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1.  Practice patterns of graduates of a CCFP(EM) residency program 
Canadian Family Physician  2012;58(7):e385-e389.
Abstract
Objective
To determine the practice settings of graduates of a residency program that leads to a Certificate of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine (CCFP[EM]).
Design
Web-based survey using standard Dillman methodology.
Setting
Canada.
Participants
All graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency training program at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Ontario between 1982 and 2009.
Main outcome measures
Practice type and location, job satisfaction, and nonclinical EM activities of graduates of a CCFP(EM) residency program.
Results
Of 146 graduates surveyed, 88 responded (response rate of 60.3%). All of the respondents indicated that they had practised EM at some point after completing the CCFP(EM) program at U of T. At survey completion, 76.7% were practising EM. Of the EM-practising cohort, 93.9% worked in urban or suburban hospitals as opposed to rural settings. Those practising EM expressed high levels of job satisfaction, with 83.3% reporting a score of 8 or higher on a 10-point satisfaction scale. Most (57.0%) of the graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency program at U of T had participated in leadership activities in EM on local, provincial, or national levels.
Conclusion
Most graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency program continue to practise EM, and most of them practise in urban and suburban environments. The low attrition rate of CCFP(EM) graduates should be regarded as a success of the CCFP(EM) program, and the geographic distribution of all physicians, including EM providers, warrants further study to help plan future physician resources in Canada.
PMCID: PMC3395545  PMID: 22798475
2.  A prospective cluster-randomized trial to implement the Canadian CT Head Rule in emergency departments 
Background
The Canadian CT Head Rule was developed to allow physicians to be more selective when ordering computed tomography (CT) imaging for patients with minor head injury. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing this validated decision rule at multiple emergency departments.
Methods
We conducted a matched-pair cluster-randomized trial that compared the outcomes of 4531 patients with minor head injury during two 12-month periods (before and after) at hospital emergency departments in Canada, six of which were randomly allocated as intervention sites and six as control sites. At the intervention sites, active strategies, including education, changes to policy and real-time reminders on radiologic requisitions were used to implement the Canadian CT Head Rule. The main outcome measure was referral for CT scan of the head.
Results
Baseline characteristics of patients were similar when comparing control to intervention sites. At the intervention sites, the proportion of patients referred for CT imaging increased from the “before” period (62.8%) to the “after” period (76.2%) (difference +13.3%, 95% CI 9.7%–17.0%). At the control sites, the proportion of CT imaging usage also increased, from 67.5% to 74.1% (difference +6.7%, 95% CI 2.6%–10.8%). The change in mean imaging rates from the “before” period to the “after” period for intervention versus control hospitals was not significant (p = 0.16). There were no missed brain injuries or adverse outcomes.
Interpretation
Our knowledge–translation-based trial of the Canadian CT Head Rule did not reduce rates of CT imaging in Canadian emergency departments. Future studies should identify strategies to deal with barriers to implementation of this decision rule and explore more effective approaches to knowledge translation. (ClinicalTrials.gov trial register no. NCT00993252)
doi:10.1503/cmaj.091974
PMCID: PMC2950184  PMID: 20732978
3.  Implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule: prospective 12 centre cluster randomised trial 
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of an active strategy to implement the validated Canadian C-Spine Rule into multiple emergency departments.
Design Matched pair cluster randomised trial.
Setting University and community emergency departments in Canada.
Participants 11 824 alert and stable adults presenting with blunt trauma to the head or neck at one of 12 hospitals.
Interventions Six hospitals were randomly allocated to the intervention and six to the control. At the intervention sites, active strategies were used to implement the Canadian C-Spine Rule, including education, policy, and real time reminders on radiology requisitions. No specific intervention was introduced to alter the behaviour of doctors requesting cervical spine imaging at the control sites.
Main outcome measure Diagnostic imaging rate of the cervical spine during two 12 month before and after periods.
Results Patients were balanced between control and intervention sites. From the before to the after periods, the intervention group showed a relative reduction in cervical spine imaging of 12.8% (95% confidence interval 9% to 16%; 61.7% v 53.3%; P=0.01) and the control group a relative increase of 12.5% (7% to 18%; 52.8% v 58.9%; P=0.03). These changes were significant when both groups were compared (P<0.001). No fractures were missed and no adverse outcomes occurred.
Conclusions Implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule led to a significant decrease in imaging without injuries being missed or patient morbidity. Final imaging rates were much lower at intervention sites than at most US hospitals. Widespread implementation of this rule could lead to reduced healthcare costs and more efficient patient flow in busy emergency departments worldwide.
Trial registration Clinical trials NCT00290875.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b4146
PMCID: PMC2770593  PMID: 19875425
4.  Non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes: A simplified risk-oriented algorithm 
Non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) include a clinical spectrum that ranges from unstable angina to NSTE myocardial infarction. Management goals aim to prevent recurrent ACS and improve long-term outcomes by choosing a treatment strategy according to an estimate of the risk of an adverse outcome. Recent registry data suggest that patients with NSTE ACS frequently do not receive recommended treatment, and that risk stratification is not used to determine either the choice of treatment or the speed of access to coronary angiography.
The present article evaluates the evidence for recommended treatment using information from recent trials and guidelines published by the major cardiac organizations in Europe and North America. Using this information, a multidisciplinary group developed a simplified algorithm that uses risk stratification to select an optimal early management strategy. Long-term outcomes are improved by a multi-faceted vascular protection strategy that is initiated at the time of hospitalization for NSTE ACS.
PMCID: PMC2560559  PMID: 16801997
Anticoagulants; Coronary disease; Myocardial infarction; Platelet aggregation inhibitors; Thrombosis

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