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To determine the association between after-hours consultations and the likelihood of antibiotic prescribing for self-limiting upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in primary care practices.
A cross-sectional analysis using Australian national primary-care practice data (MedicineInsight) between February 1, 2016 and January 31, 2019.
Nationwide primary-care practices across Australia.
Adult and pediatric patients who visited primary care practices for first-time URTIs.
We estimated the proportion of first-time URTI episodes for which antibiotic prescribing occurred on the same day (immediate prescribing) using diagnoses and prescription records in the electronic primary-care database. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the likelihood of antibiotic prescribing by the time of primary care visits were calculated using generalized estimating equations.
Among 357,287 URTI episodes, antibiotics were prescribed in 172,605 episodes (48.3%). After adjusting for patients’ demographics, practice characteristics, and seasons, we detected a higher likelihood of antibiotic prescribing on weekends compared to weekdays (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.39–1.45) and on national public holidays compared to nonholidays (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17–1.29). When we controlled for patient presentation and diagnosis, the association between antibiotic prescribing and after-hours consultations remained significant: weekend versus weekdays (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.33–1.41) and holidays versus nonholidays (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03–1.18).
Primary-care consultations on weekends and public holidays were associated with a higher likelihood of immediate antibiotic prescribing for self-limiting URTIs in primary care. This finding might be attributed to lower resourcing in after-hours health care.
Care in the community psychiatric setting involves regular monitoring of both mental and physical health. Patients with mental illness worldwide have higher rates of morbidity and earlier mortality, often due to physical disease, most commonly of metabolic or cardiovascular origin. The reasons for these findings are numerous, though a significant contributor is the underperformance of lifestyle screening and subsequent underutilisation of interventions. As standard, it is recommended that practitioners of all grades should, at each appropriate opportunity, assess their patient's current physical status and screen for lifestyle factors that increase risk of morbidity. These include: weekly physical activity, weight/BMI, diet, smoking status and alcohol intake. Our aim was to investigate if our Community Team was meeting both trust-set standards and national standards.
A list of all outpatient appointments, including all clinic types, and all grades of staff, was generated from 1/11/21 to 19/11/21 giving a total of 48 appointments. A list of questions were then answered using data taken from notes available on an electronic system. This allowed analysis of the frequency of assessment for each lifestyle factor and frequency of offered interventions, where appropriate. Further analysis across all grades of staff, both outpatient appointment clinics and medication monitoring clinics, and across specific mental health disorders was performed.
Each lifestyle factor should have been checked at each appointment and interventions offered where appropriate. In each assessment an intervention could have been offered following identification of a modifiable factor. No factor was assessed at every opportunity. Only 2 interventions (4%) were offered. Targeted Medication Monitoring Clinics (MMC) did not perform better than Outpatient Follow-up Clinics (OPA), OPA offered more interventions. These findings were consistent across all grades of practitioner and diagnoses.
Assessment of modifiable risk factors was not performed at each assessment, and where interventions were appropriate, they were rarely offered. This was a universal issue across the team, and in spite of specialised clinics, or high risk disorders, there was substandard physical health management. Therefore, opportunities to modify risk of physical disease, or improve treatment of the underlying psychiatric disorder are being missed. This is troublesome as community psychiatry often has the space, time, and rapport with patients to explore these issues, furthermore, many psychiatric treatments carry the burden of increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Consequently, the onus should be upon us to manage these risks and improve patient health through simple, short interventions and timely signposting and referrals.
To examine differences in surgical practices between salaried and fee-for-service (FFS) surgeons for two common degenerative spine conditions. Surgeons may offer different treatments for similar conditions on the basis of their compensation mechanism.
The study assessed the practices of 63 spine surgeons across eight Canadian provinces (39 FFS surgeons and 24 salaried) who performed surgery for two lumbar conditions: stable spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. The study included a multicenter, ambispective review of consecutive spine surgery patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network registry between October 2012 and July 2018. The primary outcome was the difference in type of procedures performed between the two groups. Secondary study variables included surgical characteristics, baseline patient factors, and patient-reported outcome.
For stable spinal stenosis (n = 2234), salaried surgeons performed statistically fewer uninstrumented fusion (p < 0.05) than FFS surgeons. For degenerative spondylolisthesis (n = 1292), salaried surgeons performed significantly more instrumentation plus interbody fusions (p < 0.05). There were no statistical differences in patient-reported outcomes between the two groups.
Surgeon compensation was associated with different approaches to stable lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. Salaried surgeons chose a more conservative approach to spinal stenosis and a more aggressive approach to degenerative spondylolisthesis, which highlights that remuneration is likely a minor determinant in the differences in practice of spinal surgery in Canada. Further research is needed to further elucidate which variables, other than patient demographics and financial incentives, influence surgical decision-making.
A 13-month-old child presented from home, where he had begun choking and coughing. He had been eating pizza for dinner. When his mum turned around, she found he had opened her wallet that had been dropped on the floor. At home, he turned blue, went floppy and became unresponsive. His mum administered five back blows, which caused a cough and phlegm production, but nothing else.
