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Sample records for improved referral rates

  1. Education of Physicians and Implementation of a Formal Referral System Can Improve Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral and Participation Rates after Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahhan, Ali; Maddox, William R; Krothapalli, Siva; Farmer, Matthew; Shah, Amit; Ford, Benjamin; Rhodes, Marc; Matthews, Laurie; Barnes, Vernon A; Sharma, Gyanendra K

    2015-08-01

    Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is an effective preventive measure that remains underutilised in the United States. The study aimed to determine the CR referral rate (RR) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) at an academic tertiary care centre, identify barriers to referral, and evaluate awareness of CR benefits and indications (CRBI) among cardiologists. Subsequently, it aimed to evaluate if an intervention consisting of physicians' education about CRBI and implementation of a formal CR referral system could improve RR and consequently participation rate (PR). Data were retrospectively collected for all consecutive patients who underwent PCI over 12 months. Referral rate was determined and variables were compared for differences between referred and non-referred patients. A questionnaire was distributed among the physicians in the Division of Cardiology to assess awareness of CRBI and referral practice patterns. After implementation of the intervention, data were collected retrospectively for consecutive patients who underwent PCI in the following six months. Referral rate and changes in PRs were determined. Prior to the intervention, RR was 17.6%. Different barriers were identified, but the questionnaire revealed lack of physicians' awareness of CRBI and inconsistent referral patterns. After the intervention, RR increased to 88.96% (Odds Ratio 37.73, 95% CI 21.34-66.70, pEducation of providers and implementation of a formal referral system can improve RR and PR. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Quality of oral surgery referrals and how to improve them

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjorkeborn M

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Mikael Björkeborn,1 Henrik Nilsson,2 Jonas Anderud1 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Halmstad Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden; 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Växjö Hospital, Växjö, Sweden Aim: To assess the quality of routine oral surgery referrals received at Halmstad Hospital and Växjö Hospital and to emphasize areas for improvement. Method: A retrospective study was performed on all routine oral surgery referrals received between 2014 and 2015 at both Halmstad Hospital and Växjö Hospital. A total of 1,891 referral letters were assessed for their quality against a predetermined checklist of basic requirements of a satisfactory referral. The referrals were also categorized according to if it was sent by a male, female, private dental service, or the Swedish Public Dental Health service. Results: A diagnosis was missing in 30% of all referrals. Radiographs and information about previous radiographic examinations were not included in 10% of the referrals. Of those referrals that included radiographs, only around half were deemed adequate for diagnostic purposes. The presenting complaint was missing in 40% of all referrals. Current medical history was absent in 40% and current medication was omitted in 60% of the referrals. Information about tobacco use was only included in 10% of all referrals. Overall, female referrers performed better than male colleagues. Private referrals more regularly included information about diagnosis, previous treatment, and current medication. On the other hand, referrals from the public dental health service more frequently included radiographs, tobacco use, and current medical history. Conclusion: There is plenty of room for improving the standards of oral surgery referrals. We suggest that future electronic referral systems should only allow for submission once all of the essential information has been considered. Keywords: clinical audit, referral quality, oral surgery referrals

  3. Referral system in rural Iran: improvement proposals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Naseriasl

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Because of insufficient communication between primary health care providers and specialists, which leads to inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in rural population health outcomes, to implement a well-functioning referral system is one of the most important tasks for some countries. Using purposive and snowballing sampling methods, we included health experts, policy-makers, family physicians, clinical specialists, and experts from health insurance organizations in this study according to pre-determined criteria. We recorded all interviews, transcribed and analyzed their content using qualitative methods. We extracted 1,522 individual codes initially. We also collected supplementary data through document review. From reviews and summarizations, four main themes, ten subthemes, and 24 issues emerged from the data. The solutions developed were: care system reform, education system reform, payment system reform, and improves in culture-building and public education. Given the executive experience, the full familiarity, the occupational and geographical diversity of participants, the solutions proposed in this study could positively affect the implementation and improvement of the referral system in Iran. The suggested solutions are complementary to each other and have less interchangeability.

