Visalia Chamber Business Update – Providing Seamless Care: Family HealthCare Network Grows its Hospitalist Program

Kerry L. Hydash, MPA

Family HealthCare Network President & CEO

As Family Health Care Network (FHCN) reaches nearly 40 years of caring for the health and well-being of patients in the Central Valley, our goal remains not only making a short-term impact by addressing our patients’ immediate needs, but also a long-term impact by providing a health home that is centered and coordinated for our patients.

Designated as a Patient-Centered Medical Home means services at FHCN are provided by a care team of providers who work together in multi-disciplinary teams, providing patients with comprehensive, multi-specialty, coordinated care. Provider teams at FHCN include board certified physicians, certified nurse midwives, certified physician assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, and health educators. Now, FHCN adds hospitalists to this diverse team of providers with the establishment of our Hospitalist Program.

Last year, FHCN welcomed two new hospitalists to the Network with the addition of Internal Medicine Hospitalists Pallavkumar Patel, MD and Thi Thi Aye, MD. These hospitalists work closely with FHCN patients, ensuring continuity of care, providing patient resources, and overseeing their care in the inpatient setting.

Hospitalists are physicians who undergo residency training in general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine, and specialize in the practice of hospital medicine. Research shows that hospitalists reduce the length of stay, cost of treatment, and improve efficiency of care for hospitalized patients (The Journal of the American Medical Association).

The Hospitalist Program plays a key role in FHCN’s designation as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, enabling us to maintain continuity of care in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. FHCN hospitalists create comprehensive transitional care plans to ensure a seamless and safe transition of our patients from the hospital, to the home.

With more than 200,000 patients cared for locally by FHCN, providing seamless care is more important than ever for our community’s growing patient population. FHCN’s Hospitalist Program represents just one piece of our organization’s collective effort to address health outcomes and continually improve overall quality of care for our patients. Measured against the national average, FHCN continues to exceed standards for clinical outcome measures including child and adult weight screening and counseling, tobacco assessment and cessation intervention, and the reduction of low and very low birth weights. Achieving these and other clinical quality outcomes would not be possible without the teamwork and coordination of FHCN’s committed team of providers.

FHCN’s Hospitalist Program will continue to grow as we welcome five additional Hospitalists to our provider team this summer. As the program continues to expand, our ultimate goal remains to provide even greater continuity of care and an improved quality of life for patients in the Central Valley.

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