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Using the example of surveys conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) regarding the management of Ebola cases in the United States, we aimed to demonstrate how survey-based information networks can provide timely data to inform best practices in responding to public health emergencies.
ACEP conducted 3 surveys among its members in October to November 2014 to assess the state of Ebola preparedness in emergency departments. We analyzed the surveys to illustrate the types of information that can be gleaned from such surveys. We analyzed qualitative data through theme extraction and collected quantitative results through cross-tabulations and logistic regression examining associations between outcomes and potential contributing factors.
In the first survey, most respondents perceived their hospital as being reasonably prepared for Ebola. The second survey revealed significant associations between a hospital’s preparedness and its perceived ability to admit Ebola patients. The third survey identified 3 hospital characteristics that were significantly and independently associated with perceived ability to admit Ebola patients: large size, previous Ebola screening experience, and physician- and nurse-led hospital preparedness.
Professional associations can use their member networks to collect timely survey data to inform best practices during and immediately after public health emergencies. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:681–690)
Antibiograms have effectively improved antibiotic prescribing in acute-care settings; however, their effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is currently unknown.
To develop SNF-specific antibiograms and identify opportunities to improve antibiotic prescribing.
Design and Setting.
Cross-sectional and pretest-posttest study among residents of 3 Maryland SNFs.
Antibiograms were created using clinical culture data from a 6-month period in each SNF. We also used admission clinical culture data from the acute care facility primarily associated with each SNF for transferred residents. We manually collected all data from medical charts, and antibiograms were created using WHONET software. We then used a pretest-posttest study to evaluate the effectiveness of an antibiogram on changing antibiotic prescribing practices in a single SNF. Appropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was defined as an empirical antibiotic choice that sufficiently covered the infecting organism, considering antibiotic susceptibilities.
We reviewed 839 patient charts from SNF and acute care facilities. During the initial assessment period, 85% of initial antibiotic use in the SNFs was empirical, and thus only 15% of initial antibiotics were based on culture results. Fluoroquinolones were the most frequently used empirical antibiotics, accounting for 54.5% of initial prescribing instances. Among patients with available culture data, only 35% of empirical antibiotic prescribing was determined to be appropriate. In the single SNF in which we evaluated antibiogram effectiveness, prevalence of appropriate antibiotic prescribing increased from 32% to 45% after antibiogram implementation; however, this was not statistically significant (P = .32).
Implementation of antibiograms may be effective in improving empirical antibiotic prescribing in SNFs.
Predicting the number of patient encounters and transports during mass gatherings can be challenging. The nature of these events necessitates that proper resources are available to meet the needs that arise. Several prediction models to assist event planners in forecasting medical utilization have been proposed in the literature.
The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of the Arbon and Hartman models in predicting the number of patient encounters and transportations from the Baltimore Grand Prix (BGP), held in 2011 and 2012. It was hypothesized that the Arbon method, which utilizes regression model-derived equations to estimate, would be more accurate than the Hartman model, which categorizes events into only three discreet severity types.
This retrospective analysis of the BGP utilized data collected from an electronic patient tracker system. The actual number of patients evaluated and transported at the BGP was tabulated and compared to the numbers predicted by the two studied models. Several environmental features including weather, crowd attendance, and presence of alcohol were used in the Arbon and Hartman models.
Approximately 130,000 spectators attended the first event, and approximately 131,000 attended the second. The number of patient encounters per day ranged from 19 to 57 in 2011, and the number of transports from the scene ranged from two to nine. In 2012, the number of patients ranged from 19 to 44 per day, and the number of transports to emergency departments ranged from four to nine. With the exception of one day in 2011, the Arbon model overpredicted the number of encounters. For both events, the Hartman model overpredicted the number of patient encounters. In regard to hospital transports, the Arbon model underpredicted the actual numbers whereas the Hartman model both overpredicted and underpredicted the number of transports from both events, varying by day.
These findings call attention to the need for the development of a versatile and accurate model that can more accurately predict the number of patient encounters and transports associated with mass-gathering events so that medical needs can be anticipated and sufficient resources can be provided.
NableJV, MargolisAM, LawnerBJ, HirshonJM, PerriconeAJ, GalvagnoSM, LeeD, MillinMG, BissellRA, AlcortaRL. Comparison of Prediction Models for Use of Medical Resources at Urban Auto-racing Events. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(6):1-6.
Inspections of 272 facilities were performed between May 1992 and October 1994 to determine compliance with applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for prevention of tuberculosis (TB) transmission.
Retrospective record review of two data sources: (1) OSHA's Computerized Integrated Management Information System and (2) an inspector-completed questionnaire on inspection results.
Inspections of five types of facilities: healthcare institutions, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, long-term–care facilities for the elderly, and others, including drug treatment centers that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified as having a higher than expected rate of TB.
The OSHA Compliance Memorandum, based on the 1990 CDC Guidelines, which outlined elements of a TB prevention program, was used in performing 272 inspections of facilities between May 1992 and October 1994. Elements of compliance were recorded and reviewed from the IMIS database and inspectors' questionnaires.
Regulated facilities were not fully compliant with OSHA guidance. Generally, healthcare facilities performed better than other facilities. Most facilities (79%) were compliant with administrative elements of a comprehensive TB control program, such as early identification of known or suspected infectious TB patients and skin testing of workers. Only 29% of inspected facilities were found to have acceptable respiratory protection programs for the prevention of occupational TB.
Facilities have not been fully compliant with the OSHA memorandum describing protection of workers from TB. Facility compliance was better with some traditionally recognized TB infection control elements, but was weaker in the area of respiratory protection programs. This may reflect a lack of familiarity with the latter type of hazard protection.
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