Little information exists about what primary care physicians (PCPs) and patients experience if patients are invited to read their doctors’ office notes.
To evaluate the effect on doctors and patients of facilitating patient access to visit notes over secure Internet portals.
Quasi-experimental trial of PCPs and patient volunteers in a year-long program that provided patients with electronic links to their doctors’ notes.
Primary care practices at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Massachusetts, Geisinger Health System (GHS) in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center (HMC) in Washington.
105 PCPs and 13 564 of their patients who had at least 1 completed note available during the intervention period.
Portal use and electronic messaging by patients and surveys focusing on participants’ perceptions of behaviors, benefits, and negative consequences.
11 797 of 13 564 patients with visit notes available opened at least 1 note (84% at BIDMC, 92% at GHS, and 47% at HMC). Of 5391 patients who opened at least 1 note and completed a postintervention survey, 77% to 87% across the 3 sites reported that open notes helped them feel more in control of their care; 60% to 78% of those taking medications reported increased medication adherence; 26% to 36% had privacy concerns; 1% to 8% reported that the notes caused confusion, worry, or offense; and 20% to 42% reported sharing notes with others. The volume of electronic messages from patients did not change. After the intervention, few doctors reported longer visits (0% to 5%) or more time addressing patients’ questions outside of visits (0% to 8%), with practice size having little effect; 3% to 36% of doctors reported changing documentation content; and 0% to 21% reported taking more time writing notes. Looking ahead, 59% to 62% of patients believed that they should be able to add comments to a doctor’s note. One out of 3 patients believed that they should be able to approve the notes’ contents, but 85% to 96% of doctors did not agree. At the end of the experimental period, 99% of patients wanted open notes to continue and no doctor elected to stop.
Only 3 geographic areas were represented, and most participants were experienced in using portals. Doctors volunteering to participate and patients using portals and completing surveys may tend to offer favorable feedback, and the response rate of the patient surveys (41%) may further limit generalizability.
Patients accessed visit notes frequently, a large majority reported clinically relevant benefits and minimal concerns, and virtually all patients wanted the practice to continue. With doctors experiencing no more than a modest effect on their work lives, open notes seem worthy of widespread adoption.
Primary Funding Source
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Drane Family Fund, the Richard and Florence Koplow Charitable Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is a new method of accessing intracavitary organs in order to minimize pain by avoiding incisions in the body wall. The aim of this study is to determine patients' acceptance of NOTES in Korea and to compare their views about laparoscopic surgery and NOTES for benign and malignant diseases.
Materials and Methods
The target number of total subjects was calculated to be 540. The subjects were classified into 18 sub-groups based on age groups, gender, and history of prior surgery. The questionnaire elicited information about demographic characteristics, medical check-ups, diseases, endoscopic and surgical histories, marital status and childbirth, the acceptance of NOTES, and the preferred routes for NOTES. In addition, the subjects chose laparoscopic surgery or NOTES for a hypothetical cholecystectomy and rectal cancer surgery, and responded to questions regarding the acceptable complication rate of NOTES, the appropriate cost of NOTES, and the reason(s) why they did not select NOTES.
486 of 540 patients (90.0%) who agreed to participate in this study completed the questionnaire. NOTES was preferred by the following patients: elderly; a history of treatment due to a disease; having regular check-ups; and a history of an endoscopic procedure (p<0.05). The most preferred route for NOTES was the stomach (67.1%). Eighty-four percent of the patients choosing NOTES responded that the complication rate of the new surgical method should be the same or lower than laparoscopic surgery. Vague anxiety over a new surgical method was the most common reason why NOTES was not selected in benign and malignant diseases (64% and 73%), respectively.
Patients appear to be interested in the potential benefits of NOTES and would embrace it if their concerns about safety are met. We believe that qualified surgical endoscopists can meet these safety concerns, and that NOTES development has the potential to flourish.
NOTES; endoscopy; surgery; patient perception; survey
Inviting patients to read their primary care visit notes may improve communication and help them engage more actively in their health care. Little is known about how patients will use the opportunity to share their visit notes with family members or caregivers, or what the benefits might be.
Our goal was to evaluate the characteristics of patients who reported sharing their visit notes during the course of the study, including their views on associated benefits and risks.
The OpenNotes study invited patients to access their primary care providers’ visit notes in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Pre- and post-intervention surveys assessed patient demographics, standardized measures of patient-doctor communication, sharing of visit notes with others during the study, and specific health behaviors reflecting the potential benefits and risks of offering patients easy access to their visit notes.
More than half (55.43%, 2503/4516) of the participants who reported viewing at least one visit note would like the option of letting family members or friends have their own Web access to their visit notes, and 21.70% (980/4516) reported sharing their visit notes with someone during the study year. Men, and those retired or unable to work, were significantly more likely to share visit notes, and those sharing were neither more nor less concerned about their privacy than were non-sharers. Compared to participants who did not share clinic notes, those who shared were more likely to report taking better care of themselves and taking their medications as prescribed, after adjustment for age, gender, employment status, and study site.
