Hospitalists manage extremely complex disease processes that require intense critical thinking and deep analysis to properly diagnose and treat.
Bones, however, are quite straightforward. If they hurt, they may be broken or fractured. If they are broken, you get Ortho on board, and Ortho fixes them. There are various different ways they fix bones, but we just call it ORIF regardless – it is of no clinical significance which manner they use to fix the bone.
If the bones are not broken or are only “fractured”, and we call Ortho, Ortho gets upset. But we do not mind that. We take care of their broken hip patients, so they should have to do things they don’t like doing also because otherwise that is NOT FAIR.
Still, how do you get Ortho on board? The American Board of Hospitalists published an algorithm for exactly this purpose, to help you properly work up any patients’ Orthopaedic complaints. Always remember, do not order ice, elevation, or pain medication for an extremity. Only Ortho can do that.