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Hospitalists enhance care at Doctors
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Medical Director of a hospitalist core of doctors, Dr. Pankaj Malhotra supervises a dozen doctors 24 hours a day seven days a week, 365 days a year at Doctors Hospital of Manteca. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Hospitalists in white coats have come to Doctors Hospital of Manteca to relieve local doctors from having to make rounds twice daily to check on their patients.

Skilled physicians — a team of 13 doctors is on site,  two every day and one at night,  365 days a year — are caring for those who have been admitted to the health facility on the corner North Street and Cottage Avenue as they recover from an illness or a recent surgery.

Hospital CEO Nicolas Tejeda praised Hospitalist Care Medical Director Dr. Pankah Malhotra for his team’s efforts in caring for Doctor’s patients.  

“Previously we asked the community physicians to make their daily rounds morning and evening themselves,” he said.  “The majority of the primary care doctors ask them to make their rounds for them.  When the patients leave the hospital the primary care physicians and the hospitalists confer on their patient’s condition.”

Tejeda added, “They have been wonderful to help improve the quality score and to improve patient satisfaction.”

 The doctors are associated with EM Care with its western division headquarters located in Santa Barbara.

Dr. Malhotra has been practicing for seven years before coming to Manteca, most recently at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.  Beginning his practice as a general practitioner, he worked  in Connecticut where he also completed  his internship and residency.  Early on, he practiced in urgent care practice on the side, followed by serving in a long time acute care hospital focusing on elder care with research studies at Yale University.

His team of hospitalists include seven full time doctors and six part time who greet the hospital’s patients at their bedsides.  Dr. Malhotra’s wife Shagun is also a doctor working at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.  They have two young sons and one daughter in their family.

Tejeda noted that the Hospitalists at his Doctors Hospital of Manteca are board certified or board eligible in internal medicine or family practice.  They do not see patients outside the hospital and see patients who have been referred by primary care doctors, emergency room doctors or other physicians at the hospital. 

The hospital administrator said that the use of Hospitalists allows the primary care doctors to see more patients in their office rather than having to go back and forth from seeing their patients in two locations – in  their office and in the hospital.

The Hospitalists see the patients every day, being in charge of their care and directing  their treatment while they are in Doctors Hospital.  That physician  is constantly available to answer any questions from the patients or their family members. The Hospitalist will also make arrangement for any needed prescriptions needed upon discharge from the facility.

The two doctors — primary care and Hospitalist — work together.  The patient’s primary care physician can make information available about his patient’s medical history.  The two doctors can also discuss any significant findings or events.  At the time of the patient’s admission or discharge from the hospital, the Hospitalist prepares a detailed report of their findings and treatment plans that is sent to the primary care physician.