SHM immediate past president Joseph Ming Wah Li, MD, SFHM, practices hospital medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, but Oklahoma is where he grew up, went to medical school, and performed rural rotations. Some parts of hospitalist practice are the same at big and small hospitals, urban and rural settings, he says.
“Recruitment of high-quality physicians is always a challenge,” Dr. Li says. “That’s where SHM can help.”
SHM’s Career Center, official publications, and the SHM annual meeting are excellent avenues for recruitment, Dr. Li says. SHM also offers online practice-management tools and a variety of collaborative resources—SQUINT, a searchable repository of innovative QI methods and systems, and an electronic QI toolkit known as eQUIPS—to help rural hospitalists.
Based in Kansas City, the National Rural Health Association (www.ruralhealthweb.org) provides additional resources for small, rural hospitals. The NRHA is working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and 62 Regional Extension Centers to help rural providers with EHR adoption and implementation, guiding them to meet meaningful-use standards.
“NRHA is a member organization with multiple constituencies,” says Brock Slabach, senior vice president for member services. “If anybody in hospital medicine works in a rural community and wants to connect with an organization like ours, we don’t have a lot of hospitalist members, but we would welcome them.”