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We investigated gender differences in psychosocial determinants that affect hand hygiene (HH) performance among physicians.
The survey included a structured questionnaire with 7 parts: self-assessment of HH execution rate; knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding HH; internal and emotional motivation for better HH; barriers to HH; need for external reminders; preference for alcohol gel; and embarrassment due to supervision.
The study was conducted across 4 academic referral hospitals in Korea.
Physicians who worked at these hospitals were surveyed.
The survey questionnaire was sent to 994 physicians of the hospitals in July 2018 via email or paper. Differences in psychosocial determinants of HH among physicians were analyzed by gender using an independent t test or the Fisher exact test.
Of the 994 physicians, 201 (20.2%) responded to the survey. Among them, 129 (63.5%) were men. Male physicians identified 4 barriers as significant: time wasted on HH (P = .034); HH is not a habit (P = .004); often forgetting about HH situations (P = .002); and no disadvantage when I do not perform HH (P = .005). Female physicians identified pain and dryness of the hands as a significant obstacle (P = .010), and they had a higher tendency to feel uncomfortable when a fellow employee performed inadequate HH (P = .098). Among the respondents, 26.6% identified diversifying the types of hand sanitizers as their first choice for overcoming barriers to improving HH, followed by providing reminders (15.6%) and soap and paper towels in each hospital room (13.0%).
A significant difference in the barriers to HH existed between male and female physicians. Promoting HH activities could help increase HH compliance.
Background: Evaluation of the adequacy of prophylactic antibiotics in surgery has been implemented as a national policy in Korea since August 2007, and the appropriate use of prophylactic antibiotics has improved. However, antibiotic prescriptions that are not recommended or discontinuation of prophylactic antibiotic administration within 24 hours after surgery are still not well done. This study introduced a program to improve the adequacy of prophylactic antibiotics for surgery and analyzed its effects. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the effectiveness of the appropriate prophylactic antibiotic use program for surgery conducted at a university hospital in Seoul. The participants were patients aged ≥18 years who underwent any of 18 types of surgery. The program started was implemented in June 2020. First, a computer system was used to confirm the antibiotic prescription recommended for each surgery. It also assessed whether the number of days of administration was exceeded, whether antibiotics were prescribed in combination, and whether antibiotics prescribed for discharge medicine were checked in 4 steps. A pop-up window appeared in each patient record to enter the reason for the prescription. If the reason was appropriate, the prescription was allowed, but if not, the prescription was restricted. In addition, infectious diseases physicians and an insurance review team visited each department to conduct an education session. To analyze the effect 3 months before activity (January–March 2020) and 3 months after activity (October–December 2020), we compared the first antibiotic administration rate within 1 hour prior to skin incision, the recommended prophylactic antibiotic administration rate, and surgery type. The rate of discontinuation of prophylactic antibiotics within 24 hours after administration and the rate of prescription of prophylactic antibiotics at discharge were compared. Results: In total, 1,339 surgeries during the study period were included in the analysis. There were 695 cases before the introduction of the program and 644 cases after the introduction. The rate of first antibiotic use within 1 hour prior to skin incision was 93.1%–99.5% (P < .001), the rate of recommended prophylactic antibiotic administration was 85.0%–99.2% (P < .001), and the rate of discontinuation of antibiotic administration within 24 hours after surgery improved from 51.8% to 98.3% (P < .001), respectively. The prescription rate of antibiotics at discharge improved from 20.7% to 0.8% (P <.001) (Table 1). Conclusions: A computerized program to improve the adequacy of prophylactic antibiotic use in surgery combined with education of medical staff was very effective.