One in five OpenNotes patients shared a visit note with someone, and those sharing Web access to their visit notes reported better adherence to self-care and medications. As health information technology systems increase patients’ ability to access their medical records, facilitating access to caregivers may improve perceived health behaviors and outcomes.
open access to information; caregivers; health behavior; information sharing
Background and Objectives:
Natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is a development of recent origin. In 2004, Kalloo et al first described NOTES investigation in an animal model. Since then, several investigators have pursued NOTES study in animal survival and nonsurvival models. Our objectives for this project included studying NOTES intervention in a laboratory environment using large animal (swine) models and learning to do so in a safe, controlled manner. Ultimately, we intend to introduce NOTES methodology into our surgical residency training program. The expertise of an experienced laparoscopic surgeon, fellowship-trained laparoendoscopic surgeon, and veterinarian along with a senior surgical resident was utilized to bring the input of several disciplines to this study. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM/COP) approved this study.
A series of 5 laboratory sessions using mixed breed farm swine varying in weight from 37 kg to 43.1 kg was planned for the initial phase of NOTES introduction into our residency program. Animals were not kept alive in this investigation. All animals were anesthetized using a standard swine protocol and euthanized following guidelines issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia. Equipment included a Fujinon EVE endoscope 0.8 cm in diameter with a suction/irrigation channel and one working channel. Initially, a US Endoscopy gastric overtube, 19.5 mm OD and 50 cm in length, was used to facilitate passage of the endoscope. However, this device was found to have insufficient length. Subsequently, commercially available 5/8” diameter clear plastic tubing, 70 cm to 80 cm in length, was adapted for use as an overtube. Standard endoscopic instruments included Boston Scientific biopsy forceps, needle-knife, papillotome, endoscopic clip applier, and Valley Lab electrosurgical unit. A Karl Storz laparoscope and tower were used for laparoscopic observation of NOTES maneuvers. Necropsy was performed to determine specific details of surgical intervention.
NOTES intervention is feasible in an animal model. Insight into the potential of NOTES was obtained in this investigation.
NOTES investigation in a controlled, laboratory setting using an animal model proved to have value for our program. A steep learning curve was encountered despite the availability of an investigator familiar with elementary NOTES procedures. The authors strongly suggest investigators adopt the ASGE/SAGES working group recommendations for a multidisciplinary team possessing advanced therapeutic endoscopic and advanced laparoscopic skills to study NOTES before human investigation. Animal laboratory facilities to perform research and training should be available to the multidisciplinary team for exploration of NOTES techniques and procedures. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must be obtained before introduction of NOTES procedures in human patients.
Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery; Endoscopy; Laparoscopy; Surgical residency
To measure the time spent authoring and viewing documentation and to study patterns of usage in healthcare practice.
Audit logs for an electronic health record were used to calculate rates, and social network analysis was applied to ascertain usage patterns. Subjects comprised all care providers at an urban academic medical center who authored or viewed electronic documentation.
Rate and time of authoring and viewing clinical documentation, and associations among users were measured.
Users spent 20–103 min per day authoring notes and 7–56 min per day viewing notes, with physicians spending less than 90 min per day total. About 16% of attendings' notes, 8% of residents' notes, and 38% of nurses' notes went unread by other users, and, overall, 16% of notes were never read by anyone. Viewing of notes dropped quickly with the age of the note, but notes were read at a low but measurable rate, even after 2 years. Most healthcare teams (77%) included a nurse, an attending, and a resident, and those three users' groups were the first to write notes during an admission.
The limitations were restriction to a single academic medical center and use of log files without direct observation.
Care providers spend a significant amount of time viewing and authoring notes. Many notes are never read, and rates of usage vary significantly by author and viewer. While the rate of viewing a note drops quickly with its age, even after 2 years inpatient notes are still viewed.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether physicians document office visits differently when they know their patients have easy, online access to visit notes.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a natural experiment with a pre-post design and a nonrandomized control group. The setting was a multispecialty group practice in Minnesota. We reviewed a total of 400 visit notes: 100 each for patients seen in a rheumatology department (intervention group) and a pulmonary medicine department (control group) from July 1 to August 30, 2005, before online access to notes, and 100 each for patients seen in these 2 departments 1 year later, from July 1 to August 30, 2006, when only rheumatology patients had online access to visit notes. We measured changes in visit note content related to 9 hypotheses for increased patient understanding and 5 for decreased frank or judgmental language.
RESULTS: Changes occurred for 2 of the 9 hypotheses related to patient understanding, both in an unpredicted direction. The proportion of acronyms or abbreviations increased more in the notes of rheumatologists than of pulmonologists (0.6% vs 0.1%; P=.01), whereas the proportion of anatomy understood decreased more in the notes of rheumatologists than of pulmonologists (−5.9% vs −0.8%; P=.02). One change (of 5 possible) occurred related to the use of frank or judgmental terms. Mentions of mental health status decreased in rheumatology notes and increased in pulmonology notes (−8% vs 7%; P=.02).
CONCLUSION: Dictation patterns appear relatively stable over time with or without online patient access to visit notes.
