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1.  Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology annual scientific meeting 2016 
Alsayegh, Mohammad A. | Alshamali, Hanan | Khadada, Mousa | Ciccolini, Amanda | Ellis, Anne K. | Quint, Diana | Powley, William | Lee, Laurie | Fiteih, Yahya | Baksh, Shairaz | Vliagoftis, Harissios | Gerega, Sebastien K. | Millson, Brad | Charland, Katia | Barakat, Stephane | Sun, Xichun | Jimenez, Ricardo | Waserman, Susan | FitzGerald, Mark J. | Hébert, Jacques | Cognet-Sicé, Josiane | Renahan, Kevin E. | Huq, Saiful | Chooniedass, Rishma | Sawyer, Scott | Pasterkamp, Hans | Becker, Allan | Smith, Steven G. | Zhang, Shiyuan | Jayasundara, Kavisha | Tacon, Claire | Simidchiev, Alex | Nadeau, Gilbert | Gunsoy, Necdet | Mullerova, Hana | Albers, Frank | Kim, Young Woong | Shannon, Casey P. | Singh, Amrit | Neighbour, Helen | Larché, Mark | Tebbutt, Scott J. | Klopp, Annika | Vehling, Lorena | Becker, Allan B. | Subbarao, Padmaja | Mandhane, Piushkumar J. | Turvey, Stuart E. | Sears, Malcolm R. | Azad, Meghan B. | Loewen, Keely | Monchka, Barret | Mahmud, Salaheddin M. | Jong, Geert ‘t | Longo, Cristina | Bartlett, Gillian | Ducharme, Francine M. | Schuster, Tibor | MacGibbon, Brenda | Barnett, Tracie | North, Michelle L. | Brook, Jeff | Lee, Elizabeth | Omana, Vanessa | Thiele, Jenny | Steacy, Lisa M. | Evans, Greg | Diamond, Miriam | Sussman, Gordon L. | Amistani, Yann | Abiteboul, Kathy | Tenn, Mark W. | Yang, ChenXi | Carlsten, Christopher | Conway, Edward M. | Mack, Douglas | Othman, Yasmin | Barber, Colin M. | Kalicinsky, Chrystyna | Burke, Andrea E. | Messieh, Mary | Nair, Parameswaran | Che, Chun T. | Douglas, Lindsay | Liem, Joel | Duan, Lucy | Miller, Charlotte | Dupuis, Pascale | Connors, Lori A. | Fein, Michael N. | Shuster, Joseph | Hadi, Hani | Polk, Brooke | Raje, Nikita | Labrosse, Roxane | Bégin, Philippe | Paradis, Louis | Roches, Anne Des | Lacombe-Barrios, Jonathan | Mishra, Sanju | Lacuesta, Gina | Chiasson, Meredith | Haroon, Babar | Robertson, Kara | Issekutz, Thomas | Leddin, Desmond | Couban, Stephen | Connors, Lori | Roos, Adrienne | Kanani, Amin | Chan, Edmond S. | Schellenberg, Robert | Rosenfield, Lana | Cvetkovic, Anna | Woodward, Kevin | Quirt, Jaclyn | Watson, Wade T. A. | Castilho, Edson | Sullivan, Jennifer A. | Temple, Beverley | Martin, Donna | Cook, Victoria E. | Mills, Christopher | Portales-Casamar, Elodie | Fu, Lisa W. | Ho, Alexander | Zaltzman, Jeffrey | Chen, Lucy | Vadas, Peter | Gabrielli, Sofianne | Clarke, Ann | Eisman, Harley | Morris, Judy | Joseph, Lawrence | LaVieille, Sebastien | Ben-Shoshan, Moshe | Graham, François | Barnes, Charles | Portnoy, Jay | Stagg, Vincent | Simons, Elinor | Lefebvre, Diana | Dai, David | Mandhane, Piushkumar | Sears, Malcolm | Tam, Herman | Simons, F. Estelle R. | Alotaibi, Dhaifallah | Dawod, Bassel | Tunis, Matthew C. | Marshall, Jean | Desjardins, Marylin | Béland, Marianne | Lejtenyi, Duncan | Drolet, Jean-Phillipe | Lemire, Martine | Tsoukas, Christos | Noya, Francisco J.D. | Alizadehfar, Reza | McCusker, Christine T. | Mazer, Bruce D. | Maestre-Batlle, Danay | Gunawan, Evelyn | Rider, Christopher F. | Bølling, Anette K. | Pena, Olga M. | Suez, Daniel | Melamed, Isaac | Hussain, Iftikhar | Stein, Mark | Gupta, Sudhir | Paris, Kenneth | Fritsch, Sandor | Bourgeois, Christelle | Leibl, Heinz | McCoy, Barbara | Noel, Martin | Yel, Leman | Scott, Ori | Reid, Brenda | Atkinson, Adelle | Kim, Vy Hong-Diep | Roifman, Chaim M. | Grunebaum, Eyal | AlSelahi, Eiman | Aleman, Fernando | Oberle, Amber | Trus, Mike | Sussman, Gordon | Kanani, Amin S. | Chambenoi, Olivier | Chiva-Razavi, Sima | Grodecki, Savannah | Joshi, Nikhil | Menikefs, Peter | Holt, David | Pun, Teresa | Tworek, Damian | Hanna, Raphael | Heroux, Delia | Rosenberg, Elli | Stiemsma, Leah | Turvey, Stuart | Denburg, Judah | Mill, Christopher | Teoh, Timothy | Zimmer, Preeti | Avinashi, Vishal | Paina, Mihaela | Darwish Hassan, Ahmed A. | Oliveria, John Paul | Olesovsky, Chris | Gauvreau, Gail | Pedder, Linda | Keith, Paul K. | Plunkett, Greg | Bolner, Michelle | Pourshahnazari, Persia | Stark, Donald | Vostretsova, Kateryna | Moses, Andrew | Wakeman, Andrew | Singer, Alexander | Gerstner, Thomas | Abrams, Elissa | Johnson, Sara F. | Woodgate, Roberta L.
