To determine whether birth and care in the highest-level hospitals (level III) compared with birth in or postnatal transfer to lower-level hospitals (level II) are associated with 5-year morbidity in very preterm children.
A cohort study.
All surviving 5-year-old children born very preterm (gestational age
The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC) reports 30-day survival as a quality indicator for Norwegian hospitals. The indicators have been published annually since 2011 on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (www.helsenorge.no), as part of the Norwegian Quality Indicator System authorized by the Ministry of Health. Openness regarding calculation of quality indicators is important, as it provides the opportunity to critically review and discuss the method. The purpose of this article is to describe the data collection, data pre-processing, and data analyses, as carried out by NOKC, for the calculation of 30-day risk-adjusted survival probability as a quality indicator.
Three diagnosis-specific 30-day survival indicators (first time acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke and hip fracture) are estimated based on all-cause deaths, occurring in-hospital or out-of-hospital, within 30 days counting from the first day of hospitalization. Furthermore, a hospital-wide (i.e. overall) 30-day survival indicator is calculated. Patient administrative data from all Norwegian hospitals and information from the Norwegian Population Register are retrieved annually, and linked to datasets for previous years. The outcome (alive/death within 30 days) is attributed to every hospital by the fraction of time spent in each hospital. A logistic regression followed by a hierarchical Bayesian analysis is used for the estimation of risk-adjusted survival probabilities. A multiple testing procedure with a false discovery rate of 5% is used to identify hospitals, hospital trusts and regional health authorities with significantly higher/lower survival than the reference. In addition, estimated risk-adjusted survival probabilities are published per hospital, hospital trust and regional health authority. The variation in risk-adjusted survival probabilities across hospitals for AMI shows a decreasing trend over time: estimated survival probabilities for AMI in 2011 varied from 80.6% (in the hospital with lowest estimated survival) to 91.7% (in the hospital with highest estimated survival), whereas it ranged from 83.8% to 91.2% in 2013.
Since 2011, several hospitals and hospital trusts have initiated quality improvement projects, and some of the hospitals have improved the survival over these years. Public reporting of survival/mortality indicators are increasingly being used as quality measures of health care systems. Openness regarding the methods used to calculate the indicators are important, as it provides the opportunity of critically reviewing and discussing the methods in the literature. In this way, the methods employed for establishing the indicators may be improved.
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This prospective dynamic-population-based study investigated factors involved in the accident process preceding overexertion back injuries among nursing personnel.
The study covered all reported occupational overexertion back injuries due to accidents among of the approximately 24 500 nurses in the Stockholm County hospitals during 1 year. It was assumed that several factors interact in the accident process. Detailed information was obtained for each injury by interviews with the injured nurse and head nurse. Risks in the physical environment were identified using an ergonomic checklist.
During the study 136 overexertion back injuries were reported. Of the 130 nurses participating in the study, 125 had been injured in connection with patient work. Cluster analysis yielded 6 clusters and their pattern of contributing factors. The most frequent injury occurred during patient transfer in the bed or to or from the bed, without the use of transfer devices, when the patient suddenly lost his or her balance or resisted during the transfer and the nurse had to make a sudden movement. However, there were physical conditions, such as shortcomings in the physical work environment or a lack of a transfer device, that compelled the nurses to perform the tasks under unsafe conditions.
The clusters showed a complexity of different kinds of accidents and indicated that the measures for preventing accidents, or for blocking an accident process once started, have to be of different kinds and placed at several different levels in the organization of a workplace.
To use the philosophy and methodology of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in the investigation of unit to unit transfers to determine aspects which are working well and should be incorporated into standard practice.
Handoffs can result in threats to patient safety and an atmosphere of distrust and blaming among staff can be engendered. As the majority of handoffs go well, an alternative is to build on successful handoffs.
The AI methodology was used to discover what was currently working well in unit to unit transfers. The data from semi-structured interviews that were conducted with staff, patients, and family informed structural process improvements.
Themes extracted from the interviews focused on the situational variables necessary for the perfect transfer, the mode and content of transfer-related communication, and important factors in communication with the patient and family.
This project was successful in demonstrating the usefulness of AI as both a quality improvement methodology and a strategy to build trust among key stakeholders.
Giving staff members the opportunity to contribute positively to process improvements and share their ideas for innovation has the potential to highlight expertise and everyday accomplishments enhancing morale and reducing conflict.
To examine the characteristics of patients transferred from a rural hospital emergency department, to compare them with patients admitted on an emergency basis, and to use this information to help plan physician education.
