Posts by Burke Kealey

Dr. Howell’s Quest

Who remembers this? That is 3rd year medical student Lesley Sutherland from the University of Maryland on stage at HM13 last May in Washington, DC being inducted into SHM by Eric Howell, SHM President (and Lesley's brother).  If you recall, just prior to calling Lesley to the stage, Dr Howell told us what he wanted to see in the next year of his presidency more efforts at attracting students and residents to the rolls of SHM.  His goal was to try and reach 1000 total learner members by HM 2014 in Las Vegas, effectively doubling the current representation. His goal was even more audacious because HM 14 was only 10 months away! I was curious as to how his quest was going, so I called him up and here is what I learned. Well to start off the numbers are looking good.  With 9 months since the challenge, we are…

Characteristics of an Effective Hospital Medicine Group

It’s here.  Today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, SHM is publishing The Key Principles and Characteristics of an Effective Hospital Medicine Group: An Assessment Guide for Hospitals and Hospitalists. That’s a mouthful of a title but really a simple document. The main thrust of the paper is to be a guide and a tool for reflection for our nation’s hospital medicine groups (and maybe the C-suite too!).  We are still a young specialty populated with young hospital medicine groups.  The oldest groups we have are only 20-25 years old, many are less than five years.  With that broad range of clinical experience comes a broad range of business and leadership experience, too. The Society asked itself, how could it put a tool in the hands of those leaders that showed them some of the key characteristics of our more experienced and successful groups.  Over 200 leaders in the field of…

MAGIC WAND 2014

It’s the New Year, 2014, and it is time for Dr. Kealey’s waving of the hospitalist magic wand.  If I had a magic wand, what would I instantly change about the life of hospitalists or the healthcare systems we work in? This is by no means an exhaustive list and certainly (and hopefully) reflects my own pet peeves.  Now, Abracadabra! SGR--  Well, who wouldn’t wish this to go away? The Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, created in 1997 to control Medicare spending.  By 2002 it started to work as the economy slowed and payments to doctors were set to begin falling.  Of course Congress backed down then and has backed down each and every year creating last minute “patches” to prevent the cuts.  Yeah for the patch!  Long live the patch!  Except each year, physicians' fees are made part of a dastardly political game of chicken in Washington, raising anxiety levels…

Thank you for saving me!

My name is Burke Kealey and I am a hospitalist.  I am honored to be blogging for the Society and to have the opportunity to have a conversation with you about the healthcare system and how we work with and serve our patients.  Now a story: My patient "Sue" came in for a liver biopsy.  My job was to observe her overnight with a planned discharge in the morning.  She underwent the biopsy in the radiology suite and returned to the floor stable.  Her nurse called me urgently to the bedside an hour later as Sue was feeling dizzy and they were having trouble getting a good blood pressure. You all know what's next.  Stat Hgb 5, palpable blood pressure, fluid bolus, stat CT showing blood in the abdomen, and back to radiology for embolization.  I came by to see her afterwards and in her post-procedure haze, she opened her…