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BACKGROUND - Circulating biomarkers can facilitate diagnosis and risk stratification for complex conditions such as heart failure (HF). Newer molecular platforms can accelerate biomarker discovery, but they require significant resources for data and sample acquisition.
OBJECTIVES - The purpose of this study was to test a pragmatic biomarker discovery strategy integrating automated clinical biobanking with proteomics.
METHODS - Using the electronic health record, the authors identified patients with and without HF, retrieved their discarded plasma samples, and screened these specimens using a DNA aptamer-based proteomic platform (1,129 proteins). Candidate biomarkers were validated in 3 different prospective cohorts.
RESULTS - In an automated manner, plasma samples from 1,315 patients (31% with HF) were collected. Proteomic analysis of a 96-patient subset identified 9 candidate biomarkers (p < 4.42 × 10). Two proteins, angiopoietin-2 and thrombospondin-2, were associated with HF in 3 separate validation cohorts. In an emergency department-based registry of 852 dyspneic patients, the 2 biomarkers improved discrimination of acute HF compared with a clinical score (p < 0.0001) or clinical score plus B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.02). In a community-based cohort (n = 768), both biomarkers predicted incident HF independent of traditional risk factors and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (hazard ratio per SD increment: 1.35 [95% confidence interval: 1.14 to 1.61; p = 0.0007] for angiopoietin-2, and 1.37 [95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 1.79; p = 0.02] for thrombospondin-2). Among 30 advanced HF patients, concentrations of both biomarkers declined (80% to 84%) following cardiac transplant (p < 0.001 for both).
CONCLUSIONS - A novel strategy integrating electronic health records, discarded clinical specimens, and proteomics identified 2 biomarkers that robustly predict HF across diverse clinical settings. This approach could accelerate biomarker discovery for many diseases.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - We sought to validate the use of crowdsourced surgical video assessment in the evaluation of urology residents performing flexible ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy.
METHODS - We collected video feeds from 30 intrarenal ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy cases where residents, postgraduate year (PGY) two through six, handled the ureteroscope. The video feeds were annotated to represent overall performance and to contain parts of the procedure being scored. Videos were submitted to a commercially available surgical video evaluation platform (Crowd-Sourced Assessment of Technical Skills). We used a validated ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy global assessment tool that was modified to include only those domains that could be evaluated on the captured video. Videos were evaluated by crowd workers recruited using Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform as well as five endourology-trained experts. Mean scores were calculated and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were computed for the expert domain and total scores. ICCs were estimated using a linear mixed-effects model. Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated as a measure of the strength of the relationships between the crowd mean and expert average scores.
RESULTS - A total of 30 videos were reviewed 2488 times by 487 crowd workers and five expert endourologists. ICCs between expert raters were all below accepted levels of correlation (0.30), with the overall score having an ICC of <0.001. For individual domains, the crowd scores did not correlate with expert scores, except for the stone retrieval domain (0.60 p = 0.015). In addition, crowdsourced scores had a negative correlation with the PGY level (0.44, p = 0.019).
CONCLUSIONS - There is poor agreement between experts and poor correlation between expert and crowd scores when evaluating video feeds of ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy. The use of an intraoperative video of ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy for assessment of resident trainee skills does not appear reliable. This is further supported by the lack of correlation between crowd scores and advancing PGY level.
PURPOSE - Academic scientists work in competitive environments, and many institutions invest in career development supports. These investments may be imperiled when extraprofessional demands challenge a faculty member's reserve capacity. This research assessed prevalence of caregiving challenges and estimated incidence of stressful life events.
METHOD - In 2015-2016, the authors surveyed recipients of career development awards supporting ≥ 75% effort and individuals within the funding period of their first National Institutes of Health R01 or equivalent at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Domains included family structure, hospitalizations of family members, responsibility for coordination of caregiving, and an inventory of stressful life events.
RESULTS - Seventy-two percent (152 of 210) of early career researchers responded. Over half endorsed experiencing one or more substantial caregiving challenges in the prior year. This included 35 (23%) having a child or adult in the household hospitalized in the prior year and 36 (24%) being responsible for health care needs for a child or adult in the household, or for coordinating elder care, assisted living, or hospice care. The majority experienced one or more caregiving challenges. Stressful life events increased relative risk of "thinking about leaving academics" by 70% (risk ratio: 1.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.2, 2.4). Prevalence and incidence of caregiving demands did not differ by gender.
CONCLUSIONS - Leaders, administrators, mentors, and faculty should anticipate that most women and men early career researchers will experience substantial caregiving challenges and life events in any given year. Sufficient need exists to warrant investigation of institutional programs to address caregiving challenges.
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.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate the effect of video laryngoscopy on the rate of endotracheal intubation on first laryngoscopy attempt among critically ill adults.
DESIGN - A randomized, parallel-group, pragmatic trial of video compared with direct laryngoscopy for 150 adults undergoing endotracheal intubation by Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellows.
SETTING - Medical ICU in a tertiary, academic medical center.
PATIENTS - Critically ill patients 18 years old or older.
INTERVENTIONS - Patients were randomized 1:1 to video or direct laryngoscopy for the first attempt at endotracheal intubation.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - Patients assigned to video (n = 74) and direct (n = 76) laryngoscopy were similar at baseline. Despite better glottic visualization with video laryngoscopy, there was no difference in the primary outcome of intubation on the first laryngoscopy attempt (video 68.9% vs direct 65.8%; p = 0.68) in unadjusted analyses or after adjustment for the operator's previous experience with the assigned device (odds ratio for video laryngoscopy on intubation on first attempt 2.02; 95% CI, 0.82-5.02, p = 0.12). Secondary outcomes of time to intubation, lowest arterial oxygen saturation, complications, and in-hospital mortality were not different between video and direct laryngoscopy.
CONCLUSIONS - In critically ill adults undergoing endotracheal intubation, video laryngoscopy improves glottic visualization but does not appear to increase procedural success or decrease complications.
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.