ResearchPad - quality-improvement https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[COVID 19 outbreak: organisation of a geriatric assessment and coordination unit. A French example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12480 Older people are particularly affected by the COVID19 outbreak because of their vulnerability as well as the complexity of health organisations, particularly in the often-compartmentalised interactions between community, hospital and nursing home actors. In this endemic situation, with massive flows of patients requiring holistic management including specific and intensive care, the appropriate assessment of each patient’s level of care and the organisation of specific networks is essential.

To that end, we propose here a territorial organisation of health care, favouring communication between all actors. This organisation of care is based on three key points: To use the basis of territorial organisation of health by facilitating the link between hospital settings and geriatric sectors at the regional level.To connect private, medico-social and hospital actors through a dedicated centralised unit for evaluation, geriatric coordination of care and decision support. A geriatrician coordinates this multidisciplinary unit. It includes an emergency room doctor, a supervisor from the medical regulation centre (Centre 15), an infectious disease physician, a medical hygienist and a palliative care specialist.To organise an ad hoc follow-up channel, including the necessary resources for the different levels of care required, according to the resources of the territorial network, and the creation of a specific COVID geriatric palliative care service.

This organisation meets the urgent health needs of all stakeholders, facilitating its deployment and allows the sustainable implementation of a coordinated geriatric management dynamic between the stakeholders on the territory.

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<![CDATA[Breast Cancer Metastasis Masquerading as a Primary Gynecological / Colonic Malignancy: A Rare Diagnostic Conundrum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10540 Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women. Metastatic involvement of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract secondary to a primary breast malignancy is rare. Here, we describe the case of a 60-year-old woman with a history of right lobular breast cancer (diagnosed and treated five years prior to presentation) who presented with fatigue, generalized abdominal pain, distension, weight loss, and vomiting. Her initial imaging was suspicious for a primary gynecological malignancy; however, subsequent workup showed a colonic mass. Total colonoscopy revealed colon metastases, and an immunohistochemical profile favored invasive lobular carcinoma of breast. Most cases of gastrointestinal metastases from breast cancer have lobular histology; however, colonic involvement is rare.

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<![CDATA[The Effect of Irrigation Fluid on Periprosthetic Joint Infection in Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10501 Introduction

Rates of osteoarthritis and total joint arthroplasty (TJA) are on the rise globally. Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is the most devastating complication of TJA. A number of different intraoperative interventions have been proposed in an effort to reduce infection rates, including antibiotic cements, local antibiotic powder, and various irrigation solutions. The evidence on the importance of irrigation solutions is limited but has gained prominence recently, including the publication of a large randomized controlled trial (RCT). Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of various irrigation solutions and pressures at reducing the rates of PJI.

Methods

A systematic review was performed using the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science. All records were screened in duplicate. Data collected included basic study characteristics, the details of the intervention and comparison solutions, if applicable, and rates of superficial and deep infection. A meta-analysis of comparative studies was performed to assess for consistency and potential direction of effect. 

Results

A total of ten studies were included, of which one was an RCT, eight were retrospective cohorts, and one was a case series. In total, there were 29,630 TJAs in 29,596 patients. The mean age ranged from 61 to 80 years. Six studies compared povidone-iodine (Betadine®) to normal saline, two studies compared chlorhexidine to saline, one study compared “triple prophylaxis” to standard practice, and one study used gentamicin but had no comparison group. The pooled risk ratio for deep infection in studies using Betadine® compared to saline was 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.33-1.19), while for chlorhexidine it was 0.74 (95%CI: 0.33-1.65).

Discussion

Current evidence on the relative efficacy of irrigating solutions as prophylaxis for infection following TJA remains inconclusive. Imprecision of estimates vindicates the need for a definitive trial to further inform their use in surgical practice. 

Conclusion

Antiseptic irrigation during TJA with solutions (Betadine®, chlorhexidine) may decrease PJI risk in patients undergoing primary and revision total hip and knee arthroplasties. Wide confidence intervals and heterogeneity among studies, however, render conclusions untrustworthy. Well-conducted RCTs are very much needed to help further investigate this issue.

