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Association between emergency physician self-reported empathy and patient satisfaction

Hao Wang, MD - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 05:00

PLoS One. 2018 Sep 13;13(9):e0204113. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204113. eCollection 2018.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Higher physician self-reported empathy has been associated with higher overall patient satisfaction. However, more evidence-based research is needed to determine such association in an emergent care setting.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between physician self-reported empathy and after-care instant patient-to-provider satisfaction among Emergency Department (ED) healthcare providers with varying years of medical practice experience.

RESEARCH DESIGN: A prospective observational study conducted in a tertiary care hospital ED.

METHODS: Forty-one providers interacted with 1,308 patients across 1,572 encounters from July 1 through October 31, 2016. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) was used to assess provider empathy. An after-care instant patient satisfaction survey, with questionnaires regarding patient-to-provider satisfaction specifically, was conducted prior to the patient moving out of the ED. The relation between physician empathy and patient satisfaction was estimated using risk ratios (RR) and their corresponding 95% confidence limits (CL) from log-binomial regression models.

RESULTS: Emergency Medicine (EM) residents had the lowest JSE scores (median 111; interquartile range [IQR]: 107-122) and senior physicians had the highest scores (median 119.5; IQR: 111-129). Similarly, EM residents had the lowest percentage of "very satisfied" responses (65%) and senior physicians had the highest reported percentage of "very satisfied" responses (69%). There was a modest positive association between JSE and satisfaction (RR = 1.04; 95% CL: 1.00, 1.07).

CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence of a positive association between ED provider self-reported empathy and after-care instant patient-to-provider satisfaction. Overall higher empathy scores were associated with higher patient satisfaction, though minor heterogeneity occurred between different provider characteristics.

PMID:30212564 | PMC:PMC6136813 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0204113

Standardized Reporting System Use During Handoffs Reduces Patient Length of Stay in the Emergency Department

Richard Robinson, MD - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 05:00

J Clin Med Res. 2018 May;10(5):445-451. doi: 10.14740/jocmr3375w. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) shift handoffs are potential sources of delay in care. We aimed to determine the impact that using standardized reporting tool and process may have on throughput metrics for patients undergoing a transition of care at shift change.

METHODS: We performed a prospective, pre- and post-intervention quality improvement study from September 1 to November 30, 2015. A handoff procedure intervention, including a mandatory workshop and personnel training on a standard reporting system template, was implemented. The primary endpoint was patient length of stay (LOS). A comparative analysis of differences between patient LOS and various handoff communication methods were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Communication methods were entered a multivariable logistic regression model independently as risk factors for patient LOS.

RESULTS: The final analysis included 1,006 patients, with 327 comprising the pre-intervention and 679 comprising the post-intervention populations. Bedside rounding occurred 45% of the time without a standard reporting during pre-intervention and increased to 85% of the time with the use of a standard reporting system in the post-intervention period (P < 0.001). Provider time (provider-initiated care to patient care completed) in the pre-intervention period averaged 297 min, but decreased to 265 min in the post-intervention period (P < 0.001). After adjusting for other communication methods, the use of a standard reporting system during handoff was associated with shortened ED LOS (OR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.40 - 0.90, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Standard reporting system use during emergency physician handoffs at shift change improves ED throughput efficiency and is associated with shorter ED LOS.

PMID:29581808 | PMC:PMC5862093 | DOI:10.14740/jocmr3375w

Standardized Reporting System Use During Handoffs Reduces Patient Length of Stay in the Emergency Department

Hao Wang, MD - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 05:00

J Clin Med Res. 2018 May;10(5):445-451. doi: 10.14740/jocmr3375w. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) shift handoffs are potential sources of delay in care. We aimed to determine the impact that using standardized reporting tool and process may have on throughput metrics for patients undergoing a transition of care at shift change.

METHODS: We performed a prospective, pre- and post-intervention quality improvement study from September 1 to November 30, 2015. A handoff procedure intervention, including a mandatory workshop and personnel training on a standard reporting system template, was implemented. The primary endpoint was patient length of stay (LOS). A comparative analysis of differences between patient LOS and various handoff communication methods were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Communication methods were entered a multivariable logistic regression model independently as risk factors for patient LOS.

