A survey questionnaire was sent to all hospitals in Canada that had 100 or more acute care beds. Objectives were to determine the current level and extent of pharmacist monitoring and prescriber acceptance of recommendations with respect to patient drug therapy. Three levels of patient drug therapy monitoring were identified, as were two extended forms of service. The response rate was 52.0 percent (130/250). A majority (92.3 percent) of respondents monitor drug therapy from the pharmacy, and only 6.2 percent provide monitoring service on patient wards. Among the respondents, 75.4 percent reviewed all (more than 90 percent) medication orders before the drug was dispensed for the patients. Of the respondents, 32.3 percent provided pharmacokinetic monitoring and 29.9 percent provided proactive pharmacist interventions via rounding with physicians. Higher levels of monitoring were associated with higher levels of pharmacy staffing. The acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations by prescribers was more than 80 percent.
A study published in 2000 on the acute clinical management of mild traumatic brain injuries in Sweden showed that these patients were routinely admitted to hospital for observation. This study aims to compare current clinical management of mild traumatic brain injury with clinical practice a decade ago.
Questionnaire to senior residents in all emergency departments in Sweden and data from registers covering all in-hospital care in Sweden.
The response rate to the questionnaire was 100%. In Sweden, 71 emergency departments treat patients with mild traumatic brain injuries. An estimated mean of 58% of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries receive computerized tomography scanning, which represents a 3-fold increase compared with 2000. In 2010, Swedish hospitals admitted 8821 patients for mild traumatic brain injuries (94 per 100,000 inhabitants). This figure is approximately half that of 1996, when 16,877 patients were treated as inpatients for mild traumatic brain injuries (191 per 100,000 inhabitants). However, admission rates continue to vary widely among departments. The mean hospital stay 2010 was 1.21 days, compared with 1.6 days in 1996.
This study provides evidence of a change in clinical practice in the acute management of mild traumatic brain injuries in Sweden. Acute management is increasingly based on computed tomography, and in-hospital observation is used less frequently as a strategy for these patients.
In the Department of Histo- and Cytopathology, Herlev University Hospital, Copenhagen, a time study was performed according to the principles known from work sampling. From 22.11-12.12.1993 laboratory technicians, pathologists and secretaries were interviewed and an activity form was filled in. Six thousand nine hundred and fifty interviews were performed and the time study showed that for all groups of personnel 40% of the time was used on specimens sent for microscopy, 5% on autopsies (excl. microscopy), 15% on teaching and research, 20% on scientific meetings, reading and administration and 20% on other activities e.g. lunch, holiday, absence owing to illness. There was little variation for the different groups of personnel. On the other hand the time used on specific laboratory procedures, e.g. serial cutting, special-, and immunostaining, varied considerably for laboratory technicians, pathologists and secretaries respectively. Time studies, especially "work sampling" yield important information for the planning of laboratory services and provide documentation also for the time not directly related to routine work.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1997 Jun 9;159(24):3798-99214058
To investigate trends and geographic variation in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) hospitalization rates among children in Ontario from 1991 to 1999.
Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data were used to identify 15,872 diabetes-related hospital admissions in children younger than 19 years in Ontario from 1991 to 1999. Of these, 5,008 admissions were because of DKA and 10,864 admissions were because of conditions other than DKA (non-DKA). Small area variation analysis was used to compare areas with high versus low DKA admission rates.
There was a 19% relative decrease in the overall diabetes admission rate over the study period. Non-DKA admissions decreased by 29%, whereas DKA admissions remained stable. Total days of care decreased by 393 days per year for non-DKA admissions and by 99 days per year for DKA admissions. The average length of hospital stay decreased from 4.9 to 3.5 days for non-DKA admissions and from 4.5 to 3.2 days for DKA admissions. The fatality rate was 0.19% for non-DKA admissions and 0.18% for DKA admissions. Variation across geographic areas remained stable for DKA over the study period (Kendall's correlation coefficient 0.64, P = 0.017) with an average 3.7-fold difference between the lowest and highest regions.
Increased ambulatory care efforts for children with type 1 diabetes in Ontario have successfully reduced non-DKA admission rates. However, DKA admission rates have remained stable. Geographic variation for DKA admissions is low, but the observed 3.7-fold difference is clinically important for a preventable complication with a significant potential for long-term morbidity and mortality. Prevention strategies are needed, particularly in areas identified with the highest rates.
Crowded departments are a common problem in Danish hospitals, especially in departments of internal medicine, where a large proportion of the patients are elderly. We therefore chose to investigate the number and character of hospitalizations of elderly patients with a duration of less than 24 hours, as such short admissions could indicate that the patients had not been severely ill and that it might have been possible in these cases to avoid hospitalization.
Medical records were examined to determine the number of patients aged 75 or more who passed through the emergency department over a period of two months, and the proportion of those patients who were discharged after less than 24 hours. The reasons for the hospitalization, the diagnoses and the treatment given were noted.
There was a total of 595 hospitalizations of patients aged 75 or above in the emergency department during the period. Twenty-four percent of the older patients were discharged after less than 24 hours. Of these, 40% were discharged from the emergency department. The most common problems leading to hospitalization were change in contact or level of consciousness, focal neurological change, red, swollen or painful leg conditions, dyspnea, suspected parenchyma surgical disease and problems with the urinary system or catheters. The most common diagnoses given at hospital were chronic cardiovascular disease, bacterial infection, symptoms deriving from bone, muscle or connective tissue, liquid or electrolyte derangement and observation for suspected stroke or transient cerebral ischemia. Eight percent of the patients required telemetry, 27% received intravenous liquids, 30% had diagnostic radiology procedures performed and 3% needed invasive procedures. Other types of treatment given included electrocardiography, laboratory examinations, oxygen supplements, urinary catheterization and medicine administered orally, subcutaneously, as an intramuscular injection or as an inhalation.
There appears to be a group of patients who cannot be adequately handled with the resources of the primary health care sector, yet who do not belong at the emergency department. Further studies are needed to create a suitable service for these patients, and to improve the continuity of the treatment and the cooperation between hospitals and the primary health care sector.
To assess the effect of different hospital types or surgical volume on the survival of ovarian cancer patients, a nationwide and population-based analysis was carried out in Finland. The study included all 3,851 ovarian cancer patients operated from 1983-94. The patients were classified according to the hospital of the first surgery. The hospitals were categorized by type (university, central or other hospital) and, separately, into quartiles by the number of operated patients (surgical volume). The patients operated at university hospitals had better survival than those operated in central hospitals, the 5-year relative survival rates (RSR) being 45% (95% CI = 42-48%) and 37% (34-40%), respectively. RSR in the 'other hospital' category was 45% (42-48%). The RSR for the patients operated in the highest volume hospitals was 47% (43-50%), and by decreasing volume (quartile) the RSR was 40% (36-43%), 40% (36-43%) and 42% (38-45%), respectively. After controlling for potential confounding by stage and age using regression models, the results remained practically the same. The results indicate that further centralizing of operative treatment of ovarian cancer may still improve survival rates on a population level in Finland.