doi:10.1186/s13223-017-0192-y
PMCID: PMC5390240
2.  Using eHealth Technologies: Interests, Preferences, and Concerns of Older Adults 
Background
The Internet and eHealth technologies represent new opportunities for managing health. Age, sex, socioeconomic status, and current technology use are some of the known factors that influence individuals’ uptake of eHealth; however, relatively little is known about facilitators and barriers to eHealth uptake specific to older adults, particularly as they relate to their experiences in accessing health care.
Objective
The aim of our study was to explore the interests, preferences, and concerns of older adults in using the Internet and eHealth technologies for managing their health in relation to their experiences with the current health care system.
Methods
Two focus groups (n=15) were conducted with adults aged 50+ years. Pragmatic thematic analysis using an inductive approach was conducted to identify the interests, preferences, and concerns of using the Internet and eHealth technologies.
Results
Five themes emerged that include (1) Difficulty in identifying credible and relevant sources of information on the Web; (2) Ownership, access, and responsibility for medical information; (3) Peer communication and support; (4) Opportunities to enhance health care interactions; and (5) Privacy concerns. These findings support the potential value older adults perceive in eHealth technologies, particularly in their ability to provide access to personal health information and facilitate communication between providers and peers living with similar conditions. However, in order to foster acceptance, these technologies will need to provide personal and general health information that is secure, readily accessible, and easily understood.
Conclusions
Older adults have diverse needs and preferences that, in part, are driven by their experiences and frustrations with the health care system. Results can help inform the design and implementation of technologies to address gaps in care and access to health information for older adults with chronic conditions who may benefit the most from this approach.
doi:10.2196/ijmr.4447
PMCID: PMC5383803  PMID: 28336506
Internet; telemedicine; self care; chronic disease
4.  Adoption of Electronic Personal Health Records in Canada: Perceptions of Stakeholders 
Background: Healthcare stakeholders have a great interest in the adoption and use of electronic personal health records (ePHRs) because of the potential benefits associated with them. Little is known, however, about the level of adoption of ePHRs in Canada and there is limited evidence concerning their benefits and implications for the healthcare system. This study aimed to describe the current situation of ePHRs in Canada and explore stakeholder perceptions regarding barriers and facilitators to their adoption.
Methods: Using a qualitative descriptive study design, we conducted semi-structured phone interviews between October 2013 and February 2014 with 35 individuals from seven Canadian provinces. The participants represented six stakeholder groups (patients, ePHR administrators, healthcare professionals, organizations interested in health technology development, government agencies, and researchers). A detailed summary of each interview was created and thematic analysis was conducted.