RESULTS: The final analysis included 1,006 patients, with 327 comprising the pre-intervention and 679 comprising the post-intervention populations. Bedside rounding occurred 45% of the time without a standard reporting during pre-intervention and increased to 85% of the time with the use of a standard reporting system in the post-intervention period (P < 0.001). Provider time (provider-initiated care to patient care completed) in the pre-intervention period averaged 297 min, but decreased to 265 min in the post-intervention period (P < 0.001). After adjusting for other communication methods, the use of a standard reporting system during handoff was associated with shortened ED LOS (OR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.40 - 0.90, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Standard reporting system use during emergency physician handoffs at shift change improves ED throughput efficiency and is associated with shorter ED LOS.

PMID:29581808 | PMC:PMC5862093 | DOI:10.14740/jocmr3375w

Reliability of the classification of proximal femur fractures: Does clinical experience matter?

Hugo Sanchez, MD - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 05:00

Injury. 2018 Apr;49(4):819-823. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2018.02.023. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Radiographic fracture classification helps with research on prognosis and treatment. AO/OTA classification into fracture type has shown to be reliable, but further classification of fractures into subgroups reduces the interobserver agreement and takes a considerable amount of practice and experience in order to master.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We assessed: (1) differences between more and less experienced trauma surgeons based on hip fractures treated per year, years of experience, and the percentage of their time dedicated to trauma, (2) differences in the interobserver agreement between classification into fracture type, group, and subgroup, and (3) differences in the interobserver agreement when assessing fracture stability compared to classifying fractures into type, group and subgroup.

METHODS: This study used the Science of Variation Group to measure factors associated with variation in interobserver agreement on classification of proximal femur fractures according to the AO/OTA classification on radiographs. We selected 30 anteroposterior radiographs from 1061 patients aged 55 years or older with an isolated fracture of the proximal femur, with a spectrum of fracture types proportional to the full database. To measure the interobserver agreement the Fleiss' kappa was determined and bootstrapping (resamples = 1000) was used to calculate the standard error, z statistic, and 95% confidence intervals. We compared the Kappa values of surgeons with more experience to less experienced surgeons.

RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in the Kappa values on each classification level (type, group, subgroup) between more and less experienced surgeons. When all surgeons were combined into one group, the interobserver reliability was the greatest for classifying the fractures into type (kappa, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.97; p < 0.001), reflecting almost perfect agreement. When comparing the kappa values between classes (type, group, subgroup), we found statistically significant differences between each class. Substantial agreement was found in the clinically relevant groups stable/unstable trochanteric, displaced/non-displaced femoral neck, and femoral head fractures (kappa, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.67, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to a growing body of evidence that relatively simple distinctions are more reliable and that this is independent of surgeon experience.

PMID:29549969 | DOI:10.1016/j.injury.2018.02.023

Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment and Prevention of Sports-Related Concussion - Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Evidence Still Lacking?

Michele Kirk, MD - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 05:00

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2018 Mar;17(3):103-104. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000465.

NO ABSTRACT

PMID:29521707 | DOI:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000465

Stability of Locking Plate and Compression Screws for Lapidus Arthrodesis: A Biomechanical Comparison of Plate Position

Travis Motley, DPM - Sat, 02/24/2018 - 05:00

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2018 May-Jun;57(3):466-470. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.10.025. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

ABSTRACT

Lapidus (first tarsometatarsal joint) arthrodesis is an established and widely used procedure for the management of moderate to severe hallux valgus, especially in cases involving hypermobility of the first tarsometatarsal joint. Multiple fixation methods are available, and several previous investigations have studied the relative strengths of these methods, including dorsomedial and plantar plating comparisons. However, these studies compared plates of varying designs and mechanical properties and used varying modes of compression and interfragmentary screw techniques. The present study mechanically investigated the resulting motion, stiffness, and strength of identical locking plate constructs fixed at various anatomic positions around the first tarsometatarsal joint. In a bench-top study, fourth-generation composite bones were divided into 3 fixation groups, each having identical interfragmentary screw applications, and randomized to 1 of 3 plate positions: dorsal, medial, or plantar. The plates applied in each case were identical locking plates, precontoured to fit the anatomy. Each construct was experimentally tested using a cantilever bending approach. The outcomes obtained were stiffness, yield force, displacement at yield, ultimate force, and displacement at ultimate force. The plantar plate position showed superior initial stiffness and force to ultimate failure. The plantar and medial plate positions exhibited superior force to yield. The medial plate position was superior regarding displacement tolerated before the yield point and catastrophic failure. The dorsal plate position was not superior for any outcome measured. Plantar and medial plating each offered biomechanical benefits. Clinical studies using similarly matched constructs are required to show whether these findings translate into improved clinical outcomes.

