Data from electronic medical records can be used in describing clinical problems not covered by traditional clinical databases or traditional quality assurance systems. In this article three main barriers for the use of these data are identified: system knowledge, legislation and technical barriers. Legislative deregulation and implementation of strategic initiatives to further the use of the data is suggested.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 2013 Oct 21;175(43):254524629148
The nationwide Danish Hernia Database, recording more than 10,000 inguinal and 400 femoral hernia repairs annually, provides a unique opportunity to present valid recommendations in the management of Danish patients with groin hernia. The cumulated data have been discussed at biannual meetings and guidelines have been approved by the Danish Surgical Society. Diagnosis of groin hernia is based on clinical examination. Ultrasonography, CT or MRI are rarely needed, while herniography is not recommended. In patients with indicative symptoms of hernia, but no detectable hernia, diagnostic laparoscopy may be an option. Once diagnosed, hernia repair is recommended in the presence of symptoms affecting daily life. In male patients with minimal or absent symptoms watchful waiting is recommended. In females, however, repair is recommended also in asymptomatic patients. In male patients with primary unilateral or bilateral groin hernia the preferred method is mesh repair, either at open surgery (Lichtenstein) or laparoscopically, irrespective of age. Conventional tension-producing methods like Bassini, McVay or Shouldice are no longer recommended in a routine elective setting. Whether repair should be done by open or laparoscopic technique, depends on local expertise, economical considerations and patient preference. Compared to the Lichtenstein operation laparoscopic repair is associated with less acute pain and faster recovery. Furthermore, available data suggest less chronic long-term pain after laparoscopic repair. In female patients laparoscopic repair is the recommended method. In patients with recurrent hernia laparoscopic repair is preferred in patients with a previous open repair, while patients with recurrence after laparoscopic repair should undergo open mesh repair. In open repair it is recommended to use a mesh secured with a nonabsorbable monofilament suture. In laparoscopic repair a mesh without a slit and with a minimum size of 15 by 10 cm is used. For mesh fixation absorbable or nonabsorbable tacks or glue can be used. Elective surgery for groin hernia should be performed in an outpatient setting, using cost-effective local anaesthesia in open mesh repair and general anaesthesia for laparoscopic repair. Spinal anaesthesia is not recommended. Routine prophylactic antibiotics are not indicated. In the early convalescence period there are no physical restrictions. These guidelines will also be available at the website for the Danish Hernia Database (www.herniedatabasen.dk). The guidelines will be updated when new substantial evidence becomes available.
A systemically altered connective tissue metabolism has been demonstrated in patients with abdominal wall hernias. The most pronounced connective tissue changes are found in patients with direct or recurrent inguinal hernias as opposed to patients with indirect inguinal hernias. The aim of the present study was to assess whether direct or recurrent inguinal hernias are associated with an elevated rate of ventral hernia surgery.
In the nationwide Danish Hernia Database, a cohort of 92,457 patients operated on for inguinal hernias was recorded from January 1998 until June 2010. Eight-hundred forty-three (0.91 %) of these patients underwent a ventral hernia operation between January 2007 and June 2010. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to assess an association between inguinal and ventral hernia repair.
Direct (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.28 [95 % CI, 1.08-1.51]) and recurrent (OR = 1.76, [95 % CI, 1.39-2.23]) inguinal hernias were significantly associated with ventral hernia repair after adjustment for age, gender, and surgical approach (open or laparoscopic).
Patients with direct and recurrent inguinal herniation are more prone to ventral hernia repair than patients with indirect inguinal herniation. This is the first study to show that herniogenesis is associated with type of inguinal hernia.
Comment In: World J Surg. 2013 Feb;37(2):31223238798
Post-marketing surveillance of drugs relies on spontaneous reporting of adverse drug events to the Danish Health and Medicines Authority. A number of new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) have recently been marketed in Denmark. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reporting of serious adverse drug events in patients treated with a NOAC and admitted for gastrointestinal bleeding.
