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2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Elaine Yuen Ling Kwok ◽  
Jessica Chiu ◽  
Peter Rosenbaum ◽  
Barbara Jane Cunningham

Abstract Background Many professional services were pressed to adopt telepractice in response to the global coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. The need to adopt a new service delivery approach quickly created different implementation challenges. This study explored the lived experiences of frontline clinicians who successfully transitioned their in-person speech-language therapy services to telepractice through an implementation science lens. Methods The study was conducted in partnership with one publicly funded program in Ontario, Canada that offers services to preschoolers with speech, language and communication disorders. Sixteen frontline speech-language pathologists and assistants at this organization shared their lived experience transitioning to telepractice during the pandemic during videoconference interviews. A narrative inquiry approach was used to analyze interview transcripts to identify the processes (or steps) this program took to implement telepractice and to understand the facilitators and barriers to telepractice implementation during the pandemic. Results The following six stages were identified from clinicians’ narratives: abrupt lockdown; weeks of uncertainty; telepractice emerged as an option; preparation for telepractice; telepractice trials; and finally, full implementation of telepractice. The stages of events offered significant insights into how government public health measures influenced clinicians’ decisions and their processes of adopting telepractice. In terms of barriers, clinicians reported a lack of knowledge, skills and experience with telepractice and a lack of technological support. The organization’s learning climate and team approach to transitioning services were identified as the main facilitator of implementation. Conclusions Findings suggest a need for better coordination of public health measures and professional services, which would have eased clinicians’ stress and facilitated an earlier transition to telepractice. Fostering an organization’s learning climate may improve organization’s resilience in response to emergency situations.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Canada Parrish ◽  
Anirban Basu ◽  
Paul Fishman ◽  
Jean Baptiste Koama ◽  
Ermane Robin ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Differentiated care strategies are rapidly becoming the norm for HIV care delivery globally. Building upon an interest in tailoring antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery for client-centered needs, the Ministry of Health and Population in Haiti formally endorsed multiple-month dispenses (MMD) in the 2016 national ART guidelines This study explores heterogeneity in retention in care with MMD for specific Haitian populations living with HIV and evaluates if a targeted algorithm for optimal ART prescription intervals is warranted in Haiti. Methods This study included ART-naïve individuals who started ART on or after January 1st, 2017 in Haiti. To identify subgroups in which to explore heterogeneity of retention, we implemented a double-lasso regression method to determine which individual characteristics would define the subgroups. Characteristics evaluated for potential subgroup definition included: sex, age category, WHO clinical stage, and body mass index category. We employed instrumental variable models to estimate the causal effect of increasing ART dispensing length on ART retention, by client subgroup. The outcome of interest was retention in care after one year in treatment. We then estimated the marginal effect of a 30-day increase to ART dispensing length to retention in care for each of these subgroups. Results There was evidence for heterogeneity in the effect of extending ART dispensing intervals on retention by WHO clinical stage. We observed significant improvements to retention in care at one year with a 30-day increase in ART dispense length for all subgroups defined by WHO clinical stages 1-4. The effects ranged from a 14.7% increase (95% CI: 12.4-17.0) to the likelihood of retention for people with HIV in WHO stage 1 to a 21.6% increase (95% CI: 18.7-24.5) to the likelihood of retention for those in WHO stage 3. Conclusions All the subgroups defined by WHO clinical stage experienced a benefit of extending ART intervals to retention in care at one year. Though the effect did differ slightly by WHO stage, the effects went in the same direction and were of similar magnitude. Therefore, a standardized recommendation for MMD among those living with HIV and new on ART is appropriate for Haiti treatment guidelines.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Anh Thu Vo ◽  
Yanqing Yi ◽  
Maria Mathews ◽  
James Valcour ◽  
Michelle Alexander ◽  
...  

Abstract Background A single-entry model in healthcare consolidates waiting lists through a central intake and allows patients to see the next available health care provider based on the prioritization. This study aimed to examine whether and to what extent the prioritization reduced wait times for hip and knee replacement surgeries. Method The survival regression method was used to estimate the effects of priority levels on wait times for consultation and surgery for hip and knee replacements. The sample data included patients who were referred to the Orthopedic Central Intake clinic at the Eastern Health region of Newfoundland and Labrador and had surgery of hip and knee replacements between 2011 and 2019. Result After adjusting for covariates, the hazard of having consultation booked was greater in patients with priority 1 and 2 than those in priority 3 when and at 90 days after the referral was made for both hip and knee replacements. Regarding wait time for surgery after the decision for surgery was made, while the hazard of having surgery was lower in priority 2 than in priority 3 when and indifferent at 182 days after the decision was made, it was not significantly different between priority 1 and priority 3 among hip replacement patients. Priority levels were not significantly related to the hazard of having surgery for a knee replacement after the decision for surgery was made. Overall, the hazard of having surgery after the referral was made by a primary care physician was greater for patients in high priority than those in low priority. Preferring a specific surgeon indicated at referral was found to delay consultation and it was not significantly related to the total wait time for surgery. Incomplete referral forms prolonged wait time for consultation and patients under age 65 had a longer total wait time than those aged 65 or above. Conclusion Patients with high priority could have a consultation booked earlier than those with low priority and prioritization in a single entrance model shortens the total wait time for surgery. However, the association between priority levels and wait for surgery after the decision for surgery was made has not well-established.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Aslınur Albayrak ◽  
Bilgen Başgut ◽  
Gülbin Aygencel Bıkmaz ◽  
Bensu Karahalil