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<![CDATA[Improving patient safety during intrahospital transportation of mechanically ventilated patients with critical illness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9095 Intrahospital transportation (IHT) of patients under mechanical ventilation (MV) significantly increases the risk of patient harm. A structured process performed by a well-prepared team with adequate communication among team members plays a vital role in enhancing patient safety during transportation.Design and implementationWe conducted this quality improvement programme at the intensive care units of a university-affiliated medical centre, focusing on the care of patients under MV who received IHT for CT or MRI examinations. With the interventions based on the analysis finding of the IHT process by healthcare failure mode and effects analysis, we developed and implemented strategies to improve this process, including standardisation of the transportation process, enhancing equipment maintenance and strengthening the teamwork among the transportation teammates. In a subsequent cycle, we developed and implemented a new process with the practice of reminder-assisted briefing. The reminders were printed on cards with mnemonics including ‘VITAL’ (Vital signs, Infusions, Tubes, Alarms and Leave) attached to the transportation monitors for the intensive care unit nurses, ‘STOP’ (Secretions, Tubes, Oxygen and Power) attached to the transportation ventilators for the respiratory therapists and ‘STOP’ (Speak-out, Tubes, Others and Position) attached to the examination equipment for the radiology technicians. We compared the incidence of adverse events and completeness and correctness of the tasks deemed to be essential for effective teamwork before and after implementing the programme.ResultsThe implementation of the programme significantly reduced the number and incidence of adverse events (1.08% vs 0.23%, p=0.01). Audits also showed improved teamwork during transportation as the team members showed increased completeness and correctness of the essential IHT tasks (80.8% vs 96.5%, p<0.001).ConclusionThe implementation of reminder-assisted briefings significantly enhanced patient safety and teamwork behaviours during the IHT of mechanically ventilated patients with critical illness. ]]> <![CDATA[A qualitative exploration of escalation of care in the acute ward setting]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8232 “Failure to Rescue” includes failing to prevent avoidable patient deterioration and death. Despite its use, delays in care escalation still affect patient outcomes.Aims and ObjectiveThe aim of this qualitative service evaluation was to map the barriers and facilitators to the escalation of care in the acute ward setting and identify those that are modifiable.DesignA total of 55 hours of qualitative observations were completed to capture care escalation events. These were conducted at two hospital sites in one National Health Service trust.MethodsObservations were iterative, with research team meetings being used to discuss the data and future methods. Field notes were analysed thematically by two researchers, extracting data on barriers and facilitators to escalation of care.ResultsClinical nursing staff challenged the sensitivity and specificity of Early Warning Scores, describing tool failings in certain clinical scenarios. Staff did not escalate based on the alerting Early Warning Scores alone but used other clinical factors, such as bleeding, which are not necessarily captured in the scoring systems. Staff frequently did not re‐escalate low‐level scores. Patient and non‐patient factors identified as posing barriers to escalation were complex care needs, patient outlier status, and involvement of multiple care teams. Factors negatively affecting the chain of communication during escalation were team tension, staffing levels, and inadequate handover.ConclusionThis service evaluation identified barriers and facilitators to the escalation of care in the acute ward setting. Unlike other studies, we found that re‐escalation or tracking of deterioration was problematic. Patients identified as being at a higher risk of escalation failure included complex patients, outliers, and patients with multiple care teams.Relevance to clinical practiceThis service evaluation demonstrates continuing health care communication barriers. Patient groups (complex patients and outliers) risk process failures during escalation. This can be applied in clinical practice by staff anticipating problems in these patients, documenting clear escalation pathways. ]]> <![CDATA[Testicular cancer: improving outcomes with national quality performance indicators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N872e8341-9941-415a-bc38-af74ffaeca06 Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young adult men. The prognosis is excellent in limited disease and cure is possible even in advanced disease. Quality performance indicators (QPI) are used in many developed countries as a measure of healthcare performance. We report and discuss the development of a national set of QPIs in Scotland for testicular cancer as a method of gathering demographic data and driving improvement in nationwide testicular cancer outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Improving the documentation quality of point-of-care ultrasound scans in the emergency department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0ba55d45-5afe-45fa-bb20-9786c84adeb0 A point-of-care ultrasound scan (POCUS) is a core element of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) specialty training curriculum. However, POCUS documentation quality can be poor, especially in the time-pressured environment of the emergency department (ED). A survey of 10 junior ED clinicians at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) found that total POCUS documentation was as low as 38% in some examinations.

