University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland; the Northern Navajo Medical Center, Shiprock, New Mexico; the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, The Dalles, Oregon; the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas; the Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska; the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi; the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon; and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC.
Since 1970, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Women's Health has partnered with the Indian Health Service and health care facilities serving Native American women to improve quality of care in both rural and urban settings. Needs assessments have included formal surveys, expert panels, consensus conferences, and onsite program reviews. Improved care has been achieved through continuing professional education, recruitment of volunteer obstetrician-gynecologists, advocacy, and close collaboration at the local and national levels. The inclusive and multifaceted approach of this program should provide an effective model for collaborations between specialty societies and health care professionals providing primary care services that can reduce health disparities in underserved populations.
OBJECTIVE: Mesorectal excision is successfully implemented as the standard surgical technique for rectal cancer resections in Norway. This technique has been associated with higher rates of anastomotic leakage (AL) and the purpose of this study was to examine AL in a large national cohort of patients. METHODS: This was a prospective national cohort study of 1958 patients undergoing rectal cancer surgery with anterior resection in Norway from November 1993 to December 1999. RESULTS: The overall rate of AL was 11.6% (228 of 1958 patients). In a multivariate analysis, the risk of AL was significantly higher in males (odds ratio (OR) 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-2.2), in patients receiving pre-operative radiotherapy (OR 2.2, CI 1.0-4.7) and in low level (4-6 cm) (OR 3.5, CI 1.6-7.7) and ultra-low level (
At Rana sykehus there are neither obstetricians nor pediatricians. The obstetric ward is run by the surgeons. Pregnant women suspected of being at increased risks are transferred to Nordland Sentralsykehus before the expected delivery. The following data were obtained by analyzing 1,009 deliveries. 19.2% of all the deliveries needed emergency assistance by a doctor. Emergency cesarean section was performed in 6.2% of the cases, and vacuum extraction was needed in 3.2%. Elective cesarean section was done in 4.9% of all births. Emergency and elective cesarean section together made up 11.1% of the 1009 deliveries. The cesarean section rates were lower than the average number in Nordland and in the country as a whole. The perinatal death rate was lower than the average rate for the rest of the country (0.49% versus 0.8%). Infants with potential dangerous conditions were transferred for pediatric care at Nordland Sentralsykehus (3.96%). Our conclusion is that general surgeons can be responsible for an obstetric ward, when it is done voluntary, and it is approved by a responsible obstetrician. In our area there is a need for an obstetric ward, and the surgeons here have built a certain expertise in obstetrics. In difficult cases, however, the surgeons always consult the obstetricians and pediatricians at Nordland Sentralsykehus for evaluation of the patients.
In Norway, as in other countries, questions regarding medical leadership in hospital departments are much discussed. The purpose of this study was to determine how much time medical heads of hospital departments spend on various leadership tasks.
Information was collected by a questionnaire survey in 1996.
567 out of 657 (86%) completed the questionnaire. 71% shared the departmental leadership with a nurse, and 48% of these were content with such co-leadership. Nearly all the respondents were clinically active. 49% of heads of large departments used more than half their working hours on administration, compared with 7% of heads of small departments.
Selection criteria for heads of hospital departments should be adjusted to the work they actually do. Clinical competence is of importance for all heads of clinical departments; the importance of administrative competence varies with the size of the department.
BACKGROUND: Inadvertent perforation of the bowel or tumour is a relatively common complication during resection of rectal cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine intraoperative perforation following the introduction of mesorectal excision as a standard surgical technique in Norway. METHODS: This was a prospective national cohort study of 2873 patients undergoing major resection of rectal carcinoma at 54 Norwegian hospitals from November 1993 to December 1999. RESULTS: The overall perforation rate was 8.1 per cent (234 of 2873 patients). In a multivariate analysis, the risk of perforation was significantly greater in patients undergoing abdominoperineal resection (odds ratio (OR) 5.6 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 3.5 to 8.8)) and in those aged 80 years or more (OR 2.0 (95 per cent c.i. 1.2 to 3.5)). The 5-year local recurrence rate was 28.8 per cent following perforation, compared with 9.9 per cent in patients with no perforation (P
Norwegian hospitals and their leaders are required by law to engage in quality assurance. We wanted to study to what extent the heads of hospital departments were actually engaged in such activities.
Data were collected by questionnaires sent to heads of hospital departments in Norway (n = 657), of whom 567 (86%) responded.
Only 23% of those interviewed prior to their appointment had been asked about experience in quality assurance, less than 30% had written instructions for their work, and only about 40% received regular follow-up from the hospital administration. The majority registered complaints and mistakes, and was engaged in teaching quality assurance. 58% of the heads of small departments and 73% of those of large departments reported that quality in general suffered because of the demands for higher clinical productivity.
Most heads of hospital departments in Norway are engaged in quality assurance work, but the study indicates that hospital administration attaches little importance to this type of work.
AIMS: Most reports on locally advanced rectal cancer come from specialized centres, with a selected patient material. The purpose of this study was to examine the results after surgical treatment of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer at a population level. METHODS: National cohort study of 896 patients undergoing surgery for a locally advanced primary adenocarcinoma of the rectum from November 1993 to December 2001. RESULTS: Surgery with resection was undertaken in 724 patients and 172 patients underwent palliative procedures. Of 557 patients treated for cure, a R0 resection was achieved in 342 (61%). In a multivariate analysis, pre-operative radiotherapy was the only factor with a positive association with R0 status (odds ratio 3.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-6.4). Five-year local recurrence rates were 18% (CI 14-23) for R0 resections and 40% (CI 26-52) for R1 resections. Overall 5-year survival rate was 23%; for the group of patients with a R0 resection the survival rate was 49%. CONCLUSION: The radical resection rate and survival rates in this national study were similar to those reported from specialized centres.