A bi-weekly news round-up to update hospitalists and other acute-focused physicians around happenings relevant to their practice.

Direct to Consumer Lab Tests

Home testing services say they are empowering consumers, allowing them to spot metabolic red flags before they progress to disease. But critics say the services often lack proper medical oversight and convince healthy people that they’re sick, leading to unnecessary testing and treatment.

The Unintended Consequences of a Hospital's Attempt to Improve

As hospitals try to maintain effective and efficient operations, physician call systems can help maintain quality medical care and financial stability. A decade-long study from a large teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada, shows that a change in staff scheduling resulted in 26 percent higher readmissions, an unintended and negative result.

California Enacts End of Life Legislation

The state has started to allow terminally ill patients to take medicines to kill themselves, forcing physicians to contemplate whether they would ever write a prescription for death.

And lastly, for some satire.

Interventional Radiology Performs CT-Guided Chart Biopsy

It all started last week when a medicine team led by Dr. Roberta Roberts-Robertson received an outside hospital transfer, which she best describes as a “fireball of a train wreck.” Despite numerous hours put in by Roberts-Robertson and her team of residents and medical students, they couldn’t perform a satisfactory chart biopsy due to the thickness of the chart.