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1.  Continuous quality improvement in nephrology: a systematic review 
BMC Nephrology  2016;17:190.
Continuous quality improvement (CQI) has been successfully applied in business and engineering for over 60 years. While using CQI techniques within nephrology has received increased attention, little is known about where, and with what measure of success, CQI can be attributed to improving outcomes within nephrology care. This is particularly important as payors’ focus on value-based healthcare and reimbursement is tied to achieving quality improvement thresholds. We conducted a systematic review of CQI applications in nephrology.
Studies were identified from PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Google Scholar, ProQuest Dissertation Abstracts and sources of grey literature (i.e., available in print/electronic format but not controlled by commercial publishers) between January 1, 2004 and October 13, 2014. We developed a systematic evaluation protocol and pre-defined criteria for review. All citations were reviewed by two reviewers with disagreements resolved by consensus.
We initially identified 468 publications; 40 were excluded as duplicates or not available/not in English. An additional 352 did not meet criteria for full review due to: 1. Not meeting criteria for inclusion = 196 (e.g., reviews, news articles, editorials) 2. Not nephrology-specific = 153, 3. Only available as abstracts = 3. Of 76 publications meeting criteria for full review, the majority [45 (61%)] focused on ESRD care. 74% explicitly stated use of specific CQI tools in their methods. The highest number of publications in a given year occurred in 2011 with 12 (16%) articles. 89% of studies were found in biomedical and allied health journals and most studies were performed in North America (52%). Only one was randomized and controlled although not blinded.
Despite calls for healthcare reform and funding to inspire innovative research, we found few high quality studies either rigorously evaluating the use of CQI in nephrology or reporting best practices. More rigorous research is needed to assess the mechanisms and attributes by which CQI impacts outcomes before there is further promotion of its use for improvement and reimbursement purposes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12882-016-0389-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5121952  PMID: 27881093
Kidney disease; Continuous quality improvement; Systematic review
3.  Online Social Networking: A Primer for Radiology 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2011;24(5):908-912.
Online social networking is an immature, but rapidly evolving industry of web-based technologies that allow individuals to develop online relationships. News stories populate the headlines about various websites which can facilitate patient and doctor interaction. There remain questions about protecting patient confidentiality and defining etiquette in order to preserve the doctor/patient relationship and protect physicians. How much social networking-based communication or other forms of E-communication is effective? What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of this form of communication? Physicians are exploring how social networking might provide a forum for interacting with their patients, and advance collaborative patient care. Several organizations and institutions have set forth policies to address these questions and more. Though still in its infancy, this form of media has the power to revolutionize the way physicians interact with their patients and fellow health care workers. In the end, physicians must ask what value is added by engaging patients or other health care providers in a social networking format. Social networks may flourish in health care as a means of distributing information to patients or serve mainly as support groups among patients. Physicians must tread a narrow path to bring value to interactions in these networks while limiting their exposure to unwanted liability.
PMCID: PMC3180534  PMID: 21360214
E-communication; Doctor patient relationship; Facebook; Sermo
4.  Computer Input Devices: Neutral Party or Source of Significant Error in Manual Lesion Segmentation? 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2010;24(1):135-141.
Lesion segmentation involves outlining the contour of an abnormality on an image to distinguish boundaries between normal and abnormal tissue and is essential to track malignant and benign disease in medical imaging for clinical, research, and treatment purposes. A laser optical mouse and a graphics tablet were used by radiologists to segment 12 simulated reference lesions per subject in two groups (one group comprised three lesion morphologies in two sizes, one for each input device for each device two sets of six, composed of three morphologies in two sizes each). Time for segmentation was recorded. Subjects completed an opinion survey following segmentation. Error in contour segmentation was calculated using root mean square error. Error in area of segmentation was calculated compared to the reference lesion. 11 radiologists segmented a total of 132 simulated lesions. Overall error in contour segmentation was less with the graphics tablet than with the mouse (P < 0.0001). Error in area of segmentation was not significantly different between the tablet and the mouse (P = 0.62). Time for segmentation was less with the tablet than the mouse (P = 0.011). All subjects preferred the graphics tablet for future segmentation (P = 0.011) and felt subjectively that the tablet was faster, easier, and more accurate (P = 0.0005). For purposes in which accuracy in contour of lesion segmentation is of the greater importance, the graphics tablet is superior to the mouse in accuracy with a small speed benefit. For purposes in which accuracy of area of lesion segmentation is of greater importance, the graphics tablet and mouse are equally accurate.
PMCID: PMC3046792  PMID: 20049624
Image segmentation; user-computer interface; computer assisted detection; computer hardware; data collection; human computer interaction; evaluation research; segmentation
5.  Coordination Challenges in Operating-Room Management: An In-Depth Field Study 
Dynamic settings possess complex information needs all requiring attention in order to be managed effectively. The following study describes the multi-faceted information exchanges essential for an operating room suite to be managed within the context of efficient, cost effective, safe practice. Through the combined use of observation, the Critical Incident Technique, and interviews, this study analyzed information issues that impact coordination. Results demonstrate how distributed team planning is inherent to the efficacy of the system, and discuss implications for information tools to support coordination within in a complex setting.
PMCID: PMC1480348  PMID: 14728228

Results 1-5 (5)