Leadership in Performance Improvement
SHM continues to obtain funding from the government, foundations, and industry to provide tools and support to help hospitalists make real improvements at their hospitals. To date, SHM has been active in improving transitions of care in more than 500 hospitals with Project BOOST, preventing DVTs, and improving glycemic control (www.hospitalmedicine.org/thecenter). SHM now spends more than $3 million annually in these quality-improvement (QI) efforts, which are directed primarily at helping hospitalists improve their hospitals. Recently named the winner of the prestigious Eisenberg Award, given by the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission, SHM expects that its QI efforts will expand to $5 million to $10 million annually in the coming years and provide opportunities for many of our members to be change agents. All of the changes on the horizon only increase the need for SHM to provide support to our hospitalists as they are called upon to lead and manage change.
SHM is no longer a small fringe medical society. With more than 11,000 members in all 50 states and Canada, SHM truly is a big tent. And the family keeps expanding as we now include internists, pediatricians, family physicians, medical students, residents, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, administrators, pharmacists, and nurses. In addition, HM now includes those practicing outside the hospital in extended-care facilities, long-term care and rehab facilities, LTACs, and other post-acute-care venues. And the ranks of hospitalists are increasing with the addition of hospitalists in such specialties as obstetrics, acute-care surgery, neurology, and orthopedics.
To continue to be the big tent for all hospitalists but still create a society with opportunities for networking and affinity groups, SHM has embarked on several strategies. SHM plans to create virtual communities (i.e. social networking) using Higher Logic. We plan to start with cohorts in Project BOOST and alumni from our Quality and Safety Educators Academy (QSEA) and our Leadership Academies, where contacts already have been made face to face over time. We see this as applicable for any subset of SHM that has the need and desire to create virtual communities and connections.
SHM also has created sections for our members trained in med-peds and international members from around the globe. In the future, SHM could expand to have 10 to 20 sections, including those for family physicians or pediatricians or nurse practitioners or administrators. We hope these organizations within an organization will give our members a platform to be in contact with other hospitalists just like themselves and create an opportunity for SHM to continually understand our members’ needs, and to design those projects and programs to meet those needs.
Just as our nation’s hospitalists are challenged to be innovative and creative as they play an active role in developing the hospital of the future, it is important for SHM to continue to evolve and develop new technologies and approaches to ensure our members have the support they need for the difficult tasks ahead.
Dr. Wellikson is CEO of SHM.