Abstract Background Critically ill patients treated in the intensive care units (ICUs) often suffer from side effects and drug-related problems (DRPs) that can be life-threatening. A way to prevent DRPs and improve drug safety and efficacy is to include clinical pharmacists in the clinical team. This study aims to evaluate the classification of drug-related problems and the implementation of clinical pharmacy services by a clinical pharmacist in the ICU of a university hospital in Turkey. Methods This study was carried out prospectively between December 2020 and July 2021 in Gazi University Medical Faculty Hospital Internal Diseases ICU. All patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit for more than 24 h were included in the study. During the study, the clinical pharmacist's interventions and other clinical services for patients were recorded. DRPs were classed according to the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe V.8.02. Results A total of 151 patients were included during the study period corresponding to 2264 patient-days. Patients with DRPs had a longer hospital stay and a higher mortality rate (p < 0.05). 108 patients had at least one DRP and the total number of DRPs was 206. There was an average of 1.36 DRPs per patient, 71.5% of patients experienced DRP and 89.22 DRPs per 1000 patient-days. A total of 35 ADEs were observed in 32 patients. ADE incidence was per 1000 patient-days 15.45. ADEs were caused by nephrotoxicity (48.57%), electrolyte disorders (17.14%), drug-induced thrombocytopenia (17.14%), liver enzyme increase (8.57%) and other causes (8.57%). Drug selection (40.29%) and dose selection (54.36%) constituted most of the causes of DRPs. Dose change was the highest percentage of planned interventions with a rate of 56.79%. Intervention was accepted at a rate of 90.8% and it was fully implemented. Conclusion In this study, the importance of the clinical pharmacist in the determination and analysis of DRPs was emphasized. Clinical pharmacy services like the one described should be implemented widely to increase patient safety.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Nadja Könsgen ◽  
Barbara Prediger ◽  
Anna Schlimbach ◽  
Ana-Mihaela Bora ◽  
Simone Hess ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Second medical opinions (SOs) can assist patients in making informed treatment decisions and improve the understanding of their diagnosis. In Germany, there are different approaches to obtain a structured SO procedure: SO programs by health insurers and SOs according to the SO Directive. Through a direct survey of the population, we aimed to assess how structured SOs should be provided to fulfil patients’ needs. Methods A stratified sample of 9990 adults (≥18 years) living in the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg (Germany) were initially contacted by post in April and sent a reminder in May 2020. The survey results were analyzed descriptively. Results Among 1349 participants (response rate 14%), 56% were female and the median age was 58 years (interquartile range (IQR) 44–69). Participants wanted to be informed directly and personally about the possibility of obtaining an SO (89%; 1201/1349). They preferred to be informed by their physician (93%; 1249/1349). A majority of participants would consider it important to obtain an SO for oncological indications (78%; 1049/1349). Only a subset of the participants would seek an SO via their health insurer or via an online portal (43%; 577/1349 and 16%; 221/1349). A personally delivered SO was the preferred route of SO delivery, as 97% (1305/1349) would (tend to) consider this way of obtaining an SO. Participants were asked to imagine having moderate knee pain for years, resulting in a treatment recommendation for knee joint replacement. They were requested to rate potential qualification criteria for a physician providing the SO. The criteria rated to be most important were experience with the recommended diagnosis/treatment (criterion (very) important for 93%; 1257/1349) and knowledge of the current state of research (criterion (very) important for 86%; 1158/1349). Participants were willing to travel 60 min (median; IQR 60–120) and wait 4 weeks (median; IQR 2–4) for their SO in the hypothetical case of knee pain. Conclusion In general, SOs were viewed positively. We found that participants have clear preferences regarding SOs. We propose that these preferences should be taken into account in the future design and development of SO programs.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Naomi Fearns ◽  
Laura Walker ◽  
Karen Graham ◽  
Norman Gibb ◽  
Duncan Service

