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Pregnancy produces important health-related needs, and expectant families have turned to technologies to meet them. The ability to predict needs and technology preferences might aid in connecting families with resources. This study examined the relationships among Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scores, information-seeking behaviors, and health-related needs in 71 pregnant women and 29 caregivers. Internal MHLC scores were positively correlated with information-seeking behaviors, including website and patient portal use. Higher Chance scores were associated with decreased portal or pregnancy website use (p=0.002), with the exception of FitPregnancy.com (p=0.02). MHLC scores were not significantly correlated with number of health-related needs or whether needs were met. Individuals with needs about disease management had higher Powerful Others scores (p=0.01); those with questions about tests had lower Powerful Others scores (p=0.008). MHLC scores might be used to identify individuals less likely to seek information and to predict need types.
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.
OBJECTIVE - Secure messaging through patient portals is an increasingly popular way that consumers interact with healthcare providers. The increasing burden of secure messaging can affect clinic staffing and workflows. Manual management of portal messages is costly and time consuming. Automated classification of portal messages could potentially expedite message triage and delivery of care.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We developed automated patient portal message classifiers with rule-based and machine learning techniques using bag of words and natural language processing (NLP) approaches. To evaluate classifier performance, we used a gold standard of 3253 portal messages manually categorized using a taxonomy of communication types (i.e., main categories of informational, medical, logistical, social, and other communications, and subcategories including prescriptions, appointments, problems, tests, follow-up, contact information, and acknowledgement). We evaluated our classifiers' accuracies in identifying individual communication types within portal messages with area under the receiver-operator curve (AUC). Portal messages often contain more than one type of communication. To predict all communication types within single messages, we used the Jaccard Index. We extracted the variables of importance for the random forest classifiers.
RESULTS - The best performing approaches to classification for the major communication types were: logistic regression for medical communications (AUC: 0.899); basic (rule-based) for informational communications (AUC: 0.842); and random forests for social communications and logistical communications (AUCs: 0.875 and 0.925, respectively). The best performing classification approach of classifiers for individual communication subtypes was random forests for Logistical-Contact Information (AUC: 0.963). The Jaccard Indices by approach were: basic classifier, Jaccard Index: 0.674; Naïve Bayes, Jaccard Index: 0.799; random forests, Jaccard Index: 0.859; and logistic regression, Jaccard Index: 0.861. For medical communications, the most predictive variables were NLP concepts (e.g., Temporal_Concept, which maps to 'morning', 'evening' and Idea_or_Concept which maps to 'appointment' and 'refill'). For logistical communications, the most predictive variables contained similar numbers of NLP variables and words (e.g., Telephone mapping to 'phone', 'insurance'). For social and informational communications, the most predictive variables were words (e.g., social: 'thanks', 'much', informational: 'question', 'mean').
CONCLUSIONS - This study applies automated classification methods to the content of patient portal messages and evaluates the application of NLP techniques on consumer communications in patient portal messages. We demonstrated that random forest and logistic regression approaches accurately classified the content of portal messages, although the best approach to classification varied by communication type. Words were the most predictive variables for classification of most communication types, although NLP variables were most predictive for medical communication types. As adoption of patient portals increases, automated techniques could assist in understanding and managing growing volumes of messages. Further work is needed to improve classification performance to potentially support message triage and answering.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Elevated blood pressure (BP) is common in the emergency department (ED), but the relationship between antihypertensive medication adherence and BP in the ED is unclear. This cross-sectional study tested the hypothesis that higher antihypertensive adherence is associated with lower systolic BP (SBP) in the ED among adults with hypertension who sought ED care at an academic hospital from July 2012 to April 2013. Biochemical assessment of antihypertensive adherence was performed using a mass spectrometry blood assay, and the primary outcome was average ED SBP. Analyses were stratified by number of prescribed antihypertensives (<3, ≥3) and adjusted for age, sex, race, insurance, literacy, numeracy, education, body mass index, and comorbidities. Among 85 patients prescribed ≥3 antihypertensives, mean SBP for adherent patients was 134.4 mm Hg (±26.1 mm Hg), and in adjusted analysis was -20.8 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, -34.2 to -7.4 mm Hg; =0.003) different from nonadherent patients. Among 176 patients prescribed <3 antihypertensives, mean SBP was 135.5 mm Hg (±20.6 mm Hg) for adherent patients, with no difference by adherence in adjusted analysis (+2.9 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, -4.7 to 10.5 mm Hg; =0.45). Antihypertensive nonadherence identified by biochemical assessment was common and associated with higher SBP in the ED among patients who had a primary care provider and health insurance and who were prescribed ≥3 antihypertensives. Biochemical assessment of antihypertensives could help distinguish medication nonadherence from other contributors to elevated BP and identify target populations for intervention.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate whether women planning a pregnancy are less likely to use alcohol in early pregnancy than those with unintended pregnancies.
METHODS - Right From the Start (2000-2012) is a prospective, community-based pregnancy cohort. Maternal demographic, reproductive, and behavioral data were collected in telephone interviews at enrollment (mean±standard deviation 48±13 days of gestation) and later in the first trimester (mean±standard deviation 85±21 days of gestation). Alcohol consumption characteristics were included in the interviews. We used logistic regression to investigate the association of pregnancy intention with alcohol use.
