Hospitals must have a major haemorrhage protocol in place and this should include clinical, laboratory and logistic responses.Immediate control of obvious bleeding is of paramount importance (pressure, tourniquet, haemostatic dressings).The major haemorrhage protocol must be mobilised immediately when a massive haemorrhage situation is declared.A fibrinogen < 1 g.l−1 or a prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) of > 1.5 times normal represents established haemostatic failure and is predictive of microvascular bleeding. Early infusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP; 15 ml.kg−1) should be used to prevent this occurring if a senior clinician anticipates a massive haemorrhage.Established coagulopathy will require more than 15 ml.kg−1 of FFP to correct. The most effective way to achieve fibrinogen replacement rapidly is by giving fibrinogen concentrate or cryoprecipitate if fibrinogen is unavailable.1:1:1 red cell:FFP:platelet regimens, as used by the military, are reserved for the most severely traumatised patients.A minimum target platelet count of 75 × 109.l−1 is appropriate in this clinical situation.Group-specific blood can be issued without performing an antibody screen because patients will have minimal circulating antibodies. O negative blood should only be used if blood is needed immediately.In hospitals where the need to treat massive haemorrhage is frequent, the use of locally developed shock packs may be helpful.Standard venous thromboprophylaxis should be commenced as soon as possible after haemostasis has been secured as patients develop a prothrombotic state following massive haemorrhage.
The attitudes of patients' to consent have changed over the years, but there has been little systematic study of the attitudes of anaesthetists and surgeons in this process. We aimed to describe observations made on the attitudes of medical professionals working in the UK to issues surrounding informed consent.
A questionnaire made up of 35 statements addressing the process of consent for anaesthesia and surgery was distributed to randomly selected anaesthetists and surgeons in Queen's Medical Centre (Nottingham), Royal Sussex County Hospital (Brighton) and Eastbourne District General Hospital (Eastbourne) during 2007. Participants were asked to what extent they agreed with statements regarding consent.
Of 234 questionnaires distributed, 63% were returned. Of the respondents 79% agreed that the main purpose of the consent process is to respect patient autonomy. While 55% of the examined cohort agreed that the consent process maybe inappropriate as patients do not usually remember all the information given to them. Furthermore, 84% of the participants agreed that what the procedure aims to achieve should be explained to the patient during the consent process. While of the participants, over 70% agreed that major risks of incidence greater than 1/100 should be disclosed to the patient as part of the consent process.
The majority of respondents appear to hold attitudes in standing with current guidelines on informed consent however there was still a significant minority who held more paternalistic views to the consent process bringing into question the need for further training in the area.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the incidence of difficulties associated with parental presence during the induction of anaesthesia in children and the influence of premedication with special reference to vomiting after papaveretum. DESIGN--Mixed factual and multiple choice questionnaire completed by medical and nursing staff and parents during and after admission. SETTING--Teaching hospital with regional paediatric general surgical unit where parental presence during induction of anaesthesia is long established. PATIENTS--151 Children aged 1-14 years who had not previously undergone surgery attending with parents for day stay general surgical procedures. INTERVENTION--Children were randomly allocated to receive no premedication (group 1), oral diazepam elixir (0.3 mg/kg) (group 2), or intramuscular papaveretum with hyoscine (0.3 mg/kg with 0.006 mg/kg) (group 3). No other modification to established day stay routine was made. RESULTS--No major problems were associated with the presence of parents during the induction of anaesthesia. Only 10 of the 141 parents who accompanied their child caused some difficulty, and five became distressed. Premedication with both diazepam and papaveretum resulted in sedation but did not ease induction of anaesthesia. Papaveretum greatly reduced pain and distress immediately after the operation, pain and discomfort being observed in only 15% of children (7/48) compared with 66% (27/41) in group 1 and 49% (22/45) in group 2. Papaveretum, however, must be given intramuscularly, and nurses observed that the children preferred being given premedication orally to intramuscularly. In addition, the incidences of nausea and vomiting were significantly higher in the postoperative ward and at home with papaveretum, although no patient who had been given the drug was nauseous or vomited in the recovery area. The incidences of nausea in group 3 were 62% (31/50) and 57% (27/47) in the postoperative ward and at home, respectively, v 21% (7/33) and 14% (4/29) in group 1 and 13% (5/38) and 14% (5/37) in group 2; the incidences of vomiting in group 3 were 60% and 43% in the postoperative ward and at home, respectively, v 18% and 7% in group 1 and 11% and 11% in group 2. Finally, neither the administration or otherwise of premedication nor the drug given affected the children's or parents' perception of day care surgery. CONCLUSIONS--Difficulties with parents in anaesthetic rooms were not common or severe. Premedication provides preoperative sedation and papaveretum improves the immediate postoperative course but the incidences of nausea and vomiting after operation are higher with its use than without.