Physicians have expressed concern that sharing visit notes with patients could lead them to write more vague notes so as to avoid upsetting patients, but this study found that dictation patterns appear relatively stable over time with or without online patient access to visit notes.
Kidney disease is under-documented in physician notes. The use of template-guided notes may improve physician recognition of kidney disease early in training.
The objective of this study was to determine whether a computerized inpatient renal template note with clinical decision support improves resident knowledge and documentation of kidney disease.
In this prospective study, first year medical residents were encouraged to use the renal template note for documentation over a one-month period. The renal template note included an option for classification of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) categories with a link to standard classifications. Pre- and post-knowledge of AKI and CKD categories was tested with a quiz and surveys of resident experience with the intervention were conducted. Appropriate AKI and/or CKD classification was determined in 100 renal template notes and 112 comparable historical internal medicine resident progress notes from approximately one year prior.
2,435 inpatient encounters amongst 15 residents who participated were documented using the renal template note. A significantly higher percent of residents correctly staged earlier stage CKD (CKD3) using the renal template note compared to historical notes (9/46 vs. 0/33, p<0.01). Documentation of AKI and more advanced CKD stages (CKD4 and 5) did not improve. Knowledge based on quiz scores increased modestly but was not significant. The renal template note was well received by residents and was perceived as helping improve knowledge and documentation of kidney disease.
The renal template note significantly improved staging of earlier stage CKD (CKD3) with a modest but non-significant improvement in resident knowledge. Given the importance of early recognition and treatment of CKD, future studies should focus on teaching early recognition using template notes with supplemental educational interventions.
Clinical decision support systems; kidney disease; medical education; electronic medical records; templates
Part-of-speech (POS) tagging is a fundamental step required by various NLP systems. The training of a POS tagger relies on sufficient quality annotations. However, the annotation process is both knowledge-intensive and time-consuming in the clinical domain. A promising solution appears to be for institutions to share their annotation efforts, and yet there is little research on associated issues. We performed experiments to understand how POS tagging performance would be affected by using a pre-trained tagger versus raw training data across different institutions. We manually annotated a set of clinical notes at Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) and a set from the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC), and trained/tested POS taggers with intra- and inter-institution settings. The cTAKES POS tagger was also included in the comparison to represent a tagger partially trained from the notes of a third institution, Mayo Clinic at Rochester.
Intra-institution 5-fold cross-validation estimated an accuracy of 0.953 and 0.945 on the KPSC and UPMC notes respectively. Trained purely on KPSC notes, the accuracy was 0.897 when tested on UPMC notes. Trained purely on UPMC notes, the accuracy was 0.904 when tested on KPSC notes. Applying the cTAKES tagger pre-trained with Mayo Clinic’s notes, the accuracy was 0.881 on KPSC notes and 0.883 on UPMC notes. After adding UPMC annotations to KPSC training data, the average accuracy on tested KPSC notes increased to 0.965. After adding KPSC annotations to UPMC training data, the average accuracy on tested UPMC notes increased to 0.953. The results indicated: first, the performance of pre-trained POS taggers dropped about 5% when applied directly across the institutions; second, mixing annotations from another institution following the same guideline increased tagging accuracy for about 1%. Our findings suggest that institutions can benefit more from sharing raw annotations but less from sharing pre-trained models for the POS tagging task. We believe the study could also provide general insights on cross-institution data sharing for other types of NLP tasks.
To review natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) applications in clinical practice and assess the evidence base for each application as reported in the literature. An electronic literature search was performed. Inclusion criteria were publications relating to NOTES applications in humans. For each type of operation the highest level of evidence available for clinical NOTES publications was evaluated. Morbidity and short-term operative outcomes were compared with gold standard published evidence where available. Finally, registered trials recruiting patients for NOTES applications were identified. Human NOTES publications with the highest level of evidence in each application are identified. There were no RCTs in the literature to date. The strongest evidence came in the form of large, multi-centre trials with 300-500 patients. The results are encouraging, comparable with gold standard techniques on morbidity and mortality. While short-term operative outcomes were also similar when compared to the gold standard techniques, other than improved cosmesis little else can definitely be concluded as a clear benefit of a NOTES procedure. The most common procedures are cholecystectomy, appendicectomy and peritoneoscopy mainly performed via transvaginal access. It is evident that morbidity appears to be higher when the transgastric route is used. The safety profile of hybrid NOTES transvaginal procedures is beginning to be confirmed as is evident from the large number of procedures presented in this review. A number of authors have presented work on pure NOTES procedures but the results are inconsistent and thus the vast majority of NOTES procedures worldwide are performed in a hybrid fashion with a variable amount of laparoscopy. This review of the clinical applications of NOTES summarises the growing evidence behind this surgical discipline and highlights NOTES procedures with an acceptable safety profile.
Natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery; Humans; Clinical practice
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is technically challenging owing to endoscopic short-sighted visualization, excessive scope flexibility and lack of adequate instrumentation. Augmented reality may overcome these difficulties. This study tested whether an image registration system for NOTES procedures (IR-NOTES) can facilitate navigation.
