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Precommitting to choose wisely about low-value services: a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

Background

Little is known about how to discourage clinicians from ordering low-value services. Our objective was to test whether clinicians committing their future selves (ie, precommitting) to follow Choosing Wisely recommendations with decision supports could decrease potentially low-value orders.

Methods

We conducted a 12-month stepped wedge cluster randomised trial among 45 primary care physicians and advanced practice providers in six adult primary care clinics of a US community group practice.Clinicians were invited to precommit to Choosing Wisely recommendations against imaging for uncomplicated low back pain, imaging for uncomplicated headaches and unnecessary antibiotics for acute sinusitis. Clinicians who precommitted received 1–6 months of point-of-care precommitment reminders as well as patient education handouts and weekly emails with resources to support communication about low-value services.The primary outcome was the difference between control and intervention period percentages of visits with potentially low-value orders. Secondary outcomes were differences between control and intervention period percentages of visits with possible alternate orders, and differences between control and 3-month postintervention follow-up period percentages of visits with potentially low-value orders.

Results

The intervention was not associated with a change in the percentage of visits with potentially low-value orders overall, for headaches or for acute sinusitis, but was associated with a 1.7% overall increase in alternate orders (p=0.01). For low back pain, the intervention was associated with a 1.2% decrease in the percentage of visits with potentially low-value orders (p=0.001) and a 1.9% increase in the percentage of visits with alternate orders (p=0.007). No changes were sustained in follow-up.

Conclusion

Clinician precommitment to follow Choosing Wisely recommendations was associated with a small, unsustained decrease in potentially low-value orders for only one of three targeted conditions and may have increased alternate orders.

Trial registration number

NCT02247050; Pre-results.

Development of the Huddle Observation Tool for structured case management discussions to improve situation awareness on inpatient clinical wards

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

Background

‘Situation Awareness For Everyone’ (SAFE) was a 3-year project which aimed to improve situation awareness in clinical teams in order to detect potential deterioration and other potential risks to children on hospital wards. The key intervention was the ‘huddle’, a structured case management discussion which is central to facilitating situation awareness. This study aimed to develop an observational assessment tool to assess the team processes occurring during huddles, including the effectiveness of the huddle.

Methods

A cross-sectional observational design was used to psychometrically develop the ‘Huddle Observation Tool’ (HOT) over three phases using standardised psychometric methodology. Huddles were observed across four NHS paediatric wards participating in SAFE by five researchers; two wards within specialist children hospitals and two within district general hospitals, with location, number of beds and length of stay considered to make the sample as heterogeneous as possible. Inter-rater reliability was calculated using the weighted kappa and intraclass correlation coefficient.

Results

Inter-rater reliability was acceptable for the collaborative culture (weighted kappa=0.32, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.42), environment items (weighted kappa=0.78, 95% CI 0.52 to 1) and total score (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.87, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.95). It was lower for the structure and risk management items, suggesting that these were more variable in how observers rated them. However, agreement on the global score for huddles was acceptable.

Conclusion

We developed an observational assessment tool to assess the team processes occurring during huddles, including the effectiveness of the huddle. Future research should examine whether observational evaluations of huddles are associated with other indicators of safety on clinical wards (eg, safety climate and incidents of patient harm), and whether scores on the HOT are associated with improved situation awareness and reductions in deterioration and adverse events in clinical settings, such as inpatient wards.

Does early return to theatre add value to rates of revision at 3 years in assessing surgeon performance for elective hip and knee arthroplasty? National observational study

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

Background

Joint replacement revision is the most widely used long-term outcome measure in elective hip and knee surgery. Return to theatre (RTT) has been proposed as an additional outcome measure, but how it compares with revision in its statistical performance is unknown.

Methods

National hospital administrative data for England were used to compare RTT at 90 days (RTT90) with revision rates within 3 years by surgeon. Standard power calculations were run for different scenarios. Funnel plots were used to count the number of surgeons with unusually high or low rates.

Results

From 2006 to 2011, there were 297 650 hip replacements (HRs) among 2952 surgeons and 341 226 knee replacements (KRs) among 2343 surgeons. RTT90 rates were 2.1% for HR and 1.5% for KR; 3-year revision rates were 2.1% for HR and 2.2% for KR. Statistical power to detect surgeons with poor performance on either metric was particularly low for surgeons performing 50 cases per year for the 5 years. The correlation between the risk-adjusted surgeon-level rates for the two outcomes was +0.51 for HR and +0.20 for KR, both p<0.001. There was little agreement between the measures regarding which surgeons had significantly high or low rates.

