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INTRODUCTION - Hospital readmissions within 30 days are a healthcare quality problem associated with increased costs and poor health outcomes. Identifying interventions to improve patients' successful transition from inpatient to outpatient care is a continued challenge.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS - This is a single-centre pragmatic randomised and controlled clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a discharge follow-up phone call to reduce 30-day inpatient readmissions. Our primary endpoint is inpatient readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge censored for death analysed with an intention-to-treat approach. Secondary endpoints included observation status readmission within 30 days, time to readmission, all-cause emergency department revisits within 30 days, patient satisfaction (measured as mean Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores) and 30-day mortality. Exploratory endpoints include the need for assistance with discharge plan implementation among those randomised to the intervention arm and reached by the study nurse, and the number of call attempts to achieve successful intervention delivery. Consistent with the Learning Healthcare System model for clinical research, timeliness is a critical quality for studies to most effectively inform hospital clinical practice. We are challenged to apply pragmatic design elements in order to maintain a high-quality practicable study providing timely results. This type of prospective pragmatic trial empowers the advancement of hospital-wide evidence-based practice directly affecting patients.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION - Study results will inform the structure, objective and function of future iterations of the hospital's discharge follow-up phone call programme and be submitted for publication in the literature.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER - NCT03050918; Pre-results.
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
Importance - β-Lactam monotherapy and β-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy are both common empirical treatment strategies for children hospitalized with pneumonia, but few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of these 2 treatment approaches.
Objective - To compare the effectiveness of β-lactam monotherapy vs β-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy among a cohort of children hospitalized with pneumonia.
Design, Setting, and Participants - We analyzed data from the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community Study, a multicenter, prospective, population-based study of community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizations conducted from January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, in 3 children's hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The study included all children (up to 18 years of age) who were hospitalized with radiographically confirmed pneumonia and who received β-lactam monotherapy or β-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy. Data analysis was completed in April 2017.
Main Outcomes and Measures - We defined the referent as β-lactam monotherapy, including exclusive use of an oral or parenteral second- or third-generation cephalosporin, penicillin, ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, amoxicillin, or amoxicillin-clavulanate. Use of a β-lactam plus an oral or parenteral macrolide (azithromycin or clarithromycin) served as the comparison group. We modeled the association between these groups and patients' length of stay using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. Covariates included demographic, clinical, and radiographic variables. We further evaluated length of stay in a cohort matched by propensity to receive combination therapy. Logistic regression was used to evaluate secondary outcomes in the unmatched cohort, including intensive care admission, rehospitalizations, and self-reported recovery at follow-up.
Results - Our study included 1418 children (693 girls and 725 boys) with a median age of 27 months (interquartile range, 12-69 months). This cohort was 60.1% of the 2358 children enrolled in the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community Study with radiographically confirmed pneumonia in the study period; 1019 (71.9%) received β-lactam monotherapy and 399 (28.1%) received β-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy. In the unmatched cohort, there was no statistically significant difference in length of hospital stay between children receiving β-lactam monotherapy and combination therapy (median, 55 vs 59 hours; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.74-1.01). The propensity-matched cohort (n = 560, 39.5%) showed similar results. There were also no significant differences between treatment groups for the secondary outcomes.
Conclusions and Relevance - Empirical macrolide combination therapy conferred no benefit over β-lactam monotherapy for children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. The results of this study elicit questions about the routine empirical use of macrolide combination therapy in this population.
Importance - Low health literacy is known to adversely affect health outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. To our knowledge, the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes has not been studied in-depth in a surgical patient population.
Objective - To evaluate the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Design, Setting, and Participants - From November 2010 to December 2013, 1239 patients who were undergoing elective gastric, colorectal, hepatic, and pancreatic resections for both benign and malignant disease at a single academic institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, education, insurance status, procedure type, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, Charlson comorbidity index, and postoperative outcomes, including length of stay, emergency department visits, and hospital readmissions, were reviewed from electronic medical records. Health literacy levels were assessed using the Brief Health Literacy Screen, a validated tool that was administered by nursing staff members on hospital admission. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the association of health literacy levels on postoperative outcomes, controlling for patient demographics and clinical characteristics.
Main Outcomes and Measures - The association of health literacy with postoperative 30-day emergency department visits, 90-day hospital readmissions, and index hospitalization length of stay.
Results - Of the 1239 patients who participated in this study, 624 (50.4%) were women, 1083 (87.4%) where white, 96 (7.7%) were black, and 60 (4.8%) were of other race/ethnicity. The mean (SD) Brief Health Literacy Screen score was 12.9 (SD, 2.75; range, 3-15) and the median educational attainment was 13.0 years. Patients with lower health literacy levels had a longer length of stay in unadjusted (95% CI, 0.95-0.99; P = .004) and adjusted (95% CI, 0.03-0.26; P = .02) analyses. However, lower health literacy was not significantly associated with increased rates of 30-day emergency department visits or 90-day hospital readmissions.
