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HM15's Top 10 Must-See Sessions


Interested in academia and research? Maybe rapid-fire breakout sessions with hands-on interactivity are your thing? Oh, you’re a new hospitalist in your first job and you want guidance on how to navigate the field? HM15 has a track for that.

In fact, the issue for those attending HM15 (March 29-April 1 in National Harbor, Md.) won’t be choosing which sessions to soak in. It will be struggling to choose which ones to miss.

Assistant course director Melissa Mattison, MD, SFHM, puts it this way: “The opportunity to learn about faculty development, the opportunity to learn about administrative concerns in running a hospital medicine program, the opportunity to address quality improvement…the opportunity to meet other folks who are doing very similar work and learn from them—all of those things exist.”

So how does one choose the best sessions? Allow us to help. Here’s a list of recommendations from Team Hospitalist, the only reader involvement group of its kind in hospital medicine.

1 “Hospital Management of Patients Presenting with ALTE: An Evidence-Based Approach”

Monday, March 30; 10:35-11:35 a.m.

Dr. Pressel: This is an extremely common problem for pediatric hospitalists—what to do with an infant presenting with a spell. Management can range from just observation to enormous and expensive workups. An authoritative and data-driven paradigm is needed to guide an approach to these children.

2 “Striving for Optimal Care: Updates in Quality, Value, and Patient Satisfaction”

Monday, March 30; 10:35-11:50 a.m.

Dr. Allen-Dicker: Michelle Mourad and Chris Moriates are two dynamic speakers who have been talking about quality (Michelle) and value (Chris) since before they were trendy topics. No hospitalist should be without a proper and up-to-date framework for thinking about these issues; they will make you a better clinician, improve your standing within your hospital medicine group, and enhance your relationships with patients.

3 “Case Studies in Improving Patient Experience”

Monday, March 30; 10:35-11:35 a.m.

Dr. Kanikkannan: Patient experience is such an important focus for many hospitals today. Hospitalists are frontline providers who are asked to work with their hospitals in improving the patient experience. Many hospitals are employing innovative approaches to achieve just this, and this session promises to engage the audience with case studies of improving patient experience. I’m looking forward to learning from these success stories during this session.

4 “Taking the Confusion out of Confusion: Assessment and Management of Delirium

Monday, March 30; 11:20 a.m.-noon

Dr. Suehler: This is a clinically relevant topic. Hospitalists encounter patients with confusion and delirium, many of them elderly, almost daily. This will be a helpful review to manage these conditions, which are often very disturbing to staff and families, accurately and confidently.

Dr. Zeitoun: Delirium is frequently underdiagnosed and often leads to functional decline, institutionalization, and, ultimately, death. It complicates acute medical care. Hospitalists, in particular, must recognize and regularly assess for both hypoactive and hyperactive delirium early in hospitalized patients.

5 “Broken Heart Going to Surgery? Update in ACC Pre-Op Guidelines”

Tuesday, March 31; 11:45 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

Dr. Kanikkannan: Hospitalists are frequently asked to perform pre-op evaluations in the hospital setting. I’m looking forward to this session because it is a clinically relevant topic that impacts my everyday function as a hospitalist. There is controversy about peri-operative management. Keeping up to date on ACC guidelines is critical to providing evidence-based recommendations to our surgical colleagues when we get back to our institutions.

Dr. Zeitoun: Hospitalists often are asked to provide medical optimization, recommendation, and risk assessment for hospitalized patients requiring surgery during their stay. [We] need to be aware of the 2014 guidelines, as there are major changes to the pre-op protocol, specifically a change from three to two surgical risk categories and an emphasis on functional status, indications for echocardiography/noninvasive stress testing/coronary angiography, and use of beta-blockers. Hospitalists should bring back this information and share with their colleagues to ensure standardization of practice.

6 “Insulin Pumps: Who Should Manage Them Inpatient…You or the Patient”

Tuesday, March 31; 2:50-3:30 p.m.

Dr. Suehler: Insulin pumps have found a much more widespread use in recent years, and many of our patients who present with an unrelated problem will have an insulin pump. Hospitals generally have protocols so patients can use their insulin pumps as inpatients, which is preferred for most patients. Hospitalists need to have, however, a basic knowledge of insulin pumps and their functionality to adequately manage these patients.

7 “It’s Getting Hot in Here–the Management of Febrile Infants”

Tuesday, March 31; 2:50 - 4:05 p.m.

Dr. Pressel: Many protocols for managing febrile infants date from last century and are outdated. Changes in microbacterial epidemiology and patient vaccination status, as well as technological changes in testing, demand a different approach to the traditional academic teaching. Hopefully, this session will be it.

8 “The Scoop on (Gettin’ Them to) Poop: Update in Constipation Management”

Tuesday, March 31; 5:05-5:45 p.m.

Dr. Allen-Dicker: This session is more than just a funny title. [Presenter] Brijen Shah is an accomplished gastroenterologist and medical educator who has recognized the importance of appropriate constipation prevention and management for inpatients. Come to this session to find out how there is more to constipation treatment than just senna and colace.

9 “My Smartphone Went to Medical School—Medical Mobile Resources to Augment Inpatient Practice”

Wednesday, April 1; 7:40-8:35 a.m.

Dr. Kanikkannan: In the era of smartphones and an abundance of apps to download, it would be great to know which of the available resources will add value to my inpatient practice. I frequently use my phone to cross-reference medical topics and drugs. I hope to learn the utility and usefulness of popular apps that are available to the medical professional in this session.

10 “More than Blowing Hot Air: CPAP, BIPAP and Cases to Illustrate Their Use”

Wednesday, April 1; 8:00-9:05 a.m.

Dr. Suehler: As hospitalists, we routinely encounter patients requiring CPAP and BiPAP. We all know the basic principles, but for many of us it is a bit of a “black box.” A great review for hospitalists who want their level of involvement with CPAP and BiPAP to go beyond the order “RT to manage.”

Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.

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