Sample records for improved adjuvant medical

  1. Tibetan Medicated-Bath Therapy May Improve Adjuvant Arthritis in Rat

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    Huayue Chen


    Full Text Available Tibetan medicated-bath therapy has been applied to patients with rheumatoid arthritis for centuries. However, the detailed action mechanism of Tibetan medicated-bath therapy on the morphology and function of joints remains unknown. We designed our investigation to evaluate the efficacy of Tibetan medicated-bath therapy on adjuvant arthritis (AA of rats in comparison with water-bath and dexamethasone administration. AA was induced by intradermal injection of Mycobacterium butyricum suspended in sterile mineral oil. The control animals were similarly injected with sterile vehicle. Eight days after injection, rats were treated with fresh-water bath, Tibetan medicated-bath (40°C, 15 min or intramuscular injection with dexamethasone for 21 consecutive days after which we evaluated the severity of arthritis visually and microscopically and measured serum interleukin (IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α levels. While arthritis did not significantly change after water-bath treatment, the Tibetan medicated-bath and dexamethasone groups showed diminished joint swelling and alleviation of, inflammatory cell infiltration and the destruction of bone and cartilage. Serum IL-6 and TNF-α levels significantly decreased. Our results demonstrated that Tibetan medicated-bath therapy exerted a reliable effect on rat adjuvant arthritis, which may be involved in the inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and TNF-α. Our data provide evidence for clinical use of Tibetan-medicated bath therapy for arthritis patients.

  2. Spa adjuvant therapy improves diabetic lower extremity arterial disease. (United States)

    Qiu, Yongbin; Zhu, Yi; Jia, Wei; Chen, Songhua; Meng, Qingzhou


    To investigate the effect of spa adjuvant therapy on diabetic lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD). 128 patients with type II diabetes were separated into three groups according to the degree of lower extremity vascular stenosis. Patients within each group were then randomly divided to receive no treatment (control) or spa adjuvant therapy (treatment). Clinical symptoms, blood pressure and hemodynamic analyses were compared between control and treatment groups by Chi square or t-test. After adjuvant therapy with spa, patients' pain, numbness, and cold sensation were significantly improved compared with control groups (PSpa adjuvant therapy also significantly increased the dorsalis pedis pulse and systolic peak velocity ratio of patients with mild lower extremity vascular stenosis compared with control groups (P0.05). Both in the spa and control groups, there were no significant differences before and after medication for fasting, 2-h postprandial blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) analyses (P>0.05). Spa adjuvant therapy can significantly alleviate lower extremity pain, numbness, and cold sensory symptoms in diabetic LEAD patients with stenosis. Moreover, in LEAD patients with mild stenosis, spa adjuvant therapy also improves the dorsalis pedis pulse and systolic peak velocity ratio, suggesting a potential role for spa therapy as an early intervention strategy to treat the initial stages of disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Teaching adjuvant endocrine breast cancer treatment to medical students

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    Visser, M. de; Fluit, C.R.M.G.; Timmer-Bonte, J.N.H.; Ottevanger, P.B.; Verhagen, C.A.H.H.V.M.; Klaassen, T.; Laarhoven, H.W.M. van


    Background: In undergraduate medical education, students are supposed to acquire knowledge and understanding about the basic principles of adjuvant breast cancer treatment. The best education method in this context is unknown. In this randomised study we assessed the effect of designing a patient ed

  4. Teaching adjuvant endocrine breast cancer treatment to medical students. (United States)

    de Visser, M; Fluit, C; Timmer-Bonte, J; Ottevanger, P; Verhagen, C; Klaassen, T; van Laarhoven, H W M


    In undergraduate medical education, students are supposed to acquire knowledge and understanding about the basic principles of adjuvant breast cancer treatment. The best education method in this context is unknown. In this randomised study we assessed the effect of designing a patient education poster on knowledge, perceived participation and students' satisfaction compared with case-oriented education concerning endocrine therapy for breast cancer patients. This study was conducted in the Bachelor Oncology Course for undergraduate students in Medical Science of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. In the experimental group, students designed and created a patient education poster in small groups. In the control group, students answered case-based questions in small groups. Knowledge was tested at different moments using multiple-choice questions. To assess perceived participation and satisfaction, students filled out questionnaires. 329 students participated in the study. No difference in knowledge was observed between the experimental and control group. However, students in the control group reported a higher perceived participation and satisfaction compared with the students in the experimental group (pstudents' perceived participation and satisfaction. Working on case-based questions may be appreciated by medical students as most relevant for their future profession. We advocate more attention to the importance of patient education in the medical curriculum, to help students realise the relevance of this aspect of medical profession.

  5. Underuse of Breast Cancer Adjuvant Treatment: Patient Knowledge, Beliefs, and Medical Mistrust (United States)

    Bickell, Nina A.; Weidmann, Jessica; Fei, Kezhen; Lin, Jenny J.; Leventhal, Howard


    Purpose Little is known about why women with breast cancer who have surgery do not receive proven effective postsurgical adjuvant treatments. Methods We surveyed 258 women who recently underwent surgical treatment at six New York City hospitals for early-stage breast cancer about their care, knowledge, and beliefs about breast cancer and its treatment. As per national guidelines, all women should have received adjuvant treatment. Adjuvant treatment data were obtained from inpatient and outpatient charts. Factor analysis was used to create scales scored to 100 of treatment beliefs and knowledge, medical mistrust, and physician communication about treatment. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed differences between treated and untreated women. Results Compared with treated women, untreated women were less likely to know that adjuvant therapies increase survival (on a 100-point scale; 66 v 75; P < .0001), had greater mistrust (64 v 53; P = .001), and had less self-efficacy (92 v 97; P < .05); physician communication about treatment did not affect patient knowledge of treatment benefits (r = 0.8; P = .21). Multivariate analysis found that untreated women were more likely to be 70 years or older (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.11; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.13), to have comorbidities (aRR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.12), and to express mistrust in the medical delivery system (aRR, 1.003; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.007), even though they were more likely to believe adjuvant treatments were beneficial (aRR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98 to 0.99; model c, 0.84; P ≤ .0001). Conclusion Patient knowledge and beliefs about treatment and medical mistrust are mutable factors associated with underuse of effective adjuvant therapies. Physicians may improve cancer care by ensuring that discussions about adjuvant therapy include a clear presentation of the benefits, not just the risks of treatment, and by addressing patient trust in and concerns about the medical system. PMID:19770368

  6. Adjuvant

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    Ramadan M. Nafae


    Conclusion: Adjunctive 7 day course of low dose hydrocortisone IV in patients with CAP hastens clinical recovery and prevents the development of sepsis-related complications with a significant reduction in the duration of mechanical ventilation, duration of IV antibiotics and length of hospital stay with the improvement in hospital outcome and weaning success from mechanical ventilation.

  7. External validation of Adjuvant! Online breast cancer prognosis tool. Prioritising recommendations for improvement.

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    David Hajage

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adjuvant! Online is a web-based application designed to provide 10 years survival probability of patients with breast cancer. Several predictors have not been assessed in the original Adjuvant! Online study. We provide the validation of Adjuvant! Online algorithm on two breast cancer datasets, and we determined whether the accuracy of Adjuvant! Online is improved with other well-known prognostic factors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The French data set is composed of 456 women with early breast cancer. The Dutch data set is composed of 295 women less than 52 years of age. Agreement between observation and Adjuvant! Online prediction was checked, and logistic models were performed to estimate the prognostic information added by risk factors to Adjuvant! Online prediction. RESULTS: Adjuvant! Online prediction was overall well-calibrated in the French data set but failed in some subgroups of such high grade and HER2 positive patients. HER2 status, Mitotic Index and Ki67 added significant information to Adjuvant! Online prediction. In the Dutch data set, the overall 10-year survival was overestimated by Adjuvant! Online, particularly in patients less than 40 years old. CONCLUSION: Adjuvant! Online needs to be updated to adjust overoptimistic results in young and high grade patients, and should consider new predictors such as Ki67, HER2 and Mitotic Index.

  8. Improved survival with early adjuvant chemotherapy after colonic resection for stage III colonic cancer

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    Klein, Mads; Azaquoun, Najah; Jensen, Benny Vittrup


    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In stage III colonic cancer, time from surgery to start of adjuvant chemotherapy may influence survival. In this study, we evaluated the effect of timing of adjuvant therapy on survival. METHODS: Database study from the Danish Colorectal Cancer Group's national database....... RESULTS: The final population included 1,827 patients scheduled for adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant therapy started within 4 and 8 weeks improved survival when compared to start later than 8 weeks (HR [95%CI]: 1.7 [1.1-2.6]; P = 0.024 and 1.4 [1.07-1.8]; P = 0.013, respectively), whereas...

  9. Evaluation of adjuvant effects of fucoidan for improving vaccine efficacy. (United States)

    Kim, Su-Yeon; Joo, Hong-Gu


    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweed, including Fucus vesiculosus. This compound is known to have immunostimulatory effects on various types of immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells. A recent study described the application of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. Vaccination is regarded as the most efficient prophylactic method for preventing harmful or epidemic diseases. To increase vaccine efficacy, effective adjuvants are needed. In the present study, we determined whether fucoidan can function as an adjuvant using vaccine antigens. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan increases the expression of the activation markers major histocompatibility complex class II, cluster of differentiation (CD)25, and CD69 in spleen cells. In combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica antigen, fucoidan increased the viability and tumor necrosis factor-α production of spleen cells. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the in vivo production of antigen-specific antibodies in mice inoculated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antigen. Overall, this study has provided valuable information about the use of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant.

  10. Use of non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid analgesia for cancer pain management in an inpatient palliative unit: does this improve pain control and reduce opioid requirements? (United States)

    Shinde, Shivani; Gordon, Pamela; Sharma, Prashant; Gross, James; Davis, Mellar P


    Cancer pain is complex, and despite the introduction of the WHO cancer pain ladder, few studies have looked at the prevalence of adjuvant medication use in an inpatient palliative medicine unit. In this study, we evaluate the use of adjuvant pain medications in patients admitted to an inpatient palliative care unit and whether their use affects pain scores or opiate dosing. In this retrospective observational study, patients admitted to the inpatient palliative care unit over a 3-month period with a diagnosis of cancer on opioid therapy were selected. Data pertaining to demographics, diagnosis, oral morphine dose equivalent of the opioid at the time of discharge, adjuvant analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and pain scores as reported by nurses and physicians were collected. Seventy-seven patients were eligible over a 3-month period, out of which 65 (84 %) were taking an adjuvant medication. The most commonly prescribed adjuvant was gabapentin (70 %). Fifty-seven percent were taking more than one adjuvant. There were more women in the group receiving adjuvants (57 vs. 17%, p = 0.010). Those without adjuvants compared with those on adjuvants did not have worse pain scores on discharge as reported by physicians (0.8 ± 0.8 vs. 1.0 ± 0.7, p = 0.58) or nurses (2.0 ± 2.7 vs. 2.1 ± 2.6, p = 0.86). There was no difference in morphine equivalent doses of the opioid in both groups (median (min, max); 112 (58, 504) vs. 200 (30, 5,040)) at the time of discharge; 75-80 % of patients had improvement in pain scores as measured by a two-point reduction in numerical rating scale (NRS). This study shows that adjuvant medications are commonly used for treating pain in patients with cancer. More than half of study population were on two adjuvants or an adjuvant plus NSAID along with an opioid. We did not demonstrate any benefit in terms of improved pain scores or opioid doses with adjuvants, but this could reflect confounding variables and physician choice


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdolreza Sotoodeh Jahromi


    Full Text Available Training physicians who are expert in many medical aspects is the most improtant mission of medical universities. One of these aspects, is professional behavior achievement. One of the important goals in training of ethics, is recognition of conflicts in different parts of ethics and having logical viewpoint for resolving and analyzing these conflicts. This descriptive and analytical study was done to evaluate the efficacy of medical ethics education in medical students´ professional attitudes improvement. One hundred and two medical students were selected randomly in different steps of education and were questioned and their opinions correlation with stage of education and gender were evaluated. There was a significant difference between female viewpoint (in roles of ethic course which is presented in preclinical step in professional attitude improvement (P = 0.009 and also a significant difference was seen in the viewpoint score between student stage with intern stage (P = 0.031. Medical students in educational student stage believe ethic course improve medical professionalism. Since there is no special course to train medical students in professionalism, some interventions are required in this field to improve this aspect of physicians' professional life.

  12. Three Suggestions to Improve Medical English Teaching

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    As a kind of ESP,medical English teaching has an important impact on both English teachers and medical students.A good medical English teaching can help the medical students to improve themselves smoothly and easily in the medical area.In this article,three suggestions were provided for the medical English teachers to improve their English teaching in medical field.

  13. Compliance with adjuvant treatment guidelines in endometrial cancer: room for improvement in high risk patients. (United States)

    Eggink, F A; Mom, C H; Boll, D; Ezendam, N P M; Kruitwagen, R F P M; Pijnenborg, J M A; van der Aa, M A; Nijman, H W


    Compliance of physicians with guidelines has emerged as an important indicator for quality of care. We evaluated compliance of physicians with adjuvant therapy guidelines for endometrial cancer patients in the Netherlands in a population-based cohort over a period of 10years. Data from all patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer between 2005 and 2014, without residual tumor after surgical treatment, were extracted from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (N=14,564). FIGO stage, grade, tumor type and age were used to stratify patients into risk groups. Possible changes in compliance over time and impact of compliance on survival were assessed. Patients were stratified into low/low-intermediate (52%), high-intermediate (21%) and high (20%) risk groups. Overall compliance with adjuvant therapy guidelines was 85%. Compliance was highest in patients with low/low-intermediate risk (98%, no adjuvant therapy indicated). The lowest compliance was determined in patients with high risk (61%, external beam radiotherapy with/without chemotherapy indicated). Within this group compliance decreased from 64% in 2005-2009 to 57% in 2010-2014. In high risk patients with FIGO stage III serous disease compliance was 55% (chemotherapy with/without radiotherapy indicated) and increased from 41% in 2005-2009 to 66% in 2010-2014. While compliance of physicians with adjuvant therapy guidelines is excellent in patients with low and low-intermediate risk, there is room for improvement in high risk endometrial cancer patients. Eagerly awaited results of ongoing randomized clinical trials may provide more definitive guidance regarding adjuvant therapy for high risk endometrial cancer patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Improving communication after ended adjuvant treatment - experiences of a coaching intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Timmermann, Connie; Ammentorp, Jette; Birkelund, Regner

    illness. To improve the conditions for cancer survivors the objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a coaching intervention aimed to improve the communication with the patients. Methods & Materials: Three nurses participated in a two-day training program focusing on coaching methods. A total...... of 10 patients were included in the study after completion of their adjuvant treatment and approximately three month ahead. The intervention consisted of two personal conversations succeeded by two follow-up phone calls carried out by the specially trained nurses. The patients´ experiences...... of participating in the intervention were collected through qualitative interviews. Data were analyzed in accordance with the phenomenological-hermeneutic tradition. Results: The patients described a comprehensive process of regaining mental as well as physical strength and well-being after ended treatment...

  15. Graphene Oxides Decorated with Carnosine as an Adjuvant To Modulate Innate Immune and Improve Adaptive Immunity in Vivo. (United States)

    Meng, Chunchun; Zhi, Xiao; Li, Chao; Li, Chuanfeng; Chen, Zongyan; Qiu, Xusheng; Ding, Chan; Ma, Lijun; Lu, Hongmin; Chen, Di; Liu, Guangqing; Cui, Daxiang


    Current studies have revealed the immune effects of graphene oxide (GO) and have utilized them as vaccine carriers and adjuvants. However, GO easily induces strong oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction at the site of injection. It is very necessary to develop an alternative adjuvant based on graphene oxide derivatives for improving immune responses and decreasing side effects. Carnosine (Car) is an outstanding and safe antioxidant. Herein, the feasibility and efficiency of ultrasmall graphene oxide decorated with carnosine as an alternative immune adjuvant were explored. OVA@GO-Car was prepared by simply mixing ovalbumin (OVA, a model antigen) with ultrasmall GO covalently modified with carnosine (GO-Car). We investigated the immunological properties of the GO-Car adjuvant in model mice. Results show that OVA@GO-Car can promote robust and durable OVA-specific antibody response, increase lymphocyte proliferation efficiency, and enhance CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell activation. The presence of Car in GO also probably contributes to enhancing the antigen-specific adaptive immune response through modulating the expression of some cytokines, including IL-6, CXCL1, CCL2, and CSF3. In addition, the safety of GO-Car as an adjuvant was evaluated comprehensively. No symptoms such as allergic response, inflammatory redness swelling, raised surface temperatures, physiological anomalies of blood, and remarkable weight changes were observed. Besides, after modification with carnosine, histological damages caused by GO-Car in lung, muscle, kidney, and spleen became weaken significantly. This study sufficiently suggest that GO-Car as a safe adjuvant can effectively enhance humoral and innate immune responses against antigens in vivo.

  16. Improved immunogenicity of tetanus toxoid by Brucella abortus S19 LPS adjuvant. (United States)

    Mohammadi, Mohsen; Kianmehr, Zahra; Kaboudanian Ardestani, Sussan; Gharegozlou, Behnaz


    Adjuvants are used to increase the immunogenicity of new generation vaccines, especially those based on recombinant proteins. Despite immunostimulatory properties, the use of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as an adjuvant has been hampered due to its toxicity and pyrogenicity. Brucella abortus LPS is less toxic and has no pyrogenic properties compared to LPS from other gram negative bacteria. To evaluate the adjuvant effect of B. abortus (vaccine strain, S19) LPS for tetanus toxoid antigen (TT) and to investigate the protective effect of different tetanus vaccine preparations. LPS was extracted and purified from B. abortus S19 and KDO, glycan, phosphate content, and protein contamination were measured. Adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH) was used as a linker for conjugation of TT to LPS. Different amounts of B. abortus LPS, TT, TT conjugated with LPS, and TT mixed with LPS or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) were injected into mice and antibody production against TT was measured. The protective effect of induced antibodies was determined by LD50. Immunization of mice with TT+LPS produced the highest anti-TT antibody titer in comparison to the group immunized with TT without any adjuvant or the groups immunized with TT-LPS or TT+CFA. Tetanus toxid-S19 LPS also produced a 100% protective effect against TT in immunized mice. These data indicate that B. abortus LPS enhances the immune responses to TT and suggest the possible use of B. abortus LPS as an adjuvant in vaccine preparations.

  17. Arginine as an adjuvant to chemotherapy improves clinical outcome in active tuberculosis

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    Schön, T; Elias, D; Moges, F


    Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the host defence against tuberculosis (TB). Patients with TB exhibit increased catabolism and reduced energy intake. Thus the hypothesis for this study was that restoring a relative deficiency in the amino acid arginine, the substrate for mycobactericidal NO produ......Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the host defence against tuberculosis (TB). Patients with TB exhibit increased catabolism and reduced energy intake. Thus the hypothesis for this study was that restoring a relative deficiency in the amino acid arginine, the substrate for mycobactericidal.......5 microM (range 93.7-117.3) versus 95.7 microM (range 82.4-108.9)). HIV seroprevalence was 52.5%. No clinical improvement or increase in serum arginine was detected in arginine supplemented HIV+/TB+ patients compared with placebo. Arginine is beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in human immunodeficiency...... virus-negative patients with active tuberculosis, most likely mediated by increased production of nitric oxide....

  18. Adjuvant radiation therapy is associated with improved overall survival in high-intermediate risk stage I endometrial cancer: A national cancer data base analysis. (United States)

    Gupta, Vishal; McGunigal, Mary; Prasad-Hayes, Monica; Kalir, Tamara; Liu, Jerry


    Adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) was shown to improve local control in patients with high-intermediate risk (HIR) stage I endometrial cancer (EC) in randomized trials. Overall survival (OS) was not significantly different with adjuvant RT in these trials or subsequent meta-analyses; however, they were underpowered to assess OS. We used the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) to examine the impact of adjuvant RT on OS in HIR EC patients. The NCDB was queried for patients diagnosed with FIGO (2009) Stage I endometrioid adenocarcinoma from 1998 to 2012 who underwent surgery±adjuvant RT. Per ASTRO guidelines, HIR risk was defined as stage IB and/or grade 3. Patients were excluded if: non-surgical primary therapy, RT>180days after surgery, unknown stage/grade/RT status, or RT to targets outside pelvis/vagina. Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazards regression were used. 33,600 patients met criteria. 18,070 patients (53.8%) received surgery alone, 15,530 patients (46.2%) received surgery+adjuvant RT. Of patients who received adjuvant RT, 42.2% received external beam RT, 44.7% brachytherapy, and 13.1% received both. 5-year OS was 79.2% for the surgery alone group and 83.3% for the surgery+adjuvant RT (p<0.0001). On multivariate analysis, adjuvant RT was independently associated with improved OS vs. surgery alone (HR 0.7; 95% CI 0.8-0.9, p<0.0001). Our results show that surgery+adjuvant RT was associated with a statistically significant 4.1% improvement in 5-year OS vs. surgery alone in stage I HIR EC. This data along suggests that the improvement in local control with adjuvant RT leads to improved OS. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Mobile Applications to Improve Medication Adherence. (United States)

    Haase, Jamie; Farris, Karen B; Dorsch, Michael P


    Background and Introduction: Mobile applications are useful tools to improve medication adherence. As developers continue to improve the features of existing mobile applications, pharmacists should be aware of the current features that are available to patients. There are limited studies available that discuss which applications have the most desirable features. The aim of this study was to compare available mobile applications and identify ideal application features used to improve medication adherence.

  20. Adjuvants to improve aerial control of the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) using entomopathogenic nematodes. (United States)

    van Niekerk, S; Malan, A P


    The citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, is a highly destructive pest of citrus, occurring only in the aerial parts of plants. Humidity will be one of the key factors to consider when using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as biological control agents. Different adjuvants can be added to suspensions of EPNs, to improve control as a foliar application. An aqueous suspension containing Heterorhabditis zealandica and 0.3% Zeba® significantly increased P. citri mortality by 22% at 80% relative humidity (RH) with a temperature cycle starting at 22°C for 14 h and 11°C for 11 h. The same polymer formulation was tested for Steinernema yirgalemense and mortality of P. citri increased by 21% at 60% RH and by 27% at 80% RH. The addition of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to H. zealandica suspensions did not significantly retard application run-off on citrus leaves. The combination of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba®, however, was able to significantly retard sedimentation, increasing the average number of nematodes deposited on 2-cm2 leaf discs by 10 nematodes. In an aqueous suspension, nematodes settle rapidly to the bottom, resulting in an uneven distribution of nematodes. Xanthan gum, at a concentration of 0.2%, was highly effective at retarding sedimentation, with 72% of the initial nematode number still in suspension after 1 h. Zeba®, at a concentration of 0.3%, despite not being as effective as Xanthan gum, nevertheless still retarded sedimentation significantly. This is the first report of the potential of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to improve EPN performance against P. citri when used above ground in citrus orchards.

  1. Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Improves Local Control After Surgical Resection in Patients With Localized Adrenocortical Carcinoma

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    Sabolch, Aaron [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Else, Tobias [Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Griffith, Kent A. [Center for Cancer Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Ben-Josef, Edgar [Department of Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States); Williams, Andrew [University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Miller, Barbra S. [Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of General Surgery, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Worden, Francis [Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Hammer, Gary D. [Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States); Jolly, Shruti, E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mchigan (United States)


    Purpose: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy known for high rates of local recurrence, though the benefit of postoperative radiation therapy (RT) has not been established. In this study of grossly resected ACC, we compare local control of patients treated with surgery followed by adjuvant RT to a matched cohort treated with surgery alone. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively identified patients with localized disease who underwent R0 or R1 resection followed by adjuvant RT. Only patients treated with RT at our institution were included. Matching to surgical controls was on the basis of stage, surgical margin status, tumor grade, and adjuvant mitotane. Results: From 1991 to 2011, 360 ACC patients were evaluated for ACC at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Twenty patients with localized disease received postoperative adjuvant RT. These were matched to 20 controls. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups with regard to stage, margins, grade, or mitotane. Median RT dose was 55 Gy (range, 45-60 Gy). Median follow-up was 34 months. Local recurrence occurred in 1 patient treated with RT, compared with 12 patients not treated with RT (P=.0005; hazard ratio [HR] 12.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.62-97.88). However, recurrence-free survival was no different between the groups (P=.17; HR 1.52; 95% CI 0.67-3.45). Overall survival was also not significantly different (P=.13; HR 1.97; 95% CI 0.57-6.77), with 4 deaths in the RT group compared with 9 in the control group. Conclusions: Postoperative RT significantly improved local control compared with the use of surgery alone in this case-matched cohort analysis of grossly resected ACC patients. Although this retrospective series represents the largest study to date on adjuvant RT for ACC, its findings need to be prospectively confirmed.

  2. Postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy improves loco-regional recurrence of head and neck mucosal melanoma. (United States)

    Wushou, Alimujiang; Hou, Jing; Zhao, Ya-Jun; Miao, Xin-chao


    Primary head and neck mucosal melanoma (HNMM) is a rare tumor with a poor prognosis. Controversy remains as to whether postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy (PORT) achieves a significant benefit in HNMM treatment. Because of the lack of available conclusive prospective data, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all relevant available studies to clarify the benefits of PORT. A comprehensive literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar electronic databases was conducted to collect relevant studies until April 30, 2014. Studies published in the English language comparing surgery alone and surgery plus PORT for HNMM were included, with more than 15 study populations. All statistical analyses were performed using STATA version 12.0. A total of 423 patients were available from eight studies and the median sample size was 53 cases. The median follow-up time was 38.2 months (range 18.3-65.2 months). There was a positive association between PORT and loco-regional recurrence of HNMM (odds ratio [OR] = 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.22-0.60, P = 0.000). No associations were found between the PORT and 3-year and 5-year overall survival (OS) (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 0.94-2.09, P = 0.093 and OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.70-1.61, P = 0.161, respectively). PORT had no impact on 3-year and 5-year OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.14, 95% CI = 0.80-1.61, P = 0.472 and HR = 1.34, 95% CI = 0.97-1.85, P = 0.227, respectively). PORT improved loco-regional recurrence of HNMM independent of OS.

  3. The Medicaid Medically Improved Group, Losing Disability... (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — According to findings reported in, The Medicaid Medically Improved Group, Losing Disability Status and Growing Earnings, published in Volume 4, Issue 1 of the...

  4. The Medicaid Medically Improved Group, Losing Disability... (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — According to findings reported in, The Medicaid Medically Improved Group, Losing Disability Status and Growing Earnings, published in Volume 4, Issue 1 of the...

  5. Immunologic correlates of protection and potential role for adjuvants to improve influenza vaccines in older adults. (United States)

    McElhaney, Janet E; Coler, Rhea N; Baldwin, Susan L


    The decrease in influenza vaccine efficacy in the elderly is associated with a decline in the stimulation of cell-mediated and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses required for clinical protection against influenza, and may be particularly problematic when this population is administered split-virus vaccines that lack conserved viral proteins. Adjuvants, which act through innate immune mechanisms, are known to enhance both humoral and T-cell-mediated responses to influenza vaccines in this population. Adjuvant effects including enhanced antigen presentation, activation and maturation of dendritic cells and production of inflammatory cytokines can drive the desired cell-mediated immune responses. Toll-like receptor ligands comprise one class of adjuvants, which interact with external and internal receptors associated with dendritic cells and other APCs, leading to the regulation and production of important inflammatory cytokines. Potential advances in the production of more effective influenza vaccines for older people include the addition of adjuvants to standard split-virus vaccines and the use of alternate routes of vaccine delivery to augment the response to influenza infection. In this review, the authors discuss the impact of immune senescence on the response to influenza vaccination, the correlates of protection against influenza disease and the progress being made in the design of better influenza vaccines for the population aged 65 years and older.

  6. Glucocorticoids improve endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis: a study in rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis. (United States)

    Verhoeven, F; Totoson, P; Maguin-Gaté, K; Prigent-Tessier, A; Marie, C; Wendling, D; Moretto, J; Prati, C; Demougeot, C


    To determine the effect of glucocorticoids (GCs) on endothelial dysfunction (ED) and on traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in the adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rat model. At the first signs of AIA, a high dose (HD) [10 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally (i.p.), GC-HD] or low dose (LD) (1 mg/kg/day, i.p., GC-LD) of prednisolone was administered for 3 weeks. Endothelial function was studied in aortic rings relaxed with acetylcholine (Ach) with or without inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), arginase, endothelium derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) and superoxide anions ( O2-°) production. Aortic expression of endothelial NOS (eNOS), Ser1177-phospho-eNOS, COX-2, arginase-2, p22(phox) and p47(phox) was evaluated by Western blotting analysis. Arthritis scores, blood pressure, heart rate and blood levels of cytokines, triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose were measured. GC-HD but not GC-LD reduced arthritis score significantly and improved Ach-induced relaxation (P < 0·05). The positive effect of GC-HD resulted from increased NOS activity and EDHF production and decreased COX-2/arginase activities and O2-° production. These functional effects relied upon increased phospho-eNOS expression and decreased COX-2, arginase-2 and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase expression. Despite the lack of effect of GC-LD on ED, it increased NOS and EDHF and down-regulated O2-° pathways but did not change arginase and COX-2 pathways. GC-HD increased triglycerides levels and blood pressure significantly (P < 0·05). Both doses of GCs decreased to the same extent as plasma interleukin (IL)-1β and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels (P < 0·05). Our data demonstrated that subchronic treatment with prednisolone improved endothelial function in AIA via pleiotropic effects on endothelial pathways. These effects occurred independently of the deleterious cardiometabolic effects and the impact of prednisolone on

  7. Adjuvant 5FU plus levamisole in colonic or rectal cancer: improved survival in stage II and III. (United States)

    Taal, B G; Van Tinteren, H; Zoetmulder, F A


    Based on the first favourable results of adjuvant therapy of 5FU plus levamisole in Dukes C colonic cancer in 1990, we conducted a prospective trial. 1029 patients were randomised to receive one year 5FU plus levamisole or no further treatment following curative surgery for stage II or III colon (n = 730) or rectal cancer (n = 299). 45% were in stage II and 55% in stage III. With a median follow-up of 4 years and 9 months a significant reduction in odds of death (25%, SD 9%, P = 0.007) was observed for those with adjuvant treatment (65% at 5 year) compared to the observation group (55%). Improved relative survival was present in stage III (56% vs 44%), and in stage II patients (78% vs 70%). In rectal cancer a non-significant difference in disease-free or overall survival was observed. Distant metastases developed in 76%, while local recurrence alone occurred in 14%. An early start of adjuvant treatment (5FU plus levamisole was 69%. Severe toxicity did not occur. In conclusion, one year 5FU plus levamisole was of benefit in stage II and III colonic cancer; in rectal cancer a significant positive effect could not be demonstrated.

  8. Improving the pedagogical effectiveness of medical videos. (United States)

    Iorio-Morin, Christian; Brisebois, Simon; Becotte, Annick; Mior, Frédéric


    Videos are often employed in medical cursus, yet few guidelines are available to help with their production. Mayer's cognitive theory of multimedia learning is the most cited evidence-based framework for improving pedagogical effectiveness of multimedia content. Based on this framework, we identified four workflow interventions to improve the effectiveness of video content in the context of medical education: (1) choosing appropriate content; (2) optimizing the voiceover; (3) optimizing the supporting visuals and (4) planning the shooting schedule in advance. Content creators should think about pedagogical effectiveness and aim to improve their work by applying evidence-based principles.

  9. [Quality improvement of medical diagnostic laboratories]. (United States)

    Horváth, Andrea Rita; Endröczi, Elemér; Mikó, Tivadar


    Service quality in medical laboratories is influenced by a number of variables. Medical laboratories have long recognized the need for total quality management that incorporates the continuous improvement of all stages, such as the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases, of the diagnostic process, in addition to the traditional internal and external quality control of analytical procedures. Based on national and international experience, continuous improvement of quality and its external assessment are of high priority in order to guarantee a reliable, effective and cost-effective diagnostic service. Certification of health care services, according to ISO 9001 standards in Hungarian hospitals, is not sufficient to prove professional competence of medical laboratories, which called for a system of laboratory accreditation. Accreditation is an external professional audit by which an independent accreditation body gives formal recognition that the medical laboratory is competent to provide high quality services that are compliant with rigorous professional standards of best practice. The primary aim of accreditation is the improvement of the quality of diagnostic services by voluntary participation, professional peer review, continuous training and education and compliance with professional standards. In vitro medical laboratories have pioneered quality control and quality assurance in health care. Based on these strengths and traditions, the introduction of the accreditation program of medical laboratories in Hungary is one of the key professional and ethical responsibilities of diagnostic professions, in order to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of laboratory services during the course of Hungary's accession to the European Union.

  10. Improved Survival Endpoints With Adjuvant Radiation Treatment in Patients With High-Risk Early-Stage Endometrial Carcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elshaikh, Mohamed A., E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (United States); Vance, Sean; Suri, Jaipreet S. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (United States); Mahan, Meredith [Public Health Science, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (United States); Munkarah, Adnan [Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Women' s Health Services, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (United States)


    Purpose/Objective(s): To determine the impact of adjuvant radiation treatment (RT) on recurrence-free survival (RFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with high-risk 2009 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage I-II endometrial carcinoma. Methods and Materials: We identified 382 patients with high-risk EC who underwent hysterectomy. RFS, DSS, and OS were calculated from the date of hysterectomy by use of the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression modeling was used to explore the risks associated with various factors on survival endpoints. Results: The median follow-up time for the study cohort was 5.4 years. The median age was 71 years. All patients underwent hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, 93% had peritoneal cytology, and 85% underwent lymphadenectomy. Patients with endometrioid histology constituted 72% of the study cohort, serous in 16%, clear cell in 7%, and mixed histology in 4%. Twenty-three percent of patients had stage II disease. Adjuvant management included RT alone in 220 patients (57%), chemotherapy alone in 25 patients (7%), and chemoradiation therapy in 27 patients (7%); 110 patients (29%) were treated with close surveillance. The 5-year RFS, DSS, and OS were 76%, 88%, and 73%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, adjuvant RT was a significant predictor of RFS (P<.001) DSS (P<.001), and OS (P=.017). Lymphovascular space involvement was a significant predictor of RFS and DSS (P<.001). High tumor grade was a significant predictor for RFS (P=.038) and DSS (P=.025). Involvement of the lower uterine segment was also a predictor of RFS (P=.049). Age at diagnosis and lymphovascular space involvement were significant predictors of OS: P<.001 and P=.002, respectively. Conclusion: In the treatment of patients with high-risk features, our study suggests that adjuvant RT significantly improves recurrence-free, disease-specific, and overall survival in patients with early-stage endometrial carcinoma

  11. Improving diabetes medication adherence: successful, scalable interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zullig LL


    Full Text Available Leah L Zullig,1,2 Walid F Gellad,3,4 Jivan Moaddeb,2,5 Matthew J Crowley,1,2 William Shrank,6 Bradi B Granger,7 Christopher B Granger,8 Troy Trygstad,9 Larry Z Liu,10 Hayden B Bosworth1,2,7,11 1Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 2Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 3Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 4Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 5Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 6CVS Caremark Corporation; 7School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 8Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA; 9North Carolina Community Care Networks, Raleigh, NC, USA; 10Pfizer, Inc., and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA; 11Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA Abstract: Effective medications are a cornerstone of prevention and disease treatment, yet only about half of patients take their medications as prescribed, resulting in a common and costly public health challenge for the US healthcare system. Since poor medication adherence is a complex problem with many contributing causes, there is no one universal solution. This paper describes interventions that were not only effective in improving medication adherence among patients with diabetes, but were also potentially scalable (ie, easy to implement to a large population. We identify key characteristics that make these interventions effective and scalable. This information is intended to inform healthcare systems seeking proven, low resource, cost-effective solutions to improve medication adherence. Keywords: medication adherence, diabetes mellitus, chronic disease, dissemination research

  12. Improving medication adherence in patients with hypertension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedegaard, Ulla; Kjeldsen, Lene Juel; Pottegård, Anton


    BACKGROUND: and Purpose: In patients with hypertension, medication adherence is often suboptimal, thereby increasing the risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke. In a randomized trial, we investigated the effectiveness of a multifaceted pharmacist intervention in a hospital setting to improve...... medication adherence in hypertensive patients. Motivational interviewing was a key element of the intervention. METHODS: Patients (N=532) were recruited from 3 hospital outpatient clinics and randomized to usual care or a 6-month pharmacist intervention comprising collaborative care, medication review......, tailored adherence counselling including motivational interviewing and telephone follow-ups. The primary outcome was composite medication possession ratio (MPR) to antihypertensive and lipid-lowering agents, at one-year follow-up, assessed by analyzing pharmacy records. Secondary outcomes at 12 months...

  13. Improving the Th1 cellular efficacy of the lead Yersinia pestis rF1-V subunit vaccine using SA-4-1BBL as a novel adjuvant. (United States)

    Dinc, Gunes; Pennington, Jarrod M; Yolcu, Esma S; Lawrenz, Matthew B; Shirwan, Haval


    The lead candidate plague subunit vaccine is the recombinant fusion protein rF1-V adjuvanted with alum. While alum generates Th2 regulated robust humoral responses, immune protection against Yersinia pestis has been shown to also involve Th1 driven cellular responses. Therefore, the rF1-V-based subunit vaccine may benefit from an adjuvant system that generates a mixed Th1 and humoral immune response. We herein assessed the efficacy of a novel SA-4-1BBL costimulatory molecule as a Th1 adjuvant to improve cellular responses generated by the rF1-V vaccine. SA-4-1BBL as a single adjuvant had better efficacy than alum in generating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells producing TNFα and IFNγ, signature cytokines for Th1 responses. The combination of SA-4-1BBL with alum further increased this Th1 response as compared with the individual adjuvants. Analysis of the humoral response revealed that SA-4-1BBL as a single adjuvant did not generate a significant Ab response against rF1-V, and SA-4-1BBL in combination with alum did not improve Ab titers. However, the combined adjuvants significantly increased the ratio of Th1 regulated IgG2c in C57BL/6 mice to the Th2 regulated IgG1. Finally, a single vaccination with rF1-V adjuvanted with SA-4-1BBL+alum had better protective efficacy than vaccines containing individual adjuvants. Taken together, these results demonstrate that SA-4-1BBL improves the protective efficacy of the alum adjuvanted lead rF1-V subunit vaccine by generating a more balanced Th1 cellular and humoral immune response. As such, this adjuvant platform may prove efficacious not only for the rF1-V vaccine but also against other infections that require both cellular and humoral immune responses for protection. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Metronomic Adjuvant Chemotherapy Improves Treatment Outcome in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients With Postradiation Persistently Detectable Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus Deoxyribonucleic Acid

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    Twu, Chih-Wen [Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Wang, Wen-Yi [Section of Basic Medicine, Department of Nursing, Hung Kuang University, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Chen, Chien-Chih [Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Liang, Kai-Li; Jiang, Rong-San [Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Wu, Ching-Te [Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital–Chiayi Branch, Chiayi, Taiwan (China); Shih, Yi-Ting [Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Martin De Porres Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan (China); Lin, Po-Ju; Liu, Yi-Chun [Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Lin, Jin-Ching, E-mail: [Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Department of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (China)


    Purpose: To investigate the effects of adjuvant chemotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients with persistently detectable plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA (pEBV DNA) after curative radiation therapy plus induction/concurrent chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The study population consisted of 625 NPC patients with available pEBV DNA levels before and after treatment. Eighty-five patients with persistently detectable pEBV DNA after 1 week of completing radiation therapy were eligible for this retrospective study. Of the 85 patients, 33 were administered adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of oral tegafur-uracil (2 capsules twice daily) for 12 months with (n=4) or without (n=29) preceding intravenous chemotherapy of mitomycin-C, epirubicin, and cisplatin. The remaining 52 patients who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy served as the control group. Results: Baseline patient characteristics at diagnosis (age, sex, pathologic type, performance status, T classification, N classification, and overall stage), as well as previous treatment modality, were comparable in both arms. After a median follow-up of 70 months for surviving patients, 45.5% (15 of 33 patients) with adjuvant chemotherapy and 71.2% (37 of 52 patients) without adjuvant chemotherapy experienced tumor relapses (P=.0323). There were a significant reduction in distant failure (P=.0034) but not in local or regional recurrence. The 5-year overall survival rate was 71.6% for patients with adjuvant chemotherapy and 28.7% for patients without adjuvant chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0.27; 95% confidence interval 0.17-0.55; P<.0001). Conclusions: Our retrospective data showed that adjuvant chemotherapy can reduce distant failure and improve overall survival in NPC patients with persistently detectable pEBV DNA after curative radiation therapy plus induction/concurrent chemotherapy.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Li; Yuan-qiang Zhang; Xin-ping Liu; Li-bo Yao; Lan Sun


    Objective To investigate the expression of discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) of fibroblast-like synovial cells in improved adjuvant-induced animal (AIA) model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to provide evidence for DDR2′s antagonist use clinically.Methods AIA was modified by administrating 0.1 mL of complete Freund′s adjuvant (CFA, mixed with 5 mg Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine/mL) into rats′ right hind paws and 0.125 mL tumor necrosis factor-α (2 U/mL) into right ankles and subpatellar fatty tissue. The expression of DDR2 in fibroblast-like synovial cells was assessed using immunohistochemistry,immunofluorescence histochemistry, and in situ hybridization methods. Levels of anti-collagen Ⅱ antibody were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Results Given the terms mentioned above, we found a more practical rat model, apparently decreasing immunization time (average 3-5 days). DDR2 can be detected upon the 15th day of immunization; expression gradually increased with time going on, and reaching a peak 35 days after immunization before gradually decreasing. Serum anti-collagen Ⅱ antibody showed similar expression patterns as DDR2, but reached peak later than DDR2, about 40 days after immunization.Conclusion Regular expression of DDR2 in animal models infers its important role in the pathological process of RA.

  16. Medical image segmentation using improved FCM

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG XiaoFeng; ZHANG CaiMing; TANG WenJing; WEI ZhenWen


    Image segmentation is one of the most important problems in medical image processing,and the existence of partial volume effect and other phenomena makes the problem much more complex. Fuzzy Cmeans,as an effective tool to deal with PVE,however,is faced with great challenges in efficiency.Aiming at this,this paper proposes one improved FCM algorithm based on the histogram of the given image,which will be denoted as HisFCM and divided into two phases.The first phase will retrieve several intervals on which to compute cluster centroids,and the second one will perform image segmentation based on improved FCM algorithm.Compared with FCM and other improved algorithms,HisFCM is of much higher efficiency with satisfying results.Experiments on medical images show that HisFCM can achieve good segmentation results in less than 0.1 second,and can satisfy real-time requirements of medical image processing.

  17. Tissue expander placement and adjuvant radiotherapy after surgical resection of retroperitoneal liposarcoma offers improved local control. (United States)

    Park, Hyojun; Lee, Sanghoon; Kim, BoKyong; Lim, Do Hoon; Choi, Yoon-La; Choi, Gyu Seong; Kim, Jong Man; Park, Jae Berm; Kwon, Choon Hyuck David; Joh, Jae-Won; Kim, Sung Joo


    Given that retroperitoneal liposarcoma (LPS) is extremely difficult to completely resect, and has a relatively high rate of recurrence, radiotherapy (RT) is the treatment of choice after surgical resection. However, it is difficult to obtain a sufficient radiation field because of the close proximity of surrounding organs. We introduce the use of tissue expanders (TEs) after LPS resection in an attempt to secure a sufficient radiation field and to improve recurrence-free survival.This study is a retrospective review of 53 patients who underwent surgical resection of LPS at Samsung Medical Center between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2012, and had no residual tumor detected 2 months postoperatively. The median follow-up period was 38.9 months.Patients were divided into 3 groups. Those in group 1 (n = 17) had TE inserted and received postoperative RT. The patients in group 2 (n = 9) did not have TE inserted and received postoperative RT. Finally, those in group 3 (n = 27) did not receive postoperative RT. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify the risk factors associated with recurrence-free survival within 3 years. Younger age, history of LPS treatment, and RT after TE insertion (group 1 vs group 2 or 3) were significantly favorable factors influencing 3-year recurrence-free survival.TE insertion after LPS resection is associated with increased 3-year recurrence-free survival, most likely because it allows effective delivery of postoperative RT.

  18. Adjuvant treatment with the bacterial lysate (OM-85) improves management of atopic dermatitis: A randomized study (United States)

    Bodemer, Christine; Guillet, Gerard; Cambazard, Frederic; Boralevi, Franck; Ballarini, Stefania; Milliet, Christian; Bertuccio, Paola; La Vecchia, Carlo; Bach, Jean-François; de Prost, Yves


    Background Environmental factors play a major role on atopic dermatitis (AD) which shows a constant rise in prevalence in western countries over the last decades. The Hygiene Hypothesis suggesting an inverse relationship between incidence of infections and the increase in atopic diseases in these countries, is one of the working hypothesis proposed to explain this trend. Objective This study tested the efficacy and safety of oral administration of the bacterial lysate OM-85 (Broncho-Vaxom®, Broncho-Munal®, Ommunal®, Paxoral®, Vaxoral®), in the treatment of established AD in children. Methods Children aged 6 months to 7 years, with confirmed AD diagnosis, were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to receive, in addition to conventional treatment with emollients and topical corticosteroids, 3.5mg of the bacterial extract OM-85 or placebo daily for 9 months. The primary end-point was the difference between groups in the occurrence of new flares (NF) during the study period, evaluated by Hazard Ratio (HR) derived from conditional Cox proportional hazard regression models accounting for repeated events. Results Among the 179 randomized children, 170 were analysed, 88 in the OM-85 and 82 in the placebo group. As expected most children in both treatment groups experienced at least 1 NF during the study period (75 (85%) patients in the OM-85 group and 72 (88%) in the placebo group). Patients treated with OM-85 as adjuvant therapy had significantly fewer and delayed NFs (HR of repeated flares = 0.80; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67–0.96), also when potential confounding factors, as family history of atopy and corticosteroids use, were taken into account (HR = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.69–0.98). No major side effect was reported, with comparable and good tolerability for OM-85 and placebo. Conclusions Results show an adjuvant therapeutic effect of a well standardized bacterial lysate OM-85 on established AD. PMID:28333952

  19. Lipid-Core Nanocapsules Improved Antiedematogenic Activity of Tacrolimus in Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Model. (United States)

    Friedrich, Rossana B; Coradini, Karine; Fonseca, Francisco N; Guterres, Silvia S; Beck, Ruy C R; Pohlmann, Adriana R


    Despite significant technological advances, rheumatoid arthritis remains an incurable disease with great impact on the life quality of patients. We studied the encapsulation of tacrolimus in lipidcore nanocapsules (TAC-LNC) as a strategy to enhance its systemic anti-arthritic properties. TAC-LNC presented unimodal distribution of particles with z-average diameter of 212 +/- 11, drug content close to the theoretical value (0.80 mg mL(-1)), and 99.43% of encapsulation efficiency. An in vitro sustained release was determined for TAC-LNC with anomalous transport mechanism (n = 0.61). In vivo studies using an arthritis model induced by Complete Freund's Adjuvant demonstrated that the animals treated with TAC-LNC presented a significantly greater inhibition of paw oedema after intraperitoneal administration. Furthermore, the encapsulation of TAC in lipid-core nanocapsules was potentially able to prevent hyperglycemia in the animals. In conclusion, TAC-LNC was prepared with 100% yield of nanoscopic particles having satisfactory characteristics for systemic use. This formulation represents a promising strategy to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the near future.

  20. A randomized control trial to evaluate the effect of adjuvant selective laser trabeculoplasty versus medication alone in primary open-angle glaucoma: preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee JWY


    Full Text Available Jacky WY Lee,1,2 Catherine WS Chan,2 Mandy OM Wong,3 Jonathan CH Chan,3 Qing Li,2 Jimmy SM Lai2 1The Department of Ophthalmology, Caritas Medical Centre, 2The Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong, 3The Department of Ophthalmology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of adjuvant selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT versus medication alone on intraocular pressure (IOP control, medication use, and quality of life in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma.Methods: This prospective, randomized control study recruited 41 consecutive primary open-angle glaucoma subjects with medically-controlled IOP ≤21 mmHg. The SLT group (n=22 received a single 360-degree SLT treatment. The medication-only group (n=19 continued with their usual treatment regimen. In both groups, medication was titrated to maintain a target IOP defined as a 25% reduction from baseline IOP without medication, or <18 mmHg, whichever was lower. Outcomes, which were measured at baseline and at 6 months, included the Glaucoma Quality of Life-15 (GQL-15 and Comparison of Ophthalmic Medications for Tolerability (COMTOL survey scores, IOP, and the number of antiglaucoma medicines. Results: The baseline IOP was 15.8±2.7 mmHg and 14.5±2.5 mmHg in the SLT and medication-only groups, respectively (P=0.04. Both groups had a comparable number of baseline medication (P=0.2, GQL-15 (P=0.3 and COMTOL scores (P=0.7. At 6 months, the SLT group had a lower IOP (P=0.03 and required fewer medications compared with both baseline (P<0.0001 and with the medication-only group (P=0.02. There was no statistically significant difference in the 6-month GQL-15 or COMTOL score as compared to baseline (P≥0.4 or between the two treatment groups (P≥0.2.Conclusion: A single session of adjuvant SLT provided further reductions in IOP and medication without substantial changes in quality of life or medication tolerability at 6

  1. Improved Interactive Medical-Imaging System (United States)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Twombly, Ian A.; Senger, Steven


    An improved computational-simulation system for interactive medical imaging has been invented. The system displays high-resolution, three-dimensional-appearing images of anatomical objects based on data acquired by such techniques as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). The system enables users to manipulate the data to obtain a variety of views for example, to display cross sections in specified planes or to rotate images about specified axes. Relative to prior such systems, this system offers enhanced capabilities for synthesizing images of surgical cuts and for collaboration by users at multiple, remote computing sites.

  2. Improvement in efficacy of DNA vaccine encoding HIV-1 Vif by LIGHT gene adjuvant. (United States)

    Du, Jiani; Wu, Xiaoyu; Long, Fengying; Wen, Jiejun; Hao, Wenli; Chen, Ran; Kong, Xiaobo; Qian, Min; Jiang, Wenzheng


    DNA vaccine can induce the prolonged immune responses against the encoded antigen with the appropriate adjuvant. To study the immunogenicity of the HIV-1 vif DNA vaccine in inducing the humoral and cellular immune responses and the immunoadjuvant effect of LIGHT, which is a member of TNF superfamily and can stimulate the proliferation of naïve T cells as a co-stimulatory molecule, DNA vaccine plasmid pcDNA-Vif was constructed by inserting HIV-1 vif gene into the downstream of CMV promoter in eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1(+). In vitro expression of HIV-1 Vif in pcDNA-Vif-transfected HeLa cells was confirmed in transcriptional and protein level by RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. After BALB/c mice were injected muscularly with DNA vaccines for three times, the specific immune responses were analyzed. The data showed that anti-Vif antibody response, Vif-specific T cell proliferation, and CTL activities were induced in the mice that were inoculated with HIV-1 vif DNA vaccine plasmid. Interestingly, stronger humoral and cellular immune responses were detected in mice that were immunized with plasmid pcDNA-Vif and pcDNA-LIGHT together compared to the single immunization with plasmid pcDNA-Vif alone. Together, the results of the study suggest that candidate HIV-1 DNA vaccine can elicit HIV-1 Vif-specific immune responses in mice and that LIGHT plays the role of immunoadjuvant in co-immunization with DNA vaccine.

  3. Improving accuracy of medication identification in an older population using a medication bottle color symbol label system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cardarelli Roberto


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate and refine an adjuvant system of color-specific symbols that are added to medication bottles and to assess whether this system would increase the ability of patients 65 years of age or older in matching their medication to the indication for which it was prescribed. Methods This study was conducted in two phases, consisting of three focus groups of patients from a family medicine clinic (n = 25 and a pre-post medication identification test in a second group of patient participants (n = 100. Results of focus group discussions were used to refine the medication label symbols according to themes and messages identified through qualitative triangulation mechanisms and data analysis techniques. A pre-post medication identification test was conducted in the second phase of the study to assess differences between standard labeling alone and the addition of the refined color-specific symbols. The pre-post test examined the impact of the added labels on participants' ability to accurately match their medication to the indication for which it was prescribed when placed in front of participants and then at a distance of two feet. Results Participants appreciated the addition of a visual aid on existing medication labels because it would not be necessary to learn a completely new system of labeling, and generally found the colors and symbols used in the proposed labeling system easy to understand and relevant. Concerns were raised about space constraints on medication bottles, having too much information on the bottle, and having to remember what the colors meant. Symbols and colors were modified if they were found unclear or inappropriate by focus group participants. Pre-post medication identification test results in a second set of participants demonstrated that the addition of the symbol label significantly improved the ability of participants to match their medication to the appropriate

  4. Adjuvant TACE inhibitor treatment improves the outcome of TLR2-/- mice with experimental pneumococcal meningitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neumann Ulf


    rescued. Conclusion During pneumococcal meningitis strong inflammation in TLR2-deficiency was associated with incomplete responsiveness to antibiotics and complete response to combined antibiotic and TACE inhibitor treatment. TACE inhibitor treatment offers a promising adjuvant therapeutic strategy in pneumococcal meningitis.

  5. How to improve medical education website design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levine David


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Internet provides a means of disseminating medical education curricula, allowing institutions to share educational resources. Much of what is published online is poorly planned, does not meet learners' needs, or is out of date. Discussion Applying principles of curriculum development, adult learning theory and educational website design may result in improved online educational resources. Key steps in developing and implementing an education website include: 1 Follow established principles of curriculum development; 2 Perform a needs assessment and repeat the needs assessment regularly after curriculum implementation; 3 Include in the needs assessment targeted learners, educators, institutions, and society; 4 Use principles of adult learning and behavioral theory when developing content and website function; 5 Design the website and curriculum to demonstrate educational effectiveness at an individual and programmatic level; 6 Include a mechanism for sustaining website operations and updating content over a long period of time. Summary Interactive, online education programs are effective for medical training, but require planning, implementation, and maintenance that follow established principles of curriculum development, adult learning, and behavioral theory.

  6. Approaches to improve poultry vaccination using novel poultry adjuvants against coccidiosis (United States)

    In this review, various new approaches to improve poultry adaptive immunity against coccidiosis through vaccination will be addressed using the recently published data. To improve poultry production and to meet the demands for the ever-increasing world human population, we need to develop new stra...

  7. Adjuvant Autologous Melanoma Vaccine for Macroscopic Stage III Disease: Survival, Biomarkers, and Improved Response to CTLA-4 Blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Lotem


    Full Text Available Background. There is not yet an agreed adjuvant treatment for melanoma patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer stages III B and C. We report administration of an autologous melanoma vaccine to prevent disease recurrence. Patients and Methods. 126 patients received eight doses of irradiated autologous melanoma cells conjugated to dinitrophenyl and mixed with BCG. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH response to unmodified melanoma cells was determined on the vaccine days 5 and 8. Gene expression analysis was performed on 35 tumors from patients with good or poor survival. Results. Median overall survival was 88 months with a 5-year survival of 54%. Patients attaining a strong DTH response had a significantly better (p=0.0001 5-year overall survival of 75% compared with 44% in patients without a strong response. Gene expression array linked a 50-gene signature to prognosis, including a cluster of four cancer testis antigens: CTAG2 (NY-ESO-2, MAGEA1, SSX1, and SSX4. Thirty-five patients, who received an autologous vaccine, followed by ipilimumab for progressive disease, had a significantly improved 3-year survival of 46% compared with 19% in nonvaccinated patients treated with ipilimumab alone (p=0.007. Conclusion. Improved survival in patients attaining a strong DTH and increased response rate with subsequent ipilimumab suggests that the autologous vaccine confers protective immunity.

  8. Managing the medical workforce: time for improvements? (United States)

    Maynard, A; Walker, A


    There has been a regular cycle of Government committees in Britain that have forecast 'shortages' and 'surpluses' in medical manpower. It is remarkable how little change there has been in the methods used in these forecasts despite criticism of their methods and the move towards competitive markets in the delivery of health care. The practice of medical manpower planning was criticised in the 1960s because of the failure to explore the implications of alternative skill mixes and incentives. Whilst these criticisms were ignored, the forecasters now pay more regard to budget constraints and produce more regular estimates. The 1992 forecast could be improved by sensitivity analysis (e.g. for GP/population ratios). However, unless the issue of scope (forecasting for all health care staff, not just for doctors alone) and the implications of skill mix and incentives identified in the 1960s are addressed effectively, the current recommendations may produce doctor 'surpluses' in the early twenty-first century. The Government's analysis should be challenged at the level of principle and practice, and this implies that the research activity proposed in the 1960s is carried out in the 1990s to facilitate efficiency in the twenty-first century. Furthermore, the issue of policy priorities and their ranking needs to be spelt out explicitly: does the Government want a competitive NHS internal market, and if it does, what is the role of central manpower planning? One implication of current policy choice and the maintenance of manpower planning is that cost containment is of more importance to policy makers than the internal market.

  9. Improved overall survival with adjuvant radiotherapy for high-intermediate and high risk Stage I endometrial cancer. (United States)

    Harkenrider, Matthew M; Adams, William; Block, Alec M; Kliethermes, Stephanie; Small, William; Grover, Surbhi


    To perform a large analysis of Stage I endometrioid-type endometrial cancer patients to determine the impact of adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) on survival. 132,976 FIGO Stage I endometrioid-type endometrial cancer patients treated surgically were identified within the National Cancer Database (NCDB) comprising Commission on Cancer facilities in the United States. Patients were categorized as observation (OBS) or ART (vaginal brachytherapy, external beam radiotherapy, or both). Univariable generalized linear mixed effects models were used to estimate the odds of receiving ART, and a multivariable frailty survival model was used to estimate the instantaneous hazard of death for those receiving OBS versus ART. Due to the presence of a significant interaction, these estimates were stratified by PORTEC-based low, low-intermediate, high-intermediate, and high risk groups. 104,645 (79%) underwent OBS while 28,331 (21%) received ART. Of those receiving ART, 12,913 (46%) received VBT alone, 12,857 (45%) received EBRT alone, and 2561 (9%) received EBRT+VBT. On univariable analysis, increasing stage/myometrial invasion, higher grade, older age, presence of lymphovascular space invasion, and larger tumor size predicted poorer survival (all pendometrial cancer patients, ART significantly improves overall survival. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Adjuvant sequential chemo and radiotherapy improves the oncological outcome in high risk endometrial cancer. (United States)

    Signorelli, Mauro; Lissoni, Andrea Alberto; De Ponti, Elena; Grassi, Tommaso; Ponti, Serena; Fruscio, Robert


    Evaluation of the impact of sequential chemoradiotherapy in high risk endometrial cancer (EC). Two hundred fifty-four women with stage IB grade 3, II and III EC (2009 FIGO staging), were included in this retrospective study. Stage I, II, and III was 24%, 28.7%, and 47.3%, respectively. Grade 3 tumor was 53.2% and 71.3% had deep myometrial invasion. One hundred sixty-five women (65%) underwent pelvic (+/- aortic) lymphadenectomy and 58 (22.8%) had nodal metastases. Ninety-eight women (38.6%) underwent radiotherapy, 59 (23.2%) chemotherapy, 42 (16.5%) sequential chemoradiotherapy, and 55 (21.7%) were only observed. After a median follow-up of 101 months, 78 women (30.7%) relapsed and 91 women (35.8%) died. Sequential chemoradiotherapy improved survival rates in women who did not undergo nodal evaluation (disease-free survival [DFS], p=0.040; overall survival [OS], p=0.024) or pelvic (+/- aortic) lymphadenectomy (DFS, p=0.008; OS, p=0.021). Sequential chemoradiotherapy improved both DFS (p=0.015) and OS (p=0.014) in stage III, while only a trend was found for DFS (p=0.210) and OS (p=0.102) in stage I-II EC. In the multivariate analysis, only age (≤ 65 years) and sequential chemoradiotherapy were statistically related to the prognosis. Sequential chemoradiotherapy improves survival rates in high risk EC compared with chemotherapy or radiotherapy alone, in particular in stage III.

  11. A Review and Prospect on Herbicide Adjuvants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The history, present status and future prospects of adjuvants application in herbicides were briefly reviewed. Adjuvants can be separated into two groups, activator adjuvants and utility adjuvants. The former directly enhances the efficacy of a herbicide through increasement of herbicide absorption, spreading, cuticular penetration, rainfastness and retention enhancement, and photodegradation of the herbicide can also be decreased. And the latter is utilized for improving application characteristics, behaviors and physical properties of herbicides and reducing or minimizing unwanted side effects on application.

  12. Distributed Automated Medical Robotics to Improve Medical Field Operations (United States)


    and through animal and human cadaveric studies in collaboration with anesthesiologists and trauma surgeons at the Massachusetts General Hospital...Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery. 2009;5(2):136-46. [12] Hanly EJ, Marohn MR, Schenkman NS, Miller BE, Moses GR, Marchessault R

  13. Adjuvant probiotics improve the eradication effect of triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi-Qi Du; Tun Su; Jian-Gao Fan; Yu-Xia Lu; Ping Zheng; Xing-Hua Li; Chuan-Yong Guo


    AIM:To investigate whether the addition of probiotics can improve the eradication effect of triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection.METHODS:This open randomized trial recruited 234 H.pylori positive gastritis patients from seven local centers.The patients were randomized to one-week standard triple therapy (omeprazole 20 mg bid,clarithromycin 500 mg bid,and amoxicillin 1000 mg bid; OCA group,n =79); two weeks of pre-treatment with probiotics,containing 3 × 107 Lactobacillus acidophilus per day,prior to one week of triple therapy (POCA group,n =78); or one week of triple therapy followed by two weeks of the same probiotics (OCAP group,n =77).Successful eradication was defined as a negative C13 or C14 urease breath test four weeks after triple therapy.Patients were asked to report associated symptoms at baseline and during follow-up,and side effects related to therapy were recorded.Data were analyzed by both intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) methods.RESULTS:PP analysis involved 228 patients,78 in the OCA,76 in the POCA and 74 in the OCAP group.Successful eradication was observed in 171 patients; by PP analysis,the eradication rates were significantly higher (P =0.007 each) in the POCA (62/76; 81.6%,95%CI 72.8%-90.4%) and OCAP (61/74; 82.4%,95% CI 73.6%-91.2%) groups than in the OCA group (48/78;61.5%,95% CI 50.6%-72.4%).ITT analysis also showed that eradication rates were significantly higher in the POCA (62/78; 79.5%,95% CI 70.4%-88.6%)and OCAP (61/77; 79.2%,95% CI 70%-88.4%)groups than in the OCA group (48/79; 60.8%,95% CI 49.9%-71.7%),(P =0.014 and P =0.015).The symptom relieving rates in the POCA,OCAP and OCA groups were 85.5%,89.2% and 87.2%,respectively.Only one of the 228 patients experienced an adverse reaction.CONCLUSION:Administration of probiotics before or after standard triple therapy may improve H.pylori eradication rates.