  4. Determining factors for implant referral rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Roger P

    2002-01-01

    The research findings indicate that the field of implant dentistry will only grow at a moderately low level unless certain changes are made. Findings indicated that the effort by the implant companies has been nothing short of dramatic, and yet almost 60% of restorative doctors do not participate annually in any implant case. There was no clear indication that younger restorative doctors will significantly increase the number of implant referrals, as their overall implant education has not dramatically differed from those dentists who graduated in earlier years. Once the research was completed, it became obvious to Levin Group that the driving force behind implant referral growth will be implant surgeons, because of their one-to-one relationship with restorative doctors. The Levin Group Implant Management and Marketing Consulting Program is based on approaching restorative doctors in several different levels, starting with awareness all the way through to case facilitation and long-term tracking and communication. Finally, a continuing marketing/education effort needs to be consistently in place with effective materials, not only to create a high level of awareness, but also to motivate restorative doctors to refer cases and then work through the case with the implant surgeon to a satisfactory completion for the restorative doctor, implant surgeon, and patient. While the surgical insertion of implants may seem to carry a high-profit margin relative to the restoration of implants, the truth is that the restoration of implants usually provides a 40% higher profit margin for the restorative doctor than traditional dental services. One of the key issues is that referring doctors have not necessarily learned how to set fees and present cases with regard to implant dentistry. The key factor here is to ensure that the patient understands that implant services involve higher fees than traditional services, because of the necessarily higher levels of experience, education

  5. Conducting an audit to improve the facilitation of emergency maternal and newborn referral in northern Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awoonor-Williams, John Koku; Bailey, Patricia E; Yeji, Francis; Adongo, Ayire Emmanuel; Baffoe, Peter; Williams, Afua; Mercer, Sarah

    2015-10-01

    Ghana Health Service conducted an audit to strengthen the referral system for pregnant or recently pregnant women and newborns in northern Ghana. The audit took place in 16 facilities with two 3-month cycles of data collection in 2011. Midwife-led teams tracked 446 referred women until they received definitive treatment. Between the two audit cycles, teams identified and implemented interventions to address gaps in referral services. During this time period, we observed important increases in facilitating referral mechanisms, including a decrease in the dependence on taxis in favour of national or facility ambulances/vehicles; an increase in health workers escorting referrals to the appropriate receiving facility; greater use of referral slips and calling ahead to alert receiving facilities and higher feedback rates. As referral systems require attention from multiple levels of engagement, on the provider end we found that regional managers increasingly resolved staffing shortages; district management addressed the costliness and lack of transport and increased midwives' ability to communicate with pregnant women and drivers; and that facility staff increasingly adhered to guidelines and facilitating mechanisms. By conducting an audit of maternal and newborn referrals, the Ghana Health Service identified areas for improvement that service providers and management at multiple levels addressed, demonstrating a platform for problem solving that could be a model elsewhere.

  6. The emergency department: An appropriate referral rate for radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richards, P.J.; Tins, B.; Cherian, R.; Rae, F.; Dharmarajah, R.; Phair, I.C.; McCall, I.

