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To evaluate whether incorporating mandatory prior authorization for Clostridioides difficile testing into antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist workflow could reduce testing in patients with alternative etiologies for diarrhea.
Single center, quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
Tertiary-care, academic medical center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Adult and pediatric patients admitted between September 11, 2019 and December 10, 2019 were included if they had an order placed for 1 of the following: (1) C. difficile enzyme immunoassay (EIA) in patients hospitalized >72 hours and received laxatives, oral contrast, or initiated tube feeds within the prior 48 hours, (2) repeat molecular multiplex gastrointestinal pathogen panel (GIPAN) testing, or (3) GIPAN testing in patients hospitalized >72 hours.
A best-practice alert prompting prior authorization by the antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) for EIA or GIPAN testing was implemented. Approval required the provider to page the ASP pharmacist and discuss rationale for testing. The provider could not proceed with the order if ASP approval was not obtained.
An average of 2.5 requests per day were received over the 3-month intervention period. The weekly rate of EIA and GIPAN orders per 1,000 patient days decreased significantly from 6.05 ± 0.94 to 4.87 ± 0.78 (IRR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.56–0.93; P = .010) and from 1.72 ± 0.37 to 0.89 ± 0.29 (IRR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.37–0.77; P = .001), respectively.
We identified an efficient, effective C. difficile and GIPAN diagnostic stewardship approval model.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems have developed protocols for prehospital activation of the cardiac catheterization laboratory for patients with suspected ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) to decrease first-medical-contact-to-balloon time (FMC2B). The rate of “false positive” prehospital activations is high. In order to decrease this rate and expedite care for patients with true STEMI, the American Heart Association (AHA; Dallas, Texas USA) developed the Mission Lifeline PreAct STEMI algorithm, which was implemented in Los Angeles County (LAC; California USA) in 2015. The hypothesis of this study was that implementation of the PreAct algorithm would increase the positive predictive value (PPV) of prehospital activation.
This is an observational pre-/post-study of the effect of the implementation of the PreAct algorithm for patients with suspected STEMI transported to one of five STEMI Receiving Centers (SRCs) within the LAC Regional System. The primary outcome was the PPV of cardiac catheterization laboratory activation for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The secondary outcome was FMC2B.
A total of 1,877 patients were analyzed for the primary outcome in the pre-intervention period and 405 patients in the post-intervention period. There was an overall decrease in cardiac catheterization laboratory activations, from 67% in the pre-intervention period to 49% in the post-intervention period (95% CI for the difference, -14% to -22%). The overall rate of cardiac catheterization declined in post-intervention period as compared the pre-intervention period, from 34% to 30% (95% CI, for the difference -7.6% to 0.4%), but actually increased for subjects who had activation (48% versus 58%; 95% CI, 4.6%-15.0%). Implementation of the PreAct algorithm was associated with an increase in the PPV of activation for PCI or CABG from 37.9% to 48.6%. The overall odds ratio (OR) associated with the intervention was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.8). The effect of the intervention was to decrease variability between medical centers. There was no associated change in average FMC2B.
The implementation of the PreAct algorithm in the LAC EMS system was associated with an overall increase in the PPV of cardiac catheterization laboratory activation.
To inform the efficient allocation of testing resources, we evaluated the characteristics of those tested for COVID-19 to determine predictors of a positive test. Recent travel and exposure to a confirmed case were both highly predictive of positive testing. Symptom-based screening strategies alone may be inadequate to control the ongoing pandemic.
