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Society of Hospital Medicine Earns National Quality Award


We’re going to celebrate in San Diego with everybody, but once the [annual] meeting is over, we’re going to roll up our sleeves. There’s a heck of a lot more work to get done.

—Joseph Ming-Wah Li, MD, SFHM, SHM president

Hospitalist Jordan Messler, MD, SFHM, has experienced SHM’s mentored-implementation program as both mentee and mentor. So when he heard that the mentored-implementation model was named the winner of the 2011 John M. Eisenberg Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level Award, he knew it was well-earned.

“The biggest aspect of these programs has been the collegiality and the learning from others,” says Dr. Messler, medical director at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla. “That’s really the core of this. We’ve all felt that we’re out on an island and we’re all building these projects from the ground up. We all probably at one point in a meeting say, ‘Someone else must have solved this.’ ... These mentored-implementation programs say, ‘Yes, of course other folks have solved this.’”

SHM is the first professional society to earn the award, bestowed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission. The model has helped propel SHM’s Glycemic Control Mentored Implementation (GCMI) Program, Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safe Transitions), and the VTE Prevention Collaborative. Mentors have been put in place in more than 300 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, according to an announcement.

“There are significant congratulations [due] to the profession and all the people at the society who have done all the work on this,” says SHM president Joseph Ming-Wah Li, MD, SFHM. “Part of what we’ve been saying all along is that quality is important. In terms of teaching quality—it’s a real team effort.”

NQF president and chief executive Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, says that one of the hallmarks of SHM’s program is its ability to be applied to different quality initiatives. Corrigan adds that while a professional society had never previously won the national award, SHM’s execution in creating, implementing, and providing follow-up resources helped differentiate the construct.

John M. Eisenberg Award Innovation in Patient Safety, National Level

2011 SHM, Philadelphia

2010 Washington State Hospital Association, Seattle

2009 Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality

2008 National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, Washington, D.C.


“We want to shed light on the kinds of things that are working and encourage others to emulate them, to build on them, and to reinvent them in new and even better ways,” Corrigan says. “It is a whole process of quality improvement.”

Dr. Li says the honor is a milestone for SHM, but the society must not rest on its laurels because it “hit a home run.” Instead, the society should use the momentum of the award to push for and apply for more QI programs. The more successful programs the society and its members launch and successfully implement, the more HM as a field will be considered a leader in quality improvement, he adds.

“We’re an absolute infant compared to many other medical organizations and other medical societies,” Dr. Li says. “Hospitalists and SHM should be very proud that NQF and The Joint Commission chose to bestow this award onto SHM. But at the end of the day, we at SHM also recognize that this is an award. We’re going to celebrate in San Diego with everybody, but once the [annual] meeting is over, we’re going to roll up our sleeves. There’s a heck of a lot more work to get done.”

Richard Quinn is a freelance writer based in New Jersey.

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