Results: We observed that there was no consensual definition of ePHR in Canada. Factors that could influence ePHR adoption were related to knowledge (confusion with other electronic medical records [EMRs] and lack of awareness), system design (usability and relevance), user capacities and attitudes (patient health literacy, education and interest, support for professionals), environmental factors (government commitment, targeted populations) and legal and ethical issues (information control and custody, confidentiality, privacy and security).
Conclusion: ePHRs are slowly entering the Canadian healthcare landscape but provinces do not seem well-prepared for the implementation of this type of record. Guidance is needed on critical issues regarding ePHRs, such as ePHR definition, data ownership, access to information and interoperability with other electronic health records (EHRs). Better guidance on these issues would provide a greater awareness of ePHRs and inform stakeholders including clinicians, decision-makers, patients and the public. In turn, it may facilitate their adoption in the country
doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.36
PMCID: PMC4930348  PMID: 27694670
Electronic Personal Health Record (ePHR); Adoption; Canada; Qualitative Research
5.  Incidence and Prevalence of Opportunistic and Other Infections and the Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy Among HIV-infected Children in Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
This meta-analysis demonstrates a substantial decrease in the risk of most opportunistic infections with antiretroviral therapy (ART) use in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children in low- and middle-income countries and estimated cost savings with earlier ART initiation.
Background. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the incidence and prevalence of 14 opportunistic infections (OIs) and other infections as well as the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected children (aged <18 years) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), to understand regional burden of disease, and inform delivery of HIV services.
Methods. Eligible studies described the incidence of OIs and other infections in ART-naive and -exposed children from January 1990 to November 2013, using Medline, Global Health, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Knowledge, and Literatura Latino Americana em Ciências da Saúde databases. Summary incident risk (IR) and prevalent risk for each OI in ART-naive and ART-exposed children were calculated, and unadjusted odds ratios calculated for impact of ART. The number of OI cases and associated costs averted were estimated using the AIDS impact model.
Results. We identified 4542 citations, and 88 studies were included, comprising 55 679 HIV-infected children. Bacterial pneumonia and tuberculosis were the most common incident and prevalent infections in both ART-naive and ART-exposed children. There was a significant reduction in IR with ART for the majority of OIs. There was a smaller impact on bacterial sepsis and pneumonia, and an increase observed for varicella zoster. ART initiation based on 2010 World Health Organization guidelines criteria for ART initiation in children was estimated to potentially avert >161 000 OIs (2013 UNAIDS data) with estimated cost savings of at least US$17 million per year.
Conclusions. There is a decrease in the risk of most OIs with ART use in HIV-infected children in LMICs, and estimated large potential cost savings in OIs averted with ART use, although there are greater uncertainties in pediatric data compared with that of adults.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciw139
PMCID: PMC4885647  PMID: 27001796
pediatrics; opportunistic infections; HIV; low- and middle-income countries
6.  Promoting an ethic of engagement in pediatric palliative care research 
BMC Palliative Care  2015;14:50.
Background
This paper defends the ethical and empirical significance of direct engagement with terminally ill children and adolescents in PPC research on health-related quality of life. Clinical trials and other forms of health research have resulted in tremendous progress for improving clinical outcomes among children and adolescents diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Less attention has been paid, however, to engaging this patient population directly in studies aimed at optimizing health-related quality of life in PPC. Though not restricted to care at the end of life, PPC—and by extension PPC research—is in part dependent on recognizing the social complexities of death and dying and where health-related quality of life is a fundamental element. To explore these complexities in depth requires partnership with terminally ill children and adolescents, and acknowledgement of their active social and moral agency in research.
Discussion
Principles of pediatric research ethics, theoretical tenets of the “new sociology of the child(hood),” and human rights codified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) underpin the position that a more engagement-centered approach is needed in PPC research. The ethics, sociologies and human rights of engagement will each be discussed as they relate to research with terminally ill children and adolescents in PPC. Qualitative method(ologies) presented in this paper, such as deliberative stakeholder consultations and phenomenology of practice can serve as meaningful vehicles for achieving i) participation among terminally ill children and adolescents; ii) evidence-bases for PPC best practices; and iii) fulfillment of research ethics principles.