Abstract Background The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) is the leading national clinical guideline producer in Scotland. Improved design and dissemination of guidelines produced for the public can empower people to take an active role in self-management and shared decision-making. The public version of the guideline examined covered getting assessed and diagnosed with autism, and approaches that can help. The aim of this study was to test a public version of a guideline for the parents of children and young people with autism, implement improvements, and identify what works in making it usable and accessible. Methods We recruited mothers from across Scotland. User testing involved formal ‘think aloud’ semi-structured interviews that guided users through the booklet. Interviews took place individually and were recorded and transcribed. Key findings were identified and themed using the honeycomb user experience model. Results Fourteen user-testing interviews were conducted. Facilitators for usability and desirability of the guideline included the chunking of text, consistent use of colour and boxes to highlight important information. Simple language, written in a tone of partnership, helped to engage mothers. Value arose from the guidelines ability to explain the process of diagnosis and make mothers feel empowered in their relationships with healthcare professionals. There was a lack of consensus on the usefulness of rating the strength of evidence and recommendations. Conclusion There was a marked similarity between what was important to the mothers and what has been found to be important to other groups. The involvement of service users and carers in the guidelines development was key to its credibility. One size does not fit all in presenting evidence-based recommendations to the public and it is a challenge to provide sufficient information while avoiding information overload. Recommendations and evidence levels are suitable for use in public versions, but these should be kept as simple as possible.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Angela M. Maguire ◽  
Julieann Keyser ◽  
Kelly Brown ◽  
Daniel Kivlahan ◽  
Madeline Romaniuk ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Families with complex needs face significant challenges accessing and navigating health and social services. For veteran families, these challenges are exacerbated by interactions between military and civilian systems of care, and the density of the veterans’ non-profit sector. This qualitative study was designed to gather rich, detailed information on complex needs in veteran families; and explore service providers’ and families’ experiences of accessing and navigating the veterans’ support system. Methods The study comprised participant background questionnaires (n = 34), focus groups with frontline service providers (n = 18), and one-on-one interviews with veteran families (n = 16) in Australia. The semi-structured focus groups and interviews were designed to gather rich, detailed information on four study topics: (i) health and wellbeing needs in veteran families; (ii) service-access barriers and facilitators; (iii) unmet needs and gaps in service provision; and (iv) practical solutions for improving service delivery. The study recruited participants who could best address the focus on veteran families with complex needs. The questionnaire data was used to describe relevant characteristics of the participant sample. The focus groups and interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and a reflexive thematic analysis was conducted to identify patterns of shared meaning in the qualitative data. Results Both service providers and families found the veterans’ support system difficult to access and navigate. System fragmentation was perceived to impede care coordination, and delay access to holistic care for veteran families with complex needs. The medico-legal aspects of compensation and rehabilitation processes were perceived to harm veteran identity, and undermine health and wellbeing outcomes. Recovery-oriented practice was viewed as a way to promote veteran independence and self-management. Participants expressed a strong preference for family-centred care that was informed by an understanding of military lifestyle and culture. Conclusion The health and wellbeing needs of veteran families intensify during the transition from full-time military service to civilian environments, and service- or reintegration-related difficulties may emerge (or persist) for a significant period of time thereafter. Veteran families with complex needs are unduly burdened by care coordination demands. There is a pressing need for high-quality implementation studies that evaluate initiatives for integrating fragmented systems of care.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Anurag Saxena ◽  
Mayur Trivedi ◽  
Zubin Cyrus Shroff ◽  
Manas Sharma

Abstract Background Government-sponsored health insurance schemes (GSHIS) aim to improve access to and utilization of healthcare services and offer financial protection to the population. India’s Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is one such GSHIS. This paper aims to understand how the processes put in place to manage hospital-based transactions, from the time a beneficiary arrives at the hospital to discharge are being implemented in PM-JAY and how to improve them to strengthen the scheme’s operation. Methods Guidelines were reviewed for the processes associated with hospital-based transactions, namely, beneficiary authentication, treatment package selection, preauthorization, discharge, and claims payments. Across 14 hospitals in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states, the above-mentioned processes were observed, and using a semi-structured interview guide fifty-three respondents were interviewed. The study was carried out from March 2019 to August 2019. Results Average turn-around time for claim reimbursement is two to six times higher than that proposed in guidelines and tender. As opposed to the guidelines, beneficiaries are incurring out-of-pocket expenditure while availing healthcare services. The training provided to the front-line workers is software-centric. Hospital-based processes are relatively more efficient in hospitals where frontline workers have a medical/paramedical/managerial background. Conclusions There is a need to broaden capacity-building efforts from enabling frontline staff to operate the scheme’s IT platform to developing the technical, managerial, and leadership skills required for them. At the hospital level, an empowered frontline worker is the key to efficient hospital-based processes. There is a need to streamline back-end processes to eliminate the causes for delay in the processing of claim payment requests. For policymakers, the most important and urgent need is to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. To that end, there is a need to both revisit and streamline the existing guidelines and ensure adherence to the guidelines.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ambrose H. Wong ◽  
Nasim S. Sabounchi ◽  
Hannah R. Roncallo ◽  
Jessica M. Ray ◽  
Rebekah Heckmann