This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Background: Although small- and medium-sized hospitals comprise most healthcare providers in South Korea, data on antibiotic usage is limited in these facilities. We evaluated the pattern of antibiotic usage and its appropriateness in hospitals with <400 beds in South Korea. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted in 10 hospitals (6 long-term care hospitals, 3 acute-care hospitals, and 1 orthopedic hospital), with <400 beds in South Korea. We analyzed patterns of antibiotic prescription and their appropriateness in the participating hospitals. Data on the monthly antibiotic prescriptions and patient days for hospitalized patients were collected using electronic databases from each hospital. To avoid the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were collected from January to December 2019. For the evaluation of the appropriateness of the prescription, 25 patients under antibiotic therapy were randomly selected at each hospital over 2 separate periods. Due to the heterogeneity of their characteristics, the orthopedics hospital was excluded from the analysis. The collected data were reviewed, and the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated by 5 specialists in infectious diseases (adult and pediatric). Data from 2 hospitals were assigned to each specialist. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated from 3 aspects: route of administration, dose, and class. If the 3 aspects were ‘optimal,’ the prescription was considered ‘optimal.’ If only the route was ‘optimal,’ and the dose and/or class was ‘suboptimal,’ but not ‘inappropriate,’ it was considered ‘suboptimal.’ If even 1 aspect was ‘inappropriate,’ it was classified as ‘inappropriate.’ Results: The most commonly prescribed antibiotics in long-term care hospitals was fluoroquinolone, followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor (antipseudomonal). In acute-care hospitals, these were third-generation cephalosporin, followed by first-generation cephalosporin and second-generation cephalosporin. The major antibiotics that were prescribed in the orthopedics hospital was first-generation cephalosporin. Only 2.3% of the antibiotics were administered inappropriately. In comparison, 15.3% of patients were prescribed an inappropriate dose. The proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 30.6% of the total antibiotic prescriptions. Conclusions: The antibiotic usage patterns vary between small- and medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. The proportion of inappropriate prescriptions exceeded 30% of the total antibiotic prescriptions.
Background: The δ (delta) variant has spread rapidly worldwide and has become the predominant strain of SARS-CoV-2. We analyzed an outbreak caused by a vaccine breakthrough infection in a hospital with an active infection control program where 91.9% of healthcare workers were vaccinated. Methods: We investigated a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak between September 9 and October 2, 2021, in a referral teaching hospital in Korea. We retrospectively collected data on demographics, vaccination history, transmission, and clinical features of confirmed COVID-19 in patients, healthcare workers, and caregivers. Results: During the outbreak, 94 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) testing. Testing identified infections in 61 health care workers, 18 patients, and 15 caregivers, and 70 (74.5%) of 94 cases were vaccine breakthrough infections. We detected 3 superspreading events: in the hospital staff cafeteria and offices (n = 47 cases, 50%), the 8th floor of the main building (n = 22 cases, 23.4%), and the 7th floor in the maternal and child healthcare center (n = 12 cases, 12.8%). These superspreading events accounted for 81 (86.2%) of 94 transmissions (Fig. 1, 2). The median interval between completion of vaccination and COVID-19 infection was 117 days (range, 18–187). There was no significant difference in the mean Ct value of the RdRp/ORF1ab gene between fully vaccinated individuals (mean 20.87, SD±6.28) and unvaccinated individuals (mean 19.94, SD±5.37, P = .52) at the time of diagnosis. Among healthcare workers and caregivers, only 1 required oxygen supplementation. In contrast, among 18 patients, there were 4 fatal cases (22.2%), 3 of whom were unvaccinated (Table 1). Conclusions: Superspreading infection among fully vaccinated individuals occurred in an acute-care hospital while the δ (delta) variant was dominant. Given the potential for severe complications, as this outbreak demonstrated, preventive measures including adequate ventilation should be emphasized to minimize transmission in hospitals.