News Release: Emory Healthcare

Apr. 22,  2009

Society of Hospital Medicine Names Emory Hospitals as Project BOOST Participants

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Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown have been selected among 24 hospitals nationwide to participate in Project BOOST, a program aimed at improving the care of patients as they transition from the hospital to home.

Developed within the Society of Hospital Medicine, Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older adults through Safe Transitions) is a comprehensive program to optimize care transitions from the hospital to home, thereby reducing preventable re-hospitalizations and complications while improving communication among health care providers.

Supported by a $1.4 million grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation, Project BOOST utilizes a team approach to assess patients’ risk for re-hospitalization, and plans and executes risk-specific discharge planning activities. The project is led by a national advisory board of recognized leaders in hospital medicine, care transitions, payers and regulatory agencies. The board includes representatives from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

A study released in the April 1 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine found that one in five Medicare beneficiaries discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days, potentially resulting in $17.4 billion in excess Medicare costs.  According to Laurence Beer, MD, associate site director for quality improvement at Emory University Hospital, programs like Project BOOST aim to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions, and benefit both the hospital’s bottom line and the patient’s overall care.

"Studies show that many hospital readmissions are avoidable. Such readmissions result in added stress for patients, as well as billions of dollars of excess costs to the health care system," says Beer.  "Project BOOST, through a series of evidence based initiatives, is aimed at remedying that situation. BOOST intends to reduce readmissions, improve continuity of care between inpatient and outpatient providers, and through improved education enlist patients and their families as vital parts of the discharge process. The discharge process is garnering national attention, and rightly so. BOOST is one of only a small handful of projects organized to specifically address this issue."

The Society of Hospital Medicine is the premier medical society representing hospitalists. Over the past decade, studies have shown that hospitalists decrease patient lengths of stay, reduce hospital costs and readmission rates, all while increasing patient satisfaction. Hospital medicine is the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, with over 28,000 hospitalists currently practicing and an upward growth trajectory in full force. For more information about SHM, visit, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $5.5 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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