Conclusions and Relevance - Lower health literacy levels are independently associated with longer index hospitalization lengths of stay for patients who are undergoing major abdominal surgery. The role of health literacy needs to be further evaluated within surgical practices to improve health care outcomes and use.
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.
Short-term complications, particularly rehospitalization, after a diagnosis of takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) are poorly described. We sought to characterize the rates, causes, clinical associations, and prognostic implications of early rehospitalization in this patient population. We performed a retrospective observational study of all adult subjects diagnosed with TTC at an academic tertiary care hospital from 2005 to 2015. The primary outcome was rehospitalization within 30 days of index discharge. Multivariable logistic regression was used to test for association between clinical variables and rehospitalization. Association between rehospitalization and survival after index discharge was assessed as a secondary outcome using a multivariable Cox proportional hazard model. Two hundred sixty-three subjects met the inclusion criteria for the study. There were 38 rehospitalizations among 32 subjects (12%). Ninety-five percent of rehospitalizations were due to nonheart failure causes, and 76% were related to noncardiovascular complaints. In multivariable analysis, recent hospitalization before TTC diagnosis and increased length of index hospitalization were associated with greater risk of rehospitalization (odds ratio 4.58, 95% CI 1.97 to 10.65, p <0.001 and odds ratio 1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.10, p = 0.026, respectively). Early rehospitalization after TTC was associated with decreased survival (hazard ratio 3.17, 95% CI 1.53 to 6.56, p = 0.002).
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Predicting negative outcomes, such as readmission or death, and detecting high-risk patients are important yet challenging problems in medical informatics. Various models have been proposed to detect high-risk patients; however, the state of the art relies on patient information collected before or at the time of discharge to predict future outcomes. In this paper, we investigate the effect of including data generated post discharge to predict negative outcomes. Specifically, we focus on two types of patients admitted to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center between 2010-2013: i) those with an acute event - 704 hip fractures and ii) those with chronic problems - 5250 congestive heart failure (CHF) patients. We show that the post-discharge model improved the AUC of the LACE index, a standard readmission scoring function, by 20 - 30%. Moreover, the new model resulted in higher AUCs by 15 - 27% for hip fracture and 10 - 12% for CHF compared to standard models.
BACKGROUND - Readmission to the hospital within 30 days is a measure of quality care; however, only few modifiable risk factors for 30-day readmission in adults with sickle cell disease are known.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective review of the medical records of adults with sickle cell disease at a tertiary care center, to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for 30-day readmission due to vasoocclusive pain episodes. A total of 88 patients ≥18 years of age were followed for 3.5 years between 2010 and 2013, for 158 first admissions for vasoocclusive pain episodes. Of these, those subsequently readmitted (cases) or not readmitted (controls) within 30 days of their index admissions were identified. Seven risk factors were included in a multivariable model to predict readmission: age, sex, hemoglobin phenotype, median oxygen saturation level, listing of primary care provider, type of health insurance, and number of hospitalized vasoocclusive pain episodes in the prior year.
RESULTS - Mean age at admission was 31.7 (18-59) years; median time to readmission was 11 days (interquartile range 20 days). Absence of a primary care provider listed in the electronic medical record (odds ratio 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.91; P = .030) and the number of vasoocclusive pain episodes requiring hospitalization in the prior year were significant risk factors for 30-day readmission (odds ratio 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.44; P <.001).
CONCLUSION - Improved discharge planning and ensuring access to a primary care provider may decrease the 30-day readmission rate in adults with sickle cell disease.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
IMPORTANCE - Complicated appendicitis is a common condition in children that causes substantial morbidity. Significant variation in practice exists within and between centers. We observed highly variable practices within our hospital and hypothesized that a clinical practice guideline (CPG) would standardize care and be associated with improved patient outcomes.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether a CPG for complicated appendicitis could be associated with improved clinical outcomes.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - A comprehensive CPG was developed for all children with complicated appendicitis at Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, a freestanding children's hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, and was implemented in July 2013. All patients with complicated appendicitis who were treated with early appendectomy during the study period were included in the study. Patients were divided into 2 cohorts, based on whether they were treated before or after CPG implementation. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded for 30 months prior to and 16 months following CPG implementation.
EXPOSURE - Clinical practice guideline developed for all children with complicated appendicitis at Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - The primary outcome measure was the occurrence of any adverse event such as readmission or surgical site infection. In addition, resource use, practice variation, and CPG adherence were assessed.
