C. diff and Hospital Medicine 2017

Conference coverage of cirrhosis, geriatrics, high-value care, diagnostic error, and radiology.

The symptoms of C. difficile may be depressingly unchanging for patients, but there are some happy and novel findings on the research front of this disease, as this month's cover story reports. C. diff researchers offer their insights about a newly approved drug, recent data on the relative benefits of older drugs, the latest in fecal transplant technologies, and the old, but effective, strategy of antimicrobial stewardship. An accompanying sidebar describes how a team of clinician researchers tracked a source of the disease in their own hospital.

That sidebar, and much of the rest of the content of this issue, was gathered at Hospital Medicine 2017, held in Las Vegas in May. Staff writer Mollie Durkin and I attended the conference and brought back expert advice to improve your practice. On the clinical front, we have articles about diagnosing and treating cirrhosis and providing elderly patients with evidence-based interventions. Our conference coverage also tells you how to explain high-value care to patients and avoid diagnostic errors. The final feature article from the conference is a web exclusive—advice from a radiologist on ordering appropriate imaging.

This month's Success Story also comes from the conference. Hospital medicine's “PICC guy” describes how his Michigan collaborative has brought the use of vascular access devices in the state more in line with recommended practices. This month's Q&A looks at an updated way to make sure your practice (and especially your teaching) is in line with recommendations on many fronts, the latest core competencies in hospital medicine.

If you have colleagues who have gone beyond competency to excellence, now's the time to tell us about them. We're currently collecting nominations for our tenth annual Top Hospitalists issue. The deadline is July 28.

Stacey Butterfield
Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist