Feb 272015
 
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Improving communication with primary care to ensure patient safety post-hospital discharge.

Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2015 Jan;76(1):46-9

Authors: Shivji FS, Ramoutar DN, Bailey C, Hunter JB

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Successful communication between hospitals and primary care is of paramount importance to enable continuity of care and maintain patient safety post-discharge. Discharge summaries are the simplest way for GPs to obtain information about a patient's hospital stay. A quality improvement study was conducted with the aim of increasing the content of discharge summaries for inpatients in the authors' department.
METHODS: A prospective review of 60 electronic discharge summaries was conducted over a 6-week period. The content of discharge summaries was reviewed in accordance with local trust guidelines. Targeted, intensive, cost and time-effective educational interventions were then conducted. A post-intervention review of 60 discharge summaries was performed. A further review of 60 discharge summaries was performed after 12 months.
RESULTS: Initial results pre-intervention confirmed suboptimal content of discharge summaries. Post-intervention results showed each component of discharge summaries improved in terms of content, with six of eight components having a statistically significant (P<0.05) increase. This was maintained after 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated how simple, intensive educational sessions can lead to an improvement in discharge summaries and communication with primary care.

PMID: 25585184 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Feb 272015
 

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography versus intraoperative cholangiography for diagnosis of common bile duct stones.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 26;2:CD010339

Authors: Gurusamy KS, Giljaca V, Takwoingi Y, Higgie D, Poropat G, Štimac D, Davidson BR

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) are tests used in the diagnosis of common bile duct stones in people suspected of having common bile duct stones. There has been no systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of ERCP and IOC.
OBJECTIVES: To determine and compare the accuracy of ERCP and IOC for the diagnosis of common bile duct stones.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded, BIOSIS, and Clinicaltrials.gov to September 2012. To identify additional studies, we searched the references of included studies and systematic reviews identified from various databases (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Medion, and ARIF (Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility)). We did not restrict studies based on language or publication status, or whether data were collected prospectively or retrospectively.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that provided the number of true positives, false positives, false negatives, and true negatives for ERCP or IOC. We only accepted studies that confirmed the presence of common bile duct stones by extraction of the stones (irrespective of whether this was done by surgical or endoscopic methods) for a positive test, and absence of common bile duct stones by surgical or endoscopic negative exploration of the common bile duct, or symptom-free follow-up for at least six months for a negative test as the reference standard in people suspected of having common bile duct stones. We included participants with or without prior diagnosis of cholelithiasis; with or without symptoms and complications of common bile duct stones; with or without prior treatment for common bile duct stones; and before or after cholecystectomy. At least two authors screened abstracts and selected studies for inclusion independently.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently collected data from each study. We used the bivariate model to summarise the sensitivity and specificity of the tests.
MAIN RESULTS: We identified five studies including 318 participants (180 participants with and 138 participants without common bile duct stones) that reported the diagnostic accuracy of ERCP and five studies including 654 participants (125 participants with and 529 participants without common bile duct stones) that reported the diagnostic accuracy of IOC. Most studies included people with symptoms (participants with jaundice or pancreatitis) suspected of having common bile duct stones based on blood tests, ultrasound, or both, prior to the performance of ERCP or IOC. Most studies included participants who had not previously undergone removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). None of the included studies was of high methodological quality as evaluated by the QUADAS-2 tool (quality assessment tool for diagnostic accuracy studies). The sensitivities of ERCP ranged between 0.67 and 0.94 and the specificities ranged between 0.92 and 1.00. For ERCP, the summary sensitivity was 0.83 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72 to 0.90) and specificity was 0.99 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.00). The sensitivities of IOC ranged between 0.75 and 1.00 and the specificities ranged between 0.96 and 1.00. For IOC, the summary sensitivity was 0.99 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.00) and specificity was 0.99 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.00). For ERCP, at the median pre-test probability of common bile duct stones of 0.35 estimated from the included studies (i.e., 35% of people suspected of having common bile duct stones were confirmed to have gallstones by the reference standard), the post-test probabilities associated with positive test results was 0.97 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.99) and negative test results was 0.09 (95% CI 0.05 to 0.14). For IOC, at the median pre-test probability of common bile duct stones of 0.35, the post-test probabilities associated with positive test results was 0.98 (95% CI 0.85 to 1.00) and negative test results was 0.01 (95% CI 0.00 to 0.10). There was weak evidence of a difference in sensitivity (P value = 0.05) with IOC showing higher sensitivity than ERCP. There was no evidence of a difference in specificity (P value = 0.7) with both tests having similar specificity.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Although the sensitivity of IOC appeared to be better than that of ERCP, this finding may be unreliable because none of the studies compared both tests in the same study populations and most of the studies were methodologically flawed. It appears that both tests were fairly accurate in guiding further invasive treatment as most people diagnosed with common bile duct stones by these tests had common bile duct stones. Some people may have common bile duct stones in spite of having a negative ERCP or IOC result. Such people may have to be re-tested if the clinical suspicion of common bile duct stones is very high because of their symptoms or persistently abnormal liver function tests. However, the results should be interpreted with caution given the limited quantity and quality of the evidence.

PMID: 25719222 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Feb 272015
 

Endoscopic ultrasound versus magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography for common bile duct stones.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 26;2:CD011549

Authors: Giljaca V, Gurusamy KS, Takwoingi Y, Higgie D, Poropat G, Štimac D, Davidson BR

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) are tests used in the diagnosis of common bile duct stones in patients suspected of having common bile duct stones prior to undergoing invasive treatment. There has been no systematic review of the accuracy of EUS and MRCP in the diagnosis of common bile duct stones using appropriate reference standards.
OBJECTIVES: To determine and compare the accuracy of EUS and MRCP for the diagnosis of common bile duct stones.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded, BIOSIS, and Clinicaltrials.gov until September 2012. We searched the references of included studies to identify further studies and of systematic reviews identified from various databases (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Medion, and ARIF (Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility)). We did not restrict studies based on language or publication status, or whether data were collected prospectively or retrospectively.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that provided the number of true positives, false positives, false negatives, and true negatives for EUS or MRCP. We only accepted studies that confirmed the presence of common bile duct stones by extraction of the stones (irrespective of whether this was done by surgical or endoscopic methods) for a positive test, and absence of common bile duct stones by surgical or endoscopic negative exploration of the common bile duct or symptom free follow-up for at least six months for a negative test, as the reference standard in people suspected of having common bile duct stones. We included participants with or without prior diagnosis of cholelithiasis; with or without symptoms and complications of common bile duct stones, with or without prior treatment for common bile duct stones; and before or after cholecystectomy. At least two authors independently screened abstracts and selected studies for inclusion.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently collected the data from each study. We used the bivariate model to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity.
MAIN RESULTS: We included a total of 18 studies involving 2366 participants (976 participants with common bile duct stones and 1390 participants without common bile duct stones). Eleven studies evaluated EUS alone, and five studies evaluated MRCP alone. Two studies evaluated both tests. Most studies included patients who were suspected of having common bile duct stones based on abnormal liver function tests; abnormal transabdominal ultrasound; symptoms such as obstructive jaundice, cholangitis, or pancreatitis; or a combination of the above. The proportion of participants who had undergone cholecystectomy varied across studies. Not one of the studies was of high methodological quality. For EUS, the sensitivities ranged between 0.75 and 1.00 and the specificities ranged between 0.85 and 1.00. The summary sensitivity (95% confidence interval (CI)) and specificity (95% CI) of the 13 studies that evaluated EUS (1537 participants; 686 cases and 851 participants without common bile duct stones) were 0.95 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.97) and 0.97 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.99). For MRCP, the sensitivities ranged between 0.77 and 1.00 and the specificities ranged between 0.73 and 0.99. The summary sensitivity and specificity of the seven studies that evaluated MRCP (996 participants; 361 cases and 635 participants without common bile duct stones) were 0.93 (95% CI 0.87 to 0.96) and 0.96 (95% CI 0.90 to 0.98). There was no evidence of a difference in sensitivity or specificity between EUS and MRCP (P value = 0.5). From the included studies, at the median pre-test probability of common bile duct stones of 41% the post-test probabilities (with 95% CI) associated with positive and negative EUS test results were 0.96 (95% CI 0.92 to 0.98) and 0.03 (95% CI 0.02 to 0.06). At the same pre-test probability, the post-test probabilities associated with positive and negative MRCP test results were 0.94 (95% CI 0.87 to 0.97) and 0.05 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.09).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Both EUS and MRCP have high diagnostic accuracy for detection of common bile duct stones. People with positive EUS or MRCP should undergo endoscopic or surgical extraction of common bile duct stones and those with negative EUS or MRCP do not need further invasive tests. However, if the symptoms persist, further investigations will be indicated. The two tests are similar in terms of diagnostic accuracy and the choice of which test to use will be informed by availability and contra-indications to each test. However, it should be noted that the results are based on studies of poor methodological quality and so the results should be interpreted with caution. Further studies that are of high methodological quality are necessary to determine the diagnostic accuracy of EUS and MRCP for the diagnosis of common bile duct stones.