    2002-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the hypothesis that where there is good clinical practice in an emergency department (ED), there is a low uptake of plain radiography. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Emergency notes and radiography records were reviewed over one week in January 1999, to determine the rate of radiography of first time attenders at the North Staffordshire NHS Trust. The clinical appropriateness of the imaging was assessed by pairs of radiology specialist registrars and casualty physicians. They judged the appropriateness of the imaging by the 1998 Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) guidelines and/or their clinical judgement, by consensus. Where there was no consensus or the data appeared incomplete, the radiology and ED consultant reviewed the notes. RESULTS: A total of 1615 notes were found out of 1643 (98%). Of these, 147 (9%) return attenders were excluded and 32 patients left without being seen. The number of first time attenders was 1436 (87%), of whom 637 (44%) were radiographed; 95% of these radiography examinations were appropriate and 5% were inappropriate. Of the first time attenders who were not radiographed the decision was appropriate in 95% of cases, and inappropriate for 5%, i.e. 5% of those who had no radiography, should have been X-rayed. There were no disagreements between RCR guidelines and the clinical judgements, but in 16% there were no suitable RCR guidelines. Junior doctors were not always able to find the relevant RCR guideline (relevant clinical guideline found in 73% of cases) in the guideline book, compared to the consultants (relevant clinical guideline found in 84% of cases). CONCLUSION: The application of the RCR guidelines is taken as representing good clinical practice in determining when to refer a patient for radiography. Based on this assumption, a referral rate for radiography of 44% of first time attenders was found to be appropriate. This referral rate can be taken as a benchmark. A benchmark is necessary in order to allow departments

  7. Improving the psychological evaluation of exercise referral: Psychometric properties of the Exercise Referral Quality of Life Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Hilton

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available There is a growing need to assess the psychological outcomes of exercise referral and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has called for the routine assessment of life-quality. However, a quality of life scale specific to the requirements of exercise referral is currently unavailable. Therefore, the aim of this study was to produce a quality of life measure for this purpose. The Exercise Referral Quality of Life Scale is a 22-item measure comprising three domains: mental and physical health, injury pain and illness and physical activity facilitators. Exploratory factor analysis determined the initial factor structure and was subsequently confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. Additional scale properties were also assessed. The scale contributes to the global need for improved consistent psychological outcome assessment of exercise referral.

  8. Improving neurosurgical communication and reducing risk and registrar burden using a novel online database referral platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matloob, Samir A; Hyam, Jonathan A; Thorne, Lewis; Bradford, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Documentation of urgent referrals to neurosurgical units and communication with referring hospitals is critical for effective handover and appropriate continuity of care within a tertiary service. Referrals to our neurosurgical unit were audited and we found that the majority of referrals were not documented and this led to more calls to the on-call neurosurgery registrar regarding old referrals. We implemented a new referral system in an attempt to improve documentation of referrals, communication with our referring hospitals and to professionalise the service we offer them. During a 14-day period, number of bleeps, missed bleeps, calls discussing new referrals and previously processed referrals were recorded. Whether new referrals were appropriately documented and referrers received a written response was also recorded. A commercially provided secure cloud-based data archiving telecommunications and database platform for referrals was subsequently introduced within the Trust and the questionnaire repeated during another 14-day period 1 year after implementation. Missed bleeps per day reduced from 16% (SD ± 6.4%) to 9% (SD ± 4.8%; df = 13, paired t-tests p = 0.007) and mean calls per day clarifying previous referrals reduced from 10 (SD ± 4) to 5 (SD ± 3.5; df = 13, p = 0.003). Documentation of new referrals increased from 43% (74/174) to 85% (181/210), and responses to referrals increased from 74% to 98%. The use of a secure cloud-based data archiving telecommunications and database platform significantly increased the documentation of new referrals. This led to fewer missed bleeps and fewer calls about old referrals for the on call registrar. This system of documenting referrals results in improved continuity of care for neurosurgical patients, a significant reduction in risk for Trusts and a more efficient use of Registrar time.

  9. Does accessibility to antiretroviral care improve after down-referral ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Down-referral was associated with reduced transportation and meal costs (p ≤ 0.001) and travel time to an ART facility (p = 0.043). The down-referred users were less likely to complain of long queues (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.06; 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.01–0.29), were more likely to feel respected by health ...