Abstract Background Over 1.7 million episodes of agitation occur annually across the United States in emergency departments (EDs), some of which lead to workplace assaults on clinicians and require invasive methods like physical restraints to maintain staff and patient safety. Recent studies demonstrated that experiences of workplace violence contribute to symptoms of burnout, which may impact future decisions regarding use of physical restraints on agitated patients. To capture the dynamic interactions between clinicians and agitated patients under their care, we applied qualitative system dynamics methods to develop a model that describes feedback mechanisms of clinician burnout and the use of physical restraints to manage agitation. Methods We convened an interprofessional panel of clinician stakeholders and agitation experts for a series of model building sessions to develop the current model. The panel derived the final version of our model over ten sessions of iterative refinement and modification, each lasting approximately three to four hours. We incorporated findings from prior studies on agitation and burnout related to workplace violence, identifying interpersonal and psychological factors likely to influence our outcomes of interest to form the basis of our model. Results The final model resulted in five main sets of feedback loops that describe key narratives regarding the relationship between clinician burnout and agitated patients becoming physically restrained: (1) use of restraints decreases agitation and risk of assault, leading to increased perceptions of safety and decreasing use of restraints in a balancing feedback loop which stabilizes the system; (2) clinician stress leads to a perception of decreased safety and lower threshold to restrain, causing more stress in a negatively reinforcing loop; (3) clinician burnout leads to a decreased perception of colleague support which leads to more burnout in a negatively reinforcing loop; (4) clinician burnout leads to negative perceptions of patient intent during agitation, thus lowering threshold to restrain and leading to higher task load, more likelihood of workplace assaults, and higher burnout in a negatively reinforcing loop; and (5) mutual trust between clinicians causes increased perceptions of safety and improved team control, leading to decreased clinician stress and further increased mutual trust in a positively reinforcing loop. Conclusions Our system dynamics approach led to the development of a robust qualitative model that illustrates a number of important feedback cycles that underly the relationships between clinician experiences of workplace violence, stress and burnout, and impact on decisions to physically restrain agitated patients. This work identifies potential opportunities at multiple targets to break negatively reinforcing cycles and support positive influences on safety for both clinicians and patients in the face of physical danger.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Jesper Blinkenberg ◽  
Øystein Hetlevik ◽  
Hogne Sandvik ◽  
Valborg Baste ◽  
Steinar Hunskaar

Abstract Background General practitioners (GPs) and out-of-hours (OOH) doctors are gatekeepers to acute hospital admissions in many healthcare systems. The aim of the present study was to investigate the whole range of reasons for acute referrals to somatic hospitals from GPs and OOH doctors and referral rates for the most common reasons. We wanted to explore the relationship between some common referral diagnoses and the discharge diagnosis, and associations with patient’s gender, age, and GP or OOH doctor referral. Methods A registry-based study was performed by linking national data from primary care in the physicians’ claims database with hospital services data in the Norwegian Patient Registry (NPR). The referring GP or OOH doctor was defined as the physician who had sent a claim for the patient within 24 h prior to an acute hospital stay. The reason for referral was defined as the ICPC-2 diagnosis used in the claim; the discharge diagnoses (ICD-10) came from NPR. Results Of all 265,518 acute hospital referrals from GPs or OOH doctors in 2017, GPs accounted for 43% and OOH doctors 57%. The overall referral rate per contact was 0.01 from GPs and 0.11 from OOH doctors, with large variations by referral diagnosis. Abdominal pain (D01) (8%) and chest pain (A11) (5%) were the most frequent referral diagnoses. For abdominal pain and chest pain referrals the most frequent discharge diagnosis was the corresponding ICD-10 symptom diagnosis, whereas for pneumonia-, appendicitis-, acute myocardial infarction- and stroke referrals the corresponding disease diagnosis was most frequent. Women referred with chest pain were less likely to be discharged with ischemic heart disease than men. Conclusions The reasons for acute referral to somatic hospitals from GPs and OOH doctors comprise a wide range of reasons, and the referral rates vary according to the severity of the condition and the different nature between GP and OOH services. Referral rates for OOH contacts were much higher than for GP contacts. Patient age, gender and referring service influence the relationship between referral and discharge diagnosis.


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