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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.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the primary diagnoses and outcomes of emergency department visits in older people with dementia and to compare these parameters with those in older adults without dementia.
Design and Setting:
This hospital-based retrospective study retrieved patient records from a hospital research database, which included the outpatient and inpatient claims of two hospitals.
The patient records were retrieved from the two hospitals in an urban setting. The inclusion criteria were all patients aged 65 and older who had attended the two hospitals as an outpatient or inpatient between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Patients with dementia were identified to have at least three reports of diagnostic codes, either during outpatient visits, during emergency department visits, or in hospitalized database records. The other patients were categorized as patients without dementia.
The primary diagnosis during the emergency department visit, cost of emergency department treatment, cost of hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and diagnosis of death were collected.
A total of 149,203 outpatients and inpatients aged 65 and older who were admitted to the two hospitals were retrieved. The rate of emergency department visits in patients with dementia (23.2%) was lower than that in those without dementia (48.6%). The most frequent primary reason for emergency department visits and the main cause of patient death was pneumonia. Patients with dementia in the emergency department had higher hospital admission rates and longer hospital stays; however, the cost of treatment did not show a significant difference between the two groups.
Future large and prospective studies should explore the severity of disease in older people with dementia and compare results with older adults without dementia in the emergency department.
Disasters occur rarely but have significant adverse consequences when they do. Recent statistics suggest that millions of lives and billions of US dollars have been lost in the last decade due to disaster events globally. It is crucial that hospitals are well prepared for disasters to minimize their effects. This integrative review study evaluates the preparedness level of hospitals in the Middle East for disasters using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The key terms include disaster preparedness OR disaster management OR emergency response AND Middle East AND hospitals. The study reviews articles published between January 2005 and December 2015, which focused on the hospitals’ preparedness for disasters in the Middle East nations. Based on their meeting 5 eligibility criteria, 19 articles were included in the review. Twelve of the articles focused on both natural and man-made disasters, whereas 6 of them were based on mass casualty events and 1 on earthquake. Thirteen of the reviewed articles ranked the level of preparedness of hospitals for disasters to be generally “very poor,” “poor,” or “moderate,” whereas 6 reported that hospitals were “well” or “very well prepared” for disasters. Factors affecting preparedness level were identified as a lack of contingency plans and insufficient availability of resources, among others. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:806–816).
Hospital disaster resilience is often conceived as the ability to respond to external disasters. However, internal disasters appear to be more common events in hospitals than external events. This report describes the aftermath of a ceiling collapse in the emergency department of VieCuri Medical Center in Venlo, the Netherlands, on May 18, 2017. By designating the acute medical unit as a temporary emergency department, standard emergency care could be resumed within 8 hours. This unique approach might be transferrable to other hospitals in the developed world. In general, it is vital that hospital disaster plans focus on both external and internal disasters, including specific scenarios that disrupt vital hospital departments such as the emergency department. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:829–830)
This study aims to assess how care is mediated through technology by analyzing the interaction between nurses, patients, and a Bar Coded Medication Administration (BCMA) system. The objective is to explore how patients experience care through medication technology, with the main focus of our observations and interviews on nurses rather than patients.
A qualitative ethnographic study was conducted in an orthopedic ward of a Dutch general hospital.
After analyses, the following two themes were discerned: (i) the use of bar code medication technology organizes double institutionalization, and (ii) nurses frequently need to work around the BCMA, as the system is not always supportive of patient needs.
The results of this study indicate that BCMA is not merely a neutral tool, but an active component within the nurse–patient relationship, as it influences medication administration and profoundly affects patient participation in the care process.
Evaluate the clinical outcomes for patients with dementia, delirium, or at risk for delirium supported by the person-centered volunteer program in rural acute hospitals.
A non-randomized, controlled trial.
Older adults admitted to seven acute hospitals in rural Australia. Intervention (n = 270) patients were >65 years with a diagnosis of dementia or delirium or had risk factors for delirium and received volunteer services. Control (n = 188) patients were admitted to the same hospital 12 months prior to the volunteer program and would have met eligibility criteria for the volunteer program, had it existed.
