When several hospitalists at Miriam Hospital wanted to publish a case report on their findings from treating patients with COVID-19, they recognized a shortage of journals dedicated to hospital medicine. So they created their own.
The Brown Journal of Hospital Medicine, founded by assistant professors of medicine and clinician educators Vijairam Selvaraj, Arkadiy Finn and Kwame Dapaah-Afriyie, publishes work in inpatient medicine to advance the knowledge and understanding of the field. Following the release of its inaugural issue in February, the journal has published quarterly.
The journal’s purpose is to “promote scholarly activity and disseminate research among hospitals and upcoming physicians” by providing readers with “up-to-date clinical information relevant to hospital medicine and related fields,” Selvaraj said.
Hospitalists are physicians who provide in-patient care. They work closely with primary care providers to coordinate patient care after they leave the hospital.
“Hospital medicine has gained emphasis over the past about 20 years,” Dapaah-Afriyie explained, with healthcare professionals increasingly focused on “maximizing patient throughput in terms of providing patients with excellent care without increasing the hospital length of stay.”
That shift in focus also brought efforts to move hospitalists into the “academic arena,” he added.
Prior to the creation of the BJHM, there was only one other journal in the U.S. dedicated to hospitalist medicine, the Journal of Hospital Medicine, “as compared to other specialties like cardiology, critical care medicine, gastroenterology and nephrology,” which have several devoted journals, Dapaah-Afriyie said.
The Journal of Hospital Medicine is focused on “research and health policy and higher level stuff, which we felt wasn’t enough for practicing physicians to use as a resource,” Selvaraj said. The BJHM is “more clinical compared to the other journal, which is more on throughput quality improvement (and) hospital metrics.”
The BJHM is a “grassroots” publication, Finn said, “because it was started by clinicians (who) want to offer the opportunity to other clinicians to present what they’re seeing (and) to have a lively academic discussion about what’s going on medically with our patients” and each other.
“We’re also independent in that we’re not working with Wiley or Elsevier or the (other) big publishing houses,” Finn added. The journal is free for researchers who want to publish their work and can be read freely.
Though the idea for the BJHM stemmed from 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, images and reviews. The October issue includes original research about overcoming barriers to telehealth and a review article on the inpatient management of monkeypox.
The journal welcomes submissions from both medical students and doctors, as well as mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners, Selvaraj said. It also accepts submissions from individuals in other specialties as long as the submission is within the scope of the journal.
“It’s been an incredible experience because we’ve had a lot of feedback, a lot of interest from within Brown and Rhode Island, but also from outside” the state, Finn said. “For example, just this morning, we received a submission from Arkansas. And yesterday, we got one from Los Angeles.”
“We hope that the journal continues to promote scholarship at Brown and within inpatient and hospital medicine at large on a nationwide level as well as on an international level,” Finn added. “We’re just a small journal, … but you can see that people are interested in utilizing our pages to get their cases out and to get their voices heard.”