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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.
BACKGROUND - Use of secure messaging through patient portals has risen substantially in recent years due to provider incentives and consumer demand. Secure messaging may increase patient satisfaction and improve outcomes, but also adds to physician workload. Most prior studies of secure messaging focused on primary care and medical specialties. We examined surgeons' use of secure messaging and the contribution of messaging to outpatient interactions in a broadly deployed patient portal.
METHODS - We determined the number of clinic visits and secure messages for surgical providers in the first 3 years (2008-2010) after patient portal deployment at an academic medical center. We calculated the proportion of outpatient interaction conducted through messaging for each specialty. Logistic regression models compared the likelihood of message-based versus clinic outpatient interaction across surgical specialties.
RESULTS - Over the study period, surgical providers delivered care in 648,200 clinic visits and received 83,912 messages, with more than 200% growth in monthly message volume. Surgical specialties receiving the most messages were orthopedics/podiatry (25.1%), otolaryngology (20.1%), urology (10.8%), and general surgery (9.6%); vascular surgery (0.8%) and pediatric general surgery (0.2%) received the fewest. The proportion of outpatient interactions conducted through secure messaging increased significantly from 5.4% in 2008 to 15.3% in 2010 (p < 0.001) with all specialties experiencing growth. Heart/lung transplantation (74.9%), liver/kidney/pancreas transplantation (69.5%), and general surgery (48.7%) had the highest proportion of message-based outpatient interaction by the end of the study.
CONCLUSIONS - This study demonstrates rapid adoption of online secure messaging across surgical specialties with significant growth in its use for outpatient interaction. Some specialties, particularly those with long-term follow-up, interacted with patients more through secure messaging than in person. As surgeons devote more time to secure messaging, additional research will be needed to understand the care delivered through online interactions and to develop models for reimbursement.
AIMS - African American women carry a disproportionate diabetes burden, yet there is limited information on strategies to identify outcomes women perceive as important intervention outcomes (patient-centered outcomes). This study presents a brief strategy to solicit these outcomes and to describe outcomes identified using the highlighted strategy.
METHODS - Thirty-four African-American women with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in group-based, diabetes/weight management interventions. A diabetes educator asked participants to write down their intervention expectations followed by verbal sharing of responses. Expectation-related themes were identified using an iterative, qualitative, team analytic approach based on audio-recorded responses.
RESULTS - The majority of the expectation-related themes (6 of 10) were reflective of self-care education/management and weight loss-related patient-centered outcomes. The remaining themes were associated with desires to help others prevent or manage diabetes, reduce negative diabetes-related emotions, get rid of diabetes, and stop taking diabetes medications.
CONCLUSION - This study adds to a limited body of knowledge regarding patient-centered outcomes among a group that experiences a disproportionate diabetes burden. Future work could include integrating outcomes that are less commonly addressed in diabetes-related lifestyle interventions (e.g., diabetes-related negative emotions), along with more commonly addressed outcomes (e.g., weight loss), to increase the patient-centeredness of the interventions.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION - Novel interventions are needed to improve adherence to treatment in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. In this article, we describe the development, feasibility, and acceptability of a positive psychology intervention for this population.
METHOD - Adolescents and their parents (n = 39) were randomly assigned to either a positive psychology intervention or an attention control group. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected on feasibility and acceptability. Descriptive and content analysis methods were used.
RESULTS - Recruitment was successful, participation and satisfaction were high in both groups, and retention was excellent over 6 months. In the positive psychology group, adolescents and their parents noted benefits related to increased positive communication and thinking more about diabetes care. We also identified challenges to implementation.
DISCUSSION - Although more research is indicated, a positive psychology framework emphasizing positive emotions and strengths, rather than problems, may be beneficial to adolescents living with a complex chronic illness.
Copyright © 2014 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Few studies of hypospadias repair in childhood have used validated questionnaires to investigate outcomes of cosmesis, urinary function, and sexual function in adulthood. We sought to investigate long-term outcomes in adult patients who had undergone severe hypospadias repair as children using an existing web-based application available to multiple institutions in order to develop an online patient survey of previously validated questionnaires.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Patients aged 18 years or older who underwent severe hypospadias repair between 1992 and 1997 at our institution were contacted to complete an online survey. Through medical chart reviews, we analyzed the location of meatus, type of repair, and complications. The online survey included questions about penile appearance, and validated questionnaires to assess urinary and sexual function.