Conclusion
PPC research based on direct engagement with PPC patients better reflects their unique expertise and social epistemologies of terminal illness. Such an approach to research would strengthen both the ethical and methodological soundness of HRQoL inquiry in PPC.
doi:10.1186/s12904-015-0048-5
PMCID: PMC4608148  PMID: 26474573
Pediatric palliative care; Engagement; Qualitative research; Ethics; Inclusion; Participation
7.  Genetics and primary care: where are we headed? 
Since first sequencing the human genome in 2003, emerging genetic/genomic technologies have ushered in a revolutionary era of medicine that purports to bridge molecular biology and clinical care. The field of translational medicine is charged with mediating this revolution. Sequencing innovations are far outpacing guidelines intended to ease their practice-based applications, including in primary care. As a result, genomic medicine’s full integration in primary care settings especially, has been slow to materialize. Researchers and clinicians alike face substantial challenges in navigating contentious ethical issues raised in translation and implementation, namely preserving the spirit of whole-person approaches to care; maintaining respect for persons and communities; and translating genetic risk into clinical actionability. This commentary therefore explores practical barriers to, and ethical implications of, incorporating genomic technologies in the primary care sector. These ethical challenges are both philosophical and infrastructural. From a primary care perspective, the commentary further reviews the ethical, legal and social implications of the Center for Disease Control’s proposed model for assessing the validity and utility of genomic testing and family health history applications. Lastly, the authors provide recommendations for future translational initiatives that aim to maximize the capacities of genomic medicine, without compromising primary care philosophies and foundations of practice.
doi:10.1186/s12967-014-0238-6
PMCID: PMC4243929  PMID: 25164605
Personalized medicine; Ethics; Primary care; Translation; Genomics
12.  Development and Content Validation of the Information Assessment Method for Patients and Consumers 
JMIR Research Protocols  2014;3(1):e7.
Background
Online consumer health information addresses health problems, self-care, disease prevention, and health care services and is intended for the general public. Using this information, people can improve their knowledge, participation in health decision-making, and health. However, there are no comprehensive instruments to evaluate the value of health information from a consumer perspective.
Objective
We collaborated with information providers to develop and validate the Information Assessment Method for all (IAM4all) that can be used to collect feedback from information consumers (including patients), and to enable a two-way knowledge translation between information providers and consumers.
Methods
Content validation steps were followed to develop the IAM4all questionnaire. The first version was based on a theoretical framework from information science, a critical literature review and prior work. Then, 16 laypersons were interviewed on their experience with online health information and specifically their impression of the IAM4all questionnaire. Based on the summaries and interpretations of interviews, questionnaire items were revised, added, and excluded, thus creating the second version of the questionnaire. Subsequently, a panel of 12 information specialists and 8 health researchers participated in an online survey to rate each questionnaire item for relevance, clarity, representativeness, and specificity. The result of this expert panel contributed to the third, current, version of the questionnaire.
Results
The current version of the IAM4all questionnaire is structured by four levels of outcomes of information seeking/receiving: situational relevance, cognitive impact, information use, and health benefits. Following the interviews and the expert panel survey, 9 questionnaire items were confirmed as relevant, clear, representative, and specific. To improve readability and accessibility for users with a lower level of literacy, 19 items were reworded and all inconsistencies in using a passive or active voice have been solved. One item was removed due to redundancy. The current version of the IAM4all questionnaire contains 28 items.
Conclusions
We developed and content validated the IAM4all in partnership with information providers, information specialists, researchers and representatives of information consumers. This questionnaire can be integrated within electronic knowledge resources to stimulate users’ reflection (eg, their intention to use information). We claim that any organization (eg, publishers, community organizations, or patient associations), can evaluate and improve their online consumer health information from a consumers’ perspective using this method.
doi:10.2196/resprot.2908
PMCID: PMC3958673  PMID: 24550180
information use; information retrieval; push technology; consumer health information; consumer-centered outcomes; content validity
15.  Pharmacogenomics in Primary Care: A Crucial Entry Point for Global Personalized Medicine? 
PMCID: PMC3356245  PMID: 22611463 CAMSID: cams2203
Developing countries; developing world genomics; essential medicines; genomics and international development; global personalized medicine; pharmacogenomics and primary care; primary care genomics; public health pharmacogenomics
16.  Do Family Physicians Retrieve Synopses of Clinical Research Previously Read as Email Alerts? 
Background
A synopsis of new clinical research highlights important aspects of one study in a brief structured format. When delivered as email alerts, synopses enable clinicians to become aware of new developments relevant for practice. Once read, a synopsis can become a known item of clinical information. In time-pressured situations, remembering a known item may facilitate information retrieval by the clinician. However, exactly how synopses first delivered as email alerts influence retrieval at some later time is not known.