Within health and health care, medical informatics and its subspecialties of biomedical, clinical, and public health informatics have emerged as a new discipline with increasing demands for its own work force. Knowledge and skills in medical informatics are widely acknowledged as crucial to future success in patient care, research relating to biomedicine, clinical care, and public health, as well as health policy design. The maturity of the domain and the demand on expertise necessitate standardized training and certification of professionals. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) embarked on a major effort to create professional level education and certification for physicians of various professions and specialties in informatics. This article focuses on the AMIA effort in the professional structure of medical specialization, e.g., the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the related Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This report summarizes the current progress to create a recognized sub-certificate of competence in Clinical Informatics and discusses likely near term (three to five year) implications on training, certification, and work force with an emphasis on clinical applied informatics.
Education; Professional training; Clinical informatics; Training and education requirements; General healthcare providers; Informatics specialists; Strategies for health IT training; Continuing professional development and continuing education
Adverse events that place patients at risk for harm are common in intensive care units. Clinicians’ level of knowledge and judgment appear to play a role in the prevention, mitigation, and creation of adverse advents. Research suggests a possible association between nurses’ specialty certification and clinical expertise. The relationship between specialty certification and clinical competence of registered nurses and safety of patients is a relatively new area of inquiry in nursing.
To explore the relationship between the proportion of certified staff nurses in a unit and risk of harm to patients.
Hierarchical linear modeling was used in a secondary data analysis of 48 intensive care units from a random sample of 29 hospitals to examine the relationships between unit certification rates, organizational nursing characteristics (magnet status, staffing, education, and experience), and rates of medication administration errors, falls, skin breakdown, and 3 types of nosocomial infections. Medicare case mix index was used to adjust for patient risk.
Unit proportion of certified staff registered nurses was inversely related to rate of falls, and total hours of nursing care was positively related to medication administration errors. The mean number of years of experience of registered nurses in the unit was inversely related to frequency of urinary tract infections; however, the small sample size requires that caution be exercised when interpreting results.
Specialty certification and competence of registered nurses are related to patients’ safety. Further research on this relationship is needed.
The principal conclusions of the report are as follows. Cardiology continues to change rapidly. In the five years since the issue of the Second Report of the Joint Cardiology Committee in 1980 the specialty has been affected principally by the increase in coronary artery surgery and the increasing importance of non-invasive techniques of diagnosis, particularly echocardiography. The burden of heart disease in Britain shows some decline recently, but this falls short of that which has occurred in other countries. The vital role of the initial assessment of patients to ensure the efficient use of limited resources falls upon physicians and paediatricians in district general hospitals. Each district general hospital should have at least one physician, practising general medicine but having a special expertise and training in cardiology. He should undertake echocardiography, stress testing, ambulatory monitoring, emergency pacing, rehabilitation, and cardiac intensive care, with the necessary facilities and staff. He will also play an important part in the follow up of patients assessed and treated at cardiac centres. Paediatricians should continue to evaluate children with heart disease and their training should include periods at cardiac centres. Cardiac centres currently undertaking invasive investigations and cardiac surgery need to expand to cope with demand. A target figure of 750-1000 coronary artery bypass operations annually is suggested. This implies three or four surgeons and six cardiologists per centre. Other staffing should be based on these figures. Smaller centres are not necessarily non-viable but should be encouraged to expand or merge. Funding should be clarified so that regional contributions to regional services are identified and not lost in district budgets. Expensive capital equipment should be regionally funded whether sited in cardiac centres of district general hospitals. (7) Supraregional centres for the cardiac problems of infants under the age of one year have been identified ans should receive supraregional funding. Their staffing and equipment should be appropriate to the exceptional demands of this work. If such a centre is sited within an existing cardiac centre the staff will be additional to those needed for the adult work. Facilities for older children should continue to be provided, as at present, at all cardiac centres. (8) Cardiac transplantation should be funded supraregionally. (9) The medical audit of cardiac work should be supported by the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS). (10) Research remains a high priority, and cardiac centres should be provided with the facilities, and staff with the contracts and time, to undertake it. (11) A revision of this report is recommended within five years.