RESULTS - Of 58 patients who met the inclusion criteria, we contacted 19, and 13 completed the survey. Fifty-nine percent had complications, with an average of 2.2 procedures per patient. Most (85.0%) were satisfied with penile appearance, although 38.0% had residual penile curvature. Hypospadias patients had mean lower orgasmic function than normal controls. Mean scores for urinary function and other domains of sexual function were similar to normal controls.
CONCLUSIONS - Although the majority of adult patients were satisfied with the outcomes of penile appearance, urinary function, and sexual function, our online survey suggests decreased lower orgasmic function as measured by validated questionnaire. An online survey accessible to multiple institutions with validated questionnaires may facilitate assessment of long-term hypospadias results.
Copyright © 2014 Journal of Pediatric Urology Company. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - Patient satisfaction is a key determinant of the quality of care and an important component of pay for performance metrics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a simple intervention aimed to increase patients' understanding of their orthopaedic trauma surgeon and improve patient satisfaction with the overall quality of inpatient care delivered by the attending surgeon.
DESIGN - Prospective quality improvement initiative using a randomized intervention.
SETTING - Level 1 academic trauma center.
PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS - Two hundred twelve patients were eligible; 100 patients were randomized to the intervention group, and 112 patients were randomized to the control group. Overall, 76 patients could be reached for follow-up satisfaction survey, including 34 patients in the intervention group and 42 patients in the control group.
INTERVENTION - Patients randomized to the intervention group received an attending biosketch card, which included a picture of the attending orthopaedic surgeon with a brief synopsis of his educational background, specialty, surgical interests, and research interests.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Our primary outcome measure was a patient satisfaction survey assessing patients' rating of the overall quality of inpatient care delivered by the attending surgeon.
RESULTS - Overall, 25 (74%) of 34 patients who received an attending biosketch card reported "excellent overall quality of doctor care," whereas only 22 (52%) of 42 patients in the control group reported "excellent overall quality of doctor care" (P = 0.05). Age, gender, race, education, insurance status, primary injury type, and the length of hospital stay were not significant with reference to "excellent" outcome.
CONCLUSIONS - Clinically significant improvements in satisfaction with the overall quality of inpatient care by the attending surgeon were identified in patients who received a biosketch card of his or her attending orthopaedic surgeon.
The National Kidney Foundation and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened a symposium in September 2010, bringing together more than 70 experts, including representatives from the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, the Critical Path Institute, nephrologists, patients, and the pharmaceutical industry to discuss the feasibility and process of developing patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures to access how patients feel or function to be used in clinical trials for regulatory review of treatment benefit. Three disease areas were evaluated for development of end point models in which PRO measures may be useful: anemia secondary to chronic kidney disease, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), and nephrotic syndrome. The participants thought it valuable to use observational data to generate hypotheses regarding patient baseline characteristics that are likely to predict clinically important changes in PROs in response to anemia treatment and to design adequately powered blinded randomized controlled trials of anemia treatment using PROs as primary rather than secondary end points. Validated PRO instruments that reflect the patient experience in ADPKD and nephrotic syndrome are essential to incorporate into clinical trials of new therapeutic interventions because glomerular filtration rate decline may occur late in the disease course, at which point therapeutic benefit is less likely. Conference attendees addressed how PRO measures could be used to evaluate, monitor, provide care, and facilitate the introduction of treatments for patients with these challenging conditions.
Copyright © 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Dexamethasone, when added to local anesthetics, has been shown to prolong the duration of peripheral nerve blocks; however, there are limited studies utilizing large numbers of patients. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of adding dexamethasone to ropivacaine on duration of nerve blocks of the upper and lower extremity.
METHODS - We reviewed 1,040 patient records collected in an orthopedic outpatient surgery center that had received an upper or lower extremity peripheral nerve block with ropivacaine 0.5% with or without dexamethasone and/or epinephrine. The primary outcome was duration of analgesia in upper or lower extremity blocks containing dexamethasone as an adjunct. Secondary outcomes included postoperative patient pain scores, satisfaction, and the incidence of block related complications. Linear and ordinal logistic regression models were used to examine the independent effect of dexamethasone on outcomes.
