To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) plays an important role in addressing shortcomings in optimal healthcare delivery. However, there is little published guidance available for emergency department (ED) teams with respect to developing their own QIPS programs. We sought to create recommendations for established and aspiring ED leaders to use as a pathway to better patient care through programmatic QIPS activities, starting internally and working towards interdepartmental collaboration.
An expert panel comprised of ten ED clinicians with QIPS and leadership expertise was established. A scoping review was conducted to identify published literature on establishing QIPS programs and frameworks in healthcare. Stakeholder consultations were conducted among Canadian healthcare leaders, and recommendations were drafted by the expert panel based on all the accumulated information. These were reviewed and refined at the 2018 CAEP Academic Symposium in Calgary using in-person and technologically-supported feedback.
Recommendations include: creating a sense of urgency for improvement; engaging relevant stakeholders and leaders; creating a formal local QIPS Committee; securing funding and resources; obtaining local data to guide the work; supporting QIPS training for team members; encouraging interprofessional, cross-departmental, and patient collaborations; using an established QIPS framework to guide the work; developing reward mechanisms and incentive structures; and considering to start small by focusing on a project rather than a program.
A list of 10 recommendations is presented as guiding principles for the establishment and sustainable deployment of QIPS activities in EDs throughout Canada and abroad. ED leaders are encouraged to implement our recommendations in an effort to improve patient care.
Introduction: Access block is a pervasive problem, even during times of minimal boarding in the ED, suggesting suboptimal use of ED stretchers can contribute. A tracking board utility was embedded into the electronic health record in Calgary, AB, allowing MDs and RNs to consider patients who could be relocated from a stretcher to a chair. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the feature's impact on total stretcher time (TST) and ED length of stay (LOS) for patients relocated to a chair. We also sought to identify facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED MDs and RNs. Methods: A retrospective cohort design was used to compare TST between those where the tool was used and not used amongst patients relocated to a chair between September 1 2017 and August 15 2018. Each use of the location tool was time-stamped in an administrative database. Median TST and ED LOS were compared between patients where the tool was used and not used using a Mann-Whitney U Test. A cross sectional convenience sample survey was used to determine facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED staff. Response proportions were used to report Likert scale questions; thematic analysis was used to code themes. Results: 194882 patients met inclusion criteria. The tool was used 4301 times, with “Ok for Chairs” selected 3914(2%) times and “Not Ok for Chairs” selected 384(0.2%) times; 54462(30%) patients were moved to a chair without the tool's use. Mean age, sex, mode of arrival and triage scores were similar between both groups. Median (IQR) TST amongst patients moved to a chair via the prompt was shorter than when the prompt was not used [142.7 (100.5) mins vs 152.3 (112.3) mins, p < 0.001], resulting in 37574 mins of saved stretcher time. LOS was similar between both groups (p = 0.22). 125 questionnaires were completed by 90 ED nurses and 35 ED MDs. 95% of staff were aware of the tool and 70% agreed/strongly agreed the tool could improve ED flow; however, 38% reported only “sometimes” using the tool. MDs reported the most common barrier was forgetting to use the tool and lack of perceived action in relocating patients. Commonly reported nursing barriers were lack of chair space and increased workload. Conclusion: Despite minimal use of the tracking board utility, triggering was associated with reduced TST amongst ED patients eventually relocated to a chair. To encourage increased use, future versions should prompt staff to select a location.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Effective integrated weed management in agricultural landscapes depends on the ability to identify and manage processes that drive weed dynamics. The current study reports the effects of grazing management and crop rotation strategies on the seedbank and emerged weed flora in an integrated crop-livestock system (ICLS) experiment during a 12-year period under no-tillage in sub-tropical southern Brazil. During winter, Italian ryegrass cover crops were grazed by sheep: grazing management treatments included two stocking methods (continuous and rotational) and two forage allowances (10 and 20 kg of herbage dry matter available per 100 kg animal live weight). During summer, the crop rotation treatments involved either soybean-maize or soybean-soybean in succession with winter-grazed cover crops. The treatments were part of a factorial randomized complete block design. Treatment effects were evaluated on the weed seedbank and emerged weed flora populations during winter-grazed cover crop and summer crop growth as well as during the harvest phase. The current results demonstrate that crop rotation and grazing management exhibited interactive effects on the determination of weed outcomes in an ICLS. However, overall, compared with moderate forage allowance, high forage allowance during the winter-grazed cover crop caused lower emerged weed flora in subsequent crops (20% reduction during crop growth and 90% reduction at crop harvest) and 48% reduction in seedbank size. High forage allowance promoted more residue from winter-grazed cover crop biomass, which remained during the summer crop phases and probably resulted in a physical barrier to weed emergence.
