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Body mass index, race/ethnicity, and payer status are associated with operative mortality in congenital heart disease (CHD). Interactions between these predictors and impacts on longer term outcomes are less well understood. We studied the effect of body mass index, race/ethnicity, and payer on 1-year outcomes following elective CHD surgery and tested the degree to which race/ethnicity and payer explained the effects of body mass index. Patients aged 2–25 years who underwent elective CHD surgery at our centre from 2010 to 2017 were included. We assessed 1-year unplanned cardiac re-admissions, re-interventions, and mortality. Step-wise, multivariable logistic regression was performed.
Of the 929 patients, 10.4% were underweight, 14.9% overweight, and 8.5% obese. Non-white race/ethnicity comprised 40.4% and public insurance 29.8%. Only 0.5% died prior to hospital discharge with one additional death in the first post-operative year. Amongst patients with continuous follow-up, unplanned re-admission and re-intervention rates were 14.7% and 12.3%, respectively. In multivariable analyses adjusting for surgical complexity and surgeon, obese, overweight, and underweight patients had higher odds of re-admission than normal-weight patients (OR 1.40, p = 0.026; OR 1.77, p < 0.001; OR 1.44, p = 0.008). Underweight patients had more than twice the odds of re-intervention compared with normal weight (OR 2.12, p < 0.001). These associations persisted after adjusting for race/ethnicity, payer, and surgeon.
Pre-operative obese, overweight, and underweight body mass index were associated with unplanned re-admission and/or re-intervention 1-year following elective CHD surgery, even after accounting for race/ethnicity and payer status. Body mass index may be an important modifiable risk factor prior to CHD surgery.
Approximately, 1.7 million individuals in the United States have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This has disproportionately impacted adults, but many children have been infected and hospitalised as well. To date, there is not much information published addressing the cardiac workup and monitoring of children with COVID-19. Here, we share the approach to the cardiac workup and monitoring utilised at a large congenital heart centre in New York City, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Registry-based trials have emerged as a potentially cost-saving study methodology. Early estimates of cost savings, however, conflated the benefits associated with registry utilisation and those associated with other aspects of pragmatic trial designs, which might not all be as broadly applicable. In this study, we sought to build a practical tool that investigators could use across disciplines to estimate the ranges of potential cost differences associated with implementing registry-based trials versus standard clinical trials.
We built simulation Markov models to compare unique costs associated with data acquisition, cleaning, and linkage under a registry-based trial design versus a standard clinical trial. We conducted one-way, two-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, varying study characteristics over broad ranges, to determine thresholds at which investigators might optimally select each trial design.
Registry-based trials were more cost effective than standard clinical trials 98.6% of the time. Data-related cost savings ranged from $4300 to $600,000 with variation in study characteristics. Cost differences were most reactive to the number of patients in a study, the number of data elements per patient available in a registry, and the speed with which research coordinators could manually abstract data. Registry incorporation resulted in cost savings when as few as 3768 independent data elements were available and when manual data abstraction took as little as 3.4 seconds per data field.
Registries offer important resources for investigators. When available, their broad incorporation may help the scientific community reduce the costs of clinical investigation. We offer here a practical tool for investigators to assess potential costs savings.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
Using existing data from clinical registries to support clinical trials and other prospective studies has the potential to improve research efficiency. However, little has been reported about staff experiences and lessons learned from implementation of this method in pediatric cardiology.
We describe the process of using existing registry data in the Pediatric Heart Network Residual Lesion Score Study, report stakeholders’ perspectives, and provide recommendations to guide future studies using this methodology.
The Residual Lesion Score Study, a 17-site prospective, observational study, piloted the use of existing local surgical registry data (collected for submission to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-Congenital Heart Surgery Database) to supplement manual data collection. A survey regarding processes and perceptions was administered to study site and data coordinating center staff.
Survey response rate was 98% (54/55). Overall, 57% perceived that using registry data saved research staff time in the current study, and 74% perceived that it would save time in future studies; 55% noted significant upfront time in developing a methodology for extracting registry data. Survey recommendations included simplifying data extraction processes and tailoring to the needs of the study, understanding registry characteristics to maximise data quality and security, and involving all stakeholders in design and implementation processes.
Use of existing registry data was perceived to save time and promote efficiency. Consideration must be given to the upfront investment of time and resources needed. Ongoing efforts focussed on automating and centralising data management may aid in further optimising this methodology for future studies.
Starting in 2016, we initiated a pilot tele-antibiotic stewardship program at 2 rural Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Antibiotic days of therapy decreased significantly (P < .05) in the acute and long-term care units at both intervention sites, suggesting that tele-stewardship can effectively support antibiotic stewardship practices in rural VAMCs.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is the most expensive birth defect managed in the United States, with a 5-year survival rate below 70%. Increasing evidence suggests that hospital volumes are inversely associated with mortality for infants with single ventricles undergoing stage 1 surgical palliation. Our aim was to examine the relative effects of surgeon and institutional volumes on outcomes and resource utilisation for these children.
A retrospective study was conducted using the Pediatric Health Information System database to examine the effects of the number of procedures performed per surgeon and per centre on mortality, costs, and post-operative length of stay for infants undergoing Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery risk category six operations at tertiary-care paediatric hospitals, from 1 January, 2004 to 31 December, 2013. Multivariable modelling was used, adjusting for patient and institutional characteristics. Gaussian kernel densities were constructed to show the relative distributions of the effects of individual institutions and surgeons, before and after adjusting for the number of cases performed.
A total of 2880 infants from 35 institutions met the inclusion criteria. Mortality was 15.0%. Median post-operative length of stay was 24 days (IQR 14–41). Median standardized inpatient hospital costs were $156,000 (IQR $108,000–$248,000) in 2013 dollars. In the multivariable analyses, higher institutional volume was inversely associated with mortality (p=0.001), post-operative length of stay (p=0.004), and costs (p=0.001). Surgeon volume was associated with none of the measured outcomes. Neither institutional nor surgeon volumes explained much of the wide variation in outcomes and resource utilization observed between institutions and between surgeons.
Increased institutional – but not surgeon – volumes are associated with reduced mortality, post-operative length of stay, and costs for infants undergoing stage 1 palliation.
Perspectives from 22 countries on aspects of the legal environment for selection are presented in this article. Issues addressed include (a) whether there are racial/ethnic/religious subgroups viewed as “disadvantaged,” (b) whether research documents mean differences between groups on individual difference measures relevant to job performance, (c) whether there are laws prohibiting discrimination against specific groups, (d) the evidence required to make and refute a claim of discrimination, (e) the consequences of violation of the laws, (f) whether particular selection methods are limited or banned, (g) whether preferential treatment of members of disadvantaged groups is permitted, and (h) whether the practice of industrial and organizational psychology has been affected by the legal environment.
We present the case of a newborn with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia, with a right pulmonary artery from the ascending aorta, and a left pulmonary artery arising from the right coronary artery via an indirect aortopulmonary collateral. The embryogenesis of this unusual combination of pulmonary blood supply has significant implications when considering normal migration of the aortopulmonary septum.