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Prescribing metrics, cost, and surrogate markers are often used to describe the value of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. However, process measures are only indirectly related to clinical outcomes and may not represent the total effect of an intervention. We determined the global impact of a multifaceted AMS initiative for hospitalized adults with common infections.
Single center, quasi-experimental study.
Hospitalized adults with urinary, skin, and respiratory tract infections discharged from family medicine and internal medicine wards before (January 2017–June 2017) and after (January 2018–June 2018) an AMS initiative on a family medicine ward were included. A series of AMS-focused initiatives comprised the development and dissemination of: handheld prescribing tools, AMS positive feedback cases, and academic modules. We compared the effect on an ordinal end point consisting of clinical resolution, adverse drug events, and antimicrobial optimization between the preintervention and postintervention periods.
In total, 256 subjects were included before and after an AMS intervention. Excessive durations of therapy were reduced from 40.3% to 22% (P < .001). Patients without an optimized antimicrobial course were more likely to experience clinical failure (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.17–4.72). The likelihood of a better global outcome was greater in the family medicine intervention arm (62.0%, 95% CI, 59.6–67.1) than in the preintervention family medicine arm.
Collaborative, targeted feedback with prescribing metrics, AMS cases, and education improved global outcomes for hospitalized adults on a family medicine ward.
From a morphological standpoint, the choroid plexus epithelium appears ideally suited for the task of transporting fluid and electrolytes. However, until recently, a suitable method for demonstrating enzyme systems associated with these functions has been unavailable. In 1972, Ernst reported a technique for specifically localizing Na-K-ATPase. This technique was used in the following study on rat choroid plexus.
The choroid plexuses from the lateral ventricles of adult male Wistar rats were fixed intraventricularly with 3% depolymerized paraformaldehyde in 0.1M cacodylate buffer at pH 7.3-7.4. The tissue was excised and placed in a vial where pre-fixation continued for 90 minutes at room temperature. Subsequently, choroid plexus tissue was incubated according to the method of Ernst. Control experiments consisted of: 1) omitting either potassium or magnesium from the incubation medium; 2) omitting the substrate p-nitrophenyl phosphate (NPP) from the incubation medium; and 3) adding lOmM ouabain to the incubation medium.
Introduction: Delegation of controlled medical acts by physicians to paramedics is an important component of the prehospital care framework. Where directives indicate that physician input is needed before proceeding with certain interventions, online medical control (a “patch”) exists to facilitate communication between a paramedic and a Base Hospital Physician (BHP) to request an order to proceed with that intervention. The quality and clarity of audio transmission is paramount for effective and efficient communication. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of audio transmission quality on the results of paramedic patch calls. Methods: Prehospital paramedic calls that included a mandatory patch point (excluding requests exclusively for termination of resuscitation and those records which were unavailable) were identified through review of all patch records from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017 for Paramedic Services in our region. Written Ambulance Call Reports (ACRs) and audio recordings of paramedic patches were obtained and reviewed. Pre-specified patch audio quality metrics, markers of transmission quality and comprehension as well as the resulting orders from the BHP were extracted. Differences between groups was compared using chi-square analyses. Results: 214 records were identified and screened initially. 91 ACRs and audio records were included in the analysis. At least one explicit reference to poor or inadequate call audio quality was made in 55/91 (60.4%) of calls and on average, 1.4 times per call. Of the 91 audited call records, 48 of 91 (52.7%) patches experienced an interruption of the call. Each time a call was interrupted, re-initiation of the call was required, introducing a mean [IQR] delay of 81 [33-68] seconds to re-establish verbal communication. Order requests made by paramedics in calls with no interruptions were approved in 30 of 43 patches (70%) while those requests made in calls with one or more interruptions were approved in only 21 of 48 cases (44%) (Δ26.0%; 95%CI 5.6-43.5%, p = 0.01). Conclusion: This retrospective review suggests that audio quality and interruptions of patch calls may impact a physician's ability to approve orders for interventions in the prehospital setting. Focus on infrastructure and technology underlying this important mode of communication may be a fruitful avenue for future improvements in systems where this may be an issue.
