In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), quality indicators (QIs) are tools used to measure process of care. This study aimed to assess performance of selected QIs from the 2004 Arthritis Foundation's QI Set at 2 major sites of a university network of teaching hospitals.
The charts and electronic hospital records of 76 RA patients were audited to determine adherence to QIs. Logistic multivariate regression analyses were performed to investigate potential determinants of nonadherence and propose measures to facilitate better QI compliance, as a potential strategy towards RA care improvement.
We identified consistent observance of QIs mandating prescription of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy for all patients, drug adjustment with disease activity, prednisone tapering, and bisphosphonate therapy if indicated for patients on glucocorticoids. However, there was either lack of documentation or true inconsistent adherence to QIs dealing with radiograph performance, functional capacity assessment, and screening for hepatitis and tuberculosis before commencement of methotrexate and biologic agents, respectively. For the specific QIs analyzed, we did not find any definite independent associations with the studied variables.
Our findings indicate that while there is frequent evidence for adherence to certain RA quality care standards at our centers, there is less compliance to others. Strategies to optimize the performance or documentation of those found most lacking, namely, functional capacity and screening for specific drug contraindications, could improve patient care. Radiographic disease monitoring, while lacking, may represent a move toward other more sensitive methods of RA progression detection, such as joint ultrasound. The inclusion of patient- and physician-derived information could help elucidate the reasons underlying nonadherence.
To assess whether timing of initial post-diagnosis cancer care differs between American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) and non-Hispanic White (NHW) patients, we accessed SEER-Medicare data for breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers (2001-2007). Medicare claims data were examined for initiation of cancer-directed treatment. Overall, AI/ANs experienced longer median times to starting treatment than NHWs (45 and 39 days, p < .001) and lower rates of treatment initiation (HR[95%CI]: 0.86[0.79-0.93]). Differences were largest for prostate (HR: 0.80[0.71-0.89]) and smallest for breast cancer (HR: 0.96[0.83-1.11]). American Indians / Alaska Natives also had elevated odds of greater than 10 weeks between diagnosis and treatment compared with NHWs (OR[95% CI]: 1.37[1.16-1.63]), especially for prostate cancer (OR: 1.41[1.14-1.76]). Adjustment for comorbidity and socio-demographic factors attenuated associations except for prostate cancer. In this insured population, we observed evidence that AI/ANs start cancer therapy later than NHWs. The modest magnitude of delays suggests that they are unlikely to be a determinant of survival disparities.
DaPeCa-2: Implementation of fast-track clinical pathways for penile cancer shortens waiting time and accelerates the diagnostic process--A comparative before-and-after study in a tertiary referral centre in Denmark.
The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and impact of a fast-track referral pathway on clinical time intervals in penile cancer.
This observational study from a tertiary referral centre included 263 patients diagnosed before and after the introduction of an intervention to reduce clinical time intervals, the Cancer Patient Pathway (CPP). The CPP included fast-track referral and set time-frames for units participating in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and was introduced for penile cancer in Denmark on 1 January 2009. Median time intervals (in calendar days) with interquartile range were the main outcome measure.
A trend towards reduction was observed in all clinical time intervals, with a statistically significant reduction in the system interval (p = 0.01) and tertiary centre interval (p
Providing patient care and medical education are both important missions of teaching hospital emergency departments (EDs). With medical school enrollment rising, and ED crowding becoming an increasing prevalent issue, it is important for both pediatric EDs (PEDs) and general EDs to find a balance between these two potentially competing goals.
The objective was to determine how the number of trainees in a PED affects patient wait time, total ED length of stay (LOS), and rates of patients leaving without being seen (LWBS) for PED patients overall and stratified by acuity level as defined by the Pediatric Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) using discrete event simulation (DES) modeling.
A DES model of an urban tertiary care PED, which receives approximately 40,000 visits annually, was created and validated. Thirteen different trainee schedules, which ranged from averaging zero to six trainees per shift, were input into the DES model and the outcome measures were determined using the combined output of five model iterations.
An increase in LOS of approximately 7 minutes was noted to be associated with each additional trainee per attending emergency physician working in the PED. The relationship between the number of trainees and wait time varied with patients' level of acuity and with the degree of PED utilization. Patient wait time decreased as the number of trainees increased for low-acuity visits and when the PED was not operating at full capacity. With rising numbers of trainees, the PED LWBS rate decreased in the whole department and in the CTAS 4 and 5 patient groups, but it rose in patients triaged CTAS 3 or higher. A rising numbers of trainees was not associated with any change to flow outcomes for CTAS 1 patients.
The results of this study demonstrate that trainees in PEDs have an impact mainly on patient LOS and that the effect on wait time differs between patients presenting with varying degrees of acuity. These findings will assist PEDs in finding a balance between providing high-quality medical education and timely patient care.
The duration of untreated psychosis is determined by both patient and service related factors. Few studies have considered the geographical accessibility of services in relation to treatment delay in early psychosis. To address this, we investigated whether treatment delay is co-determined by straight-line distance to hospital based specialist services in a mainly rural mental health context.
A naturalistic cross-sectional study was conducted among a sample of recent onset psychosis patients in northern Norway (n = 62). Data on patient and service related determinants were analysed.
Half of the cohort had a treatment delay longer than 4.5 months. In a binary logistic regression model, straight-line distance was found to make an independent contribution to delay in which we controlled for other known risk factors.