PMID:29472168 | DOI:10.1053/j.jfas.2017.10.025

The Full Scope of Family Physicians' Work Is Not Reflected by Current Procedural Terminology Codes

Richard Young, MD - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 05:00

J Am Board Fam Med. 2017 Nov-Dec;30(6):724-732. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2017.06.170155.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to characterize the content of family physician (FP) clinic encounters, and to count the number of visits in which the FPs addressed issues not explicitly reportable by 99211 to 99215 and 99354 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes with current reimbursement methods and based on examples provided in the CPT manual.

METHODS: The data collection instrument was modeled on the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Trained assistants directly observed every other FP-patient encounter and recorded every patient concern, issue addressed by the physician (including care barriers related to health care systems and social determinants), and treatment ordered in clinics affiliated with 10 residencies of the Residency Research Network of Texas. A visit was deemed to include physician work that was not explicitly reportable if the number or nature of issues addressed exceeded the definitions or examples for 99205/99215 or 99214 + 99354 or a preventive service code, included the physician addressing health care system or social determinant issues, or included the care of a family member.

RESULTS: In 982 physician-patient encounters, patients raised 517 different reasons for visit (total, 5278; mean, 5.4 per visit; range, 1 to 16) and the FPs addressed 509 different issues (total issues, 3587; mean, 3.7 per visit; range, 1 to 10). FPs managed 425 different medications, 18 supplements, and 11 devices. A mean of 3.9 chronic medications were continued per visit (range, 0 to 21) and 4.6 total medications were managed (range, 0 to 22). In 592 (60.3%) of the visits the FPs did work that was not explicitly reportable with available CPT codes: 582 (59.3%) addressed more numerous issues than explicitly reportable, 64 (6.5%) addressed system barriers, and 13 (1.3%) addressed concerns for other family members.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: FPs perform cognitive work in a majority of their patient encounters that are not explicitly reportable, either by being higher than the CPT example number of diagnoses per code or the type of problems addressed, which has implications for the care of complex multi-morbid patients and the growth of the primary care workforce. To address these limitations, either the CPT codes and their associated rules should be updated to reflect the realities of family physicians' practices or new billing and coding approaches should be developed.

PMID:29180547 | DOI:10.3122/jabfm.2017.06.170155

Improving perceptions of empathy in patients undergoing low-yield computerized tomographic imaging in the emergency department

Hao Wang, MD - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 05:00

Patient Educ Couns. 2018 Apr;101(4):717-722. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.11.012. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We assessed emergency department (ED) patient perceptions of how physicians can improve their language to determine patient preferences for 11 phrases to enhance physician empathy toward the goal of reducing low-value advanced imaging.

METHODS: Multi-center survey study of low-risk ED patients undergoing computerized tomography (CT) scanning.

RESULTS: We enroled 305 participants across nine sites. The statement "I have carefully considered what you told me about what brought you here today" was most frequently rated as important (88%). The statement "I have thought about the cost of your medical care to you today" was least frequently rated as important (59%). Participants preferred statements indicating physicians had considered their "vital signs and physical examination" (86%), "past medical history" (84%), and "what prior research tells me about your condition" (79%). Participants also valued statements conveying risks of testing, including potential kidney injury (78%) and radiation (77%).

CONCLUSION: The majority of phrases were identified as important. Participants preferred statements conveying cognitive reassurance, medical knowledge and risks of testing.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Our findings suggest specific phrases have the potential to enhance ED patient perceptions of physician empathy. Further research is needed to determine whether statements to convey empathy affect diagnostic testing rates.

PMID:29173841 | DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2017.11.012

Overcrowding and Its Association With Patient Outcomes in a Median-Low Volume Emergency Department

Hao Wang, MD - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:00

J Clin Med Res. 2017 Nov;9(11):911-916. doi: 10.14740/jocmr3165w. Epub 2017 Oct 2.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Crowding occurs commonly in high volume emergency departments (ED) and has been associated with negative patient care outcomes. We aim to assess ED crowding in a median-low volume setting and evaluate associations with patient care outcomes.

