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J Hosp Med. 2008 Jul;3(4):308-13. doi: 10.1002/jhm.342.

The University of Michigan Specialist-Hospitalist Allied Research Program: jumpstarting hospital medicine research.

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  • 1Hospitalist Program, Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



Clinical research has developed slowly in most academic hospitalist programs, possibly because of a failure to recognize the important role of specialists in the diagnosis and management of complex medical patients as well as their expertise in clinical research. Ideally, a successful hospital-based clinical research program will need to partner hospitalists with specialists.


The University of Michigan's Specialist-Hospitalist Allied Research Program (SHARP) was designed to jumpstart hospital-based clinical and translational research at a major academic medical center by pairing specialists and hospitalists to ask and answer novel research questions.


SHARP is codirected by a hospitalist and a subspecialist and includes key personnel such as a hospitalist investigator, a clinical research nurse, a research associate, and a clinical epidemiologist. The program is guided by an oversight committee that includes institutional research leadership. Two initial projects have already been supported. The first, a collaboration between infectious disease specialists and hospitalists, is a prospective trial of antiseptic agents and techniques to reduce false-positive blood cultures. The second pairs geriatricians and clinical pharmacists with hospitalists to prospectively study techniques to reduce medication errors around the time of hospital discharge. Although initial pilot projects are single-institution studies, SHARP's goal is to expand its clinical research to include multicenter investigation. Metrics to evaluate SHARP include the number of successfully completed projects, extramural grants submitted and funded, and peer-reviewed publications.


A successful hospital-based clinical research program combines hospitalists and specialists in a collaborative environment to identify optimal strategies for delivering inpatient care.

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