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We implemented a cleaning process for mobile patient equipment (MPE) and determined its success using adenosine trisphosphate (ATP) monitoring and data feedback. Following education for staff and ATP data feedback, the data suggest that the MPE cleaning program we implemented was successful.
Depictions of eye images and messages encouraging compliance with social norms have successfully motivated behavioral change in a variety of experimental and applied settings. We studied the effect of these 2 visual cues on hand hygiene adherence in a cohort of hospital-based healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.
Prospective, quasi-experimental study utilizing an interrupted time-series design. Intervention placards depicting an image of eyes, a social norms message, or a control placard were placed near soap and alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers on 2 hospital units. Placards were alternated every 10 days. Hand hygiene opportunities and adherence rates were assessed electronically via the CenTrak Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution.
A total of 166 nurses and certified nursing assistants (74 on a medical-surgical unit and 92 on a progressive care unit) were monitored electronically over the 4-month study period. In total, 184,172 electronic observations were collected (110,903 on a medical-surgical unit and 73,269 on a progressive care unit). The median daily number of electronic observations was 1,471 (interquartile range, 1,337–1,584). The preintervention baseline hand hygiene adherence rate was 70%. No statistically significant increase in hand hygiene adherence was observed as a result of either intervention.
Displaying eye images or a social norms message in the hospital environment did not result in measurable improvements in HH adherence in a cohort of healthcare providers participating in an electronic monitoring and feedback program.
Smartphones are increasingly used to access clinical decision support, and many medical applications provide antimicrobial prescribing guidance. However, these applications do not account for local antibiotic resistance patterns and formularies. We implemented an institution-specific antimicrobial stewardship smartphone application and studied patterns of use over a 1-year period.
We evaluated the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions for acute sinusitis and pharyngitis. Overall, 81% of antibiotic prescriptions for acute sinusitis were inappropriate and 48% of antibiotic prescriptions for pharyngitis were inappropriate. Types of prescribing errors differed between the 2 infections, including lack of an indication for antibiotics and excessive duration in ~50% of sinusitis cases and incorrect antibiotic dose in ~33% of pharyngitis cases.
UK Biobank is an open access prospective cohort of 500 000 men and women. Information on the frequency of consumption of main foods was collected at recruitment with a touchscreen questionnaire; prior to examining the associations between diet and disease, it is essential to evaluate the performance of the dietary touchscreen questionnaire. The objectives of the present paper are to: describe the repeatability of the touchscreen questionnaire in participants (n 20 348) who repeated the assessment centre visit approximately 4 years after recruitment, and compare the dietary touchscreen variables with mean intakes from participants (n 140 080) who completed at least one of the four web-based 24-h dietary assessments post-recruitment. For fish and meat items, 90 % or more of participants reported the same or adjacent category of intake at the repeat assessment visit; for vegetables and fruit, and for a derived partial fibre score (in fifths), 70 % or more of participants were classified into the same or adjacent category of intake (κweighted > 0·50 for all). Participants were also categorised based on their responses to the dietary touchscreen questionnaire at recruitment, and within each category the group mean intake of the same food group or nutrient from participants who had completed at least one web-based 24-h dietary assessment was calculated. The comparison showed that the dietary touchscreen variables, available on the full cohort, reliably rank participants according to intakes of the main food groups.
For most common infections requiring hospitalization, antibiotic treatment is completed after hospital discharge. Postdischarge therapy is often unnecessarily broad spectrum and prolonged. We developed an intervention to improve antibiotic selection and shorten treatment durations.
Single center, quasi-experimental retrospective cohort study
Patients prescribed oral antibiotics at hospital discharge before (July 2012–June 2013) and after (October 2014–February 2015) an intervention consisting of (1) institutional guidance for oral step-down antibiotic selection and duration of therapy and (2) pharmacy audit of discharge prescriptions with real-time prescribing recommendations to providers. The primary outcomes measured were total prescribed duration of therapy and use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity (ie, fluoroquinolones or amoxicillin-clavulanate).
Overall, 300 cases from the preintervention period and 200 cases from the intervention period were included. Compared with the preintervention period, the use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity decreased during the intervention (51% vs 40%; P=.02), particularly fluoroquinolones (38% vs 25%; P=.002). The total duration of therapy decreased from a median of 10 days (interquartile range [IQR], 7–13 days) to 9 days (IQR, 6–13 days) but did not reach statistical significance (P=.13). However, the duration prescribed at discharge declined from 6 days (IQR, 4–10 days) to 5 days (IQR, 3–7 days) (P=.003). During the intervention, there was a nonsignificant increase in the overall appropriateness of discharge prescriptions from 52% to 66% (P=.15).
A multifaceted intervention to optimize antibiotic prescribing at hospital discharge was associated with less frequent use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity and shorter postdischarge treatment durations.
Observational studies compare outcomes among subjects with and without an exposure of interest, without intervention from study investigators. Observational studies can be designed as a prospective or retrospective cohort study or as a case-control study. In healthcare epidemiology, these observational studies often take advantage of existing healthcare databases, making them more cost-effective than clinical trials and allowing analyses of rare outcomes. This paper addresses the importance of selecting a well-defined study population, highlights key considerations for study design, and offers potential solutions including biostatistical tools that are applicable to observational study designs.