This quality improvement project aimed to increase the coverage and quality of POCUS documentation in the ED. This was done by using a plan-do-study-act (PDSA) regime to improve the quality of POCUS documentation from the original baseline to 80%. There were three discreet PDSA cycles and the interventions included improving education and training about POCUS documentation and the introduction of an original proforma, which incorporated six minimum requirements for POCUS documentation as per the joint RCEM and Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) guidelines for POCUS documentation (patient details, indications, findings, conclusions, signature and date).

The project team audited the quality of all documented scans in the resuscitation department of the PRUH against the RCEM/RCR guidelines at baseline and following three discrete PDSA cycles. This was done over an 8-week period, spanning 696 attendances to the resuscitation area of the ED and 42 documented POCUS examinations.

Quality recording of the six RCEM/RCR elements of POCUS documentation was poor at baseline but improved following three successful PDSA cycles. There was a demonstrated improvement in five of six documentation elements: patient details on POCUS documentation increased from 53.3% to the 66.7%, indication from 60.0% to 66.7%, conclusion from 13.0% to 83.0%, signature from 86.7% to 100.0% and date from 46.7% to 66.7%.

These results suggest that the introduction of a proforma and a vigorous education strategy are effective ways to improve the quality of documentation of ED POCUS.

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<![CDATA[Improving blood pressure screening and control at an academic health system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N25a04519-e9c7-44ed-8203-d11f5b3c0c0c The goal of the University of California Davis Health Blood Pressure (BP) Quality Improvement Initiative was to improve the diagnosis, management and control of high BP. Patients aged 18–85 years were included in the initiative. Lean A3 problem solving was used to implement the following evidence-based interventions based on stakeholder interviews, value stream mapping and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts Initiative: staff training on accurate BP measurement, visual cues and reminders for BP screening, virtual case-based videoconferences, standardised clinical management algorithm, academic detailing visits, clinical decision support tools, access to pharmacists for medication comanagement, clinician workflow modification, patient education and access to home BP monitors. Following implementation of interventions, accurate screening of BP increased from 14% to 87% and BP control increased from 62% to 75%. Strategies that contributed the most to improvements were using a team-based approach, adjusting clinic workflow and frequent communication of results to staff.

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<![CDATA[Community-based prehabilitation before elective major surgery: the PREP-WELL quality improvement project]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4151a487-e504-4976-ae23-cfa2e0c4fdad Optimising health and well-being before elective major surgery via prehabilitation initiatives is important for good postoperative outcomes. In a busy tertiary centre in North East England, the lack of a formal prehabilitation service meant that opportunities were being missed to optimise patients for surgery. This quality improvement project aimed to implement and evaluate a community-based prehabilitation service for people awaiting elective major surgery: PREP-WELL. A multidisciplinary, cross-sector team introduced PREP-WELL in January 2018. PREP-WELL provided comprehensive assessment and management of perioperative risk factors in the weeks before surgery. During a 12-month pilot, patients were referred from five surgical specialties at James Cook University Hospital. Data were collected on participant characteristics, behavioural and health outcomes, intervention acceptability and costs, and process-related factors. By December 2018, 159 referrals had been received, with 75 patients (47%) agreeing to participate. Most participants opted for a supervised programme (72%) and were awaiting vascular (43%) or orthopaedic (35%) surgery. Median programme duration was 8 weeks. The service was delivered as intended with participants providing positive feedback. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL; EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) utility) and functional capacity (6 min walk distance) increased on average from service entry to exit, with mean (95% CI) changes of 0.108 (−0.023 to 0.240) and 35 m (−5 to 76 m), respectively. Further increases in EQ5D utility were observed at 3 months post surgery. Substantially more participants were achieving recommended physical activity levels at exit and 3 months post surgery compared with at entry. The mean cost of the intervention was £405 per patient; £52 per week. The service was successfully implemented within existing preoperative pathways. Most participants were very satisfied and improved their risk profile preoperatively. Funding has been obtained to support service development and expansion for at least 2 more years. During this period, alternative pathways will be developed to facilitate wider access and greater uptake.

