Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) President Stresses Accountability, Genuine Results in Inaugural Address


The future of hospital medicine is rooted in the accountability of its practitioners, the new SHM president said Tuesday morning at the Society of Hospital Medicine’s annual meeting.

Shaun Frost, MD, SFHM, FACP, chief medical officer for the Northeast region for Cogent HMG, used his inaugural address at the HM12 award ceremony as a clarion call for HM leaders to view personal and professional accountability as a challenge.

“Delivering genuine results is now what we definitely must do, because the train that is healthcare reform has clearly left the station,” he said. “If we don’t jump aboard this train by delivering tangible and measurable results through true quality performance improvements and honest cost containment, I’m afraid that the consequences could be disastrous for our hospitals, for our communities, for us individually, and for the profession of hospital medicine.”

Dr. Frost said that providing evidence-based improvements will solidify the specialty’s status as a “successful historical improvement to the practice of medicine.” HM leaders who have prided themselves on leading the push for quality have done an admirable job of becoming change agents at their institutions over the past 15 years, said Dr. Frost. And now, he added, the field's reputation is staked to the next wave of reform.

“It’s time for each of us to put our money where our mouths have been,” he said.

Adds outgoing society president Joseph Ming-Wah Li, MD, SFHM: “Expectations are higher than ever for hospital medicine and for SHM … can we meet those expectations? What’s the story that’s going to be told about hospital medicine and SHM five, 10 years from now?”

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