RESULTS - Dexamethasone was observed to increase median block duration by 37% (95% confidence interval: 31-43%). The increased block duration persisted within body regions (upper and lower) and across a range of block types. Dexamethasone was also observed to reduce pain scores on the day of surgery (P = 0.001) and postoperative day 1 (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in duration of nerve blocks when epinephrine (1:400,000) was added to 0.5% ropivacaine with or without dexamethasone.
CONCLUSION - The addition of dexamethasone to 0.5% ropivacaine prolongs the duration of peripheral nerve blocks of both the upper and lower extremity.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVE - To determine how to improve care for families by obtaining their advice to health care providers and researchers after a child's death from cancer.
DESIGN - Families with a surviving sibling (age, 8 to 17 y) were recruited from cancer registries at 3 hospitals in the United States and Canada 3 to 12 months (M=10.4, SD=3.5) after the child's death.
SETTING - Data were collected in the home.
PARTICIPANTS - Participants (N=99) included 36 mothers, 24 fathers, and 39 siblings from 40 families.
OUTCOME MEASURES - Each participant completed a qualitative interview that was audio recorded, transcribed, and coded for thematic content.
FINDINGS - Five major themes included the need for: (a) improved communication with the medical team, (b) more compassionate care, (c) increased access to resources, (d) ongoing research, and (e) offering praise. Interwoven within the 5 themes was a subtheme of continuity of care.
CONCLUSIONS - Many participants were pleased with the care the child with cancer received, but others noted areas in need of improvement, particularly medical communication and continuity of care. Additional research is needed to inform interventions to improve services for families of children with life-limiting conditions.
BACKGROUND - Anesthesiology groups continually seek data sources and evaluation metrics for ongoing professional practice evaluation, credentialing, and other quality initiatives. The analysis of patient complaints associated with physicians has been previously shown to be a marker for patient dissatisfaction and a predictor of malpractice claims. Additionally, previous studies in other specialties have revealed a nonuniform distribution of complaints among professionals. In this study, we describe the distribution of complaints among anesthesia providers and identify factors associated with complaint risk in pediatric and adult populations.
METHODS - We performed an analysis of a complaint database for an academic medical center. Complaints were recorded as comments during postoperative telephone calls to ambulatory surgery patients regarding the quality of their anesthesiology care. Calls between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2010 were included. Risk factors were grouped into 3 categories: patient demographics, procedural, and provider characteristics.
RESULTS - A total of 22,871 calls placed on behalf of 120 anesthesiologists were evaluated, of which 307 yielded a complaint. There was no evidence of provider-to-provider heterogeneity in complaint risk in the pediatric population. In the adult population, an unadjusted test for the random intercept variance component in the mixed effects model pointed toward significant heterogeneity (P = 0.01); however, after adjusting for a prespecified set of risk factors, provider-to-provider heterogeneity was no longer observed (P = 0.20). Several risk factors exhibited evidence for complaint risk. In the pediatric patient model, risk factors associated with complaint risk included a 10-year change in age, the use of general anesthesia (versus not), and a 1-hour change in the actual minus scheduled start times. Odds ratios were 1.47 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04-2.08), 0.22 (95% CI, 0.07-0.62), and 1.27 (95% CI, 1.10-1.47), respectively. In the adult patient model, risk factors associated with complaint risk included male gender, general anesthesia, a 10-year change in provider experience, and speaking with the patient (rather than a family member). Odd ratios were 0.66 (95% CI, 0.47-0.92), 0.67 (95% CI, 0.47-0.95), 1.18 (95% CI, 1.01-1.38), and 1.96 (95% CI, 1.17-3.29), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - There was apparent evidence in adult patients to suggest heterogeneity in provider risk for a patient complaint. However, once patient, procedural, and provider factors were acknowledged in analyses, such evidence for heterogeneity is diminished substantially. Further study into how and why these factors are associated with greater complaint risk may reveal potential interventions to decrease complaints.