HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Dr. Timothy Hill works twelve-hour shifts at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, delivering babies and taking care of new mothers.
But unlike most Obstetricians, Hill doesn’t care for expectant mothers in the months leading up to the birth of their babies.
He’s a part of a growing specialty group known as OB/GYN Hospitalists, physicians who help cover shifts in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to care for mothers who don’t have doctors of their own- or whose doctors can’t be present for their patient's childbirth.
The benefits of Hospitalists include safety and better patient outcomes, especially in emergency situations where seconds count.
"We know that the U.S. is rated poorly for maternal morbidity and mortality," Hill says. "Having someone in the hospital immediately available in case an emergency walks in the door, it helps decrease the rate of morbidity that you can potentially have with these moms that walk in that need immediate care,"
At Henrico Doctors', Hospitalists include five full-time and two part-time physicians. The team can manage anywhere from one to 16 laboring patients at a time.
While Hospitalists not only provide a safety net for patients, Hill says they also prevent doctors in private practices from having to work long and stressful overtime hours.
Hill says patients and physicians alike find comfort in the around the clock care.
"They're grateful we're here," Hill says.
In 2018, Henrico Doctors' Hospital delivered more than 4,300 babies.