Introduction: CAEP recently developed the acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) [AAFF] Best Practices Checklist to promote optimal care and guidance on cardioversion and rapid discharge of patients with AAFF. We sought to assess the impact of implementing the Checklist into large Canadian EDs. Methods: We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial in 11 large Canadian ED sites in five provinces, over 14 months. All hospitals started in the control period (usual care), and then crossed over to the intervention period in random sequence, one hospital per month. We enrolled consecutive, stable patients presenting with AAFF, where symptoms required ED management. Our intervention was informed by qualitative stakeholder interviews to identify perceived barriers and enablers for rapid discharge of AAFF patients. The many interventions included local champions, presentation of the Checklist to physicians in group sessions, an online training module, a smartphone app, and targeted audit and feedback. The primary outcome was length of stay in ED in minutes from time of arrival to time of disposition, and this was analyzed at the individual patient-level using linear mixed effects regression accounting for the stepped-wedge design. We estimated a sample size of 800 patients. Results: We enrolled 844 patients with none lost to follow-up. Those in the control (N = 316) and intervention periods (N = 528) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (61.2 vs 64.2 yrs), duration of AAFF (8.1 vs 7.7 hrs), AF (88.6% vs 82.9%), AFL (11.4% vs 17.1%), and mean initial heart rate (119.6 vs 119.9 bpm). Median lengths of stay for the control and intervention periods respectively were 413.0 vs. 354.0 minutes (P < 0.001). Comparing control to intervention, there was an increase in: use of antiarrhythmic drugs (37.4% vs 47.4%; P < 0.01), electrical cardioversion (45.1% vs 56.8%; P < 0.01), and discharge in sinus rhythm (75.3% vs. 86.7%; P < 0.001). There was a decrease in ED consultations to cardiology and medicine (49.7% vs 41.1%; P < 0.01), but a small but insignificant increase in anticoagulant prescriptions (39.6% vs 46.5%; P = 0.21). Conclusion: This multicenter implementation of the CAEP Best Practices Checklist led to a significant decrease in ED length of stay along with more ED cardioversions, fewer ED consultations, and more discharges in sinus rhythm. Widespread and rigorous adoption of the CAEP Checklist should lead to improved care of AAFF patients in all Canadian EDs.
Introduction: Delegation of controlled medical acts by physicians to paramedics is an important component of the prehospital care framework. Where directives indicate that physician input is needed before proceeding with certain interventions, online medical control (a “patch”) exists to facilitate communication between a paramedic and a Base Hospital Physician (BHP) to request an order to proceed with that intervention. Many factors contribute to success or failure of effective interpersonal communication during a patch call. The aim of this study was to examine areas of potential improvement in communication between paramedics and physicians during the patch call. Methods: Prehospital paramedic calls that included a mandatory patch point (excluding requests for termination of resuscitation and those records which were unavailable) were identified through review of all patch records from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017 for Paramedic Services in our region. Written Ambulance Call Reports (ACRs) and audio recordings of paramedic patches were obtained and reviewed. Pre-specified time intervals, clinical factors, specific patch requests and resulting orders from the BHP to the paramedics were extracted. Differences between groups were compared using t-tests. Results: 214 records were initially identified and screened. 91 ACRs and audio patch records were included in the analysis. 51/91 (56%) of patch order requests for interventions were granted by the BHP. Clarification of information provided by the paramedic or reframing of the paramedic's request was required less often, but not statistically significant, in calls ultimately resulting in granted requests versus those that were not granted (mean 1.4 versus 1.7, Δ-0.28; 95% CI -0.75-0.18 p = 0.64). The mean time from first contact with the BHP to statement of the request was similar in patches where the request was granted and not granted (44.9 versus 46.3, Δ-1.4; 95% CI -12.9-10.2, p = 0.49). Conclusion: The communication between BHPs and paramedics is an important and under-investigated component of prehospital emergency care. This retrospective review presents some novel targets for further research and potential education in patch communication to improve efficiency and quality of prehospital care for patients.
