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1.  Development of a set of process and structure indicators for palliative care: the Europall project 
By measuring the quality of the organisation of palliative care with process and structure quality indicators (QIs), patients, caregivers and policy makers are able to monitor to what extent recommendations are met, like those of the council of the WHO on palliative care and guidelines. This will support the implementation of public programmes, and will enable comparisons between organisations or countries.
As no European set of indicators for the organisation of palliative care existed, such a set of QIs was developed. An update of a previous systematic review was made and extended with more databases and grey literature. In two project meetings with practitioners and experts in palliative care the development process of a QI set was finalised and the QIs were categorized in a framework, covering the recommendations of the Council of Europe.
The searches resulted in 151 structure and process indicators, which were discussed in steering group meetings. Of those QIs, 110 were eligible for the final framework.
We developed the first set of QIs for the organisation of palliative care. This article is the first step in a multi step project to identify, validate and pilot QIs.
PMCID: PMC3529116  PMID: 23122255
Quality indicator; Organisation; Europe; Public health; Palliative care; Europall
2.  Effects of automated alerts on unnecessarily repeated serology tests in a cardiovascular surgery department: a time series analysis 
Laboratory testing is frequently unnecessary, particularly repetitive testing. Among the interventions proposed to reduce unnecessary testing, Computerized Decision Support Systems (CDSS) have been shown to be effective, but their impact depends on their technical characteristics. The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of a Serology-CDSS providing point of care reminders of previous existing serology results, embedded in a Computerized Physician Order Entry at a university teaching hospital in Paris, France.
A CDSS was implemented in the Cardiovascular Surgery department of the hospital in order to decrease inappropriate repetitions of viral serology tests (HBV).
A time series analysis was performed to assess the impact of the alert on physicians' practices. The study took place between January 2004 and December 2007. The primary outcome was the proportion of unnecessarily repeated HBs antigen tests over the periods of the study. A test was considered unnecessary when it was ordered within 90 days after a previous test for the same patient. A secondary outcome was the proportion of potentially unnecessary HBs antigen test orders cancelled after an alert display.
In the pre-intervention period, 3,480 viral serology tests were ordered, of which 538 (15.5%) were unnecessarily repeated. During the intervention period, of the 2,095 HBs antigen tests performed, 330 unnecessary repetitions (15.8%) were observed. Before the intervention, the mean proportion of unnecessarily repeated HBs antigen tests increased by 0.4% per month (absolute increase, 95% CI 0.2% to 0.6%, p < 0.001). After the intervention, a significant trend change occurred, with a monthly difference estimated at -0.4% (95% CI -0.7% to -0.1%, p = 0.02) resulting in a stable proportion of unnecessarily repeated HBs antigen tests. A total of 380 unnecessary tests were ordered among 500 alerts displayed (compliance rate 24%).
The proportion of unnecessarily repeated tests immediately dropped after CDSS implementation and remained stable, contrasting with the significant continuous increase observed before. The compliance rate confirmed the effect of the alerts. It is necessary to continue experimentation with dedicated systems in order to improve understanding of the diversity of CDSS and their impact on clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC2848138  PMID: 20298618
3.  Chronology of prescribing error during the hospital stay and prediction of pharmacist's alerts overriding: a prospective analysis 
Drug prescribing errors are frequent in the hospital setting and pharmacists play an important role in detection of these errors. The objectives of this study are (1) to describe the drug prescribing errors rate during the patient's stay, (2) to find which characteristics for a prescribing error are the most predictive of their reproduction the next day despite pharmacist's alert (i.e. override the alert).
We prospectively collected all medication order lines and prescribing errors during 18 days in 7 medical wards' using computerized physician order entry. We described and modelled the errors rate according to the chronology of hospital stay. We performed a classification and regression tree analysis to find which characteristics of alerts were predictive of their overriding (i.e. prescribing error repeated).
12 533 order lines were reviewed, 117 errors (errors rate 0.9%) were observed and 51% of these errors occurred on the first day of the hospital stay. The risk of a prescribing error decreased over time. 52% of the alerts were overridden (i.e error uncorrected by prescribers on the following day. Drug omissions were the most frequently taken into account by prescribers. The classification and regression tree analysis showed that overriding pharmacist's alerts is first related to the ward of the prescriber and then to either Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical class of the drug or the type of error.