Les AVP sont le principal pourvoyeur d’ESPT (Kupchik et al., 2007), dont la prévalence fluctue de 6 à 45 % entre les études (Heron-Delaney et al., 2013). En l’absence de repérage clinique, l’ESPT peut se chroniciser (Kessler et al., 1995). Les outils actuels permettent son diagnostic (Jackson et al., 2011), mais pas de dépister précocement les sujets à risque de développer un ESPT post-AVP en aigu (8 semaines) comme en chronique (6 mois) ou en tardif (1 an). Nous présentons une étude longitudinale réalisée sur 274 patients répartis sur 6 centres de traumatologie ayant pour objectif principal de valider un outil infirmier de dépistage précoce d’ESPT après un AVP (DEPITAC). Dix questions ont été soumises à tout patient hospitalisé dans les 15 jours après un AVP, ainsi qu’une PDI et un MINI DSM-IV. La PCL-S (cut-off à 44) a permis le diagnostic à 8 semaines, 6 mois et 1 an. L’analyse statistique a été réalisée avec le logiciel SAS Institute 9.4. Le score total DEPITAC était significativement associé au diagnostic d’ESPT à 1 an (OR : 1,43 ; IC95 % : 1,14–1,79) avec un pouvoir discriminant de 0,64 (IC95 % : 0,56–0,72). DEPITAC était corrélé à l’échelle PDI (p < 0,0001) avec un faible coefficient de corrélation (r = 0,32) montrant une faible redondance. Seules 3 questions après analyses bivariées s’avèrent significatives : « présence d’autres blessés ou décédés lors de l’AVP », « présence d’une dissociation post-AVP » et « s’être vu mourir lors de l’AVP » avec un pouvoir discriminant de 0,65 (IC95 % : 0,57–0,73). Aucun effet centre n’a été mis en évidence (p = 0,90). Nos résultats semblent montrer qu’à l’aide de seulement 3 questions de dépistage, les équipes infirmières pourraient repérer les patients à risque de développer un ESPT aigu ou tardif, leur permettant ainsi d’alerter précocement les équipes psychiatriques de liaison ou de pschotraumatologie.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is typically preceded by a prodromal (i.e. pre-illness) period characterized by attenuated positive symptoms and declining functional outcome. Negative symptoms are prominent among individuals at clinical high-risk (CHR) for psychosis (i.e. those with prodromal syndromes) and highly predictive of conversion to illness. Mechanisms underlying negative symptoms in the CHR population are unclear. Two studies were conducted to evaluate whether abnormalities in a reward processing mechanism thought to be core to negative symptoms in SZ, value representation, also exist in CHR individuals and whether they are associated with negative symptoms transphasically.
Study 1 included 33 individuals in the chronic phase of illness who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (SZ) and 40 healthy controls (CN). Study 2 included 37 CHR participants and 45 CN. In both studies, participants completed the delay discounting (DD) task as a measure of value representation and the Brief Negative Symptom Scale was rated to measure negative symptoms.
Results indicated that patients with SZ had steeper discounting rates than CN, indicating impairments in value representation. However, CHR participants were unimpaired on the DD task. In both studies, steeper discounting was associated with greater severity of negative symptoms.
These findings suggest that deficits in value representation are associated with negative symptoms transphasically.
Clinically, OC-checkers often report staring compulsions and “lack of action completion” sensations, which have been linked to self-agency alterations. Belayachi and Van der Linden (2009) theoretically proposed that “abnormal” checkers self-agency could be due to an over-reliability on environmental cues and to a tendency to specify actions in a procedural and inflexible way, conceiving them as “low-level” agents. Currently, no studies have experimentally address this issue.
To investigate self-agency in OC-checkers subtype, measuring gaze agency (the ability to understand that we can cause events through our eye movements) and taking into account both agency beliefs and agency feelings.
13 OC-checkers and 13 healthy controls underwent two tasks. “Discovery” task, a completely novel task used to examine causal learning abilities. Subjects watched bouncing balls on a computer screen with the aim of discovering the cause of concurrently presented acoustical beeps. “Detection” task, a two-alternative forced choice task that required subjects to tell whether or not the beeps were generated by their own eye movements.
– lower performance scores and confidence ratings when they have to self-attribute the beep cause, but not eye behavioral differences, during discovery task;
– lower confidence ratings, but a level of accuracy similar to that of controls, during detection task.
