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Background: Many urologists continue antibiotics after common urologic procedure beyond the timeframes recommended by professional guidelines. In this study, we sought to evaluate the association between postprocedural antibiotic use and patient outcomes. Methods: We identified all patients who underwent 1 of 3 urologic procedures (transurethral resection of bladder tumor [TURBT], transurethral resection of prostate [TURP], and ureteroscopy) within the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) between January 1, 2017, and June 30, 2021. A postprocedural antibiotic was any antibiotic potentially used for a urinary tract–related indication that was prescribed for administration after the day of the procedure. Outcomes were captured within 30 days of the procedure and included (1) return visits, defined as any emergency department or urgent care encounter or hospital readmission, and (2) Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), defined as a positive test for C. difficile and the prescription of an anti-CDI antibiotic. We used log-binomial models with risk adjustment to determine the association between postprocedural antibiotic use and outcomes. We constructed hospital-level observed-to-expected ratios for postprocedural antibiotic use, and we used these models to calculate the probability of each patient receiving postprocedural antibiotics. Results: Overall, we identified 74,629 patients; 98% were male; the mean age was 70 years (SD, 10). Among them, 50% underwent TURBT, 28% underwent TURP, and 23% underwent ureteroscopy. A postprocedural antibiotic was prescribed to 25,738 (35%) cases for a median duration of 3 days (IQR, 3–6). Return visits occurred in 13,489 patients (18%), and CDI occurred in 104 patients (0.1%). Patients exposed to postprocedural antibiotics had 16% more return visits (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.13–1.20) and more than twice as much CDI (RR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.51–3.26) than patients not exposed to postprocedural antibiotics. In log-binomial risk-adjusted analysis, the risk of return visits did not differ between the 2 groups (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.97–1.04) but the risk of CDI was higher in patients who received post-procedural antibiotics (RR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.00–3.51). Hospitals (n = 105) varied widely in their observed-to-expected ratios for prescribing postprocedural antibiotics, and the frequency of return visits was similar regardless of the frequency at which postprocedural antibiotics were prescribed (Table 1). Conclusions: Postprocedural antibiotics were prescribed beyond recommended intervals after more than one-third of common urologic procedures, with a large degree of variability across hospitals. The use of postprocedural antibiotics was not associated with fewer return visits but was associated with a nonsignificant increase in CDI risk. Efforts to reduce postprocedural antibiotics are needed.
Disclosures: This work was funded, in part, by the Merck Investigator Studies Program. This work was also supported by a Career Development Award (DJL) from the VA Health Services Research and Development Service (CDA 16-204) and by the Iowa City VA Health Care System, Department of Pharmacy Services.
We evaluated antibiotic-prescribing across 111 mental health units in the Veterans’ Health Administration. We found that accurate diagnosis of urinary tract infections is a major area for improvement. Because non–mental-health clinicians were involved in most antibiotic-prescribing decisions, stewardship interventions for mental health patients should have a broad target audience to be effective.
Background: Early postoperative and acute prosthetic joint infection (PJI) may be managed with debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR). Among patients with nonstaphylococcal PJI, an initial 4–6-week course of intravenous or highly bioavailable oral antibiotics is recommended in the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines, with disagreement among committee members on the need for subsequent chronic oral antimicrobial suppression (CAS). We aimed to characterize patients with nonstaphylococcal PJI who received CAS and to compare them to those who did not receive CAS. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included patients admitted to Veterans’ Affairs (VA) hospitals from 2003 to 2017 who had a PJI caused by nonstaphylococcal bacteria, underwent DAIR, and received 4–6 weeks of antimicrobial treatment. PJI was defined by Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) 2011 criteria. CAS was defined as at least 6 months of oral antibiotics following initial treatment of the PJI. Patients were followed for 5 years after debridement. We used χ2 tests and t tests were used to compare patients who received CAS with those who did not receive CAS. Results: Overall, 561 patients had a nonstaphylococcal PJI treated with DAIR, and 80.6% of patients received CAS. The most common organisms causing PJI were streptococci. We detected no significant differences between patients who received CAS and those who did not receive CAS, except that modified Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (mAPACHE) scores were higher among patients who did not receive CAS (Table 1). Conclusion: Patients not on CAS were more severely ill (by mAPACHE) than those on CAS. Otherwise, the 2 groups were not different. This finding was contrary to our hypothesis that patients with multiple comorbidities or higher mAPACHE scores would be more likely to get CAS. A future analysis will be conducted to assess treatment failure in both groups. We hope to find a specific cohort who may benefit from CAS and hope to deimplement CAS in others who may not benefit from it.