Trained volunteers provided 1:1 person-centered care with a focus on nutrition and hydration support, hearing and visual aids, activities, and orientation.
Medical record audits provided data on volunteer visits, diagnoses, length of stay (LOS), behavioral incidents, readmission, specialling, mortality, admission to residential care, falls, pressure ulcers, and medication use.
Across all sites, there was a significant reduction in rates of 1:1 specialling and 28 day readmission for patients receiving the volunteer intervention. LOS was significantly shorter for the control group. There were no differences in other patient outcomes for the intervention and control groups.
The volunteer intervention is a safe, effective, and replicable way to support older acute patients with dementia, delirium, or risk factors for delirium in rural hospitals. Further papers will report on cost effectiveness, family carer, volunteer, and staff experiences of the program.
Early, conforming antibiotic treatment in elderly patients hospitalised for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a key factor in the prognosis and mortality. The objective was to examine whether empirical antibiotic treatment was conforming according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery guidelines in these patients. Multicentre study in patients aged ⩾65 years hospitalised due to CAP in the 2013–14 and 2014–15 influenza seasons. We collected socio-demographic information, comorbidities, influenza/pneumococcal vaccination history and antibiotics administered using a questionnaire and medical records. Bivariate analyses and multilevel logistic regression were made. In total, 1857 hospitalised patients were included, 82 of whom required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Treatment was conforming in 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 49.1–53.8%) of patients without ICU admission and was associated with absence of renal failure without haemodialysis (odds ratio (OR) 1.49, 95% CI 1.15–1.95) and no cognitive dysfunction (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.25–2.35), when the effect of the autonomous community was controlled for. In patients with ICU admission, treatment was conforming in 45.1% (95% CI 34.1–56.1%) of patients and was associated with the hospital visits in the last year (<3 vs. ⩾3, OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.03–7.12) and there was some evidence that this was associated with season. Although the reference guidelines are national, wide variability between autonomous communities was found. In patients hospitalised due to CAP, health services should guarantee the administration of antibiotics in a consensual manner that is conforming according to clinical practice guidelines.
When a fire occurs, there is little time to escape. In less than 30 seconds, a fire can rage out of control, filling the area with heat and toxic thick smoke (Purdue University Fire Department, 2017; http://www.purdue.edu/ehps/fire/fire-101.html.) In 2010, following the successful evacuation of Maale Ha’Carmel Mental Health Center during a raging forest fire in the area, a comprehensive investigation was performed to evaluate the management of the evacuation process and to systematically elicit lessons learned from the incident. In 2016, a forest fire erupted in the same geographic area that required the evacuation of Fliman Geriatric Rehabilitation Hospital, and methodical debriefing identified the strengths and weaknesses of the evacuation process in that hospital. The lessons learned from the evacuation of these two health care facilities, which were at the focus of major fires in Israel in 2010 and in 2016, are presented. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:375–379)
This study investigated concerns regarding the extensive use of hospitals by older people and subsequent long wait lists. We analysed complete individual-anonymous, 2014–2015 inpatient hospital data for all Canadian provinces and territories (except Quebec). People aged 65 and older accounted for 37.0 per cent of all hospital episodes and 41.5 per cent of all admissions to intensive or coronary care units. Similarly, of all admitted individuals, 32.8 per cent were older. The data also revealed only 14.3 per cent of older Canadians living outside of Quebec were admitted to hospital one or more times that year. This study indicates that issues other than hospital use by older people should be addressed in Canada for improved hospital accessibility. Improved care of older persons is also indicated, as their higher risk of hospital admission, longer hospital stays, and dying in hospital could be from a lack of age-informed hospital and community services.
The presence of children in English voluntary hospitals during the eighteenth century has only recently come under academic scrutiny. This research examines the surviving admission records of the London Hospital, which consistently record inpatient ages, to illuminate the hospital stays of infant and child patients and examine the morbidity of children during the long eighteenth century. Traumatic cases were the most common category of admission. The proportion of trauma cases admitted to the London Hospital was higher than in provincial English child patient cohorts, potentially reflecting the differential risks faced by rural and urban children. In most cases of traumatic injury the inpatients stayed in hospital long enough for significant fracture healing to have occurred. Understanding the conditions surrounding children’s admission to hospital, their length of stay, the result of their stay, and which medical issues drove their parents or guardians to seek medical attention for them are critical to illuminating the morbidity of children during the long eighteenth century.
