Update in Hospital Medicine: Evidence You Should Know

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The practice of hospital medicine is complex, and the number of clinical publications each year continues to grow. To maintain best practice it is necessary for hospitalists to stay abreast of the literature, but difficult to accomplish due to time. The annual Society of Hospital Medicine meeting offers a plenary session on Updates in Hospital Medicine. This article is a summary of those papers presented at the meeting.

METHODS:

We reviewed articles published between January 2014 and January 2015 in the leading medical journals, searching for papers with good methodological quality, the potential to change practice, and papers that are thought provoking. The authors collectively agreed on 14 articles. The findings, cautions, and implications are discussed for each paper.

RESULTS:

Key findings include: a novel neprilysin inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker combination drug reduces mortality in patients with heart failure; the concern for acute kidney injury after venous contrast may be overstated; the Confusion Assessment Method Severity score is an important tool for prognostication in delirious patients; ramelteon shows promise for lowering incident delirium among elderly medical patients; polyethylene glycol appears effective in rapidly resolving hepatic encephalopathy; cirrhotic patients on a nonselective β-blocker have increased mortality after they develop spontaneous bacterial peritonitis; current guidelines regarding prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism (VTE) in medical inpatients likely result in nonbeneficial use of medications; from a safety and efficacy perspective, direct oral anticoagulants perform quite well against conventional therapies in patients with VTE and atrial fibrillation, including in elderly populations; 2 new once-weekly antibiotics, dalbavancin and oritivancin, approved for skin and soft tissue infections, appear noninferior to vancomycin; offering family members of a patient undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation the opportunity to observe has durable impact on long-term psychological outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

This update reviews key clinical articles published in 2014, selected by the authors for their methodological quality and potential for changing the practice of inpatient physicians. All of these articles add to the body of inpatient medical knowledge and contribute to the debate on best practices. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015;10:817–826. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine

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