Introduction: Delegation of controlled medical acts by physicians to paramedics is an important component of the prehospital care framework. Where directives indicate that physician input is needed before proceeding with certain interventions, online medical control (a “patch”) exists to facilitate communication between a paramedic and a Base Hospital Physician (BHP) to request an order to proceed with that intervention. The clinical and logistical setting will contribute to the decision to proceed with or withhold an intervention in the prehospital setting. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of various clinical and situational factors on the likelihood of a patch request being granted. Methods: Prehospital paramedic calls that included a mandatory patch point (excluding requests exclusively for termination of resuscitation and those records which were unavailable) were identified through review of all patch records from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017 for Paramedic Services in our region. Written Ambulance Call Reports (ACRs) and audio recordings of paramedic patches were obtained and reviewed. Results: 214 patch records were identified and screened for inclusion. 91 ACRs and audio patch records were included in the analysis. 51 of 91 (56%) patch requests were granted by the BHP. Of the 40 paramedic requests that were not granted, the most commonly cited reason was close proximity to hospital (22/40; 55%) followed by low likelihood of the intervention making a clinical impact in the prehospital setting (11/40; 27.5%). Requests for certain interventions were more likely to be granted than other requests. All requests to perform needle thoracostomy for possible tension pneumothorax, administer atropine for symptomatic bradycardia and treat hemodynamically unstable hyperkalemia were granted (2/2, 3/3 and 7/7, respectively), while requests for synchronized cardioversion (7/19; 37%) and transcutaneous pacing (2/6; 33%) were approved less than half of the time. Conclusion: This retrospective review suggests that requests to perform certain critical and potentially time sensitive interventions are more likely to be granted which calls into question the requirement for a mandatory patch point for these procedures. Furthermore, the interplay between proximity to hospital and the decision to proceed with an intervention potentially informs future modifications to directives to facilitate timely, safe and efficient care.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
Invasive predators have decimated island biodiversity worldwide. Rats (Rattus spp.) are perhaps the greatest conservation threat to island fauna. The ground nesting Palau Micronesian Scrubfowl Megapodius laperouse senex (Megapodiidae) inhabits many of the islands of Palau’s Rock Island Southern Lagoon Conservation Area (RISL) in the western Pacific. These islands are also heavily visited by tourists and support populations of introduced rats, both of which may act as added stressors for the scrubfowl. Using passive chew-tag and call playback surveys on five tourist-visited and five tourist-free islands, we investigated if rats and tourists negatively affect scrubfowl, and if higher rat activity is associated with tourist presence. Rat detection probability and site occupancy were significantly higher on tourist visited (89% and 99%, respectively) compared to tourist-free islands (52% and 73%). Scrubfowl were detected at significantly more stations on tourist-free (93%) than tourist visited (47%) islands and their relative abundance was higher (2.66 and 1.58 birds per station, respectively), although not statistically significantly. While rat occupancy probability likewise had a non-significant negative effect on scrubfowl numbers across islands, our results show a negative relationship between tourist presence and scrubfowl in the RISL. Our findings also suggest that rat populations may be augmented by tourist visitation in the RISL. Although this situation may not seriously affect the scrubfowl, it may be highly detrimental to populations of other threatened island landbirds.
Many studies have recently been carried out to compare the effectiveness of various antipsychotic agents.
Aims and Objectives
We wished to determine what could be learnt from these studies about the effectiveness of antipsychotics, and whether this should influence choice of treatment.
We carried out a literature search using PUBMED. We directed special attention to large studies comparing medications in schizophrenia. These studies included CUTLASS, CATIE, SOHO, CAFE, and EUFEST (Kahn 2008, Haro 2006, Jones 2006, Lieberman 2005, Perkins 2008), as well as studies by Tihonen 92006, 2009) The studies were critically reviewed.
The different studies measure different aspects of care, at different phases of the illness. This illustrates the need to study schizophrenia through a stage model. Furthermore, different outcome measures are proposed. We believe that discontinuation data, on which some studiesdepend, is a weak measure of effectiveness. Important doubts arise regarding the choice of patients (those requiring switching of antipsychotic) in CUTLASS, and also regarding potential observer bias in this study.
There is much information to be gathered from the results of such studies. However interpretation is made more difficult by problems within the study designs themselves. On balance it does appear that different antipsychotics have different effectiveness. The main difficulty in putting these results into practice is concern among clinicians and patients regarding side effects.
