Pain management perpetually captures hospitalists' interest because it is so complicated and affects so many patients. This month, our cover story focuses on two main aspects of this issue: dosage and delivery of pain medications. Charlotte Huff gives you the rundown of when to prescribe medication, how much to prescribe, when to take patients off meds, how to spot a drug seeker, and how to handle patients who don't respond well to certain kinds of meds. Meanwhile, our coding column explains how to document for pain.
In one of our other features, we hone in on a condition that brings great pain to its sufferers: sickle cell disease. Patients with sickle cell can find themselves in the hospital again and again, a problem a team at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is looking to correct. Stacey Butterfield explains how the iHOMES project addresses shortcomings in sickle cell care, both at the inpatient and outpatient level, and aims to cut down on readmissions while bringing patients some relief. Our Test Yourself feature also covers sickle cell disease.
EHRs can also bring a lot of pain—to the hospitalist. Janet Colwell explores the elements that can make using an EHR problematic, then outlines what hospitalists can do to cut down on frustrations and make EHRs work for them instead of against them.
What kinds of aches and pains are you seeing—or experiencing—these days? Write to us.
Editor, ACP Hospitalist