Hospital Medicine 2018

Explore our coverage of Hospital Medicine 2018, including burnout, pressure ulcers, pain management, COPD, and technological advances.

As summer begins, you may be planning some time off work. If not, you should be, especially if you're feeling burned out. The importance of time away from the hospital to recover from the stresses of practice is one of many burnout prevention tips I gathered for this month's main story. Burnout, and what individual physicians, hospitalist groups, and larger entities can do to fight it, was a focus of multiple sessions at Hospital Medicine 2018, the annual meeting of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

This issue includes several articles from the conference, which staff writer Mollie Durkin and I attended in Orlando, Fla., in April. In one, an expert explains how to stage, treat, and document pressure ulcers, or as they're now supposed to be known, pressure injuries. Also learn about pain management for some challenging categories of inpatients: those with opioid use disorder, those on chronic opioid therapy, and finally, those on opioid-agonist therapy for opioid use disorder. See this month's Test Yourself section, which is related to both topics. Another conference story will catch you up on the latest COPD guidelines.

In addition to clinical conference coverage, this issue brings you a vision of the future. Another story covers predictions from Robert M. Wachter, MD, FACP, and Michael Pfeffer, MD, FACP, on how health care technology will change hospitalist practice in the near future. (There's good news for people who like talking to their computers!) This month's Success Story also comes from Hospital Medicine 2018 and describes how one chief resident changed practice to keep patients from going unnecessarily thirsty and hungry before procedures.

This month's Q&A visits the recent past, looking at how the expansion of Medicaid coverage by some states may have prevented hospital closures, particularly in rural areas. This research raises concerns about the potential impact of current efforts to roll back the expansion in health care access provided by the Affordable Care Act. Have thoughts on this issue? Email us.

Stacey Butterfield