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SHM’s VTE Prevention Collaborative


The problem of hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE): Venous thromboembolic disease, ranging from asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to massive pulmonary embolism (PE), is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Almost all hospitalized patients are at risk for VTE, and the literature suggests that approximately half of all cases of VTE are hospital-acquired.1-4 PE is recognized as the cause of death for more than 100,000 hospitalized patients in the United States every year and is considered a contributing factor in the death of 100,000 more patients.1

Multiple clinical trials have provided irrefutable evidence that primary thromboprophylaxis reduces the incidence of DVT and PE.5 Unfortunately, numerous studies have also shown that the majority of hospitalized patients with risk factors for DVT do not receive appropriate prophylaxis.6-8

Hospitalists are ideally positioned to reduce the incidence of preventable VTE, both by using known best practices to improve care delivered to their own patients, and, more importantly, by leading hospital-wide QI efforts that improve care for all patients at their home institutions.

SHM is now accepting applications for the VTE Prevention Collaborative, a program that offers individualized assistance to hospitalists who wish to take the lead on this critical quality and patient safety issue. Participants can choose the option that best fits their needs: a full year of distance mentoring or a one-day evaluation and consultation visit to their site.

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The SHM Mentoring Program

The Mentoring Program is the perfect option for individuals who are interested in securing ongoing support for their planned or active VTE prevention projects. SHM mentors with VTE and QI experts who work with participants to tackle site-specific issues using proven QI techniques. Instruction is organized around the VTE QI Workbook, SHM’s step-by-step guide for developing a VTE prevention program. Mentoring occurs in eight telephone calls scheduled throughout the yearlong mentoring period. During the calls, mentors offer individualized assistance on any topics, tasks, and barriers that are encountered in the course of designing, implementing, and evaluating a VTE prevention project. As needed, participants can also interact with their mentors through e-mail and in ad hoc telephone calls. Participants receive assistance with:

  • Securing institutional support for the project;
  • Assembling and leading the project team;
  • Developing project goals and aims;
  • Mapping current processes for assessing VTE risk and bleeding risk;
  • Evaluating current prophylaxis recommendations;
  • Developing evidence-based risk assessment and prophylaxis recommendations;
  • Redesigning care delivery processes to include high-reliability features that promote adherence to best practices;
  • Developing educational/outreach plans to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders; and
  • Collecting, analyzing, and reporting outcome data.

Individuals with relatively little QI leadership experience, as well as those whose VTE prevention projects are in the early planning stages, are encouraged to apply for the SHM Mentoring Program.

The SHM On-site Consultation Program

The On-site Consultation Program is the perfect option for individuals who are interested in securing expert evaluation and input on a VTE prevention program but don’t feel they need ongoing, longitudinal support. Through the SHM On-site Consultation Program, SHM consultants with VTE and QI expertise visit applicants’ hospitals to evaluate active or planned VTE prevention programs. The visits will be especially helpful to participants who have existing VTE prevention programs they wish to expand or improve upon.

The consultation visits feature a structured evaluation of the site’s strengths and resources, any potential barriers to improvement, and the design and functioning of active or proposed VTE prevention interventions. Specific consultation visit activities will vary according to participant goals and needs but may include meeting with the local project team, QI leaders, hospital administrators, and hospital medicine group leaders, as well as reviewing project documents—order sets, policies, and procedures—data, and data collection/management tools.

Following the visits, SHM consultants provide participants with a written report of findings and recommendations. Participants also receive one follow-up telephone consultation, which will occur 60-90 days after the visit.

SHM On-site Consultation Program visits will be available starting in May 2007, though interested parties are encouraged to apply early; enrollment is limited, and available slots are expected to fill quickly.

Which Option Is Right for You?

SHM welcomes participation from hospitalists who work in all types of facilities (large and small community hospitals, academic medical centers, public hospitals, and others) and all types of practice settings, including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and rehabilitation hospitals. Both VTE Prevention Collaborative programs are appropriate for individuals with all levels of QI experience, from the novice embarking on his or her first QI project to the seasoned QI leader. Individuals who have not yet begun working on a VTE prevention project are encouraged to apply, as are those who wish to expand or improve upon an existing project.

There are no rigid prerequisites for either program, though we expect individuals whose local VTE prevention efforts are already partially developed to derive more benefit from the On-site Consultation option than would an applicant who has yet to start his or her project. Individuals who have not yet begun working on a VTE prevention project are encouraged to apply for the Mentoring Program, which will ensure access to expert assistance during key development and implementation tasks.

