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Veterans’ Affairs (VA) healthcare providers perceive that Veterans expect and base visit satisfaction on receiving antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). No studies have tested this hypothesis. We sought to determine whether receiving and/or expecting antibiotics were associated with Veteran satisfaction with URI visits.
This cross-sectional study included Veterans evaluated for URI January 2018–December 2019 in an 18-clinic ambulatory VA primary-care system. We evaluated Veteran satisfaction via the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (RAND Corporation), an 18-item 5-point Likert scale survey. Additional items assessed Veteran antibiotic expectations. Antibiotic receipt was determined via medical record review. We used multivariable regression to evaluate whether antibiotic receipt and/or Veteran antibiotic expectations were associated with satisfaction. Subgroup analyses focused on Veterans who accurately remembered antibiotic prescribing during their URI visit.
Of 1,329 eligible Veterans, 432 (33%) participated. Antibiotic receipt was not associated with differences in mean total satisfaction (adjusted score difference, 0.6 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −2.1 to 3.3). However, mean total satisfaction was lower for Veterans expecting an antibiotic (adjusted score difference −4.4 points; 95% CI −7.2 to −1.6). Among Veterans who accurately remembered the visit and did not receive an antibiotic, those who expected an antibiotic had lower mean satisfaction scores than those who did not (unadjusted score difference, −16.6 points; 95% CI, −24.6 to −8.6).
Veteran expectations for antibiotics, not antibiotic receipt, are associated with changes in satisfaction with outpatient URI visits. Future research should further explore patient expectations and development of patient-centered and provider-focused interventions to change patient antibiotic expectations.
In March 2020, academic medical center (AMC) pharmacies were compelled to implement practice changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes were described by survey data collected by the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program which were interpreted by a multi-institutional team of AMC pharmacists and physician investigators.
The CTSA program surveyed 60 AMC pharmacy departments. The survey included event timing, impact on pharmacy services, and corrective actions taken.
Almost all departments (98.4%) reported at least one disruption. Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) were common (91.5%) as were drug shortages (66.0%). To manage drug shortages, drug prioritization protocols were utilized, new drug supply vendors were identified (79.3%), and onsite compounding was initiated. PPE shortages were managed by incorporating the risk mitigation strategies recommended by FDA and others. Research pharmacists supported new clinical research initiatives at most institutions (84.0%), introduced use of virtual site visits, and shipped investigational drugs directly to patients. Some pharmacies formulated novel investigational products for clinical trial use. Those AMC pharmacies within networked health systems assisted partner rural and inner-city hospitals by sourcing commercial and investigational drugs to alleviate local disease outbreaks and shortages in underserved populations. Pharmacy-based vaccination practice was expanded to include a wider range of pediatric and adult vaccines.
The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered hospital pharmacy practice. By adopting innovative methods and adapting to regulatory imperatives, pharmacies at CTSA sites played an extremely important role supporting continuity of care and collaborating on critical clinical research initiatives.
Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
To evaluate probiotics for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) among hospital inpatients.
A before-and-after quality improvement intervention comparing 12-month baseline and intervention periods.
A 694-bed teaching hospital.
We administered a multispecies probiotic comprising L. acidophilus (CL1285), L. casei (LBC80R), and L. rhamnosus (CLR2) to eligible antibiotic recipients within 12 hours of initial antibiotic receipt through 5 days after final dose. We excluded (1) all patients on neonatal, pediatric and oncology wards; (2) all individuals receiving perioperative prophylactic antibiotic recipients; (3) all those restricted from oral intake; and (4) those with pancreatitis, leukopenia, or posttransplant. We defined CDI by symptoms plus C. difficile toxin detection by polymerase chain reaction. Our primary outcome was hospital-onset CDI incidence on eligible hospital units, analyzed using segmented regression.
The study included 251 CDI episodes among 360,016 patient days during the baseline and intervention periods, and the incidence rate was 7.0 per 10,000 patient days. The incidence rate was similar during baseline and intervention periods (6.9 vs 7.0 per 10,000 patient days; P=.95). However, compared to the first 6 months of the intervention, we detected a significant decrease in CDI during the final 6 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.4–0.9; P=.009). Testing intensity remained stable between the baseline and intervention periods: 19% versus 20% of stools tested were C. difficile positive by PCR, respectively. From medical record reviews, only 26% of eligible patients received a probiotic per the protocol.
Despite poor adherence to the protocol, there was a reduction in the incidence of CDI during the intervention, which was delayed ~6 months after introducing probiotic for primary prevention.
To determine the effect of graft choice (allograft, bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft, or hamstring autograft) on deep tissue infections following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions.
Retrospective cohort study.
SETTING AND POPULATION
Patients from 6 US health plans who underwent ACL reconstruction from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2008.
We identified ACL reconstructions and potential postoperative infections using claims data. A hierarchical stratified sampling strategy was used to identify patients for medical record review to confirm ACL reconstructions and to determine allograft vs autograft tissue implanted, clinical characteristics, and infection status. We estimated infection rates overall and by graft type. We used logistic regression to assess the association between infections and patients’ demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and choice of graft.
On review of 1,452 medical records, we found 55 deep wound infections. With correction for sampling weights, infection rates varied by graft type: 0.5% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.8%) with allografts, 0.6% (0.1%–1.5%) with bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts, and 2.5% (1.9%–3.1%) with hamstring autograft. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found an increased infection risk with hamstring autografts compared with allografts (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% CI, 2.8–12.8). However, there was no difference in infection risk among bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts vs allografts (odds ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.3–4.8).
