Home to Hospitalists


Program features physicians who specializes treating hospitalized patients

The term 'hospitalist' may not be one most people are familiar with, but OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center staff in Ottawa wants them to be.

By definition, a hospitalist is a physician who specializes in treating hospitalized patients — a specialist in inpatient medicine. And that is what OSF physicians, especially Dr. Robert Maguire, a 21-year veteran of the hospital system, are excited about.

"Many hospitals are wanting to take on a hospitalist way of care, and in general, larger hospitals can easily do that but it becomes more difficult for smaller hospitals (like ours)," Maguire said.

"So I'm very excited we are able to do this. It's a big step for the community. It will make our hospital better for the community and will improve care and the overall patient experience," he told The Times.

In a previously published press release, Brian S. Rosborough, M.D. — who serves as regional director of OSF Medical Group’s I-80 Region, as well as chief medical officer for the hospital — said the decision came about after reviewing data from hospitals with existing programs that demonstrated hospitalists provide better quality of care and patient satisfaction when compared to traditional care by primary physicians in the hospital.

“We expect this new system of care to be more efficient and extremely beneficial to our patients,” he said. “When this is implemented, patients may notice shorter stays as the hospitalist follows up on test results and adjusts their treatment throughout the day. We also expect the hospitalist’s availability to improve communication with family members who have questions, and help with post discharge planning and emergencies.

”The hospitalist program was put into place on Nov. 17 and includes two specialized doctors, and two advance practice nurses, who will be directly supervised by and report to the hospitalist physicians. Throughout a patient's stay, the hospitalist team will provide care and report back to patients' primary care physicians.

So what's different?

Prior to implementation of the hospitalist program, affiliated physicians were required to rotate inpatient care one week at a time. So if you were a hospitalized patient you would be seen by whichever doctor was on the schedule during your stay.

With the new system in place, there will be a set group of providers who will oversee your care. This specialized form of care, according to Dr. Maguire, will provide more efficient treatment, lab and x-ray results and will better the quality of care.

"Now, two doctors and two nurse practitioners will be available full-time with the sole purpose of caring for those inpatient," he told The Times.

As far as timeliness of care patients have seen prior to the new system, Maguire shared his insight.

"I know people get irritated waiting for orders, medications, results etc. from their physicians but its important to keep in mind that in the last 20 years the complexity of care has increased. We have more tests — lab and x-ray — so care and diagnosis is better but involves more on our end, and sometimes that is frustrating to the patient," Maguire explained.

"But the hospitalist system will prove more efficient all around — from diagnosis, treatment and care right up to discharge and follow-up," he added.

Maguire explained the time it takes for test results to be relayed to physicians, back to hospital staff and ultimately to the patient will be lessened, resulting in more overall care and treatment efficiency.


Dr. Robert Maguire

Dr. Maguire is a University of Illinois Class of 1990 graduate. He completed his residency at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria and has been with the Ottawa hospital system for 21 years. He is board-certified and specializes in cardiology, diabetes, high blood pressure, hospice and lipid management.

In October, patients he regularly treated through the Ottawa Regional Medical Center on an outpatient basis were notified of his career change. While he still will be available on a limited outpatient basis, the majority of his time will be spent as leader of the inpatient hospitalist program.

"(It) represents a big change in the way I practice because now it will be more hospital work and less outpatient work but I am excited," he said.

Dr. Saima Safdar, associate hospitalist
Dr. Safdar is a 2002 board-certified graduate of Punjab Medical College in Pakistan. She completed her residency at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago and has worked at several area hospitals. She specializes in internal and family medicine as well as women's health. Dr. Safdar is new to the OSF Healthcare System and resides in Minooka.

Chris Greene, advanced practice/certified nurse practitioner
Greene is a 2000 Northern Illinois University graduate who has worked as a nurse practitioner in the cardiac department of Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Greene resides with her family in Yorkville.

Sylvia Garza, advanced practice/certified nurse practitioner
Garza is a 2008 Northern Illinois University graduate who has prior experience at the Aurora Community Health Center. She has four years of primary outpatient and women's care experience as well as intensive care and cardiac care training and experience. Garza resides with her family in Rochelle.

“Celebrate Health,” a program geared toward educating the community about changes in healthcare will begin 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, in Meeting Room 1 at the hospital. Presented by Dr. Maguire, the evening lecture will aim to clear up any lingering questions, as well as explain in more detail some of the changes that are happening in health care and why.

For more information about hospitalist physicians or to register for the Dec. 10 Celebrate Health program, contact the community relations department at OSF St. Elizabeth by calling 815-431-5441.

This article was originally published in the My Web Times found here.