How to Apply

Participation in both the Mentoring and On-site Consultation programs is open to hospitalists who are leading proposed or active VTE prevention projects. Participation is free, but enrollment is limited; interested individuals are encouraged to apply early. SHM members can apply to either program by completing the online application available on the VTE Prevention Collaborative Web site:

Direct questions about VTE Prevention Collaborative programs to


  1. Goldhaber SZ, Tapson VF. DVT FREE Steering Committee. A prospective registry of 5,451 patients with ultrasound-confirmed deep vein thrombosis. Am J Cardiol. 2004;93:259-262.
  2. Guidelines on diagnosis and management of acute pulmonary embolism. Task Force on Pulmonary Embolism, European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J. 2000 Aug;21(16):1301-1336. Comment in: Eur Heart J. 2000 Aug; 21(16): 1289-1290.
  3. Stein PD, Huang H, Afzal A, et al. Incidence of acute pulmonary embolism in a general hospital: relation to age, sex, and race. Chest. 1999 Oct;116(4):909-913.
  4. Silverstein MD, Heit JA, Mohr DN, et al. Trends in the incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: a 25-year population-based study. Arch Intern Med. 1998 Mar 23;158(6):585-593.
  5. Geerts WH, Pineo GF, Heit JA, et al. Prevention of venous thromboembolism: the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy. Chest. 2004 Sep;126(3 Suppl):338S-400S. Comment in: Chest. 2005 Jun; 127(6):2297-2298.
  6. Stratton MA, Anderson FA, Bussey HI, et al. Prevention of venous thromboembolism: adherence to the 1995 American College of Chest Physicians consensus guidelines for surgical patients. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160:334-340.
  7. Anderson FA Jr, Wheeler HB, Goldberg RJ, et al. Changing clinical practice. Prospective study of the impact of continuing medical education and quality assurance programs on use of prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism. Arch Intern Med. 1994 Mar 28;154(6):669-677.
  8. Walker A, Campbell S, Grimshaw J. Implementation of a national guideline on prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism: a survey of acute services in Scotland. Thromboembolism Prevention Evaluation Study Group. Health Bull (Edinb). 1999 Mar;57(2):141-147.

SHM Chapter reports


The Philadelphia Chapter of SHM met on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, at Susanna Foo in Philadelphia. Jennifer Myers, MD, and Erik DeLue, MD, co-presidents of the chapter, began the evening by introducing themselves and greeting attendees. The evening’s featured presentation was an address on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

At the conclusion of the talk, a wealth of questions were asked by interested attendees. The night began and ended with great networking opportunities and allowed those in attendance the opportunity to give their input on future plans for the chapter. The meeting had 36 attendees representing 15 hospital medicine groups and was sponsored by Pfizer.

The next Philadelphia meeting is scheduled to take place on March 13, 2007. It will feature a discussion titled, “Billing and Compliance, What Every Hospitalist Needs to Know.” Check the Philadelphia Chapter site often for additional event details.


At the Wisconsin Chapter meeting on December 14, Carol Manchester, MSN, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, a diabetes CNS from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, gave an interesting and informative talk on inpatient glucose control. This was a timely discussion; both of the hospital medicine groups present plan to make system changes in 2007 to improve the management of hyperglycemia. Carl Rasmussen, MD, from Affinity Health System, was nominated as the Wisconsin Chapter’s next president. The meeting was sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis.


On Thursday, November 30, 2006, the Chicago chapter of SHM met at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. Approximately 30 members attended the meeting, which was headed by Chapter President Tarek Karaman, MD, and Vice President Kevin O’Leary, MD. In addition, Michael Smith, MD, of Rush University (Chicago) spoke on seizures and anticonvulsant therapy. For the first time, a second speaker was added to the meeting, and Kala Swamynathan, MD, facilitated a brief discussion on tort reform. An open forum concluded the meeting, and suggestions were made for further growth and improvement for the chapter. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 2007; details will follow.


Hospitalists from Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island were present at the December Boston SHM Chapter meeting on December 7, which drew nearly 70 attendees representing 30 hospital medicine groups. Featured speakers were Jon Burstein, MD, EMS medical director and medical advisor for Emergency Preparedness for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and associate director of the Scientific Core at HSPH-CPHP, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine, and Lisa Stone, MD, MPH, hospital preparedness coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Drs. Burstein and Stone discussed the state preparation plan for an influenza pandemic. The discussion was followed by the Boston Chapter’s annual job fair. The next Boston Chapter meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 28, 2007.