  14. Quality improvement teaching at medical school: a student perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nair P


    Full Text Available Pooja Nair, Ishani Barai, Sunila Prasad, Karishma Gadhvi Department of Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK Abstract: Guidelines in the UK require all doctors to actively take part in quality improvement. To ease future doctors into the process, formal quality improvement teaching can be delivered during medical school. Keywords: quality improvement, medical school, patient safety, patient satisfaction, medical student, clinical audit

  15. Adjuvant can improve protection induced by OMV vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis serogroups B/C in neonatal mice. (United States)

    Fukasawa, Lucila O; Dias, Waldely O; Schenkman, Rocilda P F; Raw, I; Tanizaki, Martha M


    Meningococcal outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccines are weak antigens in infants. This study aimed at investigating alternative adjuvants for induction of functional antibodies in newborn mice. Serogroup B/C anti-meningococcal vaccines, consisting of capsular polysaccharide from serogroup C (PSC) conjugated to OMV from one serogroup B serosubtype prevalent in Brazil, combined with OMV from another prevalent serosubtype, were tested in newborn and adult mice with the following adjuvants: aluminum hydroxide, MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A), Titermax and MF59. Total IgG, IgG avidity index determination and bactericidal assay were performed with sera from immunized mice. Antibodies induced against PSC in newborn mice showed avidity and bactericidal titers, similar to those obtained in adult mice, independently of the adjuvant. Evidence is presented that the inclusion of MF59 enhanced the immune response against OMV in newborn mice.

  16. Improved Strategies for Parallel Medical Image Processing Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Kun; WANG Xiao-ying; LI San-li; CHEN Ying


    In order to meet the demands of high efficient and real-time computer assisted diagnosis as well as screening in medical area, to improve the efficacy of parallel medical image processing is of great importance. This article proposes improved strategies for parallel medical image processing applications,which is categorized into two genera. For each genus individual strategy is devised, including the theoretic algorithm for minimizing the exertion time. Experiment using mammograms not only justifies the validity of the theoretic analysis, with reasonable difference between the theoretic and measured value, but also shows that when adopting the improved strategies, efficacy of medical image parallel processing is improved greatly.

  17. Adjuvant therapies for colorectal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The management of colon and rectal cancer has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. The use of adjuvant therapies has become standard practice in locally advanced (stage Ⅲ and selected stage Ⅱ) colorectal cancer. Improved surgical techniques, chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy are resulting in higher cure rates and the development of agents targeting proliferative and angiogenic pathways offer further promise. Here we explore risk factors for local and distant recurrence after resection of colon and rectal cancer, and the role of adjuvant treatments. Discussion will focus on the evidence base for adjuvant therapies utilised in colorectal cancer, and the treatment of sub-groups such as the elderly and stage Ⅱ disease. The role of adjuvant radiotherapy in rectal cancer in reduction of recurrence will be explored and the role and optimal methods for surveillance post-curative resection with or without adjuvant therapy will also be addressed.

  18. Prescription data improve the medication history in primary care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glintborg, Bente; Andersen, S K; Poulsen, H E


    Incomplete medication lists increase the risk of medication errors and adverse drug effects. In Denmark, dispensing data and pharmacy records are available directly online to treating physicians. We aimed (1) to describe if use of pharmacy records improved the medication history among patients...... consulting their general practitioner and (2) to characterise inconsistencies between the medication history reported by the patient and the general practitioner's recordings....

  19. Adjuvant IMRT/XELOX radiochemotherapy improves long-term overall- and disease-free survival in advanced gastric cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boda-Heggemann, J.; Schneider, V. [Heidelberg Univ., Universitaetsmedizin Mannheim (Germany). Dept. of Radiation Oncology; Weiss, C. [Heidelberg Univ., Universitaetsmedizin Mannheim (Germany). Dept. of Biomathematics and Medical Statistics] [and others


    Purpose: In a retrospective analysis, adjuvant intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) combined with modern chemotherapy improved advanced gastric cancer survival rates compared to a combination of three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) and conventional chemotherapy. We report on the long-term outcomes of two consecutive patient cohorts that were treated with either IMRT and intensive chemotherapy, or 3D-CRT and conventional chemotherapy. Patients and methods: Between 2001 and 2008, 65 consecutive gastric cancer patients received either 3D-CRT (n = 27) or IMRT (n = 38) following tumor resection. Chemotherapy comprised predominantly 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (5-FU/FA) in the earlier cohort and capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) in the latter. The primary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Results: Median OS times were 18 and 43 months in the 3D-CRT and IMRT groups, respectively (p = 0.0602). Actuarial 5-year OS rates were 26 and 47 %, respectively. Within the IMRT group, XELOX gave better results than 5-FU/FA in terms of OS, but this difference was not statistically significant. The primary cause of death in both groups was distant metastasis. Median DFS times were 14 and 35 months in the 3D-CRT and IMRT groups, respectively (p = 0.0693). Actuarial 5-year DFS rates were 22 and 44 %, respectively. Among patients receiving 5-FU/FA, DFS tended to be better in the IMRT group, but this was not statistically significant. A similar analysis for the XELOX group was not possible as 3D-CRT was almost never used to treat these patients. No late toxicity exceeding grade 3 or secondary tumors were observed. Conclusion: After a median follow-up period of over 5 years, OS and DFS were improved in the IMRT/XELOX treated patients compared to the 3D-CRT/5-FU/FA group. Long-term observation revealed no clinical indications of therapy-induced secondary tumors or renal toxicity. (orig.)

  20. Adjuvant-active fraction from Albizia julibrissin saponins improves immune responses by inducing cytokine and chemokine at the site of injection. (United States)

    Sun, Hongxiang; He, Shuwang; Shi, Minghua


    The total saponin from the stem bark of Albizia julibrissin (AJSt) has previously showed the adjuvant potentials in mice. In this study, AJSt was subjected to resin column chromatography to afford four fractions (AJS30, AJS50, AJS75 and AJS95), and these fractions were further compared for the hemolytic activities and adjuvant potentials on the immune response to ovalbumin (OVA) and recombinant fowl pox virus vector-based avian influenza vaccine (rFPV). AJSt, AJS50, AJS75 and AJS95 showed a slight hemolytic effect. AJSt, AJS50 and AJS75 significantly enhanced not only the concanavalin A (Con A)-, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and antigen-stimulated splenocyte proliferation, but also serum antigen-specific IgG, IgG1, IgG2a and IgG2b antibody titers in the mice immunized with OVA and rFPV. AJSt, AJS50 and AJS75 also significantly promoted the NK cell activity and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) in the OVA-immunized mice. Furthermore, the mechanisms of adjuvant action were explored by determining the effects of AJS75 on cytokines and chemokines at the site of injection using antibody array. AJS75 induced or up-regulated the protein expression of 12 cytokines (IL-12p40, IL-12p40/p70, IFN-γ, IL-13, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, sTNFR I, sTNFR III, IL-3 and IL-9) and 10 chemokines (Eotaxin, I-TAC, MIG, MIP-1α, RANTES, TECK, Fracatlkine, FasL, M-CSF and GM-CSF) in the injected muscles. The results suggested that AJS75, the most adjuvant-active fraction of AJSt, could improve antigen-specific both cellular and humoral immune responses and simultaneously elicit a Th1/Th2 response by inducing cytokine and chemokine at the site of injection.

  1. Enhanced antibody responses elicited by a CpG adjuvant do not improve the protective effect of an aldrithiol-2-inactivated simian immunodeficiency virus therapeutic AIDS vaccine. (United States)

    Wang, Yichuan; Blozis, Shelley A; Lederman, Michael; Krieg, Arthur; Landay, Alan; Miller, Christopher J


    The potential benefit of using unmethylated CpG oligoribodeoxynucleotides (ODN) as an adjuvant in a therapeutic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaccine consisting of AT2-inactivated SIVmac239 was evaluated in SIV-infected rhesus macaques receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). We hypothesized that using CpG ODN as an adjuvant in therapeutic vaccination would enhance SIV-specific immune responses and suppress SIV replication after ART was stopped. To test our hypothesis, we immunized chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaques receiving ART with one of the following therapeutic vaccines: (i) AT2-inactivated SIVmac239, (ii) CpG10103 plus AT2-inactivated SIVmac239, (iii) CpG10103, and (iv) saline. While immunization with CpG plus AT2-SIVmac239 significantly increased SIV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers, the mean plasma viral RNA (vRNA) level in these animals after ART did not differ from those of saline-treated animals. The AT2-inactivated SIVmac239-immunized animal group had a significantly higher mean SIV-specific gamma interferon T-cell response after three immunizations and lower plasma vRNA levels for 6 weeks after ART was withdrawn compared to the saline-treated animal group. Compared to the saline control group, the animal group treated with CpG alone had a significantly higher mean SIV-specific lymphocyte proliferation index and a higher rate of plasma vRNA rebound after ART. These results demonstrate that while the use of CpG as an adjuvant enhances SIV-specific antibody responses, this does not improve the control of SIV replication after ART is stopped. The lack of benefit may be related to the high levels of SIV-specific lymphocyte proliferation in the CpG adjuvant group.

  2. Reflections: Improving Medical Students' Presentation Skills. (United States)

    Tarkowski, Radoslaw


    Both good communication and presentation skills on the part of an academic teacher are crucial when trying to generate students' interest in the subject of a lecture. More generally, our task is to share knowledge in the most effective way possible. It is also worth teaching students presentation skills, as today's students are tomorrow's teachers. An engaging presentation is a powerful tool. There are some rules for presenting which I consider worthy of being discussed and taught at a medical university.

  3. Alcohol Medical Scholars Program--A Mentorship Program for Improving Medical Education regarding Substance Use Disorders (United States)

    Neufeld, Karin J.; Schuckit, Marc A.; Hernandez-Avila, Carlos A.


    The Alcohol Medical Scholars Program (AMSP) is designed to improve medical education related to substance use disorders (SUDs) through mentorship of junior, full-time academic faculty from medical schools across the United States. Scholarship focuses on literature review and synthesis, lecture development and delivery, increasing SUD education in…

  4. Combination of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy is associated with improved survival at early stage type II endometrial cancer and carcinosarcoma. (United States)

    Sozen, Hamdullah; Çiftçi, Rumeysa; Vatansever, Dogan; Topuz, Samet; Iyibozkurt, Ahmet Cem; Bozbey, Hamza Ugur; Yaşa, Cenk; Çali, Halime; Yavuz, Ekrem; Kucucuk, Seden; Aydiner, Adnan; Salihoglu, Yavuz


    The aim of this study was to describe the impact of postoperative adjuvant treatment modalities and identify risk factors associated with recurrence and survival rates in women diagnosed with early stage type II endometrial cancer and carcinosarcoma. In this retrospective study, patients diagnosed with early stage (stages I-II) carcinosarcoma and type II endometrial cancer were reviewed. All women underwent comprehensive surgical staging. Postoperative treatment options of chemotherapy (CT), radiotherapy (RT), observation (OBS) and chemotherapy-radiotherapy (CT-RT) combination were compared in terms of recurrence and survival outcome. In CT-RT treatment arm, recurrence rate was found as 12.5% and this result is significantly lower than the other treatment approaches (P = 0.01 CT alone: 33.3%, RT alone: 26.7%, OBS: 62.5%). Three-year disease free survival(DFS) rate and overall survival (OS) rate were statistically higher for the group of women treated with combination of CT-RT (92-95%) compared to the women treated with RT alone (65-72%), treated with CT alone (67-74%) and women who received no adjuvant therapy (38-45%). The multivariate analysis revealed that carcinosarcoma histology was associated with shortened DFS and OS (P = 0.001, P = 0.002). On the other hand, being at stage Ia (P = 0.01, P = 0.04) and receiving adjuvant treatment of CT-RT combination (P = 0.005, P = 0.002) appeared to lead to increased DFS and OS rates. We identified that a combination treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is superior compared to other postoperative adjuvant treatment approaches concerning PFS, OS and recurrence rates in stages I-II of type II endometrial cancers and uterine carcinosarcoma. © 2016 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

  5. Green propolis phenolic compounds act as vaccine adjuvants, improving humoral and cellular responses in mice inoculated with inactivated vaccines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geferson Fischer


    Full Text Available Adjuvants play an important role in vaccine formulations by increasing their immunogenicity. In this study, the phenolic compound-rich J fraction (JFR of a Brazilian green propolis methanolic extract stimulated cellular and humoral immune responses when co-administered with an inactivated vaccine against swine herpesvirus type 1 (SuHV-1. When compared to control vaccines that used aluminium hydroxide as an adjuvant, the use of 10 mg/dose of JFR significantly increased (p < 0.05 neutralizing antibody titres against SuHV-1, as well as the percentage of protected animals following SuHV-1 challenge (p < 0.01. Furthermore, addition of phenolic compounds potentiated the performance of the control vaccine, leading to increased cellular and humoral immune responses and enhanced protection of animals after SuHV-1 challenge (p < 0.05. Prenylated compounds such as Artepillin C that are found in large quantities in JFR are likely to be the substances that are responsible for the adjuvant activity.

  6. Virus-Like Particle (VLP Plus Microcrystalline Tyrosine (MCT Adjuvants Enhance Vaccine Efficacy Improving T and B Cell Immunogenicity and Protection against Plasmodium berghei/vivax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Cabral-Miranda


    Full Text Available Vaccination is the most effective prophylactic tool against infectious diseases. Despite continued efforts to control malaria, the disease still generally represents a significant unmet medical need. Microcrystalline tyrosine (MCT is a well described depot used in licensed allergy immunotherapy products and in clinical development. However, its proof of concept in prophylactic vaccines has only recently been explored. MCT has never been used in combination with virus-like particles (VLPs, which are considered to be one of the most potent inducers of cellular and humoral immune responses in mice and humans. In the current study we assessed the potential of MCT to serve as an adjuvant in the development of a vaccine against malaria either alone or combined with VLP using Plasmodium vivax thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP as a target antigen. We chemically coupled PvTRAP to VLPs derived from the cucumber mosaic virus fused to a universal T-cell epitope of the tetanus toxin (CMVtt, formulated with MCT and compared the induced immune responses to PvTRAP formulated in PBS or Alum. The protective capacity of the various formulations was assessed using Plasmodium berghei expressing PvTRAP. All vaccine formulations using adjuvants and/or VLP increased humoral immunogenicity for PvTRAP compared to the antigen alone. The most proficient responder was the group of mice immunized with the vaccine formulated with PvTRAP-VLP + MCT. The VLP-based vaccine formulated in MCT also induced the strongest T cell response and conferred best protection against challenge with recombinant Plasmodium berghei. Thus, the combination of VLP with MCT may take advantage of the properties of each component and appears to be an alternative biodegradable depot adjuvant for development of novel prophylactic vaccines.

  7. Elder and Caregiver Solutions to Improve Medication Adherence (United States)

    O'Quin, K. E.; Semalulu, T.; Orom, H.


    Medication mismanagement is a growing public health concern, especially among elders. Annually, it is a major contributor to emergency hospitalization and nursing home placement. Elders and their caregivers, as healthcare consumers and stakeholders in this issue, are uniquely qualified to inform strategies to improve medication adherence. We…

  8. Can public health registry data improve Emergency Medical Dispatch?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M S; Christensen, E F; Jepsen, S B


    BACKGROUND: Emergency Medical Dispatchers make decisions based on limited information. We aimed to investigate if adding demographic and hospitalization history information to the dispatch process improved precision. METHODS: This 30-day follow-up study evaluated time-critical emergencies...

  9. Interventional tools to improve medication adherence: review of literature (United States)

    Costa, Elísio; Giardini, Anna; Savin, Magda; Menditto, Enrica; Lehane, Elaine; Laosa, Olga; Pecorelli, Sergio; Monaco, Alessandro; Marengoni, Alessandra


    Medication adherence and persistence is recognized as a worldwide public health problem, particularly important in the management of chronic diseases. Nonadherence to medical plans affects every level of the population, but particularly older adults due to the high number of coexisting diseases they are affected by and the consequent polypharmacy. Chronic disease management requires a continuous psychological adaptation and behavioral reorganization. In literature, many interventions to improve medication adherence have been described for different clinical conditions, however, most interventions seem to fail in their aims. Moreover, most interventions associated with adherence improvements are not associated with improvements in other outcomes. Indeed, in the last decades, the degree of nonadherence remained unchanged. In this work, we review the most frequent interventions employed to increase the degree of medication adherence, the measured outcomes, and the improvements achieved, as well as the main limitations of the available studies on adherence, with a particular focus on older persons. PMID:26396502

  10. Improving medication management competency of clinical trainees in geriatrics. (United States)

    Kostas, Tia; Zimmerman, Kristin; Salow, Marci; Simone, Mark; Whitmire, Natalie; Rudolph, James L; McMahon, Graham T


    The authors hypothesized that an interprofessional workshop would improve geriatrics trainees' medication management. The workshop was based on a needs assessment and comprised an interactive session with pharmacists on managing medications in elderly adults. Participants were trainees in their geriatrics rotation at a tertiary care medical center. Trainees completed a medication appropriateness survey for three patients, one of which was their own. After the workshop, trainees reviewed medications of the three patients. Trainees completed online surveys after their rotation and 3 months later. Of 95 trainees rotating through geriatrics, 76 (80%) attended the workshop and completed the worksheet. Trainees' scores on reviewing medication lists improved significantly, from 6.7±2.3 to 7.7±2.0 out of 11 for standardized patient 1 (Pgeriatrics rotation. In conclusion, this interprofessional medication management workshop improved trainees' ability to perform medication reviews accurately and led to change in self-reported prescribing behavior. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.

  11. Nursing Home Medication Reconciliation: A Quality Improvement Initiative. (United States)

    Tong, Monica; Oh, Hye Young; Thomas, Jennifer; Patel, Sheila; Hardesty, Jennifer L; Brandt, Nicole J


    The current quality improvement initiative evaluated the medication reconciliation process within select nursing homes in Washington, DC. The identification of common types of medication discrepancies through monthly retrospective chart reviews of newly admitted patients in two different nursing homes were described. The use of high-risk medications, namely antidiabetic, anticoagulant, and opioid agents, was also recorded. A standardized spreadsheet tool based on multiple medication reconciliation implementation tool kits was created to record the information. The five most common medication discrepancies were incorrect indication (21%), no monitoring parameters (17%), medication name omitted (11%), incorrect dose (10%), and incorrect frequency (8%). Antidiabetic agents in both sites were the most used high-risk medication. This initiative highlights that medication discrepancies on admission are common in nursing homes and may be clinically impactful. More attention needs to be given to work flow processes to improve medication reconciliation considering the increased risk for adverse drug events and hospitalizations. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing and Mental Health Services, 43(4), 9-14.].

  12. Role of Bifidobacterium bifidum and plant food extracts in improving microflora and biochemical and cytogenetic parameters in adjuvant arthritis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Okbi, S. Y.; Mohamed, D. A.; Donya, S. M.; Abd El Khalek, A. B.


    The aim of the present research was to discover plant food extracts and probiotics that may have bioactivity towards chronic inflammation. Three plant food extract mixtures expected to be rich in phenolic compounds, carotenoids and tocopherols were prepared. The anti-inflammatory activity of the different mixtures as well as probiotic bacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum) were evaluated in adjuvant arthritis in rats. The anti-inflammatory effect, mechanism of action and safety of the three mixtures and Bifidobacterium bifidum were studied by measuring the size of inflammation and the determination of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers, colonic bacteria profile and specific cytogenetic parameters. The contents of tocopherols, {beta}-carotene and phenolic compounds in the mixtures were determined. The results show that the tested mixtures and Bifidobacterium bifidum possess promising anti-inflammatory effects. The mechanism of action seems to involve a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory bio markers and an effect on colonic microflora. Genotoxicity and DNA fragmentation induced by adjuvant arthritis were prevented after supplementation with the tested mixtures. (Author) 61 refs.

  13. Customized Adjuvant Chemotherapy Based on Biomarker Examination May Improve Survival of Patients Completely Resected for Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. (United States)

    Liu, Dage; Nakashima, Nariyasu; Nakano, Jun; Tarumi, Shintaro; Matsuura, Natsumi; Nakano, Takayuki; Nii, Kazuhito; Tokunaga, Yoshimasa; Go, Tetsuhiko; Yokomise, Hiroyasu


    .0011). Customized adjuvant chemotherapy based on biomarker examination significantly improved the survival of patients with NSCLC, regardless of p-stage. Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  14. Improving adherence to medical regimens for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsley Carol B


    Full Text Available Abstract Poor adherence to medical regimens can compromise the efficacy of treatments for children and adolescents with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA. The purpose of this review is to describe medical regimens for the treatment of JRA and the rates of adherence to these regimens. We also summarize and critically the few research studies aimed at improving adherence to regimens for JRA. Finally, we summarize strategies for enhancing adherence in clinical practice.

  15. Improving standards of radiation protection in medical practice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ginjaume, M.; Ortega, X. [Institute of Energy Technology, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya - UPC (Spain); Carinou, E. [Greek Atomic Energy Commission - GAEC (Greece); Vanhavere, F. [Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK.CEN (Belgium); Clairand, I. [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire - IRSN (France); Gualdrini, G. [Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e l' Ambiente - ENEA (Italy); Sans-Merce, M. [University Hospital Center Vaudois - CHUV (Switzerland)


    The use of ionizing radiation has led to major improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. However, new developments in medical technology and the increased complexity of medical radiation techniques can produce high doses to medical personnel. In particular, interventional radiology and cardiology and nuclear medicine have been identified as fields where medical staff can receive potentially high doses. Within this framework, the ORAMED project, a collaborative project funded by the EU FP7, proposes new methodologies to improve standards of protection for medical staff. The main studied topics presented in this paper include extremity and eye-lens protection in interventional radiology and cardiology, extremity dosimetry in nuclear medicine, especially in therapy and positron emission tomography, and the evaluation and the improvement of active personal dosemeters used in pulsed medical radiation fields. An extensive dose measurement campaign of doses received in extremities and eye-lenses in more than 60 hospitals from 9 European countries has been undertaken. The analysis of the results highlights the most critical procedures and the effectiveness of the protection measures. (authors)

  16. Adjuvants for Animal Vaccines. (United States)

    Burakova, Yulia; Madera, Rachel; McVey, Scott; Schlup, John R; Shi, Jishu


    Vaccines are essential tools for the prevention and control of infectious diseases in animals. One of the most important steps in vaccine development is the selection of a suitable adjuvant. The focus of this review is the adjuvants used in vaccines for animals. We will discuss current commercial adjuvants and experimental formulations with attention to mineral salts, emulsions, bacterial-derived components, saponins, and several other immunoactive compounds. In addition, we will also examine the mechanisms of action for different adjuvants, examples of adjuvant combinations in one vaccine formulation, and challenges in the research and development of veterinary vaccine adjuvants.

  17. Role of Bifidobacterium bifidum and plant food extracts in improving microflora and biochemical and cytogenetic parameters in adjuvant arthritis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donya, S. M.


    Full Text Available The aim of the present research was to discover plant food extracts and probiotics that may have bioactivity towards chronic inflammation. Three plant food extract mixtures expected to be rich in phenolic compounds, carotenoids and tocopherols were prepared. The anti-inflammatory activity of the different mixtures as well as probiotic bacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum were evaluated in adjuvant arthritis in rats. The anti-inflammatory effect, mechanism of action and safety of the three mixtures and Bifidobacterium bifidum were studied by measuring the size of inflammation and the determination of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers, colonic bacteria profile and specific cytogenetic parameters. The contents of tocopherols, β-carotene and phenolic compounds in the mixtures were determined. The results show that the tested mixtures and Bifidobacterium bifidum possess promising anti-inflammatory effects. The mechanism of action seems to involve a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers and an effect on colonic microflora. Genotoxicity and DNA fragmentation induced by adjuvant arthritis were prevented after supplementation with the tested mixtures.El objetivo de la presente investigación fue encontrar extractos de alimentos vegetales y probióticos que puedan tener bioactividad hacía la inflamación crónica. Mezclas de tres extractos de alimentos vegetales conocidos por su riqueza en compuestos fenólicos, carotenoides y tocoferoles han sido preparadas. La actividad anti-inflamatoria de las diferentes mezclas y de bacterias probióticas (Bifidobacterium bifidum fue evaluada en artritis adyuvante en ratas. El efecto anti-inflamatorio, mecanismo de acción y salubridad de las tres mezclas y de Bifidobacterium bifidum ha sido estudiado mediante la medida del tamaño de la inflamación y la determinación de biomarcadores de inflamación y estrés oxidativo, del perfil de bacterias del colón y de parámetros citogen

  18. Managerial process improvement: a lean approach to eliminating medication delivery. (United States)

    Hussain, Aftab; Stewart, LaShonda M; Rivers, Patrick A; Munchus, George


    Statistical evidence shows that medication errors are a major cause of injuries that concerns all health care oganizations. Despite all the efforts to improve the quality of care, the lack of understanding and inability of management to design a robust system that will strategically target those factors is a major cause of distress. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Achieving optimum organizational performance requires two key variables; work process factors and human performance factors. The approach is that healthcare administrators must take in account both variables in designing a strategy to reduce medication errors. However, strategies that will combat such phenomena require that managers and administrators understand the key factors that are causing medication delivery errors. The authors recommend that healthcare organizations implement the Toyota Production System (TPS) combined with human performance improvement (HPI) methodologies to eliminate medication delivery errors in hospitals. Despite all the efforts to improve the quality of care, there continues to be a lack of understanding and the ability of management to design a robust system that will strategically target those factors associated with medication errors. This paper proposes a solution to an ambiguous workflow process using the TPS combined with the HPI system.

  19. Building a Safer NHS for Patient. Improving Medication Safety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Murianni


    Full Text Available

    Medication errors occur in all health care systems and in all health care settings. If the errors are identified through an active management and effective reporting system they can be removed before they can cause harm to patients. In order to reduce the risk it is important to understand the causes of medication errors.

    The NHS Report aims to provide a guide to current knowledge of the frequency, nature and causes of errors, the risk factors inherent in current medication processes and helping the NHS organizations and health professionals in achieving a reduction in serious medication errors. In July 2001 the UK Government established the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA, http:// which, in 2004, implemented a national reporting and learning system to enable the NHS to report all type of adverse incidents including those involving medicines. The NPSA core purpose is to improve patient safety and to accomplish this task; it looks at the identification of patterns and trends in avoidable adverse events so that the NHS can entrust practice and management to reduce the risk of recurrence. Before the establishment of the NPSA, there had been no attempt to establish a unified mechanism for reporting and analyzing medication errors. Despite the many published studies there is no clear definition for medication errors and thus they do not distinguish between errors and adverse drug reactions. The Report defines and highlights the differences between medical errors and drug reactions.

  20. An Improved FCM Medical Image Segmentation Algorithm Based on MMTD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ningning Zhou


    Full Text Available Image segmentation plays an important role in medical image processing. Fuzzy c-means (FCM is one of the popular clustering algorithms for medical image segmentation. But FCM is highly vulnerable to noise due to not considering the spatial information in image segmentation. This paper introduces medium mathematics system which is employed to process fuzzy information for image segmentation. It establishes the medium similarity measure based on the measure of medium truth degree (MMTD and uses the correlation of the pixel and its neighbors to define the medium membership function. An improved FCM medical image segmentation algorithm based on MMTD which takes some spatial features into account is proposed in this paper. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is more antinoise than the standard FCM, with more certainty and less fuzziness. This will lead to its practicable and effective applications in medical image segmentation.

  1. Improving the extraction and purification of immunoglobulin G by the use of ionic liquids as adjuvants in aqueous biphasic systems. (United States)

    Ferreira, Ana M; Faustino, Vânia F M; Mondal, Dibyendu; Coutinho, João A P; Freire, Mara G


    Immunoglobulins G (IgG) could become widespread biopharmaceuticals if cost-efficient processes for their extraction and purification are available. In this work, aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) composed of polyethylene glycols and a buffered salt, and with ionic liquids (ILs) as adjuvants, have been studied as alternative extraction and purification platforms of IgG from a rabbit serum source. Eleven ILs were investigated to provide insights on the chemical features which maximize the IgG partitioning. It is shown that in polymer-salt systems pure IgG preferentially partitions to the polymer-rich phase; yet, the complete extraction was never attained. Remarkably, after the addition of 5wt% of adequate ILs to polymer-salt ABS, the complete extraction of pure IgG in a single-step was accomplished. The best systems and conditions were then applied to the extraction and purification of IgG directly from rabbit serum samples. The complete extraction of IgG in a single-step was maintained while its purity in the polymer-rich phase was enhanced by ca. 37% as compared to the IL-free ABS. The antibody stability was also evaluated revealing that appropriate ILs are able to maintain the IgG stability and can be used as phase-forming components of ABS when envisaging the purification of high-cost biopharmaceuticals.

  2. Medical messages in the media – barriers and solutions to improving medical journalism (United States)

    Larsson, Anna; Oxman, Andrew D; Carling, Cheryl; Herrin, Jeph


    Abstract Context  Medical issues are widely reported in the mass media. These reports influence the general public, policy makers and health‐care professionals. This information should be valid, but is often criticized for being speculative, inaccurate and misleading. An understanding of the obstacles medical reporters meet in their work can guide strategies for improving the informative value of medical journalism. Objective  To investigate constraints on improving the informative value of medical reports in the mass media and elucidate possible strategies for addressing these. Design  We reviewed the literature and organized focus groups, a survey of medical journalists in 37 countries, and semi‐structured telephone interviews. Results  We identified nine barriers to improving the informative value of medical journalism: lack of time, space and knowledge; competition for space and audience; difficulties with terminology; problems finding and using sources; problems with editors and commercialism. Lack of time, space and knowledge were the most common obstacles. The importance of different obstacles varied with the type of media and experience. Many health reporters feel that it is difficult to find independent experts willing to assist journalists, and also think that editors need more education in critical appraisal of medical news. Almost all of the respondents agreed that the informative value of their reporting is important. Nearly everyone wanted access to short, reliable and up‐to‐date background information on various topics available on the Internet. A majority (79%) was interested in participating in a trial to evaluate strategies to overcome identified constraints. Conclusion  Medical journalists agree that the validity of medical reporting in the mass media is important. A majority acknowledge many constraints. Mutual efforts of health‐care professionals and journalists employing a variety of strategies will be needed to address

  3. The CLAS App - A training app to improve medical handovers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maher, Bridget; Drachsler, Hendrik; Kalz, Marco; Marcus, Specht


    Maher, B., Drachsler, H., Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (2012, 16-18 October). The CLAS App - A training app to improve medical handovers. Presentation at the 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, Helsinki, Finland. Please see also:

  4. The CLAS App - A training app to improve medical handovers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maher, Bridget; Drachsler, Hendrik; Kalz, Marco; Marcus, Specht


    Maher, B., Drachsler, H., Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (2012, 16-18 October). The CLAS App - A training app to improve medical handovers. Presentation at the 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, Helsinki, Finland. Please see also:

  5. Effectiveness of a quality improvement curriculum for medical students

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    Kimberly M. Tartaglia


    Full Text Available Introduction: As health systems find ways to improve quality of care, medical training programs are finding opportunities to prepare learners on principles of quality improvement (QI. The impact of QI curricula for medical students as measured by student learning is not well delineated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a QI curriculum for senior medical students as measured by student knowledge and skills. Methods: This study was an observational study that involved a self-assessment and post-test Quality Improvement Knowledge Application Tool (QIKAT for intervention and control students. A QI curriculum consisting of online modules, live discussions, independent readings and reflective writing, and participation in a mentored QI project was offered to fourth-year medical students completing an honor's elective (intervention group. Senior medical students who received the standard QI curriculum only were recruited as controls. Results: A total of 22 intervention students and 12 control students completed the self-assessment and QIKAT. At baseline, there was no difference between groups in self-reported prior exposure to QI principles. Students in the intervention group reported more comfort with their skills in QI overall and in 9 of the 12 domains (p<0.05. Additionally, intervention students performed better in each of the three case scenarios (p<0.01. Discussion: A brief QI curriculum for senior medical students results in improved comfort and knowledge with QI principles. The strengths of our curriculum include effective use of classroom time and faculty mentorship with reliance on pre-existing online modules and written resources. Additionally, the curriculum is easily expandable to larger groups of students and transferable to other institutions.

  6. Adjuvants for malaria vaccines. (United States)

    Coler, R N; Carter, D; Friede, M; Reed, S G


    There is a renewed enthusiasm about subunit vaccines for malaria coincident with the formation of new alliances and partnerships raising international public awareness, attracting increased resources and the re-focusing of research programs on adjuvant development for infectious disease vaccines. It is generally accepted that subunit vaccines for malaria will require adjuvants to induce protective immune responses, and availability of suitable adjuvants has in the past been a barrier to the development of malaria vaccines. Several novel adjuvants are now in licensed products or in late stage clinical development, while several others are in the earlier development pipeline. Successful vaccine development requires knowing which adjuvants to use and knowing how to formulate adjuvants and antigens to achieve stable, safe, and immunogenic vaccines. For the majority of vaccine researchers this information is not readily available, nor is access to well-characterized adjuvants. In this minireview, we outline the current state of adjuvant research and development as it pertains to effective malaria vaccines.

  7. Perception of medical students about pharmacology and scope of improvement. (United States)

    Prasad, A; Datta, P P; Pattanayak, C; Panda, P


    Pharmacology is a subject taught in the medical curriculum in India over a period of one and half years along with pathology, microbiology and forensic medicine. The present study was planned to know the opinion of medical students regarding pharmacology and to assess the proposed teaching schedule and methods of teaching pharmacology. The study was conducted in a private medical college in eastern India among the medical undergraduate students in 5th semester. Total 74 students participated in the study. A pre-designed, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was given to the students and data was collected after one hour. Collected data was compiled, tabulated and analyzed in SPSS (version 16.0). The subject was perceived as interesting and useful by majority of students and most of them were in opinion to integrate pharmacology with the clinical subjects. Lecture in whole class was the most preferred teaching method according to the students and teaching with chalk and board they preferred most. Rational use of medicine, clinical trial, pediatric and geriatric pharmacology are the important topics the students felt to be included in the curriculum. Regular assessment of teaching methods by the students and taking suggestions from the students about improving the teaching method and redesigning the curriculum can help a lot in improving the learning capacity of the medical students and that will give benefit for the society as a whole.

  8. Applying Lean Six Sigma to improve medication management. (United States)

    Nayar, Preethy; Ojha, Diptee; Fetrick, Ann; Nguyen, Anh T


    A significant proportion of veterans use dual care or health care services within and outside the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In this study conducted at a VHA medical center in the USA, the authors used Lean Six Sigma principles to develop recommendations to eliminate wasteful processes and implement a more efficient and effective process to manage medications for dual care veteran patients. The purpose of this study is to: assess compliance with the VHA's dual care policy; collect data and describe the current process for co-management of dual care veterans' medications; and draft recommendations to improve the current process for dual care medications co-management. Input was obtained from the VHA patient care team members to draw a process map to describe the current process for filling a non-VHA prescription at a VHA facility. Data were collected through surveys and direct observation to measure the current process and to develop recommendations to redesign and improve the process. A key bottleneck in the process that was identified was the receipt of the non-VHA medical record which resulted in delays in filling prescriptions. The recommendations of this project focus on the four domains of: documentation of dual care; veteran education; process redesign; and outreach to community providers. This case study describes the application of Lean Six Sigma principles in one urban Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in the Mid-Western USA to solve a specific organizational quality problem. Therefore, the findings may not be generalizable to other organizations. The Lean Six Sigma general principles applied in this project to develop recommendations to improve medication management for dual care veterans are applicable to any process improvement or redesign project and has valuable lessons for other VAMCs seeking to improve care for their dual care veteran patients. The findings of this project will be of value to VA providers and policy makers and health

  9. Trends in vaccine adjuvants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schijns, V.E.J.C.; Lavelle, E.C.


    Adjuvants are essential components of most clinically used vaccines. This is because the majority of nonliving vaccines are relatively poor inducers of adaptive immunity unless effective adjuvants are co-administered. Aluminum salts (alum) have been used as adjuvants with great success for almost a

  10. Improving the usability of intravenous medication labels to support safe medication delivery. (United States)

    Bauer, David T; Guerlain, Stephanie


    Medication label design is frequently a contributing factor to medication errors. Design regulations and recommendations have been predominantly aimed at manufacturers' product labels. Pharmacy-generated labels have received less scrutiny despite being an integral artifact throughout the medication use process. This article is an account of our efforts to improve the design of a hospital's intravenous (IV) medication labels. Our analysis revealed a set of interrelated processes and stakeholders that restrict the range of feasible label designs. The technological and system constraints likely vary among hospitals and represent significant barriers to developing and implementing specific design standards. We propose both an ideal IV label design and one that adheres to the current constraints of the hospital under study.

  11. Improving medical education in Kenya: an international collaboration. (United States)

    Mayo, Alexa


    This paper describes a partnership between the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) Library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The libraries are collaborating to develop best practices for the CHS Library as it meets the challenge of changing medical education information needs in a digital environment. The collaboration is part of a Medical Education Partnership Initiative. The library project has several components: an assessment of the CHS Library, learning visits in the United States and Kenya, development of recommendations to enhance the CHS Library, and ongoing evaluation of the program's progress. Development of new services and expertise at the CHS Library is critical to the project's success. A productive collaboration between the HS/HSL and CHS Library is ongoing. A successful program to improve the quality of medical education will have a beneficial impact on health outcomes in Kenya.

  12. Teacher training program for medical students: improvements needed

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    van Diggele C


    Full Text Available Christie van Diggele,1 Annette Burgess,2 Craig Mellis21The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2Sydney Medical School – Central, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, AustraliaIntroduction: Skills in peer teaching, assessment, and feedback are increasingly documented internationally as required graduate attributes in medicine. Yet these skills are rarely taught in medical schools. We sought to design and deliver a short but effective teacher training (TT program for medical students that could be easily integrated into the professional development curriculum. This study sought to evaluate such a pilot program, based on student perception.Methods: The study took place at a major metropolitan teaching hospital, where 38 medical students were invited to attend a voluntary, newly designed four-module TT program. In total, 23/38 (61% of invited students attended. Mixed methods were used for evaluation. Questionnaires were completed by 21/23 (91% of students, and 6/23 (26% of students participated in a focus group.Results: Students reported that as a result of the program they felt more confident to facilitate small group teaching activities and to provide feedback to peers using the suggested frameworks. Students would like the program to contain more in-depth educational theory and to allow a more time for small group learning activities. They would also like to see opportunities for participation across all clinical schools.Conclusion: The TT program was successful in increasing student awareness of educational theory and practice, thereby improving their confidence in teaching and assessing their peers and making them feel better prepared for their careers as medical practitioners. Key improvements to the program are needed in terms of more in-depth theory and more time spent on small group learning. This might be achieved by complementing the course with e-learning.Keywords: teacher training, medical students, peer teaching, peer

  13. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 3: Clinical audit in medical practice]. (United States)

    Godény, Sándor


    The first two articles in the series were about the definition of quality in healthcare, the quality approach, the importance of quality assurance, the advantages of quality management systems and the basic concepts and necessity of evidence based medicine. In the third article the importance and basic steps of clinical audit are summarised. Clinical audit is an integral part of quality assurance and quality improvement in healthcare, that is the responsibility of any practitioner involved in medical practice. Clinical audit principally measures the clinical practice against clinical guidelines, protocols and other professional standards, and sometimes induces changes to ensure that all patients receive care according to principles of the best practice. The clinical audit can be defined also as a quality improvement process that seeks to identify areas for service improvement, develop and carry out plans and actions to improve medical activity and then by re-audit to ensure that these changes have an effect. Therefore, its aims are both to stimulate quality improvement interventions and to assess their impact in order to develop clinical effectiveness. At the end of the article key points of quality assurance and improvement in medical practice are summarised.

  14. Improving acute medical management: Junior Doctor Emergency Prescription Cards. (United States)

    Hutton, Joe; Gingell, Megan; Hutchinson, Lisa


    Doctors commencing Foundation Year (FY) training face many stresses and challenges. FY doctors are often the first point of contact for acutely unwell and deteriorating patients. Trust guidelines are used to aid acute medical management. Accessing guidelines is often fraught with barriers. Evidence suggests aide-memoire cards can provide easier access to guidelines and management pathways. We aimed to improve prescribing accuracy and efficiency of FY doctors for acute medical conditions within Gloucestershire trust by improving access to and usability of trust guidelines. Questionnaires were distributed to FY doctors to identify acute medical conditions to include on the emergency prescription cards (EPCs). Two small double-sided cards were created containing bullet pointed trust guidelines for: hyper/hypokalaemia, status epilepticus, diabetic emergencies, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, acute asthma, pulmonary oedema, anaphylaxis and a ward-round checklist. Feedback was used to improve EPCs prior to distribution. Pre (N=53) and post-intervention (N=46) written questionnaires were completed by FY doctors. These assessed acute clinical management including use of guidance, confidence in management, speed of prescribing and EPC "usability". To assess prescribing accuracy, prescriptions for acute medical conditions were reviewed pre (N=8) and post-intervention (N=12). The EPCs were well received (80% quite/very useful) and found "easy to use" (83%). The introduction of EPCs increased guidance use (pre-intervention 58.8%, post-intervention 71.7%), increased confidence (pre-intervention 79%, post-intervention 89%) and significantly improved prescribing speed (p=0.05). There was a significant correlation with confidence and prescribing speed (p = 0.023). The accuracy of prescribed doses improved (pre-intervention 62.5%, post-intervention 87.5% accurate) as did details regarding route / additional required information (pre-intervention 75%, post-intervention 97

  15. Adjuvants: Classification, Modus Operandi, and Licensing (United States)

    Apostólico, Juliana de Souza


    Vaccination is one of the most efficient strategies for the prevention of infectious diseases. Although safer, subunit vaccines are poorly immunogenic and for this reason the use of adjuvants is strongly recommended. Since their discovery in the beginning of the 20th century, adjuvants have been used to improve immune responses that ultimately lead to protection against disease. The choice of the adjuvant is of utmost importance as it can stimulate protective immunity. Their mechanisms of action have now been revealed. Our increasing understanding of the immune system, and of correlates of protection, is helping in the development of new vaccine formulations for global infections. Nevertheless, few adjuvants are licensed for human vaccines and several formulations are now being evaluated in clinical trials. In this review, we briefly describe the most well known adjuvants used in experimental and clinical settings based on their main mechanisms of action and also highlight the requirements for licensing new vaccine formulations. PMID:27274998

  16. Vaccine Adjuvants: Putting Innate Immunity to Work (United States)

    Coffman, Robert L.; Sher, Alan; Seder, Robert A.


    Adjuvants enhance immunity to vaccines and experimental antigens by a variety of mechanisms. In the past decade, many receptors and signaling pathways in the innate immune system have been defined and these innate responses strongly influence the adaptive immune response. The focus of this review is to delineate the innate mechanisms by which adjuvants mediate their effects. We highlight how adjuvants can be used to influence the magnitude and alter the quality of the adaptive response in order to provide maximum protection against specific pathogens. Despite the impressive success of currently approved adjuvants for generating immunity to viral and bacterial infections, there remains a need for improved adjuvants that enhance protective antibody responses, especially in populations that respond poorly to current vaccines. However, the larger challenge is to develop vaccines that generate strong T cell immunity with purified or recombinant vaccine antigens. PMID:21029960

  17. Cyclophilin A as a potential genetic adjuvant to improve HIV-1 Gag DNA vaccine immunogenicity by eliciting broad and long-term Gag-specific cellular immunity in mice (United States)

    Hou, Jue; Zhang, Qicheng; Liu, Zheng; Wang, Shuhui; Li, Dan; Liu, Chang; Liu, Ying; Shao, Yiming


    Previous research has shown that host Cyclophilin A (CyPA) can promote dendritic cell maturation and the subsequent innate immune response when incorporated into an HIV-1 Gag protein to circumvent the resistance of dendritic cells to HIV-1 infection. This led us to hypothesize that CyPA may improve HIV-1 Gag-specific vaccine immunogenicity via binding with Gag antigen. The adjuvant effect of CyPA was evaluated using a DNA vaccine with single or dual expression cassettes. Mouse studies indicated that CyPA specifically and markedly promoted HIV-1 Gag-specific cellular immunity but not an HIV-1 Env-specific cellular response. The Gag/CyPA dual expression cassettes stimulated a greater Gag-specific cellular immune response, than Gag immunization alone. Furthermore, CyPA induced a broad Gag-specific T cell response and strong cellular immunity that lasted up to 5 months. In addition, CyPA skewed to cellular rather than humoral immunity. To investigate the mechanisms of the adjuvant effect, site-directed mutagenesis in CyPA, including active site residues H54Q and F60A resulted in mutants that were co-expressed with Gag in dual cassettes. The immune response to this vaccine was analyzed in vivo. Interestingly, the wild type CyPA markedly increased Gag cellular immunity, but the H54Q and F60A mutants drastically reduced CyPA adjuvant activation. Therefore, we suggest that the adjuvant effect of CyPA was based on Gag-CyPA-specific interactions. Herein, we report that Cyclophilin A can augment HIV-1 Gag-specific cellular immunity as a genetic adjuvant in multiplex DNA immunization strategies, and that activity of this adjuvant is specific, broad, long-term, and based on Gag-CyPA interaction. PMID:26305669

  18. "Stealth" alerts to improve warfarin monitoring when initiating interacting medications. (United States)

    Koplan, Kate E; Brush, Alan D; Packer, Marvin S; Zhang, Fang; Senese, Margaret D; Simon, Steven R


    As electronic health records (EHRs) become widely adopted, alerts and reminders can improve medication safety, but excessive alerts may irritate or overwhelm clinicians, thereby reducing their effectiveness. We developed a novel "stealth" alert in an EHR to improve anticoagulation monitoring for patients prescribed a medication that could interact with warfarin. Instead of alerting the prescribing provider, the system notified a multidisciplinary anticoagulation management service, so that the prescribing clinicians never saw the alerts. We aimed to determine whether these "stealth" alerts increased the frequency of anticoagulation monitoring following the co-prescription of warfarin and a potentially interacting medication. We conducted a pre-post intervention study, analyzed using an interrupted time-series, within a large, multispecialty group practice that uses a common EHR. The study included a 12-month period preceding the intervention, a 2-month period during intervention implementation, and a 6-month post-intervention period. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of patients completing anticoagulation monitoring within 5 days of a new co-prescribing event. Prior to implementation of the stealth alert, 34 % of patients completed anticoagulation monitoring within 5 days after the prescription of a medication with a potential warfarin interaction. After implementation of the alert, 39 % completed testing within 5 days (odds ratio 1.24, 95 % confidence interval 1.12-1.37). Stealth alerts increased the proportion of patients who underwent anticoagulation monitoring following the prescription of a medication that could potentially interact with warfarin. This team-based approach to clinical-decision support directs alerts away from prescribing clinicians and toward individuals who can directly implement them.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayawardhane N.D.N.


    Full Text Available According to WHO reports Hepatocellular carcinoma remains an Asian health problem. Its prevalence disproportionately shares large of the world's nearly 78%. Treatment options of HCC are limited and the effectiveness of treatment varies due to development of therapy-related adverse effects in Allopathic medicine. We report herein a case of HCC admitted to Sir Sundarlal Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi was treated with integrated Ayurvedic herbo – mineral medicine, with desirable results of improvement in QoL. The patient was treated with a holistic inter disciplinary approach i.e., Modern medicine treatment followed by Ayurveda, health education for cancer care and psychotherapeutic measures such as Yoga, psychological counseling etc. The symptoms were managed according to its clinical presentation and daily clinical evaluation. This paper demonstrates the findings of our experience in treating a case of HCC with Ayurvedic herbo mineral medicine as an adjuvant treatment for improvement of QoL. Moreover, it emphasized the needs to be explored Ayurvedic cancer management with more advance methodology.

  20. [Influenza vaccine and adjuvant]. (United States)

    Nakayama, Tetsuo


    Adjuvant is originated from the Latin word "adjuvare" which means "help" in English to enhance the immunological responses when given together with antigens. The beginning of adjuvant was mineral oil which enhanced the immune response when it was given with inactivated Salmonella typhimurium. Aluminium salt was used to precipitate diphtheria toxoid and increased level of antibody response was demonstrated when administered with alum-precipitated antigens. Since 1930, aluminium salt has been used as DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine) adjuvant. Many candidates were tested for adjuvant activity but only aluminum salt is allowed to use for human vaccines. New adjuvant MF59, oil-in-water emulsion type, was developed for influenza vaccine for elderly (Fluad) and series of AS adjuvant are used for hepatitis B, pandemic flue, and human papiloma virus vaccines. Oil-adjuvanted influenza pandemic vaccines induced higher antibody response than alum-adjuvanted vaccine with higher incidence of adverse events, especially for local reactions. Alum-adjuvanted whole virion inactivated H5N1 vaccine was developed in Japan, and it induced relatively well immune responses in adults. When it applied for children, febrile reaction was noted in approximately 60% of the subjects, with higher antibodies. Recent investigation on innate immunity demonstrates that adjuvant activity is initiated from the stimulation on innate immunity and/or inflammasome, resulting in cytokine induction and antigen uptake by monocytes and macrophages. The probable reason for high incidence of febrile reaction should be investigated to develop a safe and effective influenza vaccine.

  1. An interprofessional approach to improving paediatric medication safety

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    Kennedy Neil


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Safe drug prescribing and administration are essential elements within undergraduate healthcare curricula, but medication errors, especially in paediatric practice, continue to compromise patient safety. In this area of clinical care, collective responsibility, team working and communication between health professionals have been identified as key elements in safe clinical practice. To date, there is limited research evidence as to how best to deliver teaching and learning of these competencies to practitioners of the future. Methods An interprofessional workshop to facilitate learning of knowledge, core competencies, communication and team working skills in paediatric drug prescribing and administration at undergraduate level was developed and evaluated. The practical, ward-based workshop was delivered to 4th year medical and 3rd year nursing students and evaluated using a pre and post workshop questionnaire with open-ended response questions. Results Following the workshop, students reported an increase in their knowledge and awareness of paediatric medication safety and the causes of medication errors (p Conclusion This study has helped bridge the knowledge-skills gap, demonstrating how an interprofessional approach to drug prescribing and administration has the potential to improve quality and safety within healthcare.

  2. Interventional tools to improve medication adherence: review of literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costa E


    Full Text Available Elísio Costa,1 Anna Giardini,2 Magda Savin,3 Enrica Menditto,4 Elaine Lehane,5 Olga Laosa,6 Sergio Pecorelli,7,8 Alessandro Monaco,7 Alessandra Marengoni9On behalf of the A1 Action group “Prescription and Adherence to Medical Plans”, European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing1UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 2Psychology Unit, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of Montescano (PV, Pavia, Italy; 3European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers, Brussels, Belgium; 4CIRFF/Center of Pharmacoeconomics, School of Pharmacy, University of Naples FedericoII, Nápoles, Italy; 5Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; 6Centro de Investigación Clínica del Anciano Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid, Spain; 7Italian Medicines Agency – AIFA, Rome, Italy; 8University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 9Department of Clinical and Experimental Science, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy Abstract: Medication adherence and persistence is recognized as a worldwide public health problem, particularly important in the management of chronic diseases. Nonadherence to medical plans affects every level of the population, but particularly older adults due to the high number of coexisting diseases they are affected by and the consequent polypharmacy. Chronic disease management requires a continuous psychological adaptation and behavioral reorganization. In literature, many interventions to improve medication adherence have been described for different clinical conditions, however, most interventions seem to fail in their aims. Moreover, most interventions associated with adherence improvements are not associated with improvements in other outcomes. Indeed, in the last decades, the degree of nonadherence remained unchanged. In this work, we

  3. An Improved Medical Image Fusion Algorithm for Anatomical and Functional Medical Images

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Mei-ling; TAO Ling; QIAN Zhi-yu


    In recent years,many medical image fusion methods had been exploited to derive useful information from multimodality medical image data,but,not an appropriate fusion algorithm for anatomical and functional medical images.In this paper,the traditional method of wavelet fusion is improved and a new fusion algorithm of anatomical and functional medical images,in which high-frequency and low-frequency coefficients are studied respectively.When choosing high-frequency coefficients,the global gradient of each sub-image is calculated to realize adaptive fusion,so that the fused image can reserve the functional information;while choosing the low coefficients is based on the analysis of the neighborbood region energy,so that the fused image can reserve the anatomical image's edge and texture feature.Experimental results and the quality evaluation parameters show that the improved fusion algorithm can enhance the edge and texture feature and retain the function information and anatomical information effectively.

  4. A comprehensive medical student career development program improves medical student satisfaction with career planning. (United States)

    Zink, Brian J; Hammoud, Maya M; Middleton, Eric; Moroney, Donney; Schigelone, Amy


    In 1999, the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) initiated a new career development program (CDP). The CDP incorporates the 4-phase career development model described by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Careers in Medicine (CiM). The CDP offers self-assessment exercises with guidance from trained counselors for 1st- and 2nd-year medical students. Career exploration experiences include Career Seminar Series luncheons, shadow experiences with faculty, and a shadow program with second-year (M2) and fourth-year (M4) medical students. During the decision-making phase, students work with trained faculty career advisors (FCA). Mandatory sessions are held on career selection, preparing the residency application, interviewing, and program evaluation. During the implementation phase, students meet with deans or counselors to discuss residency application and matching. An "at-risk plan" assists students who may have difficulty matching. The CiM Web site is extensively used during the 4 stages. Data from the AAMC and UMMS Graduation Questionnaires (GQ) show significant improvements for UMMS students in overall satisfaction with career planning services and with faculty mentoring, career assessment activities, career information, and personnel availability. By 2003, UMMS students had significantly higher satisfaction in all measured areas of career planning services when compared with all other U.S. medical students.

  5. Heparin coatings for improving blood compatibility of medical devices. (United States)

    Biran, Roy; Pond, Daniel


    Blood contact with biomaterials triggers activation of multiple reactive mechanisms that can impair the performance of implantable medical devices and potentially cause serious adverse clinical events. This includes thrombosis and thromboembolic complications due to activation of platelets and the coagulation cascade, activation of the complement system, and inflammation. Numerous surface coatings have been developed to improve blood compatibility of biomaterials. For more than thirty years, the anticoagulant drug heparin has been employed as a covalently immobilized surface coating on a variety of medical devices. This review describes the fundamental principles of non-eluting heparin coatings, mechanisms of action, and clinical applications with focus on those technologies which have been commercialized. Because of its extensive publication history, there is emphasis on the CARMEDA(®) BioActive Surface (CBAS(®) Heparin Surface), a widely used commercialized technology for the covalent bonding of heparin.

  6. Adjuvants for allergy vaccines

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moingeon, Philippe


    .... Aluminum hydroxide or calcium phosphate are broadly used as adjuvants for subcutaneous allergy vaccines, whereas commercial sublingual vaccines rely upon high doses of aqueous allergen extracts...

  7. Injectable polyethylene glycol-fibrinogen hydrogel adjuvant improves survival and differentiation of transplanted mesoangioblasts in acute and chronic skeletal-muscle degeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuoco Claudia


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell-transplantation therapies have attracted attention as treatments for skeletal-muscle disorders; however, such research has been severely limited by poor cell survival. Tissue engineering offers a potential solution to this problem by providing biomaterial adjuvants that improve survival and engraftment of donor cells. Methods In this study, we investigated the use of intra-muscular transplantation of mesoangioblasts (vessel-associated progenitor cells, delivered with an injectable hydrogel biomaterial directly into the tibialis anterior (TA muscle of acutely injured or dystrophic mice. The hydrogel cell carrier, made from a polyethylene glycol-fibrinogen (PF matrix, is polymerized in situ together with mesoangioblasts to form a resorbable cellularized implant. Results Mice treated with PF and mesoangioblasts showed enhanced cell engraftment as a result of increased survival and differentiation compared with the same cell population injected in aqueous saline solution. Conclusion Both PF and mesoangioblasts are currently undergoing separate clinical trials: their combined use may increase chances of efficacy for localized disorders of skeletal muscle.

  8. A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Family Recognition of Medical Team Member Roles. (United States)

    Hayes, Rebecca M; Wickline, Afton; Hensley, Christina; Cowen, Kelsey; Jessie, Ashley; Akers, Melanie; Dolan, Jenna; Pritt, Audra; Goodrich, Shea; O'Neill, Kelly; Flesher, Susan L


    Previous studies have shown that inpatients and families in academic settings have a limited ability to recall either their medical team members or the roles of those members. This is an important issue for patient and family satisfaction as well as patient safety. The objective of this study was to increase families' recognition of medical team members' roles. We established a multidisciplinary quality improvement leadership team, measured family recognition of medical team members and their roles, and conducted 2 PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycles. The first intervention was standardization of the content and delivery of our verbal team introductions to ensure inclusion of essential elements and family engagement. The second intervention was addition of an informational white board in each patient room. The prospective study included 105 families in the preintervention phase, 103 post-PDSA cycle 1, and 92 post-PDSA cycle 2. After conduction of 2 PDSA cycles, the recognition of the attending role increased from 49% to 87% (P = .000), the resident role from 39% to 73% (P = .000), and the medical student from 75% to 89% (P = .038). The multidisciplinary quality improvement model was effective in improving family recognition of the roles of attending physicians, resident physicians, and medical students. Consistent attention to engaging the families and explaining our roles as well as providing informational white boards are effective interventions to facilitate this process. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  9. Improving the medical records department processes by lean management. (United States)

    Ajami, Sima; Ketabi, Saeedeh; Sadeghian, Akram; Saghaeinnejad-Isfahani, Sakine


    Lean management is a process improvement technique to identify waste actions and processes to eliminate them. The benefits of Lean for healthcare organizations are that first, the quality of the outcomes in terms of mistakes and errors improves. The second is that the amount of time taken through the whole process significantly improves. The purpose of this paper is to improve the Medical Records Department (MRD) processes at Ayatolah-Kashani Hospital in Isfahan, Iran by utilizing Lean management. This research was applied and an interventional study. The data have been collected by brainstorming, observation, interview, and workflow review. The study population included MRD staff and other expert staff within the hospital who were stakeholders and users of the MRD. The MRD were initially taught the concepts of Lean management and then formed into the MRD Lean team. The team then identified and reviewed the current processes subsequently; they identified wastes and values, and proposed solutions. The findings showed that the MRD units (Archive, Coding, Statistics, and Admission) had 17 current processes, 28 wastes, and 11 values were identified. In addition, they offered 27 comments for eliminating the wastes. The MRD is the critical department for the hospital information system and, therefore, the continuous improvement of its services and processes, through scientific methods such as Lean management, are essential. The study represents one of the few attempts trying to eliminate wastes in the MRD.

  10. Energy efficiency improvement of medical electric tools and devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meshkov Aleksandr S.


    Full Text Available With the ever-increasing volume of applications of various kinds of electric drives in all spheres of human activity, the issues in improving the efficiency of the electromechanical converters of electric energy, one of the most important components of the electric drive (ED, are becoming increasingly important. Such issues include reducing their weight and size, improving the functional characteristics of these devices to increase their operational life and reducing the cost of manufacture. Taking full advantage of these opportunities relates to the AC and DC single-phase commutator motor (SCM, which is widely used in regulated and high-speed motor drives in medical electric hand tools. The SCM is used in machinery where the load torque has a hyperbolic dependence on the rotational speed and the need to work with a large motor overload due to the “soft” mechanical characteristics of such motors.

  11. Improving Patient Outcomes With Oral Heart Failure Medications. (United States)

    Sherrod, Melissa M; Cheek, Dennis J; Seale, Ashlie


    Hospitals are under immense pressure to reduce heart failure readmissions that occur within 30 days of discharge, and to improve the quality of care for these patients. Penalties mandated by the Affordable Care Act decrease hospital reimbursement and ultimately the overall cost of caring for these patients increases if they are not well managed. Approximately 25% of patients hospitalized for heart failure are at high risk for readmission and these rates have not changed over the past decade. As a result of an aging population, the incidence of heart failure is expected to increase to one in five Americans over the age of 65. Pharmacologic management can reduce the risk of death and help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. Healthcare providers who have knowledge of heart failure medications and drug interactions and share this information with their patients contribute to improved long-term survival and physical functioning as well as fewer hospitalizations and a delay of progressive worsening of heart failure.

  12. Big data in medical informatics: improving education through visual analytics. (United States)

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil


    A continuous effort to improve healthcare education today is currently driven from the need to create competent health professionals able to meet healthcare demands. Limited research reporting how educational data manipulation can help in healthcare education improvement. The emerging research field of visual analytics has the advantage to combine big data analysis and manipulation techniques, information and knowledge representation, and human cognitive strength to perceive and recognise visual patterns. The aim of this study was therefore to explore novel ways of representing curriculum and educational data using visual analytics. Three approaches of visualization and representation of educational data were presented. Five competencies at undergraduate medical program level addressed in courses were identified to inaccurately correspond to higher education board competencies. Different visual representations seem to have a potential in impacting on the ability to perceive entities and connections in the curriculum data.

  13. The Dialogue Between Medical Doctors and Bioethicists: Rethinking Experience to Improve Medical Education. (United States)

    Valera, Luca; Russo, María Teresa; Curcio, Giuseppe


    More and more seems to be necessary to find new ways of communication between medical doctors and bioethicists in order to build a shared vocabulary and to prevent conflicts: many bioethical problems seem to be caused by the lack of dialogue between them, which both seem to speak two different languages. Improving this dialogue means searching new languages and innovative forms of communication: the narration could be a really effective tool to enhance the physicians' and bioethicist's moral conscience, since it facilitates reasoning on someone's particular experience, and, ultimately, on our experience. Starting from the results of a questionnaire administered to a group of students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University Campus Bio-Medico we present a theoretical discussion about the need for more dialogue and for a shared vocabulary in medical experiences. In this regard, we suggest as a possible solution to the conflicts among medical doctors and bioethicists, an educational strategy, i.e., humanities courses for medical students, which may help them to deeply describe their practical present (and future) experience.

  14. Integrated software system for improving medical equipment management. (United States)

    Bliznakov, Z; Pappous, G; Bliznakova, K; Pallikarakis, N


    The evolution of biomedical technology has led to an extraordinary use of medical devices in health care delivery. During the last decade, clinical engineering departments (CEDs) turned toward computerization and application of specific software systems for medical equipment management in order to improve their services and monitor outcomes. Recently, much emphasis has been given to patient safety. Through its Medical Device Directives, the European Union has required all member nations to use a vigilance system to prevent the reoccurrence of adverse events that could lead to injuries or death of patients or personnel as a result of equipment malfunction or improper use. The World Health Organization also has made this issue a high priority and has prepared a number of actions and recommendations. In the present workplace, a new integrated, Windows-oriented system is proposed, addressing all tasks of CEDs but also offering a global approach to their management needs, including vigilance. The system architecture is based on a star model, consisting of a central core module and peripheral units. Its development has been based on the integration of 3 software modules, each one addressing specific predefined tasks. The main features of this system include equipment acquisition and replacement management, inventory archiving and monitoring, follow up on scheduled maintenance, corrective maintenance, user training, data analysis, and reports. It also incorporates vigilance monitoring and information exchange for adverse events, together with a specific application for quality-control procedures. The system offers clinical engineers the ability to monitor and evaluate the quality and cost-effectiveness of the service provided by means of quality and cost indicators. Particular emphasis has been placed on the use of harmonized standards with regard to medical device nomenclature and classification. The system's practical applications have been demonstrated through a pilot

  15. [A workshop to improve written communication skills of medical students]. (United States)

    Bitran, Marcela; Zúñiga, Denisse; Flotts, Paulina; Padilla, Oslando; Moreno, Rodrigo


    Despite being among the best academically prepared of the country, many medical students have difficulties to communicate in writing. In 2005, the School of Medicine at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile introduced a writing workshop in the undergraduate curriculum, to enhance the students' writing skills. To describe the workshop and its impact on the writing skills of 3 cohorts of students. This 30-h workshop used a participative methodology with emphasis on deliberate practice and feedback. Students worked in small groups with a faculty member specially trained in writing. The qualities of the essays written before and after the workshop were compared. Essays were rated by a professional team that used an analytic rubric to measure formal aspects of text writing as well as more complex thinking processes. There was a significant improvement in the quality of the texts written after the workshop; the main changes occurred in argumentation, and in paragraph and text structure. This improvement was inversely proportional to the initial level of performance, and independent of gender. A writing workshop based on deliberate practice and personalized feedback is effective to enhance the writing proficiency of medical students. Due to its design, this workshop could be useful for students of other careers and universities.