Since 51% of prescribing errors occurred on the first day of stay, pharmacist should concentrate his analysis of drug prescriptions on this day. The difference of overriding behavior between wards and according drug Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical class or type of error could also guide the validation tasks and programming of electronic alerts.
PMCID: PMC2820036  PMID: 20067620
4.  Effect of Alerts for Drug Dosage Adjustment in Inpatients with Renal Insufficiency 
Medication errors constitute a major problem in all hospitals. Between 20% and 46% of prescriptions requiring dosage adjustments based on renal function are inappropriate. This study aimed to determine whether implementing alerts at the time of ordering medication integrated into the computerized physician order entry decreases the proportion of inappropriate prescriptions based on the renal function of inpatients.
Six alternating 2-month control and intervention periods were conducted between August 2006 and August 2007 in two medical departments of a teaching hospital in France. A total of 603 patients and 38 physicians were included. During the intervention periods, alerts were triggered if a patient with renal impairment was prescribed one of the 24 targeted drugs that required adjustment according to estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
The main outcome measure was the proportion of inappropriate first prescriptions, according to recommendation.
A total of 1,122 alerts were triggered. The rate of inappropriate first prescriptions did not differ significantly between intervention and control periods (19.9% vs. 21.3%; p = 0.63). The effect of intervention differed significantly between residents and senior physicians (p = 0.03). Residents tended to make fewer errors in intervention versus control periods (Odds ratio 0.69; 95% confidence interval 0.41 to 1.15), whereas senior physicians tended to make more inappropriate prescriptions in intervention periods (odds ratio 1.88; 95% confidence interval 0.91 to 3.89).
Alert activation was not followed by a significant decrease in inappropriate prescriptions in our study. Thus, it is still necessary to evaluate the impact of these systems if newly implemented in other settings thanks to studies also designed to watch for possible unanticipated effects of decision supports and their underlying causes.
PMCID: PMC2649320  PMID: 19074305
5.  Determinants of User Satisfaction with a Clinical Information System 
Clinical Information Systems (CIS) implementation has faced user resistance. Consequently, we aimed to assess the acceptability of an integrated CIS.
We designed an electronic survey instrument from two theoretical models (Delone and McLean, and Technology Acceptance Model). Dimensions hypothesized to be determinant of user satisfaction were: user characteristics, CIS use, quality, usefulness, and service quality. The questionnaire was administered to physicians, nurses and medical secretaries of the Georges Pompidou European university Hospital (HEGP) in Paris.
Answers were obtained from 324 users (93 physicians, 174 nurses, and 57 secretaries). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients showed a correct reliability within each dimension. Secretaries and nurses were more satisfied with the CIS than physicians. Except for CIS use, after adjustment for confounders, female gender, perceived CIS quality, usefulness, and service quality were strongly correlated with user satisfaction.
This study reinforces the necessity of several models and dimensions to evaluate the acceptability of a complex CIS, with a specific approach for different user profiles.
PMCID: PMC1839744  PMID: 17238414
6.  Determinants of Success for Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems Integrated into CPOE Systems: a Systematic Review 
We carried out a systematic review of published trials to identify the methodological characteristics of studies and technical characteristics of computerized clinical decision support systems (CCDSSs) associated with efficacy for the main outcome of the study.
Four characteristics of the content of decision support and the way in which the user is provided with assistance seem to be associated with the success of CCDSSs: a) System-initiated interventions, b) Assistance without user control over output, c) Systems in which data are automatically retrieved from the electronic medical record and d) Systems providing corollary actions in CPOE.
Major differences in outcome reporting between studies could be reduced by the use of dedicated tools to standardize methodological reporting.