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<![CDATA[Reducing readmissions and improving patient experience following urological surgery, through early telephone follow-up]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3436054e-a188-4592-b86a-74ce1ec167ca Readmission from urological surgery is common, with a readmission rate for day case surgery of 3.7% and 26% for robot-assisted cystectomy. Readmission to secondary care and representation to primary care are both expensive and preventable. This project aimed to reduce both and also enhance the care of patients following urological surgery in a large tertiary referral centre, within the National Health Service. A retrospective telephone follow-up (TFU) survey was set up in the early postoperatively period to measure reattendance and readmission rates and perception of care received. Patients were also asked to suggest how improvement could be made. Quality improvement tools were used to optimise and review the methods and timing of TFU. TFU was initiated as a strategy to enhance care and reduce readmission rates. Phone calls were targeted to occur between 48 and 72 hours following discharge. During the intervention period, 484 phone calls were attempted with 343 being successful. Reattendance rates were reduced by 13% and patient satisfaction improved by 19.6%, following TFU. This intervention also generated additional income for the organisation and enhanced patient satisfaction in the early postoperative period.

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<![CDATA[Missed posterior shoulder fracture dislocations: a new protocol from a London major trauma centre]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na83ac4e6-a75e-4909-879b-1e4f52d909fd

Background

A high incidence of missed posterior shoulder dislocations is widely recognised in the literature. Concern was raised by the upper limb multidisciplinary team at a London major trauma centre that these missed injuries were causing serious consequences due to the need for surgical intervention and poor functional outcome.

Objective

To identify factors contributing to missed diagnosis and propose solutions.

Methods

A local quality improvement report was performed investigating time from admission to diagnosis of simple posterior dislocations and fracture dislocations over a 5-year period. Factors contributing to a delayed diagnosis were analysed.

Results

The findings supported current evidence: a posterior shoulder dislocation was more often missed if there was concurrent fracture of the proximal humerus. Anteroposterior and scapular Y view radiographs were not always diagnostic for dislocation. Axial views were more reliable in assessment of the congruency of the joint and were associated with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the injury.

Discussion

As a result of these findings a new protocol was produced by the orthopaedic and radiology departments and distributed to our emergency department practitioners and radiography team. The protocol included routine axial or modified trauma axial view radiographs for all patients attending the emergency department with a shoulder injury, low clinical suspicion for dislocation and a low threshold for CT scan. Reaudit and ongoing data collection have shown significant increase in axial view radiographs and improved diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Improving the quality of clinical coding and payments through student doctor–coder collaboration in a tertiary haematology department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1b2b7b8b-f41c-4679-adc9-81147a21ec58

Hospitals within the UK are paid for services provided by ‘Payment-by-Results’. In a system that rewards productivity, effective collaboration between coders and clinicians is crucial. However, clinical coding is frequently error prone and has been shown to impact negatively on departmental revenue. Our aim was to increase the median number of diagnostic codes per sickle cell inpatient admission at Guy’s Hospital by 3. Three interventions were implemented using the Plan, Do, Study, Act structure. This consisted of student doctors searching for diagnoses along with comorbidities that clinical coders had missed, distributing laminated cards with common clinical codes and implementing discharge pro formas. Through auditing, student doctors generated a total of £58 813 over 16 weeks. We observed an increase in the median number of codes by ≥2 additional codes. We improved coding accuracy where we identified errors in an average of 32.5% of admissions each month, improving the quality of patient documentation. We have demonstrated student doctor involvement in clinical coding as a potentially sustainable means of achieving accurate payment for services provided; increasing departmental revenue. We are the first to report the efficacy of student–coder collaboration in improving the accuracy of clinical coding.

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<![CDATA[Closing the gap: actualising shared decision-making through effective medication abortion patient follow-up care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca9ef102-0877-4c6e-8d51-61615b53ebd3

Background

Effective care dearth in USA healthcare systems can be augmented by patient engagement and shared decision-making (SDM). These effective care strategies can facilitate medical abortion follow-up care (ensuring patients are not experiencing a continuing pregnancy) and follow-up options access.

Local problem

The quality improvement project clinic had a state-mandated waiting period, requiring additional visits. This delayed care for all abortion patients, creating travel, and cost barriers. The clinic had some of the lowest medical abortion follow-up rates out of its entire national network.

Methods

Four ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ (PDSA) cycles built on clinical changes, implementing an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality serum human chorionic gonadotropin guideline. Medical abortion patient cohort size doubled during each PDSA cycle.

