Emory's Mark V. Williams, MD, FACP, has been named editor of a new journal that will become the official publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). It will be the first academic journal for the nearly 12,000 practicing hospitalists.
The Journal of Hospital Medicine is set to launch in January 2006. The journal is being established to promote the science and practice of hospital medicine and the enhancement of inpatient hospital care.
Dr. Williams is Professor of Medicine and Director, Hospital Medicine Unit, at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Medical Director, EHCA. He is a past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and is excited and honored to serve his peers as the editor of SHM's first peer-reviewed journal. One of the original Robert W. Woodruff Fellows in Medicine, Dr. Williams has more than 20 years of experience at Emory. He initiated Emory's hospitalist program at Grady Memorial Hospital in 1998, the first hospitalist program at a public hospital in the U.S. The Emory hospitalist program has since grown to become the largest academic hospital medicine program in the nation with almost 50 hospitalists at 6 hospitals.
"The specialty of hospital medicine is growing, vibrant and appears to have a bright future. It is the fastest growing medical specialty, with an estimated 12,000 hospitalists in practice today," says Dr. Williams. "This number is expected to grow to approximately 20,000 to 30,000 by the end of the decade, making the field about the size of cardiology."
Emory and Dr. Williams have been at the forefront of the hospitalist movement. A recent study by the Department of Veteran's Affairs, Iowa City Healthcare System and the University of Iowa, shows patients cared for by hospitalists were in the hospital on average one day shorter, and had a 10 percent reduction in hospital costs. Hospitalization costs for hospitalists were an average $900 less than costs for non-hospitalists patients. Research by others indicates that patients cared for by hospitalists also have lower mortality.
"We are starting to see real benefits," explains Dr. Williams. "Patients are getting higher quality care that leads to shorter hospital stays -- that is better for patients and for hospitals' bottom lines." Similar cost-savings have been generated by Emory hospitalists at Emory University Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital and the four affiliate HCA medical centers they also serve.
The chief objective of the new journal is to provide hospitalists with original and ground-breaking peer- reviewed articles on a diverse range of hospital medicine topics while also providing important information on the non-clinical aspects of hospital medicine and public health, including the political, philosophic, ethical, legal, environmental, economic, historical and cultural issues surrounding healthcare delivery in hospitals.
"Dr. Williams has been on the forefront of hospital medicine nationally for many years through his leadership at SHM and his efforts at Emory and HCA," said SHM Chief Executive Officer Larry Wellikson, MD. "He is highly respected, well-published, and has the breadth of knowledge required to lead the editorial direction of SHM's new journal during its important formative years."