METHODS: This was a prospective single-center study from November 14, 2016 until December 14, 2016. ED crowding was measured every 2 h by three different estimation tools: National Emergency Department Overcrowding Score (NEDOCS); Community Emergency Department Overcrowding Score (CEDOCS); and Severely-overcrowding Overcrowding and Not-overcrowding Estimation Tool (SONET) categorized under six different levels of crowding (not busy, busy, extremely busy, overcrowded, severely overcrowded, and dangerously overcrowded). Crowding scores were assigned to each patient upon ED arrival. We evaluated the distributions of crowding and patient ED length of stay (ED LOS) across estimation tools. Accelerated failure time models were utilized to estimate time ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals comparing median LOS across levels of crowding within each estimation tool.

RESULTS: This study comprised 2,557 patients whose median ED LOS was 150 min. Approximately 2% of patients arrived during 2 h time intervals deemed overcrowded regardless of the crowding tool used. Median ED LOS increased with the increased level of ED crowding and prolonged median ED LOS (> 150 min) occurred at ED of extremely busy status. Time ratios ranged from 1.09 to 1.48 for NEDOCS, 1.25 - 1.56 for CEDOCS, and 1.26 - 1.72 for SONET.

CONCLUSION: Overcrowding rarely occurred in study ED with median-low annual volume and might not be a valuable marker for ED crowding report. Though similar patterns of prolonged ED LOS occurred with increased levels of ED crowding, it seems crowding alerts should be initiated during extremely busy status in this ED setting.

PMID:29038668 | PMC:PMC5633091 | DOI:10.14740/jocmr3165w

Does Isolation of Enterococcus Affect Outcomes in Intra-Abdominal Infections?

Jeffrey Tessier, MD - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 05:00

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2017 Nov/Dec;18(8):879-885. doi: 10.1089/sur.2017.121. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Enterococci are isolated frequently as pathogens in patients with intra-abdominal infections (IAIs) and may predict poor clinical outcomes. It remains controversial whether enterococci warrant an altered treatment approach with regard to antimicrobial treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study population was derived from the Study to Optimize Peritoneal Infection Therapy (STOP-IT) trial database. Through post hoc analysis subjects were stratified into two groups based on isolation of Enterococcus. Fifty subjects of the cohort (n = 518) had Enterococcus isolated. Uni-variable and multi-variable analyses were conducted to determine whether isolation of Enterococcus constituted an independent predictor of the pre-defined STOP-IT composite outcome (surgical site infection, recurrent IAI, or death) and the individual components of the composite outcome.

RESULTS: From the cohort of 50 subjects, we identified 52 isolates of Enterococcus spp. with a predominance of Enterococcus faecalis (40%) followed by other Enterococcus spp. (37%) and Enterococcus faecium (17%). Baseline demographic characteristics were statistically similar between the two groups. Antibiotic utilization distribution remained balanced between the Enterococcus and no Enterococcus groups with the majority receiving piperacillin-tazobactam (62% and 54%, respectively). The groups had comparable infection characteristics including setting of acquisition (>50% community acquired) and origin of infection (predominantly colon or rectum). Individual and composite clinical outcomes were not different statistically between the Enterococcus and no Enterococcus groups: surgical site infection (10% vs. 7.5%; p = 0.53), recurrent IAI (20% vs. 14.1%; p = 0.26), death (2% vs. 1%; p = 0.40), and composite of all three (30% vs. 20.9%; p = 0.14], respectively. Multi-variable analysis revealed that isolation of Enterococcus did not predict independently the incidence of the composite outcome (odds ratio [OR] 1.53 [95% confidence interval {CI} = 0.78-3.01]; p = 0.22; c-statistic = 0.65; goodness of fit, p = 0.71).

CONCLUSIONS: Enterococcus was not a more common pathogen in health-care-associated IAIs and was not an independent risk factor for the composite outcome. The isolation of Enterococcus from IAIs may not warrant an alternative treatment approach but larger studies are needed to validate these findings.

PMID:28994635 | DOI:10.1089/sur.2017.121

The role of patient perception of crowding in the determination of real-time patient satisfaction at Emergency Department

Richard Robinson, MD - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 05:00

Int J Qual Health Care. 2017 Oct 1;29(5):722-727. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzx097.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the associations between real-time overall patient satisfaction and Emergency Department (ED) crowding as determined by patient percepton and crowding estimation tool score in a high-volume ED.

DESIGN: A prospective observational study.

SETTING: A tertiary acute hospital ED and a Level 1 trauma center.

PARTICIPANTS: ED patients.

