Medicolegal Issues

SHM Launches Geriatric Special Interest Group

At the 2006 SHM Annual Meeting Geriatrics Special Interest Forum, participants asked, “Can we create an area on the SHM Web site focused on our unique interests and needs?” Last month, SHM answered with a resounding “Yes!” as we launched the Geriatrics Special Interest Group on www.hospitalmedicine.org.

The SHM Geriatrics Special Interest Group provides a portal for SHM members to access relevant, timely information about and resources for geriatric medicine. The Community Forums provide a mechanism for participants to communicate with each other about issues in geriatric medicine and other areas of interest. In particular, the Geriatrics Special Interest Group allows users to post information about training and career development opportunities, professional meetings and forums, and funding opportunities. Users can access a wealth of geriatric-medicine resources, including breaking medical news, clinical and quality improvement tools, key publications, and archived SHM Annual Meeting presentations. The Geriatrics Special Interest Group will serve as a template for future member-requested special interest groups, including palliative care, pediatrics, and others.

The Geriatrics Special Interest Group allows users to post information about training and career development opportunities, professional meetings and forums, and funding opportunities.

The Geriatrics Special Interest Group was developed by SHM members, other experts from the community of geriatric medicine, and a team of SHM staffers. SHM member Melissa Mattison, MD, (Beth Israel Deaconess) serves as medical editor for the site and helped shape its vision, along with members Param Dedhia, MD, (Johns Hopkins, Bayview) and Jason Stein, MD (Emory University). The group also benefited from reviews and contributions made by John Degelau, MD, at HealthPartners Medical Group, Gavin W. Hougham, MD, PhD, at The John A. Hartford Foundation, Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA, and Jane Potter, MD, at the American Geriatrics Society, Odette van der Willik at the American Federation for Aging Research, and Paula M. Podrazik, MD, at the Case Management Society of America. The internal SHM development team was led by Shannon Roach and included Bruce Hanson, Travis Kamps, and Tina Budnitz.

To view the Geriatrics Special Interest Group, go to SHM’s Web site or type the address into your browser: www.hospitalmedicine.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=12369.

We hope SHM members will utilize the Geriatrics Special Interest Group to share ideas and resources, to network, and to improve inpatient geriatric medicine. Let us know if the site meets your needs by sending your comments and suggestions to Shannon Roach at [email protected]. Have an idea for another special interest group? E-mail us that suggestion, too.

SHM: BEHIND THE SCENES

Education and quality improvement: Reflections of a New Staff Member

By Kristin Beck

It’s nice to come to work every day and focus on education and quality improvement. Ensuring that hospitalists have the most up to date information as well as support and encouragement for implementing positive change are good reasons for leaving the house in the morning.

Only three weeks into my role as senior project manager, I have had the sincere pleasure of being involved with updating quality improvement resource rooms (common Web site areas that house tools for implementing quality improvement programs) by initiating a grant-supported program for examining observation units as they relate to treating the number one reason people are hospitalized. I have also accomplished writing and submitting a grant for the Quality Improvement Pre-Course, as well as, working with a committee that looks at patient quality care and projects to enhance it.

Our work here focuses on examining what has been done, how we can improve it, and how we can institute best practices. Not bad for three weeks’ work!

Conversations in our department focus on whether members get what they need and want. People meet regularly to discuss how we can refine and improve the services we offer. Strategies for securing funding and developing programs are reviewed, not for this calendar or fiscal year but for years to come. In one of my final interviews for this job, I was reminded that we don’t deliver here—we over-deliver. Looking through The Hospitalist, titles that stand out include the words unforgettable, safety, expert, leader, admire, and smart.

When people ask what I do in my new job, I tell them that hospital medicine looks at the total experience of being a doctor. It focuses not only on medical care but also on the complete experience of being a working professional: the arts of research, negotiation, best practices, team-focused care, conflict resolution, and systems change. I explain that we do life-saving work, for it is far more than the practice of just day-to-day medicine that improves all of our lives. I tell people that it is work that makes sense.

When you come to work every day and are surrounded by a dynamic, positive energy, the work you produce is likely to mirror the hospital medicine movement: You will reflect, revise, and grow stronger. Sincere, well-planned initiatives are infectious. Continually participating in an environment that asks the questions, “Where can we take this?” and “What can we do better?” is a pretty good reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Beck is the senior project manager at SHM.

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