Objectives
We examined searches for clinical information in which a synopsis previously read as an email alert was retrieved (defined as a dyad). Our study objectives were to (1) examine whether family physicians retrieved synopses they previously read as email alerts and then to (2) explore whether family physicians purposefully retrieved these synopses.
Methods
We conducted a mixed-methods study in which a qualitative multiple case study explored the retrieval of email alerts within a prospective longitudinal cohort of practicing family physicians. Reading of research-based synopses was tracked in two contexts: (1) push, meaning to read on email and (2) pull, meaning to read after retrieval from one electronic knowledge resource. Dyads, defined as synopses first read as email alerts and subsequently retrieved in a search of a knowledge resource, were prospectively identified. Participants were interviewed about all of their dyads. Outcomes were the total number of dyads and their type.
Results
Over a period of 341 days, 194 unique synopses delivered to 41 participants resulted in 4937 synopsis readings. In all, 1205 synopses were retrieved over an average of 320 days. Of the 1205 retrieved synopses, 21 (1.7%) were dyads made by 17 family physicians. Of the 1205 retrieved synopses, 6 (0.5%) were known item type dyads. However, dyads also occurred serendipitously.
Conclusion
In the single knowledge resource we studied, email alerts containing research-based synopses were rarely retrieved. Our findings help us to better understand the effect of push on pull and to improve the integration of research-based information within electronic resources for clinicians.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1683
PMCID: PMC3278087  PMID: 22130465
Electronic mail; clinical email channels; information retrieval; physicians, family
17.  Adverse events associated with treatment of latent tuberculosis in the general population 
Background
Guidelines recommend treatment of latent tuberculosis in patients at increased risk for active tuberculosis. Studies investigating the association of therapy with serious adverse events have not included the entire treated population nor accounted for comorbidities or occurrence of similar events in the untreated general population. Our objective was to estimate the risk of adverse events requiring hospital admission that were associated with therapy for latent tuberculosis infection in the general population.
Methods
Using administrative health data from the province of Quebec, we created a historical cohort of all residents dispensed therapy for latent tuberculosis between 1998 and 2003. Each patient was matched on age, sex and postal region with two untreated residents. The observation period was 18 months (from 6 months before to 12 months after initiation of therapy). The primary outcome was hospital admission for therapy-associated adverse events.
Results
During the period of observation, therapy for latent tuberculosis was dispensed to 9145 residents, of whom 95% started isoniazid and 5% started rifampin. Pretreatment comorbid illness was significantly more common among patients receiving such therapy compared with the matched untreated cohort. Of all patients dispensed therapy, 45 (0.5%) were admitted to hospital for a hepatic event compared with 15 (0.1%) of the untreated patients. For people over age 65 years, the odds of hospital admission for a hepatic event among patients treated for latent tuberculosis infection was significantly greater than among matched untreated people after adjustment for comorbidities (odds ratio [OR] 6.4, 95% CI 2.2–18.3). Excluding patients with comorbid illness, there were two excess admissions to hospital for hepatic events per 100 patients initiating therapy compared with the rate among untreated people over 65 years (95% CI 0.1–3.87).
Interpretation
The risk of adverse events requiring hospital admission increased significantly among patients over 65 years receiving treatment for latent tuberculosis infection. The decision to treat latent tuberculosis infection in elderly patients should be made after careful consideration of risks and benefits.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.091824
PMCID: PMC3042475  PMID: 21220436
18.  Association between risk factors for injurious falls and new benzodiazepine prescribing in elderly persons 
BMC Family Practice  2009;10:1.
Background
Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed to elderly patients' despite concerns about adverse effects leading to injurious falls. Previous studies have not investigated the extent to which patients with pre-existing risk factors for falls are prescribed benzodiazepines. The objective of this study is to assess if some of the risk factors for falls are associated with new benzodiazepine prescriptions in elderly persons.
Methods
Using provincial administrative databases, elderly Quebec residents were screened in 1989 for benzodiazepine use and non-users were followed for up to 5 years. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate potential predictors of new benzodiazepine use among patient baseline characteristics.
