From the Society

Presenting the 2020 SHM Award of Excellence winners


Leadership for Practice Manager

Douglas G. Philpot, MHA, MBA, MHR, FACHE, currently the hospitalist program director at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, epitomizes excellence in practice management.

In mid-2018, Intermountain Healthcare transitioned to a new organizational structure that brought all medical and surgical operations under one leadership team. Prior to this reorganization, hospitalist groups were largely divided by the geographies they served, each operating independently.

After the reorganization, it was apparent that staffing structures among groups varied greatly. Dr. Philpot pored over the workload and billing data and determined the most efficient use of how to staff hospitalist providers. He recently created a program that allows all stakeholders to meet and discuss in an unbiased manner how and when to add resources to a given group. As a result, the team is better able to make smart decisions that translate into improved quality, better patient experience, a more engaged hospitalist group and improved financial decisions. This is a model that Intermountain is now looking to apply to other specialties.

Team Award in Quality Improvement

The Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium has been in place for a decade and has worked together to improve quality and safety for patients across Michigan and the nation. It has been led since its inception by Scott Flanders, MD, a hospitalist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

At each participating hospital, teams include hospitalists, infectious disease clinicians, interventional radiologists, nephrologists, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, and more. This integration ensures that the team’s work is highly relevant and generalizable for hospitals around the country.

Their initiatives have informed regulatory and guideline writing authorities in the United States and beyond. For example, findings from their venous thromboembolism project demonstrated that the majority of hospitalized patients do not benefit from VTE prophylaxis, but rather, targeted strategies to define those at high risk. In 2016, their work helped to prevent 852 VTEs in Michigan alone. This led to changes in national guidelines that now emphasize deimplementing pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis and focused risk-assessment in U.S. hospitals.

Their antimicrobial use initiative has led to a robust partnership between hospitalists, hospitals, and national partners, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early work has informed a key gap in stewardship – discharge antibiotic prescribing – which has been a focus for SHM, the CDC, and many others. Efforts have already led to a reduction in thousands of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in Michigan.

Junior Investigator Award

SHM’s Research Committee presents the Junior Investigator Award to recognize early-career hospitalist researchers who are leading the way in their field. We are pleased to present the HM20 Junior Investigator Award to Valerie Vaughn, MD, MSc.

Dr. Valerie M. Vaughn

Dr. Vaughn is an assistant professor and research scientist in the division of hospital medicine at the University of Michigan and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Her research is focused on engaging hospitalists in antibiotic prescribing, especially at discharge. She is the hospitalist lead for an initiative to improve antibiotic prescribing in 46 hospitals across Michigan. She has already made a national contribution to the field – two manuscripts that have received high praise and have been cited by the Joint Commission and the CDC in their updated recommendations for antibiotic stewardship. She has a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to study the role of diagnostic error in antibiotic overuse and just received a K08 career development award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study methods to improve antibiotic prescribing at hospital discharge.

One of Dr. Vaughn’s career goals is to advance hospital medicine through mentoring the next generation of hospitalists. In 2017, she authored a manuscript titled “Mentee Missteps” in JAMA, which has been viewed nearly 40,000 times since publication. She continues to give talks on this topic and mentors clinical hospitalists on research projects to improve quality and safety.

Dr. Vaughn has worked closely with SHM and represents the society at the CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee quarterly meetings.


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