  10. Structured printed referral letter (form letter; saves time and improves communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.P.J.C. Ramanayake

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Referral of patients to hospitals, specialists and other institutions is an essential part of primary health care. Patients are referred to specialists when investigation or therapeutic options are exhausted in primary care or when opinion or advice is needed from them. Referral has considerable implications for patients, health care system and health care costs. Good communication between primary and secondary care is essential for the smooth running of any health care system. Referral and reply letters are the sole means of communication between doctors most of the time and breakdown in communication could lead to poor continuity of care, delayed diagnoses, polypharmacy, increased litigation risk and unnecessary testing. A referral letter also helps to avoid patient dissatisfaction and loss of confidence in family physician. Studies of referral letters have reported that specialists are dissatisfied with their quality and content. Inclusion of letter writing skills in the medical curriculum, peer assessment and feedback have shown to improve the quality of referral letters. . Form letters have shown to enhance information content and communication in referral process. In Sri Lanka referral letters are usually hand written and frequent complaints are that these letters do not contain adequate information and retrieval of information is a problem due to poor legibility and clarity. Sometimes Primary care doctors refer patients to hospitals and specialists with only verbal instructions. To address these short comings this form letter was introduced. Based on the guidelines and systematic review of published articles, items of information to be included were decided. Printed forms of the letter are kept in the practice and the doctor has to just fill up relevant information under each heading. The objectives of introducing this structured referral letter was to improve the quality and standard of referral letters and save time for both general

  11. A comparison of the referral rates of trainees and trainers in an ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Participants: Thirteen junior registrars, seven senior registrars in a Master's programme and seven senior physicians. Main measure: Referral rates compared by ... (unpublished observations). Routine data collection. Consultation information was routine- ly entered on encounter forms by every doctor. A practice assistant.

  12. Young Men With Cancer Experience Low Referral Rates for Fertility Counseling and Sperm Banking.

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    Grover, Natalie S; Deal, Allison M; Wood, William A; Mersereau, Jennifer E

    2016-05-01

    With improved cancer survival rates and the current trend of delaying parenthood, fertility is a growing issue among cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of fertility counseling and sperm banking in reproductive-age male cancer patients and to assess factors that influence counseling and banking. Male patients ages 13 to 50 years who received a new cancer diagnosis from January 1, 2013, to May 1, 2015, and planned to initiate curative chemotherapy at our center were identified. Documentation of fertility counseling and sperm cryopreservation was abstracted from the medical record. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to examine variables associated with fertility counseling and sperm banking. Of 201 patients who fit the study criteria, 59 (29%) received fertility counseling and 23 (11%) attempted sperm banking. All patients who banked sperm had documentation of fertility counseling. Younger patients were significantly more likely to be counseled, with mean ages of 27.4 and 40.4 years for counseled and noncounseled patients, respectively (P year odds ratio, 0.61; P fertility counseling and referral for sperm banking in young men with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Further work is needed to develop interventions to improve fertility counseling rates and opportunities for sperm banking. Copyright © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  13. Using Quality Improvement to Improve Internal and External Coordination and Referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, Katherine L; Collins, Ragan P

    As part of accreditation, Public Health Accreditation Board site visitors recommended that the New Orleans Health Department strengthen its quality improvement program. With support from the Public Health Accreditation Board, the New Orleans Health Department subsequently embarked on a data-driven planning process through which it prioritized quality improvement projects for 2016. One of these projects aimed to improve referrals to New Orleans Health Department's direct services programs from local clinics and hospitals to better provide our most vulnerable residents with a continuum of care. After completing a cause-and-effect analysis, we implemented a solution involving increased outreach to health care institutions and saw annual participation increase in 3 out of 4 of our programs. We leveraged this work to successfully apply for funding to create a centralized referral system, which will facilitate partnerships among local health and human service agencies and improve access to services. This is one example of how accreditation has benefited our health department and our community. We have found that the accreditation process promotes a culture of quality and helps health departments identify and address areas for improvement.