INTERVENTION(S): Crowding status was measured by two crowding tools [National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (NEDOCS) and Severely overcrowded-Overcrowded-Not overcrowded Estimation Tool (SONET)] and patient perception of crowding surveys administered at discharge.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): ED crowding and patient real-time satisfaction.

RESULTS: From 29 November 2015 through 11 January 2016, we enrolled 1345 participants. We observed considerable agreement between the NEDOCS and SONET assessment of ED crowding (bias = 0.22; 95% limits of agreement (LOAs): -1.67, 2.12). However, agreement was more variable between patient perceptions of ED crowding with NEDOCS (bias = 0.62; 95% LOA: -5.85, 7.09) and SONET (bias = 0.40; 95% LOA: -5.81, 6.61). Compared to not overcrowded, there were overall inverse associations between ED overcrowding and patient satisfaction (Patient perception OR = 0.49, 95% confidence limit (CL): 0.38, 0.63; NEDOCS OR = 0.78, 95% CL: 0.65, 0.95; SONET OR = 0.82, 95% CL: 0.69, 0.98).

CONCLUSIONS: While heterogeneity exists in the degree of agreement between objective and patient perceived assessments of ED crowding, in our study we observed that higher degrees of ED crowding at admission might be associated with lower real-time patient satisfaction.

PMID:28992161 | DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzx097

The role of patient perception of crowding in the determination of real-time patient satisfaction at Emergency Department

Hao Wang, MD - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 05:00

Int J Qual Health Care. 2017 Oct 1;29(5):722-727. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzx097.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the associations between real-time overall patient satisfaction and Emergency Department (ED) crowding as determined by patient percepton and crowding estimation tool score in a high-volume ED.

DESIGN: A prospective observational study.

SETTING: A tertiary acute hospital ED and a Level 1 trauma center.

PARTICIPANTS: ED patients.

INTERVENTION(S): Crowding status was measured by two crowding tools [National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (NEDOCS) and Severely overcrowded-Overcrowded-Not overcrowded Estimation Tool (SONET)] and patient perception of crowding surveys administered at discharge.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): ED crowding and patient real-time satisfaction.

RESULTS: From 29 November 2015 through 11 January 2016, we enrolled 1345 participants. We observed considerable agreement between the NEDOCS and SONET assessment of ED crowding (bias = 0.22; 95% limits of agreement (LOAs): -1.67, 2.12). However, agreement was more variable between patient perceptions of ED crowding with NEDOCS (bias = 0.62; 95% LOA: -5.85, 7.09) and SONET (bias = 0.40; 95% LOA: -5.81, 6.61). Compared to not overcrowded, there were overall inverse associations between ED overcrowding and patient satisfaction (Patient perception OR = 0.49, 95% confidence limit (CL): 0.38, 0.63; NEDOCS OR = 0.78, 95% CL: 0.65, 0.95; SONET OR = 0.82, 95% CL: 0.69, 0.98).

CONCLUSIONS: While heterogeneity exists in the degree of agreement between objective and patient perceived assessments of ED crowding, in our study we observed that higher degrees of ED crowding at admission might be associated with lower real-time patient satisfaction.

PMID:28992161 | DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzx097

Protecting the PCL During Total Knee Arthroplasty Using a Bone Island Technique

Hugo Sanchez, MD - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 05:00

J Arthroplasty. 2018 Jan;33(1):102-106. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.08.009. Epub 2017 Aug 26.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prior studies have shown that the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) may be partially resected during cruciate retaining (CR) total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using highly experienced hands and standard surgical technique; therefore, proper surgical technique is aimed at preservation and balance of the PCL during CR TKA. The central objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a simple surgical technique to prevent PCL damage during performance of a CR TKA.

METHODS: Sixty embalmed cadaver specimens were randomized into 2 groups, experimental and control. The control group consisted of standard tibial resection without the use of an osteotome. The experimental group utilized an osteotome in addition to standard technique to preserve a bone island anterior to the tibial attachment of the PCL.

RESULTS: In the control group, PCL damage was noted in 73% (22/30) of specimens. In the experimental group, where an osteotome was used, PCL damage was found in 23% (7/30) of specimens. The use of an osteotome was found to have an absolute risk reduction of 50% when compared to the control group which did not use an osteotome to protect the PCL.

CONCLUSION: In the setting of minimal surgical experience, the use of an osteotome to preserve the PCL during CR TKA by forming a bone island was found to be an effective means of protecting the PCL over standard technique. In addition, standard technique with the use of a Y-shaped PCL retractor was found to provide questionable protection to the PCL.