Interventions

Through four interventions (team engagement, patient engagement, Beta follow-up and contraception SDM), standardised follow-up care was integrated into clinic workflow with contraception SDM tools and an Option Grid.

Results

Most intervention measures were successful, with staff offering follow-up options counselling to all medical abortion patients by the end of the project. The Beta follow-up rate (84%) was higher than the overall follow-up rate (52%–73%), but the goal of a 92% overall follow-up rate was not met. Contraception SDM streamlined counselling but long-acting reversible contraception insertion rates did not increase.

Conclusions

Effective care enabled the majority of medical abortion patients to choose Beta follow-up as their preferred follow-up method, especially those with a travel barrier. Beta follow-up gives assurance to close the follow-up gap over time.

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<![CDATA[Patient Engagement and Patient Safety: Are We Missing the Patient in the Center?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne3609446-abd4-4000-9052-7ea5043072c4

The global healthcare delivery paradigm shift calls for enhanced strategies to engage patients in delivering safer and high-quality healthcare. There still exists a gap area in a globally accepted measure for the person-centered care. Recent tri-institutional global quality reports from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAESM), World Bank Group, and Lancet Global Health Commission attempted to report the patient engagement measures used globally. We aim to understand the variation in these globally reported patient-centered care measures and highlight the recent proactive strategies to enhance patient engagement to improve patient safety.

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<![CDATA[Global Trends and Forecast of the Burden of Adverse Effects of Medical Treatment: Epidemiological Analysis Based on the Global Burden of Disease Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N07449161-3236-454a-80ff-30548dc37f38

Aim

To quantify and update the years of life lost (YLL), years lived with disability (YLD) and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) due to the adverse effects of medical treatment (AEMT) between 1990 and 2017.

Subject and methods

We analyzed the latest dataset from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 study. We described the burden of AEMT based on the number of DALY. We additionally evaluated the global age and sex-specific DALY and compared the age-standardized rates of DALY across the World Health Organization (WHO) regions from 1990 to 2017.

Results

Worldwide, the total DALYs due to AEMT were 84.93 [95% uncertainty interval (UI), 62.52 to 102.21] in 1990 and 62.79 (52.09 to 75.45) in 2017 per 100,000 population. The global percentage of change in DALY showed a negative trend of −26.06 % (−41.52 to −10.59) across all WHO regions between 1990 and 2017. The YLD has increased during the period from 1997 to 2017 by 29.47% (17.87 to 41.06). In 2017, men were affected more than women with a DALY of 66.78 in comparison to 58.91 DALY in women. DALY rates per 100,000 were highest across all the WHO regions in the first years of life. The predicted DALY rates were 59.92 (57.52 to 62.32) in the year 2020, 50.36 (32.03 to 68.70) in 2030, and 40.8 (−1.33 to 82.93) in 2040.

Conclusion

Using the GBD 2017 study data, we found a decrease in the DALY rate due to AEMT between 1990 and 2017 with a varying range of DALY between different WHO regions. DALY also differed by age and sex. The forecasting analyses showed a decrease in DALY due to AEMTs with a significant drop in the European region when compared to the African and American regions. However, the increasing trend for YLD signifies an increasing burden of people living with poor health due to AEMT. Our study proposes to identify disability due to AEMT as a significant public health crisis and calls for policymakers to create a robust revised policy.

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<![CDATA[Global Incidence and Mortality Trends due to Adverse Effects of Medical Treatment, 1990–2017: A Systematic Analysis from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndf7599f1-3475-4c0a-be3b-71d00c40e2a6

Aim

To quantify the global incidence and mortality of adverse effects of medical treatment (AEMT) and forecast the possible emerging trends of AEMT.

Materials and methods

We analyzed the latest data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 study. We describe the burden of AEMT based on age- and region-specific incidence and mortality rates between 1990 and 2017. Additionally, we evaluated the change of burden due to AEMT by different periods between 1990 and 2017, and compared the age-standardized incidence and mortality rates among different World Health Organization (WHO) regions.