Little is known about the prevalence of focused expertise (special areas of expertise within a clinical field) among physicians, yet such expertise may influence how care is delivered. We surveyed general internists, pediatricians, cardiologists, infectious disease specialists, and orthopedic surgeons to describe the prevalence of focused expertise and identify associated physician and practice characteristics. About one quarter of generalists and three quarters of specialists reported a focused expertise within their primary specialty. Hospital-based physicians more often reported such expertise, and physicians reimbursed by capitation less often reported expertise. Learning how focused expertise affects processes and outcomes of care will contribute to decisions about physician training and staffing of medical groups.
physician training; primary care; specialty care; manpower
Previous studies have suggested that exposure to organic solvents, including volatile anaesthetic agents, may be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS), possibly in combination with genetic and other environmental factors.
To further investigate the role of volatile anaesthetic agents having similar acute toxic effects to other organic solvents.
Female nurse anaesthetists, other female nurses, and female teachers from middle and upper compulsory school levels were identified and retrieved from the 1985 census, Statistics Sweden. By means of the unique personal identity number in Sweden, these individuals were linked with the disability pension registers at The National Social Insurance Board and also with data on hospital care 1985–2000 at The National Board of Health and Welfare.
The cumulative incidence rate ratio of MS was found to be increased in female nurse anaesthetists in relation to other nurses (statistically not significant) and teachers (statistically significant), respectively.
These findings give some support to previous findings of an increased risk for MS in nurse anaesthetists. This is interesting in the context of previous observations of organic solvents in general as a potential risk factor in MS.
exposure; volatile anaesthetic gases; organic solvents; risk
There has been comparatively little consideration of the impact that the changes to undergraduate curricula might have on postgraduate academic performance. This study compares the performance of graduates by UK medical school and gender in the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) section of the first part of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) examination.
Data from each sitting of the MCQ section of the primary FRCA examination from June 1999 to May 2008 were analysed for performance by medical school and gender.
There were 4983 attempts at the MCQ part of the examination by 3303 graduates from the 19 United Kingdom medical schools. Using the standardised overall mark minus the pass mark graduates from five medical schools performed significantly better than the mean for the group and five schools performed significantly worse than the mean for the group. Males performed significantly better than females in all aspects of the MCQ – physiology, mean difference = 3.0% (95% CI 2.3, 3.7), p < 0.001; pharmacology, mean difference = 1.7% (95% CI 1.0, 2.3), p < 0.001; physics with clinical measurement, mean difference = 3.5% (95% CI 2.8, 4.1), p < 0.001; overall mark, mean difference = 2.7% (95% CI 2.1, 3.3), p < 0.001; and standardised overall mark minus the pass mark, mean difference = 2.5% (95% CI 1.9, 3.1), p < 0.001. Graduates from three medical schools that have undergone the change from Traditional to Problem Based Learning curricula did not show any change in performance in any aspects of the MCQ pre and post curriculum change.
Graduates from each of the medical schools in the UK do show differences in performance in the MCQ section of the primary FRCA, but significant curriculum change does not lead to deterioration in post graduate examination performance. Whilst females now outnumber males taking the MCQ, they are not performing as well as the males.