Checkers do not show an altered self-agency per se, but what we have called a “doubtful” self-agency: indeed, we argue that agency beliefs alterations found during Discovery task can be due to pathological doubt, rather than to altered agency feelings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The measurement of thin film mechanical properties free from substrate influence remains one of the outstanding challenges in nanomechanics. Here, a technique based on indentation of a supported film with a flat punch whose diameter is many times the initial film thickness is introduced. This geometry generates a state of confined uniaxial strain for material beneath the punch, allowing direct access to intrinsic stress versus strain response. For simple elastic–plastic materials, this enables material parameters such as elastic modulus, bulk modulus, Poisson's ratio, and yield stress to be simultaneously determined from a single loading curve. The phenomenon of confined plastic yield has not been previously observed in thin films or homogeneous materials, which we demonstrate here for 170 -470 nm thick polystyrene (PS), polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and amorphous Selenium films on silicon. As well as performing full elastic -plastic parameter extraction for these materials at room temperature, we used the technique to study the variation of yield stress in PS to temperatures above the nominal glass transition of 100 °C.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and it is related to multiple negative health consequences. Previous studies have shown that sleep apnea is influenced by genetic factors. However, studies have not investigated the genetic and environmental influences of symptoms of sleep apnea in young adults. Furthermore, the underpinnings of the relationship between apnea symptoms and internalizing/externalizing problems are unknown. The objectives of this study were to estimate the magnitude of: (1) genetic and environmental influences on self-reported apnea symptoms; (2) the relationship between self-reported apnea symptoms and internalizing/externalizing traits; (3) genetic and environmental influences on the associations between self-reported apnea symptoms, internalizing behaviors and externalizing behaviors.
In a twin/sibling study, univariate and multivariate models were fitted to estimate both individual variance and sources of covariance between symptoms of sleep apnea and internalizing/externalizing behaviors.
Our results show that genetic influences account for 40% of the variance in sleep apnea symptoms. Moreover, there are modest associations between depression, anxiety and externalizing behaviors with apnea symptoms (ranging from r = 0.22–0.29). However, the origins of these associations differ. For example, whereas most of the covariation between symptoms of depression and sleep apnea can be explained by genes (95%), there was a larger role for the environment (53%) in the association between symptoms of anxiety and sleep apnea.
Genetic factors explain a significant proportion of variance in symptoms of apnea and most of the covariance with depression.
The goal of this study is to test an implementation and examine users’ perceptions about the usefulness of telemedicine in mass casualty and disaster settings and to provide recommendations for using telemedicine in these settings.
Ninety-two US Army Forward Surgical Team (FST) members participated in a high-fidelity mass casualty simulation at the Army Trauma Training Center (ATTC). Telemedicine was implemented into this simulation.
Only 10.9% of participants chose to use telemedicine. The most common users were surgeons and nurses. Participants believed it somewhat improved patient care, attainment of expert resources, decision-making, and adaptation, but not the timeliness of patient care. Participants reported several barriers to using telemedicine in the mass casualty setting, including (1) confusion around team roles, (2) time constraints, and (3) difficultly using in the mass casualty setting (eg, due to noise and other conditions).
There appear to be barriers to the use and usefulness of telemedicine in mass casualty and disaster contexts. Recommendations include designating a member to lead the use of telemedicine, providing telemedical resources whose benefits outweigh the perceived cost in lost time, and ensuring telemedicine systems are designed for the conditions inherent to mass casualty and disaster settings.
The benefit of late window endovascular treatment (EVT) for anterior circulation ischemic stroke has been demonstrated using perfusion-based neuroimaging. We evaluated whether non-contrast CT (NCCT) and CT-angiogram (CTA) alone can select late-presenting patients for EVT.
We performed a retrospective comparison of all patients undergoing EVT at a single comprehensive stroke center from January 2016 to April 2017. Patients planned for EVT were divided into early (<6 hours from onset) and late (≥6 hours from onset or last time seen normal) window groups. Incidence of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformations (sHTs) at 24 hours and 3-month modified Rankin scores (mRSs) were compared.
