hospitalists team allows the primary care physicians to dedicate themselves full time to their clinic,” Purvis said. “When one of their patients gets ill to the point where one of them has to go to the hospital, they are then taken care of by the hospitalist team."  The hospitalist group communicates very closely with the primary care physician so when we see one of their patients, we usually pick up the phone and ask about the patient’s past history, the primary care provider’s opinion on the care and etc. Then we follow the patient on a daily basis during their hospitalization. Once they’re ready to be discharged from the hospital, we again communicate with the primary care provider and explain to them all the changes that we have made.”

In addition to Tyler and Purvis, the new hospitalist staff includes Annette Mayfield, APN, Joanie Dutton, APN and Gretchen Perry, APN. The hospitalists will see the patient shortly after he or she arrives, review the patient’s medical history and perform a physical exam. The hospitalist team will also perform special procedures such as inserting special IV lines or catheters. “The beauty of this program also is of course focusing on the patient’s care, we are here 24-7,” Purvis said. “We are here all the time keeping an eye on the patient and if the patient gets acutely ill during the morning or in the middle of the night, we’re here so it’s easier to interact with family, to update them on what is going on. We are covering on a 24-hour basis.”

Mercy McCune-Brooks president Bob Copeland said these doctors and nurse practitioners are a “wonderful addition to our medical staff”. “These physicians are specifically trained for in-patient care and will be able to provide the necessary direction to be able to make sure that our patients continue to be well cared for,” Copeland said. “I’m certainly pleased with our two full-time hospitalists and the support they have with the nurse practitioners, I know our patients will continue to see wonderful medical care.”

Purvis noted that having hospitalist on staff will encourage other medical specialists to locate their practices in Carthage. “One of those is Mercy Orthopedics, which will be expanding their Clinic in Carthage.” Purvis said. “By having the hospitalist team here, we can co-manage patients and so they feel much more comfortable bringing their services here, doing surgeries here. The point is to serve the Carthage community within their own environment and not having them have to travel to Joplin or Springfield. Cardiology will also be coming soon and general surgery.”

Tyler said the hospitalists plan to integrate themselves into the community as time goes on. “We have lots of ideas of how to move more into being a part of the community and supporting the community, as well as helping to support the hospital in the various things,” he said. “So it’s pretty exciting the things that are coming up.”

Excerpts taken from 12/13/13 Carthage Press; to learn more

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