  14. ASSESSING REFERRALS AND IMPROVING INFORMATION AVAILABILITY FOR CONSULTATIONS IN AN ACADEMIC ENDOCRINOLOGY CLINIC.

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    Hendrickson, Chase D; Saini, Saumya; Pothuloori, Avin; Mecchella, John N

    2017-02-01

    Outpatient specialty consultations rely on the timeliness and completeness of referral information to facilitate a valuable patient-specialist interaction. This project aimed to increase essential diagnostic information availability at the initial consultation for patients referred for common endocrine conditions frequently lacking such data-diabetes mellitus, thyroid nodule, thyrotoxicosis, and hypercalcemia. At an endocrinology clinic at an academic medical center in rural New England, providers see several thousand new patients annually, the majority of whom are referred by providers external to the clinic's healthcare system. Through consensus, endocrinology clinic providers agreed on the two or three data elements essential for a meaningful initial consultation for each. A quality improvement team employed a planned series of interventions based on previously published methods and an innovative approach: dissemination of a referral guideline, an assessment of referral adequacy in the endocrinology clinic workflow, coupled with focused requests for missing items, and a pre-visit lab appointment. Between April 2015 and March 2016, 762 referrals were reviewed. At baseline for the four conditions, referrals contained all essential elements only 27.5% (22 of 80) of the time. Over a 7-month period, the team implemented the interventions, with subsequent referrals containing all essential elements increasing to 75.5% (P<.0001), largely attributable to the pre-visit lab appointment. Incoming referrals that lack essential information are a significant problem in specialty care and may adversely affect patient experience, provider satisfaction, and clinic efficiency. Improvement may require innovative approaches, such as the potentially transferable and generalizable ones employed here. DHMC = Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center EHR = electronic health record PDSA = Plan-Do-Study-Act.

  15. Increasing podiatry referrals for patients with inflammatory arthritis at a tertiary hospital in Singapore: A quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, K; Cheung, P P; Rome, K; Santosa, A; Lahiri, M

    2017-06-01

    Foot disease is highly prevalent in people with inflammatory arthritis and is often under-recognized. Podiatry intervention can significantly reduce foot pain and disability, with timely access being the key factor. The aim of this study was to plan and implement a quality improvement project to identify the barriers to, and improve, uptake of podiatry services among patients with inflammatory arthritis-related foot problems seen at a tertiary hospital in Singapore. A 6-month quality improvement program was conducted by a team of key stakeholders using quality improvement tools to identify, implement and test several interventions designed to improve uptake of podiatry services. The number of patients referred for podiatry assessment was recorded on a weekly basis by an experienced podiatrist. The criterion for appropriate referral to podiatry was those patients with current or previous foot problems such as foot pain, swelling and deformity. Interventions included education initiatives, revised workflow, development of national guidelines for inflammatory arthritis, local podiatry guidelines for the management of foot and ankle problems, routine use of outcome measures, and introduction of a fully integrated rheumatology-podiatry service with reduced cost package. Referral rates increased from 8% to 11%, and were sustained beyond the study period. Complete incorporation of podiatry into the rheumatology consultation as part of the multidisciplinary team package further increased referrals to achieve the target of full uptake of the podiatry service. Through a structured quality improvement program, referrals to podiatry increased and improved the uptake and acceptance of rheumatology-podiatry services. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Caesarean section audit to improve quality of care in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekker, Luuk; Houtzager, Tessa; Kilume, Omary; Horogo, John; van Roosmalen, Jos; Nyamtema, Angelo Sadock

