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BACKGROUND - The objective of this study is to evaluate use of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) online risk calculator for estimating common outcomes after operations for gallbladder cancer and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
METHODS - Subjects from the United States Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium (USE-BMC) who underwent operation between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 at 10 academic medical centers were included in this study. Calculator estimates of risk were compared to actual outcomes.
RESULTS - The majority of patients underwent partial or major hepatectomy, Whipple procedures or extrahepatic bile duct resection. For the entire cohort, c-statistics for surgical site infection (0.635), reoperation (0.680) and readmission (0.565) were less than 0.7. The c-statistic for death was 0.740. For all outcomes the actual proportion of patients experiencing an event was much higher than the median predicted risk of that event. Similarly, the group of patients who experienced an outcome did have higher median predicted risk than those who did not.
CONCLUSIONS - The ACS NSQIP risk calculator is easy to use but requires further modifications to more accurately estimate outcomes for some patient populations and operations for which validation studies show suboptimal performance.
Copyright © 2017 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Open communication between healthcare professionals about care concerns, also known as 'speaking up', is essential to patient safety.
OBJECTIVE - Compare interns' and residents' experiences, attitudes and factors associated with speaking up about traditional versus professionalism-related safety threats.
DESIGN - Anonymous, cross-sectional survey.
SETTING - Six US academic medical centres, 2013-2014.
PARTICIPANTS - 1800 medical and surgical interns and residents (47% responded).
MEASUREMENTS - Attitudes about, barriers and facilitators for, and self-reported experience with speaking up. Likelihood of speaking up and the potential for patient harm in two vignettes. Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) teamwork and safety scales; and Speaking Up Climate for Patient Safety (SUC-Safe) and Speaking Up Climate for Professionalism (SUC-Prof) scales.
RESULTS - Respondents more commonly observed unprofessional behaviour (75%, 628/837) than traditional safety threats (49%, 410/837); p<0.001, but reported speaking up about unprofessional behaviour less commonly (46%, 287/628 vs 71%, 291/410; p<0.001). Respondents more commonly reported fear of conflict as a barrier to speaking up about unprofessional behaviour compared with traditional safety threats (58%, 482/837 vs 42%, 348/837; p<0.001). Respondents were also less likely to speak up to an attending physician in the professionalism vignette than the traditional safety vignette, even when they perceived high potential patient harm (20%, 49/251 vs 71%, 179/251; p<0.001). Positive perceptions of SAQ teamwork climate and SUC-Safe were independently associated with speaking up in the traditional safety vignette (OR 1.90, 99% CI 1.36 to 2.66 and 1.46, 1.02 to 2.09, respectively), while only a positive perception of SUC-Prof was associated with speaking up in the professionalism vignette (1.76, 1.23 to 2.50).
CONCLUSIONS - Interns and residents commonly observed unprofessional behaviour yet were less likely to speak up about it compared with traditional safety threats even when they perceived high potential patient harm. Measuring SUC-Safe, and particularly SUC-Prof, may fill an existing gap in safety culture assessment.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
BACKGROUND - Conferences, processes, and/or meetings in which adverse events and near misses are reviewed within clinical programs at a single academic medical center were identified.
METHODS - Leaders of conferences, processes, or meetings-"process leaders"-in which adverse events and near misses were reviewed were surveyed.
RESULTS - On the basis of responses from all 45 process leaders, processes were classified into (1) Morbidity and Mortality Conferences (MMCs), (2) Quality Assurance (QA) Meetings, and (3) Educational Conferences. Some 22% of the clinical programs used more than one of these three processes to identify and review adverse events and near misses, while 10% had no consistent participation in any of them. Explicit criteria for identifying and selecting cases to be reviewed were used by 58% of MMCs and 69% of QA Meetings. The explicit criteria used by MMCs and QA Meetings varied widely. Many MMCs (54%, 13/24), QA Meetings (54%, 7/13), and Educational Conferences (70%, 7/10) did not review all the adverse events or near misses that were identified, and several MMCs (46%, 6/13), QA Meetings (29%, 2/7), and Educational Conferences (57%, 4/7) had no other process within their clinical program by which to review these remaining cases.
CONCLUSIONS - There was wide variation regarding how clinical programs identify and review adverse events and near misses within the MMCs, QA Meetings, and Educational Conferences, and some programs had no such processes. A well-designed, coordinated process across all clinical areas that incorporates accepted approaches for event analysis may improve the quality and safety of patient care.
Copyright © 2016 The Joint Commission. All rights reserved.
Patient portal research has focused on medical outpatient settings, with little known about portal use during hospitalizations or by surgical patients. We measured portal adoption among patients admitted to surgical services over two years. Surgical services managed 37,025 admissions of 31,310 unique patients. One-fourth of admissions (9,362, 25.3%) involved patients registered for the portal. Registration rates were highest for admissions to laparoscopic/gastrointestinal (55%) and oncology/endocrine (50%) services. Portal use occurred during 1,486 surgical admissions, 4% of all and 16% of those registered at admission. Inpatient portal use was associated with patients who were white, male, and had longer lengths of stay (p < 0.01). Viewing health record data and secure messaging were the most commonly used functions, accessed in 4,836 (72.9%) and 1,626 (24.5%) user sessions. Without specific encouragement, hospitalized surgical patients are using our patient portal. The surgical inpatient setting may provide opportunities for patient engagement using patient portals.
The reproducibility of biomedical research on novel drug targets has become suspect. Here, we highlight how drug discovery centres embedded in academic institutions, but with a translational imperative, can help address this reproducibility crisis.
