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SHM’s VTE Prevention Collaborative

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 [email protected]. TH

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