    2018-05-15

    Caesarean section (CS) is often a life-saving procedure, but can also lead to serious complications, even more so in low-resource settings. Therefore unnecessary CS should be avoided and optimal circumstances for vaginal delivery should be created. In this study, we aim to audit indications for Caesarean sections and improve decision-making and obstetric management. Audit of all cases of CS performed from January to August 2013 was performed in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania. The study period was divided in three audit blocks; retrospective (before auditing), prospective 1 and prospective 2. A local audit panel (LP) and an external auditor (EA) judged if obstetric management was adequate and indications were appropriate or if CS could have been prevented and yet retain good pregnancy outcome. Furthermore, changes in modes of deliveries, overall pregnancy outcome and decision-to-delivery interval were monitored. During the study period there were 1868 deliveries. Of these, 403 (21.6%) were Caesarean sections. The proportions of unjustified CS prior to introduction of audit were as high as 34 and 75%, according to the respective judgments of LP and EA. Following introduction of audit, the proportions of unjustified CS decreased to 23% (p = 0.29) and 52% (p = 0.01) according to LP and EA respectively. However, CS rate did not change (20.2 to 21.7%), assisted vacuum delivery rate did not increase (3.9 to 1.8%) and median decision-to-delivery interval was 83 min (range 10 - 390 min). Although this is a single center study, these findings suggest that unnecessary Caesarean sections exist at an alarming rate even in referral hospitals and suggest that a vast number can be averted by introducing a focused CS audit system. Our findings indicate that CS audit is a useful tool and, if well implemented, can enhance rational use of resources, improve decision-making and harmonise practice among care providers.

  17. What is the impact of primary care model type on specialist referral rates? A cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddy, Clare; Singh, Jatinderpreet; Kelly, Ryan; Dahrouge, Simone; Taljaard, Monica; Younger, Jamie

    2014-02-03

    Several new primary care models have been implemented in Ontario, Canada over the past two decades. These practice models differ in team structure, physician remuneration, and group size. Few studies have examined the impact of these models on specialist referrals. We compared specialist referral rates amongst three primary care models: 1) Enhanced Fee-for-service, 2) Capitation- Non-Interdisciplinary (CAP-NI), 3) Capitation - Interdisciplinary (CAP-I). We conducted a cross-sectional study using health administrative data from primary care practices in Ontario from April 1st, 2008 to March 31st, 2010. The analysis included all family physicians providing comprehensive care in one of the three models, had at least 100 patients, and did not have a prolonged absence (eight consecutive weeks). The primary outcome was referral rate (# of referrals to all medical specialties/1000 patients/year). A multivariable clustered Poisson regression analysis was used to compare referral rates between models while adjusting for provider (sex, years since graduation, foreign trained, time in current model) and patient (age, sex, income, rurality, health status) characteristics. Fee-for-service had a significantly lower adjusted referral rate (676, 95% CI: 666-687) than the CAP-NI (719, 95% confidence interval (CI): 705-734) and CAP-I (694, 95% CI: 681-707) models and the interdisciplinary CAP-I group had a 3.5% lower referral rate than the CAP-NI group (RR = 0.965, 95% CI: 0.943-0.987, p = 0.002). Female and Canadian-trained physicians referred more often, while female, older, sicker and urban patients were more likely to be referred. Primary care model is significantly associated with referral rate. On a study population level, these differences equate to 111,059 and 37,391 fewer referrals by fee-for-service versus CAP-NI and CAP-I, respectively - a difference of $22.3 million in initial referral appointment costs. Whether a lower rate of referral is more appropriate or not is not

  18. Improving access in gastroenterology: The single point of entry model for referrals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Kerri L; Van Zanten, Sander Veldhuyzen; Pendharkar, Sachin R

    2013-01-01

    In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta) adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM) for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta). SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI), in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies. PMID:24040629

  19. Improving Access in Gastroenterology: The Single Point of Entry Model for Referrals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerri L Novak

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta. SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI, in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies.

  20. Improving access in gastroenterology: the single point of entry model for referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Kerri; Veldhuyzen Van Zanten, Sander; Pendharkar, Sachin R

    2013-11-01

    In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta) adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM) for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta). SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI), in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies.

