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Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) plays an important role in addressing shortcomings in optimal healthcare delivery. However, there is little published guidance available for emergency department (ED) teams with respect to developing their own QIPS programs. We sought to create recommendations for established and aspiring ED leaders to use as a pathway to better patient care through programmatic QIPS activities, starting internally and working towards interdepartmental collaboration.
An expert panel comprised of ten ED clinicians with QIPS and leadership expertise was established. A scoping review was conducted to identify published literature on establishing QIPS programs and frameworks in healthcare. Stakeholder consultations were conducted among Canadian healthcare leaders, and recommendations were drafted by the expert panel based on all the accumulated information. These were reviewed and refined at the 2018 CAEP Academic Symposium in Calgary using in-person and technologically-supported feedback.
Recommendations include: creating a sense of urgency for improvement; engaging relevant stakeholders and leaders; creating a formal local QIPS Committee; securing funding and resources; obtaining local data to guide the work; supporting QIPS training for team members; encouraging interprofessional, cross-departmental, and patient collaborations; using an established QIPS framework to guide the work; developing reward mechanisms and incentive structures; and considering to start small by focusing on a project rather than a program.
A list of 10 recommendations is presented as guiding principles for the establishment and sustainable deployment of QIPS activities in EDs throughout Canada and abroad. ED leaders are encouraged to implement our recommendations in an effort to improve patient care.
Advances in emergency medicine research can be slow to make their way into clinical care, and implementing a new evidence-based intervention can be challenging in the emergency department. The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Knowledge Translation Symposium working group set out to produce recommendations for best practice in the implementation of a new science in Canadian emergency departments.
A systematic review of implementation strategies to change health care provider behaviour in the emergency department was conducted simultaneously with a national survey of emergency physician experience. We summarized our findings into a list of draft recommendations that were presented at the national CAEP Conference 2017 and further refined based on feedback through social media strategies.
We produced 10 recommendations for implementing new evidence-based interventions in the emergency department, which cover identifying a practice gap, evaluating the evidence, planning the intervention strategy, monitoring, providing feedback during implementation, and desired qualities of future implementation research.
We present recommendations to guide future emergency department implementation initiatives. There is a need for robust and well-designed implementation research to guide future emergency department implementation initiatives.
The Ottawa Ankle Rules (OAR) are a clinical decision tool used to minimize unnecessary radiographs in ankle and foot injuries. The OAR are a reliable tool to exclude fractures in children over 5 years of age when applied by physicians. Limited data support its use by other health care workers in children. Our objective was to determine the accuracy of the OAR when applied by non-physician providers (NPP).
Children aged 5 to 17 years presenting with an acute ankle or foot injury were enrolled. Phase 1 captured baseline data on x-ray use in 106 patients. NPPs were then educated on the usage of the OAR and completed an OAR learning module. In phase 2, NPPs applied the OAR to 184 included patients.
The sensitivity of the foot rule, as applied by NPP’s, was 100% (56-100% CI) and the specificity was 17% (9-29% CI) for clinically significant fractures. The sensitivity of the ankle portion of the rule, as applied by NPP’s, was 88% (47-99 CI) and the specificity was 31% (23-40% CI) for clinically significant fractures. The only clinically significant fracture missed by NPP’s was detected on physician assessment. Inter-observer agreement was κ=0.24 for the ankle rule and κ=0.49 for the foot rule.
The sensitivity of the OAR when applied by NPP’s was very good. More training and practice using the OAR would likely improve NPP’s inter-observer reliability. Our data suggest the OAR may be a useful tool for NPP’s to apply prior to physician assessment.
A number of studies have assessed the diagnostic accuracy of the Ottawa Ankle Rules (OAR) in children; however, the role of the OAR in guiding physician radiograph use is unclear.
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which Canadian pediatric emergency physicians report using the OAR. Secondary goals included determining current diagnostic and management strategies for Salter-Harris 1 (SH-1) injuries of the ankle and which fractures physicians deem to be clinically significant.
A self-administered piloted survey was distributed by mail to 215 Canadian pediatric emergency physicians using a modified Dillman technique. Participants were selected through Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC), a national network of health care professionals with an interest in pediatric emergency medicine research.
Of 209 surveys, 144 were returned, for a response rate of 68.9%. Of those, 87.5% (126 of 144) reported applying the OAR in children to determine the need for radiographs in acute ankle or midfoot injuries. Of those, 65.1% reported using the OAR always or usually, and 64.5% (93 of 144) of physicians stated that they believe all ankle fractures are clinically significant. Although physicians report that they most commonly order the radiographs, 36.2% of participants indicated that radiographs were requisitioned by nurses or other health care providers at their facilities. SH-1 fractures were reported to be most commonly managed by immobilization (83.3%; 120 of 144), with most patients going on to follow-up with an orthopedic surgeon.
The majority of Canadian pediatric emergency physicians indicate that they use the OAR when assessing children with acute ankle and midfoot injuries. Most physicians believe that all ankle fractures, including SH-1, are clinically significant and have a management preference for immobilization and orthopedic follow-up.
Patient adherence with emergency department (ED) referral has not been well studied in Canada, and there are no Canadian studies assessing patient follow-up for evaluation of cardiovascular disease. Our primary objective was to determine the proportion of patients who adhered with an ED referral to a cardiac evaluation and risk assessment (CERA) clinic in Calgary, Alta. Secondary objectives included determining the final diagnoses and outcomes for patients attending CERA appointments. We also assessed the association between adherence and various system and patient factors.
A retrospective review of 385 patients who were referred to CERA from EDs in the study region between June 1, 2004, and Apr. 7, 2005, was performed. Hospital charts and the database at the medical examiner's office were reviewed for patients who did not attend their CERA appointment.
The majority of patients (345/385, 89.6%) followed through with their referral to CERA. No deaths were identified from hospital records or from the medical examiner's office for nonadherent patients. Of the 315 patients who completed their follow-up, 225 (71.4%) were diagnosed with noncardiac or low-risk cardiac disease, whereas 90 (28.6%) were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. The referring hospital was the only variable significantly associated with adherence with the referral (p = 0.004).
The great majority of patients referred to CERA from Calgary EDs were adherent with the referral. Future studies may identify factors impairing adherence that are amenable to intervention. Implementation of a referral model similar to the one used by CERA may improve adherence with attendance at other outpatient clinics.
Elbow injuries in children are a common presenting complaint to the emergency department. Although radiography is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of this injury, x-rays of the injured elbow are inherently difficult to interpret. As a result, comparison views of the uninjured arm have traditionally been recommended to provide an anatomically “normal” radiograph. Recent studies have questioned the use of comparison views in the pediatric emergency department. The primary objective of this study was to determine current practices of non-pediatric emergency physicians in the use of comparison views for the diagnosis of elbow injuries in children.
A self-administered mail survey was sent to 300 randomly selected emergency physicians, using the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians database.
Two hundred and forty-two (81%) responses were received; 26 were excluded based on pre-determined criteria. Of eligible respondents, 95% ordered comparison views selectively and 64% of these physicians ordered comparison views infrequently. Eighty-eight percent found the comparison views to be “rarely” to “sometimes” useful. Forty-seven percent of respondents stated that they were only “somewhat” confident when interpreting x-rays of a child's elbow.
This survey demonstrates that non-pediatric emergency physicians are using comparison views selectively for elbow injuries in children, despite being only “somewhat” confident in interpreting the x-rays.
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