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Conferences are designed for knowledge translation, but traditional conference evaluations are inadequate. We lack studies that explore alternative metrics to traditional evaluation metrics. We sought to determine how traditional evaluation metrics and Twitter metrics performed using data from a conference of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP).
This study used a retrospective design to compare social media posts and tradition evaluations related to an annual specialty conference. A post (“tweet”) on the social media platform Twitter was included if it associated with a session. We differentiated original and discussion tweets from retweets. We weighted the numbers of tweets and retweets to comprise a novel Twitter Discussion Index. We extracted the speaker score from the conference evaluation. We performed descriptive statistics and correlation analyses.
Of a total of 3,804 tweets, 2,218 (58.3%) were session-specific. Forty-eight percent (48%) of all sessions received tweets (mean = 11.7 tweets; 95% CI of 0 to 57.5; range, 0–401), with a median Twitter Discussion Index score of 8 (interquartile range, 0 to 27). In the 111 standard presentations, 85 had traditional evaluation metrics and 71 received tweets (p > 0.05), while 57 received both. Twenty (20 of 71; 28%) moderated posters and 44% (40 of 92) posters or oral abstracts received tweets without traditional evaluation metrics. We found no significant correlation between Twitter Discussion Index and traditional evaluation metrics (R = 0.087).
We found no correlation between traditional evaluation metrics and Twitter metrics. However, in many sessions with and without traditional evaluation metrics, audience created real-time tweets to disseminate knowledge. Future conference organizers could use Twitter metrics as a complement to traditional evaluation metrics to evaluate knowledge translation and dissemination.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs typically use days of therapy to assess antimicrobial use. However, this metric does not account for the antimicrobial spectrum of activity. We applied an antibiotic spectrum index to a population of very-low-birth-weight infants to assess its utility to evaluate the impact of antimicrobial stewardship interventions.
To evaluate the clinical impact of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) on high-risk pediatric patients.
Retrospective cohort study.
Free-standing pediatric hospital.
This study included patients who received an ASP review between March 3, 2008, and March 2, 2017, and were considered high-risk, including patients receiving care by the neonatal intensive care (NICU), hematology/oncology (H/O), or pediatric intensive care (PICU) medical teams.
The ASP recommendations included stopping antibiotics; modifying antibiotic type, dose, or duration; or obtaining an infectious diseases consultation. The outcomes evaluated in all high-risk patients with ASP recommendations were (1) hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection, (2) mortality, and (3) 30-day readmission. Subanalyses were conducted to evaluate hospital length of stay (LOS) and tracheitis treatment failure. Multivariable generalized linear models were performed to examine the relationship between ASP recommendations and each outcome after adjusting for clinical service and indication for treatment.
The ASP made 2,088 recommendations, and 50% of these recommendations were to stop antibiotics. Recommendation agreement occurred in 70% of these cases. Agreement with an ASP recommendation was not associated with higher odds of mortality or hospital readmission. Patients with a single ASP review and agreed upon recommendation had a shorter median LOS (10.2 days vs 13.2 days; P < .05). The ASP recommendations were not associated with high rates of tracheitis treatment failure.
ASP recommendations do not result in worse clinical outcomes among high-risk pediatric patients. Most ASP recommendations are to stop or to narrow antimicrobial therapy. Further work is needed to enhance stewardship efforts in high-risk pediatric patients.
We retrospectively evaluated the effect of penicillin adverse drug reaction (ADR) labeling on surgical antibiotic prophylaxis. Cefazolin was administered in 86% of penicillin ADR-negative (−) and 28% penicillin ADR-positive (+) cases. Broad-spectrum antibiotic use was more common in ADR(+) cases and was more commonly associated with perioperative adverse drug events.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
We analyzed antifungal and antiviral prescribing among high-risk children across freestanding children’s hospitals. Antifungal and antiviral days of therapy varied across hospitals. Benchmarking antifungal and antiviral use and developing antimicrobial stewardship strategies to optimize use of these high cost agents is needed.
The number of pediatric antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) is increasing and program evaluation is a key component to improve efficiency and enhance stewardship strategies.