Introduction: Emergency health care providers (HCPs) regularly perform difficult medical resuscitations that require complex decision making and action. Critical incident debriefing has been proposed as a mechanism to mitigate the psychological effect of these stressful events and improve both provider and patient outcomes. The purpose of this updated systematic review is to determine if HCPs performing debriefing after critical incidents, compared to no debriefing, improves the outcomes of the HCPs or patients. Methods: We performed a librarian assisted systematic review of OVID Medline, CINAHL, OVID Embase and Google Scholar (January 2006 to February 2017) No restrictions for language were imposed. Two investigators evaluated articles independently for inclusion criteria, quality and data collection. Agreement was measured using the Kappa statistic and quality of the articles were assessed using the Downs and Black evaluation tool. Results: Among the 658 publications identified 16 met inclusion criteria. Participants included physicians, nurses, allied health and learners involved in both adult and pediatric resuscitations. Findings suggest that HCPs view debriefing positively (n=7). One moderate quality study showed that debriefing can enhance medical student and resident knowledge. Several studies (n=8) demonstrated at least some improvement in CPR and intubation related technical skills. Debriefing is also associated with improved short term patient survival but not survival to discharge (n=5). Two studies reported benefits to HCPs mental health as evidenced by improved ability to manage grief and decreased reported symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Conclusion: We found HCPs value debriefing after critical incidents and that debriefing is associated with improved HCP knowledge, skill and well-being. Despite these positive findings, there continues to be limited evidence that debriefing significantly impacts long term patient outcomes. Larger scale higher quality studies are required to further delineate the effect of structured debriefing on patient and provider outcomes.
This review will describe the evidence for changing the hospital environment to improve nutrition of older people, with particular emphasis on the role of additional mealtime assistance. Poor nutrition among older people in hospital is well recognised in many countries and is associated with poor outcomes of hospital care including increased mortality and longer lengths of stay. Factors recognised to contribute to poor dietary intake include acute illness, co-morbidities, cognitive impairment, low mood and medication. The hospital environment has also been scrutinised with reports from many countries of food being placed out of reach or going cold because time-pressured ward and catering staff often struggle to help an increasingly dependent group of patients at mealtimes. Routine screening in hospital for people at risk of under nutrition is recommended. Coloured trays and protected mealtimes are widespread although there is relatively little evidence for their impact on dietary intake. Volunteers can be trained to sfely give additional mealtime assistance including feeding to older patients on acute medical wards. They can improve the quality of mealtime care for patients and nursing staff although the evidence for improved dietary intake is mixed. In conclusion, improving the nutrition of older patients in hospital is challenging. Initiatives such as routine screening, the use of coloured trays, protected mealtimes and additional mealtime assistance can work together synergistically. Volunteers are likely to be increasingly important in an era when healthcare systems are generally limited in both financial resources and the ability to recruit sufficient nursing staff.
