Medicolegal Issues

3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Moving Day


SHM is growing, changing, evolving and advancing. If you have been a member or been engaged with the society for the past few years, this isn’t news to you. Our membership is growing; the products, publications and services we offer are expanding; attendance at our annual meeting is increasing; and we are continuing to create new and valuable online resources. These are tangible signs of growth that many of you see and touch on a regular basis. On a day-to-day basis, I see the same things, but because I work for SHM, I have the opportunity to see the growth and change from within the organization.

When I signed on with SHM more than three years ago, I walked through the door and into a small office, approximately 3,000 square feet in size with about 13 full-time staff members. Since then, we have grown steadily, consistently adding new faces to the SHM team and expanding into new places by breaking through a wall into an adjacent space. Flash forward to the present day. Between April and July 2008, SHM has added 13 new faces to the staff. At the end of September 2008, we broke ground on construction of our new corporate headquarters, a 16,000-square-foot office in downtown Philadelphia.

Since its inception 12 years ago, SHM has called 190 Independence Mall home, but just as the hospital medicine movement has grown, so has SHM and the staff supporting the society. This winter, SHM will be moving our corporate headquarters to the new facility at 1500 Spring Garden. The process to find our new headquarters has been an extensive one. We began the search for a new office approximately one year ago, and as I am writing this, final construction documents have been sent to a list of general contractors.

During the past six months, SHM has been working with projects managers, architects, engineers, and consultants to take our new office from a “blank slate” to a finished and fully operational office before the end of 2008. As you read this article, construction on the new headquarters is fully underway. Workers are putting up drywall, running cables, laying carpet, and installing equipment that will be the supporting foundation for the staff and society for the next decade.

So, by now you are probably asking, “What does this mean to me? I don’t see these people on a daily basis, and I don’t work at SHM headquarters.” At a very basic level it means SHM will have a new address and new phone numbers. Your letters, applications, registrations, and anything addressed to SHM will be routed to our new home. Additionally, as part of our move, SHM will implement a new phone system. Our toll-free, 1-800 number will remain the same, however, all of the people who work for SHM will have new office phone numbers.

It is important you know how to reach SHM in our new home, but even more important is to know that this move is a significant milestone in the evolution of the society and the next step in providing you, our members, with ever-improving and enhanced levels of service and support. In creating a new facility, we are further equipping staff with the tools they need to serve you, creating technical capacities to meet current and future needs, and setting a stage for SHM’s continued growth in support of the growing hospital medicine movement.

During the weeks and months ahead, the SHM team will be preparing for the launch of the new One Day Hospitalist University, opening of the new Fellowship in Hospital Medicine and[Add Another New Program Here. In addition to all of these new and exciting initiatives, we will be organizing files, packing boxes and preparing for our move. As we transition to new desks, new phones, new commutes and a new environment, we would like to take a moment to thank you for your support and understanding while we take another significant step in the history of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Behind the Scenes

Change is in the air

By Geri Barnes

It’s autumn and there is a bite to the air. Every year around this time, I vacillate between being depressed about the pending winter and energized by the change of season. This year, I definitely am excited and energized.

As weather is one of those environmental dynamics that impacts daily life, so do changes in the healthcare arena impact on SHM and its life. We’ve seen “never events” come into being, an expansion of CMS’ Hospitals Compare, and an increasing focus on pay-for-performance. All of these factors are designed to improve patient care, particularly care of the hospitalized patient. SHM staff needs to be ready to support the hospital medicine community.

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Above: SHM board members had the opportunity to check out blueprints and designs of the new headquarters in Philadelphia. The office is scheduled to be ready in December. Below: SHM staff and board members toast the 16,000-square-foot facility.

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SHM long has been focused on defining and providing hospitalists with the education and resources needed for every day practice, as well as for imple- menting cutting-edge quality improvement interventions. To support these focus areas, our staff members were organized in one department, Education and Quality Initiatives. During the last year, we decided our efforts would be better served by creating two departments: Education and Meetings and Quality Initiatives. Last summer, we hired two new staff members to lead the department and move the quality efforts forward. Jane Kelly-Cummings, RN, CPHQ, senior director, Quality Initiatives, has more than 20 years of experience in clinical practice, quality improvement, patient safety, healthcare informatics and quality improvement education. Linda Boclair, MT (ASCP), MEd, MBA, brings to SHM 25 years of management in the healthcare industry and serves as the Quality Initiatives Department director. You will be hearing more about the Quality Initiatives Department in the near future.

I am heading up the newly organized Education and Meetings Department. I am joined by Erica Pearson, director, Meetings; Theresa Jones, education project manager; Meghan Pitzer, meetings coordinator; and Carolyn Brennan, director, Research Program Development. We are charged with managing SHM’s Education Enterprise, which includes meetings and all other educational activities that support our members.