PMID: 25719224 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Feb 272015
 

Ultrasound versus liver function tests for diagnosis of common bile duct stones.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 26;2:CD011548

Authors: Gurusamy KS, Giljaca V, Takwoingi Y, Higgie D, Poropat G, Štimac D, Davidson BR

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Ultrasound and liver function tests (serum bilirubin and serum alkaline phosphatase) are used as screening tests for the diagnosis of common bile duct stones in people suspected of having common bile duct stones. There has been no systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and liver function tests.
OBJECTIVES: To determine and compare the accuracy of ultrasound versus liver function tests for the diagnosis of common bile duct stones.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded, BIOSIS, and Clinicaltrials.gov to September 2012. We searched the references of included studies to identify further studies and systematic reviews identified from various databases (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment, Medion, and ARIF (Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility)). We did not restrict studies based on language or publication status, or whether data were collected prospectively or retrospectively.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that provided the number of true positives, false positives, false negatives, and true negatives for ultrasound, serum bilirubin, or serum alkaline phosphatase. We only accepted studies that confirmed the presence of common bile duct stones by extraction of the stones (irrespective of whether this was done by surgical or endoscopic methods) for a positive test result, and absence of common bile duct stones by surgical or endoscopic negative exploration of the common bile duct, or symptom-free follow-up for at least six months for a negative test result as the reference standard in people suspected of having common bile duct stones. We included participants with or without prior diagnosis of cholelithiasis; with or without symptoms and complications of common bile duct stones, with or without prior treatment for common bile duct stones; and before or after cholecystectomy. At least two authors screened abstracts and selected studies for inclusion independently.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently collected data from each study. Where meta-analysis was possible, we used the bivariate model to summarise sensitivity and specificity.
MAIN RESULTS: Five studies including 523 participants reported the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound. One studies (262 participants) compared the accuracy of ultrasound, serum bilirubin and serum alkaline phosphatase in the same participants. All the studies included people with symptoms. One study included only participants without previous cholecystectomy but this information was not available from the remaining studies. All the studies were of poor methodological quality. The sensitivities for ultrasound ranged from 0.32 to 1.00, and the specificities ranged from 0.77 to 0.97. The summary sensitivity was 0.73 (95% CI 0.44 to 0.90) and the specificity was 0.91 (95% CI 0.84 to 0.95). At the median pre-test probability of common bile duct stones of 0.408, the post-test probability (95% CI) associated with positive ultrasound tests was 0.85 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.91), and negative ultrasound tests was 0.17 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.33).The single study of liver function tests reported diagnostic accuracy at two cut-offs for bilirubin (greater than 22.23 μmol/L and greater than twice the normal limit) and two cut-offs for alkaline phosphatase (greater than 125 IU/L and greater than twice the normal limit). This study also assessed ultrasound and reported higher sensitivities for bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase at both cut-offs but the specificities of the markers were higher at only the greater than twice the normal limit cut-off. The sensitivity for ultrasound was 0.32 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.54), bilirubin (cut-off greater than 22.23 μmol/L) was 0.84 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.95), and alkaline phosphatase (cut-off greater than 125 IU/L) was 0.92 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.99). The specificity for ultrasound was 0.95 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.97), bilirubin (cut-off greater than 22.23 μmol/L) was 0.91 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.94), and alkaline phosphatase (cut-off greater than 125 IU/L) was 0.79 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.84). No study reported the diagnostic accuracy of a combination of bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase, or combinations with ultrasound.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Many people may have common bile duct stones in spite of having a negative ultrasound or liver function test. Such people may have to be re-tested with other modalities if the clinical suspicion of common bile duct stones is very high because of their symptoms. False-positive results are also possible and further non-invasive testing is recommended to confirm common bile duct stones to avoid the risks of invasive testing.It should be noted that these results were based on few studies of poor methodological quality and the results for ultrasound varied considerably between studies. Therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution. Further studies of high methodological quality are necessary to determine the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and liver function tests.