PMCID: PMC1839370  PMID: 17238410
7.  Diagnosis of Tetanus Immunization Status: Multicenter Assessment of a Rapid Biological Test 
Diagnosis of tetanus immunization status by medical interview of patients with wounds is poor. Many protected patients receive unnecessary vaccine or immunoglobulin, and unprotected patients may receive nothing. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of the Tetanos Quick Stick (TQS) rapid finger prick stick test in the emergency department for determining immunization status. We designed a prospective multicenter study for blinded comparison of TQS with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Adults referred for open wounds in 37 French hospital emergency departments had the TQS after receiving standard care (emergency-TQS). TQS was also performed in the hospital laboratory on total blood (blood/lab-TQS) and serum (serum/lab-TQS). ELISA was performed with the same blood sample at a central laboratory. We assessed concordance between emergency-TQS and blood/lab-TQS by the kappa test and the diagnostic accuracy (likelihood ratios) of medical interview, emergency-TQS, and lab-TQS. ELISA was positive in 94.6% of the 988 patients included. Concordance between blood/emergency-TQS and blood/lab-TQS results was moderate (κ = 0.6), with a high proportion of inconclusive blood/emergency-TQS tests (9.8%). Likelihood ratios for immunization were 3.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8 to 5.1), 36.6 (95% CI, 5.3 to 255.3), 89.1 (95% CI, 5.6 to 1,405.0), and 92.7 (95% CI, 5.9 to 1,462.0) for medical interview, blood/emergency-TQS, blood/lab-TQS, and serum/lab-TQS, respectively. The sensitivity of the blood/emergency-TQS was 76.7%, and the specificity was 98% by reference to the ELISA. TQS use in the emergency room could make tetanus prevention more accurate if its technical feasibility were improved, and our assessment will be supplemented by a cost effectiveness study.
PMCID: PMC1235798  PMID: 16148171
8.  Systematic review and meta-analysis of strategies for the diagnosis of suspected pulmonary embolism 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7511):259.
Objectives To assess the likelihood ratios of diagnostic strategies for pulmonary embolism and to determine their clinical application according to pretest probability.
Data sources Medline, Embase, and Pascal Biomed and manual search for articles published from January 1990 to September 2003.
Study selection Studies that evaluated diagnostic tests for confirmation or exclusion of pulmonary embolism.
Data extracted Positive likelihood ratios for strategies that confirmed a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism and negative likelihood ratios for diagnostic strategies that excluded a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.
Data synthesis 48 of 1012 articles were included. Positive likelihood ratios for diagnostic tests were: high probability ventilation perfusion lung scan 18.3 (95% confidence interval 10.3 to 32.5), spiral computed tomography 24.1 (12.4 to 46.7), and ultrasonography of leg veins 16.2 (5.6 to 46.7). In patients with a moderate or high pretest probability, these findings are associated with a greater than 85% post-test probability of pulmonary embolism. Negative likelihood ratios were: normal or near normal appearance on lung scan 0.05 (0.03 to 0.10), a negative result on spiral computed tomography along with a negative result on ultrasonography 0.04 (0.03 to 0.06), and a d-dimer concentration < 500 μg/l measured by quantitative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay 0.08 (0.04 to 0.18). In patients with a low or moderate pretest probability, these findings were associated with a post-test probability of pulmonary embolism below 5%. Spiral computed tomography alone, a low probability ventilation perfusion lung scan, magnetic resonance angiography, a quantitative latex d-dimer test, and haemagglutination d-dimers had higher negative likelihood ratios and can therefore only exclude pulmonary embolism in patients with a low pretest probability.
Conclusions The accuracy of tests for suspected pulmonary embolism varies greatly, but it is possible to estimate the range of pretest probabilities over which each test or strategy can confirm or rule out pulmonary embolism.
PMCID: PMC1181264  PMID: 16052017
9.  Personalized versus non-personalized computerized decision support system to increase therapeutic quality control of oral anticoagulant therapy: an alternating time series analysis 
The quality control of oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) during the initiation and maintenance treatment is generally poor. Physicians' ordering of OAT (especially fluindione and warfarin) can be improved by dose adjustment algorithms, taking into account the results of International Normalized Ratio (INR). Reminders at the point of care, computerized or not, have been demonstrated to be effective in changing physicians prescription behavior.
However, few studies have addressed the benefit of personalized reminders versus non personalized reminders, whereas the personalized reminders require more development to access patient record data and integrate with the computerized physician order entry system.
The Hospital Information System of George Pompidou European Hospital integrates an electronic medical record, lab test and drugs order entry system. This system allows to evaluate such reminders and to consider their implementation for routine use as well as the continuous evaluation of their impact on medical practice quality indicators.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of two types of reminders on overtreatment by oral anticoagulant: a simple reminder of text formatted dose adjustment table and a personalized recommendation for oral anticoagulant dose and next date of INR control, adapted to patient data. Both types of reminders appear to the physician at the moment of drug ordering.
