Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease stage that results from a variety of causes of liver damage. Liver damage may induce secondary complications such as portal hypertension, esophageal variceal bleeding, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). HE is a potentially reversible state of impaired cognitive function or altered consciousness in patients with acute or chronic liver disease or portosystemic shunting. The buildup of ammonia in the blood causes brain swelling which leads to the clinical manifestations of HE. The level of neurologic and psychiatric impairment can vary from a subtly altered mental status to a deep coma. HE has been shown to have a substantial burden on patients, their families and caregivers, as well as healthcare utilization. Both the increasing number of patients with cirrhotic liver disease and HE secondary to cirrhosis as well as increasing healthcare costs require that healthcare providers re-evaluate current practice and make any necessary changes to the care of these patients to adapt to these ever-rising trends.
Hospital Medicine Summit (HMS) is an innovative, multi-topic educational initiative designed specifically for hospital-based healthcare providers (hospitalists, internal medicine physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and nurses). With significant changes occurring in the healthcare system, there is an increased demand on hospital-based healthcare providers to provide care that impacts patients not only in the acute setting, but as they transition back into the community and are managed in the chronic-care healthcare system.