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1.  Intensive care performance: How should we monitor performance in the future? 
Intensive care faces economic challenges. Therefore, evidence proving both effectiveness and efficiency, i.e., cost-effectiveness, of delivered care is needed. Today, the quality of care is an important issue in the health care debate. How do we measure quality of care and how accurate and representative is this measurement? In the following report, several topics which are used for the evaluation of intensive care unit (ICU) performance are discussed: (1) The use of general outcome prediction models to determine the risk of patients who are admitted to ICUs in an increasing variety of case mix for the different intensive care units, together with three major limitations; (2) As critical care outcomes research becomes a more established entity, mortality is now only one of many endpoints that are relevant. Mortality is a limited outcome when assessing critical care performance, while patient interest in quality of life outcomes is relevant; and (3) The Quality Indicators Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine recommended that short-term readmission is a major performance indicator of the quality of intensive care medicine.
PMCID: PMC4220140  PMID: 25374803
Intensive care performance; Quality of care; Critical care; Intensive care medicine
2.  Adherence to a femoral neck fracture treatment guideline 
International Orthopaedics  2013;37(7):1327-1334.
In 2007 the Dutch Surgical Society published a clinical practice guideline for the treatment of hip fracture patients, based on the best available international evidence at that time. We investigated to what extent treatment of femoral neck fracture patients in the Netherlands corresponded with these guidelines, and determined differences in patient characteristics between the treatment groups.
All femoral neck fracture patients treated in 14 hospitals between February 2008 and August 2009 were included. Patient characteristics, X-rays, and treatment data were collected retrospectively.
From a total of 1,250 patients 59 % had been treated with arthroplasty, 39 % with internal fixation, and 2 % with a non-operative treatment. While 74 % of the treatment choices complied with the guideline, 12 % did not. In 14 % adherence could not be determined from the available data. Arthroplasty was preferred over internal fixation in elderly patients with severe comorbidity, pre-fracture osteoporosis and a displaced fracture, who were ambulatory with aids pre-fracture (odds ratio, OR 2.2–58.1). Sliding hip screws were preferred over cancellous screws in displaced fractures (OR 1.9).
Overall guideline adherence was good. Most deviations concerned treatment of elderly patients with a displaced fracture and implant use in internal fixation. Additional data on these issues, preferably at a higher scientific level of evidence, is needed in order to improve the guideline and to reinforce a more uniform treatment of these patients.
PMCID: PMC3685653  PMID: 23595233
3.  Implant removal of osteosynthesis: the Dutch practice. Results of a survey 
The aim of this survey study was to evaluate the current opinion and practice of trauma and orthopaedic surgeons in the Netherlands in the removal of implants after fracture healing.
A web-based questionnaire consisting of 44 items was sent to all active members of the Dutch Trauma Society and Dutch Orthopaedic Trauma Society to determine their habits and opinions about implant removal.
Though implant removal is not routinely done in the Netherlands, 89% of the Dutch surgeons agreed that implant removal is a good option in case of pain or functional deficits. Also infection of the implant or bone is one of the main reasons for removing the implant (> 90%), while making money was a motivation for only 1% of the respondents. In case of younger patients (< 40 years of age) only 34% of the surgeons agreed that metal implants should always be removed in this category. Orthopaedic surgeons are more conservative and differ in their opinion about this subject compared to general trauma surgeons (p = 0.002). Though the far majority removes elastic nails in children (95%).
Most of the participants (56%) did not agree that leaving implants in is associated with an increased risk of fractures, infections, allergy or malignancy. Yet in case of the risk of fractures, residents all agreed to this statement (100%) whereas staff specialists disagreed for 71% (p < 0.001). According to 62% of the surgeons titanium plates are more difficult to remove than stainless steel, but 47% did not consider them safer to leave in situ compared to stainless steel. The most mentioned postoperative complications were wound infection (37%), unpleasant scarring (24%) and postoperative hemorraghe (19%).
This survey indicates that there is no general opinion about implant removal after fracture healing with a lack of policy guidelines in the Netherlands. In case of symptomatic patients a majority of the surgeons removes the implant, but this is not standard practice for every surgeon.
PMCID: PMC3485133  PMID: 22863279
Osteosynthesis; Implant removal; Survey; Complaints; Fracture healing
4.  Rationale and design of the plate or pin (pop) study for dislocated midshaft clavicular fractures: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2011;12:177.
To describe the rationale and design of a future study comparing results of plate fixation and Elastic Stable Intramedullary Nailing (ESIN) with a Titanium Elastic Nail (TEN) for adults with a dislocated midshaft clavicular fracture.
Prospective randomized multicenter clinical trial in two level 1 and one level 2 trauma centers. 120 patients between 18 and 65 years of age will be included. They are randomized to either plate fixation or ESIN with a TEN with a one year follow-up. Sixty patients will be treated with plate fixation and 60 patients will be treated with ESIN. Primary outcome parameter is the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score after 6 months. Secondary outcome parameters are Constant Shoulder Score, complications, experienced pain, radiologic consolidation and cosmetics after both procedures.
Prospective randomized studies comparing operative techniques for treatment of dislocated midshaft clavicular fracture are lacking. By studying shoulder function, complications, quality of life, radiographic union, cosmetics as well as experienced pain, a complete efficacy assessment of both procedures will be performed.
Trial registration
The POP study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register (NTR NTR2438).
PMCID: PMC3160903  PMID: 21762476
5.  The Tilburg double blind randomised controlled trial comparing inguinal hernia repair according to Lichtenstein and the transinguinal preperitoneal technique 
Trials  2009;10:89.
Anterior open treatment of the inguinal hernia with a tension free mesh has reduced the incidence of recurrence and direct postoperative pain. The Lichtenstein procedure rules nowadays as reference technique for hernia treatment. Not recurrences but chronic pain is the main postoperative complication in inguinal hernia repair after Lichtenstein's technique. Preliminary experiences with a soft mesh placed in the preperitoneal space showed good results and less chronic pain.
The TULIP is a double-blind randomised controlled trial in which 300 patients will be randomly allocated to anterior inguinal hernia repair according to Lichtenstein or the transinguinal preperitoneal technique with soft mesh. All unilateral primary inguinal hernia patients eligible for operation who meet inclusion criteria will be invited to participate in this trial. The primary endpoint will be direct postoperative- and chronic pain. Secondary endpoints are operation time, postoperative complications, hospital stay, costs, return to daily activities (e.g. work) and recurrence. Both groups will be evaluated.
Success rate of hernia repair and complications will be measured as safeguard for quality.
To demonstrate that inguinal hernia repair according to the transinguinal preperitoneal (TIPP) technique reduces postoperative pain to <10%, with α = 0,05 and power 80%, a total sample size of 300 patients was calculated.
The TULIP trial is aimed to show a reduction in postoperative chronic pain after anterior hernia repair according to the transinguinal preperitoneal (TIPP) technique, compared to Lichtenstein.
In our hypothesis the TIPP technique reduces chronic pain compared to Lichtenstein.
Trial registration
ISRCTN 93798494
PMCID: PMC2761380  PMID: 19781069

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