  16. Vaxfectin adjuvant improves antibody responses of juvenile rhesus macaques to a DNA vaccine encoding the measles virus hemagglutinin and fusion proteins. (United States)

    Lin, Wen-Hsuan W; Vilalta, Adrian; Adams, Robert J; Rolland, Alain; Sullivan, Sean M; Griffin, Diane E


    DNA vaccines formulated with the cationic lipid-based adjuvant Vaxfectin induce protective immunity in macaques after intradermal (i.d.) or intramuscular (i.m.) delivery of 0.5 to 1 mg of codon-optimized DNA encoding the hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) proteins of measles virus (MeV). To characterize the effect of Vaxfectin at lower doses of H+F DNA, rhesus macaques were vaccinated twice with 20 μg of DNA plus Vaxfectin i.d., 100 μg of DNA plus Vaxfectin i.d., 100 μg of DNA plus Vaxfectin i.m. or 100 μg of DNA plus phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) i.m. using a needleless Biojector device. The levels of neutralizing (P = 0.036) and binding (P = 0.0001) antibodies were higher after 20 or 100 μg of DNA plus Vaxfectin than after 100 μg of DNA plus PBS. Gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing T cells were induced more rapidly than antibody, but were not improved with Vaxfectin. At 18 months after vaccination, monkeys were challenged with wild-type MeV. None developed rash or viremia, but all showed evidence of infection. Antibody levels increased, and IFN-γ- and interleukin-17-producing T cells, including cells specific for the nucleoprotein absent from the vaccine, were induced. At 3 months after challenge, MeV RNA was detected in the leukocytes of two monkeys. The levels of antibody peaked 2 to 4 weeks after challenge and then declined in vaccinated animals reflecting low numbers of bone marrow-resident plasma cells. Therefore, Vaxfectin was dose sparing and substantially improved the antibody response to the H+F DNA vaccine. This immune response led to protection from disease (rash/viremia) but not from infection. Antibody responses after challenge were more transient in vaccinated animals than in an unvaccinated animal.

  17. Adjuvants for spraying of fungicides in wheat



    The foliar diseases and spike can markedly reduce the yield of wheat. Despite prevailing chemical control in the management of disease, studies with adjuvants to improve the performance of fungicides are still incipient. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding adjuvants to chemical fungicides to control leaf diseases and spike, as well as on the yield of wheat crop. The experimental design was a randomized block design with 05 treatments: control (no fungicide application i...

  18. Postoperative adjuvant arterial chemoembolization improves survival of hepatocellular carcinoma patients with risk factors for residual tumor:A retrospective control study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng-Gang Ren; Zhao-You Tang; Zhi-Ying Lin; Jing-Lin Xia; Sheng-Long Ye; Zeng-Chen Ma; Qing-Hai Ye; Lun-Xiu Qin; Zhi-Quan Wu; Jia Fan


    AIM: To evaluate the effect of postoperative adjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) on the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with or without risk factors for the residual tumor.METHODS: From January 1995 to December 1998, 549consecutive HCC patients undergoing surgical resection were included in this research. There were 185 patients who underwent surgical resection with adjuvant TACE and 364 patients who underwent surgical resection only. Tumors with a diameter more than 5 cm, multiple nodules, and vascular invasion were defined as risk factors for residual tumor and used for patient stratification. Kaplan-Meier method was used to analyze survival curve and Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate the prognostic significance of adjuvant TACE.RESULTS: In the patients without any risk factors for the residual tumor, the 1-, 3-, 5-year survival rates were 93.48%,75.85%, 62.39% in the control group and 97.39%, 70.37%,50.85% in the adjuvant TACE group, respectively. There was no significant difference in the survival between two groups (P = 0.3956). However, in the patients with risk factors for residual tumor, postoperative adjuvant TACE significantly prolonged the patients' survival. There was a statistically significant difference in survival between two groups (P = 0.0216). The 1-, 3-, 5-year survival rates were 69.95%, 49.86%, 37.40% in the control group and 89.67%,61.28%, 44.36% in the adjuvant TACE group, respectively.Cox proportional hazard model showed that tumor diameter and cirrhosis, but not the adjuvant TACE, were the significantly independent prognostic factors in the patients without risk factors for residual tumor. However, in the patients with risk factors for residual tumor adjuvant TACE, and also tumor diameter, AFP level, vascular invasion, were the significantly independent factors associated with the decreasing risk for patients' death from HCC.CONCLUSION: Postoperative adjuvant TACE can prolong the

  19. [Value of adjuvant physiotherapy in postoperative pain management]. (United States)

    Bullmann, V; Weber, T P; Kienle, B; Schulte, T L


    In times of limited financial and human resources the application of adjuvant physiotherapy postoperatively in orthopaedic patients requires reevaluation. In the early postoperative course physiotherapy improves the patients' mobility. However, it is not able to reduce the need for pain medication. It is intended to minimize complications and to mobilize and motivate the patients early. In contrast, massages are of minor importance in the immediate postoperative course and are applied only in a few selected cases. Cryotherapy plays a major role especially after shoulder and knee surgery. On the other hand, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and acupuncture are applied only in selected patients after orthopaedic surgery, e.g., after limb amputation.

  20. Improving emergency department flow through Rapid Medical Evaluation unit. (United States)

    Chartier, Lucas; Josephson, Timothy; Bates, Kathy; Kuipers, Meredith


    The Toronto Western Hospital is an academic hospital in Toronto, Canada, with an annual Emergency Department (ED) volume of 64,000 patients. Despite increases in patient volumes of almost six percent per annum over the last decade, there have been no commensurate increases in resources, infrastructure, and staffing. This has led to substantial increase in patient wait times, most specifically for those patients with lower acuity presentations. Despite requiring only minimal care, these patients contribute disproportionately to ED congestion, which can adversely impact resource utilization and quality of care for all patients. We undertook a retrospective evaluation of a quality improvement initiative aimed at improving wait times experienced by patients with lower acuity presentations. A rapid improvement event was organized by frontline workers to rapidly overhaul processes of care, leading to the creation of the Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) unit - a new pathway of care for patients with lower acuity presentations. The RME unit was designed by re-purposing existing resources and re-assigning one physician and one nurse towards the specific care of these patients. We evaluated the performance of the RME unit through measurement of physician initial assessment (PIA) times and total length of stay (LOS) times for multiple groups of patients assigned to various ED care pathways, during three periods lasting three months each. Weekly measurements of mean and 90th percentile of PIA and LOS times showed special cause variation in all targeted patient groups. Of note, the patients seen in the RME unit saw their median PIA and LOS times decrease from 98min to 70min and from 165min to 130min, respectively, from baseline. Despite ever-growing numbers of patient visits, wait times for all patients with lower acuity presentations remained low, and wait times of patients with higher acuity presentations assigned to other ED care pathways were not adversely affected. By

  1. Improving Pediatric Outcomes through Intravenous and Oral Medication Standardization (United States)

    MacKay, Mark W.; Cash, Jared; Farr, Fred; Holley, Marc; Jones, Kevin; Boehme, Sabrina


    BACKGROUND Standardization is an invaluable tool to promote safety, improve care, and decrease costs, which ultimately improves outcomes. However, a pediatric setting presents unique challenges with its wide variety of weights, medications, and needs that are distinctly different. Our goal was to develop and implement standards in complex high risk areas that show improved outcomes and safety. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION A computerized prescriber order entry program with decision support for pediatrics was developed for parenteral nutrition prescribing. The program included dosing, calculations, calcium phosphate compatibility checks, automated IV compounder interface, osmolarity route calculation, end product testing verification, aluminum exposure and many other quality improvements. This same electronic order program, interface to sterile compounders, and end product testing was used to standardize and make common non-manufactured intravenous solutions. The drip compounding process was reengineered to include standard concentrations, label changes, and beta-testing of a smart syringe pump with dosing ranges for pediatrics. Common standard oral doses were developed along with standard oral formulations. CONCLUSIONS Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) error rates decreased from 7% to less than 1% and compatibility issues decreased from 36 to 1 per year. Neonatal osteopenia rates decreased from 15% to 2%. Results from end product testing of TPN solutions were within USP standards showing statistical correlation (pdrug concentration and smart pump standardization and decreased drip errors by 73% from 3.1 to 0.8 per 1000 doses. Compounding errors decreased from 0.66 to 0.16 per 1000 doses and ten-fold errors decreased from 0.41 to 0.08 per 1000 doses. Eleven oral liquids, including 329 different doses, were standardized, decreasing the number of doses to 59 (83% change). This decreased workload 15%, wastage 90%, improved turnaround time 32%, and saved $15,000/year. One hundred

  2. Organizational culture, continuous quality improvement, and medication administration error reporting. (United States)

    Wakefield, B J; Blegen, M A; Uden-Holman, T; Vaughn, T; Chrischilles, E; Wakefield, D S


    This study explores the relationships among measures of nurses' perceptions of organizational culture, continuous quality improvement (CQI) implementation, and medication administration error (MAE) reporting. Hospital-based nurses were surveyed using measures of organizational culture and CQI implementation. These data were combined with previously collected data on perceptions of MAE reporting. A group-oriented culture had a significant positive correlation with CQI implementation, whereas hierarchical and rational culture types were negatively correlated with CQI implementation. Higher barriers to reporting MAE were associated with lower perceived reporting rates. A group-oriented culture and a greater extent of CQI implementation were positively (but not significantly) associated with the estimated overall percentage of MAEs reported. We conclude that health care organizations have implemented CQI programs, yet barriers remain relative to MAE reporting. There is a need to assess the reliability, validity, and completeness of key quality assessment and risk management data.

  3. Improving Workplace-Based Learning for Undergraduate Medical Students. (United States)

    Sajjad, Madiha; Mahboob, Usman


    Workplace-based learning is considered as one of the most effective way of translating medical theory into clinical practice. Although employed traditionally at postgraduate level, this strategy can be used in undergraduate students coming for clerkships in clinical departments. There are many challenges to workplace learning such as, unfavorable physical environment, lack of interest by clinical staff and teachers, and lack of student motivation. Clinical teachers can help bridge this gap and improve workplace learning through individual and collaborative team effort. Knowledge of various educational theories and principles and their application at workplace can enhance student learning and motivation, for which faculty development is much needed. Different teaching and learning activities can be used and tailored according to the clinical setting. Active reflection by students and constructive feedback from the clinicians forms the backbone of effective workplace learning.

  4. Establishing Maximal Medical Improvement After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair. (United States)

    Zuke, William A; Leroux, Timothy S; Gregory, Bonnie P; Black, Austin; Forsythe, Brian; Romeo, Anthony A; Verma, Nikhil N


    As health care transitions from a pay-for-service to a pay-for-performance infrastructure, the value of orthopaedic care must be defined accurately. Significant efforts have been made in defining quality and cost in arthroplasty; however, there remains a lag in ambulatory orthopaedic care. Two-year follow-up has been a general requirement for reporting outcomes after rotator cuff repair. However, this time requirement has not been established scientifically and is of increasing importance in the era of value-based health care. Given that arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a common ambulatory orthopaedic procedure, the purpose of this study was to establish a time frame for maximal medical improvement (the state when improvement has stabilized) after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Systematic review. A systematic review of the literature was conducted, identifying studies reporting sequential patient-reported outcomes up to a minimum of 2 years after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The primary clinical outcome was patient-reported outcomes at 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-up. Secondary clinical outcomes included range of motion, strength, retears, and complications. Clinically significant improvement was determined between various time intervals by use of the minimal clinically important difference. The review included 19 studies including 1370 patients who underwent rotator cuff repair. Clinically significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes was seen up to 1 year after rotator cuff repair, but no clinical significance was noted from 1 year to 2 years. The majority of improvement in strength and range of motion was seen up to 6 months, but no clinically meaningful improvement was seen thereafter. All reported complications and the majority of retears occurred within 6 months after rotator cuff repair. After rotator cuff repair, a clinically significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes, range of motion, and strength was seen up to 1

  5. Improved Outcome of High-Grade, Early 1-Stage Endometrioid Endometrial Carcinoma With Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy: Comparison of 2 Treatment Strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reynaers, E.A.; Jutzi, L.; Ezendam, N.P.; Kwon, J.S.; Pijnenborg, J.M.A.


    OBJECTIVE: Patients with high-grade endometrioid endometrial carcinoma have a high risk of recurrence, even in early stage. To determine the benefit of a more aggressive adjuvant treatment approach, different treatment strategies of 2 referral centers were compared. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Outcome of

  6. From discovery to licensure, the Adjuvant System story (United States)

    Garçon, Nathalie; Di Pasquale, Alberta


    ABSTRACT Adjuvants are substances added to vaccines to improve their immunogenicity. Used for more than 80 years, aluminum, the first adjuvant in human vaccines, proved insufficient to develop vaccines that could protect against new challenging pathogens such as HIV and malaria. New adjuvants and new combinations of adjuvants (Adjuvant Systems) have opened the door to the delivery of improved and new vaccines against re-emerging and difficult pathogens. Adjuvant Systems concept started through serendipity. The access to new developments in technology, microbiology and immunology have been instrumental for the dicephering of what they do and how they do it. This knowledge opens the door to more rational vaccine design with implications for developing new and better vaccines. PMID:27636098

  7. Psychosocial factors in adjuvant hormone therapy for breast cancer: an emerging context for adherence research. (United States)

    Van Liew, Julia R; Christensen, Alan J; de Moor, Janet S


    For patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer, survivorship entails prolonged self-management of adjuvant treatment in the form of daily hormone therapy. Although sustained daily adherence across the 5-year course of therapy is associated with improved recurrence-free survival outcomes, adherence is suboptimal and many women discontinue hormone therapy prematurely. Factors associated with breast cancer survivors' nonadherence and nonpersistence are not comprehensively understood. Furthermore, psychosocial variables have only received limited research attention, despite their documented relationships with adherence in other chronic illness populations. A systematic literature review identified 14 studies that analyzed relationships between psychosocial factors and breast cancer survivors' adherence and/or persistence with adjuvant hormone therapy. Although identified relationships were complex and at times inconsistent, salient conclusions emerged. Interpersonal factors, in the form of positive social support and patient-centered interactions with medical providers, as well as intrapersonal factors, such as anxiety and beliefs about the relative benefits of medication use, were reliably associated with better adherence and persistence. Depression did not demonstrate the negative impact on adherence that has been observed in other medical populations. No relationships between quality of life and adherence were identified. Adjuvant hormone therapy appears to be a unique context for medication adherence, which warrants further attention and more rigorous analysis in future research. Individual patients' psychosocial characteristics and health care preferences should be considered when striving to optimize medication adherence.

  8. Improving medication administration safety in solid organ transplant patients through barcode-assisted medication administration. (United States)

    Bonkowski, Josesph; Weber, Robert J; Melucci, Joseph; Pesavento, Todd; Henry, Mitchell; Moffatt-Bruce, Susan


    Solid organ transplant recipients are prescribed a high number of medications, increasing the potential for medication errors. Barcode-assisted medication administration (BCMA) is technology that reduces medication administration errors. An observational study was conducted at an academic medical center solid organ transplant unit before and after BMCA implementation. Medication accuracy was determined and administration errors were categorized by type and therapeutic class of medication. A baseline medication administration error rate of 4.8% was observed with wrong dose errors representing 78% of the errors. During the post-BCMA period the medication administration error rate was reduced by 68% to 1.5% (P = .0001). Wrong dose errors were reduced by 67% (P = .001), and unauthorized medication administrations were reduced by 73%. Steroids were associated with the highest error rate. The results of this study suggest that routinely adopting BCMA has the potential to reduce medication administration errors in transplant patients.

  9. Quality Improvement Project to Improve Timeliness Between Bronchodilator Treatments from Emergency Department to Medical Wards. (United States)

    Cockerham, Jennifer R; Lowe, Gary R; Willis, Randy; Stecks, Ryan M; Berlinski, Ariel


    Quality improvement methodology was applied to study sporadic reports that patients with asthma were not given bronchodilator treatments or assessed within an appropriate time frame when they were admitted from the emergency department to the medical ward. The goal was to increase the number of patients who had an interval between emergency department assessment/bronchodilator treatment and medical ward assessment/treatment of flow chart diagram, a fishbone diagram, data collection, intervention implementation, and data monitoring and analysis were used in this study. Data were collected on a pre-test of change cohort of 227 subjects with asthma from January 2013 to March 2014. A test of change adding a Q2H respiratory therapist assessment and as needed bronchodilator treatment order while the subject was in the emergency department was implemented during May of 2014. These data were compared with a post-test of change cohort of 278 subjects with asthma from May 2014 to July 2015. Data collection for both cohorts included the time from the last assessment/bronchodilator treatment in the emergency department to emergency department discharge, the time from emergency department discharge to assessment/treatment in the medical ward, and the sum of these 2 time periods. Mean times (minutes) were noted, and comparisons were made using 2-tailed independent t tests with significance set at P process control charts. There was a 124% increase noted in the percentage of subjects who received bronchodilator treatment within 120 min, a 53% increase within 180 min, and a 19% increase within 240 min. The interval time between treatments decreased 21%. Through quality improvement methodology, the group was able to significantly decrease the time between the last assessment/bronchodilator treatment in the emergency department and the first assessment/treatment in the medical ward for subjects with asthma. Moreover, improvement was seen in all studied parameters despite similar

  10. Improving Preceptors' Knowledge on Medication Error Reduction Strategies. (United States)

    Harris, Rosiland


    Preceptors are in an ideal position to change the paradigm for medication error reduction and detection. However, they must receive ongoing training and preparation for this role. An online learning module with specific focus on medication error reduction strategies could help preceptors meet the challenge of orienting novice nurses about safe medication administration.

  11. Adherence to endocrine therapy in breast cancer adjuvant and prevention settings. (United States)

    Chlebowski, Rowan T; Kim, Jisang; Haque, Reina


    Adherence to oral endocrine therapy in adjuvant breast cancer settings is a substantial clinical problem. To provide current perspective on adherence to oral endocrine therapies, a comprehensive literature review was conducted. In adjuvant trials, endocrine therapy adherence is relatively high with greater adherence for aromatase inhibitors compared with tamoxifen. In contrast, adherence to adjuvant therapy in clinical practice is relatively poor, with only about 50% of women successfully completing 5-year therapy. Importantly, good adherence (>80% use) has been associated with lower recurrence risk. Endocrine therapy adherence in primary breast cancer prevention trials parallels that seen in adjuvant trials. Factors associated with nonadherence include low recurrence risk perception, side effects, age extremes, medication cost, suboptimal patient-physician communication, and lack of social support. Few prospective studies have evaluated interventions designed to improve adherence. Interventions currently proposed reflect inferences from clinical trial procedures in which clinical contacts are commonly greater than in usual practice settings. In conclusion, for optimal breast cancer outcome, adherence to endocrine therapy must improve. Although general recommendations likely to improve adherence can be made based on clinical trial results and preliminary prospective trial findings, research specifically targeting this issue is needed to establish effective intervention strategies.

  12. 76 FR 12969 - Campaign To Improve Poor Medication Adherence (U18) (United States)


    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Campaign To Improve Poor Medication Adherence (U18) AGENCY... ] importance of good medication adherence, a vital first step toward improved adherence behavior and better...' awareness of the importance of good medication adherence and provide tools to prescribers to help...

  13. Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills (United States)

    Naghshineh, Sheila; Hafler, Janet P.; Miller, Alexa R.; Blanco, Maria A.; Lipsitz, Stuart R.; Dubroff, Rachel P.; Khoshbin, Shahram


    Background Despite evidence of inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, teaching these skills has declined. One method of enhancing inspection skills is teaching “visual literacy,” the ability to reason physiology and pathophysiology from careful and unbiased observation. Objective To improve students’ visual acumen through structured observation of artworks, understanding of fine arts concepts and applying these skills to patient care. Design Prospective, partially randomized pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis. Participants Twenty-four pre-clinical student participants were compared to 34 classmates at a similar stage of training. Intervention Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis consists of eight paired sessions of art observation exercises with didactics that integrate fine arts concepts with physical diagnosis topics and an elective life drawing session. Measurements The frequency of accurate observations on a 1-h visual skills examination was used to evaluate pre- vs. post-course descriptions of patient photographs and art imagery. Content analysis was used to identify thematic categories. All assessments were blinded to study group and pre- vs. post-course evaluation. Results Following the course, class participants increased their total mean number of observations compared to controls (5.41 ± 0.63 vs. 0.36 ± 0.53, p observations of art and physical findings. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:18612730

  14. Adjuvant chemotherapy for early-stage cervical cancer. (United States)

    Asano, Hiroshi; Todo, Yukiharu; Watari, Hidemichi


    The aim of this review is to address the current status of adjuvant chemotherapy alone in early-stage cervical cancer treatments in the literature. At present, the therapeutic effect of adjuvant chemotherapy alone after radical surgery (RS) has not yet been established, and radiation therapy (RT) or concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is recommended as the standard adjuvant therapy after RS for early-stage cervical cancer in various guidelines. The main purpose of adjuvant therapy after RS, however, should be to reduce extrapelvic recurrence rather than local recurrence, although adjuvant RT or CCRT has survival benefits for patients with intermediate- or high-risk factors for recurrence. Moreover, several studies reported that adjuvant therapies including RT were associated with a higher incidence of complications, such as lymphedema, bowel obstruction and urinary disturbance, and a lower grade of long-term quality of life (QOL) or sexual functioning than adjuvant chemotherapy alone. The effect of adjuvant chemotherapy alone for early-stage cervical cancer with intermediate- or high-risk factors for recurrence were not fully investigated in prospective studies, but several retrospective studies suggest that the adjuvant effects of chemotherapy alone are at least similar to that of RT or CCRT in terms of recurrence rate, disease-free survival, or overall survival (OS) with lower incidence of complications. Whereas cisplatin based combination regimens were used in these studies, paclitaxel/cisplatin (TP) regimen, which is currently recognized as a standard chemotherapy regimen for patients with metastatic, recurrent or persistent cervical cancer by Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), had also survival benefit as an adjuvant therapy. Therefore, it may be worth considering a prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) of adjuvant chemotherapy alone using TP regimen versus adjuvant RT as an alternative adjuvant therapy. Because early-stage cervical cancer is a curable

  15. [Proposal for a media guideline to improve medical and health journalism]. (United States)

    Kojima, Masami


    A lot of healthcare professionals experienced annoyance with biased mass media news regarding medical and health issues. In this paper, I propose "news profiling method" and "media guideline" to improve the medical and health journalism.

  16. Voluntary Medical Incident Reporting Tool to Improve Physician Reporting of Medical Errors in an Emergency Department

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nnaemeka G. Okafor


    Full Text Available Introduction: Medical errors are frequently under-reported, yet their appropriate analysis, coupled with remediation, is essential for continuous quality improvement. The emergency department (ED is recognized as a complex and chaotic environment prone to errors. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a web-based ED-specific incident reporting system using an iterative process. Methods: A web-based, password-protected tool was developed by members of a quality assurance committee for ED providers to report incidents that they believe could impact patient safety. Results: The utilization of this system in one residency program with two academic sites resulted in an increase from 81 reported incidents in 2009, the first year of use, to 561 reported incidents in 2012. This is an increase in rate of reported events from 0.07% of all ED visits to 0.44% of all ED visits. In 2012, faculty reported 60% of all incidents, while residents and midlevel providers reported 24% and 16% respectively. The most commonly reported incidents were delays in care and management concerns. Conclusion: Error reporting frequency can be dramatically improved by using a web-based, userfriendly, voluntary, and non-punitive reporting system.

  17. Geographic disparities in adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy in Appalachian women with breast cancer. (United States)

    Tan, Xi; Camacho, Fabian; Marshall, Vincent D; Donohoe, Joseph; Anderson, Roger T; Balkrishnan, Rajesh

    Appalachia is a largely rural, mountainous, poor and underserved region of the United States. Adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy among Appalachian women with breast cancer is suboptimal. To explore small-area geographic variations and clustering patterns of breast cancer patient adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy and associated factors in Appalachia. In this retrospective study, we analyzed Medicare claims data linked with cancer registries from four Appalachian states (PA, OH, KY, and NC) in 2006-2008. We included adult women who were diagnosed with stage I-III, hormone-receptor positive, primary breast cancer and who newly started adjuvant endocrine therapy after the primary treatment for breast cancer. Hot spot analysis was conducted to explore geographic variations in adjuvant endocrine therapy adherence. Geographically weighted logistic regression (GWLR) was used to examine whether the impacts of factors associated with adherence varied across the region. Breast cancer patients living in PA and OH showed higher adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy than those living in KY and NC. We identified clusters of high adherence in most of PA but poor adherence in Erie County, PA and in Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, and Polk Counties, NC. Adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy was significantly associated with the Health Professional Shortage Area designation, catastrophic coverage, dual-eligibility status of Medicaid and Medicare, adjuvant endocrine therapy drug class, and side effects. And among these factors, the impacts of dual-eligibility status and the use of pain medications to treat side effects on adherence were more pronounced in KY and NC than in PA. There were significant geographic disparities in adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy in the Appalachian counties in PA, OH, KY, and NC. This study explored these geographic areas with poor adherence as well as geographically varying effects of predictors on adherence; our results may

  18. Using evidence to improve satisfaction with medication side-effects education on a neuro-medical surgical unit. (United States)

    Ahrens, Susan L; Wirges, Ashley M


    Patient satisfaction is viewed as a significant indicator of quality of care. More specifically, improving patient satisfaction related to communication about medications and potential side effects can improve healthcare outcomes. Patient satisfaction scores related to medication side effects on a neuro-medical surgical unit were monitored following a quality improvement program. These patients frequently experience cognitive impairment and functional difficulties that can affect the way they understand and handle medications. The purpose of this quality improvement practice change was to (a) develop an educational approach for post acute neurosurgical patients and (b) evaluate whether the use of the approach is successful in improving patient satisfaction scores related to medication education on side effects. The quality improvement program interventions included (a) patient informational handouts inserted into admission folders, (b) nurse education about the importance of providing education on side effects to patient and discussion of their involvement with the program, (c) unit flyers with nurse education, and (d) various communications with bedside nurses through personal work mail and emails. The primary focus was for nurses to employ the "teach back" method to review and reinforce the medication side-effect teaching with patients. Evaluation of the data showed an increase in patient satisfaction after the implementation of the "Always Ask" program.

  19. Supporting patients : pharmacy based interventions to improve medication adherence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, M.J.


    For many patients it is not easy to adhere to the agreed treatment with medication. Adherence has been defined as “the extent to which a person’s behaviour - taking medication - corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider”. Numerous factors influence this taking behaviour and

  20. Improving appropriate medication use for older people in primary care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwint, H.F.


    Clinical pharmacy interventions for older people with polypharmacy can be divided in dispensing services (aimed at support of medication management), e.g. multidose dispensing systems, and medication reviews (aimed at appropriateness of the pharmacotherapy. The objective of this thesis is to describ

  1. Improving appropriate medication use for older people in primary care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwint, H.F.


    Clinical pharmacy interventions for older people with polypharmacy can be divided in dispensing services (aimed at support of medication management), e.g. multidose dispensing systems, and medication reviews (aimed at appropriateness of the pharmacotherapy. The objective of this thesis is to

  2. Mixed adjuvant formulations reveal a new combination that elicit antibody response comparable to Freund's adjuvants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel P J Lai

    Full Text Available Adjuvant formulations capable of inducing high titer and high affinity antibody responses would provide a major advance in the development of vaccines to viral infections such as HIV-1. Although oil-in-water emulsions, such as Freund's adjuvant (FCA/FIA, are known to be potent, their toxicity and reactogenicity make them unacceptable for human use. Here, we explored different adjuvants and compared their ability to elicit antibody responses to FCA/FIA. Recombinant soluble trimeric HIV-1 gp140 antigen was formulated in different adjuvants, including FCA/FIA, Carbopol-971P, Carbopol-974P and the licensed adjuvant MF59, or combinations of MF59 and Carbopol. The antigen-adjuvant formulation was administered in a prime-boost regimen into rabbits, and elicitation of antigen binding and neutralizing antibodies (nAbs was evaluated. When used individually, only FCA/FIA elicited significantly higher titer of nAbs than the control group (gp140 in PBS (p<0.05. Sequential prime-boost immunizations with different adjuvants did not offer improvements over the use of FCA/FIA or MF59. Remarkably however, the concurrent use of the combination of Carbopol-971P and MF59 induced potent adjuvant activity with significantly higher titer nAbs than FCA/FIA (p<0.05. This combination was not associated with any obvious local or systemic adverse effects. Antibody competition indicated that the majority of the neutralizing activities were directed to the CD4 binding site (CD4bs. Increased antibody titers to the gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER and gp120 V3 were detected when the more potent adjuvants were used. These data reveal that the combination of Carbopol-971P and MF59 is unusually potent for eliciting nAbs to a variety of HIV-1 nAb epitopes.

  3. Improving the Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Medical Devices. (United States)

    Tarricone, Rosanna; Callea, Giuditta; Ogorevc, Marko; Prevolnik Rupel, Valentina


    Medical devices (MDs) have distinctive features, such as incremental innovation, dynamic pricing, the learning curve and organisational impact, that need to be considered when they are evaluated. This paper investigates how MDs have been assessed in practice, in order to identify methodological gaps that need to be addressed to improve the decision-making process for their adoption. We used the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) checklist supplemented by some additional categories to assess the quality of reporting and consideration of the distinctive features of MDs. Two case studies were considered: transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) representing an emerging technology and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) representing a mature technology. Economic evaluation studies published as journal articles or within Health Technology Assessment reports were identified through a systematic literature review. A total of 19 studies on TAVI and 41 studies on ICDs were analysed. Learning curve was considered in only 16% of studies on TAVI. Incremental innovation was more frequently mentioned in the studies of ICDs, but its impact was considered in only 34% of the cases. Dynamic pricing was the most recognised feature but was empirically tested in less than half of studies of TAVI and only 32% of studies on ICDs. Finally, organisational impact was considered in only one study of ICDs and in almost all studies on TAVI, but none of them estimated its impact. By their very nature, most of the distinctive features of MDs cannot be fully assessed at market entry. However, their potential impact could be modelled, based on the experience with previous MDs, in order to make a preliminary recommendation. Then, well-designed post-market studies could help in reducing uncertainties and make policymakers more confident to achieve conclusive recommendations. © 2017 The Authors. Health Economics published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Vaccines, adjuvants and autoimmunity. (United States)

    Guimarães, Luísa Eça; Baker, Britain; Perricone, Carlo; Shoenfeld, Yehuda


    Vaccines and autoimmunity are linked fields. Vaccine efficacy is based on whether host immune response against an antigen can elicit a memory T-cell response over time. Although the described side effects thus far have been mostly transient and acute, vaccines are able to elicit the immune system towards an autoimmune reaction. The diagnosis of a definite autoimmune disease and the occurrence of fatal outcome post-vaccination have been less frequently reported. Since vaccines are given to previously healthy hosts, who may have never developed the disease had they not been immunized, adverse events should be carefully accessed and evaluated even if they represent a limited number of occurrences. In this review of the literature, there is evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmunity and adjuvant-induced autoimmunity in both experimental models as well as human patients. Adjuvants and infectious agents may exert their immune-enhancing effects through various functional activities, encompassed by the adjuvant effect. These mechanisms are shared by different conditions triggered by adjuvants leading to the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA syndrome). In conclusion, there are several case reports of autoimmune diseases following vaccines, however, due to the limited number of cases, the different classifications of symptoms and the long latency period of the diseases, every attempt for an epidemiological study has so far failed to deliver a connection. Despite this, efforts to unveil the connection between the triggering of the immune system by adjuvants and the development of autoimmune conditions should be undertaken. Vaccinomics is a field that may bring to light novel customized, personalized treatment approaches in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Learner-centred medical education: Improved learning or increased stress? (United States)

    McLean, Michelle; Gibbs, Trevor J


    Globally, as medical education undergoes significant reform towards more "learner-centred" approaches, specific implications arise for medical educators and learners. Although this learner-centredness is grounded in educational theory, a point of discussion would be whether the application and practice of these new curricula alleviate or exacerbate student difficulties and levels of stress. This commentary will argue that while this reform in medical education is laudable, with positive implications for learning, medical educators may not have understood or perhaps not embraced "learner-centredness" in its entirety. During their training, medical students are expected to be "patient-centred". They are asked to apply a biopsychosocial model, which takes cognisance of all aspects of a patient's well-being. While many medical schools profess that their curricula reflect these principles, in reality, many may not always practice what they preach. Medical training all too often remains grounded in the biomedical model, with the cognitive domain overshadowing the psychosocial development and needs of learners. Entrusted by parents and society with the education and training of future healthcare professionals, medical education needs to move to a "learner-centred philosophy", in which the "whole" student is acknowledged. As undergraduate and post-graduate students increasingly apply their skills in an international arena, this learner-centredness should equally encapsulate the gender, cultural and religious diversity of both patients and students. Appropriate support structures, role models and faculty development are required to develop skills, attitudes and professional behaviour that will allow our graduates to become caring and sensitive healthcare providers.

  6. Review article: surgical, neo-adjuvant and adjuvant management strategies in biliary tract cancer. (United States)

    Skipworth, J R A; Olde Damink, S W M; Imber, C; Bridgewater, J; Pereira, S P; Malagó, M


    The majority of patients with cholangiocarcinoma present with advanced, irresectable tumours associated with poor prognosis. The incidence and mortality rates associated with cholangiocarcinoma continue to rise, mandating the development of novel strategies for early detection, improved resection and treatment of residual lesions. To review the current evidence base for surgical, adjuvant and neo-adjuvant techniques in the management of cholangiocarcinoma. A search strategy incorporating PubMed/Medline search engines and utilising the key words biliary tract carcinoma; cholangiocarcinoma; management; surgery; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; photodynamic therapy; and radiofrequency ablation, in various combinations, was employed. Data on neo-adjuvant and adjuvant techniques remain limited, and much of the literature concerns palliation of inoperable disease. The only opportunity for long-term survival remains surgical resection with negative pathological margins or liver transplantation, both of which remain possible in only a minority of selected patients. Neo-adjuvant and adjuvant techniques currently provide only limited success in improving survival. The development of novel strategies and treatment techniques is crucial. However, the shortage of randomised controlled trials is compounded by the low feasibility of conducting adequately powered trials in liver surgery, due to the large sample sizes that are required. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Ontology modularization to improve semantic medical image annotation. (United States)

    Wennerberg, Pinar; Schulz, Klaus; Buitelaar, Paul


    Searching for medical images and patient reports is a significant challenge in a clinical setting. The contents of such documents are often not described in sufficient detail thus making it difficult to utilize the inherent wealth of information contained within them. Semantic image annotation addresses this problem by describing the contents of images and reports using medical ontologies. Medical images and patient reports are then linked to each other through common annotations. Subsequently, search algorithms can more effectively find related sets of documents on the basis of these semantic descriptions. A prerequisite to realizing such a semantic search engine is that the data contained within should have been previously annotated with concepts from medical ontologies. One major challenge in this regard is the size and complexity of medical ontologies as annotation sources. Manual annotation is particularly time consuming labor intensive in a clinical environment. In this article we propose an approach to reducing the size of clinical ontologies for more efficient manual image and text annotation. More precisely, our goal is to identify smaller fragments of a large anatomy ontology that are relevant for annotating medical images from patients suffering from lymphoma. Our work is in the area of ontology modularization, which is a recent and active field of research. We describe our approach, methods and data set in detail and we discuss our results.

  8. Improving Patients\\\\\\' Care through Electronic Medical Error Reporting System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Rangraz Jeddi


    Full Text Available Medical errors are unintentional acts that take place due to the negligence or lead to undesirable consequences in medical practice. The purpose of this study was to design a conceptual model for medical error reporting system. This applied descriptive cross-sectional research employed Delphi method carried out from 2012 to 2013. The study population was medical and paramedical personnel of health workers and paramedical personnel of hospitals, deputy of treatment, faculty members of Kashan University of Medical Sciences in addition to the internet and library resources. Sample size included 30 expert individuals in the field of medical errors. The one-stage stratified sampling procedure was used. The items with opposition ranging 0 to 25 were confirmed and those exceeding 50 were rejected whereas the items with the opposition 25 to 50 were reevaluated in the second session. This process continued for three times and the items that failed to be approved were eliminated in the model. Based on the results of this research, repeated informing about and reporting operation at on-line bases that have access to the incidence of error detected on time, identifying cause and damage due to the incidence reported confidential and anonymously immediately after the occurrence is necessary. Analysis of data quantitatively and qualitatively by using computer software is needed. Classifying the errors reports based on feedback provision according to the cause of error is needed. In addition, confidential report and possible manual retrieval were suggested It is essential to determine the means of reporting and items in the reporting form including time, cause and damage of medical error, media of reporting and method of recording and analysis.

  9. (Neo)adjuvant systemic therapy for melanoma. (United States)

    van Zeijl, M C T; van den Eertwegh, A J; Haanen, J B; Wouters, M W J M


    Surgery still is the cornerstone of treatment for patients with stage II and III melanoma, but despite great efforts to gain or preserve locoregional control with excision of the primary tumour, satellites, intransits, sentinel node biopsy and lymphadenectomy, surgery alone does not seem to improve survival any further. Prognosis for patients with high risk melanoma remains poor with 5-year survival rates of 40 to 80%. Only interferon-2b has been approved as adjuvant therapy since 1995, but clinical integration is low considering the high risk-benefit ratio. In recent years systemic targeted- and immunotherapy have proven to be beneficial in advanced melanoma and could be a promising strategy for (neo)adjuvant treatment of patients with resectable high risk melanomas as well. Randomised, placebo- controlled phase III trials on adjuvant systemic targeted- and immunotherapy are currently being performed using new agents like ipilimumab, pembrolizumab, nivolumab, vemurafenib and dabrafenib plus trametinib. In this article we review the literature on currently known adjuvant therapies and currently ongoing trials of (neo)adjuvant therapies in high risk melanomas.

  10. Reflections on efforts to improve medical publishing in Africa. (United States)

    Gondwe, Mzamose


    Over the last five years several scholarly publishing associations have been launched in Africa - the Forum for African Medical Editors (FAME), the Society of African Journals (SAJE), the Consortium of African Scholarly Publishers (CASP), the Africa Journals Partnership Project and the African Association of Science Editors (AASE). What, if any, has been the impact of these initiatives? This paper reviews the most notable of these associations, FAME, which was established in 2003 with the support of the World Association of Medical Editors, the Council of Science Editors and the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). FAME is evaluated in relation to two other international scholarly publishing associations - the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) in South America and the Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME). The article also discusses the future of FAME with regards to new developments in open access publishing through African Journals Online.

  11. Medical Images Watermarking Algorithm Based on Improved DCT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yv-fan SHANG


    Full Text Available Targeting at the incessant securities problems of digital information management system in modern medical system, this paper presents the robust watermarking algorithm for medical images based on Arnold transformation and DCT. The algorithm first deploys the scrambling technology to encrypt the watermark information and then combines it with the visual feature vector of the image to generate a binary logic series through the hash function. The sequence as taken as keys and stored in the third party to obtain ownership of the original image. Having no need for artificial selection of a region of interest, no capacity constraint, no participation of the original medical image, such kind of watermark extracting solves security and speed problems in the watermark embedding and extracting. The simulation results also show that the algorithm is simple in operation and excellent in robustness and invisibility. In a word, it is more practical compared with other algorithms

  12. Adjuvant therapy with bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids suppresses systemic inflammation and improves quality of life in patients with solid tumors: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. (United States)

    Panahi, Yunes; Saadat, Alireza; Beiraghdar, Fatemeh; Sahebkar, Amirhossein


    Curcuminoids are bioactive polyphenolics with potent antiinflammatory properties. Although several lines of in vitro and preclinical evidence suggest potent anticancer effects of curcuminoids, clinical findings have not been conclusive. The present randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of curcuminoids as adjuvant therapy in cancer patients. Eighty subjects with solid tumors who were under standard chemotherapy regimens were randomly assigned to a bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids preparation (180 mg/day; n = 40) or matched placebo (n = 40) for a period of 8 weeks. Efficacy measures were changes in the health-related quality of life (QoL) score (evaluated using the University of Washington index) and serum levels of a panel of mediators implicated in systemic inflammation including interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 8 (IL-8), TNF-α, transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). Curcuminoid supplementation was associated with a significantly greater improvement in QoL compared with placebo (p life variations were associated with changes in serum TGFβ levels in both correlation and regression analyses. Adjuvant therapy with a bioavailable curcuminoid preparation can significantly improve QoL and suppress systemic inflammation in patients with solid tumors who are under treatment with standard chemotherapy protocols.

  13. Adjuvant chemotherapy in soft tissue sarcomas…Conflicts, consensus, and controversies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyoti Bajpai


    Full Text Available Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs are an uncommon and diverse group of more than 50 mesenchymal malignancies. Each of these histologic subtypes represents a unique disease with distinct biologic behavior and varying sensitivity to chemotherapy. The judicious use of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy along with surgery and radiation in the treatment of localized STS has a role in improving patient outcomes by decreasing local and distant recurrences. There is evidence that the use of adjuvant chemotherapy to a mixed cohort of chemo sensitive and insensitive sarcoma subtypes results in limited benefit. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to identify the subpopulation with high metastatic potential and to identify effective histology-specific treatment options to these patients. Present perspective, will focus on the rationale for adjuvant chemotherapy in sarcoma, with emphasis on the histology driven chemotherapy. It will outline key therapeutic opportunities and hurdles in adjuvant medical treatment of sarcoma, focusing on specific subtypes that are on the verge of new breakthroughs, as well as those in which promise has not lived up to expectations.

  14. Using the World Wide Web To Improve Medication Calculation Skills. (United States)

    Stillman, Gloria A.; Alison, Justine; Croker, Felicity


    Describes the development of a computer-assisted learning package at James Cook University (Australia) that uses the World Wide Web to provide accessible practice in medication calculations for undergraduate nursing students and inservice education for nurses in isolated areas. Highlights include design features, constraints, cost effectiveness,…

  15. Do Clinical Breast Examination Skills Improve During Medical School? (United States)

    Lee, Karen C.; Dunlop, Dorothy; Dolan, Nancy C.


    A study assessed the effect of training stage, gender, and specialty interest on 493 Northwestern University (Illinois) medical students' breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and clinical breast examination skills. Results suggest knowledge and attitudes are not related to clinical breast examination proficiency, which is a practiced tactile skill.…

  16. A program to improve communication and collaboration between nurses and medical residents. (United States)

    McCaffrey, Ruth G; Hayes, Rosemarie; Stuart, Wendy; Cassell, Asenath; Farrell, Cheryl; Miller-Reyes, Charmin; Donaldson, Audeanne


    A program was implemented for nurses and medical residents to improve communication and collaboration. It has been noted that communication and collaboration between members of the health care team improve patient outcomes and job satisfaction among nurses. Nurses on the unit where medical residents trained attended a 2-hour educational program that reviewed effective communication styles and positive aspects of collaboration, including role-playing examples. Medical residents received a self-learning packet with a posttest that was returned to researchers when completed. Focus groups, including both nurses and medical residents, were held twice a month for 6 months after the educational program. Overall improvements in communication, collaboration, patient outcomes, and job satisfaction were noted from the focus group data. The educational program proved to be successful in improving collaboration and communication between nurses and medical residents, which in turn improved patient care.

  17. Improving combat casualty care and field medicine: focus on the military medic. (United States)

    De Lorenzo, R A


    As military medicine in general copes with a rapidly changing world environment, so too must the backbone of the medical force, the enlisted medic. To meet these challenges, the training and utilization of military medics must match new and different missions. This paper will explore innovative approaches to training and preparing for combat casualty care and field medicine. The focus will fall on the education, evaluation, operations, patient-care skills, equipment, and telemedicine potential of the military medic. Future directions for study and development will be suggested. Exploration of the following may improve the capability of the military medic: (1) improved training to include advanced-level skills and interventions for combat casualty care and broader exposure to the casualties expected in operations other than war; (2) annual educational and periodic proficiency evaluation requirements; (3) strengthened medical control at all echelons; and (4) carefully selected additional equipment and technologies to enhance medical capabilities.

  18. Adherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy among breast cancer survivors in clinical practice: a systematic review. (United States)

    Murphy, Caitlin C; Bartholomew, L Kay; Carpentier, Melissa Y; Bluethmann, Shirley M; Vernon, Sally W


    Adjuvant hormonal therapy significantly improves long-term survival of breast cancer patients with hormone receptor-positive disease. Despite the proven clinical efficacy of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, many breast cancer survivors either fail to take the correct dosage at the prescribed frequency (adherence) or discontinue therapy (persistence). This systematic review aims to: (1) determine the prevalence of adherence and persistence to adjuvant hormonal therapy among breast cancer survivors in clinical practice, and (2) identify correlates of adherence and persistence. We searched Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, and CINAHL for studies that measured rates and/or correlates of adherence and/or persistence to adjuvant hormonal therapy. Studies were reviewed in a multi-step process: (1) the lead author screened titles and abstracts of all potentially eligible studies; (2) each coauthor reviewed a random 5 % sample of abstracts; and (3) two sets of coauthors each reviewed half of all "maybe" abstracts. Any disagreements were discussed until consensus was reached. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria. Prevalence of adherence ranged from 41 to 72 % and discontinuation (i.e., nonpersistence) ranged from 31 to 73 %, measured at the end of 5 years of treatment. Extremes of age (older or younger), increasing out-of-pocket costs, follow-up care with a general practitioner (vs. oncologist), higher CYP2D6 activity, switching from one form of therapy to another, and treatment side effects were negatively associated with adherence and/or persistence. Taking more medications at baseline, referral to an oncologist, and earlier year at diagnosis were positively associated with adherence and/or persistence. Adherence and persistence to adjuvant hormonal therapy among breast cancer survivors is suboptimal. Many of the correlates of adherence and persistence studied to date are not modifiable. Our review reveals a critical need for further research on modifiable factors

  19. Improving Workplace-Based Learning for Undergraduate Medical Students


    Sajjad, Madiha; Mahboob, Usman


    Workplace-based learning is considered as one of the most effective way of translating medical theory into clinical practice. Although employed traditionally at postgraduate level, this strategy can be used in undergraduate students coming for clerkships in clinical departments. There are many challenges to workplace learning such as, unfavorable physical environment, lack of interest by clinical staff and teachers, and lack of student motivation. Clinical teachers can help bridge this gap an...

  20. Building medical ethics education to improve Japanese medical students' attitudes toward respecting patients' rights. (United States)

    Saito, Yukiko; Kudo, Yasushi; Shibuya, Akitaka; Satoh, Toshihiko; Higashihara, Masaaki; Aizawa, Yoshiharu


    In medical education, it is important for medical students to develop their ethics to respect patients' rights. Some physicians might make light of patients' rights, because the increased awareness of such rights might make it more difficult for them to conduct medical practice. In the present study, predictors significantly associated with "a sense of resistance to patients' rights" were examined using anonymous self-administered questionnaires. For these predictors, we produced original items with reference to the concept of ethical development and the teachings of Mencius. The subjects were medical students at the Kitasato University School of Medicine, a private university in Japan. A total of 518 students were analyzed (response rate, 78.4%). The average age of enrolled subjects was 22.5 ± 2.7 years (average age ± standard deviation). The average age of 308 male subjects was 22.7 ± 2.8 years, while that of 210 female subjects was 22.1 ± 2.5 years. The item, "Excessive measures to pass the national examination for medical practitioners," was significantly associated with "a sense of resistance to patients' rights." However, other items, including basic attributes such as age and gender, were not significant predictors. If students spent their school time only focusing on the national examination, they would lose the opportunity to receive the ethical education that would allow them to respect patients' rights. That ethical development cannot easily be evaluated with written exams. Thus, along with the acquisition of medical knowledge, educational programs to promote medical students' ethics should be developed.

  1. Facilitated Nurse Medication-Related Event Reporting to Improve Medication Management Quality and Safety in Intensive Care Units. (United States)

    Xu, Jie; Reale, Carrie; Slagle, Jason M; Anders, Shilo; Shotwell, Matthew S; Dresselhaus, Timothy; Weinger, Matthew B

    Medication safety presents an ongoing challenge for nurses working in complex, fast-paced, intensive care unit (ICU) environments. Studying ICU nurse's medication management-especially medication-related events (MREs)-provides an approach to analyze and improve medication safety and quality. The goal of this study was to explore the utility of facilitated MRE reporting in identifying system deficiencies and the relationship between MREs and nurses' work in the ICUs. We conducted 124 structured 4-hour observations of nurses in three different ICUs. Each observation included measurement of nurse's moment-to-moment activity and self-reports of workload and negative mood. The observer then obtained MRE reports from the nurse using a structured tool. The MREs were analyzed by three experts. MREs were reported in 35% of observations. The 60 total MREs included four medication errors and seven adverse drug events. Of the 49 remaining MREs, 65% were associated with negative patient impact. Task/process deficiencies were the most common contributory factor for MREs. MRE occurrence was correlated with increased total task volume. MREs also correlated with increased workload, especially during night shifts. Most of these MREs would not be captured by traditional event reporting systems. Facilitated MRE reporting provides a robust information source about potential breakdowns in medication management safety and opportunities for system improvement.


    NARCIS (Netherlands)



    Adequate replacement therapy in haemophilia has been available for two decades. This has led to considerable improvements in the life expectancy and physical status of haemophilia patients. A study was conducted to investigate whether this has also led to improvements in quality of life. With this a

  3. Children with ADHD and symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder improved in behavior when treated with methylphenidate and adjuvant risperidone, though weight gain was also observed - Results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. (United States)

    Jahangard, Leila; Akbarian, Shahrokh; Haghighi, Mohammad; Ahmadpanah, Mohammad; Keshavarzi, Amir; Bajoghli, Hafez; Sadeghi Bahmani, Dena; Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith; Brand, Serge


    Children with ADHD often show symptoms of oppositional defiant disorders (ODD). We investigated the impact of adjuvant risperidone (RISP) to a standard treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) in children with ADHD and symptoms of ODD. Eighty-four children with ADHD and ODD (age: M=8.55; range: 7.28-9.95 years; 73.8% males) took part in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial lasting eight weeks. Participants were randomly assigned either to the MPH+RISP (1mg/kg/d+0.5mg/d) or to the MPH+PLCO (1mg/kg/d+placebo) condition. Symptoms of ADHD, weight, height, and blood pressure were assessed at baseline, and at weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8. Symptoms of ADHD decreased over time, but more so in the MPH+RISP than in the MPH only condition. In the MPH+RISP condition weight, waist circumference and prolactine levels increased over time. Data suggest that adjuvant RISP improved symptoms in children with ADHD and ODD, but weight gain and higher prolactine levels were also observed, which are two alarming side effects. This may become an issue, once children become adolescents, a period of life in which body shape and body self-image are closely linked to self-confidence and peer acceptance. Health care professionals should carefully balance the short-term and long-term costs and benefits of administration of RISP.

  4. Medical errors and patient safety strategies to reduce and disclose medical errors and improve patient safety

    CERN Document Server

    Kalra, Jay


    This book shows with real cases from health care and beyond that most errors come from flaws in the system. It also shows why they don't get reported and how medical error disclosure around the world is shifting away from blaming people to a ?no-fault? model. The book will examine issues that stymie efforts made to reduce preventable adverse events and medical errors, and will moreover highlight their impact on clinical laboratories and other areas. It identifies possible intelligent system approaches that can be adopted to help control and eliminate these errors.

  5. Adjuvants for allergy vaccines. (United States)

    Moingeon, Philippe


    Allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently performed via either the subcutaneous or sublingual routes as a treatment for type I (IgE dependent) allergies. Aluminum hydroxide or calcium phosphate are broadly used as adjuvants for subcutaneous allergy vaccines, whereas commercial sublingual vaccines rely upon high doses of aqueous allergen extracts in the absence of any immunopotentiator. Adjuvants to be included in the future in products for allergen specific immunotherapy should ideally enhance Th1 and CD4+ regulatory T cell responses. Imunomodulators impacting dendritic or T cell functions to induce IL10, IL12 and IFNγ production are being investigated in preclinical allergy models. Such candidate adjuvants encompass synthetic or biological immunopotentiators such as glucocorticoids, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, selected probiotic strains (e.g., Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species) as well as TLR2 (Pam3CSK4), TLR4 (monophosphoryl lipid A, synthetic lipid A analogs) or TLR9 (CpGs) ligands. Furthermore, the use of vector systems such as mucoadhesive particules, virus-like particles or liposomes are being considered to enhance allergen uptake by tolerogenic antigen presenting cells present in mucosal tissues.

  6. Liposome-Based Adjuvants for Subunit Vaccines: Formulation Strategies for Subunit Antigens and Immunostimulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Signe Tandrup; Foged, Camilla; Korsholm, Karen Smith;


    for which no effective vaccines exist. The subunit vaccine technology exploits pathogen subunits as antigens, e.g., recombinant proteins or synthetic peptides, allowing for highly specific immune responses against the pathogens. However, such antigens are usually not sufficiently immunogenic to induce......The development of subunit vaccines has become very attractive in recent years due to their superior safety profiles as compared to traditional vaccines based on live attenuated or whole inactivated pathogens, and there is an unmet medical need for improved vaccines and vaccines against pathogens...... been licensed for use in human vaccines, and they mainly stimulate humoral immunity. Thus, there is an unmet demand for the development of safe and efficient adjuvant systems that can also stimulate cell-mediated immunity (CMI). Adjuvants constitute a heterogeneous group of compounds, which can broadly...

  7. Improved cosine similarity measures of simplified neutrosophic sets for medical diagnoses. (United States)

    Ye, Jun


    In pattern recognition and medical diagnosis, similarity measure is an important mathematical tool. To overcome some disadvantages of existing cosine similarity measures of simplified neutrosophic sets (SNSs) in vector space, this paper proposed improved cosine similarity measures of SNSs based on cosine function, including single valued neutrosophic cosine similarity measures and interval neutrosophic cosine similarity measures. Then, weighted cosine similarity measures of SNSs were introduced by taking into account the importance of each element. Further, a medical diagnosis method using the improved cosine similarity measures was proposed to solve medical diagnosis problems with simplified neutrosophic information. The improved cosine similarity measures between SNSs were introduced based on cosine function. Then, we compared the improved cosine similarity measures of SNSs with existing cosine similarity measures of SNSs by numerical examples to demonstrate their effectiveness and rationality for overcoming some shortcomings of existing cosine similarity measures of SNSs in some cases. In the medical diagnosis method, we can find a proper diagnosis by the cosine similarity measures between the symptoms and considered diseases which are represented by SNSs. Then, the medical diagnosis method based on the improved cosine similarity measures was applied to two medical diagnosis problems to show the applications and effectiveness of the proposed method. Two numerical examples all demonstrated that the improved cosine similarity measures of SNSs based on the cosine function can overcome the shortcomings of the existing cosine similarity measures between two vectors in some cases. By two medical diagnoses problems, the medical diagnoses using various similarity measures of SNSs indicated the identical diagnosis results and demonstrated the effectiveness and rationality of the diagnosis method proposed in this paper. The improved cosine measures of SNSs based on cosine

  8. Electronic medical records as tools for quality improvement in ambulatory practice: theory and a case study. (United States)

    Ornstein, S M; Jenkins, R G; MacFarlane, L; Glaser, A; Snyder, K; Gundrum, T


    Information management is critical in today's health care environment. Traditional paper-based medical records are inadequate information management tools. Electronic medical records (EMRs) overcome many problems with paper records and are ideally suited to help physicians increase productivity and improve the quality of care they provide. The Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina uses the Practice Partner Patient Record EMR system. Department members have developed a quality improvement model based on this EMR system. The model has been used to improve care for acute bronchitis, diabetes mellitus, tobacco abuse, asthma, and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

  9. How to improve the performance of a good medical practice team: twelve techniques. (United States)

    Hills, Laura


    It is incredibly easy to ignore the medical practice team that is doing a good job. However, when we allow good performers to continue as they are, they probably won't improve. Their performance may even worsen. This is unfortunate because with a little bit of effort and support, good performers can often learn to excel. This article offers 12 techniques medical practice managers can use to bring their team members from good performance to excellent. It describes how to use goal-setting, work assignments, modeling, confidence building, team retreats, rewards, incentives, and reinforcement to ratchet up a good medical practice team's performance. This article also identifies the signs of medical employee mediocrity. It describes why setting higher expectations of your medical practice employees will ultimately improve their performance. Finally, this article suggests 10 practical and affordable strategies that medical practice managers can use to reinforce excellent performance in their good employees.

  10. [Perspectives of improvement of the medical service of the Armed Forces of Russian Federation]. (United States)

    Shappo, V V


    The article presents the data concerned the creation of perspective image of the medical service of the Armed Forces of Russian Federation for the term up to 2016 year. Particularly, it's planed to optimize structure and staff of the medical service on the base of territorial principle of medical provision, exchange some military posts for civil ones, improve the financial system and system of material stimulation of work, engrain a double level of administration. It is in store to modernize the system of military-medical education, review the organization and establishment of military hospitals, break up medical stores, and on theirs account create centers of providing by medcial techniques and properties, to form mobile-technical centers, improve the administration of sanatorium-resort maintenance. The military unit of military medicine was defined as the foreground direction of reforming of medical service.

  11. Advancing medical-surgical nursing practice: improving management of the changing patient condition. (United States)

    Monroe, Heidi; Plylar, Peggy; Krugman, Mary


    Higher patient acuities and more novice nurses on medical-surgical units have Educators focused on achieving positive outcomes with changes in patient condition. An educational program was developed to enhance nurses' knowledge, skill, and confidence in assessing hemodynamics, recognizing early signs of instability, and administering vasoactive medications. The program was successful with significant knowledge improvement as well as an increased use of the Medical Emergency Team while maintaining a low number of code calls.

  12. [Medical practice and clinical research: keys to generate knowledge and improve care]. (United States)

    Martínez Castuera-Gómez, Carla; Talavera, Juan O


    The increased quality in medical care may be immediately accomplished if clinical research is integrated into daily clinical practice. In the generation of medical knowledge are four steps: an unanswered question awakened from clinical practice, the critical analysis of specialized literature, the development of a research protocol, and, finally, the publication of outcomes. Decision making and continuous training are becoming part of an effective strategy of medical attention improvement.

  13. Improving healthcare recruitment: the jupiter medical center experience. (United States)

    Uomo, Paul Dell; Schwieters, Jill


    Hospitals that want to improve their recruitment efforts should: Make recruitment a priority within the organization. Take steps to reduce high vacancy rates and turnover among first-year employees. Develop a recruitment marketing plan for key positions. Establish human resources metrics to track costs and effectiveness of recruiting efforts. Enhance the recruitment process for hiring managers and job candidates.

  14. Liposome-Based Adjuvants for Subunit Vaccines: Formulation Strategies for Subunit Antigens and Immunostimulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Signe Tandrup Schmidt


    Full Text Available The development of subunit vaccines has become very attractive in recent years due to their superior safety profiles as compared to traditional vaccines based on live attenuated or whole inactivated pathogens, and there is an unmet medical need for improved vaccines and vaccines against pathogens for which no effective vaccines exist. The subunit vaccine technology exploits pathogen subunits as antigens, e.g., recombinant proteins or synthetic peptides, allowing for highly specific immune responses against the pathogens. However, such antigens are usually not sufficiently immunogenic to induce protective immunity, and they are often combined with adjuvants to ensure robust immune responses. Adjuvants are capable of enhancing and/or modulating immune responses by exposing antigens to antigen-presenting cells (APCs concomitantly with conferring immune activation signals. Few adjuvant systems have been licensed for use in human vaccines, and they mainly stimulate humoral immunity. Thus, there is an unmet demand for the development of safe and efficient adjuvant systems that can also stimulate cell-mediated immunity (CMI. Adjuvants constitute a heterogeneous group of compounds, which can broadly be classified into delivery systems or immunostimulators. Liposomes are versatile delivery systems for antigens, and they can carefully be customized towards desired immune profiles by combining them with immunostimulators and optimizing their composition, physicochemical properties and antigen-loading mode. Immunostimulators represent highly diverse classes of molecules, e.g., lipids, nucleic acids, proteins and peptides, and they are ligands for pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs, which are differentially expressed on APC subsets. Different formulation strategies might thus be required for incorporation of immunostimulators and antigens, respectively, into liposomes, and the choice of immunostimulator should ideally be based on knowledge regarding the

  15. Clinical outcomes of adjuvant radiation therapy and prognostic factors in early stage uterine cervical cancer. (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Ju; Rhee, Woo Joong; Choi, Seo Hee; Nam, Eun Ji; Kim, Sang Wun; Kim, Sunghoon; Kim, Young Tae; Kim, Gwi Eon; Kim, Yong Bae


    To evaluate the outcomes of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) and to analyze prognostic factors of survival in the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) IB-IIA uterine cervical cancer. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 148 patients with FIGO IB-IIA uterine cervical cancer who underwent surgery followed by adjuvant RT at the Yonsei Cancer Center between June 1997 and December 2011. Adjuvant radiotherapy was delivered to the whole pelvis or an extended field with or without brachytherapy. Among all patients, 57 (38.5%) received adjuvant chemotherapy either concurrently or sequentially. To analyze prognostic factors, we assessed clinicopathologic variables and metabolic parameters measured on preoperative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). To evaluate the predictive performance of metabolic parameters, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. The median follow-up period was 63.2 months (range, 2.7 to 206.8 months). Locoregional recurrence alone occurred in 6 patients, while distant metastasis was present in 16 patients, including 2 patients with simultaneous regional failure. The 5-year and 10-year OSs were 87.0% and 85.4%, respectively. The 5-year and 10-year DFSs were 83.8% and 82.5%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, pathologic type and tumor size were shown to be significant prognostic factors associated with both DFS and OS. In subset analysis of 40 patients who underwent preoperative PET/CT, total lesion glycolysis was shown to be the most significant prognostic factor among the clinicopathologic variables and metabolic parameters for DFS. Our results demonstrated that adjuvant RT following hysterectomy effectively improves local control. From the subset analysis of preoperative PET/CT, we can consider that metabolic parameters may hold prognostic significance

  16. Ethics in action: Approving and improving medical research with human subjects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P. de Jong


    In this thesis, Jean Philippe de Jong presents a new understanding of ethical oversight on medical research with human subjects and proposes that two philosophies for ethical oversight exist: '(dis)approving' and 'improving'. Systems for ethical oversight on medical research have been in place for m

  17. Clinical nutrition in medical gastroenterology: room for improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, U.; Rasmussen, H.H.; Mowe, M.


