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This paper investigates whether exposure to explanatory diagrams can affect a major financial decision. In a controlled experiment, participants were given Pension Benefit Statements with or without one or two diagrams, before answering incentivised questions that measured recall, comprehension and choice of contribution rate. The diagrams had at best a marginal influence on recall or comprehension. Nevertheless, a diagram relating contributions to income projections prompted more participants to advocate higher contributions, while both diagrams influenced the rationale participants gave for decisions. The implication is that although pension products remain hard to understand, diagrams may alter decisions by reinforcing relevant causal thinking.
We aimed to quantify the proportion of people receiving care for HIV-infection that are 50 years or older (older HIV patients) in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2000 and 2015 and to estimate the contribution to the growth of this population of people enrolled before (<50yo) and after 50 years old (yo) (⩾50yo). We used a series of repeated, cross-sectional measurements over time in the Caribbean, Central and South American network (CCASAnet) cohort. We estimated the percentage of patients retained in care each year that were older HIV patients. For every calendar year, we divided patients into two groups: those who enrolled before age 50 and after age 50. We used logistic regression models to estimate the change in the proportion of older HIV patients between 2000 and 2015. The percentage of CCASAnet HIV patients over 50 years had a threefold increase (8% to 24%) between 2000 and 2015. Most of the growth of this population can be explained by the increasing proportion of people that enrolled before 50 years and aged in care. These changes will impact needs of care for people living with HIV, due to multiple comorbidities and high risk of disability associated with aging.
Introduction: Inspired by the Choosing Wisely® campaign, St. Michaels Hospital (SMH) launched an initiative to reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures that may cause patient harm. Stakeholder engagement identified inappropriate ordering of urine culture & sensitivities (C&S) in the emergency department (ED) as a focus area. Inappropriate urine C&S increase workload, healthcare costs and detection of asymptomatic bacteriuria which can lead to unnecessary antibiotics. The project’s purposes were to describe the scope of inappropriately ordered urine C&S in the SMH ED and to conduct a root-cause analysis to inform future quality improvement interventions. Methods: Criteria for determining appropriateness was developed a priori using evidence-based guidelines from the University Health Network together with additional literature review. A retrospective chart review was performed on all urine C&S ordered in the ED from Jun 1 Aug 30, 2016. Each chart was reviewed for order appropriateness, demographic information and ordering provider. All inappropriate urine C&S were reviewed to identify root causes which were then grouped into common themes. A pareto chart was constructed to analyze the frequency of causes. Results: Of 425 urine C&S ordered, 75 (17.7%) were inappropriate. The top 3 reasons were: inappropriate urosepsis work-ups (53%), order processing errors (17%) and inappropriate work-ups for weakness (16%). Inappropriate urosepsis work-ups were defined as urine C&S that were ordered empirically despite there being a clear focus for infection elsewhere (i.e. cough, cellulitis) and in the absence of urinary symptoms. Order processing errors were defined as urine C&S which were sent despite there being no documented order. Inappropriate testing was more likely to occur overnight, in females and when a urine routine and microscopy was not ordered prior to C&S. 29% of patients with inappropriate C&S received antibiotics. Conclusion: 17.7% of urine C&S ordered in the SMH ED during the 3-month study period were inappropriate. The top cause was septic patients who were empirically tested despite having another source for infection identified from the outset. A possible reason for this is the recent ED emphasis on early recognition of sepsis which may encourage early use of antibiotics and empiric urine C&S. One question to resolve is whether a 17.7% overutilization rate is sufficient to make it a target for change. Interventions designed to reduce inappropriate urine C&S may inadvertently increase the number of missed cultures in patients admitted with sepsis not yet diagnosed. Next steps involve discussions between the ED, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease and Microbiology, and patient partners to identify patient-centered change ideas and sustainable strategies. This may involve establishing guidelines for ordering urine C&S and incorporating lab services to provide oversight into urine C&S processing.
