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Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for malnutrition. Standardisation of feeding protocols has shown promise in decreasing some of this risk. With little standardisation between institutions’ feeding protocols and no understanding of protocol adherence, it is important to analyse the efficacy of individual aspects of the protocols.
Adherence to and deviation from a feeding protocol in high-risk congenital heart disease patients between December 2015 and March 2017 were analysed. Associations between adherence to and deviation from the protocol and clinical outcomes were also assessed. The primary outcome was change in weight-for-age z score between time intervals.
Increased adherence to and decreased deviation from individual instructions of a feeding protocol improves patients change in weight-for-age z score between birth and hospital discharge (p = 0.031). Secondary outcomes such as markers of clinical severity and nutritional delivery were not statistically different between groups with high or low adherence or deviation rates.
High-risk feeding protocol adherence and fewer deviations are associated with weight gain independent of their influence on nutritional delivery and caloric intake. Future studies assessing the efficacy of feeding protocols should include the measures of adherence and deviations that are not merely limited to caloric delivery and illness severity.
To demonstrate the application of economics to health care preparedness by estimating the financial return on investment in a substate regional emergency response team and to develop a financial model aimed at sustaining community-level disaster readiness.
Economic evaluation methods were applied to the experience of a regional Pennsylvania response capability. A cost-benefit analysis was performed by using information on funding of the response team and 17 real-world events the team responded to between 2008 and 2013. By use of the results of the cost-benefit analysis as well as information on the response team’s catchment area, a risk-based insurance-like membership model was built.
The cost-benefit analysis showed a positive return after 6 years of investment in the regional emergency response team. Financial modeling allowed for the calculation of premiums for 2 types of providers within the emergency response team’s catchment area: hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The analysis indicated that preparedness activities have a positive return on their investment in this substate region. By applying economic principles, communities can estimate their return on investment to make better business decisions in an effort to increase the sustainability of emergency preparedness programs at the regional level. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:344–348)
Thirty-nine (78%) of 50 invited employees from 4 hospitals participated. Key responses highlighted the importance of pre-event planning in intra-departmental communication, identification of resources for the dependents of health-care workers, clarification of the chain of command within the hospital, establishment of a link to key governmental agencies, and advanced identification of negative pressure rooms for cohorting large numbers of patients. Almost one-fourth of the participants described their hospital departaient as poorly prepared for a bioterrorism event of moderate size. At the conclusion of the tabletop, 79% of the participants stated that the exercise had increased their knowledge of preplanning activities. Seventy-nine percent of all participants, 94% of physicians and nurses, and 95% of participants from non-university hospitals ranked the exercise as extremely or very useful. The exercise was completed in 3% hours and its total direct cost (excluding lost time from work) was $225 (U.S.).
Tabletop exercises are a feasible, well-accepted modality for hospital bioterrorism preparedness training. Hospital employees, including physicians and nurses, rank this method as highly useful for guiding preplanning activities. Infection control staff and hospital epidemiologists should play a lead role in hospital preparedness activities. Further assessment of the optimal duration, type, and frequency of tabletop exercises is needed.
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