    % of the gastroenterologists had sufficient knowledge (pskill did not differ (not significant). Lack of interest was more pronounced in the internists than in the gastroenterologists, 42% vs. 32% (p....001). CONCLUSIONS: A discrepancy between clinical practice and attitudes towards nutrition is evident in both gastroenterology and internal medicine. Although gastroenterologists are more interested, there is room for improvement in both groups. This is true for doctors as well as nurses, even though nurses seem...

  18. Recent Improvement of Medical Optical Fibre Pressure and Temperature Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Poeggel


    Full Text Available This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS. The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer (EFPI with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF acid and femtosecond (FS laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of \\(s_p\\ = 2–10 \\(\\frac{\\text{nm}}{\\text{kPa}}\\ and a resolution of better than \\(\\Delta P\\ = 10 Pa protect (0.1 cm H\\(_2\\O. A static pressure test in 38 cmH\\(_2\\O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H\\(_2\\O in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by \\(k=10.7\\ \\(\\frac{\\text{pm}}{\\text{K}}\\, which results in a temperature resolution of better than \\(\\Delta T\\ = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes.

  19. Improving patient access to novel medical technologies in Europe.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Kearney, Peter


    The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) organized a one-day workshop with clinicians, health economic experts, and health technology appraisal experts to discuss the equity of patient access to novel medical technologies in Europe. Two index technologies were considered: implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and drug-eluting stents (DES). The use of ICDs range from 35 implants\\/million population in Portugal to 166 implants\\/million population in Germany, whereas for implants of DES (as percentage of total stents) it is lowest in Germany at 14% and high in Portugal at 65%. These differences can in part be explained by a lack of structured implementation of guidelines, the direct cost in relation to the overall healthcare budget, and to differences in procedures and models applied by Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies in Europe. The workshop participants concluded that physicians need to be involved in a more structured way in HTA and need to become better acquainted with its methods and terminology. Clinical guidelines should be systematically translated, explained, disseminated, updated, and adopted by cardiologists in Europe. Clinically appropriate, consistent and transparent health economic models need to be developed and high-quality international outcome and cost data should be used. A process for funding of a technology should be developed after a positive recommendation from HTA agencies. Both the ESC and the national cardiac societies should build-up health economic expertise and engage more actively in discussions with stakeholders involved in the provision of healthcare.

  20. Adjuvants for veterinary vaccines--types and modes of action. (United States)

    Gerdts, Volker


    Adjuvants are used to improve the immune response to vaccines. Formulation with adjuvants can result in an earlier onset of immunity, an overall stronger immune response, a specific type of immunity, or a longer duration of immunity to the vaccine. Adjuvants were discovered empirically, and for decades, have been used in both humans and animals without understanding the mechanisms of action. With an improved understanding of the immune system, and in particular the interplay between innate and adaptive immunity, we are now getting better insight into the function of adjuvants. As a result, new adjuvants are being developed that are safe and highly effective for common use in humans and animals, as well as for use in high risk populations such as immunocompromised animals, neonates or very old animals. Furthermore, adjuvants can help to reduce the amount of antigen needed in the vaccine, increase the stability of the vaccine and enable alternatiye administration routes such as needle-free delivery of the vaccine. Here, I will provide an over view of the existing adjuvant technologies for veterinary vaccines and provide an outlook into some of the new technologies in preclinical and clinical development.

  1. Medical Student Mental Health 3.0: Improving Student Wellness Through Curricular Changes


    Slavin, Stuart J.; Schindler, Debra L.; Chibnall, John T.


    Medical education can have significant negative effects on the well-being of medical students. To date, efforts to improve student mental health have focused largely on improving access to mental health providers, reducing the stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment, and implementing ancillary wellness programs. Still, new and innovative models that build on these efforts by directly addressing the root causes of stress that lie within the curriculum itself are needed to properly...

  2. Mechanical ventilation weaning protocol improves medical adherence and results. (United States)

    Borges, Luís Guilherme Alegretti; Savi, Augusto; Teixeira, Cassiano; de Oliveira, Roselaine Pinheiro; De Camillis, Marcio Luiz Ferreira; Wickert, Ricardo; Brodt, Sérgio Fernando Monteiro; Tonietto, Túlio Frederico; Cremonese, Ricardo; da Silva, Leonardo Silveira; Gehm, Fernanda; Oliveira, Eubrando Silvestre; Barth, Jose Herve Diel; Macari, Juçara Gasparetto; de Barros, Cíntia Dias; Vieira, Sílvia Regina Rios


    Implementation of a weaning protocol is related to better patient prognosis. However, new approaches may take several years to become the standard of care in daily practice. We conducted a prospective cohort study to investigate the effectiveness of a multifaceted strategy to implement a protocol to wean patients from mechanical ventilation (MV) and to evaluate the weaning success rate as well as practitioner adherence to the protocol. We investigated all consecutive MV-dependent subjects admitted to a medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) for >24h over 7years. The multifaceted strategy consisted of continuing education of attending physicians and ICU staff and regular feedback regarding patient outcomes. The study was conducted in three phases: protocol development, protocol and multifaceted strategy implementation, and protocol monitoring. Data regarding weaning outcomes and physician adherence to the weaning protocol were collected during all phases. We enrolled 2469 subjects over 7years, with 1,943 subjects (78.7%) experiencing weaning success. Physician adherence to the protocol increased during the years of protocol and multifaceted strategy implementation (from 38% to 86%, p<0.01) and decreased in the protocol monitoring phase (from 73.9% to 50.0%, p<0.01). However, during the study years, the weaning success of all subjects increased (from 73.1% to 85.4%, p<0.001). When the weaning protocol was evaluated step-by-step, we found high adherence for noninvasive ventilation use (95%) and weaning predictor measurement (91%) and lower adherence for control of fluid balance (57%) and daily interruption of sedation (24%). Weaning success was higher in patients who had undergone the weaning protocol compared to those who had undergone weaning based in clinical practice (85.6% vs. 67.7%, p<0.001). A multifaceted strategy consisting of continuing education and regular feedback can increase physician adherence to a weaning protocol for mechanical ventilation

  3. Improved Polyurethane-coated Orthopedic Casting Bandage for Medical Application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周荣星; 周煜; 冯勋伟


    A new improved polyester casting bandage, which comprises a knitted polyester substrate coated with polyurethane prepolymer, was developed. The appropriate polyester knitted substrate was selected firstly; the optimal ingredient for the synthesis of coating resin (polyurethane prepolymer) was determined then through a series of trial experiments and factorial experiments; the properties of bandage were checked at last. The results of the experiment indicate that most of the properties of the new product could exceed or approximate to the level of similar product of other countries.

  4. Improved education after implementation of the Danish postgraduate medical training reform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kodal, Troels; Kjær, Niels Kristian; Qvesel, Dorte


    A reform of educational postgraduate medical training was launched in Denmark in 2004. The reform was based on a report by the Danish Medical Specialist Commission and consisted of a number of initiatives that were all aimed at improving the quality of medical training. Since 1998, all junior...... doctors in Denmark have been requested to rate the quality of their training on a Danish standardized questionnaire (DSQ) comprising 24 questions. In this study, we examined how junior doctors in hospitals rated their postgraduate medical training before and six years after the reform was implemented....

  5. Improved education after implementation of the Danish postgraduate medical training reform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kodal, Troels; Kjær, Niels Kristian; Qvesel, Dorte


    A reform of educational postgraduate medical training was launched in Denmark in 2004. The reform was based on a report by the Danish Medical Specialist Commission and consisted of a number of initiatives that were all aimed at improving the quality of medical training. Since 1998, all junior...... doctors in Denmark have been requested to rate the quality of their training on a Danish standardized questionnaire (DSQ) comprising 24 questions. In this study, we examined how junior doctors in hospitals rated their postgraduate medical training before and six years after the reform was implemented....

  6. Building bridges : engaging medical residents in quality improvement and medical leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voogt, Judith J; van Rensen, Elizabeth L J; van der Schaaf, Marieke F; Noordegraaf, Mirko; Schneider, Margriet Me


    OBJECTIVE: To develop an educational intervention that targets residents' beliefs and attitudes to quality Improvement (QI) and leadership in order to demonstrate proactive behaviour. DESIGN: Theory-driven, mixed methods study including document analysis, interviews, observations and open-ended

  7. [The role and place of pathology services in ensuring and improving the quality of medical care: Organizational and legal aspects]. (United States)

    Timofeev, I V


    The paper considers the legal and organizational issues of the activity of pathology services in improving medical care. It shows the main (diagnostic and medico-organizational) areas of pathology work to improve the quality of medical care.

  8. Adjuvant Strategies for Resectable Pancreatic Cancer: Have We Made Progress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Russo


    Full Text Available Substantial controversy remains regarding the optimal adjuvant treatment for patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Despite improvements in radiation techniques, systemic therapies, and incorporation of targeted agents, the 5-year survival rates for early stage patients remains less than 25% and the optimal adjuvant treatment approach remains unclear. Here we summarize the data presented at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium regarding controversial issues surrounding the role, timing, and selection of patients for adjuvant chemoradiation strategies following curative resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. (Abstracts #301, #333, and #206.

  9. Improving the Efficiency of Medical Services Systems: A New Integrated Mathematical Modeling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davood Shishebori


    Full Text Available Nowadays, the efficient design of medical service systems plays a critical role in improving the performance and efficiency of medical services provided by governments. Accordingly, health care planners in countries especially with a system based on a National Health Service (NHS try to make decisions on where to locate and how to organize medical services regarding several conditions in different residence areas, so as to improve the geographic equity of comfortable access in the delivery of medical services while accounting for efficiency and cost issues especially in crucial situations. Therefore, optimally locating of such services and also suitable allocating demands them, can help to enhance the performance and responsiveness of medical services system. In this paper, a multiobjective mixed integer nonlinear programming model is proposed to decide locations of new medical system centers, link roads that should be constructed or improved, and also urban residence centers covered by these medical service centers and link roads under investment budget constraint in order to both minimize the total transportation cost of the overall system and minimize the total failure cost (i.e., maximize the system reliability of medical service centers under unforeseen situations. Then, the proposed model is linearized by suitable techniques. Moreover, a practical case study is presented in detail to illustrate the application of the proposed mathematical model. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is done to provide an insight into the behavior of the proposed model in response to changes of key parameters of the problem.

  10. Use-related risk analysis for medical devices based on improved FMEA. (United States)

    Liu, Long; Shuai, Ma; Wang, Zhu; Li, Ping


    In order to effectively analyze and control use-related risk of medical devices, quantitative methodologies must be applied. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive technique for error detection and risk reduction. In this article, an improved FMEA based on Fuzzy Mathematics and Grey Relational Theory is developed to better carry out user-related risk analysis for medical devices. As an example, the analysis process using this improved FMEA method for a certain medical device (C-arm X-ray machine) is described.

  11. Evidence for handheld electronic medical records in improving care: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Straus Sharon E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Handheld electronic medical records are expected to improve physician performance and patient care. To confirm this, we performed a systematic review of the evidence assessing the effects of handheld electronic medical records on clinical care. Methods To conduct the systematic review, we searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane library from 1966 through September 2005. We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated effects on practitioner performance or patient outcomes of handheld electronic medical records compared to either paper medical records or desktop electronic medical records. Two reviewers independently reviewed citations, assessed full text articles and abstracted data from the studies. Results Two studies met our inclusion criteria. No other randomized controlled studies or non-randomized controlled trials were found that met our inclusion criteria. Both studies were methodologically strong. The studies examined changes in documentation in orthopedic patients with handheld electronic medical records compared to paper charts, and both found an increase in documentation. Other effects noted with handheld electronic medical records were an increase in time to document and an increase in wrong or redundant diagnoses. Conclusion Handheld electronic medical records may improve documentation, but as yet, the number of studies is small and the data is restricted to one group of patients and a small group of practitioners. Further study is required to determine the benefits with handheld electronic medical records especially in assessing clinical outcomes.

  12. Carbohydrate-based immune adjuvants (United States)

    Petrovsky, Nikolai; Cooper, Peter D


    The role for adjuvants in human vaccines has been a matter of vigorous scientific debate, with the field hindered by the fact that for over 80 years, aluminum salts were the only adjuvants approved for human use. To this day, alum-based adjuvants, alone or combined with additional immune activators, remain the only adjuvants approved for use in the USA. This situation has not been helped by the fact that the mechanism of action of most adjuvants has been poorly understood. A relative lack of resources and funding for adjuvant development has only helped to maintain alum’s relative monopoly. To seriously challenge alum’s supremacy a new adjuvant has many major hurdles to overcome, not least being alum’s simplicity, tolerability, safety record and minimal cost. Carbohydrate structures play critical roles in immune system function and carbohydrates also have the virtue of a strong safety and tolerability record. A number of carbohydrate compounds from plant, bacterial, yeast and synthetic sources have emerged as promising vaccine adjuvant candidates. Carbohydrates are readily biodegradable and therefore unlikely to cause problems of long-term tissue deposits seen with alum adjuvants. Above all, the Holy Grail of human adjuvant development is to identify a compound that combines potent vaccine enhancement with maximum tolerability and safety. This has proved to be a tough challenge for many adjuvant contenders. Nevertheless, carbohydrate-based compounds have many favorable properties that could place them in a unique position to challenge alum’s monopoly over human vaccine usage. PMID:21506649

  13. Transient improvement of urticaria induces poor adherence as assessed by Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8. (United States)

    Kaneko, Sakae; Masuda, Koji; Hiragun, Takaaki; Inomata, Naoko; Furue, Masutaka; Onozuka, Daisuke; Takeuchi, Satoshi; Murota, Hiroyuki; Sugaya, Makoto; Saeki, Hidehisa; Shintani, Yoichi; Tsunemi, Yuichiro; Abe, Shinya; Kobayashi, Miwa; Kitami, Yuki; Tanioka, Miki; Imafuku, Shinichi; Abe, Masatoshi; Hagihara, Akihito; Morisky, Donald E; Katoh, Norito


    Poor adherence to medication is a major public health challenge. Here, we aimed to determine the adherence to oral and topical medications and to analyze underlying associated factors using the translated Japanese version of Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8 regarding urticaria treatment. Web-based questionnaires were performed for 3096 registered dermatological patients, along with a subanalysis of 751 registered urticaria patients in this study. The adherence to oral medication was significantly associated with the frequency of hospital visits. Variables that affected the adherence to topical medication included age and experience of drug effectiveness. The rate of responses that "It felt like the symptoms had improved" varied significantly among the dermatological diseases treated with oral medications. Dermatologists should be aware that adherence to the treatment of urticaria is quite low. Regular visits and active education for patients with urticaria are mandatory in order to achieve a good therapeutic outcome by increasing the adherence.

  14. A Population Intervention to Improve Outcomes in Children With Medical Complexity. (United States)

    Noritz, Garey; Madden, Melissa; Roldan, Dina; Wheeler, T Arthur; Conkol, Kimberly; Brilli, Richard J; Barnard, John; Gleeson, Sean


    Children with medical complexity experience frequent interactions with the medical system and often receive care that is costly, duplicative, and inefficient. The growth of value-based contracting creates incentives for systems to improve their care. This project was designed to improve the health, health care value, and utilization for a population-based cohort of children with neurologic impairment and feeding tubes. A freestanding children's hospital and affiliated accountable care organization jointly developed a quality improvement initiative. Children with a percutaneous feeding tube, a neurologic diagnosis, and Medicaid, were targeted for intervention within a catchment area of >300 000 children receiving Medicaid. Initiatives included standardizing feeding tube management, improving family education, and implementing a care coordination program. Between January 2011 and December 2014, there was an 18.0% decrease (P organization, can be part of the solution for improving outcomes and health care value for children with medical complexity. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  15. Value-based insurance design yields near- and long-term improvements in medication adherence. (United States)

    Collado, Megan


    Key findings. (1) Value-based insurance design (VBID) improves medication adherence by 1 to 3 percent in the first year after implementation; (2) Improvements in adherence were sustained and amplified in the second year post-implementation, ranging from 2 to 5 percent; (3) Adherence improvements varied ac­cording to VBID participants' baseline adherence, with greatest improve­ments evident in those with poorer baseline adherence

  16. Improving medication adherence of patients with chronic heart failure: challenges and solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shah D


    Full Text Available Deval Shah,1 Kim Simms,2 Debra J Barksdale,3 Jia-Rong Wu3 1Internal Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, 2Duke University Hospital, Durham, 3School of Nursing, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA Abstract: Heart failure is a chronic debilitating illness that affects 5.7 million Americans. The financial burden of heart failure in the US toppled $31 billion in 2012, which is one of the highest among all chronic medical conditions. Medication adherence is a major component of heart failure self-care behaviors. Therefore, medication non-adherence is associated with more emergency department visits, frequent rehospitalizations, and higher medical cost. Medication adherence rates have varied from 10% to 98% depending on the definition and measurement used to assess and analyze adherence. Many factors contribute to medication non-adherence such as lack of support, finances, absent of symptoms, cognitive decline, adverse reactions, depression, poor attention span, poor knowledge about medication, multiple medications, difficulty swallowing large pills, and inconveniences of urinary frequency with diuretics. Researchers have explored various strategies such as the use of pharmacists, nurses, telemedicine, and interdisciplinary teams to provide interventions to improve medication adherence in heart failure. Health care providers should continue to provide education, constantly reinforce the importance of taking medication as prescribed, and when feasible, utilize one of the successful evidence-based strategies to increase adherence. Keywords: pharmacy, tele-health, interdisciplinary, registered nurse, interventions

  17. Adjuvant Therapy: Melanoma

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    Diwakar Davar


    Full Text Available With an incidence that is increasing at 2–5% per year, cutaneous melanoma is an international scourge that disproportionately targets young individuals. Despite much research, the treatment of advanced disease is still quite challenging. Immunotherapy with high-dose interferon-α2b or interleukin-2 benefits a select group of patients in the adjuvant and metastatic settings, respectively, with significant attendant toxicity. Advances in the biology of malignant melanoma and the role of immunomodulatory therapy have produced advances that have stunned the field. In this paper, we review the data for the use of interferon-α2b in various dosing ranges, vaccine therapy, and the role of radiotherapy in the adjuvant setting for malignant melanoma. Recent trials in the metastatic setting using anticytoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody therapy and BRAF inhibitor therapy have demonstrated clear benefit with prolongation of survival. Trials investigating combinations of these novel agents with existing immunomodulators are at present underway.

  18. Development and controversies of adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wan-Yee Lau; Eric C. H. Lai


    BACKGROUND:Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy with a dismal prognosis. Radical surgery provides the only chance for a cure with a 5-year survival rate of 7%-25%. An effective adjuvant therapy is urgently needed to improve the surgical outcome. This review describes the current status of adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer, and highlights its controversies. DATA SOURCES:A Medline database search was performed to identify relevant articles using the keywords"pancreatic neoplasm", and"adjuvant therapy". Additional papers were identiifed by a manual search of the references from the key articles. RESULTS:Eight prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the use of adjuvant chemotherapy and chemoradiation for pancreatic cancer could be identiifed. The results for adjuvant regimens based on systemic 5-lfuorouracil with or without external radiotherapy were conlficting. The recent two RCTs on gemcitabine based regimen gave promising results. CONCLUSIONS:Based on the available data, no standard adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer can be established yet. The best adjuvant regimen remains to be determined in large-scale RCTs. Future trials should use a gemcitabine based regimen.

  19. Instructional analysis of lecture video recordings and its application for quality improvement of medical lectures. (United States)

    Baek, Sunyong; Im, Sun Ju; Lee, Sun Hee; Kam, Beesung; Yune, So Joung; Lee, Sang Soo; Lee, Jung A; Lee, Yuna; Lee, Sang Yeoup


    The lecture is a technique for delivering knowledge and information cost-effectively to large medical classes in medical education. The aim of this study was to analyze teaching quality, based on triangle analysis of video recordings of medical lectures, to strengthen teaching competency in medical school. The subjects of this study were 13 medical professors who taught 1st- and 2nd-year medical students and agreed to a triangle analysis of video recordings of their lectures. We first performed triangle analysis, which consisted of a professional analysis of video recordings, self-assessment by teaching professors, and feedback from students, and the data were crosschecked by five school consultants for reliability and consistency. Most of the distress that teachers experienced during the lecture occurred in uniform teaching environments, such as larger lecture classes. Larger lectures that primarily used PowerPoint as a medium to deliver information effected poor interaction with students. Other distressing factors in the lecture were personal characteristics and lack of strategic faculty development. Triangle analysis of video recordings of medical lectures gives teachers an opportunity and motive to improve teaching quality. Faculty development and various improvement strategies, based on this analysis, are expected to help teachers succeed as effective, efficient, and attractive lecturers while improving the quality of larger lecture classes.

  20. Improving written and verbal communication skills for international medical graduates: a linguistic and medical approach. (United States)

    Cross, Duncan; Smalldridge, Ann


    Adapting to UK communication styles can be difficult for International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Reache Northwest provides education, training and support for internationally trained refugee and asylum seeking health professionals who are looking to return to work in the UK. A Safe and Effective Communication Skills course was designed by a team of language teachers and clinicians to provide IMGs with an understanding of the written, verbal and summarisation skills required in the UK work environment. A series of language exercises adapted to clinical situations was developed. These increased in complexity to the practical application of language skills in clinical settings using simulated patients. The combination of language and clinical tutors meant that feedback could be given from a language teacher's perspective, the clinical perspective and the cultural context. The combination of language and clinical tutors meant that analysis of communication difficulties could be made from different perspectives and detailed, specific feedback could be given to each student in these areas. Using a combined linguistic and clinical approach can provide solutions to clinical communication problems that may otherwise be missed. This strategy could be extended to cover communication areas in other contexts.

  1. Cultural diversity process improves organizational community in urban teaching medical center. (United States)

    Carter, R; Spence, M M


    An urban teaching facility with nearly 3,000 employees had communication problems associated with race, gender and other cultural differences. It also competed for health care dollars and faced possible reduction in federal funding. The medical center instituted mandatory training in cultural diversity and customer service-and integrated the training process with the hospital's overall quality improvement plan and marketing strategy. The integrated approach affected the bottom line-Hurley's patient base has increased, and the medical center operates in the black. Training in cultural diversity and customer service is an effective tool to improve employee communication and improve financial outlook.

  2. Improved particle swarm optimization algorithm for android medical care IOT using modified parameters. (United States)

    Sung, Wen-Tsai; Chiang, Yen-Chun


    This study examines wireless sensor network with real-time remote identification using the Android study of things (HCIOT) platform in community healthcare. An improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) method is proposed to efficiently enhance physiological multi-sensors data fusion measurement precision in the Internet of Things (IOT) system. Improved PSO (IPSO) includes: inertia weight factor design, shrinkage factor adjustment to allow improved PSO algorithm data fusion performance. The Android platform is employed to build multi-physiological signal processing and timely medical care of things analysis. Wireless sensor network signal transmission and Internet links allow community or family members to have timely medical care network services.

  3. Design of Electronic Medical Record User Interfaces: A Matrix-Based Method for Improving Usability

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    Kushtrim Kuqi


    Full Text Available This study examines a new approach of using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM modeling technique to improve the design of Electronic Medical Record (EMR user interfaces. The usability of an EMR medication dosage calculator used for placing orders in an academic hospital setting was investigated. The proposed method captures and analyzes the interactions between user interface elements of the EMR system and groups elements based on information exchange, spatial adjacency, and similarity to improve screen density and time-on-task. Medication dose adjustment task time was recorded for the existing and new designs using a cognitive simulation model that predicts user performance. We estimate that the design improvement could reduce time-on-task by saving an average of 21 hours of hospital physicians’ time over the course of a month. The study suggests that the application of DSM can improve the usability of an EMR user interface.

  4. Evidence-Based Quality Improvement: A recipe for improving medication safety and handover of care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeulers, M.


    In healthcare we strive to provide the highest possible quality of care. Even though healthcare professionals work together with the intention to provide safe care, medical errors still threaten patient safety. Patient safety has received considerable attention since the beginning of this century,

  5. Strategies for English Oral Skill Improvement Employed by Medical College Students

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Research in language learning strategies has addressed the necessity of improving oral skills in second language acquisition.This study attempts to explore the strategies employed by 19 medical students at Qiannan Medical College for Nationalities to improve their oral skills.Semi-structured interview and open-ended questionnaire were used as the instruments for the data collection.The data was then analyzed qualitatively for the purpose of the study.The findings of the study showed that the strategies employed by the students mainly indude the strategies to improve speaking skills and the strategies to improve listening skills.The strategies to improve speaking skills include two main categories:fluency-focused strategies and accuracy-focused strategies.The strategies to improve listening skills also include two main categories:direct strategies and indirect strategies.

  6. Query expansion with a medical ontology to improve a multimodal information retrieval system. (United States)

    Díaz-Galiano, M C; Martín-Valdivia, M T; Ureña-López, L A


    Searching biomedical information in a large collection of medical data is a complex task. The use of tools and biomedical resources could ease the retrieval of the information desired. In this paper, we use the medical ontology MeSH to improve a Multimodal Information Retrieval System by expanding the user's query with medical terms. In order to accomplish our experiments, we have used the dataset provided by ImageCLEFmed task organizers for years 2005 and 2006. This dataset is composed of a multimodal collection (images and text) of clinical cases, a list of queries for each year, and a list of relevance judgments for each query to evaluate the results. The results from the experiments show that the use of a medical ontology to expand the queries greatly improves the results.

  7. Assessing the Quality of Medical Information Technology Economic Evaluations: Room for Improvement (United States)

    Eisenstein, Eric L.; Ortiz, Maqui; Anstrom, Kevin J.; Crosslin, David R.; Lobach, David F.


    Medical information systems are being recognized for their ability to improve patient outcomes. While standards for the economic evaluation of medical technologies were instituted in the mid-1990s, little is known about their application in medical information technology studies. In a review of medical information technology evaluation studies published between 1982 and 2002, we found that the volume and variety of economic evaluations had increased; however, investigators routinely omitted key cost or effectiveness elements in their designs, resulting in publications with incomplete, and potentially biased, economic findings. Of the studies that made economic claims, 23% did not report any economic data, 40% failed to include any effectiveness measures, and more than 50% used a case study or pre- post- test design. Thus, during a time when health economic study methods in general have experienced significant development, there is little evidence of similar progress in medical information technology economic evaluations. PMID:17238338

  8. Evidence for handheld electronic medical records in improving care: a systematic review


    Straus Sharon E; Wu Robert C


    Abstract Background Handheld electronic medical records are expected to improve physician performance and patient care. To confirm this, we performed a systematic review of the evidence assessing the effects of handheld electronic medical records on clinical care. Methods To conduct the systematic review, we searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane library from 1966 through September 2005. We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated effects on practitioner performance or...

  9. Fighting Cancer Together: Development and Implementation of Shared Medical Appointments to Standardize and Improve Chemotherapy Education (United States)

    Prescott, Lauren S.; Dickens, Andrea S.; Guerra, Sandra L.; Tanha, Jila M.; Phillips, Desiree G.; Patel, Katherine T.; Umberson, Katie M.; Lozano, Miguel A.; Lowe, Kathryn B.; Brown, Alaina J.; Taylor, Jolyn S.; Soliman, Pamela T.; Garcia, Elizabeth A.; Levenback, Charles F.; Bodurka, Diane C.


    Objective Shared medical appointments offer a novel approach to improve efficiency and quality of care consistent with the goals of the Institute of Medicine. Our objective was to develop and implement a shared medical appointment for gynecologic cancer patients initiating chemotherapy. Methods We first assessed the level of interest in shared medical appointments among our patients and providers through qualitative interviews. Both patients and providers identified pre-chemotherapy as an optimal area to pilot shared medical appointments. We subsequently created a multidisciplinary team comprised of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, health education specialists and members of the Quality Improvement Department to establish a Shared Medical Appointment and Readiness Teaching (SMART) program for all gynecologic oncology patients initiating chemotherapy with platinum- and/or taxane-based regimens. We developed a standardized chemotherapy education presentation and provided patients with a tool kit that consisted of chemotherapy drug education, a guide to managing side effects, advance directives, and center contact information. Results From May 9, 2014 to June 26, 2015, 144 patients participated in 51 SMART visits. The majority of patients had ovarian cancer and were treated with carboplatin/paclitaxel. Surveyed patients reported being highly satisfied with the group visit and would recommend shared medical appointments to other patients. Conclusions This model of care provides patient education within a framework of social support that empowers patients. Shared medical appointments for oncology patients initiating chemotherapy are both feasible and well accepted. PMID:26549108

  10. Improving patient safety through education: how visual recognition skills may reduce medication errors on surgical wards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R. Davis


    Full Text Available Medication errors compromise patient safety and cost £500m per annum in the UK. Patients who forget the name of their medication may describe the appearance to the doctor. Nurses use recognition skills to assist in safe administration of medications. This study quantifies healthcare professionals’ accuracy in visually identifying medications. Members of the multidisciplinary team were asked to identify five commonly prescribed medications. Mean recognition rate (MRR was defined as the percentage of correct responses. Dunn’s multiple comparison tests quantified inter-professional variation. Fifty-six participants completed the study (93% response rate. MRRs were: pharmacists 61%; nurses 35%; doctors 19%; physiotherapists 11%. Pharmacists’ MRR were significantly higher than both doctors and physiotherapists (P<0.001. Nurses’ MRR was statistically comparable to pharmacists (P>0.05. The majority of healthcare professionals cannot accurately identify commonly prescribed medications on direct visualization. By increasing access to medication identification resources and improving undergraduate education and postgraduate training for all healthcare professionals, errors may be reduced and patient safety improved.

  11. 穴位贴敷辅助治疗2型糖尿病的效果与护理%Medical observation and nursing of adjuvant treatment of the type 2 diabetes with the method of "acupoint paste"

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    关欣; 李怡


    Objective To observe the clinical effects of acupoint use of "Sheng Shi Lin Infrared Health Conservation Series Ointment First Type ( Sugar Conversion Ointment or Paste)" in the application of adjuvant treatment to the patients with type Ⅱ diabetes, and explore the role of the nursing persons in the treatment. Methods 133 cases of patients suffered with the type Ⅱ diabetes were randomly divided into two groups: treatment group ( treated with sugar conversion paste) and blank control group ( not treated with the paste, but used with a blank patch). The changes on the clinical symptoms of diabete, fasting and postprandial blood glucose after 2 hours later a meal, glycosylated hemoglobin before and after the test, and etc. , were observed for both groups. Results The symptom score, fasting and postprandial blood glucose at 2 hours later of the treatment group decreased significantly and the rate of decline is greater than that of the blank control group. There was not a statistically significant difference of glycosylated hemoglobin before and after the test between the two groups. The total effective rate of the treatment group was 72.13%, higher than that of the blank control group, i.e. , 54.7%, which was a statistically significant difference. Conclusions The means of applying " Sheng Shi Lin Infrared Health Conservation Series Ointment First Type" in the adjuvant treatment of the type Ⅱ diabetes is unique for its acupoint application and out-treatment route, simple for its use, and has a good compliance. On the basis of not changing the original treatment program, it can assist the type Ⅱ diabetes patients to reduce blood sugar, and improve some of the chnical symptoms. The nursing persons play a key role in the treatment process.%目的 观察"盛世临红外保健化糖贴Ⅰ型-化糖贴"穴位贴敷辅助治疗2型糖尿病的临床效果,探讨护理人员在治疗中的作用.方法 将133例2型糖尿病患者随机分为治疗组(采用化糖贴

  12. Using Simulation to Improve First-Year Pharmacy Students' Ability to Identify Medication Errors Involving the Top 100 Prescription Medications. (United States)

    Atayee, Rabia S; Awdishu, Linda; Namba, Jennifer


    Objective. To evaluate first-year pharmacy students' ability to identify medication errors involving the top 100 prescription medications. Design. In the first quarter of a 3-quarter pharmacy self-care course, a didactic lecture on the most common prescribing and dispensing prescription errors was presented to first-year pharmacy students (P1) in preparation for a prescription review simulation done individually and as a group. In the following quarter, they were given a formal prescription review workshop before a second simulation involving individual and group review of a different set of prescriptions. Students were evaluated based on the number of correctly checked prescriptions and a self-assessment of their confidence in reviewing prescriptions. Assessment. All 63 P1 students completed the prescription review simulations. The individual scores did not significantly change, but group scores improved from 79 (16.2%) in the fall quarter to 98.6 (4.7%) in the winter quarter. Students perceived improvement of their prescription checking skills, specifically in their ability to fill a prescription on their own, identify prescribing and dispensing errors, and perform pharmaceutical calculations. Conclusion. A prescription review module consisting of a didactic lecture, workshop and simulation-based methods to teach prescription analysis was successful at improving first year pharmacy students' knowledge, confidence, and application of these skills.

  13. Activity of glycated chitosan and other adjuvants to PDT vaccines (United States)

    Korbelik, Mladen; Banáth, Judit; Čiplys, Evaldas; Szulc, Zdzislaw; Bielawska, Alicja; Chen, Wei R.


    Glycated chitosan (GC), a water soluble galactose-conjugated natural polysaccharide, has proven to be an effective immunoadjuvant for treatment of tumors based on laser thermal therapy. It was also shown to act as adjuvant for tumor therapy with high-intensity ultrasound and in situ photodynamic therapy (PDT). In the present study, GC was examined as potential adjuvant to PDT-generated cancer vaccine. Two other agents, pure calreticulin protein and acid ceramidase inhibitor LCL521, were also tested as prospective adjuvants for use in conjunction with PDT vaccines. Single treatment with GC, included with PDT vaccine cells suspension, improved the therapeutic efficacy when compared to vaccine alone. This attractive prospect of GC application remains to be carefully optimized and mechanistically elucidated. Both calreticulin and LCL521 proved also effective adjuvants when combined with PDT vaccine tumor treatment.

  14. Improving Knowledge and Attitudes towards Depression: a controlled trial among Chinese medical students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davenport Tracey A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing an evidence-based method of improving knowledge and attitudes concerning depression has been identified as a priority in Chinese medical education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a self-directed learning strategy as a part of student-centred education improved knowledge of and attitudes towards depression among Chinese medical students. Methods A controlled trial in which 205 medical students were allocated to one of two groups: didactic teaching (DT group or a combined didactic teaching and self-directed learning (DT/SDL group. The DT/SDL group continued having a series of learning activities after both groups had a lecture on depression together. Student's knowledge and attitudes were assessed immediately after the activities, one month and six months later. Results The intervention (DT/SDL group showed substantially greater improvements in recognition of depression as a major health issue and identifying helpful treatments than the DT group. Only the DT/SDL group demonstrated any improvement in attitudes. This improvement was sustained over six months. Conclusions Self-directed learning is an effective education strategy in improving medical students' knowledge of and attitudes towards depression.

  15. Medical student mental health 3.0: improving student wellness through curricular changes. (United States)

    Slavin, Stuart J; Schindler, Debra L; Chibnall, John T


    Medical education can have significant negative effects on the well-being of medical students. To date, efforts to improve student mental health have focused largely on improving access to mental health providers, reducing the stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment, and implementing ancillary wellness programs. Still, new and innovative models that build on these efforts by directly addressing the root causes of stress that lie within the curriculum itself are needed to properly promote student wellness. In this article, the authors present a new paradigm for improving medical student mental health, by describing an integrated, multifaceted, preclinical curricular change program implemented through the Office of Curricular Affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine starting in the 2009-2010 academic year. The authors found that significant but efficient changes to course content, contact hours, scheduling, grading, electives, learning communities, and required resilience/mindfulness experiences were associated with significantly lower levels of depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and stress, and significantly higher levels of community cohesion, in medical students who participated in the expanded wellness program compared with those who preceded its implementation. The authors discuss the utility and relevance of such curricular changes as an overlooked component of change models for improving medical student mental health.

  16. [Medication administration practices in elderly residential facilities in Ile de France Region in 2014: findings and room for improvement]. (United States)

    de Saunière, Anne; Bonneau, Laetitia; Donio, Valérie; Godinot, Valérie; Flouzat, Jean-Philippe; Bensasson, Géraldine; Code, Christelle; Galay, Guillaume; Pige, Dominique


    The institutions expressed great interest in medication administration systems and tools designed to monitor all stages of medication administration. A dozen simple and pragmatic improvement actions were identified and listed in the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency action plan to improve medication administration management of in EHPAD..

  17. Pharmacoeconomic analysis of adjuvant oral capecitabine vs intravenous 5-FU/LV in Dukes' C colon cancer: the X-ACT trial (United States)

    Cassidy, J; Douillard, J-Y; Twelves, C; McKendrick, J J; Scheithauer, W; Bustová, I; Johnston, P G; Lesniewski-Kmak, K; Jelic, S; Fountzilas, G; Coxon, F; Díaz-Rubio, E; Maughan, T S; Malzyner, A; Bertetto, O; Beham, A; Figer, A; Dufour, P; Patel, K K; Cowell, W; Garrison, L P


    Oral capecitabine (Xeloda®) is an effective drug with favourable safety in adjuvant and metastatic colorectal cancer. Oxaliplatin-based therapy is becoming standard for Dukes' C colon cancer in patients suitable for combination therapy, but is not yet approved by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the adjuvant setting. Adjuvant capecitabine is at least as effective as 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV), with significant superiority in relapse-free survival and a trend towards improved disease-free and overall survival. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant capecitabine from payer (UK National Health Service (NHS)) and societal perspectives. We used clinical trial data and published sources to estimate incremental direct and societal costs and gains in quality-adjusted life months (QALMs). Acquisition costs were higher for capecitabine than 5-FU/LV, but higher 5-FU/LV administration costs resulted in 57% lower chemotherapy costs for capecitabine. Capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV-associated adverse events required fewer medications and hospitalisations (cost savings £3653). Societal costs, including patient travel/time costs, were reduced by >75% with capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV (cost savings £1318), with lifetime gain in QALMs of 9 months. Medical resource utilisation is significantly decreased with capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV, with cost savings to the NHS and society. Capecitabine is also projected to increase life expectancy vs 5-FU/LV. Cost savings and better outcomes make capecitabine a preferred adjuvant therapy for Dukes' C colon cancer. This pharmacoeconomic analysis strongly supports replacing 5-FU/LV with capecitabine in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer in the UK. PMID:16622438

  18. Medical and surgical interventions to improve outcomes in obese women planning for pregnancy. (United States)

    Sharma, Anu; Bahadursingh, Sarasvati; Ramsewak, Samuel; Teelucksingh, Surujpal


    Obesity is a known risk factor for infertility in women. The exact mechanism through which obesity is linked to infertility is still not fully understood. Hyperleptinaemia, hyperinsulinaemia and resultant hyperandrogenism are all thought to play a role. Various medical and surgical interventions have been attempted to improve fertility rates in obese women. Encouraging evidence for pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery and assisted reproduction are yet to be seen. In this chapter, we review the hormonal changes in obesity and the evidence behind medical and surgical interventions to improve fertility in obese women.

  19. A Brief Educational Intervention Improves Medication Safety Knowledge in Grandparents of Young Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maneesha Agarwal


    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Increasing grandparent-grandchild interactions have not been targeted as a potential contributing factor to the recent surge in pediatric poisonings. We hypothesized that in grandparents with a young grandchild, a single educational intervention based on the PROTECT “Up & Away” campaign will improve safe medication knowledge and storage at follow-up from baseline. Methods: This prospective cohort study validated the educational intervention and survey via cognitive debriefing followed by evaluation of the educational intervention in increasing safe medication storage. Participants had to read and speak English and have annual contact with one grandchild ≤ 5-years-old. Participants were recruited from a convenience sample of employees in a regional healthcare system. They completed a pre-intervention survey querying baseline demographics, poisoning prevention knowledge, and medication storage, followed by the educational intervention and post-intervention survey. Participants completed a delayed post-intervention survey 50–90 days later assessing medication storage and poisoning prevention knowledge. Storage sites were classified as safe or unsafe a priori|a panel classified handwritten responses. Results: 120 participants were enrolled|95 (79% completed the delayed post-intervention survey. Participants were predominantly female (93% and white (76%|50% had a clinical degree. Participants averaged 1.9 grandchildren. Initially, 23% of participants reported safe medication storage|this improved to 48% after the intervention (OR 6.4|95% CI = 2.5–21.0. 78% of participants made at least one improvement in their medication storage after the intervention even if they did not meet all criteria for safe storage. Participants also demonstrated retention of poisoning prevention knowledge. Conclusions: This brief educational intervention improved safe medication storage and poisoning prevention knowledge in grandparents

  20. Effectiveness of Electronic Reminders to Improve Medication Adherence in Tuberculosis Patients: A Cluster-Randomised Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqiu Liu


    Full Text Available Mobile text messaging and medication monitors (medication monitor boxes have the potential to improve adherence to tuberculosis (TB treatment and reduce the need for directly observed treatment (DOT, but to our knowledge they have not been properly evaluated in TB patients. We assessed the effectiveness of text messaging and medication monitors to improve medication adherence in TB patients.In a pragmatic cluster-randomised trial, 36 districts/counties (each with at least 300 active pulmonary TB patients registered in 2009 within the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Chongqing, China, were randomised using stratification and restriction to one of four case-management approaches in which patients received reminders via text messages, a medication monitor, combined, or neither (control. Patients in the intervention arms received reminders to take their drugs and reminders for monthly follow-up visits, and the managing doctor was recommended to switch patients with adherence problems to more intensive management or DOT. In all arms, patients took medications out of a medication monitor box, which recorded when the box was opened, but the box gave reminders only in the medication monitor and combined arms. Patients were followed up for 6 mo. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patient-months on TB treatment where at least 20% of doses were missed as measured by pill count and failure to open the medication monitor box. Secondary endpoints included additional adherence and standard treatment outcome measures. Interventions were not masked to study staff and patients. From 1 June 2011 to 7 March 2012, 4,292 new pulmonary TB patients were enrolled across the 36 clusters. A total of 119 patients (by arm: 33 control, 33 text messaging, 23 medication monitor, 30 combined withdrew from the study in the first month because they were reassessed as not having TB by their managing doctor (61 patients or were switched to a different

  1. Applying athletic principles to medical rounds to improve teaching and patient care. (United States)

    Southwick, Frederick; Lewis, Michelle; Treloar, Dina; Cherabuddi, Kartikeya; Radhakrishnan, Nila; Leverence, Robert; Han, Xiaoxia; Cottler, Linda


    Teaching hospital multidisciplinary work rounds are often inefficient, delaying the completion of patient care tasks and detracting from teaching. Participants often act as working groups rather than interdependent teams. Athletic principles were used to train multidisciplinary rounding teams to adopt the systems used by manufacturing to improve the efficiency and quality of patient care, as well as teamwork and didactic teaching. Experimental groups of general medical rounding teams-faculty member, house staff, medical students, bedside nurses, pharmacists, and a case manager-were introduced to individual job descriptions (playbooks), key customer-supplier relation ships, and efficient communication protocols, accompanied by weekly feed back (game films). A two-phase pilot 11-month prospective trial (February to July 2009 and September 2011 to January 2012) compared the experimental and control rounding teams on the basis of length of stay, 30-day readmission rates, and physician, student, and patient satisfaction. These interventions resulted in a 30% reduction in 30-day readmissions and, in the 2011-2012 phase, an 18% shorter length of stay. Anonymous surveys documented greater satisfaction of faculty, residents, and medical students, and student ratings of teaching were markedly improved. Patient satisfaction did not change. The new rounding system has the potential to reduce waste and improve the quality of patient care while improving caregiver satisfaction and medical student teaching. Adaptive leadership skills will be required to overcome resistance to change. The use of athletic analogies can improve teamwork and facilitate the adoption of a systems approach to the delivery of patient care.

  2. Improvements in CanMEDS competencies for medical students in an interdisciplinary and voluntary setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vildbrad MD


    Full Text Available Mads Dam Vildbrad, Johanne Marie Lyhne International Medical Cooperation Committee, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Background: To practice medicine, doctors must master leadership, communication, team management, and collaboration, in addition to medical knowledge. The CanMEDS framework describes seven roles of a doctor, but the six nonmedical expert roles are de-emphasized in the academic medical curriculum. Innovative opportunities are needed for medical students to develop as participants in a world of interdisciplinary health care. Methods: We founded a volunteer-based, interdisciplinary, student-run project called SUNDdag (HEALTHday with 60 students from 12 different educational backgrounds. To evaluate the learning outcomes of the project, we conducted a cross-sectional study using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. Results: Students joined the project due to it being health-promoting, volunteer-based, and interdisciplinary. The medical students reported a significant increase of skills in all seven roles except for “medical expert”. They reported an increased understanding of the non-health-related students' skills. Conclusion: In their future careers, medical students must collaborate with health care professionals in a team-based approach to patient care and with non-health-related professionals in administrative tasks. Interdisciplinary volunteer-based initiatives like SUNDdag are potential platforms for medical students to improve their CanMEDS competencies. We encourage students to initiate similar projects and we encourage faculties to support volunteer-based, interdisciplinary initiatives due to their favorable cost-benefit ratio. Keywords: medical education, voluntarism, interprofessional education, medical students

  3. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home (United States)

    Gabbay, Robert A.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Miller-Day, Michelle; Cronholm, Peter F.; Adelman, Alan; Schneider, Eric C.


    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving the care models of practices showing the greatest and least improvement in diabetes care in a sample of 25 primary care practices in southeast Pennsylvania. METHODS We ranked practices into improvement quintiles on the basis of the average absolute percentage point improvement from baseline to 18 months in 3 registry-based measures of performance related to diabetes care: glycated hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. We then conducted surveys and key informant interviews with leaders and staff in the 5 most and least improved practices, and compared their responses. RESULTS The most improved/higher-performing practices tended to have greater structural capabilities (eg, electronic health records) than the least improved/lower-performing practices at baseline. Interviews revealed striking differences between the groups in terms of leadership styles and shared vision; sense, use, and development of teams; processes for monitoring progress and obtaining feedback; and presence of technologic and financial distractions. CONCLUSIONS Positive deviance analysis suggests that primary care practices’ baseline structural capabilities and abilities to buffer the stresses of change may be key facilitators of performance improvement in medical home transformations. Attention to the practices’ structural capabilities and factors shaping successful change, especially early in the process, will be necessary to improve the likelihood of successful medical home transformation and better care. PMID:23690393

  4. ERM immersion vaccination and adjuvants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, J.; Chettri, J. K.; Jaafar, R. M.


    Two candidate adjuvants were tested with a commercial ERM dip vaccine (AquaVac™ Relera, MSD Animal Health) for rainbow trout in an experimental design compatible with common vaccination practices at farm level, i.e. immersion of fish in vaccine (±adjuvant) for 30 s. The adjuvants were...... the commercial product Montanide™ IMS 1312 VG PR (SEPPIC), and a soluble and ≥98% pure β-glucan from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (Sigma-Aldrich). Hence, five experimental groups in duplicate were established and exposed to vaccine and adjuvants in the following combinations: AquaVac™ Relera (alone); Aqua......Vac™ Relera + Montanide™; AquaVac™ Relera + β-glucan; Montanide™ (alone); and β-glucan (alone). Approximately 450 degree days post-vaccination, the fish were bath-challenged with live Yersinia ruckeri to produce survival curves. Blood, skin and gills were sampled at selected time points during the course...

  5. Improving medical student attitudes toward older patients through a "council of elders" and reflective writing experience. (United States)

    Westmoreland, Glenda R; Counsell, Steven R; Sennour, Youcef; Schubert, Cathy C; Frank, Kathryn I; Wu, Jingwei; Frankel, Richard M; Litzelman, Debra K; Bogdewic, Stephen P; Inui, Thomas S


    In an effort to reduce "agism" which is prevalent among medical trainees, a new geriatrics educational experience for medical students aimed at improving attitudes toward older patients was developed. Each 90-minute Older Adult Session included four components: initial reflective writing exercise; introduction to the session; 75-minute dialogue with the "Council of Elders," a group of active, "well" older adults; and final reflective writing exercise. The new session was provided to 237 first- and second-year medical students during the 2006/07 academic year at Indiana University School of Medicine. Session evaluation included comparing scores on the 14-item Geriatrics Attitude Scale administered before and after the session, identifying attitude changes in the reflective writing exercises, and a student satisfaction survey. Student responses on the Geriatrics Attitude Scale after the session were significantly improved in seven of 14 items, demonstrating better attitudes toward being with and listening to older people and caring for older patients. Analysis of the reflective writings revealed changing of negative to positive or reinforced positive attitudes in 27% of medical students, with attitudes not discernable in the remaining 73% (except one student, in whom positive attitudes changed to negative). Learner satisfaction with the Older Adult Session was high, with 98% agreeing that the session had a positive effect on insight into the care of older adults. A Council of Elders coupled with a reflective writing exercise is a promising new approach to improving attitudes of medical students toward their geriatric patients.

  6. Improvement of the Russian system of medical care at the site of space crew landing (United States)

    Rukavishnikov, Ilya; Bogomolov, Valery; Polyakov, Alexey

    The crew members are delivered to ISS and return back to the Earth on the space craft "Soyuz TMA" at present time. The technical means providing the safe landing of space crews are reliable enough. In spite of that the complex of negative factors (long lasting alternating and shock overloads, effects of landing apparatus rotation on vestibular system) affects the crew during landing and can reach the extreme values under the certain conditions. According to this fact there is a possibility of appearance of bodily damages of different weight besides the traditional functional disturbances. The group of search and rescue on the landing site includes the medical specialists appropriately equipped to stop the symptoms of medical contingency (strong vestibule-vegetative reactions, traumas of different weight, etc.) Medical evacuation complex which provides the acceptable conditions for the cosmonauts including the conditions for medical care is delivered to the landing site as well. The long term experience of search and rescue assurance at the landing site have shown that the specialists successfully cope with this task. In some cases it was required to give the medical help which allowed to improve the general condition and physical capacity of crewmembers and provide their evacuation to the places of postflight rehabilitation. At the same time the solution of some of the problems from our point of view could increase the efficacy of medical care for the landing crew. The organization of the training on emergency under the field conditions for medical specialists on the regular basis (not less that once a year) is extremely important. The equipment of medical specialists requires the regular improvement and modernization due to the fast changing medical technologies and standards. Wearable medical sets must provide the first aid performing in accordance to the modern medical requirements. It is also necessary to include in the list of equipment the textbook of

  7. Improving medical students' written communication skills: design and evaluation of an educational curriculum. (United States)

    Melvin, L; Connolly, K; Pitre, L; Dore, K L; Wasi, P


    Written and verbal communication skills are important skills for all physicians. While verbal skills are taught and assessed in medical school, medical students report limited instruction in written communication skills. This study examined the impact of a curriculum delivered during a 6-week clinical rotation in Internal Medicine on the objective assessment of medical students' written communication skills. The curriculum consisted of two educational programmes: a medical student communication tutorial and a resident feedback workshop. The study was conducted from March 2012 to January 2013 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The study featured three arms: (1) control, (2) medical student communication tutorial alone and (3) student tutorial and resident feedback workshop. Data were collected on 126 students during 6-week Internal Medicine clerkship rotations. Students' written consultation notes were collected prior to the educational programmes and at 6 weeks. Blinded faculty assessors used an independently validated Assessment Checklist to evaluate consultation notes. Consultation note scores improved from week 1 to week 6 across all study arms. However, the change was statistically significant only in arm 3, featuring both the medical student tutorial and the resident feedback workshop, with mean scores improving from 4.75 (SD=1.496) to 5.56 (SD=0.984) out of 7. The mean difference between week 1 and week 6 was significantly different (0.806, p=0.002, 95% CI 0.306 to 1.058). The combination of a resident feedback workshop with medical student written communication tutorial improves objective evaluations of consultation note scores over student tutorial alone. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  8. A Randomized Controlled Study of Art Observation Training to Improve Medical Student Ophthalmology Skills. (United States)

    Gurwin, Jaclyn; Revere, Karen E; Niepold, Suzannah; Bassett, Barbara; Mitchell, Rebecca; Davidson, Stephanie; DeLisser, Horace; Binenbaum, Gil


    Observation and description are critical to the practice of medicine, and to ophthalmology in particular. However, medical education does not provide explicit training in these areas, and medical students are often criticized for deficiencies in these skills. We sought to evaluate the effects of formal observation training in the visual arts on the general and ophthalmologic observational skills of medical students. Randomized, single-masked, controlled trial. Thirty-six first-year medical students, randomized 1:1 into art-training and control groups. Students in the art-training group were taught by professional art educators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, during 6 custom-designed, 1.5-hour art observation sessions over a 3-month period. All subjects completed pre- and posttesting, in which they described works of art, retinal pathology images, and external photographs of eye diseases. Grading of written descriptions for observational and descriptive abilities by reviewers using an a priori rubric and masked to group assignment and pretesting/posttesting status. Observational skills, as measured by description testing, improved significantly in the training group (mean change +19.1 points) compared with the control group (mean change -13.5 points), P = 0.001. There were significant improvements in the training vs. control group for each of the test subscores. In a poststudy questionnaire, students reported applying the skills they learned in the museum in clinically meaningful ways at medical school. Art observation training for first-year medical students can improve clinical ophthalmology observational skills. Principles from the field of visual arts, which is reputed to excel in teaching observation and descriptive abilities, can be successfully applied to medical training. Further studies can examine the impact of such training on clinical care. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. [A Program to Improve the Implementation Rate for the Barcode Medication Administration System]. (United States)

    Yen, Ying-Ting; Chang, Shih-Fen; Tsai, Kuei-Lan; Chen, Chen-Ju; Liu, Li-Ching; Fang, Yu-Chiung


    Fully implementing the barcode medication administration system has been shown to help improve medication safety. We have promoted the barcode medication administration system in our hospital since May of 2014. However, the rate of implementation reached only 32% initially. We identified the major obstacles to fully implementing the barcode system as: (1) the barcodes on patients' wristbands were smudged or broken; (2) the barcodes on transparent drug bags and infusion bags were difficult to scan; (3) nurses were not familiar with the scanner and lacked the skills necessary to conduct barcode scans; (4) poor wireless Internet access inhibited effective barcode scanning; and (5) the beep sound generated during barcode scanning disturbed patients' sleep. The present project was conducted to improve the implementation by nursing staff of the barcode medication administration system. The purpose was to increase the rate of implementation from 32% to 80%. The key members of the project were nurses, computer technicians, and pharmacists. The following procedures were conducted: (1) check the integrity of the wrist band and renew this band periodically; (2) print the barcode against a white background on transparent drug transfusion bags; (3) demonstration the skills of barcode scanning to nurses and inspect the function of scanners periodically; (4) increase the number of access points for the wireless network; (5) demonstrate the procedure for adjusting the sound volume on the scanner; and (6) provide rewards / incentives for using the barcode medication administration system. The rate of implementation of the barcode medication administration system increased from 32% to 85.2%. This project significantly increased the use of the barcode medication administration system by our nursing staff. The procedures used in this project may be referenced by administrators at other hospitals with low rates of barcode medication administration system usage.

  10. Research on Improving the Manufacturing of Titanium Medical Implants, by SLM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorin Cosmin COSMA


    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to improve the design and manufacturing process of new medical implants, by selective laser melting. After manufacturing process, the implants were measured, microscopically and mechanical analyzed. Implants fabricated by SLM can be an attractive option for surface coatings to improve the osseointegration process. SLM process change the way that the surgeons are planning surgeries and engineers are designing custom implants. This process eliminated the constraints of shape and mechanical characteristics for implants.

  11. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment in pancreatic cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marta Herreros-Villanueva; Elizabeth Hijona; Angel Cosme; Luis Bujanda


    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most aggressive human malignancies,ranking 4th among causes for cancer-related death in the Western world including the United States.Surgical resection offers the only chance of cure,but only 15 to 20 percent of cases are potentially resectable at presentation.Different studies demonstrate and confirm that advanced pancreatic cancer is among the most complex cancers to treat and that these tumors are relatively resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.Currently there is no consensus around the world on what constitutes "standard"adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer.This controversy derives from several studies,each fraught with its own limitations.Standards of care also vary somewhat with regard to geography and economy,for instance chemo-radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy or vice versa is considered the optimal therapy in North America while chemotherapy alone is the current standard in Europe.Regardless of the efforts in adjuvant and neoadjuvant improved therapy,the major goal to combat pancreatic cancer is to find diagnostic markers,identifying the disease in a pre-metastatic stage and making a curative treatment accessible to more patients.In this review,authors examined the different therapy options for advanced pancreatic patients in recent years and the future directions in adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments for these patients.

  12. Communicating the role and value of vaccine adjuvants. (United States)

    Gellin, Bruce G; Salisbury, David M


    Despite the inclusion of adjuvants in many routinely used vaccines to improve the immune response, their presence and role are neither clear in product details such as the packaging or in the Summaries of Product Characteristics, nor understood by health professionals or the public. For many vaccines the adjuvant may simply be described as 'Adsorbed' without clarification that the adsorbing onto a material such as aluminium hydroxide adjuvants the antigens. As many future vaccines are likely to be adjuvanted, the presence of adjuvants, either those used in existing vaccines or novel formulations, may raise public and professional concerns unless communication materials are prepared in advance to allay anxieties such as those that have arisen over some present vaccine ingredients such as thiomersal. This raises a dilemma about how active such communications should be: over-promotion of the presence of a new adjuvant may cause unneeded anxieties; under-promotion may raise concerns over concealment of information. Research is needed and appropriate communication materials should be prepared. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Structured medication review to improve pharmacotherapy in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheifes, A.; Egberts, A.C.G.; Stolker, J.J.; Nijman, H.L.I.; Heerdink, E.R.


    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve pharmacotherap

  14. Structured Medication Review to Improve Pharmacotherapy in People with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Problems (United States)

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C. G.; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk. L. I.; Heerdink, Eibert R.


    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve pharmacotherapy in inpatients with intellectual disability.…

  15. Structured Medication Review to Improve Pharmacotherapy in People with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C G; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk L I; Heerdink, Eibert R.


    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve pharmacotherap

  16. [An intervention program to improve the quality of the medical records in an Internal Medicine Department]. (United States)

    Wikman, A; Safont, P; Merino, J; Martínez Baltanás, A; Matarranz Del Amo, M; López Calleja, E


    The medical records are key documents for the patient's diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Thus, the clinical histories must be made with high technical quality. Although some studies relate the quality of the clinical history with better control of a disease, as far as we know, there are few that evaluate the quality of the medical record itself. This study aims to analyze the quality of the clinical histories of our Internal Medicine Department and then evaluate the improvement achieved. A descriptive and intervention study with a before and after design was conducted. It included 186 medical records elaborated by the physicians of our Internal Medicine Department. A 16-item Likert-like scale was designed for the evaluation. The items were analyzed item by item and a score combining them was elaborated. A baseline analysis and a second analysis 3 months after making several interventions were made. Weak points were detected in the baseline analysis (described) and after the interventions. There was an improvement in almost all the items, this being very significant in the recording of allergies and habits. The global score also improved significantly. CONCLUSION. The study has allowed us to learn our weak points in the elaboration of the medical records. We have improved their quality with the interventions. We estimate that this intervention has also been useful for the training of internal medicine physicians, residents and students.

  17. Structured Medication Review to Improve Pharmacotherapy in People with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C G; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk L I; Heerdink, Eibert R.


    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve

  18. Structured medication review to improve pharmacotherapy in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C G; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk L I; Heerdink, Eibert R.


    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve

  19. Learning impairment in honey bees caused by agricultural spray adjuvants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s. The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many

  20. Analyses adjusting for selective crossover show improved overall survival with adjuvant letrozole compared with tamoxifen in the BIG 1-98 study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colleoni, Marco; Giobbie-Hurder, Anita; Regan, Meredith M


    Among postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive breast cancer, the aromatase inhibitor letrozole, when compared with tamoxifen, has been shown to significantly improve disease-free survival (DFS) and time to distant recurrence (TDR). We investigated whether letrozole monotherapy prolonged ov...

  1. Mind-Body Skills Training to Improve Distress Tolerance in Medical Students: A Pilot Study. (United States)

    Kraemer, Kristen M; Luberto, Christina M; O'Bryan, Emily M; Mysinger, Erica; Cotton, Sian


    Medical students face rigorous and stressful work environments, resulting in high rates of psychological distress. However, there has been a dearth of empirical work aimed at modifying risk factors for psychopathology among this at-risk group. Distress tolerance, defined as the ability to withstand emotional distress, is one factor that may be important in promoting psychological well-being in medical students. Thus, the aim of the current mixed-methods study was (a) to describe changes in facets of distress tolerance (i.e., emotional tolerance, absorption, appraisal, regulation) for medical students who completed a mind-body skills training group, and a no-intervention control group of students; (b) to examine the relationship between changes in psychological variables and changes in distress tolerance; and (c) to report students' perceptions of the mind-body group, with an emphasis on how the group may have affected personal and professional functioning due to improvements in distress tolerance. The mind-body program was an 11-week, 2-hour skills training group that focused on introducing, practicing, and processing mind-body skills such as biofeedback, guided imagery, relaxation, several forms of meditation (e.g., mindfulness), breathing exercises, and autogenic training. Participants were 52 first- and second-year medical students (62.7% female, Mage = 23.45, SD = 1.51) who participated in a mind-body group or a no-intervention control group and completed self-report measures before and after the 11-week period. Students in the mind-body group showed a modest improvement in all distress tolerance subscales over time (ΔM = .42-.53, p = .01-.03, d = .44-.53), whereas the control group showed less consistent changes across most subscales (ΔM = .11-.42, p = .10-.65, d = .01-.42). Students in the mind-body group qualitatively reported an improved ability to tolerate affective distress. Overall, improvements in psychological symptoms were associated with

  2. Comparable quality attributes of hepatitis E vaccine antigen with and without adjuvant adsorption-dissolution treatment. (United States)

    Zhang, Yue; Li, Min; Yang, Fan; Li, Yufang; Zheng, Zizheng; Zhang, Xiao; Lin, Qingshan; Wang, Ying; Li, Shaowei; Xia, Ningshao; Zhang, Jun; Zhao, Qinjian


    Most vaccines require adjuvants for antigen stabilization and immune potentiation. Aluminum-based adjuvants are the most widely used adjuvants for human vaccines. Previous reports demonstrated the preservation of antigen conformation and other antigen characteristics after recovery from adjuvanted Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus vaccines. In this study, we used a combination of various physiochemical and immunochemical methods to analyze hepatitis E vaccine antigen quality attributes after recovery from adjuvants. All biochemical and biophysical methods showed similar characteristics of the p239 protein after recovery from adjuvanted vaccine formulation compared to the antigen in solution which never experienced adsorption/desorption process. Most importantly, we demonstrated full preservation of key antigen epitopes post-recovery from adjuvanted vaccine using a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies as exquisite probes. Antigenicity of p239 was probed with a panel of 9 mAbs using competition/blocking ELISA, surface plasmon resonance and sandwich ELISA methods. These multifaceted analyses demonstrated the preservation of antigen key epitopes and comparable protein thermal stability when adsorbed on adjuvants or of the recovered antigen post-dissolution treatment. A better understanding of the antigen conformation in adjuvanted vaccine will enhanced our knowledge of antigen-adjuvant interactions and facilitate an improved process control and development of stable vaccine formulation.

