Checklists, deferred care, and more

This month's issue looks at how checklists are best applied and where admissions for causes other than COVID-19 might have gone, as well as discharge lounges and continuous glucose monitoring.

We've all heard about the wonders of checklists. They prevent plane crashes and surgical errors. But whether they improve hospitalist care is a little more uncertain, as this month's cover story explains. The overall evidence on checklists in inpatient medicine is mixed, but some recent studies have shown their potential value in certain situations, including as hospitals dealt with their first surges of patients with COVID-19.

Also on the subject of the pandemic, a feature article delves into the reductions in admissions for causes other than COVID-19 that hospitals have seen over the past year. Experts offer a number of possible explanations for this change, predict some potential long-term consequences, and offer advice to clinicians on combating or mitigating the trend.

On the other end of hospitalization, another article in this issue looks at discharge lounges. They've been around in some hospitals for a long time, but making them cost-effective and satisfying for staff and patients requires some study and effort, according to those who've done it. A related Test Yourself offers questions on discharge planning from MKSAP 18.

This issue's clinical coverage includes an article on inpatient continuous glucose monitoring, a technological innovation that the pandemic has spurred some hospitals to move rapidly from research to practice, and conference coverage from the American College of Gastroenterology offering expert advice on treating acute colonic pseudo-obstruction.

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Stacey Butterfield