For meetings, we focus on leading our volunteers in the development of relevant program and educational content, ensuring we meet the requirements for continuing medical education (CME) programs. We design and implement meeting logistics with a common goal: the attendees leave the meeting feeling nothing could have been better organized. The Education and Meetings staff has focused their energies on the following meetings:

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  • The cornerstone of our meetings is the SHM annual meeting. Hospital Medicine 2009 will take place May 14-17, 2009, in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency. The planning of the program and logistics began in March 2008, and the organizational effort will continue through the end of the meeting. This comprehensive program includes annual meeting education sessions over the course of two and a half days and another full day of seven concurrent pre-courses.
  • An important educational event is SHM’s Leadership Academy. Established in 2005, the Level I Academy has been presented semi-annually, with the eighth event taking place in Los Angeles this past September. Based on a need for the next level of leadership skills, Level II started in 2006 and recently presented for the third time. All events have basically sold out, and their popularity continues to grow.
  • SHM instituted the One-Day Hospitalist University (ODHU) series this year, presenting four of our best pre-courses on a regional basis. The goal is to present ODHU in four different locations during the course of the year. The first ODHU takes place this month in Baltimore; the next is Feb. 3-4 in Atlanta.
  • Pediatric Hospital Medicine 2009 was held in July in Denver. As the lead sponsor, SHM organized this successful conference, which was co-sponsored by the American Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Expert Training Sessions is a new series of educational events that provide the opportunity to learn quality improvement strategies for glycemic control, VTE prevention, or transitions of care directly from an expert and interact on a personal basis. Presented in Boston and Nashville and planned for St. Louis, this initiative already is proving successful and we are hoping to expand in the near future.


By Katie Stevenson

SHM staff travel to several hospital-medicine related events around the country to interact with current and prospective members. Feel free to stop by, find out what’s new, and meet a friendly face. Watch your e-mail for more information on our locations within the exhibit halls.


9th Annual Southern

Hospital Medicine Conference

November 13-15, 2008



Rocky Mountain Society of Hospital Medicine 2009 Winter Meeting

February 18-21, 2009

Breckenridge, Colo.


American College of Healthcare Executives Congress on Healthcare Leadership

March 23-26, 2009



American College of Physicians

Internal Medicine 2009

April 23-25, 2009


Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine 2009 Spring Conference

April 26 to May 1, 2009



SHM Hospital Medicine 2009

May 14-17, 2009


American Academy of Physician Assistants 37th annual Conference

May 23-28, 2009

San Diego


American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 24th National Conference

June 17-21, 2009

Nashville, Tenn.

The other major focus area for the Education and Meetings Department lies in meeting the educational needs of the hospital medicine community. Staff, working with the Education Committee, are exploring new and exciting ways to identify needs and define strategies to deliver relevant programming. The efforts, which will lead to a comprehensive education plan that will drive the activities the next few years, are focused on the following:

  • Life-long learning has become the standard for physicians in general and hospitalists in particular. SHM is in the early stages of identifying and developing resources that will be readily accessible on the SHM Web site, such as a hospital medicine reading list on clinical and healthcare-systems topics based on the Core Competencies.
  • The Education Committee is exploring the possibility of developing an evidence-based medicine (EBM) primer, which can be used to practice and teach EBM. It will be designed for the practicing hospitalist in a community hospital setting and will define how to research, read, and use EBM journal articles.
  • SHM is exploring the use of Web 2.0 to continually assess needs, deliver educational programs, and communicate with members and faculty.
  • The needs of academic hospitalists are unique and SHM is dedicated to support this important segment of our constituency. Joining with the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), SHM is planning an Academic Boot Camp that will focus on education skills, research, mentoring, and career pathways.
  • SHM is developing a comprehensive communication and education program to become the main resource for hospitalists as they engage in Maintenance of Certification.

So, the welcome winds of change blow, bringing the energy and organization needed to accomplish our education and quality goals. We are confident our internal changes will result in moving our agenda forward in ways previously only imagined.

Volunteer Search

Interested in being a part of an SHM Committee or Task Force? Now is your chance! Nominations are open for SHM Committees and Task Forces. This is your opportunity to shape the future of SHM and the hospital medicine movement.

To nominate yourself, visit and click on “About SHM,” then click on “Committees.” Here, you will see a full list of committees, as well as task forces and current members. For each committee you would like to serve on, please submit your name and a one- to two-paragraph statement about why you are qualified and interested. E-mail this information to Joi Seabrooks at [email protected] by Dec. 5. Appointments will be made in February, take affect in May and last one year. TH

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