The study is an alternating time series experiment with three 6 months periods, each one including every 2 months according to a Latin square scheme: a control period without any reminder, a period with the simple non personalized reminder, a period with personalized reminder. All patients hospitalized in departments using the computerized physician order entry system and ordered fluindione or warfarin, will be included in the study between November 2004 and May 2006.
Main outcome will be the proportion of overcoagulation, as expressed by the proportion of observation time with INR over 4.5, assuming INR change linearly. Secondary outcome is the incidence of major haemorrhagic events. Data will be collected thanks to Hospital Information Systems databases.
Data will be analyzed taking into account patient and physician clustering effect.
PMCID: PMC526261  PMID: 15456515
10.  A computer decision aid for medical prevention: a pilot qualitative study of the Personalized Estimate of Risks (EsPeR) system 
Many preventable diseases such as ischemic heart diseases and breast cancer prevail at a large scale in the general population. Computerized decision support systems are one of the solutions for improving the quality of prevention strategies.
The system called EsPeR (Personalised Estimate of Risks) combines calculation of several risks with computerisation of guidelines (cardiovascular prevention, screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, uterine cervix cancer, and prostate cancer, diagnosis of depression and suicide risk). We present a qualitative evaluation of its ergonomics, as well as it's understanding and acceptance by a group of general practitioners. We organised four focus groups each including 6–11 general practitioners. Physicians worked on several structured clinical scenari os with the help of EsPeR, and three senior investigators leaded structured discussion sessions.
The initial sessions identified several ergonomic flaws of the system that were easily corrected. Both clinical scenarios and discussion sessions identified several problems related to the insufficient comprehension (expression of risks, definition of familial history of disease), and difficulty for the physicians to accept some of the recommendations.
Educational, socio-professional and organisational components (i.e. time constraints for training and use of the EsPeR system during consultation) as well as acceptance of evidence-based decision-making should be taken into account before launching computerised decision support systems, or their application in randomised trials.
PMCID: PMC317339  PMID: 14641924
11.  A generic computerized method for estimate of familial risks. 
Most guidelines developed for cancers screening and for cardiovascular risk management use rules to estimate familial risk. These rules are complex, difficult to memorize, and need to collect a complete pedigree. This paper describes a generic computerized method to estimate familial risks and its implementation in an internet-based application. The program is based on 3 generic models: a model of the family; a model of familial risk; a display model for the pedigree. The model of family allows to represent each member of the family and to construct and display a family tree. The model of familial risk is generic and allows easy update of the program with new diseases or new rules. It was possible to implement guidelines dealing with breast and colorectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases prevention. First evaluation with general practitioners showed that the program was usable. Impact on quality of familial risk estimate should be more documented.
PMCID: PMC2244401  PMID: 12463810
12.  Quantitation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) RNA in Cell-Free Cervicovaginal Secretions: Comparison of Reverse Transcription-PCR Amplification (AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR 1.5) with Enhanced-Sensitivity Branched-DNA Assay (Quantiplex 3.0) 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(6):2055-2059.
Two commercially available hypersensitive assays for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA quantitation, AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test 1.5 and Quantiplex HIV RNA 3.0, were compared to detect and quantify HIV-1 RNA in the cell-free fraction of cervicovaginal secretions collected by vaginal washing. Three panel specimens were used: pooled cervicovaginal secretions spiked with HIV-1 subtype A or HIV-1 subtype B and cervicovaginal lavages from HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. Compared to the AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test 1.5 assay, the Quantiplex HIV-1 3.0 assay yielded higher estimates of HIV-1 RNA concentrations in several tested samples spiked with HIV-1 RNA subtype A, as well as subtype B, particularly samples containing low amounts of HIV-1 RNA. The sensitivity and specificity of the AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test 1.5 assay were 93 and 100%, respectively; the sensitivity and specificity of the Quantiplex HIV RNA 3.0 assay were 97 and 50%, respectively. In conclusion, in quantifying HIV-1 RNA in cervicovaginal secretions, the Quantiplex HIV RNA 3.0 may lack specificity, and the AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test 1.5 assay, although highly specific, may lack sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC88088  PMID: 11376034

Results 1-12 (12)