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Exclusion of special populations (older adults; pregnant women, children, and adolescents; individuals of lower socioeconomic status and/or who live in rural communities; people from racial and ethnic minority groups; individuals from sexual or gender minority groups; and individuals with disabilities) in research is a pervasive problem, despite efforts and policy changes by the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. These populations are adversely impacted by social determinants of health (SDOH) that reduce access and ability to participate in biomedical research. In March 2020, the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute hosted the “Lifespan and Life Course Research: integrating strategies” “Un-Meeting” to discuss barriers and solutions to underrepresentation of special populations in biomedical research. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how exclusion of representative populations in research can increase health inequities. We applied findings of this meeting to perform a literature review of barriers and solutions to recruitment and retention of representative populations in research and to discuss how findings are important to research conducted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the role of SDOH, review barriers and solutions to underrepresentation, and discuss the importance of a structural competency framework to improve research participation and retention among special populations.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) effectively optimize antibiotic use for inpatients; however, the extent of emergency department (ED) involvement in ASPs has not been described.
To determine current ED involvement in children’s hospital ASPs and to assess beliefs and preferred methods of implementation for ED-based ASPs.
A cross-sectional survey of 37 children’s hospitals participating in the Sharing Antimicrobial Resistance Practices collaboration was conducted. Surveys were distributed to ASP leaders and ED medical directors at each institution. Items assessed included beliefs regarding ED antibiotic prescribing, ED prescribing resources, ASP methods used in the ED such as clinical decision support and clinical care guidelines, ED participation in ASP activities, and preferred methods for ED-based ASP implementation.
A total of 36 ASP leaders (97.3%) and 32 ED directors (86.5%) responded; the overall response rate was 91.9%. Most ASP leaders (97.8%) and ED directors (93.7%) agreed that creation of ED-based ASPs was necessary. ED resources for antibiotic prescribing were obtained via the Internet or electronic health records (EHRs) for 29 hospitals (81.3%). The main ASP activities for the ED included production of antibiograms (77.8%) and creation of clinical care guidelines for pneumonia (83.3%). The ED was represented on 3 hospital ASP committees (8.3%). No hospital ASPs actively monitored outpatient ED prescribing. Most ASP leaders (77.8%) and ED directors (81.3%) preferred implementation of ED-based ASPs using clinical decision support integrated into the EHR.
Although ED involvement in ASPs is limited, both ASP and ED leaders believe that ED-based ASPs are necessary. Many children’s hospitals have the capability to implement ED-based ASPs via the preferred method: EHR clinical decision support.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:469–475
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