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Competence committees play a key role in a competency-based system of assessment. These committees are tasked with reviewing and synthesizing clinical performance data to make judgments regarding residents’ competence. Canadian emergency medicine (EM) postgraduate training programs recently implemented competence committees; however, a paucity of literature guides their work.
The objective of this study was to develop consensus-based recommendations to optimize the function and decisions of competence committees in Canadian EM training programs.
Semi-structured interviews of EM competence committee chairs were conducted and analyzed. The interview guide was informed by a literature review of competence committee structure, processes, and best practices. Inductive thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to identify emerging themes. Preliminary recommendations, based on themes, were drafted and presented at the 2019 CAEP Academic Symposium on Education. Through a live presentation and survey poll, symposium attendees representing the national EM community participated in a facilitated discussion of the recommendations. The authors incorporated this feedback and identified consensus among symposium attendees on a final set of nine high-yield recommendations.
The Canadian EM community used a structured process to develop nine best practice recommendations for competence committees addressing: committee membership, meeting processes, decision outcomes, use of high-quality performance data, and ongoing quality improvement. These recommendations can inform the structure and processes of competence committees in Canadian EM training programs.
To address the increasing demand for the use of simulation for assessment, our objective was to review the literature pertaining to simulation-based assessment and develop a set of consensus-based expert-informed recommendations on the use of simulation-based assessment as presented at the 2019 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium on Education.
A panel of Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians from across Canada, with leadership roles in simulation and/or assessment, was formed to develop the recommendations. An initial scoping literature review was conducted to extract principles of simulation-based assessment. These principles were refined via thematic analysis, and then used to derive a set of recommendations for the use of simulation-based assessment, organized by the Consensus Framework for Good Assessment. This was reviewed and revised via a national stakeholder survey, and then the recommendations were presented and revised at the consensus conference to generate a final set of recommendations on the use of simulation-based assessment in EM.
We developed a set of recommendations for simulation-based assessment, using consensus-based expert-informed methods, across the domains of validity, reproducibility, feasibility, educational and catalytic effects, acceptability, and programmatic assessment. While the precise role of simulation-based assessment will be a subject of continued debate, we propose that these recommendations be used to assist educators and program leaders as they incorporate simulation-based assessment into their programs of assessment.
Simulation plays an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High-quality, simulation-based research will ensure its effective use. This study sought to summarize simulation-based research activity and its facilitators and barriers, as well as establish priorities for simulation-based research in Canadian emergency medicine (EM).
Simulation-leads from Canadian departments or divisions of EM associated with a general FRCP-EM training program surveyed and documented active EM simulation-based research at their institutions and identified the perceived facilitators and barriers. Priorities for simulation-based research were generated by simulation-leads via a second survey; these were grouped into themes and finally endorsed by consensus during an in-person meeting of simulation leads. Priority themes were also reviewed by senior simulation educators.
Twenty simulation-leads representing all 14 invited institutions participated in the study between February and May, 2018. Sixty-two active, simulation-based research projects were identified (median per institution = 4.5, IQR 4), as well as six common facilitators and five barriers. Forty-nine priorities for simulation-based research were reported and summarized into eight themes: simulation in competency-based medical education, simulation for inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology.
This study summarized simulation-based research activity in EM in Canada, identified its perceived facilitators and barriers, and built national consensus on priority research themes. This represents the first step in the development of a simulation-based research agenda specific to Canadian EM.
In 2008–2009, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported over 30,000 cases of sepsis hospitalizations in Canada, an increase of almost 4,000 from 2005. Mortality rates from severe sepsis and septic shock continue to remain greater than 30% in Canada and are significantly higher than other critical conditions treated in the emergency department (ED). Our group formed a multidisciplinary sepsis committee, conducted an ED process of care analysis, and developed a quality improvement protocol. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of this sepsis management bundle on patient mortality.
This before and after study was conducted in two large Canadian tertiary care EDs and included adult patients with suspected severe infection that met at least two systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria. We studied the implementation of a sepsis bundle including triage flagging, RN medical directive, education campaign, and a modified sepsis protocol. The primary outcomes were 30-day all-cause mortality and sepsis protocol use.
We included a total of 167 and 185 patients in the pre- and post-intervention analysis, respectively. Compared to the pre-intervention group, mortality was significantly lower in the post-intervention group (30.7% versus 17.3%; absolute difference, 13.4%; 95% CI 9.8–17.0; p=0.006). There was also a higher rate of sepsis protocol use in the post-intervention group (20.3% versus 80.5%, absolute difference 60.2%; 95% CI 55.1–65.3; p<0.001). Additionally, we found shorter time-intervals from triage to MD assessment, fluid resuscitation, and antibiotic administration as well as lower rates of vasopressor requirements and ICU admission.
The implementation of our multidisciplinary ED sepsis bundle, including improved early identification and protocolized medical care, was associated with improved time to achieve key therapeutic interventions and a reduction in 30-day mortality. Similar low-cost initiatives could be implemented in other EDs to potentially improve outcomes for this high-risk group of patients.
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