During a period of 20 years (1968-1988) all inpatients admitted for the first time to the adolescent psychiatric unit in Copenhagen (n = 841) were classified in accordance with social and psychiatric variables, to describe the clientele as a group and, furthermore, to investigate changes occurring during that period. The total clientele had a broad age range (12-21 years), with as many as 36% less than 15 years old. Eleven percent of the patients had attempted suicide before admission. Fifty-six percent of the total group were diagnosed as psychotic or as borderline cases. The patients came predominantly from lower social levels, and almost half the group had a child debut defined as symptoms that had resulted in referral for further investigation during childhood. Moreover, among the schizophrenic patients 35% had an early onset. The age of onset may have some clinical significance, as this item was related to several sociodemographic variables. Finally, an increase in the rate of psychoses and lower social class was recorded during the period.
To test whether academic centers (ACs) are more successful than nonacademic centers (NACs) in immunohistochemistry (IHC) external quality assessment challenges in the Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control (CIQC) program.
Results of 9 CIQC challenges for breast cancer marker (BM) and various non-breast cancer marker (NBM) tests were examined. Success rates were compared between AC/NAC laboratories and those located in small or large cities. Performance was also correlated with annual IHC case volumes.
There was no statistically significant difference in performance in any of the comparisons. However, overall performance on BM was significantly better (P
Access to palliative care (PC) is a major need worldwide. Using hospital charts of all patients who died over one year (April 2008-March 2009) in two mid-sized hospitals of a large Canadian city, similar in size and function and operated by the same administrative group, this study examined which patients who could benefit from PC services actually received these services and which ones did not, and compared their care characteristics. A significantly lower proportion (29%) of patients dying in hospital 2 (without a PC unit and reliant on a visiting PC team) was referred to PC services as compared to in hospital 1 (with a PC unit; 68%). This lower referral likelihood was found for all patient groups, even among cancer patients, and remained after controlling for patient mix. Referral was strongly associated with having cancer and younger age. Referral to PC thus seems to depend, at least in part, on the coincidence of being admitted to the right hospital. This finding suggests that establishing PC units or a team of committed PC providers in every hospital could increase referral rates and equity of access to PC services. The relatively lower access for older and non-cancer patients and technology use in hospital PC services require further attention.
This study evaluates whether training health care teams in continuous quality improvement methods results in improvements in the care of and outcomes for patients. Nine of the 25 teams who participated in the study were successful in improving the care/outcomes for patients. Successful teams were more effective at problem solving, engaged in more functional group interactions, and were more likely to have physician participation.
Priority setting in health care is a challenge because demand for services exceeds available resources. The increasing demand for less invasive surgical procedures by patients, health care institutions and industry, places added pressure on surgeons to acquire the appropriate skills to adopt innovative procedures. Such innovations are often initiated and introduced by surgeons in the hospital setting. Decision-making processes for the adoption of surgical innovations in hospitals have not been well studied and a standard process for their introduction does not exist. The purpose of this study is to describe and evaluate the decision-making process for the adoption of a new technology for repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (endovascular aneurysm repair [EVAR]) in an academic health sciences centre to better understand how decisions are made for the introduction of surgical innovations at the hospital level.
A qualitative case study of the decision to adopt EVAR was conducted using a modified thematic analysis of documents and semi-structured interviews. Accountability for Reasonableness was used as a conceptual framework for fairness in priority setting processes in health care organizations.
There were two key decisions regarding EVAR: the decision to adopt the new technology in the hospital and the decision to stop hospital funding. The decision to adopt EVAR was based on perceived improved patient outcomes, safety, and the surgeons' desire to innovate. This decision involved very few stakeholders. The decision to stop funding of EVAR involved all key players and was based on criteria apparent to all those involved, including cost, evidence and hospital priorities. Limited internal communications were made prior to adopting the technology. There was no formal means to appeal the decisions made.
The analysis yielded recommendations for improving future decisions about the adoption of surgical innovations. ese empirical findings will be used with other case studies to help develop guidelines to help decision-makers adopt surgical innovations in Canadian hospitals.
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To determine whether the provision of advanced life support (ALS) field care has any impact on patient outcome in the urban Canadian environment.
A convenience cohort study was conducted of all emergent ambulance transfers of adults to an urban Canadian hospital from May 22 to July 31, 1996. Data were collected from ambulance call reports regarding presenting complaint and field interventions applied, and from hospital records regarding time in the ED, hospital length of stay (LOS), and discharge disposition. Patient outcomes were compared within 7 presenting complaint groups (chest pain, altered level of consciousness, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, motor vehicle crash, falls, and other) by field care level: level 1--BLS (basic life support) vs levels 2 and 3--ALS.
The study population consisted of 1,397 patients. No significant differences were seen between BLS and ALS patients on baseline demographics. ED triage score did not depend on field care level for any group, implying that those in the ALS group were not inherently sicker. Outcome measures (ED LOS, admission rates, and hospital LOS) showed no significant differences between BLS and ALS for each presenting complaint group. Discharge dispositions were analyzed by chi2 but were not varied enough to allow reliable analysis. Observation of trends suggested no difference between BLS and ALS.
There was no beneficial impact on the measured patient outcomes found in association with the provision of ALS vs BLS field care in Metropolitan Toronto for patients who were brought to a nontrauma center.
Twenty Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses were conducted at the University of Manitoba between 1982 and 1987. There were 302 registrants, 95 of whom were from rural communities. Twelve registrants failed the course. The impact of the program was assessed by questionnaire (68.8% response overall). The response from department heads of surgery in urban hospitals was 87.5% and from surgeons in rural areas 50%. Fifty-eight percent of rural surgeons, 62.5% of urban surgeons and 75% of urban emergency-department directors claimed they could identify those who had attended an ATLS course by the increased confidence demonstrated and the use of more timely and appropriate consultation and treatment. Thirty percent of rural surgeons, 37% of urban surgeons and 42% of emergency-department directors claimed that mortality and morbidity were decreased when care was provided by ATLS-trained physicians. The remainder were undecided because of lack of information. Ninety-three percent of respondents indicated that the course increased their confidence, trauma capability and ability to communicate with consultant trauma surgeons. Fifty-two percent thought the course should be mandatory for all physicians, and 100% thought it should be mandatory for all emergency-department physicians. The data suggest that although most physicians treat fewer trauma patients 5 years after their ATLS training, the course is still highly recommended, and it has improved trauma care. Although the ATLS program was intended primarily for rural physicians, more urban-based physicians registered for it.