The National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER) has created a publicly available simulation tool called Surge (accessible at http://www.pacerapps.org) to estimate surge capacity for user-defined hospitals. Based on user input, a Monte Carlo simulation algorithm forecasts available hospital bed capacity over a 7-day period and iteratively assesses the ability to accommodate disaster patients. Currently, the tool can simulate bed capacity for acute mass casualty events (such as explosions) only and does not specifically simulate staff and supply inventory. Strategies to expand hospital capacity, such as (1) opening unlicensed beds, (2) canceling elective admissions, and (3) implementing reverse triage, can be interactively evaluated. In the present application of the tool, various response strategies were systematically investigated for 3 nationally representative hospital settings (large urban, midsize community, small rural). The simulation experiments estimated baseline surge capacity between 7% (large hospitals) and 22% (small hospitals) of staffed beds. Combining all response strategies simulated surge capacity between 30% and 40% of staffed beds. Response strategies were more impactful in the large urban hospital simulation owing to higher baseline occupancy and greater proportion of elective admissions. The publicly available Surge tool enables proactive assessment of hospital surge capacity to support improved decision-making for disaster response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:513–522)
Mass casualty incidents (MCIs) are becoming more frequent worldwide, especially in the Middle East where violence in Syria has spilled over to many neighboring countries. Lebanon lacks a coordinated prehospital response system to deal with MCIs; therefore, hospital preparedness plans are essential to deal with the surge of casualties. This report describes our experience in dealing with an MCI involving a car bomb in an urban area of downtown Beirut, Lebanon. It uses general response principles to propose a simplified response model for hospitals to use during MCIs. A summary of the debriefings following the event was developed and an analysis was performed with the aim of modifying our hospital’s existing disaster preparedness plan. Casualties’ arrival to our emergency department (ED), the performance of our hospital staff during the event, communication, and the coordination of resources, in addition to the response of the different departments, were examined. In dealing with MCIs, hospital plans should focus on triage area, patient registration and tracking, communication, resource coordination, essential staff functions, as well as on security issues and crowd control. Hospitals in other countries that lack a coordinated prehospital disaster response system can use the principles described here to improve their hospital’s resilience and response to MCIs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 379–385)
Background: Hospitals with health technology assessment (HTA) programs have reported its positive effects on the management of resources and costs. This study aimed to identify the barriers faced by hospital-based HTA (HBHTA) in Iran by inductive content analysis of stakeholders’ and decision-makers’ points of view.
Methods: The key individuals and organizations that could provide rich, relevant, and diverse data in response to the research question were purposively selected for the interviews and focus group discussion.
Results: Twelve stakeholders from seven public hospitals participated in the interviews. Another eighteen stakeholders from twelve HBHTA-related organizations took part in the focus group discussion. Most of the hospitals’ senior management team did not feel the need for HBHTA and believed that in Iran a systematic process like HTA faces many challenges.
Conclusions: The stakeholders participating in this study highlighted the significance of certain points that needed to be addressed before establishing HBHTA in Iran.
Prior to the Syrian civil war, access and delivery of health care and health care information over the past 4 decades had steadily improved. The life expectancy of the average Syrian in 2012 was 75.7 years, compared to 56 years in 1970. As a result of the civil war, this trend has reversed, with the life expectancy reduced by 20 years from the 2012 level. The Syrian government and its allies have specifically targeted the health care infrastructure not under government control. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:23–25)
Despite the increasing prominence of residential hospices as a place of death and that, in many regards, this specialized care represents a gold standard, little is known about the care experience in this setting. Using qualitative survey data, we examined the positive and negative perceptions of care in hospices and in other prior settings.
Qualitative comments were extracted from the CaregiverVoice survey completed by bereaved caregivers of decedents who had died in 16 residential hospices in Ontario, Canada. On this survey, caregivers reported what was good and bad about the services provided during the last three months of life as separate open-text questions. A constant-comparison method was employed to derive themes from the responses.
A total of 550 caregivers completed the survey, 94% (517) of whom commented on either something good (84%) and/or bad (49%) about the care experience. In addition to residential hospice, the majority of patients represented also received palliative care in the home (69%) or hospital (59%). Overall, most positive statements were about care in hospice (71%), whereas the negative statements tended to refer to other settings (81%). The hospice experience was found to exemplify care that was compassionate and holistic, in a comforting environment, offered by providers who were personable, dedicated, and informative. These humanistic qualities of care and the extent of support were generally seen to be lacking from the other settings.
Significance of results:
Our examination of the good and bad aspects of palliative care received is unique in qualitatively exploring palliative care experiences across multiple settings, and specifically that in hospices. Investigation of these perspectives affirmed the elements of care that dying patients and their family caregivers most value and that the hospices were largely effective at addressing. These findings highlight the need for reinforcing these qualities in other end-of-life settings to create comforting and supportive environments.