Tun Mustapha Park, in Sabah, Malaysia, was gazetted in May 2016 and is the first multiple-use park in Malaysia where conservation, sustainable resource use and development co-occur within one management framework. We applied a systematic conservation planning tool, Marxan with Zones, and stakeholder consultation to design and revise the draft zoning plan. This process was facilitated by Sabah Parks, a government agency, and WWF-Malaysia, under the guidance of the Tun Mustapha Park steering committee and with support from the University of Queensland. Four conservation and fishing zones, including no-take areas, were developed, each with representation and replication targets for key marine habitats, and a range of socio-economic and community objectives. Here we report on how decision-support tools informed the reserve design process in three planning stages: prioritization, government review, and community consultation. Using marine habitat and species representation as a reporting metric, we describe how the zoning plan changed at each stage of the design process. We found that the changes made to the zoning plan by the government and stakeholders resulted in plans that compromised the achievement of conservation targets because no-take areas were moved away from villages and the coastline, where unique habitats are located. The design process highlights a number of lessons learned for future conservation zoning, which we believe will be useful as many other places embark on similar zoning processes on land and in the sea.
Introduction: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) may require clarification of their goals of care (GOC) to ensure they receive treatments aligned with their values. However, these discussions can be difficult to conduct for multiple reasons, including lack of time in a busy ED, competing priorities and a limited relationship with the patient. Few studies have examined the perceived challenges faced by Emergency Physicians in conducting GOC discussions. This study sought to contextualize and discern the barriers and facilitators to having these conversations as reported by Emergency physicians. Methods: An interdisciplinary team of Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care and Internal Medicine providers developed an online survey comprised of multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of GOC discussions: training; communication; environment; and personal beliefs. Invitations and scheduled reminders were sent to 275 ED physicians at six academic sites in a Canadian urban centre, including 49 EM residents. Results: 105 (46%) staff physicians and 23 (47%) residents responded with similar representation from all sites. Differences were reported in the frequency of GOC discussions: 59% of staff physicians conduct several per month whereas 65% of residents conduct less than one per month. Most agreed that GOC discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they feel comfortable (96%), and are adequately trained (73%) to have them; however, 66% reported difficulty initiating GOC discussions. 73% believed that admitting services should conduct GOC discussions, yet acuity was noted in the comments as a major determinant with initiating GOC discussions by ED physicians. Main barriers identified were lack of time, chaotic environment, lack of advanced directives and the inability to reach substitute decision makers. 54% of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour Palliative Care consults would facilitate GOC discussions in the ED. Conclusion: Emergency physicians are prepared to conduct goals of care discussions, but often believe they should instead be conducted by the patient’s admitting service. Multiple perceived barriers to goals of care discussion in the ED were identified, and a majority of respondents felt that the availability of Palliative Care in the ED may facilitate these discussions.
Introduction: Effective trauma resuscitation requires a coordinated team approach, yet there is a significant risk for error. These errors can manifest from sequential system-, team- and knowledge based failures, defined as latent safety threats (LSTs). In situ simulation (ISS), a point-of-care training strategy, provides a novel prospective approach to identify factors that impact patient safety. This study quantified and formulated a hierarchy of LSTs during risk-informed ISS trauma resuscitations. Methods: At a Level 1 trauma centre, we conducted 12 multi-disciplinary, unannounced ISSs to prospectively identify trauma-related LSTs. Four, risk-informed scenarios were developed based on 5 recurring themes found within the trauma program’s morbidity and mortality process. The actual, on-call trauma team participated in the study. Simulations were video recorded with 4 cameras, each positioned at a different angle. Using a framework analysis methodology, human factors experts transcribed and coded the videos. Thematic structure was established deductively based on existing literature and inductively based on observed ISS events. All LSTs were prioritized for future patient safety, systems and ergonomic interventions using the Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (HFMEA) matrix. Results: We identified 893 LSTs from 12 simulations. LST analysis resulted in 8 themes subcategorized into 43 codes. Themes were associated with team-, knowledge- or system-related issues. The following themes emerged: situational awareness, provider safety, mental model alignment, team/individual responsibility, team resources, equipment considerations, workplace environment and clinical protocols. The HFMEA hazard scoring process identified 13 high priority codes that required urgent attention and intervention to mitigate negative patient outcomes. Conclusion: A prospective, video-based framework analysis represents a novel and robust approach to LST identification within trauma care. Patterns of LSTs within and between simulations provide a high degree of transparency and traceability for an inter-professional trauma program review. Hazard matrix scoring facilitates the classification and prioritization of human factors interventions intended to improve patient safety.
