It is with great pleasure that I enter my president-elect year for the Society of Hospital Medicine! I am hopeful that this year will allow me time to get to know the organization even better than I already do, and truly understand the needs of our members so I can focus on meeting and exceeding your expectations!
I have been a hospitalist now for 17 years and have practiced in both academic tertiary care and community hospital settings. As a chief quality officer, I also work with improving quality and safety in all health care settings, including ambulatory, nursing homes, home health, and surgical centers. As such, I hope I can bring a broad lens of the medical industry to this position, improving the lives and careers of hospitalists and the patients and families they serve.
As we all know, the demands placed on hospitalists are greater than ever. With shortening length of stay, rising acuity and complexity, increasing administrative burdens, and high emphasis on care transitions, our skills (and our patience) need to rise to these increasing demands. As a member-based society, SHM (and the board of directors) seeks to ensure we are helping hospitalists be the very best they can be, regardless of hospitalist type or practice setting.
The good news is that we are still in high demand. Within the medical industry, there has been an explosive growth in the need for hospitalists, as we now occupy almost every hospital setting in the United States. But as a current commodity, it is imperative that we continue to prove the value we are adding to our patients and their families, the systems in which we work, and the industry as a whole. That is where our board and SHM come into play – to provide the resources you need to improve health care.
These resources come in the form of education and training (live or on demand); leadership and professional development; practice management assistance; advocacy work; mentored quality improvement; networking and project work (through special interest groups, local chapter meetings, and committee work); stimulation of research, new knowledge, and innovation; and promotion of evidence-based practice through our educational resources, publications, and other communications. The purpose of our existence is to provide you what you need to improve your work lives and your patients’ health.
SHM has always fostered a “big-tent” philosophy, so we will continue to explore ways to expand membership beyond “the core” of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics, and reach a better understanding of what our constituents need and how we can add value to their work lives and careers. In addition to expanding membership within our borders, other expansions already include working with international chapters and members, with an “all teach, all learn” attitude to better understand mutually beneficial partnerships with international members. Through all these expansions, we will come closer to truly realizing our mission at SHM, which is to “promote exceptional care for hospitalized patients.”
My humble hope, as it is with any of my leadership positions, is to leave SHM better than I found it. As such, please contact me at any time if you have ideas or suggestions on how we can better help you be successful in improving the care for your patients, your systems, and health care as a whole. I look forward to serving you in this incredible journey and mission.
Dr. Scheurer is chief quality officer and professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. She is the medical editor of the Hospitalist, and president-elect of SHM.