The 10-year anniversary of SHM was an occasion not for looking back on the first decade of the organization, but for looking ahead.
In addition to seven tracks of educational sessions and ample opportunities for networking, SHM’s 10th Annual Meeting, held May 23-25 in Dallas, provided opportunities to get a big-picture glimpse into the future of hospital medicine, in the form of some eye-opening plenary sessions.
Coming Soon: Hospital Medicine Certification
Annual Meeting attendees heard from Robert M. Wachter, MD, and past-SHM President Mary Jo Gorman, MD, MBA, on “Certification in Hospital Medicine: What Does This Mean to Hospitalists? To Employers? To Patients?” The two outlined how the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is developing a Focused Recognition for Hospital Medicine through its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) system.
Dr. Wachter, who chairs the ABIM Committee on Hospital Medicine Focused Recognition, explained that the focused recognition would give hospitalists a formal credential that recognizes hospital medicine as a distinct field within internal medicine. This is the first time ABIM has offered focused recognition for any subset of internal medicine—and, if approved, the first time the umbrella organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), will offer a focused recognition for a subset of any specialty.
“This is a brand new idea,” stressed Dr. Wachter. “One of the exciting things—the challenging things—is that this is a first step toward the broader issue of how to certify based on experience rather than just training.”
A Look at Digital Medicine
Informally known as the “health technology czar,” David J. Brailer, MD, PhD, served as the first national coordinator for Health Information Technology, at the Department of Health and Human Services until he resigned in April 2006. He is vice chairman of the American Health Information Community, and based on his plenary session “Health Care’s Digital Era: Implications for Hospitalists,” he is obviously familiar with hospital medicine.
“Hospitalists and health IT are co-factors in the same equation of change in healthcare,” said Dr. Brailer. “I can’t see how one can exist without the other.”