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Background: Emergency Department overcrowding remains a significant problem. Interventions have often focused on areas external to the ED, with patient flow in the ED receiving less attention. Efforts to address ED flow are complicated by daily fluctuations in patient volume and acuity. Our local protocol brings in additional physicians when internal metrics indicate patient demand can't be met by current physician resources (a ‘surge’ period). However, anecdotal evidence suggests a lack of satisfaction and efficacy. We therefore undertook a project to improve our local management of these surge periods. Aim Statement: To improve the effectiveness of an ED Physician Surge Protocol to allow for a physician scheduling strategy that is reflective of the needs of the ED. Measures & Design: This project consists of 3 phases. Phase 1 was an analysis of current surge metrics (including frequency, temporal patterns and physician response), with concurrent literature search to identify any best practices or easily addressable protocol changes, with first planned PDSA cycle. Phase 2 is a mixed methods survey of local staff to identify barriers and enablers of our current protocol, concurrent with a national survey of current practices. Phase 3 will be the implementation of a revised protocol, followed by a second mixed methods survey and analysis of metrics of interest. Evaluation/Results: Analysis of surge data (Oct 2018-Oct 2019) demonstrated a high volume of surges per month (78.7 +/- 10.9), highest at Foothills Medical Centre (94.3). Across all sites, afternoon periods had highest frequency of surges (absolute peak 1400 - 1500) with a secondary peak 2200–2300, both peaks occurring most frequently on weekends (Fri-Sun) However, physician response to surge calls was < 10% (5.8-9.1%), with no discernable temporal pattern, even accounting for the significant number of automatic surge calls cancelled by clinicians. Analysis of data, in addition to literature review and engagement with senior administration suggested no immediate protocol changes, therefore project moved to 2nd phase. This phase is currently in progress, with planned analysis using Pareto Chart methodology. Discussion/Impact: Our initial data clearly demonstrates that current procedures are inadequate to address this ongoing issue, with no readily apparent solutions. Analysis of local barriers and enablers is currently underway, in addition to a national survey, with the results expected to inform an extensive redesign of current procedures.
Case management has been an integral part of psychiatric practice in the United States for over a decade and has generated a large body of literature. The application of case management principles to the care of people suffering from psychiatric disorders is becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom and Europe and literature is now beginning to be published. However, no definitive statements about the efficacy of case management have been made due to a range of conceptual and methodological problems. The present paper is a critical review of the case management outcome literature. Reported outcomes are reviewed in the context of study design and service characteristics. The authors conclude that case management practice can have at least some impact on patients' use of services (including marked decrease in in-patient bed days); satisfaction with services; engagement with services; and social networks and relationships when it is delivered as a direct, clinical service with high staff: patient ratios. A set of recommendations are suggested for the future practice and presentation of research into case management.
This retrospective case series examined the outcomes of surgeon-performed intubation using the anterior commissure rigid laryngoscope and bougie in adults with a difficult airway, including awake patients.
This study comprised a series of adult patients who underwent surgeon-performed intubation over a 10-year period. They were identified by a records search for the Current Procedural Terminology (‘CPT’) code 31500 – ‘intubation by surgeon’.
Forty-nine intubations performed in the operating theatre were reviewed. Intubation performed by the surgeon using the rigid anterior commissure laryngoscope was successful in 47 of the cases (96 per cent). Over half of the patients had experienced failed intubation attempts with other methods by other providers prior to the surgeon performing direct laryngoscopy. Twenty intubations were performed without paralytics and with the patient awake.
In properly selected adults who need an urgent, secure airway in the operating theatre, surgeon-performed anterior commissure laryngoscopic intubation using a bougie should be considered a safe, reliable procedure. In most cases, this procedure can be performed in selected patients whilst awake, with sedation.
This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of depression and burden among informal care-givers of people with dementia (PwD) and compared the prevalence of depression between male and female, and spousal and non-spousal, care-givers. The quality of studies was evaluated and moderator variables explored. A search of six electronic databases (PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, MEDLINE Complete, SCOPUS, Web of Science and ProQuest) was conducted from the first available date to the 31 October 2017. Inclusion criteria involved observational studies on the prevalence of burden or depression among informal care-givers of PwD. Forty-three studies were examined with a total of 16,911 participants. The adjusted pooled prevalence of depression was 31.24 per cent (95% confidence interval (CI) = 27.70, 35.01) and burden was 49.26 per cent (95% CI = 37.15, 61.46), although heterogeneity among prevalence estimates was high. Depression prevalence estimates differed according to the instrument used and the continent where the study was conducted. The odds of having depression were almost one and a half times higher in female compared to male care-givers. No significant difference was observed between spouses and non-spouses. Most studies had a medium risk of bias. Results suggest a great need within this population for interventions that are effective at reducing burden and depressive symptoms. It therefore appears imperative for dementia services that are not providing such interventions to do so.
