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Presenteeism, or working while ill, by healthcare personnel (HCP) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) puts patients and coworkers at risk. However, hospital policies and practices may not consistently facilitate HCP staying home when ill.
Objective and methods:
We conducted a mixed-methods survey in March 2018 of Emerging Infections Network infectious diseases physicians, describing institutional experiences with and policies for HCP working with ILI.
Of 715 physicians, 367 (51%) responded. Of 367, 135 (37%) were unaware of institutional policies. Of the remaining 232 respondents, 206 (89%) reported institutional policies regarding work restrictions for HCP with influenza or ILI, but only 145 (63%) said these were communicated at least annually. More than half of respondents (124, 53%) reported that adherence to work restrictions was not monitored or enforced. Work restrictions were most often not perceived to be enforced for physicians-in-training and attending physicians. Nearly all (223, 96%) reported that their facility tracked laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) in patients; 85 (37%) reported tracking ILI. For employees, 109 (47%) reported tracking of LCI and 53 (23%) reported tracking ILI. For independent physicians, not employed by the facility, 30 (13%) reported tracking LCI and 11 (5%) ILI.
More than one-third of respondents were unaware of whether their institutions had policies to prevent HCP with ILI from working; among those with knowledge of institutional policies, dissemination, monitoring, and enforcement of these policies was highly variable. Improving communication about work-restriction policies, as well as monitoring and enforcement, may help prevent the spread of infections from HCP to patients.
The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) undertook a Common Metrics Initiative to improve research processes across the national CTSA Consortium. This was implemented by Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the 64 CTSA academic medical centers. Three metrics were collaboratively developed by NCATS staff, CTSA Consortium teams, and outside consultants for Institutional Review Board Review Duration, Careers in Clinical and Translational Research, and Pilot Award Publications and Subsequent Funding. The implementation program included training on the metric operational guidelines, data collection, data reporting system, and performance improvement framework. The implementation team provided small-group coaching and technical assistance. Collaborative learning sessions, driver diagrams, and change packages were used to disseminate best and promising practices. After 14 weeks, 84% of hubs had produced a value for one metric and about half had produced an initial improvement plan. Overall, hubs reported that the implementation activities facilitated their Common Metrics performance improvement process. Experiences implementing the first three metrics can inform future directions of the Common Metrics Initiative and other research groups implementing standardized metrics and performance improvement processes, potentially including other National Institutes of Health institutes and centers.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.
In our target article, we made four claims: (1) Social psychology is now politically homogeneous; (2) this homogeneity sometimes harms the science; (3) increasing political diversity would reduce this damage; and (4) some portion of the homogeneity is due to a hostile climate and outright discrimination against non-liberals. In this response, we review these claims in light of the arguments made by a diverse group of commentators. We were surprised to find near-universal agreement with our first two claims, and we note that few challenged our fourth claim. Most of the disagreements came in response to our claim that increasing political diversity would be beneficial. We agree with our critics that increasing political diversity may be harder than we had thought, but we explain why we still believe that it is possible and desirable to do so. We conclude with a revised list of 12 recommendations for improving political diversity in social psychology, as well as in other areas of the academy.
Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity – particularly diversity of viewpoints – for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: (1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. (2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. (3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking. (4) The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology.
Sustaining performance is a difficult and often overlooked aspect of quality improvement and implementation science. Over a 4-year period, we observed that monthly feedback of performance data in face-to-face meetings with frontline personnel was crucial in maintaining environmental-cleaning effectiveness in adult critical care units.
We demonstrate one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) resonant nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) derived from nano carbon materials, where the resonance frequency and the quality (Q) factor of the devices are measured experimentally using ultrasensitive optical interferometry. The 1D nano carbon resonators are formed using carbon nanofibers (CNFs) which are synthesized using a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process, while the 2D nanocarbon resonators are based on CVD grown graphene. The CNFs are prototyped into few-μm-long cantilever-shaped 1D resonators, where the resonance frequency and Qs are extracted from measurements of the undriven thermomechanical noise spectrum. The thermomechanical noise measurements yield resonances in the ∼3–15 MHz range, with Q of ∼200–800. Significant changes in resonance characteristics are observed due to electron beam induced amorphous carbon deposition on the CNFs, which suggests that 1D CNF resonators have strong prospects for ultrasensitive mass detection. We also present NEMS resonators based on 2D graphene nanomembranes, which exhibit robust undriven thermomechanical resonances for the extraction of ultrasmall strain levels.
In 2009, the European Commission set restricted fishing areas northwest of the British Isles to protect deep-sea vulnerable marine ecosystems and fish stocks. Two protection areas which, historically, have been targeted by fisheries directed at blue ling (Molva dypterygia), were defined. The study aims to assess the effectiveness of restricting fishing activity within the protection areas during the blue ling spawning period (March–May) and to determine whether the existing boundaries are fit for purpose. Estimations of the spatial apportionment of blue ling landings within and outside the protection areas are achieved by combining low-resolution data from fishing vessel logbook entries with higher-resolution vessel monitoring system (VMS) data. High-resolution spatial apportionment of blue ling landings is limited by a lack of high-resolution logbook data, and certain assumptions need to be made on whether vessels are engaging in fishing activity at any individual VMS data point, based on vessel speed and types of fishing gear available. Although current measures appear to have influenced fishing activity in the vicinity of the protection areas, more evidence is needed for a robust evaluation of their effectiveness in protecting blue ling. Recommendations are made for improvements in data collection methods and data availability for research in support of monitoring, assessment and delineation of marine protection boundaries.
Environmental surfaces in hospital rooms often become contaminated with microbes, and evidence has linked the patient care environment to transmission of potential pathogens. Despite attempts at standardization of training and cleaning techniques, there is great variation between housekeepers with regard to room cleaning practices. Environmental cleanliness can be assessed by direct observation, surface cultures, detection of adenosine triphosphate, or use of a fluorescent marking solution. Each monitoring technique has limitations.
We participated in a multicenter study that demonstrated improved cleaning of high-touch surfaces through the use of a fluorescent marking solution and rapid-cycle performance feedback. As part of an earlier study, housekeepers were instructed about the importance of environmental cleanliness and appropriate cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and a room cleaning checklist was introduced. In this study, we sought to examine the relationship between the amount of time that a housekeeper spent cleaning a hospital room and the thoroughness of surface cleaning.