The landscape of women’s health care is always changing. We’ve added the role of an obstetric-gynecologic hospitalist, also known as a laborist, here at Fisher-Titus to our women’s health team to expand our care for OB/GYN patients. Because many may not be familiar with this service, let’s take a closer look at what this role is and how it can help women requiring OB/GYN care.
What is a Laborist?
A laborist specializes in the care of OB/GYN patients in the hospital. They are board certified physicians equipped to treat women in labor or who are experiencing gynecological complications. Having OB hospitalists on staff ensures there is someone at the hospital even when the patient’s doctor can’t get there right away.
This can be a comfort to women in labor or experiencing a problem to know they can be seen right away, reducing the risk of complications. While our obstetricians on our Fisher-Titus Medical Center medical staff will continue to perform deliveries, the laborist will be available to manage patients when their OB/GYN is not available, such as vacations or during office hours. The laborist can also respond to obstetric emergencies such as post-partum complications and ectopic pregnancy, as well as gynecologic issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease. It can be comforting to know action can be taken quickly by an experienced professional.
The Laborist Trend
The laborist trend continues to uptick for several reasons. The first is patient satisfaction and safety. Another, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is for physicians to be able to maintain a work-life balance and not be constantly called to the hospital for a last-minute emergency.
Though the laborist concept was first introduced in 2002, it has taken some time to catch on. Now, it’s estimated that approximately 250 hospitals nationally are using the laborist model of care. Some hospitals use laborists 24 hours a day, while others only use them on nights and weekends. In some cases, doctors with practices will take shifts as a laborist in a hospital, while yet other hospitals will hire physicians who do not have an outside practice and work only in a hospital.
Benefits of a Laborist Program
Hospitals who use laborists have seen a drop in C-section rates, attributed to a laborist’s ability to spend more time with a patient. Using a laborist has led to fewer scheduled C-sections before 39 weeks, which can be risky for both the baby and the mother.
Having a laborist program in place provides a level of comfort for patients to know that no matter what time a complication or labor occurs, or where their doctor is, there is a qualified professional available to oversee their care. The laborist program is likely to continue to expand and develop, and as we continue to grow the concept at Fisher-Titus, we hope you are confident that our efforts to improve patient care and satisfaction are at the forefront of every decision we make.
Fisher-Titus offers comprehensive women’s health services to help you through every stage of life. Find a physician today to receive attentive, quality gynecological or obstetric care.