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Background: The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between appropriateness of antibiotic prescription and clinical outcomes in patients with community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN). Methods: A multicenter prospective cohort study was performed in 8 Korean hospitals from September 2017 to August 2018. All hospitalized patients aged ≥19 years diagnosed with CA-APN at admission were recruited. Pregnant women and patients with insufficient data were excluded. In addition, patients with prolonged hospitalization due to medical problems that were not associated with APN treatment were excluded. The appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics was divided into “optimal,” “suboptimal,” and “inappropriate,” and optimal and suboptimal were regarded as appropriate antibiotic use. The standard for the classification of empirical antibiotics was defined reflecting the Korean national guideline for the antibiotic use in urinary tract infection 2018. The standards for the classification of definitive antibiotics were defined according to the result of in vitro susceptibility tests of causative organisms. Clinical outcomes including clinical failure (mortality or recurrence) rate, hospitalization days, and medical costs were compared between patients who were prescribed antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed them inappropriately. Results: In total, 397 and 318 patients were eligible for the analysis of the appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively. Of these, 10 (2.5%) and 18 (5.7%) were inappropriately prescribed empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively, and 28 (8.8%) were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed empirical antibiotics appropriately showed a lower mortality rate (0 vs 10%; P = .025), shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 12.5 days; P = .014), and lower medical costs (US$2,333 vs US$4,531; P = .007) compared to those who were prescribed empirical antibiotics “inappropriately.” In comparison, we detected no significant differences in clinical outcomes between patients who were prescribed definitive antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed both empirical and definitive antibiotics appropriately showed a lower clinical failure rate (0.3 vs 7.1%; P = .021) and shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 10.5 days; P = .041) compared to those who were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Conclusions: Appropriate use of antibiotics leads patients with CA-APN to better clinical outcomes including fewer hospitalization days and lower medical costs.
Background: We sought to determine the minimum number of observations needed to determine hand hygiene (HH) compliance among healthcare workers. Methods: The study was conducted at a referral hospital. We retrospectively analyzed the result of HH monitoring from January to December 2018. HH compliance was calculated by dividing the number of observed HH actions by the total number of opportunities. Appropriate HH compliance rates were calculated based on the 6-step technique, modified from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation. The minimum number of required observations (n) was calculated by the following equation using overall mean value (r), absolute precision (d), and confidence interval (1-α) [The equation: n3 Zα/22×ρ×1-ρ/d2]. We considered ds of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%, with CIs of 99%, 95%, and 90%, respectively. Among the various cases, we focused on 10% for d and 95% for CI. Results: During the study period, 8,791 opportunities among 1,168 healthcare workers were monitored. The mean HH compliance and appropriate HH compliance rates were 80.3% and 59.7%, respectively (Table 1). The minimum number of observations required to determine HH compliance rates ranged from 2 (d, 30%; CI, 90%) to 624 (d, 5%; CI, 99%), and the minimum number of observations for optimal HH compliance ranged from 5 (d, 30%, CI, 90%) to 642 (d, 5%; CI, 99%) (Figure 1). At 10% absolute precision with 95% confidence, the minimum number of observations to determine HH and optimal HH compliance were 61 and 92, respectively. Conclusions: The minimum number of observations to determine HH compliance varies widely according to setting, but at least 5 were needed to determine optimal HH compliance.
We calculated the human resources required for an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in Korean hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective study.
Eight Korean hospitals ranging in size from 295 to 1,337 beds.
The time required for performing ASP activities for all hospitalized patients under antibiotic therapy was estimated and converted into hours per week. The actual time spent on patient reviews of each ASP activity was measured with a small number of cases, then the total time was estimated by applying the determined times to a larger number of cases. Full-time equivalents (FTEs) were measured according to labor laws in Korea (52 hours per week).
In total, 225 cases were reviewed to measure time spent on patient reviews. The median time spent per patient review for ASP activities ranged from 10 to 16 minutes. The total time spent on the review for all hospitalized patients was estimated using the observed number of ASP activities for 1,534 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy on surveillance days. The most commonly observed ASP activity was ‘review of surgical prophylactic antibiotics’ (32.7%), followed by ‘appropriate antibiotics recommendations for patients with suspected infection without a proven site of infection but without causative pathogens’ (28.6%). The personnel requirement was calculated as 1.20 FTEs (interquartile range [IQR], 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds and 2.28 FTEs (IQR, 1.93–2.62) per 100 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy, respectively.