  3. Improving medication adherence with a targeted, technology-driven disease management intervention. (United States)

    Lawrence, David B; Allison, Wanda; Chen, Joyce C; Demand, Michael


    Treatment adherence is critical in managing chronic disease, but achieving it remains an elusive goal across many prevalent conditions. As part of its care management strategy, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (BCBSSC) implemented the Longitudinal Adherence Treatment Evaluation program, a behavioral intervention to improve medication adherence among members with cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes. The objectives of this study were to 1) assess the effectiveness of telephonic intervention in influencing reinitiation of medication therapy, and 2) evaluate the rate and timing of medication reinitiation. BCBSSC applied algorithms against pharmacy claims data to identify patients prescribed targeted medications who were 60 or more days overdue for refills. This information was provided to care managers to address during their next patient contact. Care managers received focused training on techniques for medication behavior change, readiness to change, motivational interviewing, and active listening. Training also addressed common barriers to adherence and available resources, including side effect management, mail order benefits, drug assistance programs, medication organizers, and reminder systems. Overdue refills were tracked for 12 months, with medication reinitiation followed for an additional 3 months. In the intervention group, 94 patients were identified with 123 instances of late medication refills. In the age- and gender-matched comparison group, 61 patients were identified with 76 late refills. The intervention group had a significantly higher rate of medication reinitiation (59.3%) than the control group (42.1%; P management intervention promoting patient behavior change increased the number of patients who reinitiated therapy after a period of nonadherence and decreased the time from nonadherence to adherence.

  4. Improving venous thromboembolic disease prophylaxis in medical inpatients: a role for education and audit.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Kent, B D


    BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolic disease (VTED) prophylaxis is a key strategy in reducing preventable deaths in medical inpatients. We assessed compliance with internationally published guidelines for VTED prophylaxis in at-risk medical patients before and 1 month after an educational intervention to enhance compliance with such guidelines. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty patients were assessed on each occasion. Pre-intervention, VTED prophylaxis was prescribed in only 48% of at-risk cases. Compliance was best among patients under stroke services and worst for those under acute medical teams. Patients within specialist units were more likely to be prescribed prophylaxis than those in general wards (75 vs. 53%; p = 0.0019). Post-intervention, overall compliance improved to 63% (p = 0.041 for comparison). There was a significant improvement among general medical teams (48 vs. 75%; p = 0.001), and in general wards (52 vs. 74%; p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Thromboprophylaxis is under-prescribed in medical inpatients, but compliance with international guidelines can be significantly enhanced with targeted educational intervention.

  5. The Effects of Cooperative Learning on Improving English Pronunciation and Comprehension of Medical Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeinab Sanaee Moghadam


    Full Text Available Introduction: Acquisition of intelligible English pronunciation and comprehension of medical texts has been considered as an important need for medical students. This can be improved by employing different methods and taking into consideration various learning styles of students. This study is an attempt to reveal the effect of cooperative learning on enhancing pronunciation and reading comprehension in students of medicine in Yasuj University of Medical Sciences. Methods: All 60 students of medicine in Yasuj University of Medical Sciences who enrolled in English for specific purposes 1st Feb 2013 took part in this quasi experimental study and were divided into two groups of thirties, according to the enrollment list. Cooperative learning was implemented with the experimental group dividing them into groups of five randomly, while the control group was taught with traditional method. Phonetic transcriptions were used along with passages taken from their book for the two groups. The data collected from three reading aloud tasks, scores of pretest, and midterm and final written examinations were analyzed using SPSS software, version19. Results: The results of the study showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group significantly (P<0.05 in all areas of reading aloud tests, pronunciation, and comprehension. Conclusion: It is concluded that cooperative learning significantly improves medical students’ pronunciation and comprehension. Teaching pronunciation and comprehension through cooperative learning yields better learning results for university students.

  6. Improvement of medical content in the curriculum of biomedical engineering based on assessment of students outcomes. (United States)

    Abdulhay, Enas; Khnouf, Ruba; Haddad, Shireen; Al-Bashir, Areen


    Improvement of medical content in Biomedical Engineering curricula based on a qualitative assessment process or on a comparison with another high-standard program has been approached by a number of studies. However, the quantitative assessment tools have not been emphasized. The quantitative assessment tools can be more accurate and robust in cases of challenging multidisciplinary fields like that of Biomedical Engineering which includes biomedicine elements mixed with technology aspects. The major limitations of the previous research are the high dependence on surveys or pure qualitative approaches as well as the absence of strong focus on medical outcomes without implicit confusion with the technical ones. The proposed work presents the development and evaluation of an accurate/robust quantitative approach to the improvement of the medical content in the challenging multidisciplinary BME curriculum. The work presents quantitative assessment tools and subsequent improvement of curriculum medical content applied, as example for explanation, to the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, USA) accredited biomedical engineering BME department at Jordan University of Science and Technology. The quantitative results of assessment of curriculum/course, capstone, exit exam, course assessment by student (CAS) as well as of surveys filled by alumni, seniors, employers and training supervisors were, first, mapped to the expected students' outcomes related to the medical field (SOsM). The collected data were then analyzed and discussed to find curriculum weakness points by tracking shortcomings in every outcome degree of achievement. Finally, actions were taken to fill in the gaps of the curriculum. Actions were also mapped to the students' medical outcomes (SOsM). Weighted averages of obtained quantitative values, mapped to SOsM, indicated accurately the achievement levels of all outcomes as well as the necessary improvements to be performed in curriculum

  7. Improving medical literature sourcing by first-year medical students in problem-based learning: outcomes of early interventions. (United States)

    Krasne, Sally; Stevens, Carl D; Wilkerson, LuAnn


    To describe and report outcomes of interventions implemented in the preclerkship curriculum at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to guide students toward use of high-quality information sources and build a foundation for developing fluency in applying primary medical literature to answer clinical questions. The authors introduced three phases of change to instruction in literature searching and sourcing for beginning medical students writing learning issue essays: in phase 1 (2003-2006), students were introduced to online resources during orientation week and received a lecture on high-yield literature searching midway through their first curricular block; in phase 2 (2007-2008), the high-yield lecture shifted to orientation week, and a resource matrix and librarian-guided workshop on locating authoritative sources were added; and in phase 3 (2009), peer evaluation and collaboration were implemented. To track changes in sourcing skills, the authors analyzed 3,199 references from 665 essays written by 465 first-year students for two problem-based learning (PBL) cases during the first block of one representative year per phase (2006, 2008, 2009). Over the study period, the authors found significantly increased citations to peer-reviewed journal articles and guidelines and decreased citations to general public Web sites and highly abstracted resources. Peer feedback and collaboration in phase 3 were associated with maintenance of these gains. Early introduction of instruction on medical literature searching and sourcing, a librarian-guided workshop, and peer collaboration and feedback improved the quality of references cited by students in PBL essays during their first curricular block.

  8. Community pharmacy automatic refill program improves adherence to maintenance therapy and reduces wasted medication. (United States)

    Matlin, Olga S; Kymes, Steven M; Averbukh, Alice; Choudhry, Niteesh K; Brennan, Troyen A; Bunton, Andred; Ducharme, Timothy A; Simmons, Peter D; Shrank, William H


    Automatic prescription refill programs are a popular means of improving medication adherence. A concern is the potential for prescription drug wastage and unnecessary healthcare spending. We evaluated the impact of an automatic refill program on patterns of medication use. Retrospective propensity score matched cohort study with multivariable generalized linear modeling. The setting of the study was a pharmacy benefit manager administering benefits for patients of retail pharmacies. Participants included patients on medication for chronic conditions; those receiving a 30-day supply (n = 153,964) and a 90-day supply (n = 100,394) were analyzed separately. The intervention was the automatic prescription refill program. Measures included medication possession ratio (MPR) and average days excess at the time of refill. The results are reported across 11 therapeutic classes. Overall, patients receiving 30-day supplies of medication in the automatic refill program had an MPR that was 3 points higher than those not in the refill program; among those receiving 90-day fills and in the refill program, the MPR was 1.4 points higher (P < .001 for both 30- and 90-day fills). The MPR was higher for members in the refill program across all therapeutic classes. Limiting our analysis to members receiving more than 365 days of medication, we found that patients who received 30-day fills and enrolled in the automatic refill program had 2.5 fewer days' oversupply than those in the control group, whereas automatic refill patients receiving 90-day supplies had 2.18 fewer days' oversupply than the controls (P < .001 for both 30- and 90-day fills). For this pharmacy provider, automatic refill programs result in improved adherence without adding to medication oversupply.

  9. Improving Confidence in Competencies for International Medical Trips Using a Curriculum with Simulation. (United States)

    Birckhead, Brandon J; Mullikin, Trey C; Zubair, Adeel S; Alniemi, Dema; Franz, Walter B; Bachman, John W


    Many incoming medical and undergraduate students seek out international medical mission trips to supplement their education and training. However, few have the necessary skills to perform simple clinical tasks such as taking vital signs or conducting an initial patient interview. We conducted a small pilot study to assess the impact of simulation exercises on teaching incoming first-year medical students and undergraduate students basic clinical skills and teamwork. Our study population consisted of nine incoming medical students and 11 undergraduate students who participated in a training session involving simulated tasks prior to taking a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Participants completed a survey before and after the simulation and at the end of the trip. All 20 indicated the simulation was effective in teaching clinical and team-building skills. In addition, the simulation exercise improved participants' confidence in their ability to perform certain clinical tasks and work as a team prior to the mission trip. We concluded that simulation is effective for incoming medical and undergraduate students and can be used prior to global health trips to increase their confidence in performing tasks required for a successful experience.

  10. Educational strategies aimed at improving student nurse's medication calculation skills: a review of the research literature. (United States)

    Stolic, Snezana


    Medication administration is an important and essential nursing function with the potential for dangerous consequences if errors occur. Not only must nurses understand the use and outcomes of administering medications they must be able to calculate correct dosages. Medication administration and dosage calculation education occurs across the undergraduate program for student nurses. Research highlights inconsistencies in the approaches used by academics to enhance the student nurse's medication calculation abilities. The aim of this integrative review was to examine the literature available on effective education strategies for undergraduate student nurses on medication dosage calculations. A literature search of five health care databases: Sciencedirect, Cinahl, Pubmed, Proquest, Medline to identify journal articles between 1990 and 2012 was conducted. Research articles on medication calculation educational strategies were considered for inclusion in this review. The search yielded 266 papers of which 20 meet the inclusion criteria. A total of 5206 student nurse were included in the final review. The review revealed educational strategies fell into four types of strategies; traditional pedagogy, technology, psychomotor skills and blended learning. The results suggested student nurses showed some benefit from the different strategies; however more improvements could be made. More rigorous research into this area is needed.

  11. Effectiveness of training intervention to improve medical student's information literacy skills. (United States)

    Abdekhoda, Mohammadhiwa; Dehnad, Afsaneh; Yousefi, Mahmood


    This study aimed to assess the efficiency of delivering a 4-month course of "effective literature search" among medical postgraduate students for improving information literacy skills. This was a cross-sectional study in which 90 postgraduate students were randomly selected and participated in 12 training sessions. Effective search strategies were presented and the students' attitude and competency concerning online search were measured by a pre- and post-questionnaires and skill tests. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 16 using t-test. There was a significant improvement (p=0.00), in student's attitude. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) was 2.9 (0.8) before intervention versus the mean (SD) 3.9 (0.7) after intervention. Students' familiarity with medical resources and databases improved significantly. The data showed a significant increase (p=0.03), in students' competency score concerning search strategy design and conducting a search. The mean (SD) was 2.04 (0.7) before intervention versus the mean (SD) 3.07 (0.8) after intervention. Also, students' ability in applying search and meta search engine improved significantly. This study clearly acknowledges that the training intervention provides considerable opportunity to improve medical student's information literacy skills.

  12. Effectiveness of training intervention to improve medical student’s information literacy skills (United States)


    This study aimed to assess the efficiency of delivering a 4-month course of “effective literature search” among medical postgraduate students for improving information literacy skills. This was a cross-sectional study in which 90 postgraduate students were randomly selected and participated in 12 training sessions. Effective search strategies were presented and the students’ attitude and competency concerning online search were measured by a pre- and post-questionnaires and skill tests. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 16 using t-test. There was a significant improvement (p=0.00), in student’s attitude. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) was 2.9 (0.8) before intervention versus the mean (SD) 3.9 (0.7) after intervention. Students’ familiarity with medical resources and databases improved significantly. The data showed a significant increase (p=0.03), in students’ competency score concerning search strategy design and conducting a search. The mean (SD) was 2.04 (0.7) before intervention versus the mean (SD) 3.07 (0.8) after intervention. Also, students’ ability in applying search and meta search engine improved significantly. This study clearly acknowledges that the training intervention provides considerable opportunity to improve medical student’s information literacy skills. PMID:27907985

  13. Improved diagonal queue medical image steganography using Chaos theory, LFSR, and Rabin cryptosystem. (United States)

    Jain, Mamta; Kumar, Anil; Choudhary, Rishabh Charan


    In this article, we have proposed an improved diagonal queue medical image steganography for patient secret medical data transmission using chaotic standard map, linear feedback shift register, and Rabin cryptosystem, for improvement of previous technique (Jain and Lenka in Springer Brain Inform 3:39-51, 2016). The proposed algorithm comprises four stages, generation of pseudo-random sequences (pseudo-random sequences are generated by linear feedback shift register and standard chaotic map), permutation and XORing using pseudo-random sequences, encryption using Rabin cryptosystem, and steganography using the improved diagonal queues. Security analysis has been carried out. Performance analysis is observed using MSE, PSNR, maximum embedding capacity, as well as by histogram analysis between various Brain disease stego and cover images.

  14. Cognitive aid use improves transition of care by graduating medical students during a simulated crisis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Bauer


    Full Text Available Background: Residents are expected to have transition of care (ToC skills upon entering graduate medical education. It is unclear whether experience and training during medical school is adequate. Objective: The aim of the project was to assess: 1 graduating medical students’ ability to perform ToC in a crisis situation, and 2 whether using a cognitive aid improves the ToC quality. Methods: The authors developed simulation scenarios for rapid response teams and a cognitive aid to assist in the ToC during crisis situations. Graduating medical students were enrolled and randomly divided into teams of three students, randomly assigned into one of two groups: teams using a cognitive aid for ToC (CA, or not using a cognitive aid (nCA. In the scenario, teams respond to a deteriorating patient and then transfer care to the next provider after stabilization. Three faculty reviewed the recording to assess completeness of the ToC and the overall quality. A completeness score was expressed as a fraction of the maximum score. Statistical analysis was performed using a t-test and Mann-Whitney U test. Results: A total of 112 senior medical students participated: CA n=19, nCA n=17. The completeness score of the ToC and overall quality improved when using the cognitive aid (completeness score: CA 0.80±0.06 vs. nCA 0.52±0.07, p<0.01; ToC quality: CA 3.16±0.65 vs. nCA 1.92±0.56, p<0.01. Participants’ rating of knowledge and comfort with the ToC process increased after the simulation. Conclusion: The completeness of information transfer during the ToC process by graduating medical students improved by using a cognitive aid in a simulated patient crisis.

  15. Improving Post-Discharge Medication Adherence in Patients with CVD: A Pilot Randomized Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo D. Oliveira-Filho


    Full Text Available Background: Effective interventions to improve medication adherence are usually complex and expensive. Objective: To assess the impact of a low-cost intervention designed to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes in post-discharge patients with CVD. Method: A pilot RCT was conducted at a teaching hospital. Intervention was based on the four-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-4. The primary outcome measure was medication adherence assessed using the eight-item MMAS at baseline, at 1 month post hospital discharge and re-assessed 1 year after hospital discharge. Other outcomes included readmission and mortality rates. Results: 61 patients were randomized to intervention (n = 30 and control (n = 31 groups. The mean age of the patients was 61 years (SD 12.73, 52.5% were males, and 57.4% were married or living with a partner. Mean number of prescribed medications per patient was 4.5 (SD 3.3. Medication adherence was correlated to intervention (p = 0.04 and after 1 month, 48.4% of patients in the control group and 83.3% in the intervention group were considered adherent. However, this difference decreased after 1 year, when adherence was 34.8% and 60.9%, respectively. Readmission and mortality rates were related to low adherence in both groups. Conclusion: The intervention based on a validated patient self-report instrument for assessing adherence is a potentially effective method to improve adherent behavior and can be successfully used as a tool to guide adherence counseling in the clinical visit. However, a larger study is required to assess the real impact of intervention on these outcomes.

  16. Optimizing Adherence to Adjuvant Imatinib in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (United States)

    Tetzlaff, Eric D.; Davey, Monica P.


    The increasing use of patient-administered oral anticancer drugs is paralleled by new challenges in maintaining treatment adherence. These challenges are particularly significant with adjuvant therapies for prevention of disease recurrence, where the benefits of ongoing treatment are not readily apparent to patients. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants (collectively referred to as advanced practitioners) play integral roles in providing education on disease and treatment to patients that can increase adherence to oral therapies and ideally improve outcomes. For patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), the oral targeted therapy imatinib has become the mainstay of treatment for advanced and recurrent disease and as adjuvant therapy following surgical resection. Recent data indicate significantly improved overall survival with 3 years vs. 1 year of adjuvant imatinib therapy. Continuous dosing with imatinib is needed for optimal efficacy and to limit additional health-care costs associated with management of disease progression in GIST. However, longer duration of therapy increases the risk of nonadherence. Imatinib adherence rates, as well as factors contributing to nonadherence to adjuvant therapy in routine clinical practice, are discussed in this review. Also explored are practical approaches for improving adherence to adjuvant imatinib therapy through greater patient education, in light of the increased duration of therapy in select patients. PMID:25032004

  17. An integrated pharmacy-based program improved medication prescription and adherence rates in diabetes patients. (United States)

    Brennan, Troyen A; Dollear, Timothy J; Hu, Min; Matlin, Olga S; Shrank, William H; Choudhry, Niteesh K; Grambley, William


    A substantial threat to the overall health of the American public is nonadherence to medications used to treat diabetes, as well as physicians' failure to initiate patients' use of those medications. To address this problem, we evaluated an integrated, pharmacy-based program to improve patients' adherence and physicians' initiation rates. The study included 5,123 patients with diabetes in the intervention group and 24,124 matched patients with diabetes in the control group. The intervention consisted of outreach from both mail-order and retail pharmacists who had specific information from the pharmacy benefit management company on patients' adherence to medications and use of concomitant therapies. The interventions improved patients' medication adherence rates by 2.1 percent and increased physicians' initiation rates by 38 percent, compared to the control group. The benefits were greater in patients who received counseling in the retail setting than in those who received phone calls from pharmacists based in mail-order pharmacies. This suggests that the in-person interaction between the retail pharmacist and patient contributed to improved behavior. The interventions were cost-effective, with a return on investment of approximately $3 for every $1 spent. These findings highlight the central role that pharmacists can play in promoting the appropriate initiation of and adherence to therapy for chronic diseases.

  18. Problem Based Learning (PBL) - An Effective Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in Medical Teaching. (United States)

    Preeti, Bajaj; Ashish, Ahuja; Shriram, Gosavi


    As the "Science of Medicine" is getting advanced day-by-day, need for better pedagogies & learning techniques are imperative. Problem Based Learning (PBL) is an effective way of delivering medical education in a coherent, integrated & focused manner. It has several advantages over conventional and age-old teaching methods of routine. It is based on principles of adult learning theory, including student's motivation, encouragement to set goals, think critically about decision making in day-to-day operations. Above all these, it stimulates challenge acceptance and learning curiosity among students and creates pragmatic educational program. To measure the effectiveness of the "Problem Based Learning" as compared to conventional theory/didactic lectures based learning. The study was conducted on 72 medical students from Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana. Two modules of problem based sessions designed and delivered. Pre & Post-test score's scientific statistical analysis was done. Student feed-back received based on questionnaire in the five-point Likert scale format. Significant improvement in overall performance observed. Feedback revealed majority agreement that "Problem-based learning" helped them create interest (88.8 %), better understanding (86%) & promotes self-directed subject learning (91.6 %). Substantial improvement in the post-test scores clearly reveals acceptance of PBL over conventional learning. PBL ensures better practical learning, ability to create interest, subject understanding. It is a modern-day educational strategy, an effective tool to objectively improve the knowledge acquisition in Medical Teaching.

  19. Using total quality management approach to improve patient safety by preventing medication error incidences(*). (United States)

    Yousef, Nadin; Yousef, Farah


    Whereas one of the predominant causes of medication errors is a drug administration error, a previous study related to our investigations and reviews estimated that the incidences of medication errors constituted 6.7 out of 100 administrated medication doses. Therefore, we aimed by using six sigma approach to propose a way that reduces these errors to become less than 1 out of 100 administrated medication doses by improving healthcare professional education and clearer handwritten prescriptions. The study was held in a General Government Hospital. First, we systematically studied the current medication use process. Second, we used six sigma approach by utilizing the five-step DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement, Control) to find out the real reasons behind such errors. This was to figure out a useful solution to avoid medication error incidences in daily healthcare professional practice. Data sheet was used in Data tool and Pareto diagrams were used in Analyzing tool. In our investigation, we reached out the real cause behind administrated medication errors. As Pareto diagrams used in our study showed that the fault percentage in administrated phase was 24.8%, while the percentage of errors related to prescribing phase was 42.8%, 1.7 folds. This means that the mistakes in prescribing phase, especially because of the poor handwritten prescriptions whose percentage in this phase was 17.6%, are responsible for the consequent) mistakes in this treatment process later on. Therefore, we proposed in this study an effective low cost strategy based on the behavior of healthcare workers as Guideline Recommendations to be followed by the physicians. This method can be a prior caution to decrease errors in prescribing phase which may lead to decrease the administrated medication error incidences to less than 1%. This improvement way of behavior can be efficient to improve hand written prescriptions and decrease the consequent errors related to administrated

  20. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 1. Definition and importance of quality in medical practice]. (United States)

    Godény, Sándor


    In Hungary, financing of healthcare has decreased relative to the GDP, while the health status of the population is still ranks among the worst in the European Union. Since healthcare financing is not expected to increase, the number of practicing doctors per capita is continuously decreasing. In the coming years, it is an important question that in this situation what methods can be used to prevent further deterioration of the health status of the Hungarian population, and within this is the role of the quality approach, and different methods of quality management. In the present and the forthcoming two articles those standpoints will be summarized which support the need for the integration of quality assurance in the everyday medical practice. In the first part the importance of quality thinking, quality management, quality assurance, necessity of quality measurement and improvement, furthermore, advantages of the quality systems will be discussed.

  1. Implementing a Pharmacist-Led Medication Management Pilot to Improve Care Transitions

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    Rachel Root, PharmD, MS


    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this project was to design and pilot a pharmacist-led process to address medication management across the continuum of care within a large integrated health-system.Summary: A care transitions pilot took place within a health-system which included a 150-bed community hospital. The pilot process expanded the pharmacist’s medication management responsibilities to include providing discharge medication reconciliation, a patient-friendly discharge medication list, discharge medication education, and medication therapy management (MTM follow-up.Adult patients with a predicted diagnosis-related group (DRG of congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admitted to the medical-surgical and intensive care units who utilized a primary care provider within the health-system were included in the pilot. Forty patients met the inclusion criteria and thirty-four (85% received an intervention from an inpatient or MTM pharmacist. Within this group of patients, 88 drug therapy problems (2.6 per patient were identified and 75% of the drug therapy recommendations made by the pharmacist were accepted by the care provider. The 30-day all-cause readmission rates for the intervention and comparison groups were 30.5% and 35.9%, respectively. The number of patients receiving follow-up care varied with 10 (25% receiving MTM follow-up, 26 (65% completing a primary care visit after their first hospital discharge, and 23 (58% receiving a home care visit.Conclusion: Implementation of a pharmacist-led medication management pilot across the continuum of care resulted in an improvement in the quality of care transitions within the health-system through increased identification and resolution of drug therapy problems and MTM follow-up. The lessons learned from the implementation of this pilot will be used to further refine pharmacy care transitions programs across the health-system.

  2. Improving value-add work and satisfaction in medical residents training: a resident-led quality improvement project employing the lean method to improve hospital supply usage. (United States)

    Yang, Jesse X; Hunt, Tristan D; Ting, Henry H; Henderson, Dan; Finkelstein, Julia; Davidson, Karina W


    Our hospital has a Housestaff Quality Council that fosters education and mentorship of medical residents for quality improvement methodologies. Medical residents on our council identified non-standardised storage rooms as a source of medical resident inefficiency and dissatisfaction. To improve value-add work, medical residents implemented and evaluated a quality improvement project of storage room supplies using the lean method. Using 5S principle and lean methodology, we designed and implemented a standardised supply cart with physician specific supplies. Between April 2014 and April 2015, 40 random observations (20 residents and 20 nurses) both before and after the standardised supply cart implementation were made. The duration time to locate an item was measured in seconds. The paths taken to locate items were drawn as spaghetti diagrams. Nurses served as our control group given that their supplies were not moved in the implementation. Fifty residents were surveyed to assess their satisfaction. Implementation of the standardised supply cart reduced the time for residents to locate an item per visit from 50.8 to 30.2 s in one unit (p5S principles and lean methodology to identify and solve a problem that created inefficiency and dissatisfaction. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  3. Continuing medical education, quality improvement, and organizational change: implications of recent theories for twenty-first-century CME. (United States)

    Price, David


    Healthcare providers and systems are being asked to measure and improve the quality of care delivered to their patients. Additionally, the American Board of Medical Specialties now requires physicians to participate in systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement activities as part of maintenance of specialty board certification. These changing paradigms provide opportunities for continuing medical education to become more aligned with health system goals and help prepare clinicians to practice in this new environment. Organizational change and quality improvement principles have much in common with continuing medical education planning processes. Medical education can play a role in helping organizations improve. Continuing medical education must move beyond delivering content to individual clinicians towards becoming a facilitator of organizational improvement. Research is needed to determine the effect of integrating continuing medical education with organizational change approaches on professional competence, organizational processes and patient outcomes.

  4. Iraqi health system in kurdistan region: medical professionals' perspectives on challenges and priorities for improvement

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    Saleh Abubakir M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The views of medical professionals on efficiency of health system and needs for any changes are very critical and constitute a cornerstone for any health system improvement. This is particularly relevant to Iraqi Kurdistan case as the events of the last few decades have significantly devastated the national Iraqi health system while the necessity for adopting a new health care system is increasingly recognized since 2004. This study aims to examine the regional health system in Iraqi Kurdistan from medical professionals' perspectives and try to define its problems and priorities for improvement. Methods A survey questionnaire was developed and administered to a convenience sample of 250 medical professionals in Erbil governorate. The questionnaire included four items; rating of the quality of services and availability of resources in the health institutions, view on different aspects of the health system, the perceived priority needs for health system improvement and gender and professional characteristics of the respondents. Results The response rate to the survey was 83.6%. A high proportion of respondents rated the different aspects of services and resources in the health institutions as weak or very weak including the availability of the required quantity and quality of medicines (68.7%, the availability of sufficient medical equipment and investigation tools (68.7%, and the quality of offered services (65.3%. Around 72% of respondents had a rather negative view on the overall health system. The weak role of medical research, the weak role of professional associations in controlling the system and the inefficient health education were identified as important problems in the current health system (87.9%, 87.1% and 84.9%, respectively. The priority needs of health system improvement included adoption of social insurance for medical care of the poor (82%, enhancing the role of family medicine (77.2%, adopting health

  5. Faculty promotions in medical institutions in India: Can we improve the criteria? (United States)

    Dhulkhed, Vithal Krishna; Kurdi, Madhuri S; Dhulkhed, Pavan V; Ramaswamy, Ashwini H


    Research publications are desirable for academic promotion in medical colleges as per the current rules of the Medical Council of India (MCI). These rules reflect an endeavour to improve the academic standards. We strongly believe that every medical college teacher should conduct true research and contribute to good peer-reviewed publications. However, it is felt that the MCI rule has the potential to lead to undesirable consequences, and the quality of teaching and learning could take a back-seat. There is an urgent need to adopt more objective criteria and better guidelines as followed by well-known global institutes. In our own country, the University Grants Commission has formulated specific guidelines for this purpose in the form of Academic Performance Indicators which, it appears, are not taken into consideration by the MCI. This article discusses the adverse impact of the rule and suggests ways for the adoption of a more scientific assessment system for faculty appointment and promotion.

  6. How to define green adjuvants. (United States)

    Beck, Bert; Steurbaut, Walter; Spanoghe, Pieter


    The concept 'green adjuvants' is difficult to define. This paper formulates an answer based on two approaches. Starting from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) definition for green chemistry, production-based and environmental-impact-based definitions for green adjuvants are proposed. According to the production-based approach, adjuvants are defined as green if they are manufactured using renewable raw materials as much as possible while making efficient use of energy, preferably renewable energy. According to the environmental impact approach, adjuvants are defined as green (1) if they have a low human and environmental impact, (2) if they do not increase active ingredient environmental mobility and/or toxicity to humans and non-target organisms, (3) if they do not increase the exposure to these active substances and (4) if they lower the impact of formulated pesticides by enhancing the performance of active ingredients, thus potentially lowering the required dosage of active ingredients. Based on both approaches, a tentative definition for 'green adjuvants' is given, and future research and legislation directions are set out.

  7. Improving the transition from medical school to internship - evaluation of a preparation for internship course. (United States)

    Scicluna, Helen A; Grimm, Michael C; Jones, Philip D; Pilotto, Louis S; McNeil, H Patrick


    This study evaluates the impact of a new 'Preparation for Internship' (PRINT) course, which was developed to facilitate the transition of University of New South Wales (UNSW) medical graduates from Medical School to Internship. During a period of major curricular reform, the 2007 (old program) and 2009 (new program) cohorts of UNSW final year students completed the Clinical Capability Questionnaire (CCQ) prior to and after undertaking the PRINT course. Clinical supervisors' ratings and self-ratings of UNSW 2009 medical graduates were obtained from the Hospital-based Prevocational Progress Review Form. Prior to PRINT, students from both cohorts perceived they had good clinical skills, with lower ratings for capability in procedural skills, operational management, and administrative tasks. After completing PRINT, students from both cohorts perceived significant improvement in their capability in procedural skills, operational management, and administrative tasks. Although PRINT also improved student-perceived capability in confidence, interpersonal skills and collaboration in both cohorts, curriculum reform to a new outcomes-based program was far more influential in improving self-perceptions in these facets of preparedness for hospital practice than PRINT. The PRINT course was most effective in improving students' perceptions of their capability in procedural skills, operational management and administrative tasks, indicating that student-to-intern transition courses should be clinically orientated, address relevant skills, use experiential learning, and focus on practical tasks. Other aspects that are important in preparation of medical students for hospital practice cannot be addressed in a PRINT course, but major improvements are achievable by program-wide curriculum reform.

  8. Medical education and the quality improvement spiral: A case study from Mpumalanga, South Africa

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    Martin Bac


    Full Text Available Background: The short timeframe of medical students’ rotations is not always conducive to successful, in-depth quality-improvement projects requiring a more longitudinal approach.Aim: To describe the process of inducting students into a longitudinal quality-improvement project,using the topic of the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative as a case study; and to explore the possible contribution of a quality-improvement project to the development of student competencies.Setting: Mpumalanga clinical learning centres, where University of Pretoria medical students did their district health rotations.Method: Consecutive student groups had to engage with a hospital’s compliance with specific steps of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that form the standards for the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative. Primary data sources included an on-site PowerPoint group presentation (n = 42, a written group report (n = 42 and notes of individual interviews in an end-of-rotation objectively structured clinical examination station (n = 139.Results: Activities in each rotation varied according to the needs identified through the application of the quality-improvement cycle in consultation with the local health team. The development of student competencies is described according to the roles of a medical expert in the CanMEDS framework: collaborator, health advocate, scholar, communicator, manager and professional. The exposure to the real-life situation in South African public hospitals had a great influence on many students, who also acted as catalysts for transforming practice.Conclusion: Service learning and quality-improvement projects can be successfully integrated in one rotation and can contribute to the development of the different roles of a medical expert. More studies could provide insight into the potential of this approach in transforming institutions and student learning.

  9. Integrated Medical Model (IMM) Optimization Version 4.0 Functional Improvements (United States)

    Arellano, John; Young, M.; Boley, L.; Garcia, Y.; Saile, L.; Walton, M.; Kerstman, E.; Reyes, D.; Goodenow, D. A.; Myers, J. G.


    The IMMs ability to assess mission outcome risk levels relative to available resources provides a unique capability to provide guidance on optimal operational medical kit and vehicle resources. Post-processing optimization allows IMM to optimize essential resources to improve a specific model outcome such as maximization of the Crew Health Index (CHI), or minimization of the probability of evacuation (EVAC) or the loss of crew life (LOCL). Mass and or volume constrain the optimized resource set. The IMMs probabilistic simulation uses input data on one hundred medical conditions to simulate medical events that may occur in spaceflight, the resources required to treat those events, and the resulting impact to the mission based on specific crew and mission characteristics. Because IMM version 4.0 provides for partial treatment for medical events, IMM Optimization 4.0 scores resources at the individual resource unit increment level as opposed to the full condition-specific treatment set level, as done in version 3.0. This allows the inclusion of as many resources as possible in the event that an entire set of resources called out for treatment cannot satisfy the constraints. IMM Optimization version 4.0 adds capabilities that increase efficiency by creating multiple resource sets based on differing constraints and priorities, CHI, EVAC, or LOCL. It also provides sets of resources that improve mission-related IMM v4.0 outputs with improved performance compared to the prior optimization. The new optimization represents much improved fidelity that will improve the utility of the IMM 4.0 for decision support.

  10. Adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced endometrial cancer. (United States)

    Galaal, Khadra; Al Moundhri, Mansour; Bryant, Andrew; Lopes, Alberto D; Lawrie, Theresa A


    research is needed to determine which chemotherapy regimen(s) are the most effective and least toxic, and whether the addition of radiotherapy further improves outcomes. A large trial evaluating the benefits and risks of adjuvant chemoradiation versus chemotherapy in advanced endometrial cancer is ongoing.

  11. A vertically integrated geriatric curriculum improves medical student knowledge and clinical skills. (United States)

    Supiano, Mark A; Fitzgerald, James T; Hall, Karen E; Halter, Jeffrey B


    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a vertically integrated curriculum intervention on the geriatric knowledge and performance in clinical skills of third-year medical students. This observational cohort study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School evaluates the performance of 622 third-year medical students from the graduating class years of 2004 through 2007. An integrated curriculum intervention was developed and implemented for the class of 2006. Its elements included identification and tracking of geriatric learning outcomes in an individualized Web-based student portfolio, integration of geriatric content into preclinical courses, development of a geriatric functional assessment standardized patient instructor, and an experience in a geriatrics clinic during the ambulatory component of the third-year internal medicine clerkship. Medical student performance was assessed on a geriatric knowledge test and during a geriatric functional assessment station administered during an Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) at the beginning of the fourth year. Student performance on the geriatric functional assessment OSCE station progressively improved from pre-intervention performance (mean performance+/-standard deviation 43+/-15% class of 2005, 62 + 15% class of 2006, 78+/-10% class of 2007; analysis of variance, P<.001). Similarly, student performance on the geriatric knowledge test was significantly better for the classes of 2006 and 2007 than for the class of 2005 (model F ratio=4.72; P<.001). In conclusion, an integrated approach to incorporating new educational geriatric objectives into the medical school curriculum leads to significant improvements in medical student knowledge and in important clinical skills in the functional assessment of older patients.

  12. Psychiatry resident-led tutorials increase medical student knowledge and improve national board of medical examiners shelf exam scores. (United States)

    McKean, A J S; Palmer, B A


    Psychiatry residents have tremendous potential as educators. The authors envisioned residents as small-group tutors, efficiently assessing and correcting knowledge deficits using cases with discussion prompts and teaching points. They empirically tested whether this improves knowledge acquisition. Senior residents delivered eight tutorials during clerkship, which covered child and adolescent psychiatry, anxiety, mood, psychotic, cognitive, and substance use disorders. A 50-item multiple-choice quiz was administered at the beginning and end of clerkship. National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) shelf exam scores from intervention year were compared to the 4 years prior to resident involvement. Mean score on the initial quiz was 34.5 ± 3.7 and 41.8 ± 3.5 on second attempt (p < 0.001). Mean score for NBME psychiatry subject exam during intervention year was 83.2 ± 8.9 and for the four prior years was 78.0 ± 9.3, which was significant (p = 0.002). Resident-led tutorials provide an effective means of increasing psychiatric knowledge and improving performance on NBME subject exams.

  13. Does the inclusion of 'professional development' teaching improve medical students' communication skills?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kubacki Angela M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study investigated whether the introduction of professional development teaching in the first two years of a medical course improved students' observed communication skills with simulated patients. Students' observed communication skills were related to patient-centred attitudes, confidence in communicating with patients and performance in later clinical examinations. Methods Eighty-two medical students from two consecutive cohorts at a UK medical school completed two videoed consultations with a simulated patient: one at the beginning of year 1 and one at the end of year 2. Group 1 (n = 35 received a traditional pre-clinical curriculum. Group 2 (n = 47 received a curriculum that included communication skills training integrated into a 'professional development' vertical module. Videoed consultations were rated using the Evans Interview Rating Scale by communication skills tutors. A subset of 27% were double-coded. Inter-rater reliability is reported. Results Students who had received the professional development teaching achieved higher ratings for use of silence, not interrupting the patient, and keeping the discussion relevant compared to students receiving the traditional curriculum. Patient-centred attitudes were not related to observed communication. Students who were less nervous and felt they knew how to listen were rated as better communicators. Students receiving the traditional curriculum and who had been rated as better communicators when they entered medical school performed less well in the final year clinical examination. Conclusions Students receiving the professional development training showed significant improvements in certain communication skills, but students in both cohorts improved over time. The lack of a relationship between observed communication skills and patient-centred attitudes may be a reflection of students' inexperience in working with patients, resulting in 'patient-centredness' being

  14. Does the inclusion of 'professional development' teaching improve medical students' communication skills? (United States)


    Background This study investigated whether the introduction of professional development teaching in the first two years of a medical course improved students' observed communication skills with simulated patients. Students' observed communication skills were related to patient-centred attitudes, confidence in communicating with patients and performance in later clinical examinations. Methods Eighty-two medical students from two consecutive cohorts at a UK medical school completed two videoed consultations with a simulated patient: one at the beginning of year 1 and one at the end of year 2. Group 1 (n = 35) received a traditional pre-clinical curriculum. Group 2 (n = 47) received a curriculum that included communication skills training integrated into a 'professional development' vertical module. Videoed consultations were rated using the Evans Interview Rating Scale by communication skills tutors. A subset of 27% were double-coded. Inter-rater reliability is reported. Results Students who had received the professional development teaching achieved higher ratings for use of silence, not interrupting the patient, and keeping the discussion relevant compared to students receiving the traditional curriculum. Patient-centred attitudes were not related to observed communication. Students who were less nervous and felt they knew how to listen were rated as better communicators. Students receiving the traditional curriculum and who had been rated as better communicators when they entered medical school performed less well in the final year clinical examination. Conclusions Students receiving the professional development training showed significant improvements in certain communication skills, but students in both cohorts improved over time. The lack of a relationship between observed communication skills and patient-centred attitudes may be a reflection of students' inexperience in working with patients, resulting in 'patient-centredness' being an abstract concept

  15. Improving maintenance medication adherence in adult inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Matteson-Kome


    Full Text Available Medication nonadherence in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD may lead to suboptimal control of the disease, decreased quality of life, and poor outcomes. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility, intervention mechanism, and potential effectiveness of a three-month continuous self-improvement (CSI intervention to enhance medication adherence (MA in adult nonadherent IBD patients. Adult IBD patients taking a daily or twice-daily dosed maintenance medication were screened electronically for two months to determine baseline MA levels. Nonadherent IBD participants were randomized to the CSI or the attention control (AC intervention and monitored for three months. The CSI intervention consisted of a data evaluation and system refinement process in which system changes were identified and implemented. The AC group was given educational information regarding IBD disease process, extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD, and medical therapy. Demographic statistics, change scores for within and between- group differences, and effect size estimates were calculated. Nine nonadherent participants (medication adherence score <0.85 were eligible for randomization. The intervention was found feasible and acceptable. Although no statistically significant improvement in MA was found (P=0.14, adherence improved in 3 of 4 of the CSI group and 1 of 2 in the attention control group. The effect size calculation of 1.9 will determine the sample size for future study. The results of this pilot study showed the intervention was feasible and had a positive effect on MA change score and adherence levels. A larger fully powered study is needed to test of the effectiveness of this innovative intervention.

  16. Medication monitoring and optimization : a targeted pharmacist program for effective and cost-effective improvement of chronic therapy adherence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Boven, Job F.M.; Stuurman-Bieze, Ada G.G.; Hiddink, Eric G.; Postma, Maarten J.; Vegter, Stefan


    BACKGROUND: Community pharmacies provide a promising platform for monitoring and improving therapy adherence and providing pharmaceutical care. Structured methods and appropriate software are important tools to increase pharmacist effectiveness and improve health outcomes. In 2006, the Medication Mo

  17. Learning to improve medical decision making from imbalanced data without a priori cost. (United States)

    Wan, Xiang; Liu, Jiming; Cheung, William K; Tong, Tiejun


    In a medical data set, data are commonly composed of a minority (positive or abnormal) group and a majority (negative or normal) group and the cost of misclassifying a minority sample as a majority sample is highly expensive. This is the so-called imbalanced classification problem. The traditional classification functions can be seriously affected by the skewed class distribution in the data. To deal with this problem, people often use a priori cost to adjust the learning process in the pursuit of optimal classification function. However, this priori cost is often unknown and hard to estimate in medical decision making. In this paper, we propose a new learning method, named RankCost, to classify imbalanced medical data without using a priori cost. Instead of focusing on improving the class-prediction accuracy, RankCost is to maximize the difference between the minority class and the majority class by using a scoring function, which translates the imbalanced classification problem into a partial ranking problem. The scoring function is learned via a non-parametric boosting algorithm. We compare RankCost to several representative approaches on four medical data sets varying in size, imbalanced ratio, and dimension. The experimental results demonstrate that unlike the currently available methods that often perform unevenly with different priori costs, RankCost shows comparable performance in a consistent manner. It is a challenging task to learn an effective classification model based on imbalanced data in medical data analysis. The traditional approaches often use a priori cost to adjust the learning of the classification function. This work presents a novel approach, namely RankCost, for learning from medical imbalanced data sets without using a priori cost. The experimental results indicate that RankCost performs very well in imbalanced data classification and can be a useful method in real-world applications of medical decision making.

  18. Prevalence, predictors, and clinical consequences of medical adherence in IBD: How to improve it?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peter Laszlo Lakatos


    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic diseases with a relapsing-remitting disease course necessitating lifelong treatment. However, non-adherence has been reported in over 40% of patients, especially those in remission taking maintenance therapies for IBD. The economical impact of non-adherence to medical therapy including absenteeism, hospitalization risk, and the health care costs in chronic conditions, is enormous. The causes of medication non-adherence are complex, where the patient-doctor relationship, treatment regimen, and other disease-related factors play key roles. Moreover, subjective assessment might underestimate adherence. Poor adherence may result in more frequent relapses, a disabling disease course, in ulcerative colitis, and an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Improving medication adherence in patients is an important challenge for physicians. Understanding the different patient types, the reasons given by patients for non-adherence, simpler and more convenient dosage regimens, dynamic communication within the health care team, a self-management package incorporating enhanced patient education and physician-patient interaction, and identifying the predictors of nonadherence will help devise suitable plans to optimize patient adherence. This editorial summarizes the available literature on frequency, predictors, clinical consequences, and strategies for improving medical adherence in patients with IBD.

  19. Does teaching non-technical skills to medical students improve those skills and simulated patient outcome? (United States)

    Hagemann, Vera; Herbstreit, Frank; Kehren, Clemens; Chittamadathil, Jilson; Wolfertz, Sandra; Dirkmann, Daniel; Kluge, Annette; Peters, Jürgen


    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of a tailor-made, non-technical skills seminar on medical student's behaviour, attitudes, and performance during simulated patient treatment. Seventy-seven students were randomized to either a non-technical skills seminar (NTS group, n=43) or a medical seminar (control group, n=34). The human patient simulation was used as an evaluation tool. Before the seminars, all students performed the same simulated emergency scenario to provide baseline measurements. After the seminars, all students were exposed to a second scenario, and behavioural markers for evaluating their non-technical skills were rated. Furthermore, teamwork-relevant attitudes were measured before and after the scenarios, and perceived stress was measured following each simulation. All simulations were also evaluated for various medical endpoints. Non-technical skills concerning situation awareness (pskills to improve student's non-technical skills. In a next step, to improve student's handling of emergencies and patient outcomes, non-technical skills seminars should be accompanied by exercises and more broadly embedded in the medical school curriculum.

  20. Prevalence, predictors, and clinical consequences of medical adherence in IBD: how to improve it? (United States)

    Lakatos, Peter Laszlo


    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic diseases with a relapsing-remitting disease course necessitating lifelong treatment. However, non-adherence has been reported in over 40% of patients, especially those in remission taking maintenance therapies for IBD. The economical impact of non-adherence to medical therapy including absenteeism, hospitalization risk, and the health care costs in chronic conditions, is enormous. The causes of medication non-adherence are complex, where the patient-doctor relationship, treatment regimen, and other disease-related factors play key roles. Moreover, subjective assessment might underestimate adherence. Poor adherence may result in more frequent relapses, a disabling disease course, in ulcerative colitis, and an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Improving medication adherence in patients is an important challenge for physicians. Understanding the different patient types, the reasons given by patients for non-adherence, simpler and more convenient dosage regimens, dynamic communication within the health care team, a self-management package incorporating enhanced patient education and physician-patient interaction, and identifying the predictors of non-adherence will help devise suitable plans to optimize patient adherence. This editorial summarizes the available literature on frequency, predictors, clinical consequences, and strategies for improving medical adherence in patients with IBD.

  1. Security analysis and improvement of a privacy authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems. (United States)

    Wu, Fan; Xu, Lili


    Nowadays, patients can gain many kinds of medical service on line via Telecare Medical Information Systems(TMIS) due to the fast development of computer technology. So security of communication through network between the users and the server is very significant. Authentication plays an important part to protect information from being attacked by malicious attackers. Recently, Jiang et al. proposed a privacy enhanced scheme for TMIS using smart cards and claimed their scheme was better than Chen et al.'s. However, we have showed that Jiang et al.'s scheme has the weakness of ID uselessness and is vulnerable to off-line password guessing attack and user impersonation attack if an attacker compromises the legal user's smart card. Also, it can't resist DoS attack in two cases: after a successful impersonation attack and wrong password input in Password change phase. Then we propose an improved mutual authentication scheme used for a telecare medical information system. Remote monitoring, checking patients' past medical history record and medical consultant can be applied in the system where information transmits via Internet. Finally, our analysis indicates that the suggested scheme overcomes the disadvantages of Jiang et al.'s scheme and is practical for TMIS.

  2. Improving the social responsiveness of medical schools: lessons from the Canadian experience. (United States)

    Cappon, P; Watson, D


    The recent Canadian experience in promoting social accountability and social responsiveness of medical schools has been one of steady improvement in certain institutions, against a background lacking overall national policy direction. Canada has several distinct advantages in trying to devise means of enhancing social accountability of medical training and health services, including a strong national system of publicly supported and financed health care of high quality, a network of excellent academic medical centers, and well-established accreditation bodies. A review of the literature, complemented by a new survey of Canadian medical schools, confirms that some of the centers, conscious of the need to promote social responsiveness, are developing innovative programs to do so. Future progress toward the goal of social responsiveness of medical schools on a pan-Canadian basis will require a more cohesive approach involving systematic sharing of best practices among academic health centers, effective alliances with other health professionals to promote these objectives, and support by federal and provincial ministries of health. Canadian awareness of an international movement tending to similar objectives would support the efforts of Canadian health professionals engaged in practices of enhanced accountability.

  3. A quality improvement study using fishbone analysis and an electronic medical records intervention to improve care for children with asthma. (United States)

    Gold, Jonathan; Reyes-Gastelum, David; Turner, Jane; Davies, H Dele


    Despite expert guidelines, gaps persist in quality of care for children with asthma. This study sought to identify barriers and potential interventions to improve compliance to national asthma prevention guidelines at a single academic pediatric primary care clinic. Using the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) quality improvement framework and fishbone analysis, several barriers to consistent asthma processes and possible interventions were identified by a group of key stakeholders. Two interventions were implemented using the electronic medical record (EMR). Physician documentation of asthma quality measures were analyzed before intervention and during 2 subsequent time points over 16 months. Documentation of asthma action plans (core group P asthma care in a pediatric primary care setting.

  4. Towards a Better Corrosion Resistance and Biocompatibility Improvement of Nitinol Medical Devices (United States)

    Rokicki, Ryszard; Hryniewicz, Tadeusz; Pulletikurthi, Chandan; Rokosz, Krzysztof; Munroe, Norman


    Haemocompatibility of Nitinol implantable devices and their corrosion resistance as well as resistance to fracture are very important features of advanced medical implants. The authors of the paper present some novel methods capable to improve Nitinol implantable devices to some marked degree beyond currently used electropolishing (EP) processes. Instead, a magnetoelectropolishing process should be advised. The polarization study shows that magnetoelectropolished Nitinol surface is more corrosion resistant than that obtained after a standard EP and has a unique ability to repassivate the surface. Currently used sterilization processes of Nitinol implantable devices can dramatically change physicochemical properties of medical device and by this influence its biocompatibility. The Authors' experimental results clearly show the way to improve biocompatibility of NiTi alloy surface. The final sodium hypochlorite treatment should replace currently used Nitinol implantable devices sterilization methods which rationale was also given in our previous study.

  5. Designing CAF-adjuvanted dry powder vaccines: Spray drying preserves the adjuvant activity of CAF01

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvarsson, Pall Thor; Schmidt, Signe Tandrup; Christensen, Dennis


    spray drying. The optimal excipient to stabilize CAF01 during spray drying and for the design of nanocomposite microparticles was identified among mannitol, lactose and trehalose. Trehalose and lactose were promising stabilizers with respect to preserving liposome size, as compared to mannitol......Dry powder vaccine formulations are highly attractive due to improved storage stability and the possibility for particle engineering, as compared to liquid formulations. However, a prerequisite for formulating vaccines into dry formulations is that their physicochemical and adjuvant properties...... remain unchanged upon rehydration. Thus, we have identified and optimized the parameters of importance for the design of a spray dried powder formulation of the cationic liposomal adjuvant formulation 01 (CAF01) composed of dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) bromide and trehalose 6,6′-dibehenate (TDB) via...

  6. 78 FR 10181 - Global Quality Systems-An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop (United States)


    ... ``Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach to Improving Medical Product Safety.'' This 2-day public... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION: Notice of...

  7. Reporting quality of survival analyses in medical journals still needs improvement. A minimal requirements proposal. (United States)

    Abraira, Víctor; Muriel, Alfonso; Emparanza, José I; Pijoan, José I; Royuela, Ana; Plana, María Nieves; Cano, Alejandra; Urreta, Iratxe; Zamora, Javier


    We reviewed publications with two main objectives: to describe how survival analyses are reported across medical journal specialties and to evaluate changes in reporting across periods and journal specialties. Systematic review of clinical research articles published in 1991 and 2007, in 13 high-impact medical journals. The number of articles performing survival analysis published in 1991 (104) and 2007 (240) doubled (17% vs. 33.5%; P = 0.000), although not uniformly across specialties. The percentage of studies using regression models and the number of patients included also increased. The presentation of results improved, although only the reporting of precision of effect estimates reached satisfactory levels (53.1% in 1991 vs. 94.2% in 2007; P = 0.000). Quality of reporting also varied across specialties; for example, cardiology articles were less likely than oncology ones to discuss sample size estimation (odds ratio = 0.12; 95% confidence interval: 0.05, 0.30). We also detected an interaction effect between period and specialty regarding the likelihood of reporting precision of curves and precision of effect estimates. The application of survival analysis to medical research data is increasing, whereas improvement in reporting quality is slow. We propose a list of minimum requirements for improved application and description of survival analysis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Improving advanced cardiovascular life support skills in medical students: simulation-based education approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Reihani


    Full Text Available Objective: In this trial, we intend to assess the effect of simulation-based education approach on advanced cardiovascular life support skills among medical students. Methods: Through convenient sampling method, 40 interns of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in their emergency medicine rotation (from September to December 2012 participated in this study. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS workshops with pretest and post-test exams were performed. Workshops and checklists for pretest and post-test exams were designed according to the latest American Heart Association (AHA guidelines. Results: The total score of the students increased significantly after workshops (24.6 out of 100 to 78.6 out of 100. This demonstrates 53.9% improvement in the skills after the simulation-based education (P< 0.001. Also the mean score of each station had a significant improvement (P< 0.001. Conclusion: Pretests showed that interns had poor performance in practical clinical matters while their scientific knowledge, such as ECG interpretation was acceptable. The overall results of the study highlights that Simulation based-education approach is highly effective in Improving ACLS skills among medical students.

  9. Chemokines as Cancer Vaccine Adjuvants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agne Petrosiute


    Full Text Available We are witnessing a new era of immune-mediated cancer therapies and vaccine development. As the field of cancer vaccines advances into clinical trials, overcoming low immunogenicity is a limiting step in achieving full success of this therapeutic approach. Recent discoveries in the many biological roles of chemokines in tumor immunology allow their exploitation in enhancing recruitment of antigen presenting cells (APCs and effector cells to appropriate anatomical sites. This knowledge, combined with advances in gene therapy and virology, allows researchers to employ chemokines as potential vaccine adjuvants. This review will focus on recent murine and human studies that use chemokines as therapeutic anti-cancer vaccine adjuvants.

  10. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications (United States)

    Abdallah, Nihad; Conn, Rory; Latif Marini, Abdel


    Physical health monitoring is an integral part of caring for patients with mental health problems. It is proven that serious physical health problems are more common among patients with severe mental health illness (SMI), this monitoring can be challenging and there is a need for improvement. The project aimed at improving the physical health monitoring among patients with SMI who are receiving antipsychotic medications. The improvement process focused on ensuring there is a good communication with general practitioners (GPs) as well as patient's education and education of care home staff. GP letters requesting physical health monitoring were updated; care home staff and patients were given more information about the value of regular physical health monitoring. There was an improvement in patients' engagement with the monitoring and the monitoring done by GPs was more adherent to local and national guidelines and was communicated with the mental health service. PMID:27559474

  11. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications. (United States)

    Abdallah, Nihad; Conn, Rory; Latif Marini, Abdel


    Physical health monitoring is an integral part of caring for patients with mental health problems. It is proven that serious physical health problems are more common among patients with severe mental health illness (SMI), this monitoring can be challenging and there is a need for improvement. The project aimed at improving the physical health monitoring among patients with SMI who are receiving antipsychotic medications. The improvement process focused on ensuring there is a good communication with general practitioners (GPs) as well as patient's education and education of care home staff. GP letters requesting physical health monitoring were updated; care home staff and patients were given more information about the value of regular physical health monitoring. There was an improvement in patients' engagement with the monitoring and the monitoring done by GPs was more adherent to local and national guidelines and was communicated with the mental health service.

  12. New horizons in adjuvants for vaccine development. (United States)

    Reed, Steven G; Bertholet, Sylvie; Coler, Rhea N; Friede, Martin


    Over the last decade, there has been a flurry of research on adjuvants for vaccines, and several novel adjuvants are now in licensed products or in late stage clinical development. The success of adjuvants in enhancing the immune response to recombinant antigens has led many researchers to re-focus their vaccine development programs. Successful vaccine development requires knowing which adjuvants to use and knowing how to formulate adjuvants and antigens to achieve stable, safe and immunogenic vaccines. For the majority of vaccine researchers this information is not readily available, nor is access to well-characterized adjuvants. In this review, we outline the current state of adjuvant research and development and how formulation parameters can influence the effectiveness of adjuvants.

  13. "Chase CRP", "Review patient": Improving the Quality of Weekend Medical Handover at a London Teaching Hospital. (United States)

    Saifuddin, Aamir; Magee, Lucia; Barrett, Rachael


    Clinical handover has been identified as a "major preventable cause of harm" by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). Whilst working at a London teaching hospital from August 2013, we noted substandard weekend handover of medical patients. The existing pro forma was filled incompletely by day doctors so it was difficult for weekend colleagues to identify unwell patients, with inherent safety implications. Furthermore, on-call medical staff noted that poor accessibility of vital information in patients' files was affecting acute clinical management. We audited the pro formas over a six week period (n=83) and the Friday ward round (WR) entries for medical inpatients over two weekends (n=84) against the RCP's handover guidance. The results showed poor documentation of several important details on the pro formas, for example, ceiling of care (4%) and past medical history (PMH) (23%). Problem lists were specified on 62% of the WR entries. We designed new handover pro formas and 'Friday WR sheets' to provide prompts for this information and used Medical Meetings and emails to explain the project's aims. Re-audit demonstrated significant improvement in all parameters; for instance, PMH increased to 52% on the pro formas. Only 10% of Friday WR entries used our sheet. However, when used, outcomes were much better, for example, problem list documentation increased to 100%. In conclusion, our interventions improved the provision of crucial information needed to prioritise and manage patients over the weekend. Future work should further highlight the importance of safe handover to all doctors to induce a shift in culture and optimise patient care.

  14. Medical Image Encryption: An Application for Improved Padding Based GGH Encryption Algorithm. (United States)

    Sokouti, Massoud; Zakerolhosseini, Ali; Sokouti, Babak


    Medical images are regarded as important and sensitive data in the medical informatics systems. For transferring medical images over an insecure network, developing a secure encryption algorithm is necessary. Among the three main properties of security services ( i.e. , confidentiality, integrity, and availability), the confidentiality is the most essential feature for exchanging medical images among physicians. The Goldreich Goldwasser Halevi (GGH) algorithm can be a good choice for encrypting medical images as both the algorithm and sensitive data are represented by numeric matrices. Additionally, the GGH algorithm does not increase the size of the image and hence, its complexity will remain as simple as O(n(2) ). However, one of the disadvantages of using the GGH algorithm is the Chosen Cipher Text attack. In our strategy, this shortcoming of GGH algorithm has been taken in to consideration and has been improved by applying the padding (i.e., snail tour XORing), before the GGH encryption process. For evaluating their performances, three measurement criteria are considered including (i) Number of Pixels Change Rate (NPCR), (ii) Unified Average Changing Intensity (UACI), and (iii) Avalanche effect. The results on three different sizes of images showed that padding GGH approach has improved UACI, NPCR, and Avalanche by almost 100%, 35%, and 45%, respectively, in comparison to the standard GGH algorithm. Also, the outcomes will make the padding GGH resist against the cipher text, the chosen cipher text, and the statistical attacks. Furthermore, increasing the avalanche effect of more than 50% is a promising achievement in comparison to the increased complexities of the proposed method in terms of encryption and decryption processes.

  15. Current adjuvant treatment modalities for gastric cancer:From history to the future

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Leyla Kilic; Cetin Ordu; Ibrahim Yildiz; Fatma Sen; Serkan Keskin; Rumeysa Ciftci; Kezban Nur Pilanci


    The discrepancy between the surgical technique and the type of adjuvant chemotherapy used in clinical trials and patient outcomes in terms of overall survival rates has led to the generation of different adjuvant treatment protocols in distinct parts of the world.The adjuvant treatment recommendation is generally chemoradiotherapy in the United States,perioperative chemotherapy in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe,and chemotherapy in Asia.These options mainly rely on the United States Intergroup-0116,United Kingdom British Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy,and the Asian Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of S-1 for Gastric Cancer and Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin Adjuvant Study in Stomach Cancer trials.However,the benefits were evident for only certain patients,which were not very homogeneous regarding the type of surgery,chemotherapy regimens,and stage of disease.Whether the dissimilarities in survival are attributable to surgical technique or intrinsic biological differences is a subject of debate.Regardless of the extent of surgery,multimodal therapy may offer modest survival advantage at least for diseases with lymph node involvement.Moreover,in the era of individualized treatment for most of the other cancer types,identification of special subgroups comprising those who will derive more or no benefit from adjuvant therapy merits further investigation.The aim of this review is to reveal the historical evolution and future reflections of adjuvant treatment modalities for resected gastric cancer patients.

