Public Policy

SHM Wins $1.4 Million Grant from Hartford

On March 16, the John A. Hartford Foundation awarded SHM a $1.4 million grant to develop interventions to improve care transitions for older adults at the time of hospital discharge.

One of the core values of SHM and hospital medicine is to implement changes that improve the care older Americans receive. With this grant support from The Hartford Foundation, SHM can help define and set standards for best practices in discharge and provide a continuum of training opportunities to support those practices.

As part of this three-year project, SHM will partner with national leaders in care coordination to form a national advisory board, create clinical tools, implement guidelines, and provide technical support and training tools to hospitals across the U.S. The project aims to build capacity in at least 200 hospital sites to improve the discharge process and, ultimately, health outcomes for older adults.

Chapter Report

Los Angeles: The kick-off meeting for the Los Angeles chapter was held at Spago Beverly Hills on April 10. The meeting brought together approximately 25 physicians from eight hospitalist groups throughout Los Angeles County. Larry Wellikson, MD, CEO of SHM, gave a presentation, “The Emergence and Future of Hospital Medicine.” Dr. Wellikson illuminated many important points in his talk and encouraged attendees to become involved in quality improvement at their own hospitals. The meeting was supported by Ortho Biotech.

National Advisory Board AND Project Team

SHM has assembled a national advisory board to inform and guide the project. The board will be chaired by Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine within the divisions of healthcare policy and research and geriatric medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora. At press time, members included:

  • Barbara Berkman, DSW, PhD, professor of health and mental health, University School of Social Work, Mount Sinai School of Medicine;
  • Tom Bookwalter, PharmD, clinical pharmacist, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP);
  • Alan Korn, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president for clinical affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association;
  • Chuck Denham, MD, chair, National Quality Forum (NQF);
  • Gavin Hougham, PhD, senior program officer, John A. Hartford Foundation;
  • Seth Landefeld, MD, director, American Geriatrics Society (AGS);
  • Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, executive director, Case Management Society of America (CMSA);
  • William Lyons, MD, AGS; Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha;
  • Lorraine Mion, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of nursing services for geriatrics, Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAANS, Marian S. Ware professor in gerontology, University of Pennsylvania;
  • Gail Povar, MD, MPH, chair, George Washington School of Medicine, Cameron Medical Group;
  • Deborah Queenan, national advisory council coordinator, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ);
  • Pat Rutherford, RN, MS, vice president, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB);
  • Eric Warm, MD, Society General Internal Medicine (SGIM); and
  • Larry Wellikson, MD, CEO of SHM.

Dr. Williams will serve as principal investigator, leading a team of co-investigators including Jeffrey Greenwald, MD, (Boston University co-investigator, AHRQ, Project ReEngineering Discharge); Eric Howell, MD (Johns Hopkins Bayview, SHM/Hartford Safe Steps Demonstration Project); Param Dedhia, MD (Johns Hopkins Bayview, SHM/Hartford Safe STEPS Demonstration Project); Lakshmi Halasyamani, MD (St. Joseph Mercy Hospital); Kathleen Kerr (SHM); and Tina Budnitz, MPH (SHM).

The project team includes investigators from the SHM/Hartford Foundation Safe STEPS project and two AHRQ-funded projects. All three projects aim to pilot test discharge-planning toolkits and interventions and develop implementation strategies for adoption. The current project will leverage the findings of all three projects with the insights of the advisory board to create a transitions bundle to optimize the discharge process. Following development of this bundle, SHM will develop a toolkit for implementation with corresponding training programs, and other technical support.

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