Letter from the Editor

This issue features stories on resuscitation, rapid response teams, and leading a hospitalist program, among others.

At no time does the responsibility of being a hospitalist become clearer than during a resuscitation effort. Yet for all the importance of effective treatment during cardiac arrest, there's been little research on some of the specifics. Our cover story looks at length of time of resuscitation in the wake of a Lancet study suggesting many hospitals should add several minutes to their efforts. Yet time may be merely an indicator of the overall quality of resuscitation care—for example, clinicians who spend more time on resuscitation efforts may be more diligent in following protocols. Our sidebar examines some of the other aspects of quality resuscitation, such as start time and proper delivery of chest compressions, that can literally make the difference between life and death.

In a similar vein, our Success Story looks at an innovative attempt at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to more quickly spot patients who are becoming acutely ill, so that cardiac arrest or death can be prevented in the first place. Read about this unique take on the rapid response team.

A hospitalist's first priority is—understandably—the health and healing of his or her patient. Yet, in the process of treating patients' medical illness, clinicians can unintentionally harm their dignity without realizing it. We discuss some of the actions and attitudes that can lead to a decline in patients' dignity, and impart simple yet effective ways to convey respect when dealing with patients.

In career coverage, we examine what it takes to lead a hospitalist program in terms of temperament, skills and experience. We also discuss the questions you should ask yourself and others before agreeing to accept a leadership position. And you will also find part two of our three-part coding column series on how to document inpatient “medical necessity.”

Got a suggestion or comment about a story? Write to us any time.

Jessica Berthold Editor
ACP Hospitalist