Introduction: There is strong evidence that socio-economic factors such as income, housing and ethnicity are linked to health outcome disparities for emergency department (ED) patients. However, lack of real-time patient data has limited our ability to identify, understand and address health disparities. During a 14-week period, we assessed the feasibility and acceptability of the systematic collection of patient-level equity data in a busy tertiary care urban ED. Methods: We assessed feasibility by directly observing impact on registration time, percentage of patients on which data was collected, and ambulance patient data collection. We also assessed acceptability to patients, registration staff and clinicians through structured interviews of patients systematically sampled, focus group and surveys of registration staff and survey of clinicians. Results: Over the course of the study, equity data was collected on 2017 patients. Capture rate peaked in week 7 with 51% of eligible patients offered the equity questions and 30% answering. Average patient registration time increased from 215 seconds to 345 seconds (60%). Data collection with ambulance patients did not appear feasible. Patients (n=30) reported being comfortable with most questions except income (47% comfortable). 93% believed it could improve health services. However, a small number of patients voiced concern that the data could result in discrimination. Registration staff required sustained support and engagement, but some continued to feel uncomfortable with offering the questionnaire to some patients. Conclusion: Large scale collection of equity data is feasible but requires additional resources and sustained staff and patient support. Patient participation rate is likely to remain relatively low and is likely to underestimate disadvantaged groups. Data collection at multiple points within an institution may improve capture rate.
Introduction: Resuscitation of a trauma patient requires a multidisciplinary team to perform in a dynamic, high-stakes environment. Error is ubiquitous in trauma care, often related to latent safety threats (LSTs) - previously unrecognized threats that can materialize at any time. In-situ simulation (ISS) allows a team to practice in their authentic environment while providing an opportunistic milieu to explore critical events and uncover LSTs that impact patient safety. Methods: At a Canadian Level 1 trauma centre, regular, unannounced trauma ISSs were conducted and video-recorded. A retrospective chart review of adverse events or unexpected deaths informed ISS scenario design. Each session began with a trauma team activation. The on-duty trauma team arrived in the trauma bay and provided care as they would for a real patient. Semi-structured debriefing with participant-driven LST identification and ethnographic observation occurred in real time. A framework analysis using video review was conducted by human factors experts to identify and evaluate LSTs. Feasibility was measured by the impact on ED workflow, interruptions of clinical care and participant feedback. Results: Six multidisciplinary, high-fidelity, ISS sessions were conducted and 70 multidisciplinary staff and trainees participated in at least one session. Using a framework analysis, LSTs were identified and categorized into seven themes that relate to clinical tasks, equipment, team communication, and participant workflow. LSTs were quantified and prioritized using a hazard scoring matrix. ISS was effectively implemented during both low and high patient volume situations. No critical interruptions in patient care were identified during ISS sessions and overall participant feedback was positive. Conclusion: This novel, multidisciplinary ISS trauma training program integrated risk-informed simulation cases with human factors analysis to identify LSTs. ISS offers an opportunity for an iterative review process of high-risk situations beyond the traditional morbidity and mortality rounds; rather than waiting for an actual case to generate discussion and review, we prophylactically examined critical situations and processes. Findings form a framework for recommendations about improvements in equipment, environment layout, workflow, system processes, effective team training, and ultimately patient safety.