Medical education in the UK has undergone dramatic change in recent years with both content and methodology being reviewed, assessed and updated in an iterative revolution. The aim has been to provide graduates with an educational experience more relevant to clinical practice.
To present the reflections and experiences of some students learning through these new educational approaches.
The effects of these changes are felt keenly by students. Here, in comparison with the views of senior collogues, two medical students nearing the end of their training reflect upon their own experiences.
They present a brief explaination of the structure of medical and psychiatric training in the UK followed by an exploration of one individual medical school's course.
The course structure will be detailed with reference to the guidance document “Tommorrow's Doctors” and to the school's own literature.
Medical students were consulted and an amalgamated “week in the life” based on their experiences produced.
The integration of psychiatric education throughout preclinical and clinical courses, coupled with individual attention and encouragement in gaining useful transferable skills, were seen as most useful.
Reforms have been successful and show that the delivery of both a basis in psychiatry and additional transferable skills (such as audit, research and publication) is best achieved by individual mentorship from an experienced clinican.
A continued reflection on how current practices may be modified to improve student experience is essential, but should also seek ways (such as more indivdualised attention) to improve recruitment and retention.
Jamie Gundry’s dramatic image of a white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) on the cover of this book reflects the twisting changes in fortune experienced by this species, with a revival that can be attributed to a successful interplay of science, policy and practice. White-tailed eagles were historically much more widely distributed than they are today (Yalden, 2007), once breeding across much of Europe, but by the early twentieth century the species was extinct across much of western and southern Europe. The main cause of its decline was persecution by farmers and shepherds, who considered the eagles a threat to their livestock, but, along with other raptors, white-tailed eagles were also seriously affected by DDT in the 1960s and 1970s, which had disastrous effects on the breeding success of remaining populations.
In the Anthropocene, when our environment is changing rapidly and the windows of opportunity for action to prevent further biodiversity loss are narrow, conservation researchers are increasingly encouraged to think and operate beyond the traditional approaches of producing peer-reviewed papers and presenting results to other members of the research community. Indeed, the perception that researchers belong in their ivory tower, from which they deliver evidence for others to interpret, disseminate and use in decision-making, is thankfully now widely recognised as outdated. The rise of fake news, a deliberate lack of consideration for scientific evidence, and changes to the ways of assessing the value of researchers’ work probably all play a role in supporting this shift in perception. Moreover, for many researchers, the prospect of their work ‘making a difference’ and having an impact on wider society is at least as great a motivation for doing research as generating new knowledge, however interesting that may be.
The epidemiology of panic disorder has not been investigated in the past in the UK using a nationally representative sample of the population. The aim of the present paper was to examine the epidemiology, comorbidity and functional impairment of subthreshold panic and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia.
We used data from the 2000 Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity survey (N = 8580). Panic disorder and agoraphobia were assessed with the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R).
The prevalence of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia was 1.70% (95% confidence interval: 1.41–2.03%). Subthreshold panic was more common. Economic inactivity was consistently associated with all syndromes. The comorbidity pattern of the panic syndromes and the associated functional impairment show that panic-related conditions are important public health problems, even in subthreshold status.
The findings show that efforts to reduce the disability associated with psychiatric disorders should include detection and management of panic disorder.
The poster will address the important issue of how we can use opportunities in teaching our medical students how to take a wider view of psychiatry and learn to ‘think outside the box’ thus broadening their vision, enabling them to challenge presently held concepts, while at the same time learning the basic tenets of our profession.
Clearly, this is done by involving our students in clinical research based and audit based activities. However not all schools or teachers are comfortable with doing this, while the medical curriculum is broad, and there is a risk that students ‘only study for exams’.
Research based activities, including simple things such as using basic it skills to do a literature search for a review article or carrying out a useful clinical audit, using a unit held database, are however things which students can easily do, and these can lead to publishable case reports, posters, or ever articles in peer reviewed journals.
The poster will illustrate how we developed research activities with students at Cambridge University Clinical School. It shall discuss the advantages, difficulties, and indeed enjoyment of carrying out such activities.