Introduction: Emergency hospital admissions are a growing concern for patients and health systems, globally. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence for diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions that reduce emergency hospital admissions. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews by searching MEDLINE, PubMED, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Google Scholar, and grey literature. Systematic reviews of any diagnostic, surgical, or medical interventions examining the effect on emergency hospital admissions among adults were included. The quality of reviews was assessed using AMSTAR and the quality of evidence was assessed using GRADE. The subsequent analysis was restricted to interventions with moderate or high-quality evidence only. Results: 13 051 titles and abstracts and 1 791 full-text articles were screened from which 42 systematic reviews were included. The reviews included an underlying evidence base of 215 randomized controlled trials with 135 282 patients. Of 20 unique diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions identified, four had moderate (n = 4) or high (n = 0) quality evidence for significant reductions in hospital admissions in five patient populations. These were: cardiac resynchronization therapy for heart failure and atrial fibrillation, percutaneous aspiration for pneumothorax, early/routine coronary angiography for acute coronary syndrome (alone or comorbid with chronic kidney disease), and natriuretic peptide guided therapy for heart failure. Conclusion: We identified four interventions across five populations that when optimized, may lead to reductions in emergency hospital admissions. These finding can therefore help guide the development of quality indicators, standards, or practice guidelines.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a significant public health problem in Canada and it is estimated that nearly half of individuals with chronic hepatitis C infection are unaware of their disease status. Previous studies of urban emergency department (ED) based screening programs have shown a prevalence ranging from 7.3 to 26% in high risk patients presenting to the ED . The advent of new treatment regimens with high rates of virologic cure strengthens the case for identifying the optimal setting for screening and testing individuals who may benefit from treatment. The proposed pilot project of ED-based screening for hepatitis C virus will aim to determine the prevalence of undiagnosed HCV infection and to link patients with chronic HCV infection to appropriate specialized follow-up care. Methods: We will be conducting a prospective cohort study of patients presenting to an urban emergency department between March and May 2018. Patients will be screened using high risk criteria for HCV infection as per national guidelines. Eligible patients will be offered and consented for a rapid point of care antibody test. Individuals with a positive antibody screen will have confirmatory testing and be linked to hepatology follow-up. The primary outcome will be the prevalence of hepatitis C virus among tested patients. Secondary outcomes will include the proportion of high risk patients without a primary care MD or access to alternate care settings where screening may occur, as well as the proportion of HCV-positive patients who are successfully linked to care. Results: We expect to screen approximately 2000 participants during the study period leading to an estimated 400 rapid antibody tests. Based on published results from other centres, we estimate that a significant proportion of screened patients will test positive for chronic HCV infection ( > 10%). Descriptive analyses will be performed for all variables using proportions with 95% confidence intervals. Conclusion: To our knowledge, no emergency department in Canada has undertaken protocoled HCV screening using rapid antibody testing in the ED. Results will inform the future development of integrated ED-based screening programs in novel settings more likely to be accessed by the at-risk population. Linking patients with chronic HCV infection to appropriate care will decrease the number of individuals developing HCV-related cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, thereby improving patient outcomes and reducing the future impact on our health care system.
Previous research suggests that persistence, an individual difference characteristic representing the ability and willingness to maintain engagement in challenging or aversive contexts, may relate to smoking relapse. Improving understanding of the persistence-relapse risk association could guide improvements in behavioural interventions. We explored whether persistence and gender related to change in smoking urges across multiple cue exposure trials (an analogue of extinction learning and relapse risk). Participants included abstinent smokers who completed 12 massed, 5-minute smoking cue exposure trials using guided imagery as well as olfactory, tactile, visual and motor cues associated with smoking. We used multilevel logistic growth curve modelling to explore predictor associations with change in urge. Results suggested that gender related to urge whereby males showed greater initial and sustained reactivity than females. Persistence was not associated with female urge trajectories. However, compared to males with high persistence, males with low persistence evidenced sustained urge reactivity over time. Results suggest that greater persistence relates to reduction of conditioned responding (e.g., urges) among abstinent male smokers when exposure trials include complex cues most closely related to nicotine self-administration. Because persistence is modifiable, males with low persistence may benefit from interventions that include elements designed to increase persistence in urge eliciting situations.