PMID:28927647 | DOI:10.1016/j.arth.2017.08.009

Ten-Year Follow-Up of Metatarsal Head Resurfacing Implants for Treatment of Hallux Rigidus

Travis Motley, DPM - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 05:00

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2017 Sep-Oct;56(5):1052-1057. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.05.010.

ABSTRACT

Controversy remains regarding the use of arthroplasty versus arthrodesis in the surgical treatment of late-stage hallux rigidus. The purpose of our retrospective study was to report the long-term follow-up results of the metatarsal head resurfacing implant used for hemiarthroplasty. The patient assessments were conducted using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) metatarsophalangeal clinical rating system and a satisfaction questionnaire. A total of 59 consecutive implantations were performed from January 2005 to December 2009 at our institution. Of the 59 patients, 2 had died and 12 were lost to follow-up, for a 76.3% follow-up rate (45 of 59 procedures) at a mean of 117.67 (range 96 to 143) months. The mean overall AOFAS scale score was 90.6 ± 7.6. The AOFAS pain scale score was 37.78 ± 4.71. One implant was removed, and all remaining patients were happy with their outcome and would repeat the procedure on their other foot, if needed. A subset of patients from a previous mid-term study at our institution showed no significant change in the AOFAS scale scores. Of these 32 patients, 30 (93.75%) were available for follow-up examination at a mean of 122.62 (range 96 to 143) months. We were able to obtain long-term results for 32 implants (30 patients), resulting in a 10-year follow-up rate of 93.7%. With the minimal resection required for this implant, salvage arthrodesis remains a viable option if revision is needed. The surgical treatment of late-stage hallux rigidus with metatarsal head resurfacing allows for low-risk and excellent outcomes at long-term follow-up point.

PMID:28842091 | DOI:10.1053/j.jfas.2017.05.010

The <em>Global Alliance for Infections in Surgery:</em> defining a model for antimicrobial stewardship-results from an international cross-sectional survey

Jeffrey Tessier, MD - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 05:00

World J Emerg Surg. 2017 Aug 1;12:34. doi: 10.1186/s13017-017-0145-2. eCollection 2017.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) have been promoted to optimize antimicrobial usage and patient outcomes, and to reduce the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. However, the best strategies for an ASP are not definitively established and are likely to vary based on local culture, policy, and routine clinical practice, and probably limited resources in middle-income countries. The aim of this study is to evaluate structures and resources of antimicrobial stewardship teams (ASTs) in surgical departments from different regions of the world.

METHODS: A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted in 2016 on 173 physicians who participated in the AGORA (Antimicrobials: A Global Alliance for Optimizing their Rational Use in Intra-Abdominal Infections) project and on 658 international experts in the fields of ASPs, infection control, and infections in surgery.

RESULTS: The response rate was 19.4%. One hundred fifty-six (98.7%) participants stated their hospital had a multidisciplinary AST. The median number of physicians working inside the team was five [interquartile range 4-6]. An infectious disease specialist, a microbiologist and an infection control specialist were, respectively, present in 80.1, 76.3, and 67.9% of the ASTs. A surgeon was a component in 59.0% of cases and was significantly more likely to be present in university hospitals (89.5%, p < 0.05) compared to community teaching (83.3%) and community hospitals (66.7%). Protocols for pre-operative prophylaxis and for antimicrobial treatment of surgical infections were respectively implemented in 96.2 and 82.3% of the hospitals. The majority of the surgical departments implemented both persuasive and restrictive interventions (72.8%). The most common types of interventions in surgical departments were dissemination of educational materials (62.5%), expert approval (61.0%), audit and feedback (55.1%), educational outreach (53.7%), and compulsory order forms (51.5%).

CONCLUSION: The survey showed a heterogeneous organization of ASPs worldwide, demonstrating the necessity of a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach in the battle against antimicrobial resistance in surgical infections, and the importance of educational efforts towards this goal.

PMID:28775763 | PMC:PMC5540347 | DOI:10.1186/s13017-017-0145-2

Optimal Measurement Interval for Emergency Department Crowding Estimation Tools

Richard Robinson, MD - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 05:00

Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Nov;70(5):632-639.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.04.012. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

ABSTRACT

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Emergency department (ED) crowding is a barrier to timely care. Several crowding estimation tools have been developed to facilitate early identification of and intervention for crowding. Nevertheless, the ideal frequency is unclear for measuring ED crowding by using these tools. Short intervals may be resource intensive, whereas long ones may not be suitable for early identification. Therefore, we aim to assess whether outcomes vary by measurement interval for 4 crowding estimation tools.

