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To evaluate different prospective audit-and-feedback models on antimicrobial prescribing at a rehabilitation hospital.
Retrospective interrupted time series (ITS) and qualitative methods.
A 178-bed rehabilitation hospital within an academic health sciences center.
ITS analysis was used to analyze monthly days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days (PD) and monthly urine cultures ordered per 1,000 PD. We compared 2 sequential intervention periods to the baseline: (1) a period when a dedicated antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) pharmacist performed prospective audit and feedback and provided urine culture education followed by (2) a period when ward pharmacists performing audit and feedback. We conducted an electronic survey with physicians and semistructured interviews with pharmacists, respectively.
Audit and feedback conducted by an AMS pharmacist resulted in a 24.3% relative reduction in total DOT per 1,000 PD (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58–0.99; P = .04), whereas we detected no difference between ward pharmacist audit and feedback and the baseline (IRR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.53–2.70; P = .65). We detected no statistically significant change in monthly urine-culture orders between the AMS pharmacist period and the baseline (level coefficient, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.65–1.01; P = .07). Compared to baseline, the ward pharmacist period showed a statistically significant increase in urine-culture ordering over time (slope coefficient, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01–1.08; P = .02). The barrier most identified by pharmacists was insufficient time.
Audit and feedback conducted by an AMS pharmacist in a rehabilitation hospital was associated with decreased antimicrobial use.
Glyphosate’s efficacy is influenced by the amount absorbed and translocated throughout the plant to inhibit 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS). Glyphosate resistance can be due to target-site (TS) or non–target site (NTS) resistance mechanisms. TS resistance includes an altered target site and gene overexpression, while NTS resistance includes reduced absorption, reduced translocation, enhanced metabolism, and exclusion/sequestration. The goal of this research was to elucidate the mechanism(s) of glyphosate resistance in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) from Ontario, Canada. The resistance factor for this glyphosate-resistant (GR) A. artemisiifolia biotype is 5.1. No amino acid substitutions were found at positions 102 or 106 of the EPSPS enzyme in this A. artemisiifolia biotype. Based on [14C]glyphosate studies, there was no difference in glyphosate absorption or translocation between glyphosate-susceptible (GS) and GR A. artemisiifolia biotypes. Radio-labeled glyphosate metabolites were similar for GS and GR A. artemisiifolia 96 h after application. Glyphosate resistance in this A. artemisiifolia biotype is not due to an altered target site due to amino acid substitutions at positions 102 and 106 in the EPSPS and is not due to the NTS mechanisms of reduced absorption, reduced translocation, or enhanced metabolism.
Ensuring equitable access to health care is a widely agreed-upon goal in medicine, yet access to care is a multidimensional concept that is difficult to measure. Although frameworks exist to evaluate access to care generally, the concept of “access to genomic medicine” is largely unexplored and a clear framework for studying and addressing major dimensions is lacking.
Comprised of seven clinical genomic research projects, the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research consortium (CSER) presented opportunities to examine access to genomic medicine across diverse contexts. CSER emphasized engaging historically underrepresented and/or underserved populations. We used descriptive analysis of CSER participant survey data and qualitative case studies to explore anticipated and encountered access barriers and interventions to address them.
CSER’s enrolled population was largely lower income and racially and ethnically diverse, with many Spanish-preferring individuals. In surveys, less than a fifth (18.7%) of participants reported experiencing barriers to care. However, CSER project case studies revealed a more nuanced picture that highlighted the blurred boundary between access to genomic research and clinical care. Drawing on insights from CSER, we build on an existing framework to characterize the concept and dimensions of access to genomic medicine along with associated measures and improvement strategies.
Our findings support adopting a broad conceptualization of access to care encompassing multiple dimensions, using mixed methods to study access issues, and investing in innovative improvement strategies. This conceptualization may inform clinical translation of other cutting-edge technologies and contribute to the promotion of equitable, effective, and efficient access to genomic medicine.
To evaluate the role of procalcitonin (PCT) results in antibiotic decisions for COVID-19 patients at hospital presentation.
Design, setting, and participants:
Multicenter retrospective observational study of patients ≥18 years hospitalized due to COVID-19 at the Johns Hopkins Health system. Patients who were transferred from another facility with >24 hours stay and patients who died within 48 hours of hospitalization were excluded.
Elevated PCT values were determined based on each hospital’s definition. Antibiotic therapy and PCT results were evaluated for patients with no evidence of bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (bCAP) and patients with confirmed, probable, or possible bCAP. The added value of PCT testing to clinical criteria in detecting bCAP was evaluated using receiving operating curve characteristics (ROC).
Of 962 patients, 611 (64%) received a PCT test. ROC curves for clinical criteria and clinical criteria plus PCT test were similar (at 0.5 ng/mL and 0.25 ng/mL). By bCAP group, median initial PCT values were 0.58 ng/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 0.24–1.14), 0.23 ng/mL (IQR, 0.1–0.63), and 0.15 ng/mL (IQR, 0.09–0.35) for proven/probable, possible, and no bCAP groups, respectively. Among patients without bCAP, an elevated PCT level was associated with 1.8 additional days of CAP therapy (95% CI, 1.01–2.75; P < .01) compared to patients with a negative PCT result after adjusting for potential confounders. Duration of CAP therapy was similar between patients without a PCT test ordered and a low PCT level for no bCAP and possible bCAP groups.
