Society of Hospital Medicine

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Society of Hospital Medicine
Non-profit organization
IndustryHospital Medicine, Hospitalists, Internal Medicine
HeadquartersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people
Laurence Wellikson, MD, SFHM (CEO); Chris Frost, MD, SFHM (Current President)
ServicesEducation, Practice Management, Careers, Advocacy, Community

The Society of Hospital Medicine an American membership society for hospitalists, that is, physicians and other caregivers who practice the specialty of hospital medicine.

The Society of Hospital Medicine is focused on supporting the hospital medicine industry and individual hospitalists. It provides continuing education and industry updates for hospitalists in its monthly publication, The Hospitalist, and peer-reviewed journal for hospital medicine, the Journal of Hospital Medicine. In addition to its publications, the society conducts surveys, prepares written analyses and offers discussion forums that aid in the overall development of the specialty of hospital medicine.

The society is focused on providing resources, programs and mentoring for quality improvement program for reducing readmissions and hospital acquired diseases while optimizing transitions of care, glycemic control and overall patient care. An integral role of the society has been the development of policy and position statements to address the concerns and issues of hospitalists and advocating on behalf of hospitalists before government and regulatory agencies.


Founded in 1997 by Internists John Nelson, MD, MHM, of Bellevue, Washington and Winthrop Whitcomb, MD, MHM, of Springfield, Massachusetts, the Society of Hospital Medicine was originally known as the National Association of Inpatient Physicians. The society's goals include promoting high-quality care for hospitalized patients; advancing education and research in hospital medicine; enhancing medical teamwork to achieve the best care for hospitalized patients; supporting career paths to attract and retain high quality hospitalists; defining competencies, activities and needs of hospitalists; and advocating, proposing, and promoting changes to the healthcare system that lead to better care by hospitalists.

A history of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and in many ways the hospital medicine movement:

  • 1996: In a New England Journal of Medicine article, Drs. Robert M. Wachter and Lee Goldman coin the term “hospitalist”[1]
  • 1997 (January): A national database of hospitalists and hospital medicine programs is developed and put to use by the National Association of Inpatient Physicians (NAIP) with its first newsletter mailing
  • 1997 (April): The initial national meeting of hospitalists is held as the National Association of Inpatient Physicians holds its first meeting (“Management of the Hospitalized Patient” Conference), hosted by the University of California, San Francisco
  • 1998 (April): The National Association of Inpatient Physicians holds its first annual meeting not affiliated with another event
  • 1999 (Spring): The National Association of Inpatient Physicians issues a position statement that referrals to hospitalists from primary physicians should be voluntary
  • 2003 (Spring): The National Association of Inpatient Physicians changes its name to the Society of Hospital Medicine[2]
  • 2008 (September): The Society of Hospital Medicine selects and implements first six Project BOOST pilot sites[3]
  • 2010 (April): The Society of Hospital Medicine published The Core Competencies in Pediatric Hospital Medicine with endorsement from the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics

Publications and resources[edit]

The Hospitalist news magazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. It reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

Journal of Hospital Medicine[edit]

The Journal of Hospital Medicine is the peer-reviewed journal in the field of hospital medicine. The journal focuses on pressing medical issues and healthcare trends that affect hospital medicine and patient care while providing extensive research articles and evidence-based reviews.

Continuing Education and Professional Development[edit]

The specialty of hospital medicine is made up of a varied constituency with both overlapping and discrete educational needs. These constituencies include academic hospitalists, clinicians-internists,[4] family physicians, pediatricians, hospital medicine group leaders, researchers, clinical educators, nurse practitioners, physician assistants,[5] hospital administrators, and pharmacists.

The society focuses on lifelong learning for all of these. Its main focus is the enhancement of hospitalists’ knowledge on topics related to specific clinical situations and the fostering of independent learning through traditional and emerging channels.

Members of the society can also be earn or be nominated to become a fellow or senior fellow in Hospital Medicine.

The Society of Hospital Medicine’s Fellows Program is rooted in the Society’s Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine. Those who earn the Fellow in Hospital Medicine, Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine or Master in Hospital Medicine designations have demonstrated their commitment to hospital medicine, system change and quality improvement principles.

  • To become a fellow in hospital medicine, the candidate must demonstrate a commitment to hospital medicine and must follow certain requirements in order to receive Hospital Medicine Designation.
  • To become a senior Fellow in hospital medicine, the candidate must follow a similar process to that of becoming a fellow, but with additional criteria within leadership, teamwork and quality improvement enable candidates to demonstrate a higher level of performance and commitment to hospital medicine. Members of the society can also attain a master in hospital medicine.

Masters in hospital medicine are distinguished by the excellence and significance of his or her contributions to the field of hospital medicine and healthcare as a whole. They have been selected because of personal character, positions of honor, contributions towards furthering the goals of the Society of Hospital Medicine, distinction in practice education, medical research, and other achievements in science or in the art of hospital medicine.

Continuing Medical Education and Maintenance of Certification[edit]

Hospital medicine is the first area to be awarded focused practice recognition by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Project BOOST[edit]

Project BOOST (Better Outcomes by Optimizing Safe Transitions) is an initiative wherein hospitals receive expert monitoring and peer support to aid in improving the care of patients as the transition from hospital to home. BOOST members help hospital teams to map current processes and create and implement actions plans for organizational change. BOOST provides a suite of evidence-based clinical interventions that can be easily adapted and integrated into each unique hospital environment. By improving the hospital discharge care transition. Project BOOST aims to:

  • Identify patients at high risk of re-hospitalization and target specific interventions to mitigate potential adverse events
  • Reduce 20-day readmission rates
  • Improve patient satisfaction scores and H-CAHPS[clarification needed] scores related to discharge
  • Improve flow of information between hospital and outpatient providers
  • Improve communication between providers and patients
  • Optimize discharge process

Project BOOST centers around 5 key elements, and there are currently over 180 mentor sites, located in 31 United States and one in Canada, which participate in Project BOOST.

Advocacy and public policy[edit]

In recent years,[vague], the Society of Hospital Medicine and its members have changed the healthcare landscape by:

  • Connecting hospitalists with members of Congress and their staffs
  • Working to ensure that hospitalists have sensible pathways for participation in Medicare pay for performance programs
  • Championing improved access to skilled nursing facility coverage for Medicare beneficiaries

Relationship with Sanofi-Aventis[edit]

In May 2011, staff of the Senate Finance Committee issued a report concerning Sanofi-Aventis efforts to secure favorable comments from medical societies to the Food and Drug Administration. These comments raised safety concerns about generic equivalents to the Sanofi-Aventis product Lovenox.

The report, initiated as a result of an article by Alicia Mundy in the Wall Street Journal, and a physician (Victor Tapson, MD) as having submitted comments as part of the Citizen Petition Process without disclosing in the letter their financial ties to the pharmaceutical company. In the case of the Society of Hospital Medicine, those ties amounted to over $2.0M (since 2007) for a variety of uses that included exhibit space, sponsorship and other outreach.


  1. ^ Wachter R, Goldman L (1996). "The emerging role of "hospitalists" in the American health care system". N Engl J Med. 335 (7): 514–7. doi:10.1056/NEJM199608153350713. PMID 8672160.
  2. ^ "Hospitalists fill in for general practitioners". m.Live Everything Michigan. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  3. ^ "Comprehensive Program To Improve Discharge Process Reduces Readmissions". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  4. ^ "More Internists Becoming Hospitalists". American Medical Association, American Medical News. Retrieved 2009-04-16. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "So You Want to Become a PA In Hospital Medicine?". American Academy of Physician Assistants, AAPA News. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]