In three human cadavers 15 intra-abdominal organs were targeted endoscopically with and without IR-NOTES via both transgastric and transcolonic routes, by three endoscopists with different levels of expertise. Ease of navigation was evaluated objectively by kinematic analysis, and navigation complexity was determined by creating an organ access complexity score based on the same data.
Without IR-NOTES, 21 (11·7 per cent) of 180 targets were not reached (expert endoscopist 3, advanced 7, intermediate 11), compared with one (1 per cent) of 90 with IR-NOTES (intermediate endoscopist) (P = 0·002). Endoscope movements were significantly less complex in eight of the 15 listed organs when using IR-NOTES. The most complex areas to access were the pelvis and left upper quadrant, independently of the access route. The most difficult organs to access were the spleen (5 failed attempts; 3 of 7 kinematic variables significantly improved) and rectum (4 failed attempts; 5 of 7 kinematic variables significantly improved). The time needed to access the rectum through a transgastric approach was 206·3 s without and 54·9 s with IR-NOTES (P = 0·027).
The IR-NOTES system enhanced both navigation efficacy and ease of intra-abdominal NOTES exploration for operators of all levels. The system rendered some organs accessible to non-expert operators, thereby reducing one impediment to NOTES procedures.
Offering patients online access to medical records, including doctors’ visit notes, holds considerable potential to improve care. However, patients may worry about loss of privacy when accessing personal health information through Internet-based patient portals. The OpenNotes study provided patients at three US health care institutions with online access to their primary care doctors’ notes and then collected survey data about their experiences, including their concerns about privacy before and after participation in the intervention.
To identify patients’ attitudes toward privacy when given electronic access to their medical records, including visit notes.
The design used a nested cohort study of patients surveyed at baseline and after a 1-year period during which they were invited to read their visit notes through secure patient portals. Participants consisted of 3874 primary care patients from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA), Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA), and Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, WA) who completed surveys before and after the OpenNotes intervention. The measures were patient-reported levels of concern regarding privacy associated with online access to visit notes.
32.91% of patients (1275/3874 respondents) reported concerns about privacy at baseline versus 36.63% (1419/3874 respondents) post-intervention. Baseline concerns were associated with non-white race/ethnicity and lower confidence in communicating with doctors, but were not associated with choosing to read notes or desire for continued online access post-intervention (nearly all patients with notes available chose to read them and wanted continued access). While the level of concern among most participants did not change during the intervention, 15.54% (602/3874 respondents, excluding participants who responded “don’t know”) reported more concern post-intervention, and 12.73% (493/3874 respondents, excluding participants who responded “don’t know”) reported less concern.
When considering online access to visit notes, approximately one-third of patients had concerns about privacy at baseline and post-intervention. These perceptions did not deter participants from accessing their notes, suggesting that the benefits of online access to medical records may outweigh patients’ perceived risks to privacy.
electronic medical records; patient access to records; patient portals; privacy; consumer health informatics; personal health records
Inpatient medical notes often fail to record important details of patient history and findings on clinical examination. To overcome problems with content and legibility of notes we introduced preprinted notes for the admission of children to this hospital. The quality of the information recorded for 100 children whose admissions were clerked with the preprinted notes was compared with that recorded for 100 whose admissions were recorded with the traditional notes. All case notes were selected randomly and retrospectively from traditional notes written from April to October 1993 and from preprinted notes written from October 1993 to April 1994. The quality of information was assessed according to the presence or absence of 25 agreed core clinical details and the number of words per clerking. In admissions recorded with the preprinted notes the mean number of core clinical details present was significantly higher than those recorded with traditional notes (24.0 v 17.6, p < 0.00001). Admissions recorded with the preprinted notes were also significantly shorter (mean 144 words v 184 words, p < 0.0001). The authors conclude that information about children admitted to hospital is both more complete and more succinct when recorded using preprinted admission sheets.
Objective: The Computerized Patient Record System is deployed at all 173 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Providers access clinical notes in the system from a note title menu. Following its implementation at the Nashville VA Medical Center, users expressed dissatisfaction with the time required find notes among hundreds of irregularly structured titles. The authors' objective was to develop a document-naming nomenclature (DNN) that creates informative, structured note titles that improve information access.
Design: One thousand ninety-four unique note titles from two VA medical centers were reviewed. A note-naming nomenclature and compositional syntax were derived. Compositional order was determined by user preference survey.
Measurements: The DNN was evaluated by modeling note titles from the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center (n=877), Vanderbilt University Medical Center (n=554), and the Mayo Clinic (n=42). A preliminary usability evaluation was conducted on a structured title display and sorting application.
Results: Classes of note title components were found by inspection. Components describe characteristics of the author, the health care event, and the organizational unit providing care. Terms were taken from VA medical center information systems and national standards. The DNN model accurately described 97 to 99 percent of note titles from the test sites. The DNN term coverage varied, depending on component and site. Users found the DNN title format useful and the DNN-based title sorting and note review application easy to learn and quick to use.