  16. Community Oncology Medical Homes: Physician-Driven Change to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs. (United States)

    Waters, Teresa M; Webster, Jennifer A; Stevens, Laura A; Li, Tao; Kaplan, Cameron M; Graetz, Ilana; McAneny, Barbara L


    Although the patient-centered medical home is a well-established model of care for primary care providers, adoption by specialty providers has been relatively limited. Recently, there has been particular interest in developing specialty medical homes in medical oncology because of practice variation, care fragmentation, and high overall costs of care. In 2012, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation awarded Innovative Oncology Business Solutions a 3-year grant for their Community Oncology Medical Home (COME HOME) program to implement specialty medical homes in seven oncology practices across the country. We report our early experience and lessons learned.Through September 30, 2014, COME HOME has touched 16,353 unique patients through triage encounters, patient education visits, or application of clinical pathways. We describe the COME HOME model and implementation timeline, profile use of key services, and report patient satisfaction. Using feedback from practice sites, we highlight patient-centered innovations and overall lessons learned.COME HOME incorporates best practices care driven by triage and clinical pathways, team-based care, active disease management, enhanced access and care, as well as financial support for the medical home infrastructure. Information technology plays a central role, supporting both delivery of care and performance monitoring. Volume of service use has grown steadily over time, leveling out in second quarter 2014. The program currently averages 1,265 triage encounters, 440 extended hours visits, and 655 patient education encounters per month.COME HOME offers a patient-centered model of care to improve quality and continuity of care. Copyright © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  17. Adjuvant Teriparatide Therapy for Surgical Treatment of Femoral Fractures; Does It Work? (United States)

    Kim, Jung Taek; Jeong, Hyung Jun; Lee, Soong Joon; Kim, Hee Joong


    Purpose Atypical femoral fracture (AFF), periprosthetic femoral fracture (PPFF) and femoral nonunion (FNU) are recalcitrant challenges for orthopedic surgeons. Teriparatide (TPTD) had been demonstrated to have anabolic effects on bone in various studies. We postulated that adjuvant TPTD after operation would enhance biologic stimulation for bone formation. We investigated (1) whether the adjuvant TPTD could achieve satisfactory union rate of surgically challenging cases such as displaced AFF, PPFF and FNU; (2) whether the adjuvant TPTD could promote development of abundant callus after surgical fixation; (3) whether the adjuvant TPTD had medically serious adverse effects. Materials and Methods Thirteen patients who agreed to off label use of TPTD in combination of operation were included in this retrospective case series. Median patients' age was 68.7 years, and there were three male and ten female patients. Their diagnoses were nonunion in six patients and acute fracture in seven. Medical records and radiographic images were reviewed. Results Twelve of thirteen fractures were united both clinically and radiologically within a year after adjuvant TPTD. Union completed radiologically median 5.4 months and clinically 5.7 months after the medication, respectively. Callus appeared abundantly showing median 1.4 of fracture healing response postoperatively. There was no serious adverse reaction of medication other than itching, muscle cramp, or nausea. Conclusion Even appropriate surgical treatment is a mainstay of treatment for AFF, PPFF, and FNU, the current report suggested that adjuvant TPTD combined with stable fixation results in satisfactory outcome for the challenging fractures of femur. PMID:27777917

  18. The ability of older adults to use customized online medical databases to improve their health-related knowledge. (United States)

    Freund, Ophir; Reychav, Iris; McHaney, Roger; Goland, Ella; Azuri, Joseph


    Patient compliance with medical advice and recommended treatment depends on perception of health condition, medical knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy. This study investigated how use of customized online medical databases, intended to improve knowledge in a variety of relevant medical topics, influenced senior adults' perceptions. Seventy-nine older adults in residence homes completed a computerized, tablet-based questionnaire, with medical scenarios and related questions. Following an intervention, control group participants answered questions without online help while an experimental group received internet links that directed them to customized, online medical databases. Medical knowledge and test scores among the experimental group significantly improved from pre- to post-intervention (pdatabases. The study demonstrated how such databases help solve health-related questions among older adult population members, and that older patients appear willing to consider technology usage in information acquisition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Modifiable risk factors for adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy among breast cancer patients. (United States)

    Jacob Arriola, Kimberly R; Mason, Tamara A; Bannon, Kari Ann; Holmes, Carol; Powell, Cecil Lamonte; Horne, Kandra; O'Regan, Ruth


    Breast cancer incidence and mortality are declining due to improvements in early detection and treatment. One advance in treatment is the development of adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) for women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Despite strong evidence linking AET to better health outcomes, AET adherence continues to be suboptimal. This study tests the hypothesis that patient beliefs about medication mediate the relationship between frequency of physician communication and AET adherence. This cross-sectional study utilizes data from patient self-report and medical chart abstraction (N=200). Survey measures included frequency of physician communication, patient beliefs about medicine, AET adherence, and demographic characteristics. Necessity beliefs mediated the relationship between frequency of physician communication and medication adherence (necessity beliefs β=.18, p.05). There was no evidence of medication concerns mediating the relationship between frequency of physician communication and medication adherence. More frequent physician communication that shapes what patients believe about AET importance may be associated with greater AET adherence; however, frequent physician communication that shapes patient concerns about side effects may not be associated with greater AET adherence. Research is needed to enhance understanding of the type of physician communication that is most consistently associated with patient beliefs about medication and AET adherence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Clinical outcomes of adjuvant radiation therapy and prognostic factors in early stage uterine cervical cancer

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    Kim, Hyun Ju; Rhee, Woo Joong; Choi, Seo Hee; Kim, Gwi Eon; Kim, Yong Bae [Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Nam, EunJi; Kim, Sang Wun; Kim, Sung Hoon [Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    To evaluate the outcomes of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) and to analyze prognostic factors of survival in the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) IB-IIA uterine cervical cancer. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 148 patients with FIGO IB-IIA uterine cervical cancer who underwent surgery followed by adjuvant RT at the Yonsei Cancer Center between June 1997 and December 2011. Adjuvant radiotherapy was delivered to the whole pelvis or an extended field with or without brachytherapy. Among all patients, 57 (38.5%) received adjuvant chemotherapy either concurrently or sequentially. To analyze prognostic factors, we assessed clinicopathologic variables and metabolic parameters measured on preoperative {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). To evaluate the predictive performance of metabolic parameters, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. The median follow-up period was 63.2 months (range, 2.7 to 206.8 months). Locoregional recurrence alone occurred in 6 patients, while distant metastasis was present in 16 patients, including 2 patients with simultaneous regional failure. The 5-year and 10-year OSs were 87.0% and 85.4%, respectively. The 5-year and 10-year DFSs were 83.8% and 82.5%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, pathologic type and tumor size were shown to be significant prognostic factors associated with both DFS and OS. In subset analysis of 40 patients who underwent preoperative PET/CT, total lesion glycolysis was shown to be the most significant prognostic factor among the clinicopathologic variables and metabolic parameters for DFS. Our results demonstrated that adjuvant RT following hysterectomy effectively improves local control. From the subset analysis of preoperative PET/CT, we can consider that metabolic parameters may hold prognostic

  1. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: a road ahead. (United States)

    Mohan, Teena; Verma, Priyanka; Rao, D Nageswara


    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines.

  2. Regulatory considerations on new adjuvants and delivery systems. (United States)

    Sesardic, D


    New and improved vaccines and delivery systems are increasingly being developed for prevention, treatment and diagnosis of human diseases. Prior to their use in humans, all new biological products must undergo pre-clinical evaluation. These pre-clinical studies are important not only to establish the biological properties of the material and to evaluate its possible risk to the public, but also to plan protocols for subsequent clinical trials from which safety and efficacy can be evaluated. For vaccines, evaluation in pre-clinical studies is particularly important as information gained may also contribute to identifying the optimum composition and formulation process and provide an opportunity to develop suitable indicator tests for quality control. Data from pre-clinical and laboratory evaluation studies, which continue during clinical studies, is used to support an application for marketing authorisation. Addition of a new adjuvant and exploration of new delivery systems for vaccines presents challenges to both manufacturers and regulatory authorities. Because no adjuvant is licensed as a medicinal product in its own right, but only as a component of a particular vaccine, pre-clinical and appropriate toxicology studies need to be designed on a case-by-case basis to evaluate the safety profile of the adjuvant and adjuvant/vaccine combination. Current regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical and pre-clinical safety assessment of vaccines are insufficient and initiatives are in place to develop more specific guidelines for evaluation of adjuvants in vaccines.

  3. Pre-training evaluation and feedback improve medical students' skills in basic life support. (United States)

    Li, Qi; Ma, Er-Li; Liu, Jin; Fang, Li-Qun; Xia, Tian


    Evaluation and feedback are two factors that could influence simulation-based medical education and the time when they were delivered contributes their different effects. To investigate the impact of pre-training evaluation and feedback on medical students' performance in basic life support (BLS). Forty 3rd-year undergraduate medical students were randomly divided into two groups, C group (the control) and pre-training evaluation and feedback group (E&F group), each of 20. After BLS theoretical lecture, the C group received 45 min BLS training and the E&F group was individually evaluated (video-taped) in a mock cardiac arrest (pre-training evaluation). Fifteen minutes of group feedback related with the students' BLS performance in pre-training evaluation was given in the E&F group, followed by a 30-min BLS training. After BLS training, both groups were evaluated with one-rescuer BLS skills in a 3-min mock cardiac arrest scenario (post-training evaluation). The score from the post-training evaluation was converted to a percentage and was compared between the two groups. The score from the post-training evaluation was higher in the E&F group (82.9 ± 3.2% vs. 63.9 ± 13.4% in C group). In undergraduate medical students without previous BLS training, pre-training evaluation and feedback improve their performance in followed BLS training.

  4. Adjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Paula Ghaneh; John Slavin; Robert Sutton; Mark Hartley; John P Neoptolemos


    The outlook for patients with pancreatic cancer has been grim. There have been major advances in the surgical treatment of pancreatic csncer, leading to a drsmatic reduction in post-operative mortality from the development of high volume specialized centres. This stimulated the study of adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments in pancreatic cancer including chemoradiotherapy and chemotherapy. Initial protocols have been based on the original but rather small GITSG study first reported in 1985. There have been two large European trials totalling over 600 patients (EORTC and ESPAC-1) that do not support the use of chemoradiation as adjuvant therapy. A second major finding from the ESPAC-1 trial (541 patients randomized) was some but not conclusive evidence for a survival benefit associated with chemotherapy. A third major finding from the ESPAC-1 trial was that the quality of life was not affected by the use of adjuvant treatments compared to surgery alone.The ESPAC-3 trial aims to assess the definitive use of adjuvant chemotherapy in a randomized controlled trial of 990 patients.

  5. Utilization and impact of adjuvant therapy in anaplastic oligodendroglioma: an analysis on 1692 patients. (United States)

    Shin, Jacob Y; Diaz, Aidnag Z


    The aim of this study was to determine the utilization rates and impact of adjuvant therapy on overall survival (OS) for anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO). Data were extracted from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Chi square test, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox regression models were employed in SPSS 22.0 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.) for data analyses. 1692 patients with AO who underwent surgery were identified. 945 (55.9 %) received adjuvant radiotherapy with concomitant chemotherapy (chemoRT), 102 (6.0 %) adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) sequentially followed by chemotherapy, 244 (14.4 %) adjuvant RT alone, and 401 (23.7 %) received no adjuvant therapy. Patients were more likely to receive adjuvant chemoRT if they were diagnosed in 2009-2013 vs. 2004-2008 (p 70 vs. <70 (p = 0.018), had private insurance vs. Medicaid vs. no insurance (p < 0.001), or had median income ≥$63,000 vs. <$63,000 (p = 0.014). Those who received adjuvant chemoRT (concomitant or sequential) had significantly better 5-year OS than those who received adjuvant RT alone or no adjuvant therapy (59.8 % vs. 65.0 % vs. 44.9 % vs. 45.6 %, p < 0.001). This significant 5-year OS benefit was also observed regardless of age. There was no difference in OS when comparing concomitant chemoRT to sequential RT and chemotherapy (p = 0.481). On multivariate analysis, receipt of adjuvant chemoRT (concomitant or sequential) remained an independent prognostic factor for improved OS. Adjuvant chemoRT (concomitant or sequential) is an independent prognostic factor for improved OS in anaplastic oligodendroglioma and should be considered for all clinically suitable patients who have undergone surgery for the disease.

  6. Who Benefits From Adjuvant Radiation Therapy for Gastric Cancer? A Meta-Analysis

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    Ohri, Nitin, E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Garg, Madhur K. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Aparo, Santiago; Kaubisch, Andreas [Department of Medical Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Tome, Wolfgang [Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Kennedy, Timothy J. [Department of Surgical Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Kalnicki, Shalom; Guha, Chandan [Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States)


    Purpose: Large randomized trials have demonstrated significant survival benefits with the use of adjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiation therapy for gastric cancer. The importance of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) remains unclear. We performed an up-to-date meta-analysis of randomized trials testing the use of RT for resectable gastric cancer. Methods and Materials: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for randomized trials testing adjuvant (including neoadjuvant) RT for resectable gastric cancer. Hazard ratios describing the impact of adjuvant RT on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were extracted directly from the original studies or calculated from survival curves. Pooled estimates were obtained using the inverse variance method. Subgroup analyses were performed to determine whether the efficacy of RT varies with chemotherapy use, RT timing, geographic region, type of nodal dissection performed, or lymph node status. Results: Thirteen studies met all inclusion criteria and were used for this analysis. Adjuvant RT was associated with a significant improvement in both OS (HR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.70-0.86, P<.001) and DFS (HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.63-0.80, P<.001). In the 5 studies that tested adjuvant chemoradiation therapy against adjuvant chemotherapy, similar effects were seen for OS (HR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.67-1.03, P=.087) and DFS (HR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.91-0.65, P=.002). Available data did not reveal any subgroup of patients that does not benefit from adjuvant RT. Conclusion: In randomized trials for resectable gastric cancer, adjuvant RT provides an approximately 20% improvement in both DFS and OS. Available data do not reveal a subgroup of patients that does not benefit from adjuvant RT. Further study is required to optimize the implementation of adjuvant RT for gastric cancer with regard to patient selection and integration with systemic therapy.

  7. Design and implementation of a web-based patient portal linked to an electronic health record designed to improve medication safety: the Patient Gateway medications module

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Schnipper


    Full Text Available In this article we describe the background, design, and preliminary results of a medications module within Patient Gateway (PG, a patient portal linked to an electronic health record (EHR. The medications module is designed to improve the accuracy of medication lists within the EHR, reduce adverse drug events and improve patient_provider communication regarding medications and allergies in several primary care practices within a large integrated healthcare delivery network. This module allows patients to view and modify the list of medications and allergies from the EHR, report nonadherence, side effects and other medication-related problems and easily communicate this information to providers, who can verify the information and update the EHR as needed. Usage and satisfaction data indicate that patients found the module easy to use, felt that it led to their providers having more accurate information about them and enabled them to feel more prepared for their forthcoming visits. Further analyses will determine the effects of this module on important medication-related outcomes and identify further enhancements needed to improve on this approach.

  8. Staff empowerment: a medical record department's preliminary experiences with continuous quality improvement. (United States)

    Markon, E


    After observing the results of continuous quality improvement, no one would argue against its value in the workplace. However, learning to apply the concepts requires change on everyone's part, and the challenge lies in effecting this change. Not everyone will want to work in this type of environment and, if the organization is truly committed to continuous quality improvement, those individuals may have to make hard decisions as to whether the organization is the right place for them to work. Certain skills are required for staff empowerment to be successful, and training in these skills is essential. The medical record department staff learned early in this process that, although the group possessed job skills, interaction and team skills were lacking. The Development Dimensions International program helped the managers and staff identify the weaknesses of the group and provided educational tools for improvement. The changes often are so subtle, the group does not realize anything has changed. It was not until recently, when the medical record department staff was requested by administration to identify department quality improvement projects, that the group looked back at where the process started and realized how different things are today from three years ago--now staff members lead team meetings, work-groups are redesigning their job processes, and teams update the rest of the department staff on its progress at department meetings. Everyone expressed a sense of pride and accomplishment that the group had indeed responded to the challenge. The experiences of the medical record department thus far clearly support empowerment of employees.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. [Improvement of medical processes with Six Sigma - practicable zero-defect quality in preparation for surgery]. (United States)

    Sobottka, Stephan B; Töpfer, Armin; Eberlein-Gonska, Maria; Schackert, Gabriele; Albrecht, D Michael


    Six Sigma is an innovative management- approach to reach practicable zero- defect quality in medical service processes. The Six Sigma principle utilizes strategies, which are based on quantitative measurements and which seek to optimize processes, limit deviations or dispersion from the target process. Hence, Six Sigma aims to eliminate errors or quality problems of all kinds. A pilot project to optimize the preparation for neurosurgery could now show that the Six Sigma method enhanced patient safety in medical care, while at the same time disturbances in the hospital processes and failure costs could be avoided. All six defined safety relevant quality indicators were significantly improved by changes in the workflow by using a standardized process- and patient- oriented approach. Certain defined quality standards such as a 100% complete surgical preparation at start of surgery and the required initial contact of the surgeon with the patient/ surgical record on the eve of surgery could be fulfilled within the range of practical zero- defect quality. Likewise, the degree of completion of the surgical record by 4 p.m. on the eve of surgery and their quality could be improved by a factor of 170 and 16, respectively, at sigma values of 4.43 and 4.38. The other two safety quality indicators "non-communicated changes in the OR- schedule" and the "completeness of the OR- schedule by 12:30 a.m. on the day before surgery" also show an impressive improvement by a factor of 2.8 and 7.7, respectively, corresponding with sigma values of 3.34 and 3.51. The results of this pilot project demonstrate that the Six Sigma method is eminently suitable for improving quality of medical processes. In our experience this methodology is suitable, even for complex clinical processes with a variety of stakeholders. In particular, in processes in which patient safety plays a key role, the objective of achieving a zero- defect quality is reasonable and should definitely be aspirated.

  10. An innovative quality improvement curriculum for third-year medical students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Stern Levitt


    Full Text Available Background: Competence in quality improvement (QI is a priority for medical students. We describe a self-directed QI skills curriculum for medical students in a 1-year longitudinal integrated third-year clerkship: an ideal context to learn and practice QI. Methods: Two groups of four students identified a quality gap, described existing efforts to address the gap, made quantifying measures, and proposed a QI intervention. The program was assessed with knowledge and attitude surveys and a validated tool for rating trainee QI proposals. Reaction to the curriculum was assessed by survey and focus group. Results: Knowledge of QI concepts did not improve (mean knowledge score±SD: pre: 5.9±1.5 vs. post: 6.6±1.3, p=0.20. There were significant improvements in attitudes (mean topic attitude score±SD toward the value of QI (pre: 9.9±1.8 vs. post: 12.6±1.9, p=0.03 and confidence in QI skills (pre: 13.4±2.8 vs. post: 16.1±3.0, p=0.05. Proposals lacked sufficient analysis of interventions and evaluation plans. Reaction was mixed, including appreciation for the experience and frustration with finding appropriate mentorship. Conclusion: Clinical-year students were able to conduct a self-directed QI project. Lack of improvement in QI knowledge suggests that self-directed learning in this domain may be insufficient without targeted didactics. Higher order skills such as developing measurement plans would benefit from explicit instruction and mentorship. Lessons from this experience will allow educators to better target QI curricula to medical students in the clinical years.

  11. Improving safety culture on adult medical units through multidisciplinary teamwork and communication interventions: the TOPS Project. (United States)

    Blegen, M A; Sehgal, N L; Alldredge, B K; Gearhart, S; Auerbach, A A; Wachter, R M


    The goal of this project was to improve unit-based safety culture through implementation of a multidisciplinary (pharmacy, nursing, medicine) teamwork and communication intervention. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture was used to determine the impact of the training with a before-after design. Surveys were returned from 454 healthcare staff before the training and 368 staff 1 year later. Five of eleven safety culture subscales showed significant improvement. Nurses perceived a stronger safety culture than physicians or pharmacists. While it is difficult to isolate the effects of the team training intervention from other events occurring during the year between training and postevaluation, overall the intervention seems to have improved the safety culture on these medical units.

  12. RF-Medisys: a radio frequency identification-based electronic medical record system for improving medical information accessibility and services at point of care. (United States)

    Ting, Jacky S L; Tsang, Albert H C; Ip, Andrew W H; Ho, George T S


    This paper presents an innovative electronic medical records (EMR) system, RF-MediSys, which can perform medical information sharing and retrieval effectively and which is accessible via a 'smart' medical card. With such a system, medical diagnoses and treatment decisions can be significantly improved when compared with the conventional practice of using paper medical records systems. Furthermore, the entire healthcare delivery process, from registration to the dispensing or administration of medicines, can be visualised holistically to facilitate performance review. To examine the feasibility of implementing RF-MediSys and to determine its usefulness to users of the system, a survey was conducted within a multi-disciplinary medical service organisation that operates a network of medical clinics and paramedical service centres throughout Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Questionnaires were distributed to 300 system users, including nurses, physicians and patients, to collect feedback on the operation and performance of RF-MediSys in comparison with conventional paper-based medical record systems. The response rate to the survey was 67%. Results showed a medium to high level of user satisfaction with the radiofrequency identification (RFID)-based EMR system. In particular, respondents provided high ratings on both 'user-friendliness' and 'system performance'. Findings of the survey highlight the potential of RF-MediSys as a tool to enhance quality of medical services and patient safety.

  13. Management of Pediatric Myxopapillary Ependymoma: The Role of Adjuvant Radiation

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    Agbahiwe, Harold C.; Wharam, Moody [Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Batra, Sachin [Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Cohen, Kenneth [Division of Pediatric Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Terezakis, Stephanie A., E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States)


    Introduction: Myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) is a rare tumor in children. The primary treatment is gross total resection (GTR), with no clearly defined role for adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Published reports, however, suggest that children with MPE present with a more aggressive disease course. The goal of this study was to assess the role of adjuvant RT in pediatric patients with MPE. Methods: Sixteen patients with MPE seen at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) between November 1984 and December 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Fifteen of the patients were evaluable with a mean age of 16.8 years (range, 12-21 years). Kaplan-Meier curves and descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Results: All patients received surgery as the initial treatment modality. Surgery consisted of either a GTR or a subtotal resection (STR). The median dose of adjuvant RT was 50.4 Gy (range, 45-54 Gy). All patients receiving RT were treated at the involved site. After a median follow-up of 7.2 years (range, 0.75-26.4 years), all patients were alive with stable disease. Local control at 5 and 10 years was 62.5% and 30%, respectively, for surgery alone versus 100% at both time points for surgery and adjuvant RT. Fifty percent of the patients receiving surgery alone had local failure. All patients receiving STR alone had local failure compared to 33% of patients receiving GTR alone. One patient in the surgery and adjuvant RT group developed a distant site of recurrence 1 year from diagnosis. No late toxicity was reported at last follow-up, and neurologic symptoms either improved or remained stable following surgery with or without RT. Conclusions: Adjuvant RT improved local control compared to surgery alone and should be considered after surgical resection in pediatric patients with MPE.

  14. Can enriching emotional intelligence improve medical students' proactivity and adaptability during OB/GYN clerkships? (United States)

    Guseh, Stephanie H; Chen, Xiaodong P; Johnson, Natasha R


    The purpose of this pilot study was to examine our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence through resident coaches could improve third-year medical students' adaptability and proactivity on the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship. An observational pilot study was conducted in a teaching hospital. Fourteen 3rd year medical students from two cohorts of clerkships were randomly divided into two groups, and equally assigned to trained resident coaches and untrained resident coaches. Data was collected through onsite naturalistic observation of students' adaptability and proactivity in clinical settings using a checklist with a 4-point Likert scale (1=poor to 4=excellent). Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the differences between these two groups. A total of 280 data points were collected through onsite observations conducted by investigators. All (n=14) students' adaptability and proactivity performance significantly improved from an average of 3.04 to 3.45 (p=0.014) over 6-week clerkship. Overall, students with trained resident coaches adapted significantly faster and were more proactive in the obstetrics and gynecology clinical setting than the students with untrained coaches (3.31 vs. 3.24, p=0.019). Findings from our pilot study supported our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence knowledge through resident coaches was able to help medical students adapt into obstetrics and gynecology clinical settings faster and become more proactive in learning. Clerkship programs can incorporate the concept of a resident coach in their curriculum to help bridge medical students into clinical settings and to help them engage in self-directed learning throughout the rotation.

  15. Does the presence of a pharmacist in primary care clinics improve diabetes medication adherence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kocarnik Beverly Mielke


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs are an essential element of therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes, OHA adherence is often suboptimal. Pharmacists are increasingly being integrated into primary care as part of the move towards a patient-centered medical home and may have a positive influence on medication use. We examined whether the presence of pharmacists in primary care clinics was associated with higher OHA adherence. Methods This retrospective cohort study analyzed 280,603 diabetes patients in 196 primary care clinics within the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Pharmacists presence, number of pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs, and the degree to which pharmacy services are perceived as a bottleneck in each clinic were obtained from the 2007 VA Clinical Practice Organizational Survey—Primary Care Director Module. Patient-level adherence to OHAs using medication possession ratios (MPRs were constructed using refill data from administrative pharmacy databases after adjusting for patient characteristics. Clinic-level OHA adherence was measured as the proportion of patients with MPR >= 80%. We analyzed associations between pharmacy measures and clinic-level adherence using linear regression. Results We found no significant association between pharmacist presence and clinic-level OHA adherence. However, adherence was lower in clinics where pharmacy services were perceived as a bottleneck. Conclusions Pharmacist presence, regardless of the amount of FTE, was not associated with OHA medication adherence in primary care clinics. The exact role of pharmacists in clinics needs closer examination in order to determine how to most effectively use these resources to improve patient-centered outcomes including medication adherence.

  16. Study guides: effective tools to improve self-directed learning skills of medical students.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahboobeh Khabaz Mafinejad


    Full Text Available In medicine, there is a rapid development of a knowledge base. Medical professionals need to sustain and advance their competence to practice in response to these varieties. So, there is increased interest in self-directed learning methods. Study guides can make a major contribution to self-directed learning. This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of study guides on improving self-learning skills of medical students in the Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS. In this quasi-experimental study, 46 medical students were randomly assigned into two groups; the intervention group and the control group. Both groups participated in a diagnostic test at the beginning of the course (pre-test. The same test was taken at the end of the course (post-test. The intervention group was provided with study guides on thyroid disorders and diabetes. Meanwhile, they continued their routine clinical training. The control group was only involved in the conventional training program. Students in the intervention group were also asked to complete a designed questionnaire in regard to their attitude toward the study guides. At enrollment, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. The mean scores of the pre-test for the control group and the intervention group were 6.18 and 6.13 respectively (P=0.9. In the post-test, the mean score of the students in the intervention group was considerably higher: 9.25 vs. 12 (P=0.002. The students in the intervention group found the study guides useful. The study guides were potentially effective in motivating self-learning in this group of medical students and had a remarkable effect on their final score.

  17. A generic method for improving the spatial interoperability of medical and ecological databases. (United States)

    Ghenassia, A; Beuscart, J B; Ficheur, G; Occelli, F; Babykina, E; Chazard, E; Genin, M


    The availability of big data in healthcare and the intensive development of data reuse and georeferencing have opened up perspectives for health spatial analysis. However, fine-scale spatial studies of ecological and medical databases are limited by the change of support problem and thus a lack of spatial unit interoperability. The use of spatial disaggregation methods to solve this problem introduces errors into the spatial estimations. Here, we present a generic, two-step method for merging medical and ecological databases that avoids the use of spatial disaggregation methods, while maximizing the spatial resolution. Firstly, a mapping table is created after one or more transition matrices have been defined. The latter link the spatial units of the original databases to the spatial units of the final database. Secondly, the mapping table is validated by (1) comparing the covariates contained in the two original databases, and (2) checking the spatial validity with a spatial continuity criterion and a spatial resolution index. We used our novel method to merge a medical database (the French national diagnosis-related group database, containing 5644 spatial units) with an ecological database (produced by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, and containing with 36,594 spatial units). The mapping table yielded 5632 final spatial units. The mapping table's validity was evaluated by comparing the number of births in the medical database and the ecological databases in each final spatial unit. The median [interquartile range] relative difference was 2.3% [0; 5.7]. The spatial continuity criterion was low (2.4%), and the spatial resolution index was greater than for most French administrative areas. Our innovative approach improves interoperability between medical and ecological databases and facilitates fine-scale spatial analyses. We have shown that disaggregation models and large aggregation techniques are not necessarily the best ways to

  18. Study guides: effective tools to improve self-directed learning skills of medical students. (United States)

    Khabaz Mafinejad, Mahboobeh; Aghili, Rokhsareh; Emami, Zahra; Malek, Mojtaba; Baradaran, Hamidreza; Taghavinia, Mansoureh; Khamseh, Mohammad E


    In medicine, there is a rapid development of a knowledge base. Medical professionals need to sustain and advance their competence to practice in response to these varieties. So, there is increased interest in self-directed learning methods. Study guides can make a major contribution to self-directed learning. This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of study guides on improving self-learning skills of medical students in the Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS). In this quasi-experimental study, 46 medical students were randomly assigned into two groups; the intervention group and the control group. Both groups participated in a diagnostic test at the beginning of the course (pre-test). The same test was taken at the end of the course (post-test). The intervention group was provided with study guides on thyroid disorders and diabetes. Meanwhile, they continued their routine clinical training. The control group was only involved in the conventional training program. Students in the intervention group were also asked to complete a designed questionnaire in regard to their attitude toward the study guides. At enrollment, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. The mean scores of the pre-test for the control group and the intervention group were 6.18 and 6.13 respectively (P=0.9). In the post-test, the mean score of the students in the intervention group was considerably higher: 9.25 vs. 12 (P=0.002). The students in the intervention group found the study guides useful. The study guides were potentially effective in motivating self-learning in this group of medical students and had a remarkable effect on their final score.

  19. Improving Education in Medical Statistics: Implementing a Blended Learning Model in the Existing Curriculum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasa M Milic

    Full Text Available Although recent studies report on the benefits of blended learning in improving medical student education, there is still no empirical evidence on the relative effectiveness of blended over traditional learning approaches in medical statistics. We implemented blended along with on-site (i.e. face-to-face learning to further assess the potential value of web-based learning in medical statistics.This was a prospective study conducted with third year medical undergraduate students attending the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, who passed (440 of 545 the final exam of the obligatory introductory statistics course during 2013-14. Student statistics achievements were stratified based on the two methods of education delivery: blended learning and on-site learning. Blended learning included a combination of face-to-face and distance learning methodologies integrated into a single course.Mean exam scores for the blended learning student group were higher than for the on-site student group for both final statistics score (89.36±6.60 vs. 86.06±8.48; p = 0.001 and knowledge test score (7.88±1.30 vs. 7.51±1.36; p = 0.023 with a medium effect size. There were no differences in sex or study duration between the groups. Current grade point average (GPA was higher in the blended group. In a multivariable regression model, current GPA and knowledge test scores were associated with the final statistics score after adjusting for study duration and learning modality (p<0.001.This study provides empirical evidence to support educator decisions to implement different learning environments for teaching medical statistics to undergraduate medical students. Blended and on-site training formats led to similar knowledge acquisition; however, students with higher GPA preferred the technology assisted learning format. Implementation of blended learning approaches can be considered an attractive, cost-effective, and efficient alternative to traditional

  20. [Proposal for improving EQA programs in clinical microbiology by the Japanese Association of Medical Technologists]. (United States)

    Inuzuka, Kazuhisa


    External quality assessment (EQA) programs have been conducted by the Japanese Association of Medical Technologists (JAMT) since 1989. The nationwide EQA programs have provided feedback for improving clinical tests quality in individual laboratories. The participating laboratories have been expected to process the survey samples according to their usual practice for patient specimens. However, many problems relating to the EQA programs in clinical microbiology have been raised. Dishonesty in the responses, survey samples being handled in a manner that improves assessment results, surveys depending on volunteers because of time and cost limitations were some of the initial problems. In addition, the criteria used to evaluate the results were poorly understood, so that neither examiners not participants were clear as to how the evaluation worked. And finally, the nationwide EQA programs can detect only gross errors and use invalid methods for evaluating routine performances. They have been measuring only a few steps in specimens processing. To assess overall laboratory competence, other methods are needed. It is time to reform the JAMT nationwide EQA program to initiate real proficiency testing and to this end it is necessary to increase collaboration between JAMT and the regional associations of medical technologists, so that the improved testing program can be properly administered.

  1. Process mapping evaluation of medication reconciliation in academic teaching hospitals: a critical step in quality improvement (United States)

    Holbrook, Anne; Bowen, James M; Patel, Harsit; O'Brien, Chris; You, John J; Tahavori, Roshan; Doleweerd, Jeff; Berezny, Tim; Perri, Dan; Nieuwstraten, Carmine; Troyan, Sue; Patel, Ameen


    Background Medication reconciliation (MedRec) has been a mandated or recommended activity in Canada, the USA and the UK for nearly 10 years. Accreditation bodies in North America will soon require MedRec for every admission, transfer and discharge of every patient. Studies of MedRec have revealed unintentional discrepancies in prescriptions but no clear evidence that clinically important outcomes are improved, leading to widely variable practices. Our objective was to apply process mapping methodology to MedRec to clarify current processes and resource usage, identify potential efficiencies and gaps in care, and make recommendations for improvement in the light of current literature evidence of effectiveness. Methods Process engineers observed and recorded all MedRec activities at 3 academic teaching hospitals, from initial emergency department triage to patient discharge, for general internal medicine patients. Process maps were validated with frontline staff, then with the study team, managers and patient safety leads to summarise current problems and discuss solutions. Results Across all of the 3 hospitals, 5 general problem themes were identified: lack of use of all available medication sources, duplication of effort creating inefficiency, lack of timeliness of completion of the Best Possible Medication History, lack of standardisation of the MedRec process, and suboptimal communication of MedRec issues between physicians, pharmacists and nurses. Discussion MedRec as practised in this environment requires improvements in quality, timeliness, consistency and dissemination. Further research exploring efficient use of resources, in terms of personnel and costs, is required. PMID:28039294

  2. Low-health literacy flashcards & mobile video reinforcement to improve medication adherence in patients on oral diabetes, heart failure, and hypertension medications. (United States)

    Yeung, Denise L; Alvarez, Kristin S; Quinones, Marissa E; Clark, Christopher A; Oliver, George H; Alvarez, Carlos A; Jaiyeola, Adeola O

    To design and investigate a pharmacist-run intervention using low health literacy flashcards and a smartphone-activated quick response (QR) barcoded educational flashcard video to increase medication adherence and disease state understanding. Prospective, matched, quasi-experimental design. County health system in Dallas, Texas. Sixty-eight primary care patients prescribed targeted heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes medications INTERVENTION: Low health literacy medication and disease specific flashcards, which were also available as QR-coded online videos, were designed for the intervention patients. The following validated health literacy tools were conducted: Newest Vital Sign (NVS), Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy Medicine-Short Form, and Short Assessment of Health Literacy-50. The primary outcome was the difference in medication adherence at 180 days after pharmacist intervention compared with the control group, who were matched on the basis of comorbid conditions, targeted medications, and medication class. Medication adherence was measured using a modified Pharmacy Quality Alliance proportion of days covered (PDC) calculation. Secondary outcomes included 90-day PDC, improvement of greater than 25% in baseline PDC, and final PDC greater than 80%. Linear regression was performed to evaluate the effect of potential confounders on the primary outcome. Of the 34 patients receiving the intervention, a majority of patients scored a high possibility of limited health literacy on the NVS tool (91.2%). The medication with the least adherence at baseline was metformin, followed by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta blockers. At 180 days after intervention, patients in the intervention group had higher PDCs compared with their matched controls (71% vs. 44%; P = 0.0069). The use of flashcards and QR-coded prescription bottles for medication and disease state education is an innovative way of improving adherence to diabetes, hypertension, and heart

  3. Board of Undergraduate Courses: a Means to Improve Academic Quality in Medical Universities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma Mur Villar


    Full Text Available Improving the quality of the service provided to the society by the University of Medical Sciences and its participation in solving health problems is undoubtedly, the most important challenge facing this institution. In order to disseminate the results of the meeting of the board of undergraduate courses as a means to achieve academic quality, the main results derived from such meeting are presented. The board of undergraduate courses contributes to systematically foster a culture of quality in the university, particularly in professional training. Methodological guidelines for conducting the board meeting are discussed.

  4. Adjuvant chemotherapy compliance is not superior after thoracoscopic lobectomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, Peter B; Schytte, Tine; Jakobsen, Erik


    BACKGROUND: It is generally assumed that patient compliance with adjuvant chemotherapy is superior after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery compared with open lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The level of evidence for this assumption, however, is limited to single-institution, ......BACKGROUND: It is generally assumed that patient compliance with adjuvant chemotherapy is superior after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery compared with open lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The level of evidence for this assumption, however, is limited to single...... histopathology. A clinical oncologist, who was blinded to the surgical approach, reviewed all medical oncology charts for types of adjuvant chemotherapy, reasons for not initiating or stopping treatment, number of cycles delivered, and time interval from surgery to initial chemotherapy. RESULTS: During a 6-year...... adjuvant chemotherapy and 121 (38.7%) completed all four cycles. Ordinal logistic regression revealed that chemotherapy compliance (none, partial, and full chemotherapy) was significantly reduced by the patient's age (p

  5. Immune Adjuvant Effect of Molecularly-defined Toll-Like Receptor Ligands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deana N. Toussi


    Full Text Available Vaccine efficacy is optimized by addition of immune adjuvants. However, although adjuvants have been used for over a century, to date, only few adjuvants are approved for human use, mostly aimed at improving vaccine efficacy and antigen-specific protective antibody production. The mechanism of action of immune adjuvants is diverse, depending on their chemical and molecular nature, ranging from non-specific effects (i.e., antigen depot at the immunization site to specific activation of immune cells leading to improved host innate and adaptive responses. Although the detailed molecular mechanism of action of many adjuvants is still elusive, the discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs has provided new critical information on immunostimulatory effect of numerous bacterial components that engage TLRs. These ligands have been shown to improve both the quality and the quantity of host adaptive immune responses when used in vaccine formulations targeted to infectious diseases and cancer that require both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The potential of such TLR adjuvants in improving the design and the outcomes of several vaccines is continuously evolving, as new agonists are discovered and tested in experimental and clinical models of vaccination. In this review, a summary of the recent progress in development of TLR adjuvants is presented.

  6. Role of a medical students' association in improving the curriculum at a faculty of health sciences. (United States)

    Toker, Asaf; Urkin, Jacob; Bloch, Yuval


    The Joyce and Irving Goldman School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev encourages students to take part in the development and evaluation of the teaching experience. These special relations between the school and the students contribute not only to changes in the curriculum but also to increased involvement of faculty and students in the community. This article reviews the special relationship between the Faculty of Health Sciences and its medical students through the Medical Students Association (ASRN). During the last decade, BGU medical students have initiated innovative programmes some of which have recently become integrated into the curriculum. These include: prevention of sexual violence among youth, decreasing white-coat fear in small children ('Teddy Bear hospital') and participation in home-hospice activities. By encouraging students to become equal partners in faculty development and rejecting the traditional paternalistic mode of teacher-student relationships, the faculty has created an improved learning experience, and increased student motivation and levels of communication between the teachers and the future clinicians.

  7. Strategies to Improve Students’ Educational Achievement Motivation at Guilan University of Medical Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdokht Taheri


    Full Text Available Introduction: In view of the fact that motivation is linked directly to the learning process and educational achievement, this study endeavored to identify strategies to improve students’ educational achievement motivation at Guilan University of Medical Sciences. Methods: To conduct this descriptive-analytical study, 368 students from Guilan University of Medical Sciences were selected using simple random sampling from 2013-2014. All of the Guilan University of Medical Sciences’ students met the general eligibility criteria except guest students. The questionnaire included five domains of economic, socio-cultural, educational, geo-regional, and personality factors in educational achievement motivation. Through using descriptive and inferential statistics (Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests, the compiled data were analyzed at the significance level of 0.05. Results: Data analysis revealed that socio-cultural factors have the maximum score (64.14 ± 9.92 and geo-regional factors have the minimum score (19.01±3.63 on the participants’ educational achievement motivation. What is more, a significant difference was revealed between educational field and educational effective factors as well as educational level and educational effective factors (p<0.011, p<0.004, respectively. Conclusion: Given that the socio-cultural factors had the maximum score on the students’ educational achievement motivation, it is recommended that university officials take these factors into account, and attempt to plan to provide appropriate strategies to enhance their students’ motivation, specifically their educational achievement motivation.

  8. Physical activity and better medication compliance improve mini-mental state examination scores in the elderly. (United States)

    Guimarães, Fabiana Costa; Amorim, Paulo Roberto dos Santos; Reis, Fernando Fonseca dos; Bonoto, Robson Teixeira; Oliveira, Wederson Candido de; Moura, Tiago Augusto da Silva; Assis, Cláudia Loures de; Palotás, András; Lima, Luciana Moreira


    In addition to hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle plays a pivotal role in cerebro- and cardiovascular disease and progressive cognitive decline, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The present study investigated whether controlling the key risks and participating in physical activity have a beneficial impact on these disorders. Elderly volunteers were enrolled in a 3-month program that consisted of structured exercise three times per week. The daily routine, medical treatment, and vital parameters were evaluated and correlated with the subjects' neuropsychiatric status. High blood pressure was found in 40% of the participants, with no significant differences between the sexes. A higher proportion of females (55%) than males (18%) forgot to take their medication during the observation period. Significant negative correlations were found between Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores and age, lack of a caregiver, and increased pulse rate before or after exercise. These results suggest that the presence of home assistance and subsequent improvement in medication compliance, vital parameter optimization, and regular physical activity may yield better MMSE results and a lower risk for cerebro- and cardiovascular disease. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Improving the quality of adverse drug reaction reporting by 4th-year medical students. (United States)

    Rosebraugh, Curtis J; Tsong, Yi; Zhou, Feng; Chen, Min; Mackey, Ann Corken; Flowers, Charlene; Toyer, Denise; Flockhart, David A; Honig, Peter K


    Evaluate whether a 15-minute lecture intervention will improve adverse drug reaction reporting quality on standard MedWatch forms. Seventy-eight 4th-year medical students were randomized to intervention 'Group-A' or non-intervention 'Group-B' on the first day of a required five-day clinical pharmacology rotation. Group-A participants attended a 15-minute lecture on completing a MedWatch form with quality information considered by the Food and Drug Administration as critical to adequate adverse drug reaction reporting. Group-B participants did not attend this lecture. Both groups then watched a standardized patient interview of a recognizable adverse drug reaction and completed MedWatch forms. Four Safety Evaluators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rated student responses in a blinded fashion for the primary efficacy variable of Overall Impression and six informational domins using a standardized data quality analysis form that was developed within the Office of Postmarketing Drug Risk Assessment of the FDA. Seventy-eight MedWatch forms were evaluated (Group-A = 40, Group B = 38). Overall MedWatch information quality scores for the intervention group were significantly higher than the non-intervention group (p students. Academic medical centers should consider incorporating adverse drug reaction reporting curriculum into the clinical training of medical students.

  10. Improving quality in an internal medicine residency program through a peer medical record audit. (United States)

    Asao, Keiko; Mansi, Ishak A; Banks, Daniel


    This study examined the effectiveness of a quality improvement project of a limited didactic session, a medical record audit by peers, and casual feedback within a residency program. Residents audited their peers' medical records from the clinic of a university hospital in March, April, August, and September 2007. A 24-item quality-of-care score was developed for five common diagnoses, expressed from 0 to 100, with 100 as complete compliance. Audit scores were compared by month and experience of the resident as an auditor. A total of 469 medical records, audited by 12 residents, for 80 clinic residents, were included. The mean quality-of-care score was 89 (95% CI = 88-91); the scores in March, April, August, and September were 88 (95% CI = 85-91), 94 (95% CI = 90-96), 87 (95% CI = 85-89), and 91 (95% CI = 89-93), respectively. The mean score of 58 records of residents who had experience as auditors was 94 (95% CI = 89-96) compared with 89 (95% CI = 87-90) for those who did not. The score significantly varied (P = .0009) from March to April and from April to August, but it was not significantly associated with experience as an auditor with multivariate analysis. Residents' compliance with the standards of care was generally high. Residents responded to the project well, but their performance dropped after a break in the intervention. Continuation of the audit process may be necessary for a sustained effect on quality.

  11. [Further training for medical specialists in respiratory medicine: how can we improve it?]. (United States)

    Karg, O


    Young physicians in Germany often criticize the advanced training programme, especially the lack of structure and the insufficient rotations. The Medical Association in each Bundesland/federal state require to include a proposal for advanced training and rotation in a trainer's aplication for an educational license. However, there is no systematic scrutiny of these concepts and therefore the criteria stated outcomes are often only incompletely met. Trainers engage too little in training methods and medical didactics. They rarely evaluate learning outcomes, and structured assessments based on workplace are exceptions. The reasons are deeply rooted in Germany's education system: Resources for specialist training are not provided, and there is no funding for a commitment in continued medical education. In addition, teaching is not assigned a quantifiable value. However, during the last decade awareness has arisen that good training programmes are an important part of quality assurance and the validation of a hospital. Better planning, structuring and evaluation of training programmes is necessary. New learning methods should be incorporated in training programmes. The German Respiratory Society (DGP) wishes to contribute to the improvement of advanced training: for example with "train the trainer" seminars for teachers, with a structured educational course programme for the trainees, with assessments such as the HERMES (Harmonized Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists) exam and with support for the accreditation as a Respiratory Training Centre of the ERS (European Respiratory Society) and EBAP (European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology).

  12. Using the Deming quality improvement method to manage medical record department product lines. (United States)

    Postal, S N


    The above application of the quality improvement cycle provides insight into the use of the Deming method to address one of several identified customer needs and expectations obtained during the managing phase of product-line administration. Implementation of the quality improvement method requires a major commitment from all team members. Process improvement requires a willingness to be detail oriented. Gathering of statistics--such as analysis turn-around time--and evaluation are critical. This objective view of processes requires accountability and a commitment to change. Improvements focus on long-term problem resolution, not the quick fixes that result from addressing symptoms of problems. True problem resolution occurs by solving the root causes of variations. Medical record departments must move from being outcome oriented to being process focused. It is no longer feasible to be constantly putting out fires in an environment that demands well-planned and well-designed products that meet customers' expectations. The long-term management of product lines requires a systematic method of planning, doing, checking, and acting. The Deming quality improvement method provides a framework for positive change that focuses on quality processes resulting in a quality product that meets consumers' needs.

  13. Use of failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) to improve medication management process. (United States)

    Jain, Khushboo


    Purpose Medication management is a complex process, at high risk of error with life threatening consequences. The focus should be on devising strategies to avoid errors and make the process self-reliable by ensuring prevention of errors and/or error detection at subsequent stages. The purpose of this paper is to use failure mode effect analysis (FMEA), a systematic proactive tool, to identify the likelihood and the causes for the process to fail at various steps and prioritise them to devise risk reduction strategies to improve patient safety. Design/methodology/approach The study was designed as an observational analytical study of medication management process in the inpatient area of a multi-speciality hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. A team was made to study the complex process of medication management in the hospital. FMEA tool was used. Corrective actions were developed based on the prioritised failure modes which were implemented and monitored. Findings The percentage distribution of medication errors as per the observation made by the team was found to be maximum of transcription errors (37 per cent) followed by administration errors (29 per cent) indicating the need to identify the causes and effects of their occurrence. In all, 11 failure modes were identified out of which major five were prioritised based on the risk priority number (RPN). The process was repeated after corrective actions were taken which resulted in about 40 per cent (average) and around 60 per cent reduction in the RPN of prioritised failure modes. Research limitations/implications FMEA is a time consuming process and requires a multidisciplinary team which has good understanding of the process being analysed. FMEA only helps in identifying the possibilities of a process to fail, it does not eliminate them, additional efforts are required to develop action plans and implement them. Frank discussion and agreement among the team members is required not only for successfully conducing

  14. Creating and sustainable development of specialized centers as a way to improve quality of medical care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Guzeva


    Full Text Available Quality of care is evaluated on the completeness of the survey, the correct diagnosis, treatment efficacy, and its duration. Improving the quality and efficiency of medical care for children with paroxysmal disorders of consciousness is one of topical problems of neurology.Aim. The aim of the work is to justify the relationship between improving the quality of health care and sustainable development in the modern conditions of specialized medical centers on the example of the work on the identification and treatment of children with paroxysmal disorders of consciousness of the Center for diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, and sleep disorders in children and adolescents at the department neurology, neurosurgery and medical genetics SPbGPMU.Materials and methods. For more accurate diagnosis and treatment at the Center conducted a comprehensive examination, including video-EEG оf 527 children aged 1 month to 18 years. A clinical trial study included medical cases, assessment of neurological and somatic status, the study of seizure types and forms of the disease. Instrumental methods of examination were determined by EEG and MRI studies of the brain.Main results. Comprehensive survey of sick children with monitoring video-EEG revealed that 317 children (60,1% had epileptic paroxysms and 210 children (39,8% – non-epileptic paroxysms. Correction treatment was performed in 284 (89,5% children with epileptic paroxysms and altered the treatment in 190 (90,4% children with epileptic paroxysms.Conclusion. The presented clinical data show the high effectiveness of the Centre in the diagnosis and treatment of children with paroxysmal disorders of consciousness. The accumulated experience in the Center confirms the relevance of the creation of the structure of scientific and educational institutions specialized centers in which patients will be given to high-quality medical care.

  15. Pseudo-Mannosylated DC-SIGN Ligands as Potential Adjuvants for HIV Vaccines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Berzi


    Full Text Available The development of new and effective adjuvants may play a fundamental role in improving HIV vaccine efficacy. New classes of vaccine adjuvants activate innate immunity receptors, notably toll like receptors (TLRs. Adjuvants targeting the C-Type lectin receptor DC-SIGN may be alternative or complementary to adjuvants based on TRL activation. Herein we evaluate the ability of the glycomimetic DC-SIGN ligand Polyman 19 (PM 19 to modulate innate immune responses. Results showed that PM 19 alone, or in combination with TLR agonists, induces the expression of cytokines, β chemokines and co-stimulatory molecules that may, in turn, modulate adaptive immunity and exert anti-viral effects. These results indicate that the suitability of this compound as a vaccine adjuvant should be further evaluated.

  16. Dietary and medication adjustments to improve seizure control in patients treated with the ketogenic diet (United States)

    Selter, Jessica H.; Turner, Zahava; Doerrer, Sarah C.; Kossoff, Eric H.


    Unlike anticonvulsant drugs and vagus nerve stimulation, there are no guidelines regarding adjustments to ketogenic diet regimens to improve seizure efficacy once the diet has been started. A retrospective chart review was performed of 200 consecutive patients treated with the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2007-2013. Ten dietary and supplement changes were identified, along with anticonvulsant adjustments. A total of 391 distinct interventions occurred, of which 265 were made specifically to improve seizure control. Adjustments lead to >50% further seizure reduction in-18%, but only 3% became seizure-free. The benefits of interventions did not decrease over time. There was a trend towards medication adjustments being more successful than dietary modifications (24% vs. 15%, p = 0.08). No single dietary change stood out as the most effective, but calorie changes were largely unhelpful (10% with additional benefit). PMID:24859788

  17. Dietary and medication adjustments to improve seizure control in patients treated with the ketogenic diet. (United States)

    Selter, Jessica H; Turner, Zahava; Doerrer, Sarah C; Kossoff, Eric H


    Unlike anticonvulsant drugs and vagus nerve stimulation, there are no guidelines regarding adjustments to ketogenic diet regimens to improve seizure efficacy once the diet has been started. A retrospective chart review was performed of 200 consecutive patients treated with the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2007 to 2013. Ten dietary and supplement changes were identified, along with anticonvulsant adjustments. A total of 391 distinct interventions occurred, of which 265 were made specifically to improve seizure control. Adjustments led to >50% further seizure reduction in 18%, but only 3% became seizure-free. The benefits of interventions did not decrease over time. There was a trend towards medication adjustments being more successful than dietary modifications (24% vs 15%, P = .08). No single dietary change stood out as the most effective, but calorie changes were largely unhelpful (10% with additional benefit).

  18. Improving structural medical process comparison by exploiting domain knowledge and mined information. (United States)

    Montani, Stefania; Leonardi, Giorgio; Quaglini, Silvana; Cavallini, Anna; Micieli, Giuseppe


    Process model comparison and similar process retrieval is a key issue to be addressed in many real-world situations, and a particularly relevant one in medical applications, where similarity quantification can be exploited to accomplish goals such as conformance checking, local process adaptation analysis, and hospital ranking. In this paper, we present a framework that allows the user to: (i) mine the actual process model from a database of process execution traces available at a given hospital; and (ii) compare (mined) process models. The tool is currently being applied in stroke management. Our framework relies on process mining to extract process-related information (i.e., process models) from data. As for process comparison, we have modified a state-of-the-art structural similarity metric by exploiting: (i) domain knowledge; (ii) process mining outputs and statistical temporal information. These changes were meant to make the metric more suited to the medical domain. Experimental results showed that our metric outperforms the original one, and generated output closer than that provided by a stroke management expert. In particular, our metric correctly rated 11 out of 15 mined hospital models with respect to a given query. On the other hand, the original metric correctly rated only 7 out of 15 models. The experiments also showed that the framework can support stroke management experts in answering key research questions: in particular, average patient improvement decreased as the distance (according to our metric) from the top level hospital process model increased. The paper shows that process mining and process comparison, through a similarity metric tailored to medical applications, can be applied successfully to clinical data to gain a better understanding of different medical processes adopted by different hospitals, and of their impact on clinical outcomes. In the future, we plan to make our metric even more general and efficient, by explicitly

  19. Transitioning From Volume to Value: One Academic Medical Center's Approach to Improving Population Health. (United States)

    Halvorson, Stephanie A C; Tanski, Mary E; Yackel, Thomas R


    The U.S. health care system is undergoing a major transformation. Clinical delivery systems are now being paid according to the value of the care they provide, in accordance with the Triple Aim, which incorporates improving the quality and cost of care and the patient experience. Increasingly, financial risk is being transferred from insurers to clinical delivery systems that become responsible for both episode-based clinical care and the longitudinal care of patients. Thus, these delivery systems need to develop strategies to manage the health of populations. Academic medical centers (AMCs) serve a unique role in many markets yet may be ill prepared for this transformation. In 2013, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) partnered with a large health insurer and six other hospitals across the state to form Propel Health, a collaborative partnership designed to deliver the tools, methods, and support necessary for population health management. OHSU also developed new internal structures and transformed its business model to embrace this value-based care model. Each Propel Health partner included the employees and dependents enrolled in its employee medical plan, for approximately 55,000 covered individuals initially. By 2017, Propel Health is expected to cover 110,000 individuals. Other outcomes to measure in the future include the quality and cost of care provided under this partnership. Anticipated challenges to overcome include insufficient primary care networks, conflicting incentives, local competition, and the magnitude of the transformation. Still, the time is right for AMCs to commit to improving the health of populations.

  20. A Multifaceted Prospective Memory Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence: Design of a Randomized Control Trial (United States)

    Insel, Kathie C.; Einstein, Gilles O.; Morrow, Daniel G.; Hepworth, Joseph T.


    Adherence to prescribed antihypertensive agents is critical because control of elevated blood pressure is the single most important way to prevent stroke and other end organ damage. Unfortunately, nonadherence remains a significant problem. Previous interventions designed to improve adherence have demonstrated only small benefits of strategies that target single facets such as understanding medication directions. The intervention described here is informed by prospective memory theory and performance of older adults in laboratory-based paradigms and uses a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to improve adherence. It incorporates multiple strategies designed to support key components of prospective remembering involved in taking medication. The intervention is delivered by nurses in the home with an education control group for comparison. Differences between groups in overall adherence following the intervention and 6 months later will be tested. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels also will be examined between groups and as it relates to adherence. Intra-individual regression is planned to examine change in adherence over time and its predictors. Finally, we will examine the association between executive function/working memory and adherence, predicting that adherence will be related to executive/working memory in the control group but not in the intervention group. PMID:23010608

  1. Improving medical student intensive care unit communication skills: a novel educational initiative using standardized family members. (United States)

    Lorin, Scott; Rho, Lisa; Wisnivesky, Juan P; Nierman, David M


    To determine whether intensive care unit (ICU) communication skills of fourth-year medical students could be improved by an educational intervention using a standardized family member. Prospective study conducted from August 2003 to May 2004. Tertiary care university teaching hospital. All fourth-year students were eligible to participate during their mandatory four-week critical care medicine clerkship. The educational intervention focused on the initial meeting with the family member of an ICU patient and included formal teaching of a communication framework followed by a practice session with an actor playing the role of a standardized family member of a fictional patient. At the beginning of the critical care medicine rotation, the intervention group received the educational session, whereas students in the control group did not. At the end of each critical care medicine rotation, all students interacted with a different standardized family member portraying a different fictional scenario. Sessions were videotaped and were scored by an investigator blinded to treatment assignment using a standardized grading tool across four domains: a) introduction; b) gathering information; c) imparting information; and d) setting goals and expectations. A total of 106 (97% of eligible) medical students agreed to participate in the study. The total mean score as well as the scores for the gathering information, imparting information, setting goals, and expectations domains for the intervention group were significantly higher than for the control group (p communication skills of fourth-year medical students can be improved by teaching and then practicing a framework for an initial ICU communication episode with a standardized family member.

  2. Interactive Learning Module Improves Resident Knowledge of Risks of Ionizing Radiation Exposure From Medical Imaging. (United States)

    Sheng, Alexander Y; Breaud, Alan H; Schneider, Jeffrey I; Kadom, Nadja; Mitchell, Patricia M; Linden, Judith A


    Physician awareness of the risks of ionizing radiation exposure related to medical imaging is poor. Effective educational interventions informing physicians of such risk, especially in emergency medicine (EM), are lacking. The SIEVERT (Suboptimal Ionizing Radiation Exposure Education - A Void in Emergency Medicine Residency Training) learning module was designed to improve provider knowledge of the risks of radiation exposure from medical imaging and comfort in communicating these risks to patients. The 1-hour module consists of introductory lecture, interactive discussion, and role-playing scenarios. In this pilot study, we assessed the educational effect using unmatched, anonymous preintervention and postintervention questionnaires that assessed fund of knowledge, participant self-reported imaging ordering practices in several clinical scenarios, and trainee comfort level in discussing radiation risks with patients. All 25 EM resident participants completed the preintervention questionnaire, and 22 completed the postintervention questionnaire within 4 hours after participation. Correct responses on the 14-question learning assessment increased from 6.32 (standard deviation = 2.36) preintervention to 12.23 (standard deviation = 1.85) post-intervention. Overall, 24% of residents were comfortable with discussing the risks of ionizing radiation exposure with patients preintervention, whereas 41% felt comfortable postintervention. Participants ordered fewer computed tomography scans in 2 of the 4 clinical scenarios after attending the educational intervention. There was improvement in EM residents' knowledge regarding the risks of ionizing radiation exposure from medical imaging, and increased participant self-reported comfort levels in the discussion of these risks with patients after the 1-hour SIEVERT learning module. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Adjuvant systemic chemotherapy for stages II and III colon cancer after complete resection: a clinical practice guideline (United States)

    Meyers, B.M.; Cosby, R.; Quereshy, F.; Jonker, D.


    Background Updated practice guidelines on adjuvant chemotherapy for completely resected colon cancer are lacking. In 2008, Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care developed a guideline on adjuvant therapy for stages ii and iii colon cancer. With newer regimens being assessed in this patient population and older agents being either abandoned because of non-effectiveness or replaced by agents that are more efficacious, a full update of the original guideline was undertaken. Methods Literature searches (January 1987 to August 2015) of medline, embase, and the Cochrane Library were conducted; in addition, abstracts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Society for Medical Oncology, and the European Cancer Congress were reviewed (the latter for January 2007 to August 2015). A practice guideline was drafted that was then scrutinized by internal and external reviewers whose comments were incorporated into the final guideline. Results Twenty-six unique reports of eighteen randomized controlled trials and thirteen unique reports of twelve meta-analyses or pooled analyses were included in the evidence base. The 5 recommendations developed included 3 for stage ii colon cancer and 2 for stage iii colon cancer. Conclusions Patients with completely resected stage iii colon cancer should be offered adjuvant 5-fluorouracil (5fu)–based chemotherapy with or without oxaliplatin (based on definitive data for improvements in survival and disease-free survival). Patients with resected stage ii colon cancer without “high-risk” features should not receive adjuvant chemotherapy. For patients with “high-risk” features, 5fu-based chemotherapy with or without oxaliplatin should be offered, although no clinical trials have been conducted to conclusively demonstrate the same benefits seen in stage iii colon cancer. PMID:28050138

  4. Improving the Safety of Oral Chemotherapy at an Academic Medical Center (United States)

    Casella, Erica; Capozzi, Donna; McGettigan, Suzanne; Gangadhar, Tara C.; Schuchter, Lynn; Myers, Jennifer S.


    Purpose: Over the last decade, the use of oral chemotherapy (OC) for the treatment of cancer has dramatically increased. Despite their route of administration, OCs pose many of the same risks as intravenous agents. In this quality improvement project, we sought to examine our current process for the prescription of OC at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and to improve on its safety. Methods: A multidisciplinary team that included oncologists, advanced-practice providers, and pharmacists was formed to analyze the current state of our OC practice. Using Lean Six Sigma quality improvement tools, we identified a lack of pharmacist review of the OC prescription as an area for improvement. To address these deficiencies, we used our electronic medical system to route OC orders placed by treating providers to an oncology-specific outpatient pharmacist at the Abramson Cancer Center for review. Results: Over 7 months, 63 orders for OC were placed for 45 individual patients. Of the 63 orders, all were reviewed by pharmacists, and, as a result, 22 interventions were made (35%). Types of interventions included dosage adjustment (one of 22), identification of an interacting drug (nine of 22), and recommendations for additional drug monitoring (12 of 22). Conclusion: OC poses many of the same risks as intravenous chemotherapy and should be prescribed and reviewed with the same oversight. At our institution, involvement of an oncology-trained pharmacist in the review of OC led to meaningful interventions in one third of the orders. PMID:26733627

  5. Medical librarians supporting information systems project lifecycles toward improved patient safety. Medical librarians possess expertise to navigate various search resources and can investigate inquiries during IS project lifecycles. (United States)

    Saimbert, Marie K; Zhang, Yingting; Pierce, Jenny; Moncrief, Erica S; O'Hagan, Keydi Boss; Cole, Peter


    Health information systems (HIS) have progressed from being used to manage billing to impacting patient safety and health professionals' job satisfaction. Many decisions are made during project management and the information system lifecycle of a HIS. Medical librarians are underutilized in HIS lifecycles; it may not be clear to stakeholders what they can provide and where their services fit. Medical librarians possess expertise to navigate various search resources and can investigate inquiries during information systems project lifecycles. Librarians can market specific skills to project lifecycle teams such as those involved in computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic medication administration record (eMAR) and root cause analysis (RCA). HIS project personnel, including patient safety team members, should make use of medical librarians in phases of health information systems project management. This will help them meet institutional and global objectives for evidence-based use of technology towards improved patient safety.

  6. MEDEVAC: survival and physiological parameters improved with higher level of flight medic training. (United States)

    Holland, Seth R; Apodaca, Amy; Mabry, Robert L


    Determine if a higher level of Army flight medic (AFM) training was associated with improved physiological state on arrival to a combat support hospital (CSH). A retrospective study comparing casualties who were evacuated by two AFM units with only Emergency Medical Technicians-Basic (EMT-Bs) to an Army National Guard unit with Critical Care Flight Paramedics (CCFPs) in Afghanistan with an injury severity score >16 in different time periods looking at their 48-hour mortality, hematocrit (HCT), base deficit (BD), oxygen saturation (SpO2), and physiological parameters on arrival to the CSH. The CCFP group had better HCT [36.5 (8.8)] than the EMT-B group [33.1 (11.4); p ≤ 0.001]. BD and SpO2 were better in the CCFP group [-3.2 (4.7)]/[97.8 (4.8)] than the EMT-B group [-4.4 (5.5)]/[96.3 (10.9)] [p ≤ 0.014]. The CCFP group had a 72% lower estimated risk ratio of mortality with an associated improvement in 48-hour survivability of 4.9% versus 15.8% for the EMT-B-group. There is a statistically significant improvement in the HCT, BD, SpO2, and 48-hour survivability at the CSH in the cohort transported by the CCFP group when compared to the cohort transported by the EMT-B group. Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  7. Letter to Editor: Electronic Medical Record, Step toward Improving the Quality of Healthcare Services and Treatment Provided to Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elahe Gozali


    Full Text Available Information technology can increase the quality of medical care and is a target for many of the pioneers in the development of clinical or medical information. Electronic medical record (EMR, one of such technologies, is a well-known and valuable system to access patient information in hospitals. Electronic medical records which are used for the purpose of providing basic health care are available through a network of computers. All units of the hospital such as examination room, conference room, emergency, patient care units, nursing stations, operating rooms, recovery units, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and medical records should have access to it. Among its advantages are improved quality of care provided to patients, better organized information, improvement in the timeliness of the process, accuracy and completeness of documentation, patient access to electronic copies of records, prevention of medication errors and allergies, reduced medical errors, immediate access to information in different places, decision support technology and improvement in the process of doing . S urely the use of electronic medical records has created a new dimension to patient care and clinical practice and will provide a comprehensive system to support people in the community and enhance the quality of services provided to them.