To determine the antimicrobials and diagnoses most strongly associated with a recommendation provided by a well-established pediatric ASP.
DESIGN AND SETTING
Retrospective cohort study from March 3, 2008, to March 2, 2013, of all ASP reviews performed at a free-standing pediatric hospital.
ASP recommendations were classified as follows: stop therapy, modify therapy, optimize therapy, or consult infectious diseases. A multinomial distribution model to determine the probability of each ASP recommendation category was performed on the basis of the specific antimicrobial agent or disease category. A logistic model was used to determine the odds of recommendation disagreement by the prescribing clinician.
The ASP made 2,317 recommendations: stop therapy (45%), modify therapy (26%), optimize therapy (19%), or consult infectious diseases (10%). Third-generation cephalosporins (0.20) were the antimicrobials with the highest predictive probability of an ASP recommendation whereas linezolid (0.05) had the lowest probability. Community-acquired pneumonia (0.26) was the diagnosis with the highest predictive probability of an ASP recommendation whereas fever/neutropenia (0.04) had the lowest probability. Disagreement with ASP recommendations by the prescribing clinician occurred 22% of the time, most commonly involving community-acquired pneumonia and ear/nose/throat infections.
Evaluation of our pediatric ASP identified specific clinical diagnoses and antimicrobials associated with an increased likelihood of an ASP recommendation. Focused interventions targeting these high-yield areas may result in increased program efficiency and efficacy.
Outcome feedback is the process of learning patient outcomes after their care within the emergency department. We conducted a national survey of Canadian Royal College emergency medicine (EM) residents and program directors to determine the extent to which active outcome feedback and follow-up occurred. We also compared the perceived educational value of outcome feedback between residents and program directors.
We distributed surveys to all Royal College-accredited adult and pediatric EM training programs using a modified Dillman method. We analyzed the data using student’s t-test for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables.
We received 210 completed surveys from 260 eligible residents (80.8%) and 21 of 24 program directors (87.5%) (overall 81.3%). Mandatory active outcome feedback was not present in any EM training program for admitted or discharged patients (0/21). Follow-up was performed electively by 89.4% of residents for patients admitted to the hospital, and by 44.2% of residents for patients discharged home. A majority of residents (76.9%) believed that patient follow-up should be mandatory compared to 42.9% of program directors (p=0.002). The perceived educational value of outcome feedback was 5.8/7 for residents and 5.1/7 for program directors (difference 0.7; p=0.002) based on a seven-point Likert scale (1=not important; 7=very important).
While Canadian EM training programs do not mandate follow-up, it is performed electively by the majority of residents surveyed. Residents place a significantly greater educational value on outcome feedback than their program directors, and believe that follow-up should be a mandatory component of EM residencies.
Emergency medicine point-of-care ultrasonography (EM-PoCUS) is a core competency for residents in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and College of Family Physicians of Canada emergency medicine (EM) training programs. Although EM-PoCUS fellowships are currently offered in Canada, there is little consensus regarding what training should be included in a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship curriculum or how this contrasts with the training received in an EM residency.
To conduct a systematic needs assessment of major stakeholders to define the essential elements necessary for a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship training curriculum.
We carried out a national survey of experts in EM-PoCUS, EM residency program directors, and EM residents. Respondents were asked to identify competencies deemed either nonessential to EM practice, essential for general EM practice, essential for advanced EM practice, or essential for EM-PoCUS fellowship trained (‘‘expert’’) practice.
The response rate was 81% (351 of 435). PoCUS was deemed essential to general EM practice for basic cardiac, aortic, trauma, and procedural imaging. PoCUS was deemed essential to advanced EM practice in undifferentiated symptomatology, advanced chest pathologies, and advanced procedural applications. Expert-level PoCUS competencies were identified for administrative, pediatric, and advanced gynecologic applications. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated that there was a need for EM-PoCUS fellowships, with an ideal length of 6 months.
This is the first needs assessment of major stakeholders in Canada to identify competencies for expert training in EM-PoCUS. The competencies should form the basis for EM-PoCUS fellowship programs in Canada.
