The Society of Hospital Medicine is proud to recognize its chapters for their hard work and dedication in 2019 through Chapter Excellence Awards. Each year, chapters strive to demonstrate growth, sustenance, and innovation within their chapter activities, which are then applauded for their successes throughout the subsequent year. In 2019, a new Bronze category was established, for a total of four Status Awards that chapters can earn.
Please join SHM in congratulating the following chapters on their year of success in 2019!
Outstanding Chapter of the Year
The Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award goes to one chapter who exemplifies high performance, going above and beyond the basic chapter requirements. The recipient of the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award for 2019 is the Wiregrass Chapter of SHM. The chapter has a strong and engaged leadership which includes representation at all levels of the hospital medicine team, including physician hospitalists, advanced care provider hospitalists, practice administrators, nurses, residents, and medical students.
In the last year, the Wiregrass leadership team has organized programs and events to cater to and engage all the chapter’s members. This includes a variety of innovative ideas that catered toward medical education, health care provider well-being, engagement, mentorship, and community involvement.
The SHM Wiregrass Chapter’s biggest accomplishment in 2019 was the creation of an exchange program for physician and advanced practice provider hospitalists between the SHM New Mexico Chapter and the SHM Wiregrass Chapter. This idea first arose at HM19, where the chapter leaders had met during a networking event and debated the role of clinician wellbeing, quality of medical education, and faculty development to individual hospital medicine group (HMG) practice styles.
Clinician well-being is the prerequisite to the triple aim of improving the health of populations, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing the cost of care. Each HMG faces similar challenges but approaches to solving them vary. Professional challenges can affect the well-being of the individual clinicians. Having interinstitutional exchange programs provides a platform to exchange ideas and establish mentors. Also, the quality of medical education is directly linked to the quality of faculty development. Improving the quality of medical education requires a multifaceted approach by highly developed faculty. The complex factors affecting medical education and faculty development are further complicated by geographic location, patient characteristics, and professional growth opportunities. Overcoming these obstacles requires an innovative and collaborative approach. Although faculty exchanges are common in academic medicine, they are not commonly attempted with HMGs.
Hospitalists are responsible for a significant part of inpatient training for residents, medical students, and nurse practitioners/physician assistants (NPs/PAs), but their faculty training can vary based on location. Being a young specialty, only 2 decades old, hospital medicine is still evolving and incorporating NP/PA and physician hospitalists in varied practice models. Each HMG addresses common obstacles differently based on their culture and practice styles. The chapter leaders determined an exchange program would afford the opportunity for visiting faculty members to experience these differences. This emphasized the role and importance of exchanging ideas and contemplated a solution to benefit more practicing hospitalists.
The chapter leaders researched the characteristics of individual academic HMGs and structured a tailored faculty exchange involving physicians and NPs/PAs. During the exchange program planning, the visiting faculty itinerary was tailored to a well-planned agenda for 1 week, with separate tracks for physicians and NPs/PAs giving increased access to their individual peer practice styles. Additionally, the visiting faculty had meetings and discussions with HMG and hospital leadership, to specifically address each visiting faculty institution’s challenges. The overall goal of this exchange program was to promote cross-institutional collaboration, increase engagement, improve medical education through faculty development, and improve the quality of care. The focus of the exchange program was to share ideas and innovation and learn the approaches to unique challenges at each institution. Out of this also came collaboration and mentoring opportunities.
The evaluation process of the exchange involved interviews, a survey, and the establishment of shared QI projects in mutual areas of challenge. The survey provided feedback, lessons learned from the exchange, and areas to be improved. Collaborative QI projects currently underway as a result of the exchange include paging etiquette, quality of sleep for hospitalized patients, and onboarding of NPs/PAs in HMGs.
This innovation addressed faculty development and medical education via clinician well-being. The physician and NP/PA Faculty Exchange was an essential and meaningful innovation that resulted in increased SHM member engagement, cross-institutional collaboration, networking, and mentorship.
Additional projects that the SHM Wiregrass Chapter successfully implemented in 2019 include a “Women in Medicine” event that recognized women physician and advanced practice provider hospitalist leaders, a poster competition that expanded its research, clinical vignettes, and quality categories to include a fourth category of innovation, featuring 75 posters. Additionally, the chapter held a policy meeting with six Alabama state legislators, creating new channels of collaboration between the legislators and the chapter. Lastly, the chapter held a successful community event and launched a mentor program targeting medical students and residents.