In This Edition
Literature At A Glance
A guide to this month’s studies
- Facecards improve familiarity with physician names, not satisfaction
- Pre-operative beta-blockers may benefit some cardiac patients
- Benefit of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest unclear
- Patients prefer inpatient boarding to ED boarding
- Triple rule outs for chest pain
- Colloids vs. crystalloids for critically ill patients presenting with hypovolemic shock
- Interdisciplinary intervention improves medication compliance, not blood pressure or LDL-C levels
- Edoxaban is noninferior to warfarin in Afib patients
- Beta blockers lower mortality after acute MI in COPD patients
- Low-dose dopamine or low-dose nesiritide in acute heart failure with renal dysfunction
Facecards Improve Familiarity with Physician Names but Not Satisfaction
Clinical question: Do facecards improve patients’ familiarity with physicians and increase satisfaction, trust, and agreement with physicians?
Background: Facecards can improve patients’ knowledge of names and roles of physicians, but their impact on other outcomes is unclear. This pilot trial was designed to assess facecards’ impact on patient satisfaction, trust, or agreement with physicians.
Study design: Cluster, randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Setting: A large teaching hospital in the United States.
Synopsis: Patients (n=138) were randomized to receive either facecards with the name and picture of their hospitalists, as well as a brief description of the hospitalist’s role (n=66), or to receive traditional communication (n=72). There were no significant differences in patient age, sex, or race.
Patients who received a facecard were more likely to correctly identify their hospital physician (89.1% vs. 51.1%; P< 0.01) and were more likely to correctly identify the role of their hospital physician than those in the control group (67.4% vs. 16.3%; P<0.01).
Patients who received a facecard rated satisfaction, trust, and agreement slightly higher compared with those who had not received a card, but the results were not statistically significant (P values 0.27, 0.32, 0.37, respectively.) The authors note that larger studies may be needed to see a difference in these areas.
Bottom line: Facecards improve patients’ knowledge of the names and roles of hospital physicians but have no clear impact on satisfaction with, trust of, or agreement with physicians.
Citation: Simons Y, Caprio T, Furiasse N, Kriss, M, Williams MV, O’Leary KJ. The impact of facecards on patients’ knowledge, satisfaction, trust, and agreement with hospitalist physicians: a pilot study. J Hosp Med. 2014;9(3):137-141.
Pre-Operative Beta Blockers May Benefit Some Cardiac Patients
Clinical question: In patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD) undergoing non-cardiac surgery, do pre-operative beta blockers reduce post-operative major cardiovascular events (MACE) or mortality at 30 days?
Background: Peri-operative beta blocker use has become more restricted, as evidence about which patients derive benefit has become clearer. Opinions and practice vary regarding whether all patients with IHD, or only certain populations within this group, benefit from peri-operative beta blockers.
Study design: Retrospective, national registry-based cohort study.
Setting: Denmark, 2004-2009.
Synopsis: No benefit was found for the overall cohort of 28,263 patients. Patients with IHD and heart failure (n=7990) had lower risk of MACE (HR=0.75, 95% CI, 0.70-0.87) and mortality (HR=0.80, 95% CI, 0.70-0.92). Patients with IHD and myocardial infarction within two years (n=1664) had lower risk of MACE (HR=0.54, 95% CI, 0.37-0.78) but not mortality.
Beta blocker dose and compliance were unknown. Whether patients had symptoms or inducible ischemia was not clear.
This study supports the concept that higher-risk patients benefit more from peri-operative beta blockers, but it is not high-grade evidence.
Bottom line: Not all patients with IHD benefit from pre-operative beta blockers; those with concomitant heart failure or recent MI have a lower risk of MACE and/or mortality at 30 days with beta blockers.