Introduction: Overuse of acute care services, particularly emergency department (ED) use, is an important topic for healthcare providers and policy makers within Canada and abroad. Prior work has shown that frail elderly patients with complex medical needs and limited personal and social resources are heavy users of ED services and are often admitted when they present to the ED. Updated information on the most effective strategies to avert ED presentation and hospital admission focused specifically on elderly patients is needed. Methods: This systematic review addressed the question: what interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in decreasing ED use and hospital admissions in elderly patients? Comprehensive literature searches were conducted in databases including Ovid Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with no language or date restrictions. Citations were limited to interventional studies. Grey literature and reference list searches, as well as communication with experts in the field were performed. Consensus or a third reviewer resolved any disagreements. Original research regarding interventions conducted in populations 65 years or older with acute illness, either living in community or facility-living were included. Primary outcomes were ED visits and hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes included: mortality, cost, and patient-reported outcomes such as health-related quality of life and functional status. Results: Forty-three relevant studies were identified including 22 randomized controlled trials (RCT), 2 cluster-RCT, 2 trials with non-random allocation, 4 before-after studies, 6 quasi-experimental studies, and 7 cohort studies. Intervention settings included: home visits (22), long-term care (7), outpatient or primary care clinics (8), and ED (3) or inpatient (3). Data characterization revealed that home-based, outpatient and/or primary care-based strategies reduced ED visits and hospitalizations, particularly those which included comprehensive geriatric assessments, home visits or regular face-to-face contact and interdisciplinary teams. Hospital-based models generally showed no difference in ED or inpatient service utilization. There was, however, considerable variability across individual studies with respect to reporting of outcomes, statistical analyses performed, and overall risk of bias. Conclusion: Various interventional strategies have been studied to avert ED presentation and hospital admission for frail elderly patients. More rigorous methodology and standardization of outcome measures is needed to quantitatively assess the effects of these programs.
The cryosphere is an essential component of the global climate system, equally affecting climate processes significantly and being subject, and particularly sensitive, to changes in climate conditions. Numerical models are an important tool for assessing climate-change impacts on the Antarctic ice–sheet–ice–shelf–ocean system. They not only complement field and satellite remotesensing investigations but are often the only feasible alternative for addressing some of the important parameters and processes. Over the last few years, our group has made significant progress in developing and applying innovative numerical methods. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of some of the methods employed and the major results obtained for a number of case studies in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica.
Introduction: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that high-quality, evidence-based guidelines be developed for emergency medical services (EMS). The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has outlined a strategy that will see this task fulfilled, consisting of multiple working groups focused on all aspects of guideline development and implementation. A first step, and our objective, was a cataloguing and appraisal of the current guidelines targeting EMS providers. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE (1175), EMBASE (519), PubMed (14), Trip (416), and guidelines.gov (64) through May 1, 2016. Two independent reviewers screened titles for relevance to prehospital care, and then abstracts for essential guideline features, including a systematic review, a grading system, and an association between level of evidence and strength of recommendation. All disagreements were moderated by a third party. Citations meeting inclusion criteria were appraised with the AGREE II tool, which looks at six different domains of guideline quality, containing a total of 23 items rated from 1 to 7. Each guideline was appraised by three separate reviewers, and composite scores were calculated by averaging the scaled domain totals. Results: After primary (kappa 97%) and secondary (kappa 93%) screening, 49 guidelines were retained for full review. Only three guidelines obtained a score of >90%, the topics of which included aeromedical transport, analgesia in trauma, and resuscitation of avalanche victims. Only two guidelines scored between 80% and 90%, the topics of which included stroke and pediatric seizure management. One guideline, splinting in an austere environment, scored between 70% and 80%. Nine guidelines scored between 60% and 70%, the topics of which included ischemic stroke, cardiovascular life support, hemorrhage control, intubation, triage, hypothermia, and fibrinolytic use. Of the remaining guidelines, 14 scored between 50% and 60%, and 20 obtained a score of <50%. Conclusion: There are few high-quality, evidence-based guidelines in EMS. Of those that are published, the majority fail to meet established quality measures. Although a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in the prehospital field continues to limit guideline development, suboptimal methodology is also commonplace within the existing literature.
