Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSRC, SFHM, is the chief quality officer and professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. She is the outgoing medical editor of The Hospitalist, and the new president of the Society of Hospital Medicine. She assumes the role from immediate past-president Christopher Frost, MD, SFHM.
As a hospitalist for 17 years, Dr. Scheurer has practiced in both academic tertiary care, as well as community hospital settings. As a chief quality officer, she has worked to improve quality and safety in all health care settings, including ambulatory care, nursing homes, home health, and surgical centers. She brings a broad experience in the medical industry to the SHM presidency.
At what point in your education/training did you decide to practice hospital medicine?
I always loved inpatient medicine throughout my entire meds-peds residency training at Duke University in Durham, N.C. I honestly never had a doubt that hospital medicine was going to be my career. What appeals to me is that each hour and each day is different, which is invigorating.
What are your favorite aspects of clinical practice and of your administrative duties?
I like doing both administrative work and clinical work because I believe having a view of both worlds helps me to be a better physician and a better administrator. It greatly helps me bring realistic solutions to the front lines since I have a good understanding of what needs to be done, but also what is likely to actually work.
As president of SHM over the next year, what are your primary goals?
My primary goal is to deeply connect with the SHM membership and understand what their needs are. There is enormous change happening in the medical industry, and SHM should be a conduit for information sharing, resources, and most importantly, answers to all our difficult problems. Hospitalists are critical to success for our hospitals and our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must be able to give and receive information quickly and seamlessly to effectively help each other across the country and the world. SHM must be seen as a critical convener, especially in times of crisis.
Additionally, SHM has always fostered a “big tent” philosophy, so we will continue to explore ways to expand membership beyond “the core” of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics and reach a better understanding of what our constituents need and how we can add value to their work lives and careers. In addition to expanding membership within our borders, other expansions already include working with international chapters and members with an “all teach, all learn” attitude to better understand mutually beneficial partnerships with international members. Through all these expansions, we will come closer to truly realizing our mission at SHM, which is to “promote exceptional care for hospitalized patients.”
You mention COVID-19. What resources is SHM offering to members?
We have opened up the SHM Learning Portal to help members and non-members address upcoming challenges, such as expanding ICU coverage or cross-training providers for hospital medicine. Several modules in SHM’s “Critical Care for the Hospitalist” series may be especially relevant during the COVID-19 crisis:
- Fluid Resuscitation in the Critically Ill
- Mechanical Ventilation Part I – The Basics
- Mechanical Ventilation Part II – Beyond the Basics
- Mechanical Ventilation Part III – ARDS
Finally, in this time when so many hospitalists are busy dealing with COVID-19, SHM is committed to offering valuable resources and is in the process of offering new material, including Twitter chats, webinars, blogs, and podcasts to help hospitalists share best practices. Please bookmark SHM’s compilation of COVID-19 resources at hospitalmedicine.org/coronavirus.
We also continue to forge ahead with our publications, The Hospitalist and the Journal of Hospital Medicine, by adding online content as it becomes available. Visit the COVID-19 news feed on The Hospitalist website at www.the-hospitalist.org/hospitalist/coronavirus-updates.
In this trying time, we can still connect as a community and continue to learn from each other. We encourage you to use SHM’s online community, HMX, to share resources and crowd-source solutions. Ideas for SHM resources can be submitted via email at [email protected].
What are some of the current challenges for hospital medicine?
The demands placed on hospitalists are greater than ever. With shortening length of stay, rising acuity and complexity, increasing administrative burdens, and high emphasis on care transitions, our skills (and our patience) need to rise to these increasing demands. As a member-based society, SHM (and the board of directors) seeks to ensure we are helping hospitalists be the very best they can be, regardless of hospitalist type or practice setting.
The good news is that we are still in high demand. Within the medical industry, there has been an explosive growth in the need for hospitalists, and we can now be found in almost every hospital setting in the United States. But as a current commodity, it is imperative that we continue to prove the value we are adding to our patients and their families, the systems in which we work, and the industry as a whole.
How will hospital medicine change in the next decade?
I believe one of the biggest changes we will see is the shift to ambulatory settings and the use of telehealth, and we all need to gain significant comfort with both to be effective.
Do you have any advice for students and residents interested in hospital medicine?
It is an incredibly dynamic and invigorating career; I can’t imagine doing anything else.