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Letter from the Editor
From the April ACP Hospitalist, copyright © 2008 by the American College of Physicians
There’s no denying that integrative therapies have gained a foothold in U.S. medicine. The CDC reports that 36% of Americans use alternative medicine in a given year, and patient demand has led to more widespread availability of such treatments than ever before. Although most integrative therapies are provided on an outpatient basis, they’re becoming more common within hospitals, too: In a 2005 survey by the American Hospital Association, 27% of reporting hospitals said they offered at least one type of alternative medicine to patients, up from 8% in 1998. Still, many hospitalists may not know how to respond when confronted with a patient requesting an alternative treatment, such as acupuncture. In our cover story, Jessica Berthold looks at the reasons behind integrative medicine’s growing popularity, what’s being offered and where, and what hospitalists need to know about these sometimes controversial therapies.
Medical errors have always been a topic of concern in the health care industry, but the quality improvement movement got a boost nine years ago, when the Institute of Healthcare Improvement published its seminal report, “To Err Is Human.” Since then, hospitals have increased their efforts to implement innovative methods for detecting and eliminating medical errors. Stacey Butterfield looks at a program monitoring mistakes that didn’t happen. An effort led by ACP’s New York Chapter allows residents throughout the state to anonymously track “near-misses,” or mistakes they almost made that were caught in time, through a centralized Web site. Project leaders hope the data they collect will help isolate the causes of these near-misses as well as the ways they were detected before any harm was done.
Finally, some of you may have noticed a new addition in your e-mail inbox. February 27 marked the debut of ACP HospitalistWeekly, an electronic newsletter that focuses on news specific to hospital medicine. As a supplement to our print publication, its goal is to provide you with a summary of the week’s most compelling news stories delivered directly to your inbox every Wednesday. If you’re not receiving ACP HospitalistWeekly and would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor, ACP Hospitalist
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ACP Hospitalist Weekly
From the May 15, 2013 edition
- Attendings often discuss patient care on rounds, but not at the bedside
- Task Force recommends screening all adults for alcohol misuse
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