METHODS: Our eligible population included all patients between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, who were admitted to the JPS Health Network ED, which serves an urban population. We generated 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-hour ED crowding scores for each patient, using 4 crowding estimation tools (National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale [NEDOCS], Severely Overcrowded, Overcrowded, and Not Overcrowded Estimation Tool [SONET], Emergency Department Work Index [EDWIN], and ED Occupancy Rate). Our outcomes of interest included ED length of stay (minutes) and left without being seen or eloped within 4 hours. We used accelerated failure time models to estimate interval-specific time ratios and corresponding 95% confidence limits for length of stay, in which the 1-hour interval was the reference. In addition, we used binomial regression with a log link to estimate risk ratios (RRs) and corresponding confidence limit for left without being seen.

RESULTS: Our study population comprised 117,442 patients. The time ratios for length of stay were similar across intervals for each crowding estimation tool (time ratio=1.37 to 1.30 for NEDOCS, 1.44 to 1.37 for SONET, 1.32 to 1.27 for EDWIN, and 1.28 to 1.23 for ED Occupancy Rate). The RRs of left without being seen differences were also similar across intervals for each tool (RR=2.92 to 2.56 for NEDOCS, 3.61 to 3.36 for SONET, 2.65 to 2.40 for EDWIN, and 2.44 to 2.14 for ED Occupancy Rate).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest limited variation in length of stay or left without being seen between intervals (1 to 4 hours) regardless of which of the 4 crowding estimation tools were used. Consequently, 4 hours may be a reasonable interval for assessing crowding with these tools, which could substantially reduce the burden on ED personnel by requiring less frequent assessment of crowding.

PMID:28688771 | DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.04.012

Optimal Measurement Interval for Emergency Department Crowding Estimation Tools

Hao Wang, MD - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 05:00

Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Nov;70(5):632-639.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.04.012. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

ABSTRACT

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Emergency department (ED) crowding is a barrier to timely care. Several crowding estimation tools have been developed to facilitate early identification of and intervention for crowding. Nevertheless, the ideal frequency is unclear for measuring ED crowding by using these tools. Short intervals may be resource intensive, whereas long ones may not be suitable for early identification. Therefore, we aim to assess whether outcomes vary by measurement interval for 4 crowding estimation tools.

METHODS: Our eligible population included all patients between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, who were admitted to the JPS Health Network ED, which serves an urban population. We generated 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-hour ED crowding scores for each patient, using 4 crowding estimation tools (National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale [NEDOCS], Severely Overcrowded, Overcrowded, and Not Overcrowded Estimation Tool [SONET], Emergency Department Work Index [EDWIN], and ED Occupancy Rate). Our outcomes of interest included ED length of stay (minutes) and left without being seen or eloped within 4 hours. We used accelerated failure time models to estimate interval-specific time ratios and corresponding 95% confidence limits for length of stay, in which the 1-hour interval was the reference. In addition, we used binomial regression with a log link to estimate risk ratios (RRs) and corresponding confidence limit for left without being seen.

RESULTS: Our study population comprised 117,442 patients. The time ratios for length of stay were similar across intervals for each crowding estimation tool (time ratio=1.37 to 1.30 for NEDOCS, 1.44 to 1.37 for SONET, 1.32 to 1.27 for EDWIN, and 1.28 to 1.23 for ED Occupancy Rate). The RRs of left without being seen differences were also similar across intervals for each tool (RR=2.92 to 2.56 for NEDOCS, 3.61 to 3.36 for SONET, 2.65 to 2.40 for EDWIN, and 2.44 to 2.14 for ED Occupancy Rate).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest limited variation in length of stay or left without being seen between intervals (1 to 4 hours) regardless of which of the 4 crowding estimation tools were used. Consequently, 4 hours may be a reasonable interval for assessing crowding with these tools, which could substantially reduce the burden on ED personnel by requiring less frequent assessment of crowding.