Background: Volatile anaesthetics are chemically related to organic solvents used in industry. Exposure to industrial solvents may increase the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Aim: To examine the risk among nurse anaesthetists of contracting MS.
Methods: Nurses with MS were identified by an appeal in the monthly magazine of the Swedish Nurse Union and a magazine of the Neurological Patients Association in Sweden. Ninety nurses with MS responded and contacted our clinic. They were given a questionnaire, which was filled in by 85 subjects; 13 of these were nurse anaesthetists. The questionnaire requested information about work tasks, exposure, diagnosis, symptoms, and year. The number of active nurse anaesthetists was estimated based on information from the National Board of Health and Welfare and The Nurse Union. Incidence data for women in the region of Gothenburg and Denmark were used as the reference to estimate the risk by calculation of the standardised incidence ratio (SIR).
Results: Eleven of the 13 nurse anaesthetists were exposed to anaesthetic gases before onset of MS. Mean duration of exposure before diagnosis was 14.4 years (range 4–27 years). Ten cases were diagnosed in the study period 1980–99, resulting in significantly increased SIRs of 2.9 and 2.8 with the Gothenburg and the Danish reference data, respectively.
Conclusion: Although based on crude data and a somewhat approximate analysis, this study provides preliminary evidence for an excess risk of MS in nurse anaesthetists. The risk may be even greater than observed, as the case ascertainment might have been incomplete because of the crude method applied. Further studies in this respect are clearly required to more definitely assess the risk.
Review of 489 "anaesthetic deaths" reported to procurators-fiscal over 10 years disclosed only 30 that were thought to justify such reporting. Most of the remainder occurred in patients so desperately ill at the time of operation that death was expected. Postmortem examinations ordered by the Crown authorities in nearly all cases were probably largely unrewarding and mostly unnecessary. The results suggest that the present regulation on reporting should be revised to focus more attention on the few deaths that occur in patients who have no apparent contraindication to anaesthesia or operation.
Altogether 100 cases were studied to compare the subjective estimates of operative blood loss by anaesthetists (six in number) and by surgeons (22 in number). Their estimates were compared with the blood loss measured by a colorimetric method, which was assumed to be the operative blood loss. The results showed that surgeons are less reliable judges of operative blood loss then anaesthetists. When objective measurement of operative blood loss is impracticable the anaesthetist and the surgeon should jointly make a subjective estimation.
A cohort of 3769 male anaesthetists resident in the United Kingdom between 1957 and 1983 was followed up for a total of 51,431 person years of observation. All subjects were fellows of the Faculty of Anaesthetists and held full registration with the General Medical Council. With all men in social class I being taken as the standard, the standardised mortality ratio among anaesthetists for all causes of death was 68 (95% confidence interval 59 to 77) and the standardised mortality ratio for all cancers was 50 (95% confidence interval 36 to 67). There was no significant excess mortality from lymphomas or leukaemias, but 16 of the 221 deaths in anaesthetists were due to suicide, giving a standardised mortality ratio of 202 (95% confidence interval 115 to 328). When anaesthetists were compared with all doctors the standardised mortality ratio for suicide was only 114, a nonsignificant excess. These findings confirm that the risk of suicide among anaesthetists is twice as high as among other men in social class I but suggest that the risk does not differ significantly from that among doctors as a whole. There was no evidence of a significant excess risk of cancer, and, in particular, the small excess of cancer of the pancreas reported previously could not be confirmed.
Goal-directed fluid therapy (GDFT) has been shown to reduce complications and hospital length of stay following major surgery. However, there has been no assessment regarding its use in clinical practice.
An electronic survey was administered to randomly selected anaesthetists from the United Kingdom (UK, n = 2000) and the United States of America (USA, n = 2000), and 500 anaesthetists from Australia/New Zealand (AUS/NZ). Preferences, clinical use and attitudes towards GDFT were investigated. Results were collated to examine regional differences.