Conclusion: The DNN accurately models note titles at five medical centers. Preliminary usability data indicate that DNN integration with title parsing and sorting software enhances information access.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is the most performed minimal invasive surgical procedure and has a relatively high complication rate. As complications are often revealed postoperatively, clear, accurate, and timely written operative notes are important in order to recall the procedure and start follow-up treatment as soon as possible. In addition, the surgeon’s operative notes are important to assure surgical quality and communication with other healthcare providers. The aim of the present study was to assess compliance with the Dutch guidelines for writing operative notes for LC.
Nine hospitals were asked to send 20 successive LC operative notes. All notes were compared to the Dutch guideline by two reviewers and double-checked by a third reviewer. Statistical analyses on the “not described” items were performed.
All hospitals participated. Most notes complied with the Dutch guideline (52–69%); 19–30% of items did not comply. Negative scores for all hospitals were found, mainly for lacking a description of the patient’s posture (average 69%), bandage (94%), blood loss (98%), name of the scrub nurse (87%), postoperative conclusion (65%), and postoperative instructions (78%). Furthermore, notes from one community hospital and two teaching hospitals complied significantly less with the guidelines.
Operative notes do not always fully comply with the standards set forth in the guidelines published in the Netherlands. This could influence adjuvant treatment and future patient treatment, and it may make operative notes less suitable background for other purposes. Therefore operative note writing should be taught as part of surgical training, definitions should be provided, and procedure-specific guidelines should be established to improve the quality of the operative notes and their use to improve patient safety.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25–34 year olds and the third leading cause of death among 15–25 year olds in the United States. In the Emergency Department, where suicidal patients often present, estimating the risk of repeated attempts is generally left to clinical judgment. This paper presents our second attempt to determine the role of computational algorithms in understanding a suicidal patient’s thoughts, as represented by suicide notes. We focus on developing methods of natural language processing that distinguish between genuine and elicited suicide notes. We hypothesize that machine learning algorithms can categorize suicide notes as well as mental health professionals and psychiatric physician trainees do. The data used are comprised of suicide notes from 33 suicide completers and matched to 33 elicited notes from healthy control group members. Eleven mental health professionals and 31 psychiatric trainees were asked to decide if a note was genuine or elicited. Their decisions were compared to nine different machine-learning algorithms. The results indicate that trainees accurately classified notes 49% of the time, mental health professionals accurately classified notes 63% of the time, and the best machine learning algorithm accurately classified the notes 78% of the time. This is an important step in developing an evidence-based predictor of repeated suicide attempts because it shows that natural language processing can aid in distinguishing between classes of suicidal notes.
suicide; suicide prediction; suicide notes; machine learning
AIM: To investigate perception of natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) as a potential technique for appendectomy.
METHODS: One hundred patients undergoing endoscopy and 100 physicians were given a questionnaire describing in detail the techniques of NOTES and laparoscopic appendectomy. They were asked about the reasons for their preference, choice of orifice, and extent of complication risk they were willing to accept.
RESULTS: Fifty patients (50%) and only 21 physicians (21%) preferred NOTES (P < 0.001). Patients had previously heard of NOTES less frequently (7% vs 73%, P < 0.001) and had undergone endoscopy more frequently (88% vs 36%, P < 0.001) than physicians. Absence of hernia was the most common reason for NOTES preference in physicians (80% vs 44%, P = 0.003), whereas reduced pain was the most common reason in patients (66% vs 52%). Physicians were more likely to refuse NOTES as a novel and unsure technique (P < 0.001) and having an increased risk of infection (P < 0.001). The preferred access site in both groups was colon followed by stomach, with vagina being rarely preferred. In multivariable modeling, those with high-school education [odds ratio (OR): 2.68, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23-5.83] and prior colonoscopy (OR: 2.10, 95% CI: 1.05-4.19) were more likely to prefer NOTES over laparoscopic appendectomy. There was a steep decline in NOTES preference with increased rate of procedural complications. Male patients were more likely to consent to their wives vaginal NOTES appendectomy than male physicians (P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: The preference of NOTES for appendectomy was greater in patients than physicians and was related to reduced pain and absence of hernia rather than lack of scarring.
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery; Patient perception; Physician perception; Appendectomy; Laparoscopy
To evaluate the effectiveness of field notes in assessing teachers’ confidence and perceived competence, and the effect of field notes on residents’ perceptions of their development of competence.
A faculty and resident survey completed 5 years after field notes were introduced into the program.
Five Dalhousie University family medicine sites—Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John in New Brunswick, and Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia.
First- and second-year family medicine residents (as of May 2009) and core family medicine faculty.
Main outcome measures
Residents’ outcome measures included beliefs about the effects of field notes on performance, learning, reflection, clinical skills development, and feedback received. Faculty outcome measures included beliefs about the effect of field notes on guiding feedback, teaching, and reflection on clinical practice.