This study is based on an electronic free text search in patient records and a search in the electronic medication records of all patients admitted to the Department of Gastroenterology, Surgical Section, Hvidovre Hospital, during a one-year-period. Patients in treatment with NOAC and admitted for gastrointestinal bleeding were identified. Relevant patients were cross-checked for a reported adverse drug event in the Danish Health and Medi-cines Authority's database on adverse medical events.
A total of 20 patients were acutely admitted for gastrointestinal bleeding while in treatment with a NOAC, an adverse medical event was reported for one of these patients (5%; 95% confidence interval: 0-25%).
Serious adverse events in patients treated with NOAC are underreported which questions the current effectiveness of post-marketing surveillance of adverse drug effects.
The study was registered with clin-icaltrials.gov (NCT02107651).
In Denmark, the elderly population is growing. In the article, data from the Danish Healthcare Registry (2005-2012) was summarized for hospital admissions and outpatient contacts with surgery in patients above 75 years. Also, the number of surgical procedures and surgical-related costs in 2020 were estimated based on demographic data and the rates surgery in 2012. The number of surgical procedures and surgical-related hospital costs will increase by 27.8% from 2012 to 2020, corresponding to the increase in the number of elderly citizens. New strategies and further political prioritization is needed to meet the rising age-related challenges.
We undertook a register-based cohort study to evaluate exposure-response relations between cumulative occupational mechanical exposures, and risk of lateral and medial inguinal hernia repair.
Among all men born in Denmark between 1938 and 1988, we established a cohort comprising those aged 18-65 years of age, who had at least 1 year of full-time employment between 1993 and 2007. Using information from a Job Exposure Matrix based on expert judgement and year-by-year information on Danish International Standard Classification of Occupations codes for each individual since 1993, we established time-varying cumulative estimates of exposure to daily lifting activities and standing/walking. Cumulative exposures for lagged 5-year time windows were expressed in a way that corresponds to the pack-year concept of smoking (ton-years, frequent-heavy-lifting years, and standing-years). First-time inguinal hernia repairs in the period 1998-2008 were identified in the Danish Hernia Database. We used a logistic regression technique equivalent to survival analysis, adjusting for age, socioeconomic status, region of residence and calendar year.
Within the cohort of 1 545 987 men, we identified 22 926 lateral, 15 877 medial and 1592 pantaloon or unspecified first-time inguinal hernia repairs. The risk of lateral hernia repair increased with ton-years, frequent-heavy-lifting-years, and standing-years, with ORs of up to around 1.4. The exposures correlated, but standing-years remained as the most robust risk factor after adjustment for lifting exposures. In general, the risk of medial hernia repair was unrelated to the exposures.
Our findings suggest an increased risk of lateral inguinal hernia repair in relation to occupational mechanical exposures and a preventive potential of around 15% of all cases.
The purpose of the investigation was to examine the use of ambulatory surgery, anesthetic technique, reoperation rates, and reembursement fees after inguinal herniotomy in private outpatients clinics compared to herniotomy in hospital departments.
Information on number of operations performed, choice of anesthetic and surgical technique in private outpatients clinics and hospital departments was extracted from the Danish Hernia Data Base. Information on reembursement fees was obtained from the relevant health authorities and the Danish Medical Association.
7.4% of the inguinal herniotomies in Denmark were performed in private outpatients clinics. There was an extended use of local infiltration anesthesia (99%) and ambulatory procedures (99%) compared with 12% and 57% in the hospital departments. The reembursement fee for a herniotomy is approximately 3700 DKK in private outpatients clinics vs. 11,000 DKK in hospital departments.
The results of the study showed that the quality of inguinal herniotomy in private outpatients clinics is comparable to herniotomy in hospital departments, but the reembursement fees are lower in private outpatients clinics.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 2003 Jun 2;165(23):237112840992