Clinical depression affects approximately 15% of community-dwelling older adults, of which half of these cases present in later life. Falls and depressive symptoms are thought to co-exist, while physical activity may protect an older adult from developing depressive symptoms. This study investigates the temporal relationships between depressive symptoms, falls, and participation in physical activities amongst older adults recently discharged following extended hospitalization.
A prospective cohort study in which 311 older adults surveyed prior to hospital discharge were assessed monthly post-discharge for six months. N = 218 completed the six-month follow-up. Participants were recruited from hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. The survey instrument used was designed based on Fiske's behavioral model depicting onset and maintenance of depression. The baseline survey collected data on self-reported falls, physical activity levels, and depressive symptoms. The monthly follow-up surveys repeated measurement of these outcomes.
At any assessment point, falls were positively associated with depressive symptoms; depressive symptoms were negatively associated with physical activity levels; and, physical activity levels were negatively associated with falls. When compared with data in the subsequent assessment point, depressive symptoms were positively associated with falls reported over the next month (unadjusted OR: 1.20 (1.12, 1.28)), and physical activity levels were negatively associated with falls reported over the next month (unadjusted OR: 0.97 (0.96, 0.99) household and recreational), both indicating a temporal relationship.
Falls, physical activity, and depressive symptoms were inter-associated, and depressive symptoms and low physical activity levels preceded falls. Clear strategies for management of these interconnected problems remain elusive.
Although many studies have delineated the variety and magnitude of impacts that climate change is likely to have on health, very little is known about how well hospitals are poised to respond to these impacts.
The hypothesis is that most modern hospitals in urban areas in the United States need to augment their current disaster planning to include climate-related impacts.
Using Los Angeles County (California USA) as a case study, historical data for emergency department (ED) visits and projections for extreme-heat events were used to determine how much climate change is likely to increase ED visits by mid-century for each hospital. In addition, historical data about the location of wildfires in Los Angeles County and projections for increased frequency of both wildfires and flooding related to sea-level rise were used to identify which area hospitals will have an increased risk of climate-related wildfires or flooding at mid-century.
Only a small fraction of the total number of predicted ED visits at mid-century would likely to be due to climate change. By contrast, a significant portion of hospitals in Los Angeles County are in close proximity to very high fire hazard severity zones (VHFHSZs) and would be at greater risk to wildfire impacts as a result of climate change by mid-century. One hospital in Los Angeles County was anticipated to be at greater risk due to flooding by mid-century as a result of climate-related sea-level rise.
This analysis suggests that several Los Angeles County hospitals should focus their climate-change-related planning on building resiliency to wildfires.
AdelaineSA, SatoM, JinY, GodwinH. An Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Los Angeles (California USA) Hospitals, Wildfires Highest Priority. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):556–562.
Objectives: Hospital Based Health Technology Assessment (HBHTA) practices, to inform decision making at the hospital level, emerged as urgent priority for policy makers, hospital managers, and professionals. The present study crystallized the results achieved by the testing of an original framework for HBHTA, developed within Lombardy Region: the IMPlementation of A Quick hospital-based HTA (IMPAQHTA). The study tested: (i) the HBHTA framework efficiency, (ii) feasibility, (iii) the tool utility and completeness, considering dimensions and sub-dimensions.
Methods: The IMPAQHTA framework deployed the Regional HTA program, activated in 2008 in Lombardy, at the hospital level. The relevance and feasibility of the framework were tested over a 3-year period through a large-scale empirical experiment, involving seventy-four healthcare professionals organized in different HBHTA teams for assessing thirty-two different technologies within twenty-two different hospitals. Semi-structured interviews and self-reported questionnaires were used to collect data regarding the relevance and feasibility of the IMPAQHTA framework.
Results: The proposed HBHTA framework proved to be suitable for application at the hospital level, in the Italian context, permitting a quick assessment (11 working days) and providing hospital decision makers with relevant and quantitative information. Performances in terms of feasibility, utility, completeness, and easiness proved to be satisfactory.
Conclusions: The IMPAQHTA was considered to be a complete and feasible HBHTA framework, as well as being replicable to different technologies within any hospital settings, thus demonstrating the capability of a hospital to develop a complete HTA, if supported by adequate and well defined tools and quantitative metrics.