A two-dimensional, transient fluid-dynamics computer code has been modified for specific application to the avalanche-runout problem. This code, called AVALNCH, permits the separation of path geometry effects from such flow factors as friction and viscosity. The longitudinal profile of the avalanche path is divided into cells, 10 to 20 m long, each of which can be assigned specific values for slope gradient, surface friction, and internal kinematic viscosity. The program gives average avalanche speed cell-by-cell down the path and the location and depth of avalanche debris. Internal kinematic viscosity and surface friction were modeled on an avalanche path of simple geometry and were found to be of about equal significance in predicting runout distance. Additionally, surface friction is represented by an exponentially increasing function as speed decreases in the runout zone, in order to model observed avalanche terminal-motion characteristics. Program AVALNCH is reduced to a basic algorithm that is efficient to run, and contains the essential mechanics to model avalanche flow accurately. The most pressing need is for more physical data to permit the matching of program output to observed results under a variety of conditions.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
In Norway, no published data on seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in humans and swine exists. Serum samples from blood donors, veterinarians, swine farm workers and swine were analysed by ELISA to estimate the seroprevalence of HEV in Norway and to investigate the association between direct contact with swine and HEV seroprevalence in humans. The seroprevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 30% (24/79) in farm workers, 13% (21/163) in veterinarians, 14% (162/1200) in blood donors and 90% (137/153) in swine. Our results show a high seroprevalence of HEV in humans and swine in Norway. HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and blood donors increased with age, and veterinarians working with swine were twice as likely to be HEV seropositive compared to other veterinarians. High HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and veterinarians working with swine support previous reports suggesting swine as a reservoir for HEV infections in humans in Europe.
In the 1998-99 flight, BOOMERanG has produced maps of ∼4% of the sky at high Galactic latitudes, at frequencies of 90, 150, 240 and 410 GHz, with resolution ≳ 10'. The faint structure of the Cosmic Microwave Background at horizon and sub-horizon scales is evident in these maps. These maps compare well to the maps recently obtained at lower frequencies by the WMAP experiment. Here we compare the amplitude and morphology of the structures observed in the two sets of maps. We also outline the polarization sensitive version of BOOMERanG, which was flown early this year to measure the linear polarization of the microwave sky at 150, 240 and 350 GHz.
The Arcminute Cosmology Bolometer Array Receiver (Acbar) is a multifrequency millimeter-wave receiver optimized for observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in clusters of galaxies. Acbar was installed on the 2.1 m Viper telescope at the South Pole in January 2001 and the results presented here incorporate data through July 2002. The power spectrum of the CMB at 150 GHz over the range ℓ = 150 — 3000 measured by Acbar is presented along with estimates for the values of the cosmological parameters within the context of ΛCDM models. The inclusion of ΩΛ greatly improves the fit to the power spectrum. Three-frequency images of the SZ decrement/increment are also presented for the galaxy cluster 1E0657–67.
We show how estimates of parameters characterizing inflation-based theories of structure formation localized over the past year when large scale structure (LSS) information from galaxy and cluster surveys was combined with the rapidly developing cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, especially from the recent Boomerang and Maxima balloon experiments. All current CMB data plus a relatively weak prior probability on the Hubble constant, age and LSS points to little mean curvature (Ωtot = 1.08±0.06) and nearly scale invariant initial fluctuations (ns = 1.03±0.08), both predictions of (non-baroque) inflation theory. We emphasize the role that degeneracy among parameters in the Lpk = 212 ± 7 position of the (first acoustic) peak plays in defining the Ωtot range upon marginalization over other variables. Though the CDM density is in the expected range (Ωcdmh2 = 0.17 ± 0.02), the baryon density Ωbh2 = 0.030 ± 0.005 is somewhat above the independent 0.019 ± 0.002 nucleosynthesis estimates. CMB+LSS gives independent evidence for dark energy (ΩΛ = 0.66 ± 0.06) at the same level as from supernova (SN1) observations, with a phenomenological quintessence equation of state limited by SN1+CMB+LSS to wQ < −0.7 cf. the wQ=−1 cosmological constant case.
BOOMERanG has recently resolved structures on the last scattering surface at redshift ˜ 1100 with high signal to noise ratio. We review the technical advances which made this possible, and we focus on the current results for maps and power spectra, with special attention to the determination of the total mass-energy density in the Universe and of other cosmological parameters.
