Letter from the Editor

Does your hospital have free wireless Internet in waiting areas, or offer patients aromatherapy and massages?.

Does your hospital have free wireless Internet in waiting areas, or offer patients aromatherapy and massages? If so, you are in sync with a growing trend toward more patient-centered care that takes its cue from the service industry. The Cleveland Clinic took another step down this road last year when it hired former hospitalist M. Bridget Duffy, MD, as its first “chief experience officer,” overseeing all aspects of the patient experience, from first contact through discharge. And although the Cleveland Clinic may be the first in the country to hire a physician for this type of position, it's certainly not alone in taking steps to improve the patient experience in order to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction. In our cover story, staff writer Stacey Butterfield talks to Dr. Duffy and other experts about the trend and how embracing patient-centered care may distinguish a hospital in a competitive marketplace.

In this issue, we delve into travel medicine. With foreign travel, especially to developing countries, increasing, there's a good chance that hospitalists may encounter a patient or two with travel-acquired illness. Senior writer Jessica Berthold reviews what hospitalists need to know about treating the returning traveler, from diagnosing malaria to distinguishing dengue fever from meningitis.

This issue also marks the debut of two new departments. The first is a new bimonthly column on coding, written by Brian Whitman, senior analyst for regulatory and insurer affairs in ACP's Washington, D.C. office. This month, he addresses billing for visit duration and negotiating Medicare's modified rules on verbal orders. The second is Expert Analysis, where we ask an expert to weigh in on best practices for a particular clinical issue. This month, Harold P. Adams Jr., FACP, professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, discusses the diagnosis and treatment of a young woman with stroke and a patent foramen ovale.

If you have coding questions you'd like to see answered in upcoming columns, or topics for expert analysis, let us know at acphospitalist[EACHAT]acponline.org. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Jennifer Kearney-Strouse
Editor, ACP Hospitalist