Extensive research on gender and politics indicates that women legislators are more likely to serve on committees and sponsor bills related to so-called “women's issues.” However, it remains unclear whether this empirical regularity is driven by district preferences, differences in legislator backgrounds, or because gendered political processes shape and constrain the choices available to women once they are elected. We introduce expansive new data on over 25,000 US state legislators and an empirical strategy to causally isolate the different channels that might explain these gendered differences in legislator behavior. After accounting for district preferences with a difference-in-differences design and for candidate backgrounds via campaign fundraising data, we find that women are still more likely to serve on women's issues committees, although the gender gap in bill sponsorship decreases. These results shed new light on the mechanisms that lead men and women to focus on different policy areas as legislators.
A classic question about democratic elections is how much they are able to influence politician behavior by forcing them to anticipate future reelection attempts, especially in contexts where voters are not paying close attention and are not well informed. We compile a new dataset containing roughly 780,000 bills, combined with more than 16 million roll-call voting records for roughly 6,000 legislators serving in U.S. state legislatures with term limits. Using an individual-level difference-in-differences design, we find that legislators who can no longer seek reelection sponsor fewer bills, are less productive on committees, and are absent for more floor votes, on average. Building a new dataset of roll-call votes and interest-group ratings, we find little evidence that legislators who cannot run for reelection systematically shift their ideological platforms. In sum, elections appear to influence how legislators allocate their effort in important ways even in low-salience environments but may have less influence on ideological positioning.
We use nationwide deed-level records on home foreclosures to examine the effects of economic distress on electoral outcomes and individual voter turnout. County-level difference-in-differences estimates show that counties that suffered larger increases in foreclosures did not punish or reward members of the incumbent president's party more than less affected counties. Linking the Ohio voter file to individual foreclosures, difference-in-differences estimates show that individuals whose homes were foreclosed on were less likely to turn out, rather than being mobilized. However, in 2016 counties more exposed to foreclosures supported Trump at substantially higher rates. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the effect of local economic distress on incumbent performance is generally close to zero and only becomes substantial in unusual circumstances.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Resident education in emergency medicine (EM) relies upon a variety of teaching platforms and mediums, including real-life clinical scenarios, simulation, academic day (lectures, small group sessions), journal clubs, and teaching learners. However, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted teaching and learning, forcing programs to adapt to ensure residents can progress in their training.1 Suddenly, academic days cannot be held in person, emergency department (ED) volumes are dynamically changing, and the role of residents in ED procedures has been questioned. Furthermore, medical student rotations through the ED have been cancelled, decreasing resident exposure to undergraduate teaching. These changes to resident education threaten resident wellness and will have downstream effects on training and personal professional development. In response, programs must develop strategies to ensure that residents continue receiving high-quality training in a safe learning environment. In this review, we will cover recommended strategies put forth by two large EM programs in Ontario (Table 1).
Emergency medicine (EM) training programs incorporate simulation for teaching as well as formative and summative assessment. The development of a simulation curriculum for Canadian postgraduate EM programs is underway and would be facilitated by a standardized, user-friendly, nationally endorsed simulation template. We convened a nationally representative group of simulation educators to participate in a three-phase process to develop and refine a simulation case template for Canadian EM educators. Participants provided feedback by means of free text comments and focus groups which were analyzed to inform modification of the template. We anticipate that this template will facilitate the sharing of cases across sites and the development of standardized cases for simulation-based assessment.
The national implementation of competency-based medical education (CBME) has prompted an increased interest in identifying and tracking clinical and educational outcomes for emergency medicine training programs. For the 2019 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium, we developed recommendations for measuring outcomes in emergency medicine training in the context of CBME to assist educational leaders and systems designers in program evaluation.
We conducted a three-phase study to generate educational and clinical outcomes for emergency medicine (EM) education in Canada. First, we elicited expert and community perspectives on the best educational and clinical outcomes through a structured consultation process using a targeted online survey. We then qualitatively analyzed these responses to generate a list of suggested outcomes. Last, we presented these outcomes to a diverse assembly of educators, trainees, and clinicians at the CAEP Academic Symposium for feedback and endorsement through a voting process.
Academic Symposium attendees endorsed the measurement and linkage of CBME educational and clinical outcomes. Twenty-five outcomes (15 educational, 10 clinical) were derived from the qualitative analysis of the survey results and the most important short- and long-term outcomes (both educational and clinical) were identified. These outcomes can be used to help measure the impact of CBME on the practice of Emergency Medicine in Canada to ensure that it meets both trainee and patient needs.
To address the increasing demand for the use of simulation for assessment, our objective was to review the literature pertaining to simulation-based assessment and develop a set of consensus-based expert-informed recommendations on the use of simulation-based assessment as presented at the 2019 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium on Education.