Results

Globally, AEMT incidence rates varied across WHO regions and countries. The estimated age-standardized average incidence rates of AEMT were 309 [95% uncertainty interval (UI), 270 to 351], 340 (298 to 384), 401 (348 to 458), and 439 (376 to 505) per 100,000 population across the world in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2017, respectively, showing an increasing trend in the new occurrence of adverse events. The incidence rate among women (469/100,000) was higher compared to men (409/100,000) in 2017. Between 1990 and 2017, we observed an upward trend in the incidence rates of AEMT across global regions, with a substantial increase in the incidence by 42% (27 to 57) between the years 1990 and 2017, translated to an annualized rate of incline of 1.5%. In the age group of 60-64 years, the incidence rates increased by 96% in 2017 compared to 1990. The global incidence rate due to AEMT is forecasted to increase to 446.94 (433.65 to 460.22) by 2020, 478.49 (376.88 to 580.09) in 2030, and to reach 510.03 (276.58 to 743.49) per 100,000 by 2040. We observed a decline in mortality rates due to AEMT across global regions, and the annualized rate of mortality change was -0.90 percentage points between 1990 and 2017. Overall, the AEMT mortality rate was higher in men (1.73/100,000) than in women (1.48/100,000), and age-specific mortality rates showed a bimodal increase between the age group of birth to one year, and an increase in the age group of 65 years and above. The global mortality rate due to AEMT is expected to be 1.55 (1.48 to 1.61) in 2020, 1.37 (0.88 to 1.86 ) in 2030 and 1.2 deaths per 100,000 (0.08 to 2.32) by 2040.

Conclusion

Using the GBD 2017 study data, we found an increase in the incidence of AEMT, and an overall decrease in the mortality rate between 1990 and 2017, with varying estimates between different countries and regions, gender and age groups. The forecast analysis displayed the same trends - an increase in AEMT incidence and a decline in mortality between 2020 and 2040. The high burden of AEMT warrants the implementation of robust policies in the healthcare system including appropriate patient safety training for the healthcare professionals, and safe culture of feedback with the implementation of electronic medical records to achieve WHO patient safety strategy goals.

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<![CDATA[Enhancing teamwork communication and patient safety responsiveness in a paediatric intensive care unit using the daily safety huddle tool]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9b7211f9-621a-4f80-9f7b-bd270da5530c

Background

Open communication between leadership and frontline staff at the unit level is vital in promoting safe hospital culture. Our hospital staff culture survey identified the failure to address safety issues as one of the areas where staff felt unable to express their concerns openly. Thus, this improvement project using the daily safety huddle tool has been developed to enhance teamwork communication and respond effectively to patient safety issues identified in a paediatric intensive care unit.

Methods

We used the TeamSTEPPS quality approach. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools developed by the US Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality to enhance teamwork and communication. We applied TeamSTEPPS using a tool called the Daily Safety Huddle, aiming at improving communication and interaction between healthcare workers and building trust by acting immediately when there is any patient safety issue or concern at the unit level.

Results

During the period from April to December 2017, the interaction between frontline staff and unit leadership increased through compliance with the daily safety huddle. Initially, compliance was at 73%, but it increased to 97%, with a total of 340 safety issues addressed. The majority of these safety issues pertained to infection control and medication errors (109; 32.05%), followed by communication (83; 24.41%), documentation (59; 17.35%), other issues (37; 10.88%), procedure (20; 5.88%), patient flow (16; 4.7%) and equipment and supplies (16; 4.7%).

Conclusions

Systematic use of daily safety huddle is a powerful tool to create an equitable environment where frontline staff can speak up freely about daily patient safety concerns. The huddle leads to a more open and active discussion with unit leadership and to the ability to perform the right action at the right time.

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<![CDATA[Obstetric care navigation: results of a quality improvement project to provide accompaniment to women for facility-based maternity care in rural Guatemala]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1dcd9836-aa2d-470e-8ffd-f0abe7b19685

Background

Many maternal and perinatal deaths in low-resource settings are preventable. Inadequate access to timely, quality care in maternity facilities drives poor outcomes, especially where women deliver at home with traditional birth attendants (TBA). Yet few solutions exist to support TBA-initiated referrals or address reasons patients frequently refuse facility care, such as disrespectful and abusive treatment. We hypothesised that deploying accompaniers—obstetric care navigators (OCN)—trained to provide integrated patient support would facilitate referrals from TBAs to public hospitals.