Group Name: VHA Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Prevention of Antimicrobial Resistance (CASPAR) Background: Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are advised to measure antimicrobial consumption as a metric for audit and feedback. However, most ASPs lack the tools necessary for appropriate risk adjustment and standardized data collection, which are critical for peer-program benchmarking. We created a system that automatically extracts antimicrobial use data and patient-level factors for risk-adjustment and a dashboard to present risk-adjusted benchmarking metrics for ASP within the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA). Methods: We built a system to extract patient-level data for antimicrobial use, procedures, demographics, and comorbidities for acute inpatient and long-term care units at all VHA hospitals utilizing the VHA’s Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW). We built baseline negative binomial regression models to perform risk-adjustments based on patient- and unit-level factors using records dated between October 2016 and September 2018. These models were then leveraged both retrospectively and prospectively to calculate observed-to-expected ratios of antimicrobial use for each hospital and for specific units within each hospital. Data transformation and applications of risk-adjustment models were automatically performed within the CDW database server, followed by monthly scheduled data transfer from the CDW to the Microsoft Power BI server for interactive data visualization. Frontline antimicrobial stewards at 10 VHA hospitals participated in the project as pilot users. Results: Separate baseline risk-adjustment models to predict days of therapy (DOT) for all antibacterial agents were created for acute-care and long-term care units based on 15,941,972 patient days and 3,011,788 DOT between October 2016 and September 2018 at 134 VHA hospitals. Risk adjustment models include month, unit types (eg, intensive care unit [ICU] vs non-ICU for acute care), specialty, age, gender, comorbidities (50 and 30 factors for acute care and long-term care, respectively), and preceding procedures (45 and 24 procedures for acute care and long-term care, respectively). We created additional models for each antimicrobial category based on National Healthcare Safety Network definitions. For each hospital, risk-adjusted benchmarking metrics and a monthly ranking within the VHA system were visualized and presented to end users through the dashboard (an example screenshot in Figure 1). Conclusions: Developing an automated surveillance system for antimicrobial consumption and risk-adjustment benchmarking using an electronic medical record data warehouse is feasible and can potentially provide valuable tools for ASPs, especially at hospitals with no or limited local informatics expertise. Future efforts will evaluate the effectiveness of dashboards in these settings.
On-site surveys of weed populations provide information on the relative occurrence and density of weeds that can be useful to growers in that region. Data generated by weed surveys can aid in the management of weed issues by monitoring the movement of problem weeds and forecasting areas susceptible to infestations. Currently, on-site surveys are often performed on a small scale, within single fields or counties. Questionnaire surveys are helpful for assessing relative abundance but do not always provide detailed information on weed distribution in time or space. A survey was conducted annually in Ohio from 2013 through 2017 in 49 counties with soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production to assess the late-season occurrence of horseweed [Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist]. The objectives of this research were to: (1) determine the frequency, level of infestation, and distribution of C. canadensis in soybean fields in the primary soybean-producing Ohio counties over 5 yr; and (2) identify significant spatial clusters or movement trends over time. Conyza canadensis was encountered in each county from 2013 through 2017. Spatial cores of interest, or counties identified as having significant levels of C. canadensis infestations or a lack thereof relative to surrounding counties, were identified in all years except 2017. The lowest frequency of C. canadensis encountered at all rating levels occurred in 2017, which coincided with second-highest frequency of infestations (highest density level) among years. There was no distinct distribution or pattern of C. canadensis movement within the state from year to year, but there was an increase in counties with infestations over time compared with the early years of the survey when many counties had few to no infestations. These results suggest that C. canadensis persists as a common and troublesome threat to Ohio soybean producers and that growers should continue making C. canadensis management a priority when developing weed control programs.
Barriers to research participation by racial and ethnic minority group members are multi-factorial, stem from historical social injustices and occur at participant, research team, and research process levels. The informed consent procedure is a key component of the research process and represents an opportunity to address these barriers. This manuscript describes the development of the Strengthening Translational Research in Diverse Enrollment (STRIDE) intervention, which aims to improve research participation by individuals from underrepresented groups.
We used a community-engaged approach to develop an integrated, culturally, and literacy-sensitive, multi-component intervention that addresses barriers to research participation during the informed consent process. This approach involved having Community Investigators participate in intervention development activities and using community engagement studios and other methods to get feedback from community members on intervention components.
