Harlan Krumholz, MD
The language of change is getting to sound familiar, but precisely what all the new terms mean is not exactly clear. Since these words and phrases will be more widespread in the coming year, it's helpful to get some clarity. The first seven are covered in Part 1. Here's Part 2:
8. The Hospitalization Toxic
You've heard the expression, "the treatment was successful, but the patient died," right? Yale-New Haven Hospital's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation director Harlan Krumholz, MD, has noticed the worrisome "Post-Hospital Syndrome" phenomenon, which he described last January in the New England Journal of Medicine.
After patients are appropriately treated for their condition and discharged, they "have heightened risks of myriad conditions, many of which appear to have little in common with the initial diagnosis," he believes.
Krumholz refers to this as "the hospitalization toxic," a combination of new metabolic disorders, pneumonia, gastrointestinal maladies, mental illness, and other problems that often bring the patient back to the hospital within 30 days.
He postulates that sleep deprivation, multiple medications, inactivity, and monotonous hospital surroundings, especially in the intensive care unit, may be contributing factors.