Inflammatory bowel disease and other tricky conditions

This issue features expert tips on IBD, hyponatremia, and smoking cessation, as well as an article on patient elopement.

This month's issue is focused on optimizing care for conditions and issues you might see often, but not so frequently that you've learned every possible pitfall. We start with a main story on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Patients with IBD get admitted with painful flares, and it can be hard to know which medications to prescribe and when to consult surgical or gastroenterology specialists. Get the experts' advice on these issues and then assess your own knowledge with a related Test Yourself.

Whom do you consult when you're worried that a patient might disappear? Another story in this issue describes how to combat patient elopement, thereby reducing risks to patients and the hospital. Shifting back to the clinical side, we look at hyponatremia and how to correct acute and chronic imbalances while avoiding the risks of overtreatment, including osmotic demyelination syndrome.

Compared to these challenges, smoking cessation might seem like a cinch. Yet so many patients go right back to their habit after discharge, even when they've been admitted for smoking-related illnesses, such as myocardial infarction or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Learn how to increase the odds that your patients will quit by tailoring therapies such as nicotine replacement or counseling to their lifestyles and preferences.

Reducing overuse of proton-pump inhibitors is another one of those things that everyone supports but may not be sure how to accomplish. This month's Success Story describes how one hospital did it, with its cleverly named “Skip the Drips” campaign. Speaking of clever, our editorial advisor and humor columnist shows off his large vocabulary in the latest edition of Newman's Notions.

Share your own words—large or small—by emailing us anytime.

Stacey Butterfield