Letter from the Editor

This issue's main topics include disaster response, osteoporosis, and nutritional insufficiency.


The 2011 tornado season is now behind us, but for hospitalists in Joplin, Mo., the memory and evidence of extreme weather will remain for some time. Our cover story looks at how hospitalists and other employees at St. John's Regional Medical Center responded to the May 22 tornado—the deadliest in U.S. history—and what its parent, Mercy Health System, has done to help with recovery efforts. You'll also learn tips from those on the front line about preparing for disaster events at your own facility.

In a similar vein, our feature story explores how physicians and patients were affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan in the short and long term. With the immediate crisis behind them, physicians are now dealing with longer-range issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, in a culture where seeking outside help for mental illness is not as prevalent as in the U.S. The article also provides insight into how culture can affect the course of disaster recovery, and thus the practice of medicine within that cultural context.

On the clinical side, Stacey Butterfield examines what hospitalists can do to ensure patients are getting appropriate treatment for osteoporosis and avoiding future fractures. Our Special Focus, written by two experts at The Cleveland Clinic, tells hospitalists everything they need to know about treating inpatients with anorexia and/or bulimia. Meanwhile, this month's Coding Corner discusses the correct classification of kidney disease.

In the realm of patient experience, our Success Story illustrates how duct tape not only reduced a lot of frustration for physicians and nurses at one hospital, but increased the satisfaction of patients on contact precautions. And our Q&A discusses taking a different spin on an old standard—by asking patients to take part in a dissatisfaction survey.

Got a comment to share about these stories? Write to us.

Sincerely,
Jessica Berthold
Editor, ACP Hospitalist