PMID:28688771 | DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.04.012

A Season of American Football Is Not Associated with Changes in Plasma Tau

Michele Kirk, MD - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 05:00

J Neurotrauma. 2017 Dec 1;34(23):3295-3300. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5064. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

ABSTRACT

American football athletes are routinely exposed to sub-concussive impacts over the course of the season. This study sought to examine the effect of a season of American football on plasma tau, a potential marker of axonal damage. Nineteen National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football athletes underwent serial blood sampling over the course of the 2014-2015 season at those times in which the number and magnitude of head impacts likely changed. Non-contact sport controls (NCAA men's swim athletes; n = 19) provided a single plasma sample for comparison. No significant differences were observed between control swim athletes and football athletes following a period of non-contact (p = 0.569) or a period of contact (p = 0.076). Football athletes categorized as starters (n = 11) had higher tau concentrations than non-starters (n = 8) following a period of non-contact (p = 0.039) and contact (p = 0.036), but not higher than swimmers (p = 1.000 and p = 1.000, respectively). No difference was noted over the course of the season in football athletes, irrespective of starter status. Despite routine head impacts common to the sport of American football, no changes were observed over the course of the season in football athletes, irrespective of starter status. Further, no difference was observed between football athletes and non-contact control swim athletes following a period of non-contact or contact. These data suggest that plasma tau is not sensitive enough to detect damage associated with repetitive sub-concussive impacts sustained by collegiate-level football athletes.

PMID:28614998 | DOI:10.1089/neu.2017.5064

Antibiotics vs. Appendectomy for Acute Uncomplicated Appendicitis in Adults: Review of the Evidence and Future Directions

Jeffrey Tessier, MD - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 05:00

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2017 Jul;18(5):527-535. doi: 10.1089/sur.2017.073. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute appendicitis is the most common abdominal surgical emergency in the United States, with a lifetime risk of 7%-8%. The treatment paradigm for complicated appendicitis has evolved over the past decade, and many cases now are managed by broad-spectrum antibiotics. We determined the role of non-operative and operative management in adult patients with uncomplicated appendicitis.

METHODS: Several meta-analyses have attempted to clarify the debate. Arguably the most influential is the Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) Trial.

RESULTS: According to the non-inferiority analysis and a pre-specified non-inferiority margin of -24%, the APPAC did not demonstrate non-inferiority of antibiotics vs. appendectomy. Significantly, however, the operations were nearly always open, whereas the majority of appendectomies in the United States are done laparoscopically; and laparoscopic and open appendectomies are not equivalent operations. Treatment with antibiotics is efficacious more than 70% of the time. However, a switch to an antimicrobial-only approach may result in a greater probability of antimicrobial-associated collateral damage, both to the host patient and to antibiotic susceptibility patterns. A surgery-only approach would result in a reduction in antibiotic exposure, a consideration in these days of focus on antimicrobial stewardship.

CONCLUSION: Future studies should focus on isolating the characteristics of appendicitis most susceptible to antibiotics, using laparoscopic operations as controls and identifying long-term side effects such as antibiotic resistance or Clostridium difficile colitis.

PMID:28614043 | DOI:10.1089/sur.2017.073

Early Career Outcomes of Family Medicine Residency Graduates Exposed to Innovative Flexible Longitudinal Tracks

Richard Young, MD - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 05:00

Fam Med. 2017 May;49(5):353-360.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) project used a case series design to study innovations in the content, length, structure, and location of residency training in 14 geographically diverse family medicine programs between 2007 and 2012. We aimed to explore how offering flexible longitudinal tracks (FLT) affected graduates' scope of practice, particularly in maternal child health (MCH), which included at least 17 months of focused training that increased each year over 4 years.

METHODS: We administered a cross-sectional survey to graduates of P4 residencies approximately 18 months after they completed training (2011-2014) and compared graduates of the John Peter Smith (JPS) Family Medicine Residency MCH FLT to all other P4 graduates.

RESULTS: The overall response rate was 81.8% (365/446). JPS graduates who completed the flexible MCH track (n=15) compared to all other P4 graduates (n=332) were more likely to deliver babies (13/15, 86.7% versus 48/324, 14.6%) and perform C-sections as the primary surgeon (12/15, 80.0% versus 15/322, 4.7%). Additional areas of expanded scope associated with the MCH track included endoscopy (4/15, 26.7% versus 10/323, 3.1%), the care of hospitalized adults and associated procedures (central lines, eg: 8/15, 53.3% versus 47/322, 14.6%), and the care of hospitalized children (13/15, 86.7% versus 111/323, 34.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Graduating from the JPS MCH FLT was associated with a higher provision of maternal, child, and ill adult patient care services, including associated procedures.

PMID:28535315

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