The response rates from the UK (n = 708) and AUS/NZ (n = 180) were 35%, and 36% respectively. The response rate from the USA was very low (n = 178; 9%). GDFT use was significantly more common in the UK than in AUS/NZ (p < 0.01). The Oesophageal Doppler Monitor was the most preferred instrument in the UK (n = 362; h76%) with no clear preferences in other regions. GDFT was most commonly utilised in major abdominal surgery and for patients with significant comorbidities. The commonest reasons stated for not using GDFT were either lack of availability of monitoring tools (AUS/NZ: 57 (70%); UK: 94 (64%)) or a lack of experience with instruments (AUS/NZ: 43 (53%); UK: 51 (35%)). A subset of respondents (AUS/NZ: 22(27%); UK: 45 (30%)) felt GDFT provided no perceived benefit. Enthusiasm towards the use of GDFT in the absence of existing barriers was high.
Several hypotheses were generated regarding important differences in the use of GDFT between anaesthetists from the UK and AUS/NZ. There is significant interest in utilising GDFT in clinical practice and existing barriers should be addressed.
Intravenous fluid; Goal-directed fluid therapy; Perioperative care; Surgery
OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of a preprinted form in ensuring an improved and sustained quality of documentation of clinical data in compliance with the national guidelines for sedation by non-anaesthetists. DESIGN: The process of retrospective case note audit was used to identify areas of poor performance, reiterate national guidelines, introduce a post-sedation advice sheet, and demonstrate improvement. SETTING: Emergency Department, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. SUBJECTS: Forty seven patients requiring sedation for relocation of a dislocated shoulder or manipulation of a Colles' fracture between July and October 1996 and July and October 1997. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Evidence that the following items had been documented: consent for procedure, risk assessment, monitored observations, prophylactic use of supplementary oxygen, and discharging patients with printed advice. Case note review was performed before (n = 23) and after (n = 24) the introduction of a sedation audit form. Notes were analysed for the above outcome measures. The monitored observations analysed included: pulse oximetry, respiratory rate, pulse rate, blood pressure, electrocardiography, and conscious level. RESULTS: Use of the form significantly improved documentation of most parameters measured. CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of the form, together with staff education, resulted in enhanced documentation of data and improved conformity with national guidelines. A risk management approach to preempting critical incidents following sedation, can be adopted in this area of emergency medicine.
To enable primary care medical practitioners to generate a range of possible service delivery models for genetic counselling services and critically assess their suitability.
Modified nominal group technique using in primary care professional development workshops.
37 general practitioners in Wales, United Kingdom too part in the nominal group process. The practitioners who attended did not believe current systems were sufficient to meet anticipated demand for genetic services. A wide range of different service models was proposed, although no single option emerged as a clear preference. No argument was put forward for genetic assessment and counselling being central to family practice, neither was there a voice for the view that the family doctor should become skilled at advising patients about predictive genetic testing and be able to counsel patients about the wider implications of genetic testing for patients and their family members, even for areas such as common cancers. Nevertheless, all the preferred models put a high priority on providing the service in the community, and often co-located in primary care, by clinicians who had developed expertise.
There is a need for a wider debate about how healthcare systems address individual concerns about genetic concerns and risk, especially given the increasing commercial marketing of genetic tests.
The health care safety net in the United States is intended to fill gaps in health care services for uninsured and other vulnerable populations. This paper presents a case study of New Brunswick, NJ, a small city rich in safety net resources, to examine the adequacy of the American model of safety net care. We find substantial gaps in access to care despite the presence of a medical school, an abundance of primary care and specialty physicians, two major teaching hospitals, a large federally qualified health center and other safety net resources in this community of about 50,000 residents. Using a blend of random-digit-dial and area probability sampling, a survey of 595 households was conducted in 2001 generating detailed information about the health, access to care, demographic and other characteristics of 1,572 individuals. Confirming the great depth of the New Brunswick health care safety net, the survey showed that more than one quarter of local residents reported a hospital or community clinic as their usual source of care. Still, barriers to prescription drugs were reported for 11.0% of the area population and more than two in five (42.8%) local residents who perceived a need for specialty care reported difficulty getting those services. Bivariate analyses show significantly elevated risk of access problems among Hispanic and black residents, those in poor health, those relying on hospital and community clinics or with no usual source of care, and those living at or below poverty. In multivariate analysis, lack of health insurance was the greatest risk factor associated with both prescription drug and specialty access problems. Few local areas can claim the depth of safety net resources as New Brunswick, NJ, raising serious concerns about the adequacy of the American safety net model, especially for people with complex and chronic health care needs.