East Central Florida

The East Central Florida Chapter had its inaugural meeting on November 14, 2006. The chapter met in Winter Park. The meeting was well attended and drew individuals from 12 different hospital medicine groups. Philip Sanchez, MD, gave a presentation titled, “The Management of Patients with Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections: Balancing Empiric Coverage with Antibiotic Stewardship.” The meeting was sponsored by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Benchmarks Committee Update

By Burke Kealey, MD, chair, SHM Benchmarks Committee

The SHM Benchmarks Committee has had a busy schedule with its new special issues survey and wrapping up work on The Dashboard Project, a first-of-its-kind undertaking. Committee members (under the guidance of Editor Leslie Flores) wrote summaries of 10 sample performance metrics. Each article is designed around a given metric and includes an in-depth discussion of why it is important and where to obtain the necessary data. Sample graphs from other programs will also be included.

The intent is for hospitalist leaders and program managers to use The Dashboard Project to learn what kind of metrics their peers use to manage their respective programs. The final draft was reviewed by the entire committee and circulated to SHM leaders, including the board of directors. It will be published through SHM’s publication, The Hospitalist, and promoted at the SHM Annual Meeting in Dallas in May.

In a break from recent tradition, the SHM Benchmarks Committee (with approval from the SHM Board) has changed how it conducts surveys. The committee will now produce shorter, simpler surveys annually—rather than producing a mega-survey every other year. The committee will conduct an individual hospitalist compensation and productivity survey every other year (including later in 2007); in the alternate year (along with baseline practice demographics) the committee will address the special topics of interest discussed below.

With input from SHM’s Palliative Care Task Force, this year’s special interest survey (which was conducted in November and December of 2006) included questions on palliative care and its growing place in the world of hospital medicine. Night and off-hours coverage continue to be topics of interest for membership. Questions in this section examined the scope of night coverage, including providing ICU coverage for intensivists and getting paid for as well as paying providers for this work.

Issues for family medicine hospitalists are also addressed. Anecdotally, the Benchmarks Committee has heard of family medicine hospitalists running into difficulties securing work because they have been barred by hospital contracts and/or bylaws stating that only internal medicine or pediatrics board-certified physicians can occupy those slots. The survey was designed to capture the pervasiveness of this practice.

Finally, in this era of pay for performance and open reporting, quality measures and their relationship to physician revenue and compensation is a topic that every hospital medicine leader needs to understand. The survey contained a section that looked at the degree to which pay-for-performance programs are actually being seen in the hospitals we practice at, and then, even more important, how those dollars are tied to quality incentive programs between hospitals and hospital medicine groups.

The results of this special interest survey are currently being analyzed and will be published later this spring. TH

SHM is now accepting applications for the VTE Prevention Collaborative, a program that offers individualized assistance to hospitalists wishing to take the lead on this critical quality and patient safety issue.

SHM Behind the Scenes

Making your membership easier to manage: changes to shm’s renewal process to take effect in april

By Todd Von Deak

I’m excited to let you know about a change to SHM’s membership structure that was recently approved by the SHM Board of Directors. This is a change our Membership and Marketing Department recommended to the Board, one that we feel will be a positive development over the coming years.

These changes, which take effect on April 1, affect how membership renewals are handled and processed.

Under the new structure, memberships will be renewed 12 months from when a member last paid dues in order for the member to remain in good standing. In the previous system, memberships were renewed each year between July 1 and September 30—regardless of when the last membership payment had been made.

There were two key factors that led to this change:

  • The need to simplify a membership structure in which it was possible for a member who joined on July 1 and another who joined on December 24 to pay the same dues rate; and
  • A survey of those whose memberships had recently lapsed in which 46% of respondents indicated that they did not know that their membership had lapsed.

There were three underlying themes to this change. We believe you should expect all three of these themes from any membership organization that you belong to.

  1. Transparency: We wanted to clear up any confusion surrounding how your membership works. Simplifying the current structure will reduce confusion;
  2. Fairness: A $230 dues payment in December should result in the same 12 months of benefits as a $230 dues payment in July; and
  3. Ease of understanding: With membership renewals now due exactly one year from when you last paid, it should be easier to keep track of your membership and to keep it current.

Current members shouldn’t see a major difference as a result of this change. Renewal notices will be sent during the first part of April, with payment required by July 31 in order to keep your membership current.

New members will be most affected by the change. Beginning in April, new members will renew 12 months from when they join—as opposed to the past practice of renewing between July and September.

Over the coming year, we plan to introduce even more benefits to membership in SHM, the only professional society devoted solely to hospital medicine. These benefits will utilize emerging technologies such as podcasting and will make it even easier to access the vital educational content for which SHM has become well respected over the course of the last 10 years.

Stay tuned to The Hospitalist, as well as to SHM’s e-Newsletter, over the next several months for more details of the switch to an anniversary membership structure and how it will impact you. Of course, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (800) 843-3360 or online at TH

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