Forty of 88 residents (45.5%) participated. Fifteen of 50 faculty (30.0%) participated, which only permitted a discussion of trends for faculty. Residents believed field note–directed feedback reinforced their performance (81.1%), helped them learn (67.6%), helped them reflect on practice and learning (66.7%), and focused the feedback they received, making it more useful (62.2%) (P < .001 for all); 63.3% believed field note–directed feedback helped with clinical skills development (P < .01). Faculty believed field notes helped to provide more focused (86.7%) and effective feedback (78.6%), improved teaching (75.0%), and encouraged reflection on their own clinical practice (73.3%).
Most surveyed residents believed field note use improved the feedback they received and helped them to develop competence through improved performance, learning, reflection, and clinical skills development. The trends from faculty information suggested faculty believed field notes were an effective teaching, feedback, and reflection tool.
AIM: To compare natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) vs standard laparoscopic ovariectomy in mini pigs with respect to technical aspects, complications and parameters of systemic inflammatory response.
METHODS: This was a randomized, experimental, survival study. Ten female mini pigs underwent NOTES transgastric ovariectomy (NOTES group) and ten female mini pigs underwent laparoscopic ovariectomy (LAP group). A “percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy” approach with guidewire and sphincterotome was used for gastrotomy creation. The ovary was resected using standard biopsy forceps and a snare. The access site was closed using a “KING” closure with a single endoloop and several clips. In the laparoscopic group, a three-port laparoscopy and an ovariectomy were performed with the use of standard laparoscopic devices. C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood count and interleukin (IL)-6 plasma levels were used as indicators of systemic inflammatory response. All animals were euthanized 28 d after surgery.
RESULTS: All animals survived without complications. The mean procedure time was 41.3 min ± 17.6 min (NOTES group) and 25.7 min ± 5.25 min (LAP group, P < 0.02). Postmortem examinations demonstrated that 50% and 70% of animals were free of any complications in the NOTES and LAP groups, respectively. The remaining animals developed minor complications (adhesions) in a comparable frequency between the two groups. In the NOTES group, one animal developed a small intramural gastric abscess close to the gastrotomy site. A minor serous exudate that was present in 50% and 40% of the animals in the NOTES and laparoscopy groups, respectively, was not considered a complication. In both groups CRP levels increased significantly on the 2nd and 7th postoperative days (POD) and returned to normal after 28 d. On POD 2, an increase of CRP level was significantly higher in the NOTES group compared to the LAP group. Values of IL-6 did not differ from baseline values in either of the groups postoperatively. Interestingly, the platelet count decreased significantly on POD 2, but returned close to baseline values on POD 7 and PODs 28-30.
CONCLUSION: Both NOTES and laparoscopic ovariectomies had a similar frequency of minor complications. However, the NOTES technique produced an increased systemic inflammatory response on POD 2.
Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery; Laparoscopy; Ovariectomy; Systemic inflammatory response
There are no empirically-grounded criteria or tools to define or benchmark the quality of outpatient clinical documentation. Outpatient clinical notes document care, communicate treatment plans and support patient safety, medical education, medico-legal investigations and reimbursement. Accurately describing and assessing quality of clinical documentation is a necessary improvement in an increasingly team-based healthcare delivery system. In this paper we describe the quality of outpatient clinical notes from the perspective of multiple stakeholders.
Using purposeful sampling for maximum diversity, we conducted focus groups and individual interviews with clinicians, nursing and ancillary staff, patients, and healthcare administrators at six federal health care facilities between 2009 and 2011. All sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using open, axial and selective coding.
The 163 participants included 61 clinicians, 52 nurse/ancillary staff, 31 patients and 19 administrative staff. Three organizing themes emerged: 1) characteristics of quality in clinical notes, 2) desired elements within the clinical notes and 3) system supports to improve the quality of clinical notes. We identified 11 codes to describe characteristics of clinical notes, 20 codes to describe desired elements in quality clinical notes and 11 codes to describe clinical system elements that support quality when writing clinical notes. While there was substantial overlap between the aspects of quality described by the four stakeholder groups, only clinicians and administrators identified ease of translation into billing codes as an important characteristic of a quality note. Only patients rated prioritization of their medical problems as an aspect of quality. Nurses included care and education delivered to the patient, information added by the patient, interdisciplinary information, and infection alerts as important content.
Perspectives of these four stakeholder groups provide a comprehensive description of quality in outpatient clinical documentation. The resulting description of characteristics and content necessary for quality notes provides a research-based foundation for assessing the quality of clinical documentation in outpatient health care settings.
Clinical documentation; Outpatient notes; Physician notes; Quality; Patient perspectives; Medical records; Health care records; Electronic health record
Little is known about what primary care physicians (PCPs) and patients would expect if patients were invited to read their doctors' office notes.
To explore attitudes toward potential benefits or harms if PCPs offered patients ready access to visit notes.
The PCPs and patients completed surveys before joining a voluntary program that provided electronic links to doctors' notes.
Primary care practices in 3 U.S. states.
Participating and nonparticipating PCPs and adult patients at primary care practices in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
Doctors' and patients' attitudes toward and expectations of open visit notes, their ideas about the potential benefits and risks, and demographic characteristics.