  1. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder: rate of referral for neurorehabilitation and psychiatric co-morbidity.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Herlihy, D

    2012-04-01

    Despite advances in antiretroviral therapy, HIV-infected patients continue to present with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) which may be associated with significant psychiatric co-morbidity. We audited our patients with HAND referred for psychiatric assessment against the National Service Framework guidelines that they should receive neurorehabilitation. We found that despite these patients posing a risk to themselves and others due to poor insight and medication adherence, high rates of psychiatric co-morbidity and severely challenging behaviour, few were referred for neurorehabilitation. We recommend that clear referral pathways for psychiatric intervention and neurorehabilitation are established in HIV treatment centres.

  2. Improving patient access to prevent sight loss: ophthalmic electronic referrals and communication (Scotland).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A A; Mustafa, M Z; Sanders, R

    2015-02-01

    With the number of people with sight loss predicted to double to four million people in the UK by the year 2050, preventable visual loss is a significant public health issue. Sight loss is associated with an increased risk of falls, accidents and depression and evidence suggests that 50% of sight loss can be avoided. Timely diagnosis is central to the prevention of sight loss. Access to care can be a limiting factor in preventable cases. By improving referrals and access to hospital eye services it is possible to treat and minimise the number of patients with preventable sight loss and the impact this has on wider society. In 2005, NHS Fife took part in a flagship pilot funded by the Scottish government e-health department to evaluate the feasibility, safety, clinical effectiveness, and cost of electronic referral with images of patients directly from community optometrists to Hospital Eye Service (HES). The pilot study showed that electronic referral was feasible, fast, safe, and obviated the need for outpatient appointments in 128 (37%) patients with a high patient satisfaction. The results of the pilot study were presented and in May 2007, the electronic referral system was rolled out regionally in southeast Scotland. Referrals were accepted at a single site with vetting by a trained team and appointments were allocated within 48 hours. Following the implementation of electronic referral, waiting times were reduced from a median of 14 to 4 weeks. Significantly fewer new patients were seen (7462 vs 8714 [p electronic communication between community optometry practices and hospital eye departments. Five electronic forms were specifically designed for cataract, glaucoma, macula, paediatric and general ophthalmic disease. A Virtual Private Network was created which enabled optometrists to connect to the Scottish clinical information gateway system and send referrals to hospital and receive referral status feedback. Numerous hurdles have been encountered and overcome

  3. Improving referrals and integrating family planning and HIV services through organizational network strengthening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, James C; Reynolds, Heidi W; Alterescu, Xavier; Bevc, Christine; Tsegaye, Ademe

    2016-04-01

    The service needs of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in low-income settings are wide-ranging. Service provision in a community is often disjointed among a variety of providers. We sought to reduce unmet patient needs by increasing referral coordination for HIV and family planning, measured as network density, with an organizational network approach. We conducted organizational network analysis on two networks in sub-cities of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There were 25 organizations in one sub-city network and 26 in the other. In one of them we sought to increase referrals through three network strengthening meetings. We then conducted the network analysis again in both sub-cities to measure any changes since baseline. We also quantitatively measured reported client service needs in both sub-cities before and after the intervention with two cross-sectional samples of face-to-face interviews with clients (459 at baseline and 587 at follow-up). In the sub-city with the intervention, the number of referral connections between organizations, measured as network density, increased 55%. In the control community, the density decreased over the same period. Reported unmet client service needs declined more consistently across services in the intervention community. This quasi experiment demonstrated that (1) an organizational network analysis can inform an intervention, (2) a modest network strengthening intervention can enhance client referrals in the network, (3) improvement in client referrals was accompanied by a decrease in atient-reported unmet needs and (4) a series of network analyses can be a useful evaluation tool. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Radiologists' responses to inadequate referrals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lysdahl, Kristin Bakke; Hofmann, Bjoern Morten; Espeland, Ansgar