PCT results may be abnormal in COVID-19 patients without bCAP and may result in receipt of unnecessary antibiotics.
Implementation of genome-scale sequencing in clinical care has significant challenges: the technology is highly dimensional with many kinds of potential results, results interpretation and delivery require expertise and coordination across multiple medical specialties, clinical utility may be uncertain, and there may be broader familial or societal implications beyond the individual participant. Transdisciplinary consortia and collaborative team science are well poised to address these challenges. However, understanding the complex web of organizational, institutional, physical, environmental, technologic, and other political and societal factors that influence the effectiveness of consortia is understudied. We describe our experience working in the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER) consortium, a multi-institutional translational genomics consortium.
A key aspect of the CSER consortium was the juxtaposition of site-specific measures with the need to identify consensus measures related to clinical utility and to create a core set of harmonized measures. During this harmonization process, we sought to minimize participant burden, accommodate project-specific choices, and use validated measures that allow data sharing.
Identifying platforms to ensure swift communication between teams and management of materials and data were essential to our harmonization efforts. Funding agencies can help consortia by clarifying key study design elements across projects during the proposal preparation phase and by providing a framework for data sharing data across participating projects.
In summary, time and resources must be devoted to developing and implementing collaborative practices as preparatory work at the beginning of project timelines to improve the effectiveness of research consortia.
We present a study of optical and electronic properties of solutions and films based on the fungi-derived pigment xylindein, extracted from decaying wood and processed without and with a simple purification step (“ethanol wash”). The “post-wash” xylindein solutions exhibited considerably lower absorption in the ultraviolet spectral range and dramatically reduced photoluminescence below 600 nm, due to removal of contaminants most likely to be fungal secondary metabolites. The “post-wash” xylindein-based films were characterized by two orders of magnitude higher charge carrier mobilities as compared to “pre-wash” samples. This underlines the importance of minimizing contaminants that disrupt the conductive xylindein network in xylindein-based electronic devices.
We present on the optical and electronic properties of a fungi-derived pigment xylindein for potential use in (opto)electronic applications. Optical absorption spectra in solutions of various concentrations and in film are compared and are consistent with aggregate formation in concentrated solutions and films. In order to improve film morphology obtained by solution deposition techniques, an amorphous polymer PMMA was introduced to xylindein to form xylindein:PMMA blends. Current-voltage characteristics and hole mobilities extracted from space-charge limited currents were found to be comparable between pristine xylindein and xylindein:PMMA films. Side by side comparison of the photoresponse of pristine xylindein and xylindein:PMMA films at 633 nm revealed an increase in the photosensitivity in xylindein:PMMA films due to the improved morphology favouring enhanced charge generation.
Anti-stigma programmes should aim to increase disclosure to those who can support someone with a mental health problem and appropriate professional help-seeking.
We investigated associations among public awareness of England's Time to Change anti-stigma campaign and: (a) comfort envisaged in disclosing a mental health problem to family and friends; (b) comfort in disclosing to an employer; and (c) intended professional help-seeking from a general practitioner, i.e. a physician working in primary care.
Using data from a survey of a nationally representative sample of adults, we created separate logistic regression models to test for campaign awareness and other variables as predictors of comfort in disclosure and intended help-seeking.
We found positive relationships between campaign awareness and comfort in disclosing to family and friends (odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% CI 1.14–1.43) and to a current or prospective employer (OR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.06–1.35); and likelihood of help-seeking (OR=1.18 95% CI 1.03–1.36).
Awareness of an anti-stigma campaign was associated with greater comfort in disclosing a mental health problem and intended help-seeking.
Recently, mass-casualty incident (MCI) preparedness and training has received increasing attention at the hospital level.
To review the existing evidence on the effectiveness of disaster drills, technology-based interventions and tabletop exercises in training hospital staff to respond to an MCI.
A systematic, evidence-based process was conducted incorporating expert panel input and a literature review with the key terms: “mass casualty”, “disaster”, “disaster planning”, and “drill”. Paired investigators reviewed citation abstracts to identify articles that included evaluation of disaster training for hospital staff. Data were abstracted from the studies (e.g., MCI type, training intervention, staff targeted, objectives, evaluation methods, and results). Study quality was reviewed using standardized criteria.
Of 243 potentially relevant citations, twenty-one met the defined criteria. Studies varied in terms of targeted staff, learning objectives, outcomes, and evaluation methods. Most were characterized by significant limitations in design and evaluation methods. Seventeen addressed the effectiveness of disaster drills in training hospital staff in responding to an MCI, four addressed technology-based interventions, and none addressed tabletop exercises. The existing evidence suggests that hospital disaster drills are effective in allowing hospital employees to become familiar with disaster procedures, identify problems in different components of response (e.g., incident command, communications, triage, patient flow, materials and resources, and security) and provide the opportunity to apply lessons learned to disaster response. The strength of evidence on other training methods is insufficient to draw valid recommendations.
Current evidence on the effectiveness of MCI training for hospital staff is limited. A number of studies suggest that disaster drills can be effective in training hospital staff. However, more attention should be directed to evaluating the effectiveness of disaster training activities in a scientifically rigorous manner.