To estimate and compare the impact on healthcare costs of 3 alternative strategies for reducing bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit (ICU): methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, targeted decolonization (ie, screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers or infections), and universal decolonization (ie, no screening and decolonization of all ICU patients).
Cost analysis using decision modeling.
We developed a decision-analysis model to estimate the health care costs of targeted decolonization and universal decolonization strategies compared with a strategy of MRSA nares screening and isolation. Effectiveness estimates were derived from a recent randomized trial of the 3 strategies, and cost estimates were derived from the literature.
In the base case, universal decolonization was the dominant strategy and was estimated to have both lower intervention costs and lower total ICU costs than either screening and isolation or targeted decolonization. Compared with screening and isolation, universal decolonization was estimated to save $171,000 and prevent 9 additional bloodstream infections for every 1,000 ICU admissions. The dominance of universal decolonization persisted under a wide range of cost and effectiveness assumptions.
A strategy of universal decolonization for patients admitted to the ICU would both reduce bloodstream infections and likely reduce healthcare costs compared with strategies of MRSA nares screening and isolation or screening and isolation coupled with targeted decolonization.
Point-of-care ultrasonography (PoCUS) first appeared in the 1980s in North America, but the extent of the diffusion of its adoption is unknown. We characterized early PoCUS adoption by emergency physicians in Canada and its barriers to use using Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory.
We developed a questionnaire based on a pilot study and literature review to assess past, current, and potential use of PoCUS and potential barriers to adoption. A Dillman technique for electronic surveys was used for dissemination. Using Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory, we developed and validated the Evaluation Tool for Ultrasound skills Development and Education (ETUDE). ETUDE scores allowed categorization of respondents into innovators, early adopters, majority, and nonadopters. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and x2 statistics were used to analyze the data.
The 296 respondents (36.4% of 814 surveyed) had a median age of 40 and were 72.5% male. Adoption scores using ETUDE revealed nonadopters (18.8%), majority (28.7%), early adopters (34.5%), and innovators (18.0%). Respondents endorsed “always” using PoCUS currently and in the future for focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) (current 41.8%/future 88.4%), first trimester pregnancy (current 23.3%/future 73.7%), suspected abdominal aortic aneurysm (current 32.7%/future 92.6%), basic cardiac indications (current 30.7%/future 87.5%), and central venous catheterization (current 17.0%/future 80.3%). Several barriers to PoCUS were identified for part-time emergency physicians and those working in inner-city/urban/suburban settings.
This is the first study to determine the state of adoption and barriers to the introduction of PoCUS in Canadian emergency medicine practice. The novel validated ETUDE instrument should be used to evaluate the uptake of PoCUS over time.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are a mechanism to ensure the appropriate use of antimicrobials. The extent to which ASPs are formally implemented in freestanding children's hospitals is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ASPs in freestanding children's hospitals.
We conducted an electronic survey of 42 freestanding children's hospitals that are members of the Children's Hospital Association to determine the presence and characteristics of their ASPs. For hospitals without an ASP, we determined whether stewardship strategies were in place and whether there were barriers to implementing a formal ASP.
We received responses from 38 (91%) of 42. Among responding institutions, 16 (38%) had a formal ASP, and 15 (36%) were in the process of implementing a program. Most ASPs (13 [81%] of 16) were started after 2007. The median number of full-time equivalents dedicated to ASPs was 0.63 (range, 0.1–1.8). The most common antimicrobials monitored by ASPs were linezolid, vancomycin, and carbapenems. Many hospitals without a formal ASP were performing stewardship activities, including elements of prospective audit and feedback (9 [41%] of 22), formulary restriction (9 [41%] of 22), and use of clinical guidelines (17 [77%] of 22). Antimicrobial outcomes were more likely to be monitored by hospitals with ASPs (100% vs 68%; P = .01), although only 1 program provided support for a data analyst.
Most freestanding children's hospitals have implemented or are developing an ASP. These programs differ in structure and function, and more data are needed to identify program characteristics that have the greatest impact.