Introduction: The standard approach between Emergency Departments (EDs) and Psychiatric Emergency Services is to medically “clear” a stable patient of organic pathology prior to psychiatric consultation. Medical clearance involves neuroimaging, typically in the form of a computed tomography (CT) head scan. This study examines the clinical impact of ordering CT head scans for patients presenting with bizarre behaviour. Methods: A 5-year retrospective chart review was conducted at 3 academic, urban ED sites. Inclusion criteria were patients ≥18 years of age triaged as “mental health - bizarre behavior” (defined as deviating from normal cognitive behaviour with no obvious cause) with a CT head scan ordered while under the care of the ED. Exclusion criteria were focal neurologic deficits on exam, alternative medical etiology (i.e. delirium, trauma) and/or pre-existing CNS disease. Demographic, administrative, and neuroimaging data were extracted with 10% of charts independently reviewed by a staff Emergency Physician for inter-rater reliability. Results: 270 cases met study criteria. CT results were unavailable in 3, leaving 267 cases studied. The population demographics were: 49% percent female, average age 51 years old, 28% homeless, 59% arrived by police and/or ambulance. CT head results demonstrated 1 (0.4%) case with possible acute findings on CT. 108 (40%) had incidental findings (i.e. cerebral atrophy, small hypodensities), none of which impacted clinical management. Average time to physician assessment was 1 hour 58 minutes (sd 1:17) and time to CT head completion was 6 hours 50 minutes (sd 7:20) leaving an average of 4 hours 52 minutes awaiting these results. Ultimately 86% of patients were referred to a consultant of which 92% were to Psychiatry. Conclusion: This study of CT head scans for bizarre behavior ED presentations showed that the CT results did not change the clinical management of the patient. Furthermore, awaiting these results prolonged ED length of stay and delayed patient disposition. A prospective trial of a clinical decision tool for ordering CT head scans in these patients is warranted.
Introduction: Diagnosing the undifferentiated dyspneic emergency department (ED) patient remains a challenge for clinicians; in order to rule in or out acute heart failure (AHF) natriuretic peptide biomarker testing has evolved and is recommended by cardiology international guidelines to be utilized in these presentations. However there is equipoise in the emergency community for its use, largely due to perceived modest test specificity. We sought to analyze this apparent clinical dichotomy as part of a multicenter trial of undifferentiated dyspneic ED patients. Methods: Patients with dyspnea presenting between October 2010 and October 2013 to one of four ED sites -2 Canadian, 1 American, 1 New Zealand- were assessed by certified staff emergency physicians (EPs) and their chest Xray reviewed. Those patients with undifferentiated dyspnea with a potential for AHF (ie further investigated or treated for AHF but investigated and/or treated for another cause) were consented and enrolled. Two of the sites (American, New Zealand) had NT-proBNP assay ordered as a standard of care for these patients; the other 2 sites did not. At the end of Emergency care, the EP recorded the primary diagnosis of the dypnea-either “AHF” or “Not AHF.” Blinded adjudication was carried out by 2 cardiologists after reviewing sequential records: first, with index ED records but no NT-proBNP result; second, with the NT-proBNP result and lastly, with follow up 60 day records (deemed the gold standard diagnosis). EP accuracy between NT-proBNP and no NT-proBNP sites and NT-proBNP accuracy using standard cutpoints were calculated, as were the number of adjudicated cases influenced by exposure to NT-proBNP. Results: 197 patients were enrolled, 107 at NTproBNP sites and 90 at the other 2 sites. EP accuracy was 76% for either site. NT-proBNP used as a binary test with recommended age-stratified cutoffs had 80% accuracy, applied to 70% of patients (30% remained in “gray zone”).Cardiology adjudicators reversed 16% of initial diagnoses upon exposure to NT-proBNP result, ultimately diagnosing 41% of patients with AHF. Conclusion: This study supports the clinical equipoise amongst emergency physicians compared to cardiologists for the use of NT-proBNP in diagnosing acute heart failure in the undifferentiated dyspneic Emergency patient.
To identify risk factors associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquisition in long-term care facility (LTCF) residents.
Multicenter, prospective cohort followed over 6 months.
Three Veterans Affairs (VA) LTCFs.
All current and new residents except those with short stay (<2 weeks).
