When several hospitalists at Miriam Hospital wanted to publish a case report of their findings while treating patients with COVID-19, they recognized a dearth of journals devoted to hospital medicine. So they created their own.
The Brown Journal of Hospital Medicine, founded by assistant professors of medicine and clinical educators Vijairam Selvaraj, Arkadiy Finn and Kwame Dapaah-Afriyie, publishes work in hospital medicine to advance knowledge and understanding of the field. Following the publication of its first issue in February, the journal became quarterly.
The journal’s goal is to “promote scientific activity and disseminate research among hospitals and future physicians” by providing readers with “up-to-date clinical information relevant to hospital medicine and related fields,” said Selvaraj.
Hospitallers are doctors who provide hospital care. They work closely with primary care providers to coordinate patient care after they are discharged from the hospital.
“Hospital medicine has grown in importance over the past 20 years,” Dapaah-Afriyie explained, with healthcare professionals increasingly focusing on “maximizing patient throughput in terms of providing excellent patient care without increasing the length of hospital stay”.
This shift in focus has also prompted efforts to move hospitalists into the “academic arena,” he added.
Prior to the establishment of the BJHM, there was only one other journal in the United States devoted to hospitalist medicine, the Journal of Hospital Medicine, “compared to other specialties such as cardiology, critical care medicine , gastroenterology and nephrology,” which have several dedicated journals, Dapaah-Afriyie said.
The Journal of Hospital Medicine focuses on “health research and policy and higher-level stuff, which we felt was not enough for practicing physicians to use as a resource,” Selvaraj said. The BJHM is “more clinical than the other journal, which is more focused on improving throughput quality (and) hospital settings”.
The BJHM is a “grassroots” publication, Finn said, “because it was started by clinicians (who) want to provide the opportunity for other clinicians to present what they see (and) have a lively academic discussion about what is happening medically with our patients” and with each other.
“We’re also independent in the sense that we don’t work with Wiley or Elsevier or the (other) big publishing houses,” Finn added. The journal is free for researchers wishing to publish their work and can be read freely.
Although the idea for BJHM was born out of a desire to share research on COVID-19, the journal has since expanded to cover a wide range of topics and types of articles, publishing original research, pictures and reviews. The October issue includes original research on overcoming barriers to telehealth and a review article on the hospital management of monkeypox.
The journal welcomes submissions from medical students and physicians, as well as mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners, Selvaraj said. It also accepts submissions from people in other specialties as long as the submission is within the scope of the journal.
“It’s been an amazing experience because we’ve had a lot of feedback, a lot of interest from Brown and Rhode Island, but also from outside,” Finn said. “For example, this very morning we received a submission from Arkansas. And yesterday we had one from Los Angeles.
“We hope the journal will continue to promote scholarship at Brown and within hospital and hospital medicine nationally as well as internationally,” Finn added. “We’re just a small newspaper, … but you can see that people are interested in using our pages to get their cases heard and their voices heard.”
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