Although dietary intake over a single 24-h period may be atypical of an individual’s habitual pattern, multiple 24-h dietary assessments can be representative of habitual intake and help in assessing seasonal variation. Web-based questionnaires are convenient for the participant and result in automatic data capture for study investigators. This study reports on the acceptability of repeated web-based administration of the Oxford WebQ – a 24-h recall of frequency from a set food list suitable for self-completion from which energy and nutrient values can be automatically generated. As part of the UK Biobank study, four invitations to complete the Oxford WebQ were sent by email over a 16-month period. Overall, 176 012 (53 % of those invited) participants completed the online version of the Oxford WebQ at least once and 66 % completed it more than once, although only 16 % completed it on all four occasions. The response rate for any one round of invitations varied between 34 and 26 %. On most occasions, the Oxford WebQ was completed on the same day that they received the invitation, although this was less likely if sent on a weekend. Participants who completed the Oxford WebQ tended to be white, female, slightly older, less deprived and more educated, which is typical of health-conscious volunteer-based studies. These findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest that repeated 24-h dietary assessment via the Internet is acceptable to the public and a feasible strategy for large population-based studies.
To design better antimicrobial stewardship programs, detailed data on the primary drivers and patterns of antibiotic use are needed.
To characterize the indications for antibiotic therapy, agents used, duration, combinations, and microbiological justification in 6 acute-care US facilities with varied location, size, and type of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS, AND SETTING
Retrospective medical chart review was performed on a random cross-sectional sample of 1,200 adult inpatients, hospitalized (>24 hrs) in 6 hospitals, and receiving at least 1 antibiotic dose on 4 index dates chosen at equal intervals through a 1-year study period (October 1, 2009–September 30, 2010).
Infectious disease specialists recorded patient demographic characteristics, comorbidities, microbiological and radiological testing, and agents used, dose, duration, and indication for antibiotic prescriptions.
On the index dates 4,119 (60.5%) of 6,812 inpatients were receiving antibiotics. The random sample of 1,200 case patients was receiving 2,527 antibiotics (average: 2.1 per patient); 540 (21.4%) were prophylactic and 1,987 (78.6%) were therapeutic, of which 372 (18.7%) were pathogen-directed at start. Of the 1,615 empirical starts, 382 (23.7%) were subsequently pathogen-directed and 1,231 (76.2%) remained empirical. Use was primarily for respiratory (27.6% of prescriptions) followed by gastrointestinal (13.1%) infections. Fluoroquinolones, vancomycin, and antipseudomonal penicillins together accounted for 47.1% of therapy-days.
Use of broad-spectrum empirical therapy was prevalent in 6 US acute care facilities and in most instances was not subsequently pathogen directed. Fluoroquinolones, vancomycin, and antipseudomonal penicillins were the most frequently used antibiotics, particularly for respiratory indications.
Surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance methods vary among infection preventionists. An online survey regarding SSI surveillance technique was administered to infection preventionists and linked to superficial and complex colon SSI rates. Higher superficial but not complex SSI rates were reported when more SSI surveillance techniques were used (P <.0001).
Surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance techniques for colon surgery and hysterectomy among Colorado infection preventionists were characterized through an online survey. Considerable variation was found in SSI surveillance practices, specifically varying use of triggers for SSI review, including laboratory values, healthcare personnel communication, and postoperative visits.
Skin preparation products contribute to surgical site infection (SSI) prevention. In a case-control study, diabetes was associated with increased SSI (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 5.74 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–27.0]), while the use of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) plus isopropyl alcohol versus CHG alone was found to be protective (adjusted OR, 2.64 [95% CI, 1.12–6.20]).
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1535–1538
We used mandatory public reporting as an impetus to perform a statewide study to define risk factors for surgical site infection. Among women who underwent abdominal hysterectomy, blood transfusion was a significant risk factor for surgical site infection in patients who experienced blood loss of less than 500 mL.
To describe the development of the Oxford WebQ, a web-based 24 h dietary assessment tool developed for repeated administration in large prospective studies; and to report the preliminary assessment of its performance for estimating nutrient intakes.
We developed the Oxford WebQ by repeated testing until it was sufficiently comprehensive and easy to use. For the latest version, we compared nutrient intakes from volunteers who completed both the Oxford WebQ and an interviewer-administered 24 h dietary recall on the same day.
A total of 116 men and women.
The WebQ took a median of 12·5 (interquartile range: 10·8–16·3) min to self-complete and nutrient intakes were estimated automatically. By contrast, the interviewer-administered 24 h dietary recall took 30 min to complete and 30 min to code. Compared with the 24 h dietary recall, the mean Spearman's correlation for the 21 nutrients obtained from the WebQ was 0·6, with the majority between 0·5 and 0·9. The mean differences in intake were less than ±10 % for all nutrients except for carotene and vitamins B12 and D. On rare occasions a food item was reported in only one assessment method, but this was not more frequent or systematically different between the methods.
Compared with an interviewer-based 24 h dietary recall, the WebQ captures similar food items and estimates similar nutrient intakes for a single day's dietary intake. The WebQ is self-administered and nutrients are estimated automatically, providing a low-cost method for measuring dietary intake in large-scale studies.
Being able to obtain and analyze quantitative data are an essential components of any undergraduate education in science or engineering. At the most basic level, this begins with characterizing the measurement system using proper statistical techniques. Although most undergraduates in the sciences and engineering are required to take a course in statistics, the knowledge gained in the statistics course does not always find its way into practice. In this paper we will present 4 experimental modules that will enable the student to: 1. Assess the precision of a measurement system; 2. Determine if the system is stable with respect to a number of variables; 3. Quantify the amount of variation that exists within a particular sample; 4. Quantify the amount of variation from sample to sample (i.e., process variation). Our modules were applied to the measurement of silicon dioxide thickness from an oxidation process. However, they generally apply to any process that involves measuring a physical quantity. Assessing these sources of variation in a process form the foundation for more advanced techniques such as process control and experimental design.
The seventh annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from February 5 to 7, 2010, with 224 attendees onsite. The theme for the meeting was “Advancing Excellence in Teaching Political Science.” Using the working-group model, the TLC track format encourages in-depth discussion and debate on research dealing with the scholarship of teaching and learning.