During the study period, 204 (82%) patients underwent EVT in the early and 44 (18%) in the late window. Median (interquartile range) NIH Stroke Scale Score was similar between groups (early: 18 [15–23] vs. late: 17 [13–21]), as were median ASPECT scores (early: 9 [8–10] vs. late: 9 [7–9]). In the late window, 42 (95%) strokes were of unknown onset. Similar proportions of sHT occurred at 24 hours (early: 12 [6%] vs. late: 4 [9%], p = 0.43). At 3 months, the proportion of patients achieving functional independence (mRS 0–2) were comparable in the early (80/192 [42%]) and late (16/41 [39%]) windows (p = 0.76).
NCCT- and CTA-based patient selection led to similar functional independence outcomes and low proportions of sHT in the early and late windows. In centers without access to perfusion-based neuroimaging, this pragmatic approach could be safe, particularly for strokes of unknown onset.
In this age of global warming, the automotive industry is seeking to minimize the energy required to manufacture and operate its products without sacrificing performance and safety or increasing cost. Toward this end, whether cars and trucks are powered by internal-combustion engines or batteries, lowering vehicle weight is a major contributor to reducing energy consumption by increasing fuel efficiency. “The industry is driven by fuel efficiency,” said David Matlock of the Colorado School of Mines, who has helped develop advanced high-strength steels (AHSSs) used in autos.
The air gap technique (AGT) is an approach to radiation dose optimisation during fluoroscopy where an “air gap” is used in place of an anti-scatter grid to reduce scatter irradiation. The AGT is effective in adults but remains largely untested in children. Effects are expected to vary depending on patient size and the amount of scatter irradiation produced.
Fluoroscopy and cineangiography were performed using a Phillips Allura Fluoroscope on tissue simulation anthropomorphic phantoms representing a neonate, 5-year-old, and teenager. Monte Carlo simulations were then used to estimate effective radiation dose first using a standard recommended imaging approach and then repeated using the AGT. Objective image quality assessments were performed using an image quality phantom.
Effective radiation doses for the neonate and 5-year-old phantom increased consistently (2–92%) when the AGT was used compared to the standard recommended imaging approaches in which the anti-scatter grid is removed at baseline. In the teenage phantom, the AGT reduced effective doses by 5–59%, with greater dose reductions for imaging across the greater thoracic dimension of lateral projection. The AGT increased geometric magnification but with no detectable change in image blur or contrast differentiation.
The AGT is an effective approach for dose reduction in larger patients, particularly for lateral imaging. Compared to the current dose optimisation guidelines, the technique may be harmful in smaller children where scatter irradiation is minimal.
The diagnosis of anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis relies on the detection of NMDAR IgG autoantibodies in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of symptomatic patients. Commercial kits are available that allow NMDAR IgG autoantibodies to be measured in local laboratories. However, the performance of these tests outside of reference laboratories is unknown.
To report an unexpectedly low rate of NMDAR autoantibody detection in serum from patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis tested using a commercially available diagnostic kit in an exemplar clinical laboratory.
Paired CSF and serum samples from seven patients with definite anti-NMDAR encephalitis were tested for NMDAR IgG autoantibodies using commercially available cell-based assays run according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Rates of autoantibody detection in serum tested at our center were compared with those derived from systematic review and meta-analyses incorporating studies published during or before March 2019.
NMDAR IgG autoantibodies were detected in the CSF of all patients tested at our clinical laboratory but not in paired serum samples. Rates of the detection were lower than those previously reported. A similar association was recognized through meta-analyses, with lower odds of NMDAR IgG autoantibody detection associated with serum testing performed in nonreference laboratories.
Commercial kits may yield lower-than-expected rates of NMDAR IgG autoantibody detection in serum when run in exemplar clinical (nonreference) laboratories. Additional studies are needed to decipher the factors that contribute to lower-than-expected rates of serum positivity. CSF testing is recommended in patients with suspected anti-NMDAR encephalitis.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.