Drug Overdoses among Women Increased between 1999 and 2010

This CDC report found there were >15,000 fatal drug overdoses among women in 2010 alone; opiate-related fatal overdoses increased 5 fold over that time period. The editors recommend screening patients for substance abuse or mental health problems before opiate prescribing. Background: Overdose deaths have increased steadily over the past decade. This report describes drug-related deaths and emergency department (ED) visits among women.  Read the full abstract.

Gradual vs Abrupt Smoking Cessation

This meta-analysis found no significant difference in quit rates between those that abruptly quit, versus those that did a gradual taper and quit. Smoking cessation advice should be tailored to the patient, given there is no evidence of benefit of one approach over another (abstract).

Not all patients need overnight vital signs

This large observational study found that despite variability in risk for clinical deterioration (as defined by a MEWS score) patients often had overnight vital signs checked, with little risk of adverse events. There are likely a large sample of hospitalized patients that do not need overnight vitals checked, which could reduce sleep interruption and increase patient satisfaction (abstract).

Publicly reported mortality correlates with overall mortality

This large cohort of hospitals found that those with lower publicly reported mortality (of CHF, AMI, pneumonia) were much more likely to have lower mortality of other medical - surgical conditions. This implies that those publicly reported mortality measures are a good proxy for other conditions in mortality (abstract).