The estimated time required for human resources performing extensive ASP activities on all hospitalized patients undergoing antibiotic therapy in Korean hospitals was ~1.20 FTEs (IQR, 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds.
The aim of this study is to develop predictive models to predict organ at risk (OAR) complication level, classification of OAR dose-volume and combination of this function with our in-house developed treatment decision support system.
Materials and methods
We analysed the support vector machine and decision tree algorithm for predicting OAR complication level and toxicity in order to integrate this function into our in-house radiation treatment planning decision support system. A total of 12 TomoTherapyTM treatment plans for prostate cancer were established, and a hundred modelled plans were generated to analyse the toxicity prediction for bladder and rectum.
The toxicity prediction algorithm analysis showed 91·0% accuracy in the training process. A scatter plot for bladder and rectum was obtained by 100 modelled plans and classification result derived. OAR complication level was analysed and risk factor for 25% bladder and 50% rectum was detected by decision tree. Therefore, it was shown that complication prediction of patients using big data-based clinical information is possible.
We verified the accuracy of the tested algorithm using prostate cancer cases. Side effects can be minimised by applying this predictive modelling algorithm with the planning decision support system for patient-specific radiotherapy planning.
Recently, low molecular organic non-volatile memories have been developed as a next generation of non-volatile memory because of nano-meter device-feature size and nano-second access and store-time. We developed a non-volatile memory fabricated with the device structure of Al/ α-NPD/Al nano-crystals surrounded by Al2O3/α-NPD/Al, where α-NPD is N,N'-bis(1-naphthyl)-1,1'biphenyl4-4”diamine. One layer of Al nano-crystals with ∼20 nm-width ∼20 nm length was uniform produced between α-NPD layers, confirmed by 1.2MV high voltage transmission-electron-microscope. This device showed Vth of 3.0 V, Vprogram of 4.3 V, and Verase of 6.3 V. Particularly, this device exhibited an excellent non-volatile memory behavior performing the bi-stability (Iprogrm/Ierase) of >1×102, program/erase cycles of >1×105 and multi-levels. In addition, previous reports about low molecular organic non-volatile memories have showed a bad reproducible memory characteristic. However, this issue was completely solved via isolating Al nano-crystals embedded in α-NPD by O2 plasma oxidation. The uniformity of Vth, Vp, and Ve were 9.91%, 6.94% and 7.92%, respectively. Furthermore, the effect of buffer or barrier layer on non-volatile memory characteristics was investigate to examine the control ability for Vth, Vp, and Ve. The 0.5-nm LiF showed a barrier layer behavior suppressing the bi-stability of non-volatile memory. Otherwise, 15-nm CuPc exhibited a buffer layer behavior enhancing the bi-stability of nonvolatile memory.
The photoluminescence of terbium-activated yttrium silicate with the general formula Y2−XTbxSiO5 was investigated as a function of Tb3+ concentration. Especially, the main attention was focused on the 5D3 fluorescence and its energy transfer behavior. The emission and excitation spectra were measured in terms of Tb3+ concentration. The diffuse reflectance spectrum was also measured in the range from VUV to UV. As a result, yttrium silicate was found to have a broad absorption band extended from the VUV to UV range. The concentration quenching was investigated in terms of luminance and decay time both for 5D3 and 5D4 fluorescence. The energy transfer was also investigated by analyzing the decay curve of 5D3 emission on the basis of the multipolar interaction. The decay curves of 5D3 emission, for which well-known cross-relaxation has been accepted as a main factor, were analyzed by Inokuti and Hirayama's formula on the basis of the direct quenching scheme. Furthermore, the rate equations including a newly proposed quenching scheme were taken into consideration. The rate equations accept the emission quenching as due to the cross-relaxation from 5D3 or 4 to some upper levels such as 7D and the charge-transfer band.
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