Methods

This project built on an existing collaboration with 41 TBAs who serve indigenous Maya villages in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, which provided baseline data for comparison. When TBAs detected pregnancy complications, families were offered OCN referral support. Implementation was guided by bimonthly meetings of the interdisciplinary quality improvement team where the OCN role was iteratively tailored. The primary process outcomes were referral volume, proportion of births receiving facility referral, and referral success rate, which were analysed using statistical process control methods.

Results

Over the 12-month pilot, TBAs attended 847 births. The median referral volume rose from 14 to 27.5, meeting criteria for special cause variation, without a decline in success rate. The proportion of births receiving facility-level care increased from 24±6% to 62±20% after OCN implementation. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and prolonged labour were the most common referral indications. The OCN role evolved to include a number of tasks, such as expediting emergency transportation and providing doula-like labour support.

Conclusions

OCN accompaniment increased the proportion of births under TBA care that received facility-level obstetric care. Results from this of obstetric care navigation suggest it is a feasible, patient-centred intervention to improve maternity care.

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<![CDATA[Quality improvement programme reduces errors in oral medication preparation and administration through feeding tubes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne7369ba8-3790-4862-bffb-022ca63a71d4

Background

Patients with nasogastric/nasoenteric tube (NGT/NET) are at increased risk of adverse outcomes due to errors occurring during oral medication preparation and administration.

Aim

To implement a quality improvement programme to reduce the proportion of errors in oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET in adult patients.

Methods

An observational study was carried out, comparing outcome measures before and after implementation of the integrated quality programme to improve oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET. A collaborative approach based on Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle was used and feedback was given during multidisciplinary meetings.

Interventions

Good practice guidance for oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET was developed and implemented at the hospital sites; nurses were given formal training to use the good practice guidance; a printed list of oral medications that should never be crushed was provided to all members of the multidisciplinary team, and a printed table containing therapeutic alternatives for drugs that should never be crushed was provided to prescribers at the prescribing room.

Results

Improvement was observed in the following measures: crushing enteric-coated tablets and mixing drugs during medication preparation (from 54.9% in phase I to 26.2% in phase II; p 0.0010) and triturating pharmaceutical form of modified action or dragee (from 32.8 in phase I to 19.7 in phase II; p 0.0010). Worsening was observed though in the following measures: crush compressed to a fine and homogeneous powder (from 7.4%% in phase I to 95% phase II; p 0.0010) and feeding tube obstruction (from 41.8% in phase I to 52.5% phase II; p 0.0950).

Conclusion

Our results highlight how a collaborative quality improvement approach based on PDSA cycles can meet the challenge of reducing the proportion of errors in oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET in adult patients. Some changes may lead to unintended consequences though. Thus, continuous monitoring for these consequences will help caregivers to prevent poor patient outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Critical Communication: A Cross-sectional Study of Signout at the Prehospital and Hospital Interface]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N60bbaa2b-c421-4d41-b73a-3262e13a2c9b

Introduction

Miscommunication during patient handoff contributes to an estimated 80% of serious medical errors and, consequently, plays a key role in the estimated five million excess deaths annually from poor quality of care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess signout communication during patient handoffs between prehospital personnel and hospital staff.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study, with a convenience sample of 931 interfacility transfers for pregnant women across four states from November 7 to December 13, 2016. A complete signout, as defined for this study, contains all necessary signout elements for patient care exchanged verbally or in written form between an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a physician or nurse.

Results

Enrollment of 786 cases from 931 interfacility transfers resulted in 1572 opportunities for signout. EMTs and a physician or nurse signed out in 1549 cases (98.5%). Signout contained all elements in 135 cases (8.6%). The mean percentage of signout elements included was 45.2% (95% CI, 43.9-46.6). Physician involvement was correlated with a higher mean percent (63.4% [95% CI, 62-64.8]) compared to nurse involvement (23.6% [95% CI, 22.5-24.8]). With respect to the frequency of signout communication, 63.1% of EMTs reported often or always giving signout, and 60.5% reported often or always giving signout; they reported feeling moderately to very comfortable with signout (73.7%) and 34.1% requested further training.

Conclusions

Physicians, nurses, and the EMTs conducted signout 99% of the time but often fell short of including all elements required for optimal patient care. Interventions aimed at improving the quality of patient care must include strengthening signout communication.

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