When it comes to developing, maintaining, and growing an effective hospital medicine team, James W. Levy, PA-C, SFHM, certified physician assistant and managing partner of iNDIGO Health Partners, credits much of the company’s success to a decision to purchase a group SHM membership for its hospital medicine team. Recognizing the value that membership brings, it was an easy decision to extend a group membership to iNDIGO’s hospital medicine team.
“As a company, we are strong supporters of SHM and its mission,” Mr. Levy said. “This seemed like the best way we could support SHM and allow all our providers access to all the personal and professional benefits of SHM membership.”
Levy says that SHM membership helps new providers identify themselves as hospitalists and develop the leadership skills necessary to build and grow an effective team. To iNDIGO, this also means integrating NPs and PAs into hospitalist practice. Not only does it fortify the iNDIGO team, but it demonstrates to new members that iNDIGO is committed to the hospital medicine specialty and providing its employees with resources to help them develop their hospital medicine career pathway and provide exceptional patient care.
“We’re strong believers in aggressively fostering the deployment of PAs and NPs in hospital medicine, and, as a PA, I value SHM’s efforts to be a ‘big tent’ organization,” Levy said. “SHM, among professional societies, has been a model of inclusiveness, of encouraging all providers, and [for] providing a forum for like-minded people to collaborate.”
This decision has paid off for iNDIGO, whose providers appreciate the opportunities afforded to them through SHM membership. “SHM’s Leadership Academy has been something that our group has participated in for years,” explained Jacques Burgess, MD, MPH, director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Mich. “Not only has the course been valuable for us, regardless of where we are in our careers, but, by attending as a group, we can use the time to gather and talk about how we are going to apply what we’ve learned to actually lead change.”
Even prior to the group membership, Dr. Burgess was an active SHM member, citing SHM as a key driver in his development of iNDIGO’s pediatric hospitalist team. He describes how The Pediatric Hospital Medicine Core Competencies, a publication outlining the key clinical skills and objectives for a pediatric hospital medicine team, continues to be critical in onboarding new colleagues and strengthening teams in community hospitals.
“In a community hospital, we’re somewhat removed from the cutting-edge research and programs being implemented at larger academic institutions,” Dr. Burgess said. “SHM provides that information to us and allows us to see trends and connect with colleagues in larger programs.”
Through SHM’s implementation toolkits and online forums, such as the Hospital Medicine Exchange (HMX), iNDIGO hospitalists have access to resources from leaders in the field that are not typically available in a community hospital. Over the last 2 years, Dr. Burgess’ team has implemented the Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS), a scoring system presented at Hospital Medicine 2013 to aid in the identification of hospitalized patients at risk for clinical deterioration.
It is not only SHM’s resources that enhance iNDIGO’s hospital medicine practice. “As a former member of SHM’s Public Policy Committee, I especially respect the advocacy that SHM does so effectively in Washington to ensure that federal policy being developed positively affects hospitalists and the patients they serve,” Levy said. SHM’s recent advocacy efforts include work on observation status as well as physician payment and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
iNDIGO continues to seek out partnerships with SHM at a local and national level, bringing best practices and innovative ideas – like a flexible scheduling system not reflective of the typical 7-on/7-off hospitalist schedule – to SHM and its members throughout the country.
From quality improvement and leadership training to advocacy and education, SHM helps hospital medicine professionals to build successful teams. “One of our goals is to develop great teams rather than just staffing programs,” Levy said. “Great teams need great leaders, and SHM’s resources promote and strengthen our on-the-ground leaders.”
To learn more about the membership opportunities available to you and your hospital medicine team, visit joinshm.org.
Brett Radler is SHM’s communications specialist.