MRSA carriage was assessed by serial nares cultures and classified into 3 groups: persistent (all cultures positive), intermittent (at least 1 but not all cultures positive), and noncarrier (no cultures positive). MRSA acquisition was defined by an initial negative culture followed by more than 2 positive cultures with no subsequent negative cultures. Epidemiologic data were collected to identify risk factors, and MRSA isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Among 412 residents at 3 LTCFs, overall MRSA prevalence was 58%, with similar distributions of carriage at all 3 facilities: 20% persistent, 39% intermittent, 41% noncarriers. Of 254 residents with an initial negative swab, 25 (10%) acquired MRSA over the 6 months; rates were similar at all 3 LTCFs, with no clusters evident. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that receipt of systemic antimicrobials during the study was the only significant risk factor for MRSA acquisition (odds ratio, 7.8 [95% confidence interval, 2.1–28.6]; P = .002). MRSA strains from acquisitions were related by PFGE to those from a roommate in 9/25 (36%) cases; 6 of these 9 roommate sources were persistent carriers.
MRSA colonization prevalence was high at 3 separate VA LTCFs. MRSA acquisition was strongly associated with antimicrobial exposure. Roommate sources were often persistent carriers, but transmission from roommates accounted for only approximately one-third of MRSA acquisitions.
Stigma and discrimination related to mental-health problems impacts negatively on people's quality of life, help seeking behaviour and recovery trajectories. To date, the experience of discrimination by people with mental-health problems has not been systematically explored in the Republic of Ireland. This study aimed to explore the experience impact of discrimination as a consequence of being identified with a mental-health problem.
Transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 30 people about their experience of discrimination were subject to thematic analysis and presented in summary form.
People volunteered accounts of discrimination which clustered around employment, personal relationships, business and finance, and health care. Common experiences included being discounted or discredited, being mocked or shunned and being inhibited or constrained by oneself and others.
Qualitative research of this type may serve to illustrate the complexity of discrimination and the processes whereby stigma is internalised and may shape behaviour. Such an understanding may assist health practitioners reduce stigma, and identify and remediate the impact of discrimination.
Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the leading cause of death worldwide in children aged <5 years, and understanding contributing factors to their seasonality is important for targeting and implementing prevention strategies. In tropical climates, ARI typically peak during the pre-rainy and rainy seasons. One hypothesis is that rainfall leads to more time spent indoors, thus increasing exposure to other people and in turn increasing the risk of ARI. A case-crossover study design in 718 Bangladeshi children aged <5 years was used to evaluate this hypothesis. During a 3-month period with variable rainfall, rainfall was associated with ARI [odds ratio (OR) 2·97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·87–4·70]; some evidence of an increased strength of association as household crowding increased was found (⩾3 people/room, OR 3·31, 95% CI 2·03–5·38), but there was a lack of association in some of the most crowded households (⩾5 to <6 people/room, OR 1·55, 95% CI 0·54–4·47). These findings suggest that rainfall may be increasing exposure to crowded conditions, thus leading to an increased risk of ARI, but that additional factors not captured by this analysis may also play a role.
Since its introduction in 1981, the glycaemic index (GI) has been a useful tool for classifying the glycaemic effects of carbohydrate foods. Consumption of a low-GI diet has been associated with a reduced risk of developing CVD, diabetes mellitus and certain cancers. WISP (Tinuviel Software, Llanfechell, Anglesey, UK) is a nutrition software package used for the analysis of food intake records and 24 h recalls. Within its database, WISP contains the GI values of foods based on the International Tables 2002. The aim of the present study is to describe in detail a methodology for adding and amending GI values to the WISP database in a clinical or research setting, using data from the updated International Tables 2008.
Our case-control study sought to identify risk factors for colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at hospital admission among patients with no known healthcare-related risk factors. We found that patients whose most recent hospitalization occurred greater than 1 year before their current hospital admission were more likely to have MRSA colonization. In addition, both the time that elapsed since the most recent hospitalization and the duration of that hospitalization affected risk.