OBJECTIVE - To develop and test the psychometric properties of two new survey scales aiming to measure the extent to which the clinical environment supports speaking up about (a) patient safety concerns and (b) unprofessional behaviour.
METHOD - Residents from six large US academic medical centres completed an anonymous, electronic survey containing questions regarding safety culture and speaking up about safety and professionalism concerns.
RESULTS - Confirmatory factor analysis supported two separate, one-factor speaking up climates (SUCs) among residents; one focused on patient safety concerns (SUC-Safe scale) and the other focused on unprofessional behaviour (SUC-Prof scale). Both scales had good internal consistency (Cronbach's α>0.70) and were unique from validated safety and teamwork climate measures (r<0.85 for all correlations), a measure of discriminant validity. The SUC-Safe and SUC-Prof scales were associated with participants' self-reported speaking up behaviour about safety and professionalism concerns (r=0.21, p<0.001 and r=0.22, p<0.001, respectively), a measure of concurrent validity, while teamwork and safety climate scales were not.
CONCLUSIONS - We created and provided evidence for the reliability and validity of two measures (SUC-Safe and SUC-Prof scales) associated with self-reported speaking up behaviour among residents. These two scales may fill an existing gap in residency and safety culture assessments by measuring the openness of communication about safety and professionalism concerns, two important aspects of safety culture that are under-represented in existing metrics.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
OBJECTIVES - Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) before radical cystectomy is the standard of care for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). Many patients are referred to an academic medical center (AMC) for cystectomy but receive NAC in the community setting. This study examines if administration of NAC in the community is associated with differences in type of NAC received, pathologic response rate (pT0), and time to cystectomy as compared to NAC administered at an AMC.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective study of patients with MIBC (cT2a-T4-Nx-M0) referred to a single AMC between 1/2012 and 1/2014 who received NAC. We analyzed chemotherapy received, time to cystectomy, pT0, and survival in patients who received NAC in our AMC compared to those treated in the community.
RESULTS - In all, 47 patients were analyzed. A similar total dose of cisplatin (median: 280 mg/m(2) for both groups, P = 0.82) and pT0 rate (25% vs. 29%, P = 0.72) were seen in patients treated in our AMC and the community. However, administration of NAC in the community was associated with a prolonged time to cystectomy compared with that in our AMC (median number of days 162 vs. 128, P<0.01). This remained significant after adjusting for stage, comorbidity status, and distance to the AMC (P = 0.02). Disease-free survival and overall survival did not differ.
CONCLUSION - Patients with MIBC treated with NAC in the community as compared to an AMC received similar chemotherapy and achieved comparable pT0 rates, indicating effective implementation of NAC in the community. However, NAC in the community was associated with longer time to cystectomy, suggesting a delay in the transition of care between settings.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Assessment of medical trainee learning through pre-defined competencies is now commonplace in schools of medicine. We describe a novel electronic advisor system using natural language processing (NLP) to identify two geriatric medicine competencies from medical student clinical notes in the electronic medical record: advance directives (AD) and altered mental status (AMS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Clinical notes from third year medical students were processed using a general-purpose NLP system to identify biomedical concepts and their section context. The system analyzed these notes for relevance to AD or AMS and generated custom email alerts to students with embedded supplemental learning material customized to their notes. Recall and precision of the two advisors were evaluated by physician review. Students were given pre and post multiple choice question tests broadly covering geriatrics.
RESULTS - Of 102 students approached, 66 students consented and enrolled. The system sent 393 email alerts to 54 students (82%), including 270 for AD and 123 for AMS. Precision was 100% for AD and 93% for AMS. Recall was 69% for AD and 100% for AMS. Students mentioned ADs for 43 patients, with all mentions occurring after first having received an AD reminder. Students accessed educational links 34 times from the 393 email alerts. There was no difference in pre (mean 62%) and post (mean 60%) test scores.
CONCLUSIONS - The system effectively identified two educational opportunities using NLP applied to clinical notes and demonstrated a small change in student behavior. Use of electronic advisors such as these may provide a scalable model to assess specific competency elements and deliver educational opportunities.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE - Efficiency in scale design reduces respondent burden. A brief but reliable measure of numeracy may provide a useful research tool eligible for integration into large epidemiological studies or clinical trials. Our goal was to validate a 3-item version of the Subjective Numeracy Scale (SNS-3).
DESIGN AND SETTING - We examined 7 separate cross-sectional data sets: patients in the emergency department (n = 208), clinic (n = 205), and hospital (n = 460; n = 2053) and patients with chronic kidney disease (n = 147), with diabetes (n = 318), and on hemodialysis (n = 143).
MEASUREMENTS - Internal reliability of the SNS-3 was assessed with Cronbach's α. Criterion validity was determined by nonparametric correlations of the SNS-3 with SNS-8 and other measures of numeracy; construct validity was determined by correlations with measures of health literacy and education.
RESULTS - The SNS-3 had good internal reliability (median Cronbach's α = 0.78) and correlated highly with the full SNS (median ρ = 0.91). The SNS-3 was significantly correlated with other measures of numeracy (e.g., median ρ = 0.57 with the Wide Range Achievement Test 4), health literacy (e.g., median ρ = 0.35 with the Shortened Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults), and education (median ρ = 0.41), providing good evidence of criterion and construct validity.
CONCLUSION - The SNS-3 is sufficiently reliable and valid to be used as a measure of subjective numeracy.
© The Author(s) 2015.