The Life of a Task Force

The Performance and Standards Task Force (PSTF) was formed a little more than a year ago after SHM leadership recognized the need for a coordinated approach to working with external organizations in the performance and standards quality arena.

As SHM’s senior adviser for quality standards and compliance, I work with PSTF Chairman Patrick Torcson, MD, (medical director of hospital medicine at the St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, La.) along with senior staff and leadership of the Public Policy Committee (PPC). We monitor the performance and quality landscape at national organizations charged with measuring development and building consensus. We also develop relationships with other professional medical societies and organizations.

Chapters Summary


The Chicago Chapter of SHM met June 7. Attendees came from organizations such as Signature Healthcare Solutions, Advocate Healthcare, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago. The meeting began with an update from the SHM national annual meeting given by Chapter President Tarek Karaman, MD, lead hospitalist, Advocate Health Centers, and hospitalist program director, Department of Internal Medicine, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago. This was followed by a presentation on DVT/pulmonary embolism prophylaxis and treatment from SHM board member Alpesh Amin, MD, executive director of the hospitalist program and vice chair for clinical affairs and quality in the department of medicine at the University of California, Irvine. For the first time, the chapter had a panel discussion with two primary care physicians from Northwestern University. John Butter, MD, and Sean O’Conner, MD, shared their thoughts regarding the interaction between primary care physicians and hospitalists. Ideas were given on how to strengthen working relationships between the two.

St. Louis

St. LouisSHM’s St. Louis chapter met June 11. Michael Cox, MD, gave a presentation on DVT prevention and treatment followed by a presentation given by SHM CEO Larry Wellikson, MD, on the challenges and opportunities for hospital medicine. The meeting was attended by more than 50 hospitalists from the greater St. Louis area, as well as numerous hospital administrative personnel, vice presidents of medical affairs, and internal medicine residents. The presentation was well received, and numerous individuals spoke with Dr. Wellikson after the presentation. Dr. Wellikson also met with leaders of various hospitalist groups to discuss topics of interest and ways to energize the local chapter. Six hospitalist groups attended. The group discussed challenges in recruitment and in training internists to be true hospitalists.

The task force intends to be at the helm of the development of performance measures that more accurately reflect services provided by hospitalists.


Physician Quality Reporting Initiative measures with specifications allowing reporting by hospitalists.

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