RESULTS - Of the 313 patients included in the study, 183 were boys (58.5%) and 234 were white (74.8%). Complete CPG adherence occurred in 78.7% of cases (n = 96). The pre-CPG group included 191 patients with a mean (SD) age of 8.8 (4.0) years, and the post-CPG group included 122 patients with a mean (SD) age of 8.7 (4.1) years. Compared with the pre-CPG group, patients in the post-CPG group were less likely to receive a peripherally inserted central catheter (2.5%, n = 3 vs 30.4%, n = 58; P < .001) or require a postoperative computed tomographic scan (13.1%, n = 16 vs 29.3%, n = 56; P = .001), and length of hospital stay was significantly reduced (4.6 days post-CPG vs 5.1 days pre-CPG, P < .05). Patients in the post-CPG group were less likely to have a surgical site infection (relative risk [RR], 0.41; 95% CI, 0.27-0.74) or require a second operation (RR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.12-1.00). In the pre-CPG group, 30.9% of patients (n = 59) experienced any adverse event, while 22.1% of post-CPG patients (n = 27) experienced any adverse event (RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.48-1.06).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Significant practice variation exists among surgeons in the management of pediatric complicated appendicitis. In our institution, a CPG that standardized practice patterns was associated with reduced resource use and improved patient outcomes. Most surgeons had very high compliance with the CPG.
BACKGROUND - Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) is a frequent cause of morbidity, prolonged hospital stay and readmission after a pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). We sought to evaluate predictive peri-operative factors for DGE after a PD.
METHODS - Four hundred and sixteen consecutive patients who underwent a PD at our tertiary referral centre were identified. Univariate and multivariate (MV) logistic regression models were used to assess peri-operative factors associated with the development of clinically significant DGE and a post-operative pancreatic fistula (POPF).
RESULTS - DGE occurred in 24% of patients (n = 98) with Grades B and C occurring at 13.5% (n = 55) and 10.5% (n = 43), respectively. Using MV regression, a body mass index (BMI) ≥35 [odds ratio (OR) = 3.19], operating room (OR) length >5.5 h (OR = 2.72) and prophylactic octreotide use (OR = 2.04) were independently associated with an increased risk of DGE. DGE patients had a significantly longer median hospital stay (12 versus 7 days), higher 90-day readmission rates (32% versus 18%) and an increased incidence of a pancreatic fistula (59% versus 27%). When controlling for POPF, only OR length >5.5 h (OR 2.73) remained significantly associated with DGE.
CONCLUSIONS - DGE remains a significant cause of morbidity, increased hospital stay and readmission after PD. Our findings suggest patients with a BMI ≥35 or longer OR times have a higher risk of DGE either independently or through the development of POPF. These patients should be considered for possible enteral feeding tube placement along with limited octreotide use to decrease the potential risk and consequences of DGE.
© 2015 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.
OBJECTIVE Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a common hospital-acquired infection. Previous reports on the incidence, risk factors, and impact of CDI on resources in the surgical population are limited. In this context, we study CDI across diverse surgical settings. METHODS We prospectively identified patients with laboratory-confirmed postoperative CDI after 40 different general, vascular, or gynecologic surgeries at 52 academic and community hospitals between July 2012 and September 2013. We used multivariable regression models to identify CDI risk factors and to determine the impact of CDI on resource utilization. RESULTS Of 35,363 patients, 179 (0.51%) developed postoperative CDI. The highest rates of CDI occurred after lower-extremity amputation (2.6%), followed by bowel resection or repair (0.9%) and gastric or esophageal operations (0.7%). Gynecologic and endocrine operations had the lowest rates (0.1% and 0%, respectively). By multivariable analyses, older age, chronic immunosuppression, hypoalbuminemia (≤3.5 g/dL), and preoperative sepsis were associated with CDI. Use of prophylactic antibiotics was not independently associated with CDI, neither was sex, body mass index (BMI), surgical priority, weight loss, or comorbid conditions. Three procedure groups had higher odds of postoperative CDI: lower-extremity amputations (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.5; P=.03), gastric or esophageal operations (aOR, 2.1; P=.04), and bowel resection or repair (aOR, 2; P=.04). Postoperative CDI was independently associated with increased length of stay (mean, 13.7 d vs 4.5 d), emergency department presentations (18.9 vs 9.1%) and readmissions (38.9% vs 7.2%, all P<.001). CONCLUSIONS Incidence of postoperative CDI varies by surgical procedure. Postoperative CDI is also associated with higher rates of extended length of stay, emergency room presentations, and readmissions, which places a potentially preventable burden on hospital resources.