Internal Medicine Meeting 2016 covers clinical questions

Internists working to implement best practices on complicated topics will find a wealth of advice at Internal Medicine Meeting 2016, to be held May 5-7 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Internists working to implement best practices on complicated topics will find a wealth of advice at Internal Medicine Meeting 2016, to be held May 5-7 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Janet Pregler, MD, FACP, chair of the Internal Medicine Meeting 2016 Scientific Program Committee, promised up-to-date discussions of some of the prime clinical controversies of the day.

“There've been several new developments in the care of major chronic diseases that a lot of internists are struggling with right now in terms of how we are going to apply this information in our practices,” Dr. Pregler said, citing the results of SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) as an example. “Many of us are really asking the question, ‘Does this mean that every 85-year-old should be on an additional blood pressure medication to lower their blood pressure to 120 mm Hg systolic? Which patients should we apply this to?’”

Dr. Pregler also noted the challenges of managing women with osteoporosis, a topic that will also be addressed at the meeting. “So many of us have patients with osteoporosis who've now been on bisphosphonate medications for 3 or 5 or 10 years and they're still at risk,” she said. “Going to a meeting to hear what the experts recommend is really necessary, because we don't have good guidelines but we still need to treat those patients.”

On the practice management side, Dr. Pregler highlighted a series of sessions by ACP physician-experts on the topic of medical informatics, namely EHRs and meaningful use. “Most of us have learned to use EHRs, but the question is what's next?” she said. “Also, with changes in the federal requirements regarding meaningful use, people really want to learn more about that.”

Another hot topic the meeting will cover is the attempt to reduce the use of narcotics for the treatment of noncancer pain in the elderly.

“Internists who've been in practice for a while will recall that 10 to 15 years ago there was a drive to do exactly the opposite,” Dr. Pregler said. “We were taught, particularly in elderly patients, that the use of narcotics might be preferable, so that now that we're having more of a realization of the complications of prescribing narcotics to patients for noncancer pain, not just for them but for society ... how do we approach this?”

The meeting will also offer a free half-day precourse on safe opioid prescribing, said Barbara Licht, director of educational meetings and conferences for ACP. Those who attend the precourse, to be held on Wednesday, May 4, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., will earn a training certificate in this area of patient care. The course is supported by an independent educational grant and will cover best practices for starting, managing, and ending opioid therapy. Preregistration is required.

Ms. Licht also noted that a popular precourse from last year will be expanded this year. “Due to the growing interest in use of ultrasonography in the internist's office, we've expanded the [point-of-care ultrasound] course to 2 days,” she said.

In addition, said Ms. Licht, a half-day precourse on “Aesthetic Attention: Art and Clinical Skills” will be held off-site at the National Gallery of Art on Wednesday, May 4, from 12:45 to 4:45 p.m. The goal of the precourse, which will be led by an art educator and 2 expert clinicians, is to improve clinical perception skills through art-based education.

Once again this year, attendees who complete modules after the meeting and earn a passing score will be able to submit for MOC points, said Ms. Licht. “[Physicians] can preview those modules before they go to the meeting so they can see which areas they might need to brush up on, and then there's a link to the course where that topic will be discussed,” she said. “That could help them plan their time at the meeting.”

The Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center will, as always, offer clinicians multiple opportunities for hands-on learning and will feature a new workshop, “Implementing High Value Care Projects,” that will define high-value care and discuss steps and resources for designing a high-value care improvement project. There are also MOC points available for participation in selected activities in the Waxman Center, Ms. Licht noted.

Finally, meeting attendees interested in public policy may want to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in Leadership Day 2016, which is also being held at the Convention Center on May 3 and 4. Leadership Day provides an opportunity for the College and its members to increase their presence in Washington and bring visibility to issues of common concern. More information on Leadership Day is available online . For more on Internal Medicine Meeting 2016 is available online .