An emerging recombinant norovirus GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain caused a gastroenteritis outbreak amongst attendees at a large health function in regional New South Wales, Australia. This was the third outbreak caused by the recombinant GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain in this region in 2017, which appears to be emerging as a common strain in the Hunter New England region.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
The aim of the present paper is to summarise current and future applications of dietary assessment technologies in nutrition surveys in developed countries. It includes the discussion of key points and highlights of subsequent developments from a panel discussion to address strengths and weaknesses of traditional dietary assessment methods (food records, FFQ, 24 h recalls, diet history with interviewer-assisted data collection) v. new technology-based dietary assessment methods (web-based and mobile device applications). The panel discussion ‘Traditional methods v. new technologies: dilemmas for dietary assessment in population surveys’, was held at the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), Brisbane, September 2015. Despite respondent and researcher burden, traditional methods have been most commonly used in nutrition surveys. However, dietary assessment technologies offer potential advantages including faster data processing and better data quality. This is a fast-moving field and there is evidence of increasing demand for the use of new technologies amongst the general public and researchers. There is a need for research and investment to support efforts being made to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies for rapid, accurate and representative data.
The relationship between depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM) is poorly understood.
To investigate prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) and the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual behaviour among MSM reporting recent sex.
The Attitudes to and Understanding of Risk of Acquisition of HIV (AURAH) is a cross-sectional study of UK genitourinary medicine clinic attendees without diagnosed HIV (2013–2014).
Among 1340 MSM, depressive symptoms (12.4%) were strongly associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lower supportive network. Adjusted for key sociodemographic factors, depressive symptoms were associated with measures of condomless sex partners in the past 3 months (≥2 (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.42, 95% CI 1.17–1.74; P=0.001), unknown or HIV-positive status (PR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; P<0.001)), sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (PR 1.46, 95% CI 1.19–1.79; P<0.001) and post-exposure prophylaxis use in the past year (PR 1.83, 95% CI 1.33–2.50; P<0.001).
Management of mental health may play a role in HIV and STI prevention.
Little is known about Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Asia. The aims of our study were to explore (i) the prevalence, risk factors and molecular epidemiology of CDI and colonization in a tertiary academic hospital in North-Eastern Peninsular Malaysia; (ii) the rate of carriage of C. difficile among the elderly in the region; (iii) the awareness level of this infection among the hospital staffs and students. For stool samples collected from hospital inpatients with diarrhea (n = 76) and healthy community members (n = 138), C. difficile antigen and toxins were tested by enzyme immunoassay. Stool samples were subsequently analyzed by culture and molecular detection of toxin genes, and PCR ribotyping of isolates. To examine awareness among hospital staff and students, participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. For the hospital and community studies, the prevalence of non-toxigenic C. difficile colonization was 16% and 2%, respectively. The prevalence of CDI among hospital inpatients with diarrhea was 13%. Out of 22 C. difficile strains from hospital inpatients, the toxigenic ribotypes 043 and 017 were most common (both 14%). In univariate analysis, C. difficile colonization in hospital inpatients was significantly associated with greater duration of hospitalization and use of penicillin (both P < 0·05). Absence of these factors was a possible reason for low colonization in the community. Only 3% of 154 respondents answered all questions correctly in the awareness survey. C. difficile colonization is prevalent in a Malaysian hospital setting but not in the elderly community with little or no contact with hospitals. Awareness of CDI is alarmingly poor.
Implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program bundle for urinary tract infections among 92 patients led to a higher rate of discontinuation of therapy for asymptomatic bacteriuria (52.4% vs 12.5%; P =.004), more appropriate durations of therapy (88.7% vs 63.6%; P =.001), and significantly higher overall bundle compliance (75% vs 38.2%; P < .001).
Public Health England conducts enhanced national surveillance of tetanus, a potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease. A standardized questionnaire was used to ascertain clinical and demographic details of individuals reported with clinically suspected tetanus. The 96 cases identified between 2001 and 2014 were analysed. The average annual incidence was 0·13/million (95% confidence interval 0·10–0·16) of which 50·0% were male. Where reported, 70·3% of injuries occurred in the home/garden (45/64). Overall, 40·3% (31/77) cases were in people who inject drugs (PWID), including a cluster of 22 cases during 2003–2004. Where known (n = 68), only 8·8% were age-appropriately immunized. The overall case-fatality rate was 11·0% (9/82). All tetanus-associated deaths occurred in adults aged >45 years, none of whom were fully immunized. Due to the success of the childhood immunization programme, tetanus remains a rare disease in England with the majority of cases occurring in older unimmunized or partially immunized adults. Minor injuries in the home/garden were the most commonly reported likely sources of infection, although cases in PWID increased during this period. It is essential that high routine vaccine coverage is maintained and that susceptible individuals, particularly older adults, are protected through vaccination and are offered timely post-exposure management following a tetanus-prone wound.