A panel of Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians from across Canada, with leadership roles in simulation and/or assessment, was formed to develop the recommendations. An initial scoping literature review was conducted to extract principles of simulation-based assessment. These principles were refined via thematic analysis, and then used to derive a set of recommendations for the use of simulation-based assessment, organized by the Consensus Framework for Good Assessment. This was reviewed and revised via a national stakeholder survey, and then the recommendations were presented and revised at the consensus conference to generate a final set of recommendations on the use of simulation-based assessment in EM.
We developed a set of recommendations for simulation-based assessment, using consensus-based expert-informed methods, across the domains of validity, reproducibility, feasibility, educational and catalytic effects, acceptability, and programmatic assessment. While the precise role of simulation-based assessment will be a subject of continued debate, we propose that these recommendations be used to assist educators and program leaders as they incorporate simulation-based assessment into their programs of assessment.
Simulation plays an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High-quality, simulation-based research will ensure its effective use. This study sought to summarize simulation-based research activity and its facilitators and barriers, as well as establish priorities for simulation-based research in Canadian emergency medicine (EM).
Simulation-leads from Canadian departments or divisions of EM associated with a general FRCP-EM training program surveyed and documented active EM simulation-based research at their institutions and identified the perceived facilitators and barriers. Priorities for simulation-based research were generated by simulation-leads via a second survey; these were grouped into themes and finally endorsed by consensus during an in-person meeting of simulation leads. Priority themes were also reviewed by senior simulation educators.
Twenty simulation-leads representing all 14 invited institutions participated in the study between February and May, 2018. Sixty-two active, simulation-based research projects were identified (median per institution = 4.5, IQR 4), as well as six common facilitators and five barriers. Forty-nine priorities for simulation-based research were reported and summarized into eight themes: simulation in competency-based medical education, simulation for inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology.
This study summarized simulation-based research activity in EM in Canada, identified its perceived facilitators and barriers, and built national consensus on priority research themes. This represents the first step in the development of a simulation-based research agenda specific to Canadian EM.
Harbour (2016) argues for a parsimonious universal set of features for grammatical person distinctions, and suggests (ch. 7) that the same features may also form the basis for systems of deixis. We apply this proposal to an analysis of Heiltsuk, a Wakashan language with a particularly rich set of person-based deictic contrasts (Rath 1981). Heiltsuk demonstratives and third-person pronominal enclitics distinguish proximal-to-speaker, proximal-to-addressee, and distal (in addition to an orthogonal visibility contrast). There are no forms marking proximity to third persons (e.g., ‘near them’) or identifying the location of discourse participants (e.g., ‘you near me’ vs. ‘you over there’), nor does the deictic system make use of the clusivity contrast that appears in the pronoun paradigm (e.g., ‘this near you and me’ vs. ‘this near me and others’). We account for the pattern by implementing Harbour's spatial element χ as a function that yields proximity to its first- or second-person argument.
How did personal wealth and slaveownership affect the likelihood Southerners fought for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War? On the one hand, wealthy Southerners had incentives to free-ride on poorer Southerners and avoid fighting; on the other hand, wealthy Southerners were disproportionately slaveowners, and thus had more at stake in the outcome of the war. We assemble a dataset on roughly 3.9 million free citizens in the Confederacy and show that slaveowners were more likely to fight than non-slaveowners. We then exploit a randomized land lottery held in 1832 in Georgia. Households of lottery winners owned more slaves in 1850 and were more likely to have sons who fought in the Confederate Army. We conclude that slaveownership, in contrast to some other kinds of wealth, compelled Southerners to fight despite free-rider incentives because it raised their stakes in the war’s outcome.
There is increasing evidence to support integration of simulation into medical training; however, no national emergency medicine (EM) simulation curriculum exists. Using Delphi methodology, we aimed to identify and establish content validity for adult EM curricular content best suited for simulation-based training, to inform national postgraduate EM training.
A national panel of experts in EM simulation iteratively rated potential curricular topics, on a 4-point scale, to determine those best suited for simulation-based training. After each round, responses were analyzed. Topics scoring <2/4 were removed and remaining topics were resent to the panel for further ratings until consensus was achieved, defined as Cronbach α ≥ 0.95. At conclusion of the Delphi process, topics rated ≥ 3.5/4 were considered “core” curricular topics, while those rated 3.0-3.5 were considered “extended” curricular topics.
Forty-five experts from 13 Canadian centres participated. Two hundred eighty potential curricular topics, in 29 domains, were generated from a systematic literature review, relevant educational documents and Delphi panellists. Three rounds of surveys were completed before consensus was achieved, with response rates ranging from 93-100%. Twenty-eight topics, in eight domains, reached consensus as “core” curricular topics. Thirty-five additional topics, in 14 domains, reached consensus as “extended” curricular topics.
Delphi methodology allowed for achievement of expert consensus and content validation of EM curricular content best suited for simulation-based training. These results provide a foundation for improved integration of simulation into postgraduate EM training and can be used to inform a national simulation curriculum to supplement clinical training and optimize learning.