In the June edition of The Hospitalist, I wrote about the “Future of Hospital Medicine.” I wanted to concentrate this column on how SHM is evolving to support this vision of the future.
I previously referenced the variability of maturity and competence of the thousands of HM groups (HMGs) spread across the nation. SHM is considering creating standards that are validated by the stakeholders in hospital medicine. We hope that each HMG might use these standards to assess its own stage of development. For those HMGs that are already performing at a high level, SHM might recognize this status with an award. For those not quite at the highest level of function, SHM hopes to work with other organizations in HM to create programs and projects to raise your level of function. Our goal is for this process to be aspirational and, hopefully, support HMGs by having a platform to request more resources and to develop additional capabilities so that more and more HMGs over time can reach the highest level of function.
Attracting the Future of Hospital Medicine
SHM also recognizes that as we strive to have hospitalists continue to be key partners in creating the hospital of the future, we need to attract the best medical students and residents into hospital medicine. With this in mind, SHM is developing a detailed plan to communicate with medical students and residents about the best aspects of a career in HM. While this strategy has a long lead time, we do expect that over the next five to 10 years, more and more students will select HM as their career—and give us a deeper bench strength to meet the needs of future HMGs.
In order to keep hospitalists at the top of their game, SHM is looking for innovative ways to provide key educational content. Currently, the SHM annual meeting (www.hospitalmedicine2013.org) is the largest gathering of hospitalists, but even this huge meeting only attracts 25% of our members. Plans are under way to expand the reach of the annual meeting, allowing remote learning and participation through streaming and Web-based technology. For those 3,000 hospitalists who travel to the SHM annual meeting, SHM is looking to expand networking opportunities and create content for the bedside that is taught at the meeting, but that can be easily transported (e.g. via smartphone or tablet) with the attendee back to the bedside.
Certification, MOC, and Leadership
Hospitalists now and in the future will need to have tools that help them maintain their board certification and licensure. SHM has developed hospitalist-specific medical knowledge modules (MKMs) and self-assessment products, and has started to develop Performance Improvement Modules (PIMs) for hospitalists (www.hospitalmedicine.org/moc). SHM plans to partner with ACP, ABIM, and other organizations to allow our members access to additional important resources during the maintenance of certification (MOC) process. SHM’s commitment is to work with the boards to create the best interface and support for hospitalists during their lifelong learning and their certification efforts.
For those of you who already are HMG leaders, or are aspiring to become leaders, SHM has its nationally recognized Leadership Academies (www.hospitalmedicine.org/leadership), which have educated more than 2,000 hospitalist leaders. This year, we launch the Certification in Hospital Medicine Leadership program to provide recognition of those trained and committed to providing future leadership of the HMG and their hospitals. This unique certification will be an important credential for organizations and institutions recruiting new leaders, as well as for hospitalists looking for career advancement to become the leaders of the future.