I’m so excited that it’s (finally!) almost time for SHM’s annual conference! Last year I missed HM17 – for the first time in a dozen years – due to a death in the family, so I’ve been experiencing “annual conference withdrawal syndrome” for a long time now. There’s no cure for that, other than a huge dose of HM18. I look forward to this event all year long, because it always rejuvenates and energizes me for another year of working in the world of hospital medicine. (And got to admit, the rejuvenating part is getting more important every year!)
This year’s annual conference kicks off next week in Orlando with pre-course day on Sunday, April 8th. So the first place you will find me is at the practice management pre-course, “How To Thrive in a Time of Intense Change,” for which my colleague Dr. John Nelson and I are once again privileged to serve as co-course directors. Our excellent faculty consisting of John, Dr. Eric Howell, and Dr. Jerome Siy will address practice management topics directly related to positioning hospital medicine groups to be successful, professionally satisfying, and high-performing during these challenging times. These topics include defining, measuring and demonstrating value, optimizing capacity by leveraging the skill sets of others, and strategies for building a strong group culture. They’ll also be debating each other on topics where there is often disagreement, like scope of practice, bonus metrics, and scheduling models; we hope attendees will find it both educational and entertaining. This pre-course is filling up quickly but there are still a few more seats left, so come and join us!
After getting the latest scoop about payment reform from Dr. Kate Goodrich of CMS in the opening plenary session on Monday, I plan to watch Eric Howell talk (again!) about value in HM18’s Practice Management Track. Then I want to be sure and spend time in the Exhibit Hall, visiting exhibitor booths and just catching up with colleagues and friends I haven’t seen in a couple years. After lunch Monday, I’m conflicted since I want to hear Drs. Thomas McIlraith and Kimberly Bell talk about Scaling Up Your Hospital Medicine Group, but also want to learn more about handoff improvement initiatives in the Quality Track. Other activities I won’t miss on Monday are the Special Interest Forum for multi-site HMG leaders at 4:30, and the networking/poster reception to follow.
On Tuesday, I’ll be up bright and early to walk in the 5K Fun Run/Walk at 6:00 a.m. There is always a great turnout for this event, and participation is free so be sure to come join us for some fresh air and exercise! Details can be found here. It’s liable to take me a while to recover from the Fun Run, but I won’t want to miss the awards presentations in the plenary session. In addition to more Exhibit Hall time, Tuesday’s breakout sessions offer a lot of interesting options, including a High Value Care Track, a Great Debate Track, and several Career Development Workshops. I’m eyeing the “Your Best Presentation Ever” workshop myself! And in the late afternoon is an intriguing Practice Management Track session on “An Organizational Approach to Burnout” – talk about a hot topic!
On Wednesday morning I’ll be up early again, to be sure and catch my colleague John Nelson’s participation in a roundtable discussion about clinical schedules and how they impact life and burnout, part of the new Seasoning Your Career Track at HM18. Throughout Wednesday morning there are again lots of interesting breakout session choices, including a session in the Quality Track about “Building a System Hospital Medicine Dashboard” by Dr. Brent Box and his colleagues at Adventist Health System. Having seen that impressive dashboard in action myself, I can promise this is a session you won’t want to miss! And of course, I’m sticking around until the bitter end to hear Dr. Bob Wachter talk about Hospitalists as Drivers of Innovation and System Change: Are We Doing Enough? Bob’s presentations are always some of the most thought-provoking of the entire conference, and this one I’m sure will give me lots to consider on my flight home Wednesday evening.
For me, though, one of the best parts of any SHM annual conference is the opportunity just to reconnect with friends, colleagues and former clients, and to meet new people in the world of hospital medicine. This is a dynamic and thriving field full of smart, friendly and capable people. I feel humbled and privileged to be a part of it. I hope if you see me at any of the locations above (or anywhere else) that you’ll stop to say hi and introduce yourself. I’m looking forward to chatting with you.