  8. Mediators and Moderators of Improvements in Medication Adherence: Secondary Analysis of a Community Health Worker-Led Diabetes Medication Self-Management Support Program (United States)

    Hofer, Rebecca; Choi, Hwajung; Mase, Rebecca; Fagerlin, Angela; Spencer, Michael; Heisler, Michele


    Objective. In a randomized controlled trial we compared two models of community health worker-led diabetes medication decision support for low-income Latino and African American adults with diabetes. Most outcomes were improved when community health workers used either an interactive e-Health tool or print materials. This article investigates…

  9. Adjuvant chemotherapy for endometrial cancer after hysterectomy (United States)

    Johnson, Nick; Bryant, Andrew; Miles, Tracie; Hogberg, Thomas; Cornes, Paul


    Background Endometrial adenocarcinoma (womb cancer) is a malignant growth of the lining (endometrium) of the womb (uterus). It is distinct from sarcomas (tumours of the uterine muscle). Survival depends the risk of microscopic metastases after surgery. Adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy improves survival from some other adenocarcinomas, and there is evidence that endometrial cancer is sensitive to cytotoxic therapy. This systematic review examines the effect of chemotherapy on survival after hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. Objectives To assess efficacy of adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy for endometrial cancer. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 3), MEDLINE and EMBASE up to August 2010, registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings, reference lists of included studies and contacted experts in the field. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing adjuvant chemotherapy with any other adjuvant treatment or no other treatment. Data collection and analysis We used a random-effects meta-analysis to assess hazard ratios (HR) for overall and progression-free survival and risk ratios (RR) to compare death rates and site of initial relapse. Main results Five RCTs compared no additional treatment with additional chemotherapy after hysterectomy and radiotherapy. Four trials compared platinum based combination chemotherapy directly with radiotherapy. Indiscriminate pooling of survival data from 2197 women shows a significant overall survival advantage from adjuvant chemotherapy (RR (95% CI) = 0.88 (0.79 to 0.99)). Sensitivity analysis focused on trials of modern platinum based chemotherapy regimens and found the relative risk of death to be 0.85 ((0.76 to 0.96); number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNT) = 25; absolute risk reduction = 4% (1% to 8%)). The HR for overall survival is 0.74 (0.64 to 0.89), significantly

  10. Pharmacist-based Donepezil Outpatient Consultation Service to improve medication persistence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watanabe N


    Full Text Available Norio Watanabe,1,2 Keiko Yamamura,3 Yusuke Suzuki,4 Hiroyuki Umegaki,4 Katsuro Shigeno,5 Ryo Matsushita,1 Yoshimichi Sai,1 Ken-ichi Miyamoto,1 Kiyofumi Yamada61Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan; 2Department of Pharmacy, Hashima Municipal Hospital, Hashima, Gifu, Japan; 3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan; 4Department of Community Healthcare and Geriatrics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan; 5Department of Pharmacy Practice and Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan; 6Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Hospital Pharmacy, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Aichi, JapanAim: Donepezil is widely used to delay the progression of cognitive dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD, but the efficacy of pharmacotherapy is often reduced by poor adherence to medication. In order to improve adherence by providing information about AD and the significance of pharmacotherapy, the Donepezil Outpatient Consultation Service (DOCS was set up. The influence of this service on medication persistence was assessed in the present study.Methods: Among outpatients starting donepezil therapy, we enrolled 59 patients between April 2008 and September 2010 before establishment of the DOCS (non-DOCS group and 52 patients between October 2010 and March 2012 who attended the DOCS (DOCS group. Each patient's and their caregiver's understanding about the clinical features of AD and pharmacotherapy with donepezil were also assessed. Their understanding was compared before and after the DOCS, and the 1-year medication persistence rate and the reasons for discontinuation were also investigated.Results: The 1-year medication persistence rate was significantly higher in the DOCS group than in the non-DOCS group (73

  11. Physicians’ use of computerized clinical decision supports to improve medication management in the elderly – the Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technology intervention (United States)

    Alagiakrishnan, Kannayiram; Wilson, Patricia; Sadowski, Cheryl A; Rolfson, Darryl; Ballermann, Mark; Ausford, Allen; Vermeer, Karla; Mohindra, Kunal; Romney, Jacques; Hayward, Robert S


    Background Elderly people (aged 65 years or more) are at increased risk of polypharmacy (five or more medications), inappropriate medication use, and associated increased health care costs. The use of clinical decision support (CDS) within an electronic medical record (EMR) could improve medication safety. Methods Participatory action research methods were applied to preproduction design and development and postproduction optimization of an EMR-embedded CDS implementation of the Beers’ Criteria for medication management and the Cockcroft–Gault formula for estimating glomerular filtration rates (GFR). The “Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technologies” (SMART) intervention was used in primary care and geriatrics specialty clinics. Passive (chart messages) and active (order-entry alerts) prompts exposed potentially inappropriate medications, decreased GFR, and the possible need for medication adjustments. Physician reactions were assessed using surveys, EMR simulations, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. EMR audit data were used to identify eligible patient encounters, the frequency of CDS events, how alerts were managed, and when evidence links were followed. Results Analysis of subjective data revealed that most clinicians agreed that CDS appeared at appropriate times during patient care. Although managing alerts incurred a modest time burden, most also agreed that workflow was not disrupted. Prevalent concerns related to clinician accountability and potential liability. Approximately 36% of eligible encounters triggered at least one SMART alert, with GFR alert, and most frequent medication warnings were with hypnotics and anticholinergics. Approximately 25% of alerts were overridden and ~15% elicited an evidence check. Conclusion While most SMART alerts validated clinician choices, they were received as valuable reminders for evidence-informed care and education. Data from this study may aid other attempts to implement Beers’ Criteria in

  12. Towards improvement of the accuracy and completeness of medication registration with the use of an electronic medical record (EMR)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddema-van de Wal, A; Smith, RJA; van der Werf, GT; Meyboom-de Jong, B


    Background. Approximately 80% of GPs use a GP information system (GIS) and an electronic medical record (EMR) in their daily practice. To reap the full benefits of an EMR for patient care, post-graduate education and research, the data input must be well structured and accurately coded. Objectives.

  13. Towards improvement of the accuracy and completeness of medication registration with the use of an electronic medical record (EMR)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddema-van de Wal, A; Smith, RJA; van der Werf, GT; Meyboom-de Jong, B


    Background. Approximately 80% of GPs use a GP information system (GIS) and an electronic medical record (EMR) in their daily practice. To reap the full benefits of an EMR for patient care, post-graduate education and research, the data input must be well structured and accurately coded. Objectives.

  14. Indexing of Internet resources in order to improve the provision of problem-relevant medical information. (United States)

    Hoelzer, Simon; Schweiger, Ralf Kurt; Boettcher, Hanno; Rieger, Joerg; Dudeck, Joachim


    Due to the information overload and the unstructured access to (medical) information of the internet, it isn't hardly possible to find problem-relevant medical information in an appropriate time (e.g. during a consultation). The web offers a mixture of web pages, forums, newsgroups and databases. The search for problem-relevant information for a certain knowledge area encounters on two basic problems. On the one hand, you have to find in the jungle of the information, relevant resources for your individual clinical case (treatment, diagnosis, therapeutic option etc..). The second problem consists of being able to judge the quality of individual contents of inteernet pages. On the basis of the different informational needs of health care professionals and patients a catalog with inteernet resources was created to tumor diseases such as lung cancer (small cell and non-small cell carcinoma), colorectal cancer and thyroid cancer. Explicit and implicit metainformation, if available, such as the title of the document, language, date or keywords are stored in the database. The database entries are editorially revised, so that further specific metainformation is available for the information retrieval. Our pragmatic approach of searching, editing, and archiving of internet content is still necessary since most of the web documents are based on HTML, which doesn't allow for structuring (medical) information and assigning metainformation sufficiently. The use of specific metainformation is crucial in order to improve the recall and precision of internet searches. In the future, XML and related technologies (RDF) will meet these requirements.

  15. Defining and improving the role of emergency medical services in Cape Town, South Africa. (United States)

    Anest, Trisha; Stewart de Ramirez, Sarah; Balhara, Kamna S; Hodkinson, Peter; Wallis, Lee; Hansoti, Bhakti


    Low and middle income countries bear a disproportionate burden of paediatric morbidity and mortality. South Africa, a middle income country, has unacceptably high mortality in children less than 5 years of age. Many factors that contribute to the child mortality rate are time sensitive and require efficient access to emergency care. Delays and barriers within the emergency medical services (EMS) system increase paediatric morbidity and mortality from time sensitive illnesses. This study is a qualitative evaluation of the prehospital care system for paediatric patients in Cape Town, South Africa. A purposive sample of healthcare personnel within and interacting with the EMS system were interviewed. A structured interview form was used to gather data. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed; two independent reviewers performed blinded content analysis of the transcribed script. 33 structured interviews were conducted over a 4 week period. Eight broad themes were identified during coding, including: access, communication, community education, equipment, infrastructure, staffing, training and triage. Subcategories were used to identify areas for targeted intervention. Overall agreement between the two independent coders was 93.36%, with a κ coefficient of 0.69. The prehospital system is central to delivering time sensitive care for paediatric patients. In a single centre middle income setting, communication barriers between dispatch personnel and medical facilities/EMS personnel were deemed to be a high priority intervention in order to improve care delivery. Other areas for targeted interventions should include broadening the advanced life support provider base and introducing basic medical language in dispatch staff training. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  16. Implementation of unit-based interventions to improve teamwork and patient safety on a medical service. (United States)

    O'Leary, Kevin J; Creden, Amanda J; Slade, Maureen E; Landler, Matthew P; Kulkarni, Nita; Lee, Jungwha; Vozenilek, John A; Pfeifer, Pamela; Eller, Susan; Wayne, Diane B; Williams, Mark V


    In a prior study involving 2 medical units, Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds (SIDRs) improved teamwork and reduced adverse events (AEs). SIDR was implemented on 5 additional units, and a pre- versus postintervention comparison was performed. SIDR combined a structured format for communication with daily interprofessional meetings. Teamwork was assessed using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (score range = 0-100), and AEs were identified using queries of information systems confirmed by 2 physician researchers. Paired analyses for 82 professionals completing surveys both pre and post implementation revealed improved teamwork (mean 76.8 ± 14.3 vs 80.5 ± 11.6; P = .02), which was driven mainly by nurses (76.4 ± 14.1 vs 80.8 ± 10.4; P = .009). The AE rate was similar across study periods (3.90 vs 4.07 per 100 patient days; adjusted IRR = 1.08; P = .60). SIDR improved teamwork yet did not reduce AEs. Higher baseline teamwork scores and lower AE rates than the prior study may reflect a positive cultural shift that began prior to the current study. © The Author(s) 2014.

  17. Private medical services in the Italian public hospitals: the case for improving HRM. (United States)

    De Pietro, Carlo


    This study explores how Italian public hospitals can use private medical activities run by their employed physicians as a human resources management (HRM) tool. It is based on field research in two acute-care hospitals and a review of Italian literature and laws. The Italian National Health Service (NHS) allows employed physicians to run private, patient-funded activities ("private beds", surgical operations, hospital outpatient clinics, etc.). Basic regulation is set at the national level, but it can be greatly improved at the hospital level. Private activities, if poorly managed, can damage efficiency, equity, quality of care, and public trust in the NHS. On the other hand, hospitals can also use them as leverage to improve HRM, with special attention to three issues: (1) professional evaluation, development, and training; (2) compensation policies; (3) competition for, and retention of, professionals in short supply. The two case studies presented here show great differences between the two hospitals in terms of regulation and organizational solutions that have been adopted to deal with such activities. However, in both hospitals, private activities do not seem to benefit HRM. Private activities are not systematically considered in compensation policies. Moreover, private revenues are strongly concentrated in a few physicians. Hospitals use very little of the information provided by the private activities to improve knowledge management, career development, or training planning. Finally, hospitals do not use private activities management as a tool for competing in the labor market for health professionals who are in short supply.

  18. Research monitoring by US medical institutions to protect human subjects: compliance or quality improvement? (United States)

    de Jong, Jean Philippe; van Zwieten, Myra C B; Willems, Dick L


    In recent years, to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects, institutions in the USA have begun to set up programmes to monitor ongoing medical research. These programmes provide routine, onsite oversight, and thus go beyond existing oversight such as investigating suspected misconduct or reviewing paperwork provided by investigators. However, because of a lack of guidelines and evidence, institutions have had little guidance in setting up their programmes. To help institutions make the right choices, we used interviews and document analysis to study how and why 11 US institutions have set up their monitoring programmes. Although these programmes varied considerably, we were able to distinguish two general types. 'Compliance' programmes on the one hand were part of the institutional review board office and set up to ensure compliance with regulations. Investigators' participation was mandatory. Monitors focused on documentation. Investigators could be disciplined, and could be obliged to take corrective actions. 'Quality-improvement' programmes on the other hand were part of a separate office. Investigators requested to be monitored. Monitors focused more on actual research conduct. Investigators and other parties received feedback on how to improve the research process. Although both types of programmes have their drawbacks and advantages, we argue that if institutions want to set up monitoring programmes, quality improvement is the better choice: it can help foster an atmosphere of trust between investigators and the institutional review board, and can help raise the standards for the protection of human subjects.

  19. Clinical Clerkship Education Improves With Implementing a System of Internal Program Evaluation Using Medical Students' Feedbacks. (United States)

    Sadeghi, Anahita; Aghaei Meybodi, Hamidreza; Navabakhsh, Behrouz; Soroush, Ahmadreza; Malekzadeh, Masoud Mohammad; Khorgami, Zhamak


    Quality of clinical education for medical students has always been a concern in academic medicine. This concern has increased in today's time-squeeze while faculty members have to fulfill their complementary roles as a teacher, researcher, and practitioner. One of the strategies for program evaluation is obtaining trainees' feedbacks since they are the main customers of educational programs; however, there are debates about the efficacy of student feedback as a reliable source for reforms. We gathered Likert scores on a 16-item questionnaire from 2,771 medical students participating in all clerkship programs in a multidisciplinary teaching hospital. An expert panel consisting of 8 attending physicians established content validity of the questionnaire while a high Cronbach's Alpha (0.93) proved its reliability. Summary reports of these feedbacks were presented to heads of departments, clerkship program directors, and hospital administrators, at the end of each semester. Analysis of variance was used for comparing hospital scores across different time periods and different departments. Significant changes (Pprogram directors can lead to an improved educational performance in teaching hospitals.

  20. [Internationalized medical care services increase need of health care providers to improve English communication skills]. (United States)

    Yang, Chia-Ling


    English is the most important language used in international communication. Nurses today have significantly more opportunities to come into contact with clients of different nationalities. Therefore, English communication abilities are a critical to the effective care of foreign clients. Miscommunication due to language barriers can endanger the health and safety of foreign clients and hinder their access to healthcare resources. Basic English communicate skills allow nurses to better understand the feelings of foreign clients and to affect their satisfaction with healthcare services provided. The majority of clinical nurses in Taiwan are inadequately prepared to communicate with foreign clients or use English when delivering nursing care services. Although English is not an official language in Taiwan, strengthening English communication skills is necessary for Taiwan's healthcare service system. Faced with increasing numbers of foreign clients in their daily work, first-line nursing staffs need more training to improve English proficiency. In order to do so, support from the hospital director is the first priority. The second priority is to motivate nursing staffs to learn English; the third is to incorporate different English classes into the medical system and schedule class times to meet nurse scheduling needs; and the fourth is to establish international medical wards, with appropriate incentives in pay designed to attract and retain nursing staff proficient in English communication.

  1. A randomised controlled trial of blended learning to improve the newborn examination skills of medical students. (United States)

    Stewart, Alice; Inglis, Garry; Jardine, Luke; Koorts, Pieter; Davies, Mark William


    To evaluate the hypotheses that a blended learning approach would improve the newborn examination skills of medical students and yield a higher level of satisfaction with learning newborn examination. Undergraduate medical students at a tertiary teaching hospital were individually randomised to receive either a standard neonatology teaching programme (control group), or additional online access to the PENSKE Baby Check Learning Module (blended learning group). The primary outcome was performance of newborn examination on standardised assessment by blinded investigators. The secondary outcomes were performance of all 'essential' items of the examination, and participant satisfaction. The recruitment rate was 88% (71/81). The blended learning group achieved a significantly higher mean score than the control group (p=0.02) for newborn examination. There was no difference for performance of essential items, or satisfaction with learning newborn examination. The blended learning group rated the module highly for effective use of learning time and ability to meet specific learning needs. A blended learning approach resulted in a higher level of performance of newborn examination on standardised assessment. This is consistent with published literature on blended learning and has implications for all neonatal clinicians including junior doctors, midwifes and nurse practitioners.

  2. A model of quality assurance and quality improvement for post-graduate medical education in Europe. (United States)

    Da Dalt, Liviana; Callegaro, Silvia; Mazzi, Anna; Scipioni, Antonio; Lago, Paola; Chiozza, Maria L; Zacchello, Franco; Perilongo, Giorgio


    The issue of quality assurance (QA) and quality improvement (QI), being the quality of medical education intimately related to the quality of the health care, is becoming of paramount importance worldwide. To describe a model of implementing a system for internal QA and QI within a post-graduate paediatric training programme based on the ISO 9001:2000 standard. For the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the curriculum was managed as a series of interrelated processes and their level of function was monitored by ad hoc elaborated objective indicators. The training programme was fragmented in 19 interlinked processes, 15 related procedures and 24 working instructions. All these materials, along with the quality policy, the mission, the strategies and the values were made publicly available. Based on the measurable indicators developed to monitor some of the processes, areas of weakness of the system were objectively identified and consequently QI actions implemented. The appropriateness of all this allowed the programme to finally achieve an official ISO 9000:2001 certification. The application of the ISO 9001:2000 standard served to develop an internal QA and QI system and to meet most of the standards developed for QA in higher and medical education.

  3. Improving medical emergency services system by evaluating patient satisfaction: means for health management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Peyravi


    Full Text Available Introduction: One of the important aspects in high quality health care system is delivering health services in an appropriate way which can lead to development of the systems. Patient satisfaction is a quality indicator that has the potential to provide valuable information about the care delivered by an Emergency Medical Services system (EMS. This indicator is considered as an important marker of quality by paramedics. Method: This is a descriptive- analytical study on 1096 patient satisfaction of emergency services suffering from cardiovascular, dyspnea, low level of consciousness and cerebral problems. Variables such as the type of diseases, technicians’ and operators’ behavior, time of response and outcome of the missions were measured with a valid checklist. ANOVA and correlation Pearson were employed as analytical tests. Results: Considering different types of diseases, 4 categories of diseases had positive correlation with satisfaction of the patients and also there was a meaningful correlation between factors which were measured and satisfied patients.( P<0.001 Conclusion: Developing some instructions for technicians and operators focusing on interpersonal skills and enhanced sensitivities and behaviors not only toward patients but also toward bystanders and family members is recommended to improve patient satisfaction and thought quality of delivered care in the prehospital emergency medical systems.

  4. Plant Viruses as Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines and Adjuvants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Ève Lebel


    Full Text Available Vaccines are considered one of the greatest medical achievements in the battle against infectious diseases. However, the intractability of various diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and cancer poses persistent hurdles given that traditional vaccine-development methods have proven to be ineffective; as such, these challenges have driven the emergence of novel vaccine design approaches. In this regard, much effort has been put into the development of new safe adjuvants and vaccine platforms. Of particular interest, the utilization of plant virus-like nanoparticles and recombinant plant viruses has gained increasing significance as an effective tool in the development of novel vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer. The present review summarizes recent advances in the use of plant viruses as nanoparticle-based vaccines and adjuvants and their mechanism of action. Harnessing plant-virus immunogenic properties will enable the design of novel, safe, and efficacious prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against disease.

  5. [Organization and improvement of emergency medical care for industrial city population in republic of Kazakhstan]. (United States)

    Ibraeva, A Sh; Kausova, G K


    The aim of the research was to develop recommendations for organization and improvement of emergency medical care in Shymkent (Chimkent) - a rapidly developing financial and industrial center in Southern Kazakhstan. It was found that the average annual daily load of iresuscitative teams and pediatric intensive care increased, which is associated with an increased frequency of severe cases, complications of disease of adults and children requiring intensive care therapy. Another objective measure that reflects the level of organization of Acute care of population is the specialization of rig team and timeliness arrival of the call. The highest level of the specialization of rig was observed in cardiac and critical care teams. The highest level of the indicator of average residence time teams on the call was observed in pediatric intensive care.

  6. Improving Information on Maternal Medication Use by Linking Prescription Data to Congenital Anomaly Registers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Jonge, Linda; Garne, Ester; Gini, Rosa;


    INTRODUCTION: Research on associations between medication use during pregnancy and congenital anomalies is significative for assessing the safe use of a medicine in pregnancy. Congenital anomaly (CA) registries do not have optimal information on medicine exposure, in contrast to prescription...... databases. Linkage of prescription databases to the CA registries is a potentially effective method of obtaining accurate information on medicine use in pregnancies and the risk of congenital anomalies. METHODS: We linked data from primary care and prescription databases to five European Surveillance....... CONCLUSION: Linkage of primary care or prescription databases to CA registries improved the quality of information on maternal use of medicines in pregnancy, especially for medicine groups that are less fully registered in CA registries....

  7. Local anesthetis and adjuvants in pediatric regional anesthesia. (United States)

    Mossetti, Valeria; Vicchio, Noemi; Ivani, Giorgio


    The pediatric loco-regional techniques are considered very safe and effective, first of all because they target the therapy directly to the site of surgery, decreasing the risks of intravenous analgesia. The quality of local anesthesia is influenced by structural and biophysical characteristics of local anesthetics drug, dose, site of injection, mixture of local anesthetics and possible addition of a vasoconstrictor or an adjuvant to prolong the analgesic effect. In children, unlike adults, small nerve diameters and short distance between Ranvier nodes permit to use large volumes and low concentrations of local anesthetics. The clinical practice has shown that in pediatric population, effective analgesia is obtained by 1% mepivacaine, 1% lidocaine and 0.25% bupivacaine or better 0.2% ropivacaine, 0.2-0.25% levobupivacaine. In addition, levobupivacaine and ropivacaine have a better profile in terms of safety in comparison to bupivacaine and are the local anesthetics of choice for the daily clinical practice also in children as in adults. Among the adjuvant, clonidine and ketamine showed the best pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of effective and safety, improving and prolonging the action of associated local anesthetics. Therefore, the use of enantiomers, in association with adjuvants as clonidine or ketamine, using the multimodal approach of integrated anesthesia, makes the clinical practice effective and safe in the pediatric operating rooms. This review focuses on the overview of local anesthetics and adjuvants used today in locoregional pediatric anesthesia, with an emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of each drug.

  8. Improved Hand Hygiene Compliance is Associated with the Change of Perception toward Hand Hygiene among Medical Personnel (United States)

    Park, Se Jeong; Chung, Moon Joo; Lee, Ju Hee; Kang, Hyun Joo; Lee, Jeong-a; Kim, Yong Kyun


    Background Hand hygiene compliance has improved significantly through hand hygiene promotion programs that have included poster campaign, monitoring and performance feedback, and education with special attentions to perceived subjective norms. We investigated factors associated with improved hand hygiene compliance, focusing on whether the improvement of hand hygiene compliance is associated with changed perception toward hand hygiene among medical personnel. Materials and Methods Hand hygiene compliance and perceptions toward hand hygiene among medical personnel were compared between the second quarter of 2009 (before the start of a hand hygiene promotion program) and the second quarter of 2012. We assessed adherence to hand hygiene among medical personnel quarterly according to the WHO recommended method for direct observation. Also, we used a modified self-report questionnaire to collect perception data. Results Hand hygiene compliance among physicians and nurses improved significantly from 19.0% in 2009 to 74.5% in 2012 (P hygiene compliance among the medical personnel continued to improve, with a slight decline in 2013. Perceptions toward hand hygiene improved significantly between 2009 and 2012. Specifically, improvements were evident in intention to adhere to hand hygiene, knowledge about hand hygiene methods, knowledge about hand hygiene indications including care of a dirty and a clean body site on the same patient, perceived behavioral and subjective norms, positive attitude toward hand hygiene promotion campaign, perception of difficulty in adhering to hand hygiene, and motivation to improve adherence to hand hygiene. Conclusions The examined hand hygiene promotion program resulted in improved hand hygiene compliance and perception toward hand hygiene among medical personnel. The improved perception increased hand hygiene compliance. Especially, the perception of being a role model for other colleagues is very important to improve hand hygiene compliance

  9. Improving care planning and coordination for service users with medical co-morbidity transitioning between tertiary medical and primary care services. (United States)

    Cranwell, K; Polacsek, M; McCann, T V


    WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Mental health service users with medical co-morbidity frequently experience difficulties accessing and receiving appropriate treatment in emergency departments. Service users frequently experience fragmented care planning and coordinating between tertiary medical and primary care services. Little is known about mental health nurses' perspectives about how to address these problems. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: Emergency department clinicians' poor communication and negative attitudes have adverse effects on service users and the quality of care they receive. The findings contribute to the international evidence about mental health nurses' perspectives of service users feeling confused and frustrated in this situation, and improving coordination and continuity of care, facilitating transitions and increasing family and caregiver participation. Intervention studies are needed to evaluate if adoption of these measures leads to sustainable improvements in care planning and coordination, and how service users with medical co-morbidity are treated in emergency departments in particular. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: Effective planning and coordination of care are essential to enable smooth transitions between tertiary medical (emergency departments in particular) and primary care services for service users with medical co-morbidity. Ongoing professional development education and support is needed for emergency department clinicians. There is also a need to develop an organized and systemic approach to improving service users' experience in emergency departments. Introduction Mental health service users with medical co-morbidity frequently experience difficulties accessing appropriate treatment in medical hospitals, and often there is poor collaboration within and between services. Little is known about mental health nurses' perspectives on how to address these problems. Aim To explore mental health nurses

  10. Adjuvant chemotherapy for completely resected non-small-cell lung cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available For many years, surgery alone was the standard treatment for patients with stage I-IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC. However, recent studies have demonstrated that adjuvant chemotherapy provides a survival benefit. The first adjuvant chemotherapy for NSCLC was performed in the 1960s using a key drug known as cyclophosphamide. In the 1980s and early 1990s, a new anti-cancer drug, cisplatin, was developed. The first meta-analysis of this drug was conducted by the Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Collaborative Group in 1995. This analysis comparing surgery with surgery plus chemotherapy containing cisplatin produced a hazard ratio of 0.87 and suggested an absolute benefit of chemotherapy of 5% at 5 years;this difference was not statistically significant (p0.08. Several clinical trials of adjuvant chemotherapy were planned after the meta-analysis conducted in 1995, but the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy remained a matter of controversy. However, useful evidence was reported after 2003. The International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Collaborative Group Trial (IALT demonstrated a 4.1% improvement in survival for patients with stage I to III NSCLC. The JBR. 10 trial demonstrated a 15% improvement in 5-year survival for the adjuvant chemotherapy arm in stage IB or II (excluding T3N0 patients. The Adjuvant Navelbine International Trialist Association (ANITA trial reported that the overall survival at 5 years improved by 8.6% in the chemotherapy arm and that this survival rate was maintained at 7 years (8.4% in stage II and IIIA patients. A meta-analysis based on collected and pooled individual patient data from the 5 largest randomized trials was conducted by the Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation (LACE. This analysis demonstrated that cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy improved survival in patients with stage II or III cancer. Alterna-tively, uracil-tegafur has been developed and tested in Japan. The Japan Lung Cancer Research Group (JLCRG on Postsurgical

  11. Effectiveness of medical equipment donations to improve health systems: how much medical equipment is broken in the developing world? (United States)

    Perry, Lora; Malkin, Robert


    It is often said that most of the medical equipment in the developing world is broken with estimates ranging up to 96% out of service. But there is little documented evidence to support these statements. We wanted to quantify the amount of medical equipment that was out of service in resource poor health settings and identify possible causes. Inventory reports were analyzed from 1986 to 2010, from hospitals in sixteen countries across four continents. The UN Human Development Index was used to determine which countries should be considered developing nations. Non-medical hospital equipment was excluded. This study examined 112,040 pieces of equipment. An average of 38.3% (42,925, range across countries: 0.83-47%) in developing countries was out of service. The three main causes were lack of training, health technology management, and infrastructure. We hope that the findings will help biomedical engineers with their efforts toward effective designs for the developing world and NGO's with efforts to design effective healthcare interventions.

  12. Integration of targeted agents in the neo-adjuvant treatment of gastro-esophageal cancers. (United States)

    Power, D G; Ilson, D H


    Pre- and peri-operative strategies are becoming standard for the management of localized gastro-esophageal cancer. For localized gastric/gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer there are conflicting data that a peri-operative approach with cisplatin-based chemotherapy improves survival, with the benefits seen in esophageal cancer likely less than a 5-10% incremental improvement. Further trends toward improvement in local control and survival, when combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given pre-operatively, are suggested by recent phase III trials. In fit patients, a significant survival benefit with pre-operative chemoradiation is seen in those patients who achieve a pathologic complete response. In esophageal/GEJ cancer, definitive chemoradiation is now considered in medically inoperable patients. In squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, surgery after primary chemoradiation is not clearly associated with an improved overall survival, however, local control may be better. In localized gastric/GEJ cancer, the integration of bevacizumab with pre-operative chemotherapy is being explored in large randomized studies, and with chemoradiotherapy in pilot trials. The addition of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor and anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 antibody treatment to pre-operative chemoradiation continues to be explored. Early results show the integration of targeted therapy is feasible. Metabolic imaging can predict early response to pre-operative chemotherapy and biomarkers may further predict response to pre-operative chemo-targeted therapy. A multimodality approach to localized gastro-esophageal cancer has resulted in better outcomes. For T3 or node-positive disease, surgery alone is no longer considered appropriate and neo-adjuvant therapy is recommended. The future of neo-adjuvant strategies in this disease will involve the individualization of therapy with the integration of molecular signatures, targeted therapy, metabolic imaging

  13. Designing CAF-adjuvanted dry powder vaccines: spray drying preserves the adjuvant activity of CAF01. (United States)

    Ingvarsson, Pall Thor; Schmidt, Signe Tandrup; Christensen, Dennis; Larsen, Niels Bent; Hinrichs, Wouter Leonardus Joseph; Andersen, Peter; Rantanen, Jukka; Nielsen, Hanne Mørck; Yang, Mingshi; Foged, Camilla


    Dry powder vaccine formulations are highly attractive due to improved storage stability and the possibility for particle engineering, as compared to liquid formulations. However, a prerequisite for formulating vaccines into dry formulations is that their physicochemical and adjuvant properties remain unchanged upon rehydration. Thus, we have identified and optimized the parameters of importance for the design of a spray dried powder formulation of the cationic liposomal adjuvant formulation 01 (CAF01) composed of dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) bromide and trehalose 6,6'-dibehenate (TDB) via spray drying. The optimal excipient to stabilize CAF01 during spray drying and for the design of nanocomposite microparticles was identified among mannitol, lactose and trehalose. Trehalose and lactose were promising stabilizers with respect to preserving liposome size, as compared to mannitol. Trehalose and lactose were in the glassy state upon co-spray drying with the liposomes, whereas mannitol appeared crystalline, suggesting that the ability of the stabilizer to form a glassy matrix around the liposomes is one of the prerequisites for stabilization. Systematic studies on the effect of process parameters suggested that a fast drying rate is essential to avoid phase separation and lipid accumulation at the surface of the microparticles during spray drying. Finally, immunization studies in mice with CAF01 in combination with the tuberculosis antigen Ag85B-ESAT6-Rv2660c (H56) demonstrated that spray drying of CAF01 with trehalose under optimal processing conditions resulted in the preservation of the adjuvant activity in vivo. These data demonstrate the importance of liposome stabilization via optimization of formulation and processing conditions in the engineering of dry powder liposome formulations.

  14. Meta-Analysis on Randomized Controlled Trials of Vaccines with QS-21 or ISCOMATRIX Adjuvant : Safety and Tolerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bigaeva, Emilia; Doorn, Eva van; Liu, Heng; Hak, Eelko


    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: QS-21 shows in vitro hemolytic effect and causes side effects in vivo. New saponin adjuvant formulations with better toxicity profiles are needed. This study aims to evaluate the safety and tolerability of QS-21 and the improved saponin adjuvants (ISCOM, ISCOMATRIX and Mat

  15. Physicians’ use of computerized clinical decision supports to improve medication management in the elderly – the Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technology intervention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alagiakrishnan K


    Full Text Available Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan,1 Patricia Wilson,2 Cheryl A Sadowski,3 Darryl Rolfson,1 Mark Ballermann,4,5 Allen Ausford,6,7 Karla Vermeer,7 Kunal Mohindra,8 Jacques Romney,9 Robert S Hayward10 1Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, 2Department of Medicine, 3Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, 4Chief Medical Information Office, Alberta Health Services, 5Division of Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 6Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, 7Lynwood Family Physician, 8eClinician EMR, Alberta Health Services-Information Systems, 9Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, 10Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada Background: Elderly people (aged 65 years or more are at increased risk of polypharmacy (five or more medications, inappropriate medication use, and associated increased health care costs. The use of clinical decision support (CDS within an electronic medical record (EMR could improve medication safety.Methods: Participatory action research methods were applied to preproduction design and development and postproduction optimization of an EMR-embedded CDS implementation of the Beers’ Criteria for medication management and the Cockcroft–Gault formula for estimating glomerular filtration rates (GFR. The “Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technologies” (SMART intervention was used in primary care and geriatrics specialty clinics. Passive (chart messages and active (order-entry alerts prompts exposed potentially inappropriate medications, decreased GFR, and the possible need for medication adjustments. Physician reactions were assessed using surveys, EMR simulations, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. EMR audit data were used to identify eligible patient encounters, the frequency of CDS events, how alerts were managed, and when evidence links were followed.Results: Analysis of

  16. Epidemic surveillance using an electronic medical record: an empiric approach to performance improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongzhang Zheng

    Full Text Available BACKGROUNDS: Electronic medical records (EMR form a rich repository of information that could benefit public health. We asked how structured and free-text narrative EMR data should be combined to improve epidemic surveillance for acute respiratory infections (ARI. METHODS: Eight previously characterized ARI case detection algorithms (CDA were applied to historical EMR entries to create authentic time series of daily ARI case counts (background. An epidemic model simulated influenza cases (injection. From the time of the injection, cluster-detection statistics were applied daily on paired background+injection (combined and background-only time series. This cycle was then repeated with the injection shifted to each week of the evaluation year. We computed: a the time from injection to the first statistical alarm uniquely found in the combined dataset (Detection Delay; b how often alarms originated in the background-only dataset (false-alarm rate, or FAR; and c the number of cases found within these false alarms (Caseload. For each CDA, we plotted the Detection Delay as a function of FAR or Caseload, over a broad range of alarm thresholds. RESULTS: CDAs that combined text analyses seeking ARI symptoms in clinical notes with provider-assigned diagnostic codes in order to maximize the precision rather than the sensitivity of case-detection lowered Detection Delay at any given FAR or Caseload. CONCLUSION: An empiric approach can guide the integration of EMR data into case-detection methods that improve both the timeliness and efficiency of epidemic detection.

  17. Does medically induced weight loss improve obstructive sleep apnoea in the obese: review of randomized trials. (United States)

    Hemmingsson, E


    Obstructive sleep apnoea is characterized by repeated periods of breathing cessation during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnoea is both common and underdiagnosed in the obese. A recent study found that as many as 86% of older obese type 2 diabetics had obstructive sleep apnoea. Obesity is independently associated with developing obstructive sleep apnoea, and the reverse may also occur. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea is therefore expected to rise in the wake of the obesity epidemic. The number of partial (hypopnoea) or complete (apnoea) airway obstructions per hour (apnoea-hypopnoea index) is used to classify obstructive sleep apnoea as mild (5-14 events per hour), moderate (15-30) or severe (>30). Severe obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with a two to sixfold increase in all-cause mortality; the impact of mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnoea is less clear. Until recently, the evidence supporting a beneficial effect of weight loss on obstructive sleep apnoea has been limited by a lack of randomized trials. In 2009, at least three randomized controlled trials evaluated whether medically induced weight loss improves obstructive sleep apnoea. The treatment effect ranged from 42% to 62% improvement, although the highest estimate was seen in a very short duration study (9 weeks). Patients who either lost 10-15 kg or more, or had severe obstructive sleep apnoea at baseline, benefited most from treatment.

  18. Restraining Factors and Improving Paths for the Operation Mechanism of New Rural Cooperative Medical System in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The new rural cooperative medical system has achieved periodical achievements since its establishment.Nevertheless,there are many factors hampering the development of the new system,such as the high cost,the difficulties in fund procurement,the lack of management,the narrow coverage of benefit,the ineffective constraint to the designated medical institutions,the high fund balance rate,and the poor medical facilities and services in rural areas.Countermeasures are put forward to solve these problems,including improving the system design,expanding the coverage of the system,expanding the fund sources,reducing the financing costs,strengthening the fund supervision,enhancing the supervision of designated medical institutions,and improving the capacity of health services in rural areas.

  19. [Reference the YY/T 0841-2011 standard to improve preventive maintenance of medical electrical equipment and experience]. (United States)

    Liu, Xiang; Ge, Bin; Liu, Jinchu


    In this paper, we interpret the new YY/T 0841-2011 standard and contrast the difference between it and GB9706.1-2007 standard. Then, we improved the current preventive maintenance work. After the improvement, we not only have more effective detection of the electrical safety performance of all kinds of medical electrical equipment, but also reduce the workload of clinical engineers, improve efficiency, and reduce the risk of electrical shock.

  20. Differential Responses to Adjuvants of Macrophages from Young Virgin, Aging Virgin and Aging Breeder Mice. (United States)


    Rb-Ai.62 483 DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSES TO ADJUVANTS OF MACROPHAGES FROM i/i YOUNG VIRGIN AGIN (U) MINNESOTA UNIV DULUTH DEPT OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY RN...ADDRESS (City, State. an ZI 0EC 18 198E- Dept. of Medical Microbiology & Immunology 800 N. Quincy Street E1 8 Duluth, MN 55812-2487 Arlington, VA 22217-5...Aging Breeder Mice by Pamela R. Petrequin and Arthur G. Johnson Dept. of Medical Microbiology /Immunology University of Minnesota-Duluth School of

  1. US Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Medical Devices and Radiation Oncology: Can Reform Improve Safety?


    Hattangadi, Jona A.; O'Reilly, James T.; Recht, Abram


    A review of the issues involved in medical device regulation in radiation oncology, including a general review of federal medical device regulation and explanations of the legal and regulatory framework.

  2. Using mobile devices to improve the safety of medication administration processes. (United States)

    Navas, H; Graffi Moltrasio, L; Ares, F; Strumia, G; Dourado, E; Alvarez, M


    Within preventable medical errors, those related to medications are frequent in every stage of the prescribing cycle. Nursing is responsible for maintaining each patients safety and care quality. Moreover, nurses are the last people who can detect an error in medication before its administration. Medication administration is one of the riskiest tasks in nursing. The use of information and communication technologies is related to a decrease in these errors. Including mobile devices related to 2D code reading of patients and medication will decrease the possibility of error when preparing and administering medication by nurses. A cross-platform software (iOS and Android) was developed to ensure the five Rights of the medication administration process (patient, medication, dose, route and schedule). Deployment in November showed 39% use.

  3. [Stomach carcinoma. Optimizing therapy by neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy?]. (United States)

    Rosen, H


    Despite the decreasing frequency of gastric cancer in most Western countries prognosis could not be improved by surgery alone in the past. Advanced tumor stage due to late diagnosis is one of the reasons for this observation. Contrary to breast and colorectal cancer, postoperative chemotherapy failed to improve prognosis in gastric cancer. Small number of patients in Western studies, insufficient surgical procedures and the high frequency of locoregional relapse may be attributed for this observation. Intraperitoneal, adjuvant chemotherapy showed a positive impact on survival in Asian studies only, but was also used successfully as a part of a multimodality approach in Western phase II trials. Since neoadjuvant therapy proved to create downstaging of tumor size in some patients with advanced gastric cancer some working groups tried to influence prognosis of potentially resectable tumors by preoperative chemotherapy, surgical resection and postoperative, adjuvant therapy in the recent past. However, the efficacy of this therapeutic approach has to be reconfirmed in a controlled, phase III fashion.

  4. The "flipped classroom" approach: Stimulating positive learning attitudes and improving mastery of histology among medical students. (United States)

    Cheng, Xin; Ka Ho Lee, Kenneth; Chang, Eric Y; Yang, Xuesong


    Traditional medical education methodologies have been dramatically impacted by the introduction of new teaching approaches over the past few decades. In particular, the "flipped classroom" format has drawn a great deal of attention. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of the flipped model remains limited due to a lack of outcome-based studies. In the present study, a pilot histology curriculum of the organ systems was implemented among 24 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) students in a flipped classroom format at Jinan University. As a control, another 87 TCM students followed a conventional histology curriculum. The academic performance of the two groups was compared. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to the flipped classroom group. The test scores for the flipped classroom participants were found to be significantly higher compared to non-participants in the control group. These results suggest that students may benefit from using the flipped classroom format. Follow-up questionnaires also revealed that most of the flipped classroom participants undertook relatively more earnest preparations before class and were actively involved in classroom learning activities. The teachers were also found to have more class time for leading discussions and delivering quizzes rather than repeating rote didactics. Consequently, the increased teaching and learning activities contributed to a better performance among the flipped classroom group. This pilot study suggests that a flipped classroom approach can be used to improve histology education among medical students. However, future studies employing randomization, larger numbers of students, and more precise tracking methods are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Anat Sci Educ 10: 317-327. © 2016 American Association of Anatomists. © 2016 American Association of Anatomists.

  5. Novel Adjuvants and Immunomodulators for Veterinary Vaccines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Fang, Yongxiang; Jungersen, Gregers


    Adjuvants are crucial for efficacy of vaccines, especially subunit and recombinant vaccines. Rational vaccine design, including knowledge-based and molecularly defined adjuvants tailored for directing and potentiating specific types of host immune responses towards the antigens included in the va...

  6. House dust extracts contain potent immunological adjuvants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukelman, C.J.; Dijk, H. van; Aerts, P.C.; Rademaker, P.M.; Berrens, L.; Willers, J.M.N.


    A crude aqueous extract of house dust and two house dust subfractions were tested for adjuvant activity in a sensitivity assay performed in mice. Evidence is presented that house dust contains at least two potent immunological adjuvants. One of these, present in both subfractions, was probably endot

  7. 75 FR 8375 - Device Improvements to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure From Medical Imaging; Public Meeting... (United States)


    ... From Medical Imaging; Public Meeting; Request for Comments AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS... Medical Imaging.'' The purpose of this meeting is to discuss steps that could be taken by manufacturers of... reduce unnecessary patient exposure to ionizing radiation from these medical imaging modalities. The...

  8. Improving Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education for Medical Students: An Inter-Organizational Collaborative Action Plan (United States)

    Fox, Geraldine S.; Stock, Saundra; Briscoe, Gregory W.; Beck, Gary L.; Horton, Rita; Hunt, Jeffrey I.; Liu, Howard Y.; Rutter, Ashley Partner; Sexson, Sandra; Schlozman, Steven C.; Stubbe, Dorothy E.; Stuber, Margaret L.


    Objective: A new Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Medical Education (CAPME) Task Force, sponsored by the Association for Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP), has created an inter-organizational partnership between child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) educators and medical student educators in psychiatry. This paper…

  9. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics-A scoping review. (United States)

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L


    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization's culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence.

  10. Survival after adjuvant chemoradiotherapy or surgery alone in resectable adenocarcinoma at the gastro-esophageal junction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kofoed, Steen Christian; Muhic, A; Jensen, Lene Bæksgaard;


    Longterm survival after curative resection for adenocarcinoma at the gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) range between 18% and 50%. In the pivotal Intergroup-0116 Phase III trial by Macdonald et all, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy improved both disease-free and overall survival in curatively resected...... patients with mainly gastric adenocarcinoma. We compared survival data for curatively resected patients with adeno-carcinoma solely at the gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ), treated with surgery alone or surgery and adjuvant chemoradio-therapy....

  11. Aluminium adjuvants and adverse events in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy



    Sub-cutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergy. It works by helping to modify or re-balance an individual’s immune response to allergens and its efficacy is greatly improved by the use of adjuvants, most commonly, aluminium hydroxide. Aluminium salts have been used in allergy therapy for many decades and are assumed to be safe with few established side-effects. This assumption belies their potency as adjuvants and their potential for biological reactivity both at injection ...

  12. Medical treatment of hirsutism. (United States)

    Blume-Peytavi, Ulrike; Hahn, Susanne


    Hirsutism is usually the result of an underlying adrenal, ovarian, or central endocrine abnormality mainly due to polycystic ovary syndrome but may also be idiopathic or drug induced. The aim of medical treatment of hirsutism is to rectify any causal hormonal balance, slow down or stop excessive hair growth, and improve the aesthetic appearance of hirsutism, thereby positively affecting the patient's quality of life. Today, for the majority of women, a monotherapy with oral contraceptives that have antiandrogenic activity is recommended as a first-line treatment for hirsutism. Combining an oral contraceptive pill with an antiandrogen is recommended if clinical improvement of hirsutism is insufficient after 6-9 months' monotherapy. In women who present with hirsutism, hyperandrogenism, and insulin resistance, insulin sensitizers are effective for the hirsutism as well as the hyperinsulinemia, hyperandrogenism, and infertility but there is no convincing evidence that they are effective for hirsutism alone. Topical eflornithine is a medical therapy that can be a useful adjuvant for hirsutism when used in conjunction with systemic medications or with laser/photoepilation.

  13. Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in rectal cancer operated for cure. (United States)

    Petersen, Sune Høirup; Harling, Henrik; Kirkeby, Lene Tschemerinsky; Wille-Jørgensen, Peer; Mocellin, Simone


    those undergoing observation (HR=0.75, CI: 0.68-0.83). Between-study heterogeneity was moderate (I-squared=41%) but significant (P=0.03).While analyzing both OS and DFS data, sensitivity analyses did not find any difference in treatment effect based on trial sample size or geographical region (Western vs Japanese). Available data were insufficient to investigate on the effect of adjuvant chemotherapy separately in different TNM stages in terms of both OS and DFS. No plausible source of heterogeneity was formally identified, although variability in treatment regimens and TNM stages of enrolled patients might have played a significant role in the difference of reported results. The results of this meta-analysis support the use of 5-FU based postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for patients undergoing apparently radical surgery for non-metastatic rectal carcinoma. Available data do not allow us to define whether the efficacy of this treatment is highest in one specific TNM stage. The implementation of modern anti-cancer agents in the adjuvant setting is warranted to improve the results shown by this meta-analysis. Randomized trials of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients receiving preoperative neoadjuvant therapy are also needed in order to define the role of postoperative chemotherapy in the multimodal treatment of resectable rectal cancer.

  14. Assessing the need for improved strategies and medication-related education to increase adherence for oral anticancer medications in the young adult oncology population. (United States)

    Divakaruni, Anupama; Saylor, Elizabeth; Duffy, Alison P


    Rationale Oral anticancer medication adherence is a critical factor in optimizing cancer treatment outcomes and minimizing toxicity. Although potential adherence barriers exist, it is not well understood how these factors impact adherence. Methods This is a prospective, single-center, patient survey-based study conducted at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center including 18- to 39-year-old patients who have been actively taking an oral anticancer medication for at least one month from 1 April 2013 to 1 April 2016. The primary objective of this study is to describe institutional practices for medication education and adherence monitoring practices as perceived by young adult patients at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and to describe practice consistency with recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards. The secondary objectives include patient-reported facilitators and barriers to oral anticancer medication adherence. Results Seventeen patients completed the survey; 24% ( n = 4) of patients denied receiving information about what to do in case of a missed dose. The most common facilitators of adherence include understanding of disease and treatment (88%, n = 15), perceived severity of illness (82%, n = 14), and use of oral anticancer medications (82%, n = 14). The most common barriers to adherence are side effects (59% n = 10), forgetfulness (47%, n = 8), and depressive symptoms (35%, n = 6). Conclusion Based on patient-reported guideline adherence, improvement is needed in including family, caregivers, and others in the education process as well as providing education about plan for missed doses and drug-drug and drug-food interactions. The strengths of the current medication education and adherence monitoring practices as perceived by the young adult patient population include education

  15. Mobile phone text messaging to improve medication adherence in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. (United States)

    Adler, Alma J; Martin, Nicole; Mariani, Javier; Tajer, Carlos D; Owolabi, Onikepe O; Free, Caroline; Serrano, Norma C; Casas, Juan P; Perel, Pablo


    Worldwide at least 100 million people are thought to have prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD). This population has a five times greater chance of suffering a recurrent cardiovascular event than people without known CVD. Secondary CVD prevention is defined as action aimed to reduce the probability of recurrence of such events. Drug interventions have been shown to be cost-effective in reducing this risk and are recommended in international guidelines. However, adherence to recommended treatments remains sub-optimal. In order to influence non-adherence, there is a need to develop scalable and cost-effective behaviour-change interventions. To assess the effects of mobile phone text messaging in patients with established arterial occlusive events on adherence to treatment, fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events, and adverse effects. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, the Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science on Web of Science on 7 November 2016, and two clinical trial registers on 12 November 2016. We contacted authors of included studies for missing information and searched reference lists of relevant papers. We applied no language or date restrictions. We included randomised trials with at least 50% of the participants with established arterial occlusive events. We included trials investigating interventions using short message service (SMS) or multimedia messaging service (MMS) with the aim to improve adherence to medication for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. Eligible comparators were no intervention or other modes of communication. We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. In addition, we attempted to contact all authors on how the SMS were developed. We included seven trials (reported in 13 reports) with 1310 participants randomised. Follow-up ranged from one month to 12 months. Due to heterogeneity in the methods, population and outcome measures, we were unable to conduct meta-analysis on these studies

  16. Does long-term medication use improve the academic outcomes of youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? (United States)

    Langberg, Joshua M; Becker, Stephen P


    Youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) frequently experience academic impairment, including lower grades than their peers and elevated risk for grade retention and school dropout. Medication is the most commonly used treatment for youth with ADHD, and it is therefore essential to understand the extent to which medication use improves long-term academic functioning. This paper reviews the literature on the relation between long-term medication use and the academic outcomes of youth with ADHD. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify pertinent studies published since 2000 that followed youth with ADHD for 3 or more years. Academic outcomes of interest included school grades, achievement test scores, and grade retention. Nine studies were identified reporting on eight distinct longitudinal samples (N across studies = 8,721). These studies demonstrate that long-term medication use is associated with improvements in standardized achievement scores. However, the magnitude of these improvements is small and the clinical or educational significance is questionable. Evidence for long-term improvements in school grades and grade retention is less compelling. This review highlights methodological considerations in providing directions for future research. The importance of using multiple sources to gather information about medication adherence is discussed, including use of methodologies such as electronic monitors, rather than relying solely on parent report or chart review. Future research should also examine a range of medication adherence definitions in order to determine whether age of onset, duration of use, dose, and/or consistency of use moderates the relation between long-term medication use and academic outcomes.

  17. Desktop microsimulation: a tool to improve efficiency in the medical office practice. (United States)

    Montgomery, James B; Linville, Beth A; Slonim, Anthony D


    Because the economic crisis in the United States continues to have an impact on healthcare organizations, industry leaders must optimize their decision making. Discrete-event computer simulation is a quality tool with a demonstrated track record of improving the precision of analysis for process redesign. However, the use of simulation to consolidate practices and design efficiencies into an unfinished medical office building was a unique task. A discrete-event computer simulation package was used to model the operations and forecast future results for four orthopedic surgery practices. The scenarios were created to allow an evaluation of the impact of process change on the output variables of exam room utilization, patient queue size, and staff utilization. The model helped with decisions regarding space allocation and efficient exam room use by demonstrating the impact of process changes in patient queues at check-in/out, x-ray, and cast room locations when compared to the status quo model. The analysis impacted decisions on facility layout, patient flow, and staff functions in this newly consolidated practice. Simulation was found to be a useful tool for process redesign and decision making even prior to building occupancy.

  18. [The Marburg surgical curriculum - improving the attraction of medical education by teaching central surgical competence]. (United States)

    Schwarting, T; Ruchholtz, S; Josephs, D; Oberkircher, L; Bartsch, D K; Fendrich, V


    The quality of medical education is an ongoing challenge due to the continuing changes of the health-care politics and general social conditions. At many German university hospitals the dominating picture is overfilled courses, lack of hands-on practice, reduced patient contact and the dull provision of theoretical, abstract knowledge. The reformed surgical curriculum at the University of Marburg university hospital is used to demonstrate that, in spite of large student numbers, a practice-oriented, small-group training at a high didactic level is possible. The surgical training courses are organized in detail and coordinated. Course contents and structure are media available in print and online versions for both students and teachers and thus fulfill not only transparency needs but also contemporary requirements. The strategy of a practice- and patient-oriented, small-group training is followed strictly in the surgical curriculum. In addition, accompanying tutorial possibilities for individual study in an up-to-date learning center are offered. Here the students have the opportunity to intensify knowledge acquired in previous or future courses with numerous attractive education means. Continuous evaluation of the individual training courses at the end of each semester not only document motivation of the students but also serve to continuously improve the training concepts. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  19. Mobile learning module improves knowledge of medical shock for forward surgical team members. (United States)

    Schulman, Carl I; Garcia, George D; Wyckoff, Mary M; Duncan, Robert C; Withum, Kelly F; Graygo, Jill


    Acute trauma care is characterized by dynamic situations that require adequate preparation to ensure success for military health professionals. The use of mobile learning in this environment can provide a solution that standardizes education and replaces traditional didactic lectures. A comparative evaluation with a pre-post test design regarding medical shock was delivered via either a didactic lecture or a mobile learning video module to U.S. Army Forward Surgical Team (FST) members. Participants completed a pretest, were randomly assigned to treatment group by FST, and then completed the post-test and scenario assessment. One-hundred and thirteen FST members participated with 53 in the mobile learning group and 60 in the lecture group (control). The percent mean score for the mobile learning group increased from 43.6 to 70 from pretest to post-test, with a scenario mean score of M = 56.2. The percent mean score for the control group increased from 41.5 to 72.5, with a scenario mean score of M = 59.7. The two-way analysis of variance mean score difference was 26.4 for the mobile learning group and 31.0 for the control, F = 2.18, (p = 0.14). Mobile learning modules, coupled with a structured assessment, have the potential to improve educational experiences in civilian and military settings.

  20. Improved detectability in medical microwave radio-thermometers as obtained by active antennas. (United States)

    Jacobsen, Svein; Klemetsen, Øystein


    Microwave radiometry is a spectral measurement technique for resolving blackbody radiation of heated matter above absolute zero. The emission levels vary with frequency and are at body temperatures maximized in the infrared spectral band. Medical radio-thermometers are mostly noninvasive short-range instruments that can provide temperature distributions in subcutaneous biological tissues when operated in the microwave region. However, a crucial limitation of the microwave radiometric observation principle is the extremely weak signal level of the thermal noise emitted by the lossy material (-174 dBm/Hz at normal body temperature). To improve the radiometer SNR, we propose to integrate a tiny, moderate gain, low-noise preamplifier (LNA) close to the antenna terminals as to obtain increased detectability of deep seated thermal gradients within the volume under investigation. The concept is verified experimentally in a lossy phantom medium by scanning an active antenna across a thermostatically controlled water phantom with a hot object embedded at 38 mm depth. Three different setups were investigated with decreasing temperature contrasts between the target and ambient medium. As a direct consequence of less ripple on the raw radiometric signal, statistical analysis shows a marked increase in signal-to-clutter ratio of the brightness temperature spatial scan profiles, when comparing active antenna operation with conventional passive setups.

  1. Postoperative Adjuvant Systemic Therapy in Completely Resected Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review. (United States)

    Bradbury, Penelope; Sivajohanathan, Duvaraga; Chan, Adrien; Kulkarni, Swati; Ung, Yee; Ellis, Peter M


    The purpose of the present review was to determine whether the use of postoperative adjuvant systemic therapy in patients with completely resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) improves survival. Cancer Care Ontario's Program in Evidence-Based Care reviewed the evidence to update previously published recommendations for patients with completely resected NSCLC. Relevant studies were identified from a systematic MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews search of studies published from 2010 to 2016. All phase III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and relevant systematic reviews were included. Data on overall survival (OS), disease-free survival, adverse events, and quality of life were extracted from each of the studies. Two relevant systematic reviews, 13 RCTs, and a series of pooled analyses by Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation-Biomarker were included in the present review. Adjuvant chemotherapy statistically significantly improved OS for resected stage II-IIIA NSCLC and is recommended. For patients with stage IB NSCLC, no significant improvement was seen in OS; however, the results from subgroup analyses indicate that it would be reasonable to consider adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with larger tumors (≥ 4 cm). The present data do not support the use of adjuvant novel therapies (ie, epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, bevacizumab, and immunotherapy) either as an addition to, or instead of, cytotoxic chemotherapy. No predictive biomarkers are available to select patients more likely to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. Cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the standard of care as adjuvant therapy for patients with resected stage II-IIIA NSCLC. Additional clinical trials are needed to evaluate targeted agents in molecularly defined subgroups before these agents can be recommended in the adjuvant setting. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Intern pharmacists as change agents to improve the practice of nonprescription medication supply: provision of salbutamol to patients with asthma. (United States)

    Schneider, Carl R; Everett, Alan W; Geelhoed, Elizabeth; Padgett, Cale; Ripley, Scott; Murray, Kevin; Kendall, Peter A; Clifford, Rhonda M


    Earlier work established an evidence practice gap during provision of nonprescription salbutamol (albuterol). Pharmacist interns are hypothesized to be in a position to improve professional practice in the community pharmacy setting. To explore the potential of intern pharmacists to improve the professional practice of community pharmacy staff in the provision of nonprescription salbutamol. Intern pharmacists (n = 157) delivered an asthma intervention in 136 pharmacies consisting of an educational activity to pharmacy staff and a health promotion campaign to consumers. Post-intervention, simulated patients presented to 100 intervention and 100 control community pharmacies with a request for salbutamol. The appropriate outcome was medical referral for poor asthma control and correction of poor inhaler technique. Incidence and quantity of patient assessment and counseling provided during the visit were also assessed. Logistic regression was used to determine the predictors of medical referral. A doubling in the rate of medical referral was seen in the intervention group (19% vs 40%; p = 0.001). Assessment of reliever use frequency was the main predictor of medical referral (OR = 22.7; 95% CI 9.06 to 56.9). Correction of poor inhaler technique did not improve; however, a reduction in salbutamol supplied without patient assessment (23% vs 8%; p = 0.009) or counseling (75% vs 48%; p intern pharmacists were able to improve the current practice of community pharmacies yet were unable to establish a new practice behavior. This study provides evidence that intern pharmacists can act as change agents to improve pharmacy practice.

  3. Improvement in medical students' communication and interpersonal skills as evaluated by patient satisfaction questionnaire after curriculum reform. (United States)

    Oda, Yasutomo; Onishi, Hirotaka; Sakemi, Takanobu; Fujimoto, Kazuma; Koizumi, Shunzo


    Fifteen years of undergraduate medical education curriculum reform at Saga Medical School was evaluated by measuring medical students' communication and interpersonal skills with a patient satisfaction questionnaire developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine. A multiphase cross-sectional study was conducted at the General Medicine Clinic of Saga Medical School Hospital in phase I (1998-1999), phase II (2001-2002), and phase III (2009-2010). A total of 1,963 patient ratings for 437 medical students' performance was analyzed. The average scores of phases II and III were significantly higher than for phase I. The average score of female students showed a significant difference between phases I and II, but no difference between phases II and III. The average score of male students showed no difference between phases I and II, but significant difference between phases II and III. The phase II curriculum introduced basic clinical skills and examination and improved female students' performance. The phase III curriculum was effective for male students because it emphasized the clinical skill program more and introduced problem-based learning. Curriculum reform at Saga Medical School is considered to have made good progress in improving students' clinical competence and patient-centered attitudes.

  4. Cost-utility analysis of adjuvant goserelin (Zoladex and adjuvant chemotherapy in premenopausal women with breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Tsui


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Increased health care costs have made it incumbent on health-care facilities and physicians to demonstrate both clinical and cost efficacy when recommending treatments. Though studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant goserelin with radiotherapy for locally advanced prostate cancer, few have compared the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant goserelin to adjuvant chemotherapy alone in premenopausal breast cancer. Methods In this retrospective study at one hospital, the records of 152 patients with stage Ia to IIIa ER + breast cancer who received goserelin or chemotherapy were reviewed. Survival analysis was assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method. Patients were interviewed to evaluate their quality of life using the European Organization for Research and Treatment Quality of Life questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30, version 4.0, and to obtain the utility value by the standard gamble (SG and visual scale (VS methods. Total medical cost was assessed from the (National Health Insurance NHI payer's perspective. Results Survival at 11 years was significantly better in the groserelin group (P Conclusions Goserelin therapy results in better survival and higher utility-weighted life-years, and is more cost-effective than TC or TEC chemotherapy.

  5. Adjuvants are Key Factors for the Development of Future Vaccines: Lessons from the Finlay Adjuvant Platform (United States)

    Pérez, Oliver; Romeu, Belkis; Cabrera, Osmir; González, Elizabeth; Batista-Duharte, Alexander; Labrada, Alexis; Pérez, Rocmira; Reyes, Laura M.; Ramírez, Wendy; Sifontes, Sergio; Fernández, Nelson; Lastre, Miriam


    The development of effective vaccines against neglected diseases, especially those associated with poverty and social deprivation, is urgently needed. Modern vaccine technologies and a better understanding of the immune response have provided scientists with the tools for rational and safer design of subunit vaccines. Often, however, subunit vaccines do not elicit strong immune responses, highlighting the need to incorporate better adjuvants; this step therefore becomes a key factor for vaccine development. In this review we outline some key features of modern vaccinology that are linked with the development of better adjuvants. In line with the increased desire to obtain novel adjuvants for future vaccines, the Finlay Adjuvant Platform offers a novel approach for the development of new and effective adjuvants. The Finlay Adjuvants (AFs), AFPL (proteoliposome), and AFCo (cochleate), were initially designed for parenteral and mucosal applications, and constitute potent adjuvants for the induction of Th1 responses against several antigens. This review summarizes the status of the Finlay technology in producing promising adjuvants for unsolved-vaccine diseases including mucosal approaches and therapeutic vaccines. Ideas related to adjuvant classification, adjuvant selection, and their possible influence on innate recognition via multiple toll-like receptors are also discussed. PMID:24348475

  6. Design of the Physical exercise during Adjuvant Chemotherapy Effectiveness Study (PACES:A randomized controlled trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of physical exercise in improving physical fitness and reducing fatigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonke Gabe S


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer chemotherapy is frequently associated with a decline in general physical condition, exercise tolerance, and muscle strength and with an increase in fatigue. While accumulating evidence suggests that physical activity and exercise interventions during chemotherapy treatment may contribute to maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness and strength, the results of studies conducted to date have not been consistent. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal intensity of exercise training programs in general and in particular the relative effectiveness of supervised, outpatient (hospital- or physical therapy practice-based versus home-based programs. Methods This multicenter, prospective, randomized trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a low to moderate intensity, home-based, self-management physical activity program, and a high intensity, structured, supervised exercise program, in maintaining or enhancing physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, in minimizing fatigue and in enhancing the health-related quality of life (HRQoL. Patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast or colon cancer (n = 360 are being recruited from twelve hospitals in the Netherlands, and randomly allocated to one of the two treatment groups or to a 'usual care' control group. Performance-based and self-reported outcomes are assessed at baseline, at the end of chemotherapy and at six month follow-up. Discussion This large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial will provide additional empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical exercise during adjuvant chemotherapy in enhancing physical fitness, minimizing fatigue, and maintaining or enhancing patients' quality of life. If demonstrated to be effective, exercise intervention programs will be a welcome addition to the standard program of care offered to patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Trial registration This study is registered at

  7. Inner City Community Oriented Primary Care to Improve Medical Student Skills and Combat Obesity


    Rodríguez, José E.; Fornari, Alice B.


