Society of Hospital Medicine and The Doctors Company Hospitalist Advisory Board Discuss Changes Facing Hospitalists
Meeting Focuses on Trend Toward Specialty Hospitalists, Quality Improvement Training, and Creation of Standards of Excellence
Napa, California—October 22, 2012—Members of the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and the Hospitalist Advisory Board of The Doctors Company met recently to discuss issues facing hospitalists, the fastest growing medical specialty in the nation. The meeting was hosted by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer.
SHM exclusively endorses The Doctors Company’s medical liability insurance program. Through key committees and the Hospitalist Advisory Board, The Doctors Company works with SHM to identify and resolve critical issues in hospital medicine.
Participants at the recent meeting focused on the changes facing hospitalists—the physicians who provide general medical care to inpatients at many hospitals—and how to assist hospitalists in improving patient safety in this changing environment.
One of the major changes in the profession today is the trend toward specialty hospitalists, said John Nelson, MD, MHM, FACP, co-founder of SHM, hospitalist at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA, and partner with Nelson Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants.
“The center of gravity moved away from the hospital for many specialties,” Nelson said. “As these doctors moved away from the hospital, it left a gap. The hospitalist with a specialty, such as a neurologist, is now coming in to fill that gap.”
While this trend is new and the jury is still out on whether it will benefit patient safety, Nelson noted that having specialists as hospitalists may enable improved communication between all providers at hospitals and improve adoption and proficiency of electronic medical records—both of which ultimately could improve care and increase patient safety.
SHM is playing a major role in helping to increase patient safety through its Web-based Hospital Quality & Patient Safety Online Academy, which will be augmented with new modules in early 2013, announced Laurence Wellikson, MD, SFHM, CEO of SHM.
“As a company dedicated to advancing the practice of good medicine, The Doctors Company applauds this effort by SHM to assist hospitalists in improving the quality of care and patient safety,” said Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company.
SHM also is considering the development of standards of excellence for hospitalists, Wellikson said, and invited input from The Doctors Company. These standards, he noted, could benefit patient safety as hospitals aspire to improve their hospitalist programs.
About The Doctors Company
Founded by doctors for doctors in 1976, The Doctors Company (www.thedoctors.com) is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer, with 71,000 members and $4 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.
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