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New Hospitalist program offers a win-win for patients and physicians

Hospital news | Friday, November 9, 2012

Patients admitted to Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital will now have their medical care managed by a hospitalist physician. A hospitalist is a medical staff physician who specializes in the care of patients in the hospital and does not see patients in clinics. The hospitalist will work closely with the patient’s primary care physician in the clinic to coordinate care.

“The hospitalist program is absolutely a win-win situation for our patients, as well as our community physicians,” said Bill Sexton, Chief Executive Officer. “The hospitalist program means a physician is available to the patient and their family members, more than ever, while the patient is hospitalized. At the same time, primary care physicians managing busy clinic practices, will have the opportunity to devote more time to each patient they see in their offices, with assurance that their hospitalized patients are being cared for by a specialized colleague.”

Dr. Sara Rybarczyk, board-certified Doctor of Internal Medicine, is returning to Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital’s Medical Staff as Medical Director of the Hospitalist Program. Dr. Rybarczyk most recently practiced at Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Decorah, Iowa. She noted she is excited to return to hospital patient care in the Prairie du Chien area.

“Communication between our hospitalists and the patient’s primary care physician is a vital part of the program, and will ensure a seamless care experience.” explained Ellen Zwirlein, RNC, Chief Nursing Officer. “For patients, one of the principal benefits of the hospitalist program is that the hospitalist will be readily accessible, which is particularly important to our patients’ needs and especially in case of a critical or emergent situation. When test results are available, the hospitalist can review them and make immediate changes in a patient’s care plan. Their total focus is on the hospitalized patient.”

“By implementing the Hospitalist program, we’re able to answer the healthcare needs of our patients and provide further support to our clinic physicians,” added Sexton. “The hospitalist program is a common and necessary advancement for our hospital and the patients that we serve. It brings a new level of quality, service and efficiency to Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital. It will optimize care and help to manage length of stay.”

Dr. Martin Oates, Chief of Staff, stated, “Hospitalist systems are the trend and future of medicine. The hospitalist will be able to perform more hospital-based procedures on a regular basis, such as a cardiac stress test, in a timely manner expanding the services for the community.”

For more information about the services and programs at Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, visit or call 608.357.2000.