RESULTS - Among 5,036 women, 55% reported using alcohol in the first trimester with 6% continuing use at the first-trimester interview. Pregnancy was planned by 70% of participants. Alcohol use occurred in 55% and 56% of intended and unintended pregnancies, respectively (P=.32). Adjusting for confounders, women with intended pregnancies were 31% less likely to consume any alcohol in early pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.60-0.81) or binge drink (adjusted OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.54-0.86). Most women, regardless of intention, stopped or decreased alcohol consumption in early pregnancy.
CONCLUSION - The majority of women, irrespective of intention, stopped or decreased drinking after pregnancy recognition. This suggests promoting early pregnancy awareness could prove more effective than promoting abstinence from alcohol among all who could conceive.
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.
BACKGROUND - The incidence of hypertensive emergency in US emergency departments (ED) is not well established.
METHODS AND RESULTS - This study is a descriptive epidemiological analysis of nationally representative ED visit-level data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for 2006-2013. Nationwide Emergency Department Sample is a publicly available database maintained by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. An ED visit was considered to be a hypertensive emergency if it met all the following criteria: diagnosis of acute hypertension, at least 1 diagnosis indicating acute target organ damage, and qualifying disposition (admission to the hospital, death, or transfer to another facility). The incidence of adult ED visits for acute hypertension increased monotonically in the period from 2006 through 2013, from 170 340 (1820 per million adult ED visits overall) to 496 894 (4610 per million). Hypertensive emergency was rare overall, accounting for 63 406 visits (677 per million adult ED visits overall) in 2006 to 176 769 visits (1670 per million) in 2013. Among adult ED visits that had any diagnosis of hypertension, hypertensive emergency accounted for 3309 per million in 2006 and 6178 per million in 2013.
CONCLUSIONS - The estimated number of visits for hypertensive emergency and the rate per million adult ED visits has more than doubled from 2006 to 2013. However, hypertensive emergencies are rare overall, occurring in about 2 in 1000 adult ED visits overall, and 6 in 1000 adult ED visits carrying any diagnosis of hypertension in 2013. This figure is far lower than what has been sometimes cited in previous literature.
© 2016 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
Uncontrolled hypertension (HTN) is commonly encountered in emergency medicine practice, but the optimal approach to management has not been delineated. The objective of this study was to define emergency physician (EP) approaches to management of asymptomatic HTN in various clinical scenarios and assess adherence to the American College of Emergency Physician clinical policies, utilizing an online survey of EPs. A total of 1200 surveys were distributed by e-mail with completion by 199 participants. The variables associated with a decision to prescribe oral antihypertensive medications were a history of HTN and referral from primary care. Acute blood pressure (BP) reduction using intravenous antihypertensive medications was also more likely with the latter and BP >180/120 mm Hg. Logistic regression revealed association of EP female sex, fewer years in practice, and a high-volume practice setting with guideline-concordant therapy. Wide variability exists in EP approaches to patients with asymptomatic HTN. Treatment decisions were impacted by patient history of chronic HTN, referral from primary care providers, and magnitude of BP elevation.
©2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Although studies suggest that patients with limited health literacy and/or low numeracy skills may stand to gain the most from shared decision making (SDM), the impact of these conditions on the effective implementation of SDM in the emergency department (ED) is not well understood. In this article from the proceedings of the 2016 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference on Shared Decision Making in the Emergency Department we discuss knowledge gaps identified and propose consensus-driven research priorities to help guide future work to improve SDM for this patient population in the ED.
© 2016 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
BACKGROUND - The Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) is designed to teach knowledge and skills for the initial assessment and stabilization of trauma patients in resource-limited environments. The effect of RTTDC training on transfers from nontrauma centers to definitive care has not been studied. We hypothesized that RTTDC training would decrease referring hospital emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS), time to call for transfer, pretransfer computed tomography (CT) imaging rate, and mortality rate.
METHODS - We conducted a pre/post analysis of trauma patients who were transferred from rural, nontrauma hospitals from 2012 to 2014. Patients from six rural hospitals that participated in an RTTDC course were compared with a control group of similar centers that did not participate in the course. Primary outcome evaluated was referring hospital ED LOS, which was estimated using a difference-in-differences regression model. Secondary outcomes were time to transfer call, pretransfer CT imaging rates, and mortality.
RESULTS - Two hundred fifty-three patients were available for study (RTTDC group, n = 130; control group, n = 123). Demographics, CT imaging, and mortality rates were similar between the two groups. In the primary outcome, the RTTDC group experienced an overall 61-minute reduction in referring hospital LOS (p = 0.02) compared with the control group. The RTTDC group also showed a 41-minute reduction (p = 0.03) in time to call for transfer compared with controls. There were no differences in the secondary outcomes of pretransfer CT scanning rates or mortality.
CONCLUSIONS - Rural Trauma Team Development Course training shortens ED LOS at rural, nontrauma hospitals by more than 1 hour without increasing mortality. Future educational and research efforts should focus on decreasing unnecessary imaging prior to transfer as well as opportunities to improve mortality rates. This study suggests an important role for RTTDC training in the care of rural trauma patients and may allow trauma centers to recapture the "golden hour" for transferred trauma patients.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Therapeutic/care management study, level III.