Where We Are Going
Growth: I suspect the annual meeting will continue to grow in size, and it will expand to better serve the needs of other types of hospital-based physicians (neurologists, obstetricians, etc.), other types of practitioners (NPs, PAs, other specialty nurses), and other types of professionals (administrators and executives). It likely will attract an international community of hospitalists as other nations identify and execute better models of care for hospitalized patients.
Advocacy: SHM and the annual meeting will continue to serve as a nidus for directing the best pathways toward a better healthcare system. It will continue to serve as an avenue by which we partner with and/or influence impactful organizations, such as federal, state, and local governments, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission, and the American Hospital Association, to name a few.
Impact: SHM and the annual meeting will expand its role as the focus for learning and sharing new research and innovations within the field. It will serve as a platform for initiating and spreading standardized evidence-based implementation of best practices through a repertoire of mentored implementation programs. And it will continue to serve as proof of the strength of our hospital medicine community as we spread into every U.S. hospital system and beyond.
Reputation: The future of our annual meeting and reputation will be dependent on how fast and how carefully we craft the pathway for HM. Currently, about half of all the nation’s hospitalists have been in practice for five years or less. We will need to carefully focus on how to be compassionate providers and system advocates—not just shift workers and billing specialists. We will have to be the mentors by which other countries define best practice for inpatient care, including what ideal training for a hospitalist should look like, and what their scope of practice should entail.
If you ask one of the attendees of the first annui conventus what it was like, they will say it was a small mom-and-pop gathering of disparate physicians, with a pie-in-the-sky idea of the future of hospitalist practice. And someday, when our current generation of hospitalists attends an international conference of hospitalists, in Prague, in 2033, we can say, “Remember when we met in that tiny hotel in D.C. in 2013?”
Dr. Scheurer is a hospitalist and chief quality officer at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is physician editor of The Hospitalist. Email her at [email protected].