Introduction: The addition of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to Emergency Departments in recent years has led to speculation over potential benefits and pitfalls. Recent studies have shown benefits to CPOE, though there lacks sufficient evidence on how it could change physician behaviour. Physician practices are known to be difficult to change, with getting evidence into daily practice being the main challenge of knowledge translation. Our study aims were to determine if well-designed electronic order sets for CPOE improved MD practices. Methods: The Calgary Zone Pain Management in the Emergency Department Working Group relied on a GRADE-based literature review for identifying best practices for analgesia and antiemetics, resulting in soft changes to the dedicated analgesia and antiemetic electronic order set noting working group preference, and emphasizing hydromorphone over morphine, as well as 4 mg ondansetron over 8 mg. The new electronic order set was started in the only Calgary Region order entry system on December 11th, 2014. Data was collected from July 2014 - May 2015. A Yates chi-squared analysis was completed on all orders in a category, as well as the subgroups of ED staff and residents, and orders placed using the new order set. Results: A total of 100460 orders were analyzed. The use of hydromorphone increased significantly across all 4 EDs. IV hydromorphone use increased (5.82% of all opioid orders up to 26.93%, P<0.0001) with a reciprocal decline in IV morphine (67.81% of all opioid orders down to 46.56%, P<0.0001). Similar effects were observed with ondansetron 4 mg IV orders increasing (1.37% of all ondansetron orders to 18.64%, P<0.0001) with a decrease in 8 mg dosing (15.75% of all ondansetron orders to 7.23%, P<0.0001). These results were replicated to a lesser degree in the non-ED staff and non-order set subgroups. Implementation of the new order set resulted in an increase of its use (37.64% of all opioid orders up to 49.29%, P<0.0001). Finally, a cost-savings analysis was completed showing a projected annual savings of $185,676.52 on medications alone. Conclusion: This data supports the manipulation of electronic order sets to help shape physician behaviour towards best practices. This provides another strong argument towards the benefits of CPOE, and can help maintain best practices in Emergency Medicine.
In November 2013, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was notified of a gastroenteritis outbreak following two meetings held at a conference centre. Identical food and beverages were served during the meetings. We investigated in order to identify the vehicle of infection and implement control measures. Meeting participants completed an online questionnaire on consumption of foods and beverages. We asked symptomatic participants to provide a stool sample. We defined a case as diarrhoea and/or vomiting in a participant who became ill within 3 days after the meeting. We calculated attack rates (AR) and adjusted risk ratios (aRR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using binomial regression. We conducted environmental investigations. Overall, 147/168 (88%) participants responded, of which 74 (50%) met the case definition. All five stool samples provided were norovirus positive. No kitchen staff reported being sick. Risk of illness was higher in those who consumed raspberry mousse (aRR 3·4, 95% CI 1·4–8·2) and sliced fresh fruit (aRR 1·9, 95% CI 1·3–2·8). Seventy cases (95%) ate raspberry mousse. Frozen raspberries used for the mousse were imported and not heat-treated before consumption. Non-heat-treated frozen raspberries were the most likely outbreak vehicle. Contamination by a food handler could not be excluded. We recommend heat-treatment of imported frozen berries before consumption.
We investigated a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Coeln in Norway, including 26 cases identified between 20 October 2013 and 4 January 2014. We performed a matched case-control study, environmental investigation and detailed traceback of food purchases to identify the source of the outbreak. In the case-control study, cases were found to be more likely than controls to have consumed a ready-to-eat salad mix (matched odds ratio 20, 95% confidence interval 2·7–∞). By traceback of purchases one brand of ready-to-eat salad was indicated, but all environmental samples were negative for Salmonella. This outbreak underlines that pre-washed and bagged salads carry a risk of infection despite thorough cleaning procedures by the importer. To further reduce the risk of infection by consumption of ready-to-eat salads product quality should be ensured by importers. Outbreaks linked to salads reinforce the importance of implementation of appropriate food safety management systems, including good practices in lettuce production.
First-episode psychosis (FEP) patients show structural brain abnormalities. Whether the changes are progressive or not remain under debate, and the results from longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies are mixed. We investigated if FEP patients showed a different pattern of regional brain structural change over a 1-year period compared with healthy controls, and if putative changes correlated with clinical characteristics and outcome.
MRIs of 79 FEP patients [SCID-I-verified diagnoses: schizophrenia, psychotic bipolar disorder, or other psychoses, mean age 27.6 (s.d. = 7.7) years, 66% male] and 82 healthy controls [age 29.3 (s.d. = 7.2) years, 66% male] were acquired from the same 1.5 T scanner at baseline and 1-year follow-up as part of the Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) study, Oslo, Norway. Scans were automatically processed with the longitudinal stream in FreeSurfer that creates an unbiased within-subject template image. General linear models were used to analyse longitudinal change in a wide range of subcortical volumes and detailed thickness and surface area estimates across the entire cortex, and associations with clinical characteristics.
FEP patients and controls did not differ significantly in annual percentage change in cortical thickness or area in any cortical region, or in any of the subcortical structures after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Within the FEP group, duration of untreated psychosis, age at illness onset, antipsychotic medication use and remission at follow-up were not related to longitudinal brain change.
We found no significant longitudinal brain changes over a 1-year period in FEP patients. Our results do not support early progressive brain changes in psychotic disorders.