110 of 114 participating PCPs (96%), 63 of 140 nonparticipating PCPs (45%), and 37 856 of 90 826 patients (42%) completed surveys. Overall, 69% to 81% of participating PCPs across the 3 sites and 92% to 97% of patients thought open visit notes were a good idea, compared with 16% to 33% of nonparticipating PCPs. Similarly, participating PCPs and patients generally agreed with statements about potential benefits of open visit notes, whereas nonparticipating PCPs were less likely to agree. Among participating PCPs, 74% to 92% anticipated improved communication and patient education, in contrast to 45% to 67% of nonparticipating PCPs. More than one half of participating PCPs (50% to 58%) and most nonparticipating PCPs (88% to 92%) expected that open visit notes would result in greater worry among patients; far fewer patients concurred (12% to 16%). Thirty-six percent to 50% of participating PCPs and 83% to 84% of nonparticipating PCPs anticipated more patient questions between visits. Few PCPs (0% to 33%) anticipated increased risk for lawsuits. Patient enthusiasm extended across age, education, and health status, and 22% anticipated sharing visit notes with others, including other doctors.
Access to electronic patient portals is not widespread, and participation was limited to patients using such portals. Response rates were higher among participating PCPs than nonparticipating PCPs; many participating PCPs had small patient panels.
Among PCPs, opinions about open visit notes varied widely in terms of predicting the effect on their practices and benefits for patients. In contrast, patients expressed considerable enthusiasm and few fears, anticipating both improved understanding and more involvement in care. Sharing visit notes has broad implications for quality of care, privacy, and shared accountability.
NOTES is an emerging technique for performing surgical procedures, such as cholecystectomy. Debate about its real benefit over the traditional laparoscopic technique is on-going. There have been several clinical studies comparing NOTES to conventional laparoscopic surgery. However, no work has been done to compare these techniques from a Human Factors perspective. This study presents a systematic analysis describing and comparing different existing NOTES methods to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Videos of endoscopic/laparoscopic views from fifteen live cholecystectomies were analyzed to conduct a detailed task analysis of the NOTES technique. A hierarchical task analysis of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and several hybrid transvaginal NOTES cholecystectomies was performed and validated by expert surgeons. To identify similarities and differences between these techniques, their hierarchical decomposition trees were compared. Finally, a timeline analysis was conducted to compare the steps and substeps.
At least three variations of the NOTES technique were used for cholecystectomy. Differences between the observed techniques at the substep level of hierarchy and on the instruments being used were found. The timeline analysis showed an increase in time to perform some surgical steps and substeps in NOTES compared to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
As pure NOTES is extremely difficult given the current state of development in instrumentation design, most surgeons utilize different hybrid methods – combination of endoscopic and laparoscopic instruments/optics. Results of our hierarchical task analysis yielded an identification of three different hybrid methods to perform cholecystectomy with significant variability amongst them. The varying degrees to which laparoscopic instruments are utilized to assist in NOTES methods appear to introduce different technical issues and additional tasks leading to an increase in the surgical time. The NOTES continuum of invasiveness is proposed here as a classification scheme for these methods, which was used to construct a clear roadmap for training and technology development.
NOTES continuum; laparoscopic surgery; cholecystectomy; hierarchical task analysis; timeline analysis; Cognitive task analysis
There is increasing recognition of sex/gender differences in health and the importance of identifying differential effects of interventions for men and women. Yet, to whom the research evidence does or does not apply, with regard to sex/gender, is often insufficiently answered. This is also true for systematic reviews which synthesize results of primary studies. A lack of analysis and reporting of evidence on sex/gender raises concerns about the applicability of systematic reviews. To bridge this gap, this pilot study aimed to translate knowledge about sex/gender analysis (SGA) into a user-friendly ‘briefing note’ format and evaluate its potential in aiding the implementation of SGA in systematic reviews.
Our Sex/Gender Methods Group used an interactive process to translate knowledge about sex/gender into briefing notes, a concise communication tool used by policy and decision makers. The briefing notes were developed in collaboration with three Cochrane Collaboration review groups (HIV/AIDS, Hypertension, and Musculoskeletal) who were also the target knowledge users of the briefing notes. Briefing note development was informed by existing systematic review checklists, literature on sex/gender, in-person and virtual meetings, and consultation with topic experts. Finally, we held a workshop for potential users to evaluate the notes.
Each briefing note provides tailored guidance on considering sex/gender to reviewers who are planning or conducting systematic reviews and includes the rationale for considering sex/gender, with examples specific to each review group’s focus. Review authors found that the briefing notes provided welcome guidance on implementing SGA that was clear and concise, but also identified conceptual and implementation challenges.
Sex/gender briefing notes are a promising knowledge translation tool. By encouraging sex/gender analysis and equity considerations in systematic reviews, the briefing notes can assist systematic reviewers in ensuring the applicability of research evidence, with the goal of improved health outcomes for diverse populations.
The ability to copy and paste text within computerized physician documentation facilitates electronic note writing, but may affect the quality of physician notes and patient care. Little is known about physicians’ collective experience with the copy and paste function (CPF).