    Background: Efforts to increase medical student knowledge regarding obesity are needed in medi­cal school curriculum. This article examines a third year medical student intervention utilizing obesity group visits. Description: In our third-year family medicine clerkship, we implemented the Health not Cosmet­ics pilot intervention as part of a Community Oriented Primary Care experience. The intervention consisted of weekly group visits run by third and fourth year medical students to teach lif...

  8. Improving Communication Skills: A Course for Academic Medical Center Surgery Residents and Faculty. (United States)

    Raper, Steven E; Gupta, Meera; Okusanya, Olugbenga; Morris, Jon B


    surgery. A course in communication, as developed here, quantitatively confirms the effectiveness of this approach to teaching communication skills as well as identifying areas for improvement. Such a course was part of a plan to increase the percentage of "top box" HCAHPS scores and percentile rankings. Faculty can impart the skills gained from such a course to residents attempting to successfully navigate the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Milestones and future careers as practicing surgeons. Copyright © 2015 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Clinical simulation training improves the clinical performance of Chinese medical students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-ya Zhang


    Full Text Available Background: Modern medical education promotes medical students’ clinical operating capacity rather than the mastery of theoretical knowledge. To accomplish this objective, clinical skill training using various simulations was introduced into medical education to cultivate creativity and develop the practical ability of students. However, quantitative analysis of the efficiency of clinical skill training with simulations is lacking. Methods: In the present study, we compared the mean scores of medical students (Jinan University who graduated in 2013 and 2014 on 16 stations between traditional training (control and simulative training groups. In addition, in a clinical skill competition, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE scores of participating medical students trained using traditional and simulative training were compared. The data were statistically analyzed and qualitatively described. Results: The results revealed that simulative training could significantly enhance the graduate score of medical students compared with the control. The OSCE scores of participating medical students in the clinical skill competition, trained using simulations, were dramatically higher than those of students trained through traditional methods, and we also observed that the OSCE marks were significantly increased for the same participant after simulative training for the clinical skill competition. Conclusions: Taken together, these data indicate that clinical skill training with a variety of simulations could substantially promote the clinical performance of medical students and optimize the resources used for medical education, although a precise analysis of each specialization is needed in the future.

  10. Improving combat medic learning using a personal computer-based virtual training simulator. (United States)

    Hemman, Eileen A


    The new military occupational specialty for combat medics, the 91W, requires that all medics successfully pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians examination. The objective of this study was to supplement standard emergency medical technician training with a three-dimensional, computer-based, virtual training simulator and to assess whether scores and pass rates could be increased. Combat medics (N=167) were selected for training through the usual noncommissioned officer unit selection process and were randomized by cohort to the training simulator. Results showed no significant differences in National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians examination scores (t = 1.019, df = 153, p = 0.745, one-tailed) or pass rates (chi2 = 1.575, df = 1, p = 0.209). The findings, however, were used to construct two models of combat medic characteristics that can be used to assist in initial selection for emergency medical technician courses and subsequent counseling of soldiers on course completion. With further research, these models could be refined for Army-wide use to increase the cost-effectiveness of combat medic recruitment, training, and testing.

  11. An experimental predeployment training program improves self-reported patient treatment confidence and preparedness of Army combat medics. (United States)

    Gerhardt, Robert T; Hermstad, Erik L; Oakes, Michael; Wiegert, Richard S; Oliver, Jeffrey


    To develop and assess impact of a focused review of International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) and combat casualty care with hands-on procedure training for U.S. Army medics deploying to Iraq. The setting was a U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School and Camp Eagle, Iraq. Investigators developed and implemented a command-approved prospective educational intervention with a post hoc survey. Subjects completed a three-day course with simulator and live-tissue procedure laboratories. At deployment's end, medics were surveyed for experience, confidence, and preparedness in treating various casualty severity levels. Investigators used two-tailed t-test with unequal variance for continuous data and chi-square for categorical data. Twenty-nine medics deployed. Eight completed the experimental program. Twenty-one of 25 (84%) available medics completed the survey including six of the eight (75%) experimental medics. The experimental group reported significantly greater levels of preparedness and confidence treating "minimal," "delayed," and "immediate" casualties at arrival in Iraq. These differences dissipated progressively over the time course of the deployment. This experimental program increased combat medic confidence and perceived level of preparedness in treating several patient severity levels. Further research is warranted to determine if the experimental intervention objectively improves patient care quality and translates into lives saved early in deployment.

  12. [Priorities for health improvement in the medical personnel of phthisiatric service in the Primor'ie Territory]. (United States)

    Bektasova, M V; Kaptsov, V A; Sheparev, A A


    The authors analyze occupational morbidity rates in the medical personnel of tuberculosis facilities in the Primorsky Territory, as well as the location of the institutions (workrooms) and the influence of occupational factors on medical workers. The nature of work and working conditions in the medical workers of a tuberculosis facility where they are exposed to occupational hazards in practically 100% of cases necessitate effective measures to promote and preserve their health. The absence of standard buildings and premises for tuberculosis facilities and the low efficiency of rehabilitative sanatorium-and-spa treatment, health improvement, and the prevention of occupational diseases are one of the problems of a tuberculosis service in the Primorsky Territory. The findings serve as the basis for the development of an approach to preventing occupational diseases and recovering the health status among the medical workers who have experienced tuberculosis.

  13. Simulation-guided cardiac auscultation improves medical students' clinical skills: the Pavia pilot experience. (United States)

    Perlini, Stefano; Salinaro, Francesco; Santalucia, Paola; Musca, Francesco


    Clinical evaluation is the cornerstone of any cardiac diagnosis, although excessive over-specialisation often leads students to disregard the value of clinical skills, and to overemphasize the approach to instrumental cardiac diagnosis. Time restraints, low availability of "typical" cardiac patients on whom to perform effective bedside teaching, patients' respect and the underscoring of the value of clinical skills all lead to a progressive decay in teaching. Simulation-guided cardiac auscultation may improve clinical training in medical students and residents. Harvey(©) is a mannequin encompassing more than 50 cardiac diagnoses that was designed and developed at the University of Miami (Florida, USA). One of the advantages of Harvey(©) simulation resides in the possibility of listening, comparing and discussing "real" murmurs. To objectively assess its teaching performance, the capability to identify five different cardiac diagnoses (atrial septal defect, normal young subject, mitral stenosis with tricuspid regurgitation, chronic mitral regurgitation, and pericarditis) out of more than 50 diagnostic possibilities was assessed in 523 III-year medical students (i.e. at the very beginning of their clinical experience), in 92 VI-year students, and in 42 residents before and after a formal 10-h teaching session with Harvey(©). None of them had previously experienced simulation-based cardiac auscultation in addition to formal lecturing (all three groups) and bedside teaching (VI-year students and residents). In order to assess the "persistence" of the acquired knowledge over time, the test was repeated after 3 years in 85 students, who did not repeat the formal 10-h teaching session with Harvey(©) after the III year. As expected, the overall response was poor in the "beginners" who correctly identified 11.0 % of the administered cardiac murmurs. After simulation-guided training, the ability to recognise the correct cardiac diagnoses was much better (72.0 %; p

  14. The contribution of a clinical pharmacist to the improvement of medication at a geriatric hospital unit in Norway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veggeland T


    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to use a clinical pharmacist in order to improve the medication of patients in a geriatric hospital unit. The hospital had no experience of using a clinical pharmacist before.Methods: A clinical pharmacist participated in the therapeutic team for 27 days during a 4-year period. Drug-related problems were recorded prospectively and discussed before and at the ward round. The results of the physician’s decisions on the current day about potential changes in medication proposed by the pharmacist were continuously recorded.Results: The pharmacist evaluated the medication of 250 patients. At least one drug- related problem was found in 188 (75% of the patients. For these patients, the physician made 606 decisions concerning potential changes in the medication (3.2 per patient. Thirty percent (184/606 of the decisions were connected to further measurements and to the follow-up of laboratory results, mainly (82%, 151/184 for cardiovascular drugs. Forty-two percent (255/606 of the decisions resulted in the discontinuation of drugs, dosage reduction or a decision to revise the assessment at a later stage during hospitalisation. Medicines with anticholinergic adverse effects were to a great extent withdrawn. Twenty-one percent (129/606 of the decisions were made on drugs with an addiction potential: hypnotics, anxiolytics, as well as analgesics containing tramadol and codeine. The result was often (71%, 91/129 dosage reduction, a change from fixed medication to medication on demand or to discontinuation. Conclusion: Even with a modest participation of once a month, the evaluation of a patient’s medication by a clinical pharmacist led to improved changes and the follow-up of the medication of the elderly.

  15. Safety of vaccine adjuvants: focus on autoimmunity. (United States)

    van der Laan, Jan Willem; Gould, Sarah; Tanir, Jennifer Y


    Questions have been recently raised regarding the safety of vaccine adjuvants, particularly in relation to autoimmunity or autoimmune disease(s)/disorder(s) (AID). The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) formed a scientific committee and convened a 2-day workshop, consisting of technical experts from around the world representing academia, government regulatory agencies, and industry, to investigate and openly discuss the issues around adjuvant safety in vaccines. The types of adjuvants considered included oil-in-water emulsions and toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists. The state of science around the use of animal models and biomarkers for the evaluation and prediction of AID were also discussed. Following extensive literature reviews by the HESI committee, and presentations by experts at the workshop, several key points were identified, including the value of animal models used to study autoimmunity and AID toward studying novel vaccine adjuvants; whether there is scientific evidence indicating an intrinsic risk of autoimmunity and AID with adjuvants, or a higher risk resulting from the mechanism of action; and if there is compelling clinical data linking adjuvants and AID. The tripartite group of experts concluded that there is no compelling evidence supporting the association of vaccine adjuvants with autoimmunity signals. Additionally, it is recommended that future research on the potential effects of vaccine adjuvants on AID should consider carefully the experimental design in animal models particularly if they are to be used in any risk assessment, as an improper design and model could result in misleading information. Finally, studies on the mechanistic aspects and potential biomarkers related to adjuvants and autoimmunity phenomena could be developed.

  16. Implemention of Medical Care Quality Score Management to Continuing Improve medical qualitu%实施积分管理提高医疗质量

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邹升帆; 刘华坤; 林新华; 彭广福


    Recently, hospitals across the country have been searching for efficient management methods to improve hospital quality. Performance point management system of hospital quality and medical safety is a A management method that is set Accroding to the essence of several health laws and regulations. By establishing and improving this management method in my hospital, we supervise individual service behavior using Performance point management system. In this way, the service behavior of the medical workers is specified so that the function of medical care quality - benefit management is strengthened.%制定并完善《医疗质量和医疗安全积分管理办法(试行)》,加强对个人医疗服务行为的监管与考核.实行院科两级质量控制,以科室自查、质控办月查、职能部门联合检查等方法促进办法落实,每月将检查结果交质控办汇总,经积分管理考核小组讨论通过后全院通报.实践表明,办法的实施,有效提升了医疗质量持续提高.

  17. Translating medical documents improves students' communication skills in simulated physician-patient encounters. (United States)

    Bittner, Anja; Bittner, Johannes; Jonietz, Ansgar; Dybowski, Christoph; Harendza, Sigrid


    Patient-physician communication should be based on plain and simple language. Despite communication skill trainings in undergraduate medical curricula medical students and physicians are often still not aware of using medical jargon when communicating with patients. The aim of this study was to compare linguistic communication skills of undergraduate medical students who voluntarily translate medical documents into plain language with students who do not participate in this voluntary task. Fifty-nine undergraduate medical students participated in this study. Twenty-nine participants were actively involved in voluntarily translating medical documents for real patients into plain language on the online-platform (WHI group) and 30 participants were not (non-WHI group). The assessment resembled a virtual consultation hour, where participants were connected via skype to six simulated patients (SPs). The SPs assessed participants' communication skills. All conversations were transcribed and assessed for communication skills and medical correctness by a blinded expert. All participants completed a self-assessment questionnaire on their communication skills. Across all raters, the WHI group was assessed significantly (p = .007) better than the non-WHI group regarding the use of plain language. The blinded expert assessed the WHI group significantly (p = .018) better regarding the use of stylistic devices of communication. The SPs would choose participants from the WHI group significantly (p = .041) more frequently as their personal physician. No significant differences between the two groups were observed with respect to the medical correctness of the consultations. Written translation of medical documents is associated with significantly more frequent use of plain language in simulated physician-patient encounters. Similar extracurricular exercises might be a useful tool for medical students to enhance their communication skills with

  18. Survey of 5 European countries suggests that more elements of patient-centered medical homes could improve primary care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, M.J.; Voerman, G.E.; Erler, A.; Eriksson, T.; Baker, R.; Lepeleire, J. De; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Burgers, J.S.


    The patient-centered medical home is a US model for comprehensive care. This model features a personal physician or registered nurse who is augmented by a proactive team and information technology. Such a model could prove useful for advanced European systems as they strive to improve primary care,

  19. The HEAL, Phase II Project: enhancing features of an electronic medical record system to improve adherence to asthma guidelines. (United States)

    Rapp, Kristi Isaac; Jack, Leonard; Post, Robert; Flores, Jose; Morris, Nancy; Arnaud, Roslyn; Malveaux, Floyd; Woodall-Ruff, Denise; Sanders, Margaret; Denham, Stacey; Sunda-Meya, Doryne; Wilson, Candice


    This article describes the implementation of an enhanced electronic medical record (EMR) system in three community health care centers in the Greater New Orleans area of Louisiana. This report may aid efforts directed at the implementation of enriched tools, such as decision support, in an EMR with the goal of improving pediatric asthma outcomes.

  20. Glucocorticosteroids: as Adjuvant Therapy for Bacterial Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Glucocorticoids (GCs, synthetic analogues of the natural steroid hormones, are well known for their antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive properties in the periphery. They are widely and successfully used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, and transplant rejection. Nowadays, GCs are claimed to have a beneficial role being as adjunct therapy in various infections. Different studies have been conducted to investigate their use as adjuvant therapy for different bacterial infection. This review, therefore, summarizes various bacterial infections for which glucocorticoids are reported to be used as adjuvant therapy, strategies for administration of glucocorticoids, and challenges of using glucocorticoids as adjuvant therapy.

  1. An education intervention to improve nursing students' understanding of medication safety. (United States)

    Hewitt, Jayne; Tower, Marion; Latimer, Sharon


    Medication safety is a significant issue. Whilst medication administration is a routine task, it is a complex nursing activity. It is recognised in the literature that medication related adverse events are most often related to systems failures associated with the complex process of medication administration. This paper examines student's perceived effectiveness of an educational intervention, designed to demonstrate the complex and multidisciplinary factors of systems related failures in medication administration. The intervention was underpinned by adult and experiential learning concepts and used a problem-based learning approach. A series of short digital recordings were developed along with discussion points to illustrate multidisciplinary interactions involved in medication administration. A small sample of second and third year undergraduate nursing students (n = 28) evaluated the effectiveness of the educational resource. Our findings suggest that such resources are effective in demonstrating the complexity of medication related error and were authentic to practice. An educational intervention using problem based learning afforded nursing students the opportunity to engage with the systems factors that contribute to medication errors. Interventions that highlight these factors may play an important role in raising awareness of these issues and encourage students to carry this knowledge into clinical practice.

  2. 药膳食疗对胃癌术后辅助化疗患者肝功能的影响%Influence of medicative diet for food therapy on hepatic function of patients with gastric cancer and adjuvant chemotherapy after operation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    岳利群; 王玉珠; 韩冬梅; 杨晓旭; 刘付冬


    目的 探讨药膳食疗对减轻胃癌术后辅助化疗患者肝功能损伤的作用,为临床确定有效的治疗及护理措施提供依据.方法 将123例胃癌术后辅助化疗患者随机分为实验组65例和对照组58例,对照组采用常规治疗方案,实验组在此基础上配合药膳疗法,比较2组患者肝功能的变化情况.结果 接受药膳食疗的实验组患者的肝功能改善程度显著优于对照组(P<0.01).结论 药膳食疗能明显减轻并迅速恢复化疗后严重受损的肝功能.%Objective To approach the alleviating effect of medicative diet for food therapy on hepatic function of patients with gastric cancer and adjuvant chemotherapy after operation and supply references for effective treatment and nursing. Methods We divided 123 patients with gastric cancer after operation into the test group (65 cases) and the control group (58 cases).The control group adopted routine treatment project while the test group received medieative diet for food therapy based on routine treatment project. The changes in hepatic functions were compared between the two groups. Results The changes in hepatic functions of the test group were better than those of the control group (P<0.01 ). Conclusion Medicative diet for food therapy could significantly restore the seriously damaged hepatic function after chemotherapy.

  3. Could non-grade based selection improve medical student socio-demographic diversity?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Neill, Lotte Dyhrberg


    Introduction: Students with lower socioeconomic backgrounds have been found to be underrepresented in medical education. There is little evidence as to whether the type of student admission strategy used could make a difference to diversity of medical students. The aim of this paper was to examine...... if selection strategy made a difference to the diversity of admitted medical students. Method: The study design was a prospective cohort study. The population was 1074 medical students admitted between the years 2002-2007 at one medical school. Of these, 454 was admitted by grade-based selection and 620 were...... selected with a non-grade-based or ’non-cognitive’ admission program. The two admission groups were compared on seven social indices (doctor parent, ethnic origin, father’s education, mother’s education, parenthood, parents live together, parent on benefit). Result: Selection strategy made no difference...

  4. Identification of priorities for improvement of medication safety in primary care: a PRIORITIZE study. (United States)

    Tudor Car, Lorainne; Papachristou, Nikolaos; Gallagher, Joseph; Samra, Rajvinder; Wazny, Kerri; El-Khatib, Mona; Bull, Adrian; Majeed, Azeem; Aylin, Paul; Atun, Rifat; Rudan, Igor; Car, Josip; Bell, Helen; Vincent, Charles; Franklin, Bryony Dean


    Medication error is a frequent, harmful and costly patient safety incident. Research to date has mostly focused on medication errors in hospitals. In this study, we aimed to identify the main causes of, and solutions to, medication error in primary care. We used a novel priority-setting method for identifying and ranking patient safety problems and solutions called PRIORITIZE. We invited 500 North West London primary care clinicians to complete an open-ended questionnaire to identify three main problems and solutions relating to medication error in primary care. 113 clinicians submitted responses, which we thematically synthesized into a composite list of 48 distinct problems and 45 solutions. A group of 57 clinicians randomly selected from the initial cohort scored these and an overall ranking was derived. The agreement between the clinicians' scores was presented using the average expert agreement (AEA). The study was conducted between September 2013 and November 2014. The top three problems were incomplete reconciliation of medication during patient 'hand-overs', inadequate patient education about their medication use and poor discharge summaries. The highest ranked solutions included development of a standardized discharge summary template, reduction of unnecessary prescribing, and minimisation of polypharmacy. Overall, better communication between the healthcare provider and patient, quality assurance approaches during medication prescribing and monitoring, and patient education on how to use their medication were considered the top priorities. The highest ranked suggestions received the strongest agreement among the clinicians, i.e. the highest AEA score. Clinicians identified a range of suggestions for better medication management, quality assurance procedures and patient education. According to clinicians, medication errors can be largely prevented with feasible and affordable interventions. PRIORITIZE is a new, convenient, systematic, and replicable method

  5. Does helicopter transport improve outcomes independently of emergency medical system time? (United States)

    Ryb, Gabriel E; Dischinger, Patricia; Cooper, Carnell; Kufera, Joseph A


    Helicopter emergency medical systems (HEMS) have been reported to improve trauma survival. This study seeks to determine HEMS effect on survival across different subpopulations in relation to injury severity, degree of physiologic derangement, and transportation time (TT). The 2007 National Trauma Data Bank adult patients transported directly to hospitals by ground ambulance or HEMS were compared in relation to their survival with discharge and other possible confounders. Multivariate models were constructed to determine the adjusted odds ratios (OR) of survival for the entire cohort and across subpopulations stratified by different Injury Severity Score (ISS), hospital Revised Trauma Score (RTS), and TT. A total of 192,422 patients with complete data were analyzed. HEMS patients (15.3%) experienced lower survival rates than those transported by ground (93.8% vs. 96.1%, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed a survival advantage for HEMS in the entire cohort (OR, 1.78 [1.65-1.92]). Adding TT to the model did not affect HEMS effect on survival. HEMS effect was present across all ISS levels but was limited to those with RTS of less than 6 (n = 15,427; OR, 2.28 [2.10-2.49]). In contrast, those with RTS of 6 or greater experienced lower adjusted survival when transported by HEMS (n = 176,995; OR, 0.83 [0.74-0.94]). Stratification by RTS and ISS did not affect the results. Substratification by TT revealed no effect of HEMS on survival among patients with RTS of less than 6, ISS of less than 16, and TT of 60 minutes or greater. Remaining associations were not affected by TT substratification. HEMS beneficial effect on survival seems to be limited to patients with physiologic instability. Physiologically stable patients seem to have a worse outcome when transported by air. Epidemiologic/prognostic study, level III.

  6. Improving pediatric liquid medication labeling of the hospital information system in Malaysia: qualitative analysis of pharmacists’ perceptions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan HK


    Full Text Available Background: Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS is used. Objective: To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications. Methods: This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group discussions (FGDs, face-to-face interviews (FTFIs, and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach. Results: Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions. Conclusion: This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications.

  7. National Clinical Skills Competition: an effective simulation-based method to improve undergraduate medical education in China. (United States)

    Jiang, Guanchao; Chen, Hong; Wang, Qiming; Chi, Baorong; He, Qingnan; Xiao, Haipeng; Zhou, Qinghuan; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shan


    The National Clinical Skills Competition has been held in China for 5 consecutive years since 2010 to promote undergraduate education reform and improve the teaching quality. The effects of the simulation-based competition will be analyzed in this study. Participation in the competitions and the compilation of the questions used in the competition finals are summarized, and the influence and guidance quality are further analyzed. Through the nationwide distribution of questionnaires in medical colleges, the effects of the simulation-based competition on promoting undergraduate medical education reform were evaluated. The results show that approximately 450 students from more than 110 colleges (accounting for 81% of colleges providing undergraduate clinical medical education in China) participated in the competition each year. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes were comprehensively evaluated by simulation-based assessment. Eight hundred and eighty copies of the questionnaires were distributed to 110 participating medical schools in 2015. In total, 752 valid responses were received across 95 schools. The majority of the interviewees agreed or strongly agreed that competition promoted the adoption of advanced educational principles (76.8%), updated the curriculum model and instructional methods (79.8%), strengthened faculty development (84.0%), improved educational resources (82.1%), and benefited all students (53.4%). The National Clinical Skills Competition is widely accepted in China. It has effectively promoted the reform and development of undergraduate medical education in China.

  8. Improving pediatric liquid medication labeling of the hospital information system in Malaysia: qualitative analysis of pharmacists' perceptions. (United States)

    Chan, Huan-Keat; Hassali, Mohamed A; Lim, Ching-Jou; Saleem, Fahad; Ghani, Norazila A


    Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS) is used. To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications. This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group discussions (FGDs), face-to-face interviews (FTFIs), and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy) of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach. Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions. This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications.

  9. National Clinical Skills Competition: an effective simulation-based method to improve undergraduate medical education in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guanchao Jiang


    Full Text Available Background: The National Clinical Skills Competition has been held in China for 5 consecutive years since 2010 to promote undergraduate education reform and improve the teaching quality. The effects of the simulation-based competition will be analyzed in this study. Methods: Participation in the competitions and the compilation of the questions used in the competition finals are summarized, and the influence and guidance quality are further analyzed. Through the nationwide distribution of questionnaires in medical colleges, the effects of the simulation-based competition on promoting undergraduate medical education reform were evaluated. Results: The results show that approximately 450 students from more than 110 colleges (accounting for 81% of colleges providing undergraduate clinical medical education in China participated in the competition each year. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes were comprehensively evaluated by simulation-based assessment. Eight hundred and eighty copies of the questionnaires were distributed to 110 participating medical schools in 2015. In total, 752 valid responses were received across 95 schools. The majority of the interviewees agreed or strongly agreed that competition promoted the adoption of advanced educational principles (76.8%, updated the curriculum model and instructional methods (79.8%, strengthened faculty development (84.0%, improved educational resources (82.1%, and benefited all students (53.4%. Conclusions: The National Clinical Skills Competition is widely accepted in China. It has effectively promoted the reform and development of undergraduate medical education in China.

  10. Improving the quality and safety of care on the medical ward: A review and synthesis of the evidence base. (United States)

    Pannick, Samuel; Beveridge, Iain; Wachter, Robert M; Sevdalis, Nick


    Despite its place at the heart of inpatient medicine, the evidence base underpinning the effective delivery of medical ward care is highly fragmented. Clinicians familiar with the selection of evidence-supported treatments for specific diseases may be less aware of the evolving literature surrounding the organisation of care on the medical ward. This review is the first synthesis of that disparate literature. An iterative search identified relevant publications, using terms pertaining to medical ward environments, and objective and subjective patient outcomes. Articles (including reviews) were selected on the basis of their focus on medical wards, and their relevance to the quality and safety of ward-based care. Responses to medical ward failings are grouped into five common themes: staffing levels and team composition; interdisciplinary communication and collaboration; standardisation of care; early recognition and treatment of the deteriorating patient; and local safety climate. Interventions in these categories are likely to improve the quality and safety of care in medical wards, although the evidence supporting them is constrained by methodological limitations and inadequate investment in multicentre trials. Nonetheless, with infrequent opportunities to redefine their services, institutions are increasingly adopting multifaceted strategies that encompass groups of these themes. As the literature on the quality of inpatient care moves beyond its initial focus on the intensive care unit and operating theatre, physicians should be mindful of opportunities to incorporate evidence-based practice at a ward level. Copyright © 2014 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Teaching a Hypothesis-driven Physical Diagnosis Curriculum to Pulmonary Fellows Improves Performance of First-Year Medical Students. (United States)

    Staitieh, Bashar S; Saghafi, Ramin; Kempker, Jordan A; Schulman, David A


    Hypothesis-driven physical examination emphasizes the role of bedside examination in the refinement of differential diagnoses and improves diagnostic acumen. This approach has not yet been investigated as a tool to improve the ability of higher-level trainees to teach medical students. To assess the effect of teaching hypothesis-driven physical diagnosis to pulmonary fellows on their ability to improve the pulmonary examination skills of first-year medical students. Fellows and students were assessed on teaching and diagnostic skills by self-rating on a Likert scale. One group of fellows received the hypothesis-driven teaching curriculum (the "intervention" group) and another received instruction on head-to-toe examination. Both groups subsequently taught physical diagnosis to a group of first-year medical students. An oral examination was administered to all students after completion of the course. Fellows were comfortable teaching physical diagnosis to students. Students in both groups reported a lack of comfort with the pulmonary examination at the beginning of the course and improvement in their comfort by the end. Students trained by intervention group fellows outperformed students trained by control group fellows in the interpretation of physical findings (P students improves the ability of students to interpret physical findings. This benefit should be confirmed using validated testing tools.

  12. Improving aquaaerobics as means of hydrorehabilitation of students of special medical groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balamutova N.M.


    Full Text Available The questions which concern with estimate of implementation of aquaaerobics in an educational process of physical culture of students with weakened health were examined. In experiment took place 76 students of Law Academy. The data that were used in this research were taken from a questionnaire survey that was made among students, analysis of methodological literature and own practical experience. The experimental program of aquaaerobical studies with students of special medical group was developed .The analysis of students quantity of special medical groups which attended physical training studies showed that aquaaerobisc appeared no less attractive then medical swimming.

  13. Hypokalaemia: Improving the investigation, management and therapeutic monitoring of hypokalaemic medical inpatients at a district general hospital. (United States)

    Jordan, Mark; Caesar, Jenny


    Hypokalaemia is prevalent in 20% of hospitalised patients. Furthermore, inadequate management of hypokalemia was identified in 24% of these patients. Associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality, the identification, investigation, and treatment of hypokalaemia was identified as an area for improvement in the management of medical inpatients. The project aims to measure the assessment, management, and therapeutic monitoring of medical inpatients with hypokalaemia in a district general hospital. All medical inpatients over a one week period who met the criteria for hypokalaemia (serum potassium <3.5 mmol/L on standard biochemical sample) were included in the audit. Patient's notes were located and evaluated to identify if they had mild, moderate, or severe hypokalaemia. Further data on ECG requests, repeat U&Es, serum magnesium analysis, treatment prescribed, and medication review dates was collated. A re-audit was completed after the introduction of a set of interventions which included a hypokalaemia treatment algorithm. Pre-intervention analysis of all medical inpatients, who met our inclusion criteria for hypokalaemia, identified 32 patients. 25 of these patients met the criteria for mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 7 met the criteria for moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). Only 7/32 (22 %) patients were receiving adequate treatment based on trust guidelines. Post intervention results showed marked improvement in the management of patients with hypokalaemia. A total of 30 patients were identified in this post-intervention group. There were 16/30 patients who qualified as mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 14/30 with moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). 19/30 (63%) patients in the post-intervention group were correctly prescribed appropriate medication doses consistent with the treatment algorithm. Following the initial success of the project, analysis at 3 months showed a positive trend for sustained improvement when compared to

  14. [Adjuvant dermato-cosmetic acne therapy]. (United States)

    Bayerl, Christiane; Degitz, Klaus; Meigel, Eva; Kerscher, Martina


    Adjuvant dermato-cosmetic therapy in acne is an essential part of the concept of treating acne after initiation and during maintenance therapy. Those are mechanical peeling, chemical peeling and its combination. It needs supervision by an experienced dermatologist.

  15. Simulation curriculum can improve medical student assessment and management of acute coronary syndrome during a clinical practice exam. (United States)

    DeWaay, Deborah J; McEvoy, Matthew D; Kern, Donna H; Alexander, Louise A; Nietert, Paul J


    It has been noted that increased focus on learning acute care skills is needed in undergraduate medical curricula. This study investigated whether a simulation-based curriculum improved a senior medical student's ability to manage acute coronary syndrome as measured during a clinical performance examination (CPX). The authors hypothesized that simulation training would improve overall performance when compared with targeted didactics or historical controls. All 4th-year medical students (n = 291) over 2 years at the authors' institution were included in this study. In the 3rd year of medical school, the "control" group received no intervention, the "didactic" group received a targeted didactic curriculum, and the "simulation" group participated in small group simulation training and the didactic curriculum. For intergroup comparison on the CPX, the authors calculated the percentage of correct actions completed by the student. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation with significance defined as P simulation versus both didactics and control (P simulation versus both didactics and control, as was for diagnosis: simulation versus both didactics and control (P Simulation training had a modest impact on overall CPX performance in the management of a simulated acute coronary syndrome. Additional studies are needed to evaluate how to further improve curricula regarding unstable patients.

  16. A randomized, controlled study of an educational intervention to improve recall of auxiliary medication labeling and adherence to antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jade A Pham


    Full Text Available Purpose: To evaluate whether medication counseling with emphasis on auxiliary labels improves recall of auxiliary label information and adherence to medication schedules. Methods: A prospective, randomized study of an educational intervention in community pharmacies near Baltimore, Maryland. Fifty literate, English-speaking adults receiving one of the 18 commonly dispensed antibiotics were randomized to receive a counseling session or no counseling. Five to seven days after medication pickup, a structured phone interview was conducted to capture data on recall of auxiliary labels and adherence. Results: A total of 39 subjects completed the phone interview (78%. The rate of correct recall was high: 77% correct recall for all three labels. Among those with incorrect recall, 7 out of 9 subjects received no counseling (p = 0.11. The auxiliary labels incorrectly recalled were all related to dietary restrictions. Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that medication counseling emphasizing auxiliary label information may lead to improved recall and adherence to antibiotics. Additional studies are required to confirm the preliminary findings and determine whether they correspond to improved adherence. Information most commonly misunderstood were related to dietary restrictions. Additional research focusing on counseling related to dietary restrictions is recommended.

  17. Korean association of medical journal editors at the forefront of improving the quality and indexing chances of its member journals. (United States)

    Suh, Chang-Ok; Oh, Se Jeong; Hong, Sung-Tae


    The article overviews some achievements and problems of Korean medical journals published in the highly competitive journal environment. Activities of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) are viewed as instrumental for improving the quality of Korean articles, indexing large number of local journals in prestigious bibliographic databases and launching new abstract and citation tracking databases or platforms (eg KoreaMed, KoreaMed Synapse, the Western Pacific Regional Index Medicus [WPRIM]). KAMJE encourages its member journals to upgrade science editing standards and to legitimately increase citation rates, primarily by publishing more great articles with global influence. Experience gained by KAMJE and problems faced by Korean editors may have global implications.

  18. Computerized Decision Support Improves Medication Review Effectiveness : An Experiment Evaluating the STRIP Assistant's Usability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulendijk, Michiel C; Spruit, Marco R; Drenth-van Maanen, A Clara; Numans, Mattijs E; Brinkkemper, Sjaak; Jansen, Paul A F; Knol, Wilma

    BACKGROUND: Polypharmacy poses threats to patients' health. The Systematic Tool to Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing (STRIP) is a drug optimization process for conducting medication reviews in primary care. To effectively and efficiently incorporate this method into daily practice, the STRIP

  19. Computerized decision support improves medication review effectiveness: an experiment evaluating the STRIP Assistant’s usability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulendijk, M.; Spruit, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/297391879; Drenth-van Maanen, C.; Numans, M.; Brinkkemper, S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07500707X; Jansen, P.; Knol, W


    Background Polypharmacy poses threats to patients’ health. The Systematic Tool to Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing (STRIP) is a drug optimization process for conducting medication reviews in primary care. To effectively and efficiently incorporate this method into daily practice, the STRIP

  20. Using an iconic language to improve access to electronic medical records in general medicine. (United States)

    Simon, Christian; Hassler, Sylvain; Beuscart-Zephir, Marie-Catherine; Favre, Madeleine; Venot, Alain; Duclos, Catherine; Lamy, Jean-Baptiste


    Physicians have difficulties to access and analyse information in a medical record. In a previous work on drug databanks, we have shown that with an iconic language as VCM, an icon-based presentation can help physicians to access medical information. Our objective, herein, is to study whether VCM can be used in an electronic medical record for facilitating physician access in general practice. We identify the data and the functionalities of an electronic medical record that could benefit from VCM icons representing clinical findings, patient history, etc. We also present a preliminary evaluation of this new icon-focused interface. We conclude by discussing the results like the assessment of the user's satisfaction and pointing out the importance of coding data.

  1. Medication reviews by clinical pharmacists at hospitals lead to improved patient outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Trine Graabæk; Kjeldsen, Lene Juel


    Suboptimal medication use may lead to morbidity, mortality and increased costs. To reduce unnecessary patient harm, medicines management including medication reviews can be provided by clinical pharmacists. Some recent studies have indicated a positive effect of this service, but the quality...... and outcomes vary among studies. Hence, there is a need for compiling the evidence within this area. The aim of this systematic MiniReview was to identify, assess and summarize the literature investigating the effect of pharmacist-led medication reviews in hospitalized patients. Five databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE......, CINAHL, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library) were searched from their inception to 2011 in addition to citation tracking and hand search. Only original research papers published in English describing pharmacist-led medication reviews in a hospital setting including minimum 100 patients or 100...

  2. Strategies to improve medication adherence in patients with schizophrenia: the role of support services. (United States)

    El-Mallakh, Peggy; Findlay, Jan


    The purpose of this review is to describe research over the past 10 years on the role of support services in promoting medication adherence in mental health consumers diagnosed with schizophrenia. A literature search was conducted using the terms "medication adherence," "schizophrenia," and "support services," using Medline, PubMed, and CINAHL. Reference lists from published studies were also reviewed to identify additional research studies. Twenty-two articles focused on support-service intervention studies, and these were selected for review. Available support-service interventions include adherence therapy, electronic reminders via text messages and telephones, cognitive-behavioral and motivational strategies, and financial incentives. Support-service intervention strategies need to be tailored to the specific needs of mental health consumers with schizophrenia. More research is needed to investigate effective support services to enhance long-term adherence and adherence to medications for medical illnesses in this population.

  3. Critical factors in the translation of improved antimicrobial strategies for medical implants and devices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grainger, David W.; van der Mei, Henny C.; Jutte, Paul C.; van den Dungen, Jan J. A. M.; Schultz, Marcus J.; van der Laan, Bernard F. A. M.; Zaat, Sebastian A. J.; Busscher, Henk J.


    Biomaterials-associated infection incidence represents an increasing clinical challenge as more people gain access to medical device technologies worldwide and microbial resistance to current approaches mounts. Few reported antimicrobial approaches to implanted biomaterials ever get commercialized f

  4. A Strategy for Improving the National Medical and Public Health Surge Capacity (United States)


    Goiania , Brazil in 1987 when two men brought home some glowing, blue pieces of metal they had taken out of a discarded Cesium-137 radiotherapy machine...Medicine 13 (January 2004): 5. 51 University of Cincinnati, “The Radiological Accident in Goiania : An Overview of Dosimetric and Medical Aspects...University of Cincinnati. “The Radiological Accident in Goiania : An Overview of Dosimetric and Medical Aspects.” Briefing slides available from <http

  5. Improving medical students' knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolyniak MJ


    Full Text Available Michael J Wolyniak,1 Lynne T Bemis,2 Amy J Prunuske2 1Department of Biology, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, MN, USA Abstract: Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student's critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. Keywords: genetics education, medical genetics, pedagogical practice, active learning, problem-based learning

  6. Improving COPD Care in a Medically Underserved Primary Care Clinic: A Qualitative Study of Patient Perspectives. (United States)

    Glasser, Irene; Wang, Fei; Reardon, Jane; Vergara, Cunegundo D; Salvietti, Ralph; Acevedo, Myrtha; Santana, Blanca; Fortunato, Gil


    We conducted a focus group study in an urban hospital-based primary care teaching clinic serving an indigent and Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) population in New England in order to learn how patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) perceive their disease, how they experience their medical care, and the barriers they face managing their disease and following medical recommendations. The research team included medical doctors, nurses, a medical anthropologist, a clinical pharmacist, a hospital interpreter, and a systems analyst. Four focus groups were conducted in Spanish and English in April and May 2014. The demographic characteristics of the 25 focus group participants closely reflected the demographics of the total COPD clinic patients. The participants were predominantly female (72%) and Hispanic (72%) and had a median age of 63. The major themes expressed in the focus groups included: problems living with COPD; coping with complexities of comorbid illnesses; challenges of quitting smoking and maintaining cessation; dealing with second-hand smoke; beliefs and myths about quitting smoking; difficulty paying for and obtaining medications; positive experiences obtaining and managing medications; difficulties in using sleep machines at home; expressions of disappointment with the departure of their doctors; and overall satisfaction with the clinic health care providers. The study led to the creation of an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by the focus study participants. The action plan is spearheaded by a designated bilingual and bicultural nurse and is now in operation.

  7. Applications of nanomaterials as vaccine adjuvants. (United States)

    Zhu, Motao; Wang, Rongfu; Nie, Guangjun


    Vaccine adjuvants are applied to amplify the recipient's specific immune responses against pathogen infection or malignancy. A new generation of adjuvants is being developed to meet the demands for more potent antigen-specific responses, specific types of immune responses, and a high margin of safety. Nanotechnology provides a multifunctional stage for the integration of desired adjuvant activities performed by the building blocks of tailor-designed nanoparticles. Using nanomaterials for antigen delivery can provide high bioavailability, sustained and controlled release profiles, and targeting and imaging properties resulting from manipulation of the nanomaterials' physicochemical properties. Moreover, the inherent immune-regulating activity of particular nanomaterials can further promote and shape the cellular and humoral immune responses toward desired types. The combination of both the delivery function and immunomodulatory effect of nanomaterials as adjuvants is thought to largely benefit the immune outcomes of vaccination. In this review, we will address the current achievements of nanotechnology in the development of novel adjuvants. The potential mechanisms by which nanomaterials impact the immune responses to a vaccine and how physicochemical properties, including size, surface charge and surface modification, impact their resulting immunological outcomes will be discussed. This review aims to provide concentrated information to promote new insights for the development of novel vaccine adjuvants.

  8. [Adjuvant chemotherapy in colon cancer. About 119 cases]. (United States)

    Yaich, Asma; Khanfir, Afef; Bayrouti, Mohamed Issam; Frikha, Mounir


    colon cancer is a public health problem worldwide and in Tunisia. The prognosis of patients with unresectable colorectal cancer varies according to the stage. The indication for adjuvant chemotherapy is well established in the colon cancer stage III, while it remains a matter of controversy for stage II. The aim of this work is to identify the epidemiological and anatomoclinical assess therapeutic outcomes in terms of overall survival of patients with high-risk stage II and stage III colon cancer treated with surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. DS: It's a retrospective study based on 119 patients with colon adenocarcinoma from 1996 to 2010. This patients suffering from colon cancer classified stage II and III having them all radical surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. The average age of our patients was 53 years. The surgery was performed in an emergency situation in 53 patients (44%). Stages II and III, respectively, were observed in 47% and 53% of cases. Three regimens of chemotherapy were used: protocol FUFOL (50%), followed by FOLFOX (34%) and the protocol LV5FU2 (16%). Overall survival of patients all stages combined was 73.4% at 5 years. Stage III of the TNM classification (p = 0.03) and the number of cycles of chemotherapy colon cancer is improving thanks to recent advances that have enabled the integration of new cytogenetic factors in the therapeutic decision.

  9. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as antigen carriers and adjuvants for vaccine delivery (United States)

    Mody, Karishma T.; Popat, Amirali; Mahony, Donna; Cavallaro, Antonino S.; Yu, Chengzhong; Mitter, Neena


    Vaccines have been at the forefront of improving human health for over two centuries. The challenges faced in developing effective vaccines flow from complexities associated with the immune system and requirement of an efficient and safe adjuvant to induce a strong adaptive immune response. Development of an efficient vaccine formulation requires careful selection of a potent antigen, efficient adjuvant and route of delivery. Adjuvants are immunological agents that activate the antigen presenting cells (APCs) and elicit a strong immune response. In the past decade, the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) has gained significant attention as potential delivery vehicles for various biomolecules. In this review, we aim to highlight the potential of MSNs as vaccine delivery vehicles and their ability to act as adjuvants. We have provided an overview on the latest progress on synthesis, adsorption and release kinetics and biocompatibility of MSNs as next generation antigen carriers and adjuvants. A comprehensive summary on the ability of MSNs to deliver antigens and elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses is provided. Finally, we give insight on fundamental challenges and some future prospects of these nanoparticles as adjuvants.

  10. Aluminium adjuvants and adverse events in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy. (United States)

    Exley, Christopher


    Sub-cutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergy. It works by helping to modify or re-balance an individual's immune response to allergens and its efficacy is greatly improved by the use of adjuvants, most commonly, aluminium hydroxide. Aluminium salts have been used in allergy therapy for many decades and are assumed to be safe with few established side-effects. This assumption belies their potency as adjuvants and their potential for biological reactivity both at injection sites and elsewhere in the body. There are very few data purporting to the safety of aluminium adjuvants in allergy immunotherapy and particularly so in relation to longer term health effects. There are, if only few, published reports of adverse events following allergy immunotherapy and aluminium adjuvants are the prime suspects in the majority of such incidents. Aluminium adjuvants are clearly capable of initiating unwanted side effects in recipients of immunotherapy and while there is as yet no evidence that such are commonplace it is complacent to consider aluminium salts as harmless constituents of allergy therapies. Future research should establish the safety of the use of aluminium adjuvants in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy.

  11. Physician Beliefs and Practices for Adjuvant and Salvage Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Showalter, Timothy N., E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, Jefferson Medical College, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Ohri, Nitin; Teti, Kristopher G. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Jefferson Medical College, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Foley, Kathleen A. [Strategic Consulting, Thomson Reuters Healthcare, Cambridge, MA (United States); Keith, Scott W. [Division of Biostatistics, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Trabulsi, Edouard J.; Lallas, Costas D. [Department of Urology, Jefferson Medical College and Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Dicker, Adam P. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Jefferson Medical College, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Hoffman-Censits, Jean [Department of Medical Oncology, Jefferson Medical College and Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Pizzi, Laura T. [School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Gomella, Leonard G. [Department of Urology, Jefferson Medical College and Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA (United States)


    Purpose: Despite results of randomized trials that support adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer with adverse pathologic features (APF), many clinicians favor selective use of salvage RT. This survey was conducted to evaluate the beliefs and practices of radiation oncologists (RO) and urologists (U) regarding RT after RP. Methods and Materials: We designed a Web-based survey of post-RP RT beliefs and policies. Survey invitations were e-mailed to a list of 926 RO and 591 U. APF were defined as extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, or positive surgical margin. Differences between U and RO in adjuvant RT recommendations were evaluated by comparative statistics. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate factors predictive of adjuvant RT recommendation. Results: Analyzable surveys were completed by 218 RO and 92 U (overallresponse rate, 20%). Adjuvant RT was recommended based on APF by 68% of respondents (78% RO, 44% U, p <0.001). U were less likely than RO to agree that adjuvant RT improves survival and/or biochemical control (p < 0.0001). PSA thresholds for salvage RT were higher among U than RO (p < 0.001). Predicted rates of erectile dysfunction due to RT were higher among U than RO (p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, respondent specialty was the only predictor of adjuvant RT recommendations. Conclusions: U are less likely than RO to recommend adjuvant RT. Future research efforts should focus on defining the toxicities of post-RP RT and on identifying the subgroups of patients who will benefit from adjuvant vs. selective salvage RT.

  12. Using gait analysis to assess weight bearing in rats with Freund׳s complete adjuvant-induced monoarthritis to improve predictivity: Interfering with the cyclooxygenase and nerve growth factor pathways. (United States)

    Ängeby Möller, Kristina; Berge, Odd-Geir; Finn, Anja; Stenfors, Carina; Svensson, Camilla I


    Lack of predictive power for drug effects has been a major criticism against animal pain models. It is therefore important to define the utility and limitations of different models. The aim of this study was to extend previous work on gait analysis as a tool to investigate pharmacological effects in monoarthritic rats, specifically to test the hypothesis that monoarthritis induced by Freund׳s complete adjuvant (FCA) provides a better estimate of overall analgesic efficacy of established, and novel, clinically effective and ineffective therapeutic approaches. Male rats injected intra-articularly into one ankle joint with FCA (1.0mg/ml) were treated with the monoclonal antibody to nerve growth factor (NGF), MEDI-578, the inhibitors of tropomyosin receptor kinases A, B and C (pan-Trk) AZ6623 or AZ7092, the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) inhibitor AZD1386, or the cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors naproxen, ibuprofen, valdecoxib or rofecoxib. Effects on weight bearing during locomotion were tested using video capture of print images. The apparent efficacy in this model was Trk inhibitors≥anti-NGF antibody>COX inhibitors. The TRPV1 inhibitor was ineffective. Together with previous data, the results support using gait-related parameters in the monoarthritis model. FCA as induction agent seems to provide a good overall prediction of analgesic efficacy in disorders with inflammatory joint pain.

  13. Squalene and squalane emulsions as adjuvants. (United States)

    Allison, A C


    Microfluidized squalene or squalane emulsions are efficient adjuvants, eliciting both humoral and cellular immune responses. Microfluidization stabilizes the emulsions and allows sterilization by terminal filtration. The emulsions are stable for years at ambient temperature and can be frozen. Antigens are added after emulsification so that conformational epitopes are not lost by denaturation and to facilitate manufacture. A Pluronic block copolymer can be added to the squalane or squalene emulsion. Soluble antigens administered in such emulsions generate cytotoxic T lymphocytes able to lyse target cells expressing the antigen in a genetically restricted fashion. Optionally a relatively nontoxic analog of muramyl dipeptide (MDP) or another immunomodulator can be added; however, the dose of MDP must be restricted to avoid systemic side effects in humans. Squalene or squalane emulsions without copolymers or MDP have very little toxicity and elicit potent antibody responses to several antigens in nonhuman primates. They could be used to improve a wide range of vaccines. Squalene or squalane emulsions have been administered in human cancer vaccines, with mild side effects and evidence of efficacy, in terms of both immune responses and antitumor activity.

  14. Computational prediction of multidisciplinary team decision-making for adjuvant breast cancer drug therapies: a machine learning approach. (United States)

    Lin, Frank P Y; Pokorny, Adrian; Teng, Christina; Dear, Rachel; Epstein, Richard J


    Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are used to optimise expert decision-making about treatment options, but such expertise is not digitally transferable between centres. To help standardise medical decision-making, we developed a machine learning model designed to predict MDT decisions about adjuvant breast cancer treatments. We analysed MDT decisions regarding adjuvant systemic therapy for 1065 breast cancer cases over eight years. Machine learning classifiers with and without bootstrap aggregation were correlated with MDT decisions (recommended, not recommended, or discussable) regarding adjuvant cytotoxic, endocrine and biologic/targeted therapies, then tested for predictability using stratified ten-fold cross-validations. The predictions so derived were duly compared with those based on published (ESMO and NCCN) cancer guidelines. Machine learning more accurately predicted adjuvant chemotherapy MDT decisions than did simple application of guidelines. No differences were found between MDT- vs. ESMO/NCCN- based decisions to prescribe either adjuvant endocrine (97%, p = 0.44/0.74) or biologic/targeted therapies (98%, p = 0.82/0.59). In contrast, significant discrepancies were evident between MDT- and guideline-based decisions to prescribe chemotherapy (87%, p machine learning models. A machine learning approach based on clinicopathologic characteristics can predict MDT decisions about adjuvant breast cancer drug therapies. The discrepancy between MDT- and guideline-based decisions regarding adjuvant chemotherapy implies that certain non-clincopathologic criteria, such as patient preference and resource availability, are factored into clinical decision-making by local experts but not captured by guidelines.

  15. Continuous Improvement of Hospital Medical Waste Management%医疗废物管理及其持续改进

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王米兰; 蒋景华


    目的 通过系列整改,持续提高医院医疗废物管理质量.方法 查找问题,制定整改措施,组织培训,检查考核,反馈改进.结果 整改后病区医疗废物处置合格率均有显著提高(P<0.01).结论 通过加大对医疗废物管理工作的投入,建立完善的管理制度和标准化的管理流程,运用科学方法可以持续改进医疗废物管理质量.%Objective To improve the quality of hospital medical waste management continuously through a series of rectification.Methods Identification of problems, development of rectification measures, the organization of training, inspections and examinations, and feedback-based improvements were adopted.Results The qualified rate of medical waste disposal in ward is improved significantly after the rectification (P<0.01). Conclusion By increasing investment, establishing a sound management system and standardized management process, and applying scientific methods, the quality of medical waste management can be continuously improved.

  16. A comparison between the effectiveness of PBL and LBL on improving problem-solving abilities of medical students using questioning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    He, Yunfeng; Du, Xiangyun; Toft, Egon


    In daily patient-history taking and diagnosis practice, doctors ask questions to gather information from patients and narrow down diagnostic hypotheses. Training medical students to be efficient problem solvers through the use of questioning is therefore important. In this study, the effectiveness...... of problem-based learning (PBL) and lecture-based learning in improving the questioning abilities of medical students (N = 104) was assessed by a modified 20-question task. In this task, the participants were asked to identify target pictures by asking questions, the problem-solving process of which...... resembles that of the diagnosis scenario. Moreover, this task requires no medical knowledge, and therefore allows knowledge- irrelevant questioning abilities to be assessed independently. The results show that PBL students generally ask more efficient questions and use fewer questions to complete the task...

  17. Improving quality of medical image compression using biorthogonal CDF wavelet based on lifting scheme and SPIHT coding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beladgham Mohammed


    Full Text Available As the coming era is that of digitized medical information, an important challenge to deal with is the storage and transmission requirements of enormous data, including medical images. Compression is one of the indispensable techniques to solve this problem. In this work, we propose an algorithm for medical image compression based on a biorthogonal wavelet transform CDF 9/7 coupled with SPIHT coding algorithm, of which we applied the lifting structure to improve the drawbacks of wavelet transform. In order to enhance the compression by our algorithm, we have compared the results obtained with wavelet based filters bank. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is superior to traditional methods in both lossy and lossless compression for all tested images. Our algorithm provides very important PSNR and MSSIM values for MRI images.

  18. Improving medication adherence in diabetes type 2 patients through Real Time Medication Monitoring: a Randomised Controlled Trial to evaluate the effect of monitoring patients' medication use combined with short message service (SMS reminders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bouvy Marcel L


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Innovative approaches are needed to support patients' adherence to drug therapy. The Real Time Medication Monitoring (RTMM system offers real time monitoring of patients' medication use combined with short message service (SMS reminders if patients forget to take their medication. This combination of monitoring and tailored reminders provides opportunities to improve adherence. This article describes the design of an intervention study aimed at evaluating the effect of RTMM on adherence to oral antidiabetics. Methods/Design Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT with two intervention arms and one control arm involving diabetes type 2 patients with suboptimal levels of adherence to oral antidiabetics (less than 80% based on pharmacy refill data. Patients in the first intervention arm use RTMM including SMS reminders and a personal webpage where they can monitor their medication use. Patients in the second intervention arm use RTMM without SMS reminders or webpage access. Patients in the control arm are not exposed to any intervention. Patients are randomly assigned to one of the three arms. The intervention lasts for six months. Pharmacy refill data of all patients are available from 11 months before, until 11 months after the start of the intervention. Primary outcome measure is adherence to oral antidiabetics calculated from: 1 data collected with RTMM, as a percentage of medication taken as prescribed, and as percentage of medication taken within the correct time interval, 2 refill data, taking the number of days for which oral antidiabetics are dispensed during the study period divided by the total number of days of the study period. Differences in adherence between the intervention groups and control group are studied using refill data. Differences in adherence between the two intervention groups are studied using RTMM data. Discussion The intervention described in this article consists of providing RTMM to patients with

  19. Induction of systemic and mucosal immunity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection by a novel nanoemulsion adjuvant vaccine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun HW


    Full Text Available HongWu Sun,1,* Chao Wei,1,* BaoShuai Liu,1 HaiMing Jing,1 Qiang Feng,2 YaNan Tong,1 Yun Yang,1 LiuYang Yang,1 QianFei Zuo,1 Yi Zhang,1 QuanMing Zou,1 Hao Zeng1 1National Engineering Research Center of Immunological Products, Department of Microbiology and Biochemical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Third Military Medical University of Chinese PLA, 2Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University of Education, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: The Gram-positive bacterial pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA can cause infections in the bloodstream, endocardial tissue, respiratory tract, culture-confirmed skin, or soft tissue. There are currently no effective vaccines, and none are expected to become available in the near future. An effective vaccine capable of eliciting both systemic and mucosal immune responses is also urgently needed. Here, we reported a novel oil-in-water nanoemulsion adjuvant vaccine containing an MRSA recombination protein antigen, Cremophor EL-35® as a surfactant, and propylene glycol as a co-surfactant. This nanoemulsion vaccine, whose average diameter was 31.34±0.49 nm, demonstrated good protein structure integrity, protein specificity, and good stability at room temperature for 1 year. The intramuscular systemic and nasal mucosal immune responses demonstrated that this nanoemulsion vaccine could improve the specific immune responses of immunoglobulin (IgG and related subclasses, such as IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b, as well as IgA, in the serum after Balb/c mice intramuscular immunization and C57 mice nasal immunization. Furthermore, this nanoemulsion vaccine also markedly enhanced the interferon-γ and interleukin-17A cytokine cell immune response, improved the survival ratio, and reduced bacterial colonization. Taken together, our results show that this novel nanoemulsion vaccine has great potential and is a

  20. Improving the provision of OTC medication information in community pharmacies in Poland. (United States)

    Piecuch, Anna; Makarewicz-Wujec, Magdalena; Kozłowska-Wojciechowska, Małgorzata


    Background An informed or shared decision-making model is desirable to support the choice of over-the-counter (OTC) medications in pharmacies: it respects patient empowerment in self-medication. Such a model is achievable provided that pharmacists are a credible, competent information source open to patient needs. Objective To study the dependencies among selected factors that may influence the provision of OTC medication information. The study was conducted from the perspective of a community pharmacist. Method The study consisted of an auditorium survey with a self-administered questionnaire. We attempted to determine the relationships among three selected constructs: patient centredness (four items), competence (four items), and provision of OTC medication information (six items) as latent variables. We analysed hypothetical relationships among the observable variables and latent variables using structural equation modelling. Main outcome measure Selected factors that may influence the provision of OTC medication information. Results In all, 1496 pharmacists took part in the study. The model demonstrated adequate fit (χ(2) = 198.39, df = 64). The patient-centredness construct was demonstrated to have a strong direct positive impact on the provision of OTC medication information construct (β = 0.77, P Provision of OTC medication information was also shown to have a strong direct effect on the competence variable (β = 0.90, P < 0.05). Conclusion If a pharmacist is patient centred, there is a greater possibility that they will provide information about OTC medicines; that may influence the pharmacist's feelings about their ability to cope with patient initiatives and enhance the pharmacist's selfperceived competence.

  1. An open-label, non-randomized comparison of venlafaxine and gabapentin as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy in the management of neuropathic pain in patients with peripheral neuropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Eardley


    Full Text Available William Eardley, Cory TothDepartment of Clinical Neurosciences and the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, CanadaAbstract: Although many therapies are used in the management of neuropathic pain (NeP due to polyneuropathy (PN, few comparison studies exist. We performed a prospective, non-randomized, unblended, efficacy comparison of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor venlafaxine, as either monotherapy or adjuvant therapy, with a first-line medication for NeP, gabapentin, in patients with PN-related NeP. VAS pain scores were assessed after 3 and 6 months in intervention groups and in a cohort of patients receiving no pharmacotherapy. In a total of 223 patients, we analyzed pain quantity and quality (visual analogue scale [VAS] score, Brief Pain Inventory [BPI], quality of life and health status measures [EuroQol 5 Domains, EQ-5D], Medical Outcomes Sleep Study Scale [MOSSS], Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS] and Short Form 36 Health Survey [SF-36] after 6 months of therapy. Significant improvements in VAS pain scores occurred for all treatment groups after 6 months. Improvements in aspects of daily life and anxiety were identified in all treatment groups. Our data suggest that monotherapy or adjuvant therapy with venlafaxine is comparable to gabapentin for NeP management. We advocate for head-to-head, randomized, double-blinded studies of current NeP therapies.Keywords: peripheral neuropathy, neuropathic pain, pharmacotherapy, venlafaxine, gabapentin

  2. Strategies to improve medication adherence in patients with schizophrenia: the role of support services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Mallakh P


    Full Text Available Peggy El-Mallakh, Jan FindlayCollege of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USAAbstract: The purpose of this review is to describe research over the past 10 years on the role of support services in promoting medication adherence in mental health consumers diagnosed with schizophrenia. A literature search was conducted using the terms “medication adherence,” “schizophrenia,” and “support services,” using Medline, PubMed, and CINAHL. Reference lists from published studies were also reviewed to identify additional research studies. Twenty-two articles focused on support-service intervention studies, and these were selected for review. Available support-service interventions include adherence therapy, electronic reminders via text messages and telephones, cognitive–behavioral and motivational strategies, and financial incentives. Support-service intervention strategies need to be tailored to the specific needs of mental health consumers with schizophrenia. More research is needed to investigate effective support services to enhance long-term adherence and adherence to medications for medical illnesses in this population.Keywords: schizophrenia, medication adherence, support services, therapy, interventions

  3. Impact of a brief patient and provider intervention to improve the quality of communication about medication adherence among HIV patients. (United States)

    Beach, Mary Catherine; Roter, Debra L; Saha, Somnath; Korthuis, P Todd; Eggly, Susan; Cohn, Jonathan; Sharp, Victoria; Moore, Richard D; Wilson, Ira B


    Medication adherence is essential in HIV care, yet provider communication about adherence is often suboptimal. We designed this study to improve patient-provider communication about HIV medication adherence. We randomized 26 providers at three HIV care sites to receive or not receive a one-hour communication skills training based on motivational interviewing principles applied to medication adherence. Prior to routine office visits, non-adherent patients of providers who received the training were coached to discuss adherence with their providers. Patients of providers who did not receive the training providers were not coached. We audio-recorded and coded patient-provider interactions using the roter interaction analysis system (RIAS). There was more dialogue about therapeutic regimen in visits with intervention patients and providers (167 vs 128, respectively, p=.004), with the majority of statements coming from providers. These visits also included more brainstorming solutions to nonadherence (41% vs. 22%, p=0.026). Intervention compared with control visit providers engaged in more positive talk (44 vs. 38 statements, p=0.039), emotional talk (26 vs. 18 statements, ppatient opinion (3 vs. 2 statements, p=0.009). A brief provider training combined with patient coaching sessions, improved provider communication behaviors and increased dialogue regarding medication adherence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Laparoscopic skill improvement after virtual reality simulator training in medical students as assessed by augmented reality simulator. (United States)

    Nomura, Tsutomu; Mamada, Yasuhiro; Nakamura, Yoshiharu; Matsutani, Takeshi; Hagiwara, Nobutoshi; Fujita, Isturo; Mizuguchi, Yoshiaki; Fujikura, Terumichi; Miyashita, Masao; Uchida, Eiji


    Definitive assessment of laparoscopic skill improvement after virtual reality simulator training is best obtained during an actual operation. However, this is impossible in medical students. Therefore, we developed an alternative assessment technique using an augmented reality simulator. Nineteen medical students completed a 6-week training program using a virtual reality simulator (LapSim). The pretest and post-test were performed using an object-positioning module and cholecystectomy on an augmented reality simulator(ProMIS). The mean performance measures between pre- and post-training on the LapSim were compared with a paired t-test. In the object-positioning module, the execution time of the task (P reality simulator improved the operative skills of medical students as objectively evaluated by assessment using an augmented reality simulator instead of an actual operation. We hope that these findings help to establish an effective training program for medical students. © 2015 Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery, Asia Endosurgery Task Force and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  5. A network collaboration implementing technology to improve medication dispensing and administration in critical access hospitals. (United States)

    Wakefield, Douglas S; Ward, Marcia M; Loes, Jean L; O'Brien, John


    We report how seven independent critical access hospitals collaborated with a rural referral hospital to standardize workflow policies and procedures while jointly implementing the same health information technologies (HITs) to enhance medication care processes. The study hospitals implemented the same electronic health record, computerized provider order entry, pharmacy information systems, automated dispensing cabinets (ADC), and barcode medication administration systems. We conducted interviews and examined project documents to explore factors underlying the successful implementation of ADC and barcode medication administration across the network hospitals. These included a shared culture of collaboration; strategic sequencing of HIT component implementation; interface among HIT components; strategic placement of ADCs; disciplined use and sharing of workflow analyses linked with HIT applications; planning for workflow efficiencies; acquisition of adequate supply of HIT-related devices; and establishing metrics to monitor HIT use and outcomes.

  6. An improved biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems. (United States)

    Guo, Dianli; Wen, Qiaoyan; Li, Wenmin; Zhang, Hua; Jin, Zhengping


    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) offers healthcare delivery services and patients can acquire their desired medical services conveniently through public networks. The protection of patients' privacy and data confidentiality are significant. Very recently, Mishra et al. proposed a biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information system. Their scheme can protect user privacy and is believed to resist a range of network attacks. In this paper, we analyze Mishra et al.'s scheme and identify that their scheme is insecure to against known session key attack and impersonation attack. Thereby, we present a modified biometrics-based authentication scheme for TMIS to eliminate the aforementioned faults. Besides, we demonstrate the completeness of the proposed scheme through BAN-logic. Compared to the relate