We've got something new for you this month. The physician-written Morning Report analyzes a fictional hospitalization to highlight common errors and best practices in treatment, discharge, and even documentation. This month's edition focuses on decompensated heart failure, and next up (sometime in the next few months, since Morning Report will be an occasional feature) is pneumonia.
This month's cover story is all about the heart, too. Janet Colwell looks at the challenge of deciding whether a patient reporting chest pain needs to be admitted or can safely be sent home. Researchers are doing their best to help hospitalists and ED doctors make these decisions more evidence-based, developing tests and algorithms and quantifying risks and benefits.
Research discoveries are also driving change in oxygen use, as our story reports. High-flow nasal cannulas showed improvements in patient outcomes in a couple of recent studies, not to mention that they're much more comfortable than masks. Of course, hospitalization isn't generally a comfortable experience, but it can be decidedly worse if you're transgender. Our story describes how some hospitals are taking the lead in accommodating transgender patients and offers resources for hospitalists who want to increase their understanding and skills in this area.
Also, increase your understanding of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Only 2 U.S. patients have come down with the disease so far, but given the recent outbreak in South Korea, hospitalists may want to learn the signs, symptoms, and CDC-recommended responses. Finally, we know you can never get enough of ICD-10 (now that it's really here!), so check out Coding Corner for advice on improving your documentation under the new system.
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Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist