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Historic Gathering


Last month, more than 2,500 hospitalists and experts in HM gathered just outside Washington, D.C., to share the very best the specialty has to offer. The record-setting attendance surpassed the previous record—set at HM09 in Chicago—by more than 20%.

For hospitalists across the country, the meeting provided the perfect venue for continued education, professional development, and networking with friends and colleagues. To SHM CEO Larry Wellikson, MD, FHM, that is exactly what makes the annual meeting important.

“Hospital medicine is growing and evolving at a breakneck pace, and individual hospitalists are expected to keep up on a daily basis,” he says. “Our annual meeting is an opportunity to recognize the leaders in our field and identify the opportunities and challenges on the horizon for hospitalists.”

This is a true milestone for the hospital medicine specialty. The Masters in Hospital Medicine (MHM) designation is the Hall of Fame of hospital medicine. We are honored to acknowledge Drs. Nelson, Wachter, and Whitcomb.

—Larry Wellikson, MD, SFHM, CEO of SHM

SHM Inducts First Senior Fellows and Masters in Hospital Medicine

The current and future leaders of HM were inducted as Fellows in Hospital Medicine at HM10 (see “Fellows in Hospital Medicine Class of 2010,” p.10). This year, SHM introduced the inaugural class of nearly 200 Senior Fellows in Hospital Medicine (SFHM) and three Masters in Hospital Medicine (MHM).

The three MHM designees—Winthrop F. Whitcomb, MD, MHM, Robert Wachter, MD, MHM, and John Nelson, MD, MHM—were recognized by SHM leadership for the “utmost demonstration of dedication to the field of hospital medicine through significant contributions to the development and maturation of the profession.”

Great Hospital Care? There’s an App for That

The Hospitalist Connection, a new, free handheld application developed specifically for hospitalists, is available at

Available for iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Palm devices, Hospitalist Connection puts the best in practice-management resources at hospitalists’ fingertips. Each article in Hospitalist Connection is selected by hospitalist Chad Whelan, MD, FHM, who adds his expert commentary on the topic.

“Staying up to date with the latest advances in hospital medicine is a key component of any hospitalist’s job, but they rarely find themselves with time at a desk behind a computer,” Dr. Whelan says. “That’s what makes this combination of format and content so powerful.”

In addition to exclusive content from Dr. Whelan, Hospitalist Connection presents excerpts of articles from the most trusted sources in HM. Topics range from management and care transitions to quality improvement (QI) and patient safety.

Hospitalist Connection is a joint collaboration between SHM and Epocrates, which develops Web-based and mobile applications for the healthcare sector. Epocrates estimates that more than 900,000 healthcare professionals—including 1 in 3 U.S. physicians—use Epocrates products.

The response to the Hospitalist Connection launch has been enthusiastic, according to SHM officials.

“Making great information more accessible empowers hospitalists to truly bring the best to their hospitals and patients,” says Todd Von Deak, SHM vice president and general manager. “We’re thrilled that so many hospitalists have shown such an interest in Hospitalist Connection. This is an extension of our commitment to bring the best resources to hospital medicine and our members.”

“This is a true milestone for the hospital medicine specialty,” said Dr. Wellikson. “The Masters in Hospital Medicine designation is the Hall of Fame of hospital medicine. We are honored to acknowledge Drs. Nelson, Wachter, and Whitcomb. We’re also thrilled to induct hundreds of new Fellows and Senior Fellows into the program. Their demonstrated commitment to improving patient care is one of the hallmarks of hospital medicine.”

The new SFHM designees represent the field’s experienced leaders and the next level of credentialing beyond the original Fellow in Hospital Medicine (FHM). Senior Fellows must have at least five years of HM practice and have been a society member for at least five years.

SHM also inducted 190 new FHM designees. As the second class of Fellows, they join more than 500 other hospitalists who have practiced HM for five years and been a member of SHM for at least three years.

For more information about the SHM Fellowship program, visit

Featured Speakers Bring Focus to HM, Healthcare Policy

It’s no coincidence that SHM brought hospitalists to the nation’s capital for the annual meeting. The ongoing public debate over delivering patient care safely, effectively, and efficiently remains at the fore in the nation’s capital.

That was the point driven home by Dr. Wachter in his featured presentation on the final day of the conference. While the recently passed healthcare reform legislation addressed such issues as access to health insurance and costs, the legislation “kicked the can down the road,” he said.

For perspective from a hospital administrator who already has put into practice many of the reform recommendations, HM10 turned to Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Too much attention on political debate could be a distraction, Levy warned. Instead of getting too caught up in national political drama, Levy cautioned, hospitalists would do well to focus on their own practices and identify ways to reduce preventable errors in the hospital.

Levy’s speech was preceded by a panel discussion led by Public Policy Committee Chair Eric Siegal, MD, SFHM, one of the newest members of the SHM board. Leslie Norwalk, a former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator, participated in the panel and was interviewed later that day by CNN Money about young, healthy individuals and the role they play in reducing health insurance costs.

Hospitalists Bone Up on Career and Clinical Skills

More than 900 hospitalists used the pre-courses at HM10 as an opportunity for continued professional education.

Presented on the day before the formal kickoff of HM10, each pre-course presented an in-depth look at some of the most pressing issues in HM. This year introduced two new pre-courses that characterized the wide range of topics: “Early Career Hospitalist: Skills for Success” and “Essential Neurology for the Hospitalist.”

All told, HM10 was a resounding success that reflected the continued energy and enthusiasm of HM and its impact on healthcare. To SHM Vice President and General Manager Todd Von Deak, that momentum means looking to the future.

“We received great feedback from our attendees this year, and we’re looking forward to using that information to make an even stronger—and record-breaking—annual meeting in Dallas next year,” he said. “See you in 2011!” TH

Brendon Shank is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.

SHM, AMA, Others Create Principles for Practice Management

What’s the difference between a good hospitalist practice and a great one? That’s the fundamental question SHM and other leaders in hospital care addressed with the new “Principles for Developing a Sustainable and Successful Hospitalist Program,” created by the American Medical Association’s Organized Medical Staff Section (AMA-OMSS).

Together with The Joint Commission and the American Hospital Association, SHM and AMA-OMSS recognized the growing need to help HM groups operate effectively and communicate with others within the hospital.

Covering everything from big-picture coordination to day-to-day finances, the 15 principles are grouped into four major sections: vision, organization, communications, and management.

Under “Vision,” for example, the first principle recommends that hospitalists “involve and address the needs of all key stakeholders in designing and implementing a hospitalist program. These stakeholders include patients, the medical staff, other clinical professionals, hospital administration, and the hospitalists.” It then outlines the role each stakeholder plays in a successful HM practice.

The principles can apply to a broad range of hospitalist settings, says Joe Miller, senior vice president and chief solutions officer at SHM. “These principles reflect the best practices in hospital medicine today and can serve as a fundamental reference for hospitalists and hospital administrators,” Miller says. “This is another example of SHM collaborating with the leaders in healthcare to improve patient care in the hospital.”

“Principles for Developing a Sustainable and Successful Hospitalist Program” is available at the practice management section of SHM’s website,

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