JHM Research Series

The JHM Research Series highlights some of the most recent and impactful research coming out of the Journal of Hospital Medicine, SHM’s peer-reviewed research journal. Read what contributors and primary investigators have to say about the latest hospital medicine research. Visit www.journalofhospitalmedicine.com for more.

Hospital Doctors & Healthcare-associated Infections Part I

Dressing Well and Keeping our White Coats until the Evidence Tells Us Otherwise The problem of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the morbidity that they cause is gaining more media attention with each passing week. The numbers are mind-boggling: according to the CDC over 700,000 HAIs occur nationwide in acute care hospitals, affecting almost 5 percent of all hospitalized patients1. In addition to the costs in human suffering, there’s also the financial burden, estimated at $10 billion a year for the five most common infections2; ventilator-associated pneumonia, surgical site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Clostridium difficile colitis, and central line-associated bloodstream infections. It’s also understandable (and expected) that as the scale of this problem becomes more publicized, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasingly tying reimbursements to hospital infection rates, healthcare organizations everywhere are ramping up efforts to lower their numbers. Being the most visible frontline specialty,…

Hospital Medicine: Driving the Future of Healthcare

by Dr. Suneel Dhand MD Hospital medicine has become rapidly one of the largest specialties in the United States. As the number of practicing hospital medicine doctors soars above the 44,000 mark and healthcare reform takes hold, the specialty finds itself at the forefront of American medicine. And for good reason. It is a young, dynamic, varied and flexible specialty that can be practiced in a number of different settings. Hospital medicine doctors are no longer just the “stand-in” for the patient’s primary care physician. Hospitals all over the country are increasingly looking to hospitalists to drive quality improvement forward. Having been in practice for over five years, I feel that the best and most committed hospital medicine doctors (that I myself have used as role models) have been the ones who enjoy patient care above all else, and then find a particular niche that they become expert in. I…

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…

HQPS, Vampires, and Hospitalism

"It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm." - Florence Nightingale, Notes on Hospitals [caption id="attachment_9490" align="alignright" width="241"] Simpson, an obstetrician from Edinburgh, was the first to write about hospitalism. From Wikipedia Commons[/caption] The patient appeared comfortable in her ER bed. Too comfortable for an admission. Why admit an elderly woman, cancer patient at that, with normal labs, normal vital signs (except the fever) and probably a viral infection?  Being in the hospital isn’t always a silver bullet. “I have good news.  I think you can go home.” “My family already left, no one can take me home.” “Oh, ok. I’ll be happy to help arrange a ride home.” “Well, that nice woman said I had to stay, and that I would see an infection specialist, and I needed a CAT scan of my entire body,  and I would get a…