The overall risk for deep wound infections following ACL reconstruction is low but it does vary by graft type. Infection risk was highest in hamstring autograft recipients compared with allograft recipients and bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft recipients.
Objectives: Following pediatric moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (msTBI), few predictors have been identified that can reliably identify which individuals are at risk for long-term cognitive difficulties. This study sought to determine the relative contribution of detailed descriptors of injury severity as well as demographic and psychosocial factors to long-term cognitive outcomes after pediatric msTBI. Methods: Participants included 8- to 19-year-olds, 46 with msTBI and 53 uninjured healthy controls (HC). Assessments were conducted in the post-acute and chronic stages of recovery. Medical record review provided details regarding acute injury severity. Parents also completed a measure of premorbid functioning and behavioral problems. The outcome of interest was four neurocognitive measures sensitive to msTBI combined to create an index of cognitive performance. Results: Results indicated that none of the detailed descriptors of acute injury severity predicted cognitive performance. Only the occurrence of injury, parental education, and premorbid academic competence predicted post-acute cognitive functioning. Long-term cognitive outcomes were best predicted by post-acute cognitive functioning. Discussion: The findings suggest that premorbid factors influence cognitive outcomes nearly as much as the occurrence of a msTBI. Furthermore, of youth with msTBI who initially recover to a level of moderate disability or better, a brief cognitive battery administered within several months after injury can best predict which individuals will experience poor long-term cognitive outcomes and require additional services. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1–8)
The objective of this research was to describe proportional differences across time and region in management practices among southern cotton farmers who experienced glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on their farms earlier than those who experienced them later and among farmers who were closest to one of four historical outbreak epicenters: Lauderdale County, TN; Macon County, GA; Edgecombe County, NC; and Terry County, TX. A mail survey was conducted with cotton farmers in 2012 from 13 southern, cotton-producing states. Survey responses on practices used by farmers were classified into three broad categories of labor, mechanical/tillage/chemical (MTC), and cultural. Proportions of respondents using practices from each category were identified by time and region; across which, proportional-difference tests were conducted. Results indicated respondents encountering GR weeds earlier were more likely than farmers who experienced them later to use the three broad-category practices (labor, 98 vs. 92%; MTC, 95 vs. 89%; and cultural, 86 vs. 76%) and specific practices, including hooded sprayers (76 vs. 58%), in-season herbicide change (83 vs. 60%), and field-border management (60 vs. 35%). Also, respondents closest to Lauderdale County were more likely than farmers closest to Edgecombe County to use broad-labor practices (99 vs. 91%) and specific practices, including hand hoeing (96 vs. 84%), hand spraying (49 vs. 31%), spot spraying (76 vs. 59%), wick applicator (13 vs. 11%), and field-border management (58 vs. 39%). Education programs on weed management can be developed and tailored according to the time and regional differences to provide effective information and communication channels to farmers.
Infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are at increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquisition. Outbreaks may be difficult to identify due in part to limitations in current molecular genotyping available in clinical practice. Comparison of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may identify epidemiologically distinct isolates among a population sample that appears homogenous when evaluated using conventional typing methods.
To investigate a putative MRSA outbreak in a NICU utilizing whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to identify recent transmission events.
Clinical and surveillance specimens collected during clinical care and outbreak investigation.
A total of 17 neonates hospitalized in a 43-bed level III NICU in northeastern Florida from December 2010 to October 2011 were included in this study.
We assessed epidemiological data in conjunction with 4 typing methods: antibiograms, PFGE, spa types, and phylogenetic analysis of genome-wide SNPs.
Among the 17 type USA300 isolates, 4 different spa types were identified using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Phylogenetic analysis identified 5 infants as belonging to 2 clusters of epidemiologically linked cases and excluded 10 unlinked cases from putative transmission events. The availability of these results during the initial investigation would have improved infection control interventions.
Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis are invaluable tools for epidemic investigation; they identify transmission events and exclude cases mistakenly implicated by traditional typing methods. When routinely applied to surveillance and investigation in the clinical setting, this approach may provide actionable intelligence for measured, appropriate, and effective interventions.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(7):777–785
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
To explore the feasibility of identifying anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) allograft implantations and infections using claims.
Retrospective cohort study.
We identified ACL reconstructions using procedure codes at 6 health plans from 2000 to 2008. We then identified potential infections using claims-based indicators of infection, including diagnoses, procedures, antibiotic dispensings, specialty consultations, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. Patients’ medical records were reviewed to determine graft type, validate infection status, and calculate sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for indicators of ACL allografts and infections.
A total of 11,778 patients with codes for ACL reconstruction were identified. After chart review, PPV for ACL reconstruction was 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94%–97%). Of the confirmed ACL reconstructions, 39% (95% CI, 35%–42%) used allograft tissues. The deep infection rate after ACL reconstruction was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.7%–1.4%). The odds ratio of infection for allografts versus autografts was 0.41 (95% CI, 0.19–0.78). Sensitivity of individual claims-based indicators for deep infection after ACL reconstruction ranged from 0% to 75% and PPV from 0% to 100%. Claims-based infection indicators could be combined to enhance sensitivity or PPV but not both.
While claims data accurately identify ACL reconstructions, they poorly distinguish between allografts and autografts and identify infections with variable accuracy. Claims data could be useful to monitor infection trends after ACL reconstruction, with different algorithms optimized for different surveillance goals.