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Several evidence-informed treatment guidelines recommend against the use of typical antipsychotics in patients with Parkinson’s disease; of the atypical antipsychotics, clozapine and quetiapine are preferred. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency with which potentially inappropriate antipsychotics are dispensed to older adults in Nova Scotia who are on levodopa-containing medications. In this cohort, 59.9% were dispensed a preferred atypical antipsychotic and 12.6% a potentially harmful typical antipsychotic. Our results suggest that potentially inappropriate prescribing practices are common in the neuropsychiatric management of patients with parkinsonism and that there is an opportunity for education and improvement in prescribing practices.
Despite evidence demonstrating the advantages of metered-dose inhalers with spacers (MDI-s), nebulization (NEB) remains the primary method of asthma treatment in some pediatric emergency departments (PEDs). There is a perception that delivering salbutamol by MDI-s is more costly than by NEB. This research evaluates the relative costs of MDI-s and NEB using local, hospital-specific, patient-level data.
Regression models estimated associations between the salbutamol inhalation method and costs, length of stay (LOS) in the PED and hospital, and the probability of admission. Our population was a random sample of 822 patients presenting with wheeze to the PED in 2008/2009. Control variables included age, sex, triage acuity, time of PED visit, other medications, and vitals. Costs were calculated using the prices and quantities of medical resources used per treatment. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was used.
Treatment with MDI-s versus NEB was associated with an absolute decrease in hospitalization of 4.4% (p<0.05) and a 25-hour (p<0.001) reduction in average inpatient stay, after controlling for triage acuity and patient characteristics. This resulted in savings of $24/patient in the PED and $180/patient overall (p<0.001). Inpatient care accounted for more than 90% of total patient costs.
Our results suggest economic gains associated with MDI-s for salbutamol inhalation in PEDs. Sensitivity analyses show that this conclusion is not affected by changes in model parameters that may differ by jurisdiction. Since most facilities already collect the data used for this study, our methods could be adopted for a cross-jurisdictional account of the cost effectiveness of MDI-s.
The primary objective of this study was to quantify the impact of a clinical practice intervention to promote the delivery of salbutamol by metered-dose inhaler (MDI) in a pediatric emergency department (PED). A secondary objective was to retrospectively document the components of the intervention.
PED inventory data for salbutamol inhalation solution (nebules), MDIs, and holding chambers were obtained from the pharmacy department. Patient data were obtained fromthe hospital's decision support unit. Interrupted time series analysis was used to evaluate trends in salbutamol inventory data, patient triage acuity, and hospital admissions from January 1, 2003, to May 31, 2010. Interviews and administrative documents were used to identify components of the intervention, which began in 2006.
There was a 1,215% increase in the proportion of salbutamol delivered as MDIs compared to total inhaled salbutamol (MDI plus nebulization solution) following the intervention (95% CI 1,032% to 1,396%, p < 0.001). Increases in salbutamol MDI use were associated with the implementation of an institution-specific asthma care map. A relative decrease of 32% in the hospital admission rate (absolute –7.25%: 95% CI –8.31 to –6.19, p < 0.001) was associated with the change in salbutamol MDI use and the use of the asthma care map.
A multifaceted intervention, designed and implemented by local PED clinical leaders, resulted in a pronounced change in salbutamol inhalation practice, with an associated decrease in admission rates. This intervention demonstrated many of the criteria for successful health system change. Findings from this research may be contextualized to inform change elsewhere.
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