Results
In the 252,811 elderly patients who had no benzodiazepine prescription during the baseline year (1989), 174,444 (69%) never filled a benzodiazepine prescription and 78,367 (31%) filled at least one benzodiazepine prescription. In the adjusted analysis, several risk factors for falls were associated with statistically significant increases in the risk of receiving a new benzodiazepine prescription including the number of prescribing physicians seen at baseline (OR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.11–1.13), being female (OR: 1.20; 95% CI 1.18–1.22) or a diagnosis of arthritis (OR: 1.11; 95% CI 1.09–1.14), depression (OR: 1.42; 95% CI 1.35–1.49) or alcohol abuse (OR: 1.24; 95% CI 1.05–1.46). The strongest predictor for starting a benzodiazepine was the use of other medications, particularly anti-depressants (OR: 1.85; 95% CI 1.75–1.95).
Conclusion
Patients with pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of injurious falls are significantly more likely to receive a new prescription for a benzodiazepine. The strength of the association between previous medication use and new benzodiazepine prescriptions highlights an important medication safety issue.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-10-1
PMCID: PMC2627814  PMID: 19126237
19.  A Randomized Trial of the Effectiveness of On-demand versus Computer-triggered Drug Decision Support in Primary Care 
Objectives
Prescribing alerts generated by computerized drug decision support (CDDS) may prevent drug-related morbidity. However, the vast majority of alerts are ignored because of clinical irrelevance. The ability to customize commercial alert systems should improve physician acceptance because the physician can select the circumstances and types of drug alerts that are viewed. We tested the effectiveness of two approaches to medication alert customization to reduce prevalence of prescribing problems: on-physician-demand versus computer-triggered decision support. Physicians in each study condition were able to preset levels that triggered alerts.
Design
This was a cluster trial with 28 primary care physicians randomized to either automated or on-demand CDDS in the MOXXI drug management system for 3,449 of their patients seen over the next 6 months.
Measurements
The CDDS generated alerts for prescribing problems that could be customized by severity level. Prescribing problems included dosing errors, drug–drug, age, allergy, and disease interactions. Physicians randomized to on-demand activated the drug review when they considered it clinically relevant, whereas physicians randomized to computer-triggered decision support viewed all alerts for electronic prescriptions in accordance with the severity level they selected for both prevalent and incident problems. Data from administrative claims and MOXXI were used to measure the difference in the prevalence of prescribing problems at the end of follow-up.
Results
During follow-up, 50% of the physicians receiving computer-triggered alerts modified the alert threshold (n = 7), and 21% of the physicians in the alert-on-demand group modified the alert level (n = 3). In the on-demand group 4,445 prescribing problems were identified, 41 (0.9%) were seen by requested drug review, and in 31 problems (75.6%) the prescription was revised. In comparison, 668 (10.3%) of the 6,505 prescribing problems in the computer-triggered group were seen, and 81 (12.1%) were revised. The majority of alerts were ignored because the benefit was judged greater than the risk, the interaction was known, or the interaction was considered clinically not important (computer-triggered: 75.8% of 585 ignored alerts; on-demand: 90% of 10 ignored alerts). At the end of follow-up, there was a significant reduction in therapeutic duplication problems in the computer-triggered group (odds ratio 0.55; p = 0.02) but no difference in the overall prevalence of prescribing problems.
Conclusion
Customization of computer-triggered alert systems is more useful in detecting and resolving prescribing problems than on-demand review, but neither approach was effective in reducing prescribing problems. New strategies are needed to maximize the use of drug decision support systems to reduce drug-related morbidity.
doi:10.1197/jamia.M2606
PMCID: PMC2442270  PMID: 18436904
20.  Impact of patient communication problems on the risk of preventable adverse events in acute care settings 
Background
Up to 50% of adverse events that occur in hospitals are preventable. Language barriers and disabilities that affect communication have been shown to decrease quality of care. We sought to assess whether communication problems are associated with an increased risk of preventable adverse events.
Methods
We randomly selected 20 general hospitals in the province of Quebec with at least 1500 annual admissions. Of the 145 672 admissions to the selected hospitals in 2000/01, we randomly selected and reviewed 2355 charts of patients aged 18 years or older. Reviewers abstracted patient characteristics, including communication problems, and details of hospital admission, and assessed the cause and preventability of identified adverse events. The primary outcome was adverse events.