To determine physicians’ CPF use, perceptions of its impact on notes and patient care, and opinions regarding its future use.
Resident and faculty physicians within two affiliated academic medical centers currently using a computerized documentation system.
Responses on a self-administered survey.
A total of 315 (70%) of 451 eligible physicians responded to the survey. Of the 253 (80%) physicians who wrote inpatient notes electronically, 226 (90%) used CPF, and 177 (70%) used it almost always or most of the time when writing daily progress notes. While noting that inconsistencies (71%) and outdated information (71%) were more common in notes containing copy and pasted text, few physicians felt that CPF had a negative impact on patient documentation (19%) or led to mistakes in patient care (24%). The majority of physicians (80%) wanted to continue to use CPF.
Although recognizing deficits in notes written using CPF, the majority of physicians used CPF to write notes and did not perceive an overall negative impact on physician documentation or patient care. Further studies of the effects of electronic note writing on the quality and safety of patient care are required.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0843-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
medical records system, computerized; documentation/mt [methods]; attitude of health personnel; medical staff, hospital; user-computer interface
We have recently noted that ingestion of dietary lipid (in the form of heavy whipping cream) leads to greater oxidative stress than dietary carbohydrate (in the form of dextrose), when consumed in isocaloric amounts.
In the present investigation we attempted to replicate our work and also to determine the oxidative stress response to dextrose and lipid meals of two different kilocalorie (kcal) amounts.
Nine young (22 ± 2 years), healthy men consumed in a random order, cross-over design one of four meals/drinks: dextrose at 75 g (300 kcals), dextrose at 150 g (600 kcals), lipid at 33 g (300 kcals), lipid at 66 g (600 kcals). Blood samples were collected Pre meal, and at 30 min, 60 min, 120 min, and 180 min post meal. Samples were assayed for glucose, triglycerides (TAG), malondialdehyde (MDA), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each variable, and a 4 × 5 ANOVA was utilized to further analyze data.
A meal × time effect (p = 0.0002) and a time effect was noted for glucose (p < 0.0001; 30 min > Pre, 1 hr, 2 hr, and 3 hr). The dextrose meals primarily contributed to this time effect. No other effects were noted for glucose (p > 0.05). A meal effect was noted for TAG (p = 0.01; 66 g lipid meal > 75 g and 150 g dextrose meals). No other effects were noted for TAG (p > 0.05). An AUC effect was noted for MDA (p = 0.04; 66 g lipid meal > 75 g and 150 g dextrose meals). A meal × time effect (p = 0.02) and a meal effect was noted for MDA (p = 0.004; 66 g lipid meal > 75 g and 150 g dextrose meals). No time effect was noted for MDA (p = 0.72). An AUC effect was noted for H2O2 (p = 0.0001; 66 g lipid meal > 33 g lipid meal and 75 g and 150 g dextrose meals). A meal × time effect (p = 0.0002), a meal effect (p < 0.0001; 66 g lipid meal > 33 g lipid meal and 75 g and 150 g dextrose meals), and a time effect was noted for H2O2 (p < 0.0001; 2 hr > Pre, 30 min, and 1 hr; 3 hr > Pre). The time effect for H2O2 was primarily influenced by the 66 g lipid meal.
These data indicate that 1) minimal oxidative stress is observed following ingestion of dextrose loads of either 75 g or 150 g, or a lipid load of 33 g and 2) lipid ingestion at 66 g leads to greater oxidative stress than lipid at 33 g or dextrose at either 75 g or 150 g. Hence, in a sample of young and healthy men, only 66 g of lipid (taken in the form of heavy whipping cream) leads to a significant increase in blood oxidative stress, as measured by MDA and H2O2.
To describe the evolution of instrumentation and technology for natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) as applied to urologic procedures.
Materials and Methods:
We performed a search of published reports on PubMed and MEDLINE for the search terms NOTES, single-port, single-incision, single-site, natural orifice + surgery, SPA, LESS, incisionless, and scarless from 1990-2009. Studies relevant to this urologic symposium were chosen for detailed review.
Multiple case reports, case series, and review articles relevant to NOTES and LESS utilized for urologic surgery dating from 1991 to 2009 were identified. We were subsequently able to chronicle the technological advances in instrumentation utilized for NOTES, including transvaginal nephrectomy, transvesical NOTES, combination or hybrid NOTES, and robotic-assisted NOTES or R-NOTES. For LESS, we detailed the development of various access ports and operating platforms to facilitate performing urologic procedures through a single-port access site.
Significant progress has been made in developing new, multi-lumenal access ports and articulating or curved instruments to aid in triangulation necessary for certain urologic procedures. Magnetic anchoring guidance systems (MAGS) have further enhanced the approach to LESS, with the potential for future application to NOTES. NOTES and LESS have future implications for the armamentarium of urologic surgeons, although much more research is necessary to further improve instrumentation and overcome the learning curve necessary for new technology.
Instruments; laparoendoscopic single-site surgery; natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery