LANCASTER – This week, Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) launched an internal medicine hospitalist program to provide high quality physician care, 24 hours a day, to adult patients who are admitted to the hospital without an assigned primary care physician.
This program broadens the scope of comprehensive care provided at the hospital, as a compliment to the hospitalist programs already established in the AVH pediatric and OB/GYN departments.
The new team of hospitalists includes seven board-certified/eligible physicians who specialize in the treatment of adult patients during their hospital stay.
The hospitalist program will make it possible for patients to be seen by a physician as quickly and as often as needed, providing immediate physician access to patients and their families.
“The hospitalist program will ensure that anyone at Antelope Valley Hospital – whether in the emergency room or hospital room – will have access to an experienced physician at a moment’s notice,” said Edward Mirzabegian, AVH Chief Executive Officer. “This will greatly enhance patient safety and satisfaction; improve communication between nurses, physicians and their patients; and allow us to focus our attention on thechallenges being brought on by healthcare reform.”
Ferdinand J. Panoussi, D.O., of Palmdale, will serve as medical director of the internal medicine hospitalist program.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, and his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. Dr. Panoussi completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at the Loma Linda University Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
The hospitalist team of physicians also includes Hossein Ebneshahidi, M.D., Michael Friedlander, M.D., Cynthia Jones, M.D., Dana Tiganu, M.D., Vivian Nguyen,M.D., and Robin Zakariaei, M.D., with additional hospitalists going through the application process.
The hospitalists are scheduled for 12-hour shifts, with two physicians assigned during the day, and one at night, depending upon patient volumes.
Hospitalist programs provide trained physicians in the acute-care setting and have now become the standard of care in more than half of the hospitals in the nation. A fully trained physician will be in-house in order to round, admit and evaluate patients on a continuous basis.
In the past, local physicians have had competing priorities with their office patients and their patients in the hospital. Now there is a dedicated hospitalist available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing private practitioners to devote more time to their office patients.
“Many of our physicians have worked for years taking on the additional responsibility of caring for patients who were admitted to the hospital without a primary care physician,” said Mirzabegian. “We are grateful for their service and value the positive contributions they have made to the care provided at Antelope Valley Hospital.”
(Information via press release from Antelope Valley Hospital.)