PMID: 25719223 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Feb 272015
 

Development of a Medication Safety and Quality Survey for Small Rural Hospitals.

J Patient Saf. 2015 Feb 26;

Authors: Winterstein AG, Johns TE, Campbell KN, Libby J, Pannell B

Abstract
PURPOSE: We summarize the development and initial implementation of a survey tool to assess medication safety in small rural hospitals.
SUMMARY: As part of an ongoing rural hospital medication safety improvement program, we developed a survey tool in all 13 critical access hospitals (CAHs) in Florida. The survey was compiled from existing medication safety assessments and standards, clinical practice guidelines, and published literature. Survey items were selected based on considerations regarding practicality and relevance to the CAH setting.The final survey instrument included 134 items representing 17 medication safety domains. Overall hospital scores ranged from 41% to 95%, with a median of 59%. Most hospitals showed large variation in scores across domains, with 5 hospitals having at least 1 domain with scores less than 10%. Highest scores across all facilities were seen for safety procedures concerning high-alert or look-alike medications and the assembly of emergency carts. The lowest median scores included availability and consistent use of standardized order sets and the effective implementation of medication safety committees. Most hospitals used the survey results to identify and prioritize quality improvement activities.
CONCLUSIONS: The survey can be used to conduct a short medication safety assessment specific to a limited number of areas and services in CAHs. It showed good ability to discriminate medication safety levels across participating sites and highlighted opportunities for improvement. It may need modification if case mix or services differ in other states or if the status quo of medication safety in CAHs or related standards advance. The described process of survey development might be helpful to support such modifications.

PMID: 25719815 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Feb 272015
 

Statin Use After Acute Myocardial Infarction by Patient Complexity: Are the Rates Right?

Med Care. 2015 Feb 24;

Authors: Brooks JM, Cook E, Chapman CG, Schroeder MC, A Chrischilles E, Schneider KM, Kulchaitanaroaj P, Robinson J

Abstract
BACKGROUND:: Guidelines suggest statin use after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) should be close to universal in patients without safety concerns yet rates are much lower than recommended, decline with patient complexity, and display substantial geographic variation. Trial exclusions have resulted in little evidence to guide statin prescribing for complex patients.
OBJECTIVE:: To assess the benefits and risks associated with higher rates of statin use after AMI by baseline patient complexity.
RESEARCH DESIGN:: Sample includes Medicare fee-for-service patients with AMIs in 2008-2009. Instrumental variable estimators using variation in local area prescribing patterns by statin intensity as instruments were used to assess the association of higher statin prescribing rates by statin intensity on 1-year survival, adverse events, and cost by patient complexity.
RESULTS:: Providers seem to have individualized statin use across patients based on potential risks. Higher statin rates for noncomplex AMI patients were associated with increased survival rates with little added adverse event risk. Higher statin rates for complex AMI patients were associated with tradeoffs between higher survival rates and higher rates of adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS:: Higher rates of statin use for noncomplex AMI patients are associated with outcome rate changes similar to existing evidence. For the complex patients in our study, who were least represented in existing trials, higher statin-use rates were associated with survival gains and higher adverse event risks not previously documented. Policy interventions promoting higher statin-use rates for complex patients may need to be reevaluated taking careful consideration of these tradeoffs.

PMID: 25719431 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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