From the Society

Scott Kaatz, DO, uses SHM to Engage Future Hospitalists


Editor’s note: Each month, SHM puts the spotlight on some of our most active members who are making substantial contributions to hospital medicine. Log on to for more information on how you can lend your expertise to help SHM improve the care of hospitalized patients.

This month, The Hospitalist spotlights Scott Kaatz, DO, MSc, FACP, SFHM, a hospitalist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In addition to being an active SHM member, he is immediate past president of SHM’s Michigan Chapter and has been involved in multiple mentored implementation (MI) programs offered by SHM’s Center for Hospital Innovation and Improvement.

Scott Kaatz, DO, MSc, FACP, SFHM

Scott Kaatz, DO, MSc, FACP, SFHM

Question: What inspired you to begin working in hospital medicine and later join and become so involved with SHM?

Answer: For most of my career, I’ve been at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, including during my internal medicine residency. After residency, I was a primary-care physician there, and I rounded three to four months out of the year in the hospital with traditional house staff model. Four years ago, I transitioned to another role as a chief quality officer at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich. While in Flint, I didn’t have a clinic and was strictly a hospitalist, spending about four months a year rounding.

When my career path led me to mostly inpatient work in the hospital, I became more involved not only with hospital medicine but with SHM. As of this past June, I went back home to Henry Ford as a full-time hospitalist. I now focus my attention on hospital medicine for eight months of the year, with some protected time for faculty development and scholarly activities for residents and junior faculty in the division of hospital medicine.

Q: How has your involvement with SHM’s mentored implementation programs impacted your practice and led to improved patient care?

A: After participating in the venous thromboembolism (VTE) mentored implementation program, I became a participant as a mentee site for I-PASS, a program focused on improving communication between providers during patient handoffs. During my time with the I-PASS team, I could sense the commitment and energy to improving handoffs not only at my site but at other participant sites nationwide during our regular check-in calls. Mentored implementation programs are brilliant because they go beyond providing sites with data, a few research papers, and some written recommendations. They really dig down into the true spirit of mentoring with a team.

At Hurley Medical Center, we went “all in” with our pediatric residency. What was most encouraging was that by the end of the year, the I-PASS recommendations and processes were standard practice and fully integrated into the culture and workflow of the care teams.

I applaud these programs tremendously. That’s really how you impact change, and it’s the spark, energy, and momentum from both mentors and mentees that keeps the team on track.

Q: You are the immediate past president of the Michigan Chapter of SHM. What have been some of the biggest benefits of being involved with an SHM chapter?

A: When I first became involved with SHM, there had been a Northern Michigan Chapter, but since SHM seeks to have regional chapters that cater to local audiences, I and some of my colleagues set out to develop a Southern Michigan Chapter. We developed our chapter and designed our meetings with support from SHM’s Chapter Support Committee.

At a typical meeting, we typically host an hour of cocktails with some hors d’oeuvres to provide an opportunity for networking and fellowship. The personal connections are at the heart of these meetings. From the content side, we always have a speaker to talk about issues germane to hospitalists. These are not just run-of-the-mill grand rounds discussions but rather information on clinical updates or the business and policy side of hospital medicine.

In our chapter, we also cycle leadership each year, using a “see one, do one, teach one” approach with our vice president-elect, president, and immediate past president to ensure proper development and continuity.

Moving forward, we are trying to reach out to medical students on a more regular basis. If you’re in your third year of medical school, it’s beneficial to start talking informally to hospitalists from multiple organizations in the state and get a feel for what a career in hospital medicine is like. How amazing would it be to walk in and interview for residency with a person you had dinner with a few months ago?

Q: SHM’s Board of Directors recently approved a Chapter Development Fund to support innovative initiatives that drive engagement on a local level. Explain the potential impact you see this having on chapters and, more broadly, SHM’s membership and hospital medicine.

A: Since our chapter’s inception, we have been able to expand our reach and stream our content to other parts of the state on the Internet. Part of the reason we have been able to do this is due to support from a Chapter Development Fund recently approved by SHM’s Board of Directors. As a result, we have turned our Southern Michigan Chapter into a statewide chapter with virtual sites. At the last meeting, we had over 75 attendees between our physical site and our “satellite site” in Michigan.

Our next project is to apply for funding to provide first- and second-year residents with free membership for a year through our chapter to expose them to the resources SHM has available to them and get their foot in the door with the organization. At a recent co-sponsored statewide meeting with the American College of Physicians, we were able to sign up 20 residents as new members of SHM, and our chapter paid their dues as an investment into our specialty.

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: If there’s one thing I haven’t yet shared that I feel quite passionately about, it’s that SHM has such a robust library of educational resources that all hospitalists should be aware of, especially SHM’s annual meeting. It’s extraordinarily clinical and features a sizeable amount of content for grassroots clinicians and hospital leaders, including the best speakers in the field. On top of the educational components, the networking possibilities with hospitalists across the country make the annual meeting a prime example of the value SHM offers.

I’ve also been fortunate to have been involved with developing enduring materials on SHM’s Learning Portal, some of which are available without cost due to grant funding. The fact that SHM has pursued this funding and made some of these resources available to hospitalists outside of SHM’s membership embodies the organization’s mission of not only teaching doctors how to take better care of patients but helping patients get better—one of many reasons I am proud to be an active member. TH

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