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Resource allocation planning for emergency medical services (EMS) systems determines appropriate resources including what paramedic qualification and how rapidly to respond to patients for optimal outcomes. The British Columbia Emergency Health Services implemented a revised response plan in 2013.
A pre- and post-methodology was used to evaluate the effect of the resource allocation plan revision on 24-hour mortality. All adult cases with evaluable outcome data (obtained through linked provincial health administrative data) were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust for variations in other significant associated factors. Interrupted time series analysis was used to estimate immediate changes in level or trend of outcome after the start of the revised resource allocation plan implementation, while simultaneously controlling for pre-existing trends.
The derived cohort comprised 562,546 cases (April 2012–March 2015). When adjusted for age, sex, urban/metro region, season, day, hour, and dispatch determinant, the probability of dying within 24 hours of an EMS call was 7% lower in the post-resource allocation plan-revision cohort (OR = 0.936; 95% CI: 0.886–0.989; p = 0.018). A subgroup analysis of immediately life-threatening cases demonstrated similar effect (OR = 0.890; 95% CI: 0.808–0.981; p = 0.019). Using time series analysis, the descending changes in overall 24-hour mortality trend and the 24-hour mortality trend in immediately life-threatening cases, were both statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Comprehensive, evidence-informed reconstruction of a provincial EMS resource allocation plan is feasible. Despite change in crew level response and resource allocation, there was significant decrease in 24-hour mortality in this pan-provincial population-based cohort.
We aimed to evaluate a pilot service to facilitate discharge of patients with stable long-term mental health needs from secondary to primary care.
Patients with stable long-term mental health conditions are often not discharged from secondary mental health services when no longer needed due to insufficient systems and processes to enable safe, effective, recovery-focussed treatment and support. The Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PCMHS) Service was developed to address this gap; new PCMHS posts were introduced to act as a conduit for patients being discharged from secondary care and a single point of referral back into secondary care, should it be required. The two-year pilot, across six Clinical Commissioning Groups in South East England, began in March 2013.
Interviews were conducted with all PCMHS employed in the pilot service (n=13) and a sample of service users (n=12). The views of professionals working alongside the service, including GPs, Psychiatrists and Mental Health Nurses, were captured using a brief online questionnaire (n=50). Time and Activity Recording Sheets were used to capture data required for economic analysis.
Our findings indicate that the service is working well from the perspective of patients; staff employed within the service and professionals working alongside the service. Patients described the service as a ‘safety net’ they could fall back on in case of difficulties, whereas staff used the analogy of a ‘bridge’ to describe the way the service improved communication and collaboration between the various professionals and organisations involved in the patient’s care. Improvements in well-being were seen to result from increased support for those transitioning from secondary to primary care, a more pro-active approach to relapse prevention and increased engagement in daily activities. Each PCMHS covered 36 patients in a one-month period, with a unit cost of £73.01 per patient.
Atom probe is a powerful technique for studying the composition of nano-precipitates, but their morphology within the reconstructed data is distorted due to the so-called local magnification effect. A new technique has been developed to mitigate this limitation by characterizing the distribution of the surrounding matrix atoms, rather than those contained within the nano-precipitates themselves. A comprehensive chemical analysis enables further information on size and chemistry to be obtained. The method enables new insight into the morphology and chemistry of niobium carbonitride nano-precipitates within ferrite for a series of Nb-microalloyed ultra-thin cast strip steels. The results are supported by complementary high-resolution transmission electron microscopy.
This study focuses on nanoindentation creep in polycarbonate (PC) and syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) throughout the transient and steady-state regions. The viscoelastic Burgers model is used to explain transient creep data, while the power-law creep model is used to interpret steady-state creep data. The Newtonian shear viscosity of the Maxwell element and Young’s modulus of the Kelvin element are greater for the creep period than for the preload period, and an opposite trend is noted in the Newtonian shear viscosity of the Kelvin element and Young’s modulus of the Maxwell element. The fact that the Young’s moduli of Maxwell and Kelvin elements in the creep period are different from those in the preload period implies that a stress-induced mesomorphic structure forms or that crystallization occurs in nanoindentation creep. While the strain rate increases with decreasing preload period, the stress exponent factor is almost the same for all preload periods.
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