Changes to Hospital Medicine at Allen County Regional Hospital and Anderson County Hospital

November 4, 2021

Allen County Regional Hospital and Anderson County Hospital are pleased to expand Saint Luke's care to hospitalized patients with additional hospital medicine – also known as hospitalist – availability to care for patients at both locations.

Hospital medicine providers, also called hospitalists, are licensed physicians who specialize in hospitalbased care and coordinate all aspects of care for patients in the hospital, working in collaboration with nursing staff, the patient’s primary care provider, and other specialists. The hospitalist leads the hospital medical team, coordinates care for patients, and manages the patient’s care around the clock, making sure the patient receives the right care in a timely manner.

Robert Wiggin, MD, has been working as a hospitalist at Anderson County Hospital since 2019 and has expanded his coverage area to include care for hospitalized patients at Allen County Regional Hospital. Vu Nguyen, DO, has joined the team, further enhancing our hospital medicine coverage.

“One of the benefits of having hospitalists take care of patients in the hospital is that a doctor is always available, 24/7,” said Elmore Patterson, Administrator at Allen County Regional Hospital and Anderson County Hospital.

Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Wiggin will work an alternating schedule, providing daily on-site coverage and utilizing telehealth technology to connect with patients when needed. They will be on-site primarily during the day. The Saint Luke’s Hospital Medicine Telehealth program, established in 2013, will provide evening and overnight patient coverage.

TeleDoc systems have been installed in every inpatient and emergency department room, allowing hospitalists to easily connect with patients and nursing staff for virtual visits and evaluations.

When a patient arrives at our hospitals, a hospitalist can direct their admission and treatment. Hospitalists spend their time focused on patients and attend to their needs during their entire stay in the hospital, from admission to discharge. They track tests, progress, and patient well-being. Hospitalists oversee all aspects of the patients' care, even helping arrange follow-up visits and rehab services after discharge.

The hospitalist will connect with the patient’s primary care provider to ensure everyone is on the same page from the very beginning to the end of a hospital stay. The hospitalist will then transition care back to the patient’s primary provider at discharge.

“Hospitalists are specifically trained to provide inpatient care, and they have more time available to focus on the inpatient, since they don’t have office appointments to get back to,” said Brian Neely, MD, a family medicine provider at Allen County Regional Hospital Iola Clinic. “I appreciate that I can still be informed and involved in my patient’s care while they are in the hospital, and I’ll be ready to take back over that responsibility at discharge.”

Local physicians who are on the hospital’s medical staff continue to have the option and may choose to admit and provide inpatient care for their patients.

Vu Nguyen, DO

Vu Nguyen, DO, is board-certified in internal medicine. He completed his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University and earned his medical degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers in Pennsylvania. Dr. Nguyen has worked in rural medicine for the past ten years, including hospitals in Kansas and Missouri. He is excited to join Saint Luke’s Health System and looks forward to learning more about the Anderson County and Allen County communities.

Robert Wiggin, MD

Robert Wiggin, MD, is board-certified in family medicine. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Kansas and earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Medicine. He then completed residency at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina. Returning close to home, Dr. Wiggin joined Anderson County Hospital in 2019, seeing patients at both the Family Care Center and at the hospital. He transitioned to a full-time hospitalist role in January 2021.

About Allen County Regional Hospital and Anderson County Hospital

Allen County Regional Hospital and Anderson County Hospital are members of Saint Luke’s Health System, which consists of 18 area hospital and campus locations and more than 130 primary and specialty care practice offices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.