Results
Of 217 adverse events, 63 (29%) were judged to be preventable, for an overall population rate of 2.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1%–3.4%). We found that patients with preventable adverse events were significantly more likely than those without such events to have a communication problem (odds ratio [OR] 3.00; 95% CI 1.43–6.27) or a psychiatric disorder (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.09–5.05). Patients who were admitted urgently were significantly more likely than patients whose admissions were elective to experience an event (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.07–2.52). Preventable adverse events were mainly due to drug errors (40%) or poor clinical management (32%). We found that patients with communication problems were more likely than patients without these problems to experience multiple preventable adverse events (46% v. 20%; p = 0.05).
Interpretation
Patients with communication problems appeared to be at highest risk for preventable adverse events. Interventions to reduce the risk for these patients need to be developed and evaluated.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.070690
PMCID: PMC2396356  PMID: 18519903
21.  The Development and Evaluation of an Integrated Electronic Prescribing and Drug Management System for Primary Care 
Objective: To develop and evaluate the acceptability and use of an integrated electronic prescribing and drug management system (MOXXI) for primary care physicians.
Design: A 20-month follow-up study of MOXXI (Medical Office of the XXIst Century) implementation in 28 primary care physicians and 13,515 consenting patients.
Measurement: MOXXI was developed to enhance patient safety by integrating patient demographics, retrieving active drugs from pharmacy systems, generating an automated problem list, and providing electronic prescription, stop order, automated prescribing problem alerts, and compliance monitoring functions. Evaluation of technical performance, acceptability, and use was conducted using audit trails, questionnaires, standardized tasks, and information from comprehensive health insurance databases.
Results: Perceived improvements in continuity of care and professional autonomy were associated with physicians' expected use of MOXXI. Physician speed in using MOXXI improved substantially in the first three months; however, only the represcribing function was faster using MOXXI than by handwritten prescription. Physicians wrote electronic prescriptions in 36.9 per 100 visits and reviewed the patient's drug profile in 12.6 per 100 visits. Physicians rated printed prescriptions, the current drug list, and the represcribing function as the most beneficial aspects of the system. Physicians were more likely to use the drug profile for patients who used more medication, made more emergency department visits, had more prescribing physicians, and lower continuity of care.
Conclusion: Primary care physicians believed an integrated electronic prescribing and drug management system would improve continuity of care, and they were more likely to use the system for patients with more complex, fragmented care.
doi:10.1197/jamia.M1887
PMCID: PMC1447542  PMID: 16357357
22.  Effect of a community oriented problem based learning curriculum on quality of primary care delivered by graduates: historical cohort comparison study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7523):1002.
Objective To assess whether the transition from a traditional curriculum to a community oriented problem based learning curriculum at Sherbrooke University is associated with the expected improvements in preventive care and continuity of care without a decline in diagnosis and management of disease.
Design Historical cohort comparison study.
Setting Sherbrooke University and three traditional medical schools in Quebec, Canada.
Participants 751 doctors from four graduation cohorts (1988-91); three before the transition to community based problem based learning (n = 600) and one after the transition (n = 151).
Outcome measures Annual performance in preventive care (mammography screening rate), continuity of care, diagnosis (difference in prescribing rates for specific diseases and relief of symptoms), and management (prescribing rate for contraindicated drugs) assessed using provincial health databases for the first 4-7 years of practice.
Results After transition to a community oriented problem based learning curriculum, graduates of Sherbrooke University showed a statistically significant improvement in mammography screening rates (55 more women screened per 1000, 95% confidence interval 10.6 to 99.3) and continuity of care (3.3% more visits coordinated by the doctor, 0.9% to 5.8%) compared with graduates of a traditional medical curriculum. Indicators of diagnostic and management performance did not show the hypothesised decline. Sherbrooke graduates showed a significant fourfold increase in disease specific prescribing rates compared with prescribing for symptom relief after the transition.
Conclusion Transition to a community oriented problem based learning curriculum was associated with significant improvements in preventive care and continuity of care and an improvement in indicators of diagnostic performance.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38636.582546.7C
PMCID: PMC1273455  PMID: 16239292
23.  RARE VISIBLE DISORDERS/DISEASES AS INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION 
Individually identifiable health information needs to be masked or deleted in the secondary use of data for research. We defined and identified rare visible disorders as part of de-identification of individually identifiable health information. The prevalence of these disorders was evaluated using an administrative database and conformed to our definition. Due emphasis should be given to rare visible disorders in the de-identification process of health information.
PMCID: PMC1560775  PMID: 16779234

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