Conclusion

RTT90 appears to provide useful and complementary information on surgeon performance and should be considered alongside revision rates, but low case loads considerably reduce the power to detect unusual performance on either metric.

Standards for UNiversal reporting of patient Decision Aid Evaluation studies: the development of SUNDAE Checklist

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

Background

Patient decision aids (PDAs) are evidence-based tools designed to help patients make specific and deliberated choices among healthcare options. The International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration review papers and Cochrane systematic review of PDAs have found significant gaps in the reporting of evaluations of PDAs, including poor or limited reporting of PDA content, development methods and delivery. This study sought to develop and reach consensus on reporting guidelines to improve the quality of publications evaluating PDAs.

Methods

An international workgroup, consisting of members from IPDAS Collaboration, followed established methods to develop reporting guidelines for PDA evaluation studies. This paper describes the results from three completed phases: (1) planning, (2) drafting and (3) consensus, which included a modified, two-stage, online international Delphi process. The work was conducted over 2 years with bimonthly conference calls and three in-person meetings. The workgroup used input from these phases to produce a final set of recommended items in the form of a checklist.

Results

The SUNDAE Checklist (Standards for UNiversal reporting of patient Decision Aid Evaluations) includes 26 items recommended for studies reporting evaluations of PDAs. In the two-stage Delphi process, 117/143 (82%) experts from 14 countries completed round 1 and 96/117 (82%) completed round 2. Respondents reached a high level of consensus on the importance of the items and indicated strong willingness to use the items when reporting PDA studies.

Conclusion

The SUNDAE Checklist will help ensure that reports of PDA evaluation studies are understandable, transparent and of high quality. A separate Explanation and Elaboration publication provides additional details to support use of the checklist.

Explanation and elaboration of the Standards for UNiversal reporting of patient Decision Aid Evaluations (SUNDAE) guidelines: examples of reporting SUNDAE items from patient decision aid evaluation literature

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

This Explanation and Elaboration (E&E) article expands on the 26 items in the Standards for UNiversal reporting of Decision Aid Evaluations guidelines. The E&E provides a rationale for each item and includes examples for how each item has been reported in published papers evaluating patient decision aids. The E&E focuses on items key to reporting studies evaluating patient decision aids and is intended to be illustrative rather than restrictive. Authors and reviewers may wish to use the E&E broadly to inform structuring of patient decision aid evaluation reports, or use it as a reference to obtain details about how to report individual checklist items.

Quality measurement for Clostridium difficile infection: turning lemons into lemonade

Quality and Safety in Health Care Journal -

W Edwards Deming is famously quoted as having said, "If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it". In truth, Deming’s full quotation reads, "It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it—a costly myth".1 2 In our journey to improve our hospital’s rates of Clostridium difficile, we learned first-hand the truth of Deming’s full statement—that in fact, even without the ability to measure perfectly, imperfect measures can still help us improve quality.

US hospitals are currently required to report hospital-acquired C. difficile rates as a condition of participation in several Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pay-for-performance programmes. CMS is seeking to shed light on this type of preventable patient harm and raising the stakes by putting financial penalties and a hospital’s public reputation at risk. However, there is a vigorous debate in the medical community over the...

Medline Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleansing Foam: Avoid Using - Multistate Outbreak of Burkholderia Cepacia Complex

FDA MedWatch -

CDC reports that there are 10 confirmed cases of infection caused by bacteria within the Burkholderia cepacia complex, also commonly called B. cepacia, in three states: California (2), Pennsylvania (7), and New Jersey (1). These patients were already hospitalized for acute conditions and acquired the infections while hospitalized. The infections have been linked to the Medline product, Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleansing Foam.

Fabius Anesthesia Machines by Dräger Medical: Class I Recalls - Due to Production Step Error

FDA MedWatch -

Dräger Medical is recalling the Fabius Anesthesia machines due to excessive oil that was not removed at the time of production. Such excess oil may interfere with the position detector of the ventilation motor during operation and may cause ventilation to fail. A halt in ventilation may lead to serious adverse health consequences, including patient injury or death.

Neurovascular Stents Used for Stent-Assisted Coiling (SAC): Letter to Health Care Providers - Recommendations Associated With the Use of These Devices in the Treatment of Unruptured Brain Aneurysms

FDA MedWatch -

The FDA has received reports associated with the use of these devices in the treatment of unruptured brain aneurysms that suggest some events of peri-procedural stroke and/or death may have been related to procedural risks or patient selection related factors. These factors include patients who had serious co-morbidities resulting in a reduced life expectancy, or who were intolerant to required anticoagulation or anti-platelet therapy.

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