Access to care; Specialty care; Prescription drugs; Health care safety net.
Children with medical complexity, regardless of underlying diagnoses, share similar functional and resource use consequences, including: intensive service needs, reliance on technology, polypharmacy, and/or home care or congregate care to maintain a basic quality of life, high health resource utilization, and, an elevated need for care coordination. The emerging field of complex care is focused on the holistic medical care of these children, which requires both broad general pediatrics skills and specific expertise in care coordination and communication with patients, families, and other medical and non-medical care providers. Many pediatric hospitalists have developed an interest in care coordination for CMC, and pediatric hospitalists are in an ideal location to embrace complex care. As a result of these factors, complex care has emerged as a field with many pediatric hospitalists at the helm, in arenas ranging from clinical care of these patients, research into their care, and education of future providers. The objective of this section of the review article is to outline the past, present, and possible future of children with medical complexity within several arenas in the field of pediatric hospital medicine, including practice management, clinical care, research, education, and quality improvement.
Multidisciplinary approaches to cancer care have shown improvements in the quality of care. The tumor board treatment planning approach provides a structure for engaging providers in discussions of cancer cases that are designed to enhance the quality of care.
Coordination of care has grown in importance with the advent of new modalities of treatment that require specialized expertise. In cancer care, multidisciplinary approaches have shown improvements in quality of care. Tumor boards may provide a mechanism for improving coordination of care. We evaluated physician and practice characteristics that predict frequency of tumor board attendance.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study used data obtained by surveying physicians of a population-based sample of women with incident breast cancer. Physicians were queried regarding tumor board attendance, specialty [medical oncologist (MO), radiation oncologist (RO), surgeon at a hospital with American College of Surgeons accreditation (ACOSSg) and surgeon without such affiliation (non-ACOSSg)], physician characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, teaching involvement, patient volume, ownership interest) and practice setting (type, size, reimbursement method). Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were performed for the dependent variable characterizing provider report of frequency of tumor board attendance.
Most surveyed physicians (83%) report attending tumor board weekly (58%) or monthly (25%). Specialty and higher patient volumes are significant predictors of more frequent attendance. Compared with the most prevalent specialty category (low-volume ACOSSgs), high-volume MOs attend more frequently (P = .01) and low volume non-ACOSSgs attend less frequently (P = .00).
Tumor board provides a structure for engaging providers in discussion of cancer cases that is designed to enhance quality of care. Tumor board agendas and formalized institution-wide policies could be designed to engage low-frequency attendees as a means to improve quality measures, promote multidisciplinary care, and potentially improve health outcomes.
The improvement of coordination between Health Care Professionals belonging different specialities and who are extremely mobile, is a crucial problem in Medicine. A workflow System is one example of the new informatics tools which facilitate the transfer of information and responsibility between health care providers. Medical informatics systems in particular should be reactive enough to cope with the flexibility of real work situations: in this paper, we present the task allocation problem. We distinguish between the workflow control process and the notifying process, which concerns the sharing out of the tasks between the actors concerned. We focus on the impact of strategies of notification on the progress of coordinated work. We propose a simulator to model and study the different ways of sharing tasks between actors in an Intensive Care Unit's activity of prescription.
The development of community medicine is seen in historical perspective and found to be a redirection of preceding trends rather than the development of new concepts. The current problems of the specialty are reviewed and found to be due to erroneous perceptions of its role by many doctors, to the specialty's present preoccupation with its academic purity, and to the failure to provide within the National Health Service the resources that were vital to the functions it was asked to perform. It is argued that the essential skill of community physicians is epidemiology, which must be applied within the management process of the National Health Service to enable it to adapt itself to the needs of changing disease patterns. It must also be applied to the prevention of disease and this will necessarily involve the community physician in much wider social problems than the provision of medical care services. This second responsibility may well prove to be the more crucial in the longer term.
The devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China on 12 May 2008 left thousands of survivors requiring medical care and intensive rehabilitation. In view of this great demand, the Chinese Speaking Orthopaedic Society established the "Stand Tall" project to provide voluntary services to aid amputee victims in achieving total rehabilitation and social integration. This case report highlights the multidisciplinary rehabilitation of a girl who suffered thoracolumbar vertebral collapse and underwent bilateral transtibial amputation. The rehabilitation team was involved in all stages of the care process from the pre-operative phase, through amputation, into prosthetic training, and during her life thereafter. Despite this catastrophic event, early rehabilitation and specially designed bilateral prostheses allowed her a high level of functional ability. The joint efforts of the multidisciplinary team and the advancement of new technology have revolutionized the care process for amputees.
The Intensive Care Unit is the area in patient care where the amount of patient data from a variety of sources is particularly large. The problem for clinicians lies in the ability to gather, and use these data in the decision making process. A well designed computer based patient data management system, incorporating a variety of data analysis tools, would have a dramatic impact in patient care in an environment such as this. The PDB System has been in continuous use at the Montreal General Hospital's Surgical and Trauma Intensive Care Unit since Jan. 88. Its initial implementation in two beds in our SICU has allowed the complete replacement of the conventional patient paper record. It is used by all ICU staff, including nurses, physicians, and ward clerks for the recording/viewing of all patient vital data, laboratory data, medications, and optionally chart notes. In addition, medical staff has the option to use the entered data to perform a variety of data analysis procedures.
The Medical Home model recommends that Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) receive a medical care plan, outlining the child’s major medical issues and care needs to assist with care coordination. While care plans are a primary component of effective care coordination, the creation and maintenance of care plans is time, labor, and cost intensive, and the desired content of the care plan has not been studied. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the usefulness and desired content of comprehensive care plans by exploring the perceptions of parents and health care providers (HCPs) of children with medical complexity (CMC).
This qualitative study utilized in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. HCPs (n = 15) and parents (n = 15) of CMC who had all used a comprehensive care plan were recruited from a tertiary pediatric academic health sciences center. Themes were identified through grounded theory analysis of interview and focus group data.
A multi-dimensional model of perceived care plan usefulness emerged. The model highlights three integral aspects of the care plan: care plan characteristics, activating factors and perceived outcomes of using a care plan. Care plans were perceived as a useful tool that centralized and focused the care of the child. Care plans were reported to flatten the hierarchical relationship between HCPs and parents, resulting in enhanced reciprocal information exchange and strengthened relationships. Participants expressed that a standardized template that is family-centered and includes content relevant to both the medical and social needs of the child is beneficial when integrated into overall care planning and delivery for CMC.
Care plans are perceived to be a useful tool to both health care providers and parents of CMC. These findings inform the utility and development of a comprehensive care plan template as well as a model of how and when to best utilize care plans within family-centered models of care.
Complex care; Care plan; Children with medical complexity; Children with special healthcare needs
An influenza pandemic threatens to be the most lethal public health crisis to confront the world. Physicians will have critical roles in diagnosis, containment and treatment of influenza, and their commitment to treat despite increased personal risks is essential for a successful public health response. The obligations of the medical profession stem from the unique skills of its practitioners, who are able to provide more effective aid than the general public in a medical emergency. The free choice of profession and the societal contract from which doctors derive substantial benefits affirm this commitment. In hospitals, the duty will fall upon specialties that are most qualified to deal with an influenza pandemic, such as critical care, pulmonology, anesthesiology and emergency medicine. It is unrealistic to expect that this obligation to treat should be burdened with unlimited risks. Instead, risks should be minimized and justified against the effectiveness of interventions. Institutional and public cooperation in logistics, remuneration and psychological/legal support may help remove the barriers to the ability to treat. By stepping forward in duty during such a pandemic, physicians will be able to reaffirm the ethical center of the profession and lead the rest of the healthcare team in overcoming the medical crisis.