The STRIDE intervention has three components: a simulation-based training program directed toward clinical study research assistants that emphasizes cultural competency and communication skills for assisting in the informed consent process, an electronic consent (eConsent) framework designed to improve health-related research material comprehension and relevance, and a “storytelling” intervention in which prior research participants from diverse backgrounds share their experiences delivered via video vignettes during the consent process.
The community engaged development approach resulted in a multi-component intervention that addresses known barriers to research participation and can be integrated into the consent process of research studies. Results of an ongoing study will determine its effectiveness at increasing diversity among research participants.
To develop a fully automated algorithm using data from the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) electrical medical record (EMR) to identify deep-incisional surgical site infections (SSIs) after cardiac surgeries and total joint arthroplasties (TJAs) to be used for research studies.
Retrospective cohort study.
This study was conducted in 11 VA hospitals.
Patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting or valve replacement between January 1, 2010, and March 31, 2018 (cardiac cohort) and patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2018 (TJA cohort).
Relevant clinical information and administrative code data were extracted from the EMR. The outcomes of interest were mediastinitis, endocarditis, or deep-incisional or organ-space SSI within 30 days after surgery. Multiple logistic regression analysis with a repeated regular bootstrap procedure was used to select variables and to assign points in the models. Sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPVs) and negative predictive values were calculated with comparison to outcomes collected by the Veterans’ Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP).
Overall, 49 (0.5%) of the 13,341 cardiac surgeries were classified as mediastinitis or endocarditis, and 83 (0.6%) of the 12,992 TJAs were classified as deep-incisional or organ-space SSIs. With at least 60% sensitivity, the PPVs of the SSI detection algorithms after cardiac surgeries and TJAs were 52.5% and 62.0%, respectively.
Considering the low prevalence rate of SSIs, our algorithms were successful in identifying a majority of patients with a true SSI while simultaneously reducing false-positive cases. As a next step, validation of these algorithms in different hospital systems with EMR will be needed.
Assessments of antibiotic prescribing in ambulatory care have largely focused on viral acute respiratory infections (ARIs). It is unclear whether antibiotic prescribing for bacterial ARIs should also be a target for antibiotic stewardship efforts. In this study, we evaluated antibiotic prescribing for viral and potentially bacterial ARIs in patients seen at emergency departments (EDs) and urgent care centers (UCCs).
This retrospective cohort included all ED and UCC visits by patients who were not hospitalized and were seen during weekday, daytime hours during 2016–2018 in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Guideline concordance was evaluated for viral ARIs and for 3 potentially bacterial ARIs: acute exacerbation of COPD, pneumonia, and sinusitis.
There were 3,182,926 patient visits across 129 sites: 80.7% in EDs and 19.3% in UCCs. Mean patient age was 60.2 years, 89.4% were male, and 65.6% were white. Antibiotics were prescribed during 608,289 (19.1%) visits, including 42.7% with an inappropriate indication. For potentially bacterial ARIs, guideline-concordant management varied across clinicians (median, 36.2%; IQR, 26.0–52.7) and sites (median, 38.2%; IQR, 31.7–49.4). For viral ARIs, guideline-concordant management also varied across clinicians (median, 46.2%; IQR, 24.1–68.6) and sites (median, 40.0%; IQR, 30.4–59.3). At the clinician and site levels, we detected weak correlations between guideline-concordant management for viral ARIs and potentially bacterial ARIs: clinicians (r = 0.35; P = .0001) and sites (r = 0.44; P < .0001).
Our findings suggest that, across EDs and UCCs within VHA, there are major opportunities to improve management of both viral and potentially bacterial ARIs. Some clinicians and sites are more frequently adhering to ARI guideline recommendations on antibiotic use.
We evaluated the relationship between local MRSA prevalence rates and antibiotic use across 122 VHA hospitals in 2016. Higher hospital-level MRSA prevalence was associated with significantly higher rates of antibiotic use, even after adjusting for case mix and stewardship strategies. Benchmarking anti-MRSA antibiotic use may need to adjust for MRSA prevalence.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
In this cohort of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp hospital-onset bacteremia, isolated fluoroquinolone resistance had a larger relative impact on mortality than other phenotypic resistance patterns. This finding may support stewardship efforts targeting unnecessary fluoroquinolone use and increased attention from infection prevention and control departments.
In this single-center study, the standardized antimicrobial administration ratio (SAAR) for total antimicrobial use decreased in response to a stewardship intervention. Antimicrobial prescribing and clinical outcomes were stable or improved during the period of lower SAARs. Our findings suggest that SAAR values of ~0.8 can be safely achieved.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
The optimal approach to auditing outpatient antimicrobial prescribing has not been established. We assessed how different types of electronic data—including prescriptions, patient-visits, and International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes—could inform automated antimicrobial audits.
Outpatient visits during 2016 were retrospectively reviewed, including chart abstraction, if an antimicrobial was prescribed (cohort 1) or if the visit was associated with an infection-related ICD-10 code (cohort 2). Findings from cohorts 1 and 2 were compared.
Primary care clinics and the emergency department (ED) at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
In cohort 1, we reviewed 2,353 antimicrobial prescriptions across 52 providers. ICD-10 codes had limited sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for validated cases of cystitis and pneumonia (sensitivity, 65.8%, 56.3%, respectively; PPV, 74.4%, 52.5%, respectively). The volume-adjusted antimicrobial prescribing rate was 13.6 per 100 ED visits and 7.5 per 100 primary care visits. In cohort 2, antimicrobials were not indicated in 474 of 851 visits (55.7%). The antimicrobial overtreatment rate was 48.8% for the ED and 59.7% for primary care. At the level of the individual prescriber, there was a positive correlation between a provider’s volume-adjusted antimicrobial prescribing rate and the individualized rates of overtreatment in both the ED (r=0.72; P<.01) and the primary care setting (r=0.82; P=0.03).
In this single-center study, ICD-10 codes had limited sensitivity and PPV for 2 infections that typically require antimicrobials. Electronically extracted data on a provider’s rate of volume-adjusted antimicrobial prescribing correlated with the frequency at which unnecessary antimicrobials were prescribed, but this may have been driven by outlier prescribers.
The nucleation and growth of Al on 7 × 7 and $\sqrt 3 \times \sqrt 3$R30 Al reconstructed Si(111) that result in strain-free Al overgrown films grown with an atomically abrupt metamorphic interface are compared. The reconstructed surfaces and abrupt strain relaxations are verified using reflection high-energy electron diffraction. The topography of evolution is examined with atomic force microscopy. The growth of Al on both the surfaces exhibits 3D island growth, but the island evolution of growth is dramatically different. On the 7 × 7 surface, mounds formed are uniformly distributed across the substrate, and growth appears to proceed uniformly. Alternatively, on the $\sqrt 3 \times \sqrt 3$R30 surface, Al atoms exhibit a clear preference to form mounds near the step edges. During Al growth, mounds increase in size and number, expanding out from step edges until they cover the whole substrate. Consistent expression of a mounded nucleation and growth mode imparts a physical limitation to the achievable surface roughness that may impact the ultimate performance of layered devices such as Josephson junctions that are critical components of superconducting quantum circuits.
We investigated the frequency and determinants of guideline-discordant antibiotic prescribing in outpatients with respiratory infections or cystitis. Antibiotic prescribing was guideline discordant in 60% of patients. The most common reason for discordance was prescribing an antibiotic when not indicated. In a multivariate analysis, physicians in training had the highest likelihood of guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the aspects of expert advice that decision makers find most useful in the development of evidence-based guidance and to identify the characteristics of experts providing the most useful advice.
Methods: First, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen members of the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee of the UK's National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. Interviews examined the usefulness of expert advice during guidance development. Transcripts were analyzed inductively to identify themes. Second, data were extracted from 211 experts’ questionnaires for forty-one consecutive procedures. Usefulness of advice was scored using an index developed through the qualitative work. Associations between usefulness score and characteristics of the expert advisor were investigated using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: Expert opinion was seen as a valued complement to empirical evidence, providing context and tacit knowledge unavailable in published literature, but helpful for interpreting it. Interviewees also valued advice on the training and experience required to perform a procedure, on patient selection criteria and the place of a procedure within a clinical management pathway. Limitations of bias in expert opinion were widely acknowledged and skepticism expressed regarding the anecdotal nature of advice on safety or efficacy outcomes. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that the most useful advice was given by clinical experts with direct personal experience of the procedure, particularly research experience.
Conclusions: Evidence-based guidance production is often characterized as a rational, pipeline process. This ignores the valuable role that expert opinion plays in guidance development, complementing and supporting the interpretation of empirical data.