The determinants of treatment delay are complex. This study adds to previous studies on treatment delay by showing that the spatial location of services also makes an independent contribution. In addition, it may be that insidious onset is a more important factor in treatment delay in remote areas, as the logistical implications of specialist referral are much greater than for urban dwellers. The threshold for making a diagnosis in a remote location may therefore be higher. Strategies to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis in rural areas would benefit from improving appropriate referral by crisis services, and the detection of insidious onset of psychosis in community based specialist services.
Cites: Nord J Psychiatry. 2003;57(4):253-6112888399
The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between "waiting time to onset of municipal rehabilitation", "length of municipal rehabilitation" and the attained level of function four months after the hip fracture.
Among a consecutive series of 156 patients, the 116 patients who were recommended a municipal rehabilitation sequence after discharge were included. The expos-ures were waiting time in days and duration in hours of the municipal rehabilitation. The outcome was lower-extremity functional level as measured with the Short Physical Per-form-ance Battery. Effects were assessed with non-parametric gamma coefficients.
The median waiting time to initiation of rehabilitation was ten days. A weak and insignificant correlation was observed between waiting time and outcome at four months, and a statistically significant correlation was recorded between duration of municipal rehabilitation and outcome, also at four months. No marked differences in these results were found when subgrouped by pre-fracture level of function as assessed with the Barthel-20 index.
Waiting times from hospital discharge to initiation of municipal rehabilitation seems not to correlate with functional level four months after the hip fracture. In contrast, the amount of municipal rehabilitation time does correlate with a better functional level four months after the hip fracture. Furthermore, large-sample studies are warranted to clarify this relationship.
The objectives were to describe times to diagnosis and initiation of treatment in pediatric ALL in Ontario from 1997 to 2007, and to measure their impact on OS and EFS. In 1000 children, the median times to diagnosis and treatment were both 1 day (IQR = 1-2). Those who began treatment >3 days after diagnosis had inferior OS (AHR = 2.49; 95% CI = 1.40-4.43; p = 0.002), and inferior EFS (AHR = 1.73; 95% CI = 1.01-2.96; p = 0.047) compared to those who began treatment = 3 days after diagnosis. There was no statistically significant relationship between time to diagnosis and survival. Longer time to treatment was associated with worse survival in pediatric ALL; reasons for this relationship may be multi-factorial.
Specialized early intervention services for first-episode psychosis should treat a proportion of patients without using inpatient beds. This study compared such service users by their initial mode of treatment before entry-inpatient (N=157) or outpatient (N=102).
On entry to a Montreal early intervention service, the groups were compared on baseline clinical and functional variables and on hospitalizations during two years of treatment.
Initial presentation at an emergency service, shorter duration of untreated psychosis, lower functioning level, and aggressive and bizarre behavior were associated with the inpatient entry mode to early intervention services. During follow-up, individuals entering as inpatients spent more days hospitalized than those entering as outpatients, and their time to rehospitalization was shorter.
Results suggest that entry into early intervention services via the hospital emergency department and presentation with behavioral and functional disturbances were more predictive than core psychotic symptoms of hospital inpatient status on referral to an early intervention service.
In 2015, the Swedish government initiated a national cancer reform program to standardize cancer care pathways. Primary aims included shortened waiting times among patients with suspected cancer, increased patient satisfaction and reduced regional variation. The implementation phase of the program is now more than half way through and both achievements and challenges have been identified. The ongoing evaluation demonstrates that professional engagement and adjustments on the meso- and micro-level of the system are essential to achieving sustainable improvements. Waiting times have shortened for the pathways launched first, and patients are satisfied with a more transparent process. Physicians in primary care are satisfied to inform patients about the pathways but point out problems with comorbidity and complicated diagnostic procedures related to unspecific symptoms. Mechanisms and ethical considerations behind possible crowding-out effects need to be thoroughly highlighted and discussed with staff and management. The results so far appear promising but meso- and micro-levels of the system need to be more involved in the design processes.
Higher risks of adverse outcomes have been reported for patients admitted acutely during off-hours. However, in relation to hip fracture, the evidence is inconsistent. We examined whether time of admission influenced compliance with performance measures, surgical delay and 30-day mortality in patients with hip fracture.
Data from The Danish Multidisciplinary Hip Fracture Registry linked with data from Danish National Registries.
Danish patients undergoing hip fracture surgery, aged >65 years, admitted 1 March 2010 to 30 November 2013 (N = 25 305).
Off-hours: weekday evenings and nights, and weekends.
Meeting specific performance measures, surgical delay and mortality.
No differences were found in patient characteristics or in meeting performance measures (RRs from 0.99 [95% CI: 0.98-1.01] to 1.01 [95% CI: 0.99-1.02]. When comparing admission on weekdays (evenings and nights vs. days), off-hours admission was associated with a lower risk of surgical delay (adjusted OR 0.75 [95% CI: 0.66-0.85]) while no differences in 30-day mortality was found (adjusted OR 0.91 [95% CI: 0.80-1.04]. When comparing admission during weekends with admission during weekdays, off-hours admission was associated with a higher risk of surgical delay (adjusted OR 1.19 [95% CI: 1.05-1.37]) and a higher 30-day mortality risk (adjusted OR 1.13 [95% CI: 1.04-1.23]. The risk of surgical delay appeared not to explain the excess 30-day mortality.
Patients admitted off-hours and on-hours received similar quality of care. The risk of surgical delay and 30 days mortality was higher among patients admitted during weekends; explanations need to be clarified.