Online ratings, sleep, and more

Meet us on Twitter to discuss online ratings of hospitals and hospitalists.

Lately, we're asked to publicly rate everything, from restaurant meals to customer service to driving directions. But does that mean that patients should put a star rating on their hospitalists? Our main story this month looks at this question and how various hospitals are moving beyond HCAHPS to collect patients' impressions of individual hospitalists and hopefully drive improvements in experience and care. Join us for a Twitter chat on the subject on Wednesday, July 31, at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Looking for a simple way to improve patients' experience? Maybe let them sleep! A feature article in this issue and some accompanying conference coverage focus on the obstacles to getting enough sleep while hospitalized. They also offer some potential solutions for hospital medicine programs and for individual hospitalists.

We've brought you news from a lot of conferences in recent months. Our latest coverage is from the American Academy of Neurology. The subspecialists met here in Philadelphia in May, so I collected their advice on prognostication for patients unconscious after cardiac arrest and rapid advances in stroke care.

This month's Q&A brings an interesting report of a simpler potential improvement in care. A recent study suggested that perhaps patients, not just clinicians, should be practicing hand hygiene in the hospital. Researchers found that inpatients' hands were colonized with all sorts of bacteria, including some drug-resistant strains. Additional study is needed to find an optimal solution, but the study's lead author said she always encourages her own patients to wash their hands.

If you decide to work on improving sleep or hand hygiene in your hospital, let us know how it goes! We're always interested in your thoughts at

Stacey Butterfield