Descriptive study using records for the period January 1, 1991, to June 30, 1992.
The emergency department at Bonnyville Health Centre, an acute care rural hospital located 240 km northeast of Edmonton, serving a catchment population of approximately 10,000.
One thousand fifty-five patients seen in the emergency department who were either transferred to another centre or admitted to the Bonnyville Health Centre on an emergency basis.
For the transferred group, main diagnosis, category of transfer, and reason for transfer. For the admitted group, main diagnosis, length of stay, type of discharge.
Of the 1055 patients ill enough to be either admitted or transferred, 114 (10.8%) were transferred. Those transferred were predominantly men, the elderly, and people with orthopedic injuries or neurologic diseases. Those admitted presented primarily with internal, respiratory, gynecologic, or pediatric disorders. Reason for transfer was mainly lack of specialized services or equipment at the rural hospital.
Patients transferred out of the emergency department differed from those admitted in diagnoses and sex. Most transfers were considered "mandatory." Results of this analysis supported incorporating a formal rotation in orthopedics and adding 4 weeks to the existing emergency medicine rotation in our family medicine residency program.
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The impact of delay in obtaining an intensive care unit (ICU) consult from inpatient wards is unclear. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of time to ICU consult from medical and surgical wards on mortality and length of stay (LOS).
This was a retrospective study of 241 adult medical and surgical inpatients admitted at 2 tertiary care ICUs in Canada between 2007 and 2009. Neither institution has medical emergency teams (METs). Patient demographics, time when the patient would have fulfilled MET calling criteria (MET time), time of ICU consult, and ICU admission were analyzed. The main outcome variables were 30-day mortality and ICU LOS.
Multivariate analysis demonstrated an increase in mortality (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.9; P = .01) with increased duration from MET time to ICU consult for medical patients. There was no effect of this period on ICU LOS in medical patients. In contrast, in surgical patients, the MET time to ICU consult duration was associated with an increased ICU LOS (coefficient, 2.1 for delay; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-3.8; P = .02) but had no effect on mortality.
Increased duration to ICU consult from MET time is associated with adverse outcomes. These adverse outcomes are different between medical and surgical patients.
Consolidation of neurosurgical (NS) services resulted in emergency medical services guidelines mandating transport of head-injured patients to the NS center if the Glasgow Coma Scale score is 3. This study determined what paramedic, system, or patient factors were associated with secondary head-injury transfer.
This study was a retrospective chart review from January 1996 to November 1998.
Ninety-one patient charts were reviewed. The median transport delay to the NS site was 4 hours 22 minutes. After transfer, 79 (96%) patients were admitted, 25 (30%) underwent craniotomy, and 18 (22%) died. The final diagnosis in 35 (43%) cases was subdural hematoma. Triage guidelines were violated in five patients (6%) and the NS center was on diversion in three (4%) cases. Most delays were related to patient presentations; 17 (21%) patients had no history of head trauma.
Unpredictable patient factors were the most frequent reasons patients required secondary transfer; few protocol violations or system factors were identified. No modifications to the current NS triage criteria are recommended.
In Ontario, Canada, hemodialysis services are organized in a "hub and spoke" model comprised of regional centers (hubs), satellites, and independent health facilities (IHFs; spokes). Rarely is a nephrologist on site when dialysis treatments take place at satellite units or IHFs. Situations occur that require transfer of the patient back ("fallbacks") to the regional center that necessitate either in- or outpatient care. Growth in the satellite dialysis population has led to an increased burden on the regional centers. This study was carried out to determine the incidence, nature, and outcome of such fallbacks to aid resource planning.
Data were collected on 565 patients from five regional centers over 1 yr. These regional centers controlled 19 satellite dialysis centers including 7 IHFs.
There were 681 fallbacks in 328 patients: 1.21 incidents per patient or 2.1 incidents per patient year. Multiple fallbacks occurred in 170 patients. Fallback episodes lasted a mean of 10.3 d, requiring 4.6 dialysis treatments. Forty-five percent of fallbacks required hospitalization with a mean stay of 16.7 d. Access-related problems (33%) and nondialysis medical causes (32%) were the major causes of fallback. Resolution of the problem occurred in 87.8%, with the patient returning to the satellite. By the end of the study 77.3% were still satellite patients, 10.8% died, 3.8% returned to the regional center, 3.4% were transplanted, and 4.7% were transferred to other treatment modalities.
Fallbacks are common, yet the model operates well.
Comment In: Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 Mar;4(3):523-419261831