    2010-01-01

    To investigate radiologists' responses to inadequate imaging referrals. A survey was mailed to Norwegian radiologists; 69% responded. They graded the frequencies of actions related to referrals with ambiguous indications or inappropriate examination choices and the contribution of factors preventing and not preventing an examination of doubtful usefulness from being performed as requested. Ninety-five percent (344/361) reported daily or weekly actions related to inadequate referrals. Actions differed among subspecialties. The most frequent were contacting the referrer to clarify the clinical problem and checking test results/information in the medical records. Both actions were more frequent among registrars than specialists and among hospital radiologists than institute radiologists. Institute radiologists were more likely to ask the patient for additional information and to examine the patient clinically. Factors rated as contributing most to prevent doubtful examinations were high risk of serious complications/side effects, high radiation dose and low patient age. Factors facilitating doubtful examinations included respect for the referrer's judgment, patient/next-of-kin wants the examination, patient has arrived, unreachable referrer, and time pressure. In summary, radiologists facing inadequate referrals considered patient safety and sought more information. Vetting referrals on arrival, easier access to referring clinicians, and time for radiologists to handle inadequate referrals may contribute to improved use of imaging. (orig.)

  5. MEASURES TO IMPROVE THE OUTCOME OF ABRUPTIO PLACENTA IN A TERTIARY REFERRAL CENTRE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijaya

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available AIM To analyze the outcome of 135 patients admitted with Abruptio Placenta during a period of 9 months managed at Tertiary Referral Centre, Modern Govt. Maternity Hospital, Petalburz, Hyderabad, Telangana State. MATERIALS AND METHODS A study of 135 cases of Abruptio Placenta over a period of 9 months at a tertiary level referral centre. They were analyzed regarding age, parity, socio economic status, period of gestation, antenatal care, management of Abruption and maternal and fetal outcome, and the measures to improve the condition were analyzed. RESULTS Abruptio placenta is a dreadful threat to maternal and fetal life. In our study unbooked cases were 110(81.48%, Hypertension is the main risk factor almost in 90(66.66% cases, 65% of them were between 28-36 weeks of GA, and 6 were grandmultis, 6 cases ended up with HELLP syndrome with DIC. All these 6 cases were near misses, 5 unbooked cases had eclampsia. One case of unbooked eclampsia had abruption DIC and could not be saved as it was the late referral. Total number of vaginal deliveries were 66(48.88% and total no. of abdominal deliveries were 67(49.62% in this LSCS 66 and one hysterotomy. IUD at the time of admission total were 100(74%. CONCLUSION To improve the outcome in Abruptio Placentae Good antenatal care, Educating the patient, Strengthening the Primary Health Centers in identifying the risk factors like Pre-eclampsia thereby avoiding eclampsia. Regular antenatal checkups timely delivery and availability of blood and blood products with good Neonatal care unit will help in improving the outcome of Abruptio.

  6. Improving the healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse in sexual health clinics: feasibility study of a training, support and referral intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohal, Alex Hardip; Pathak, Neha; Blake, Sarah; Apea, Vanessa; Berry, Judith; Bailey, Jayne; Griffiths, Chris; Feder, Gene

    2018-03-01

    Sexual health and gynaecological problems are the most consistent and largest physical health differences between abused and non-abused female populations. Sexual health services are well placed to identify and support patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Most sexual health professionals have had minimal DVA training despite English National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations. We sought to determine the feasibility of an evidence-based complex DVA training intervention in female sexual health walk-in services (IRIS ADViSE: Identification and Referral to Improve Safety whilst Assessing Domestic Violence in Sexual Health Environments). An adaptive mixed method pilot study in the female walk-in service of two sexual health clinics. Following implementation and evaluation at site 1, the intervention was refined before implementation at site 2. The intervention comprised electronic prompts, multidisciplinary training sessions, clinic materials and simple referral pathways to IRIS ADViSE advocate-educators (AEs). The pilot lasted 7 weeks at site 1 and 12 weeks at site 2. Feasibility outcomes were to assign a supportive DVA clinical lead, an IRIS ADViSE AE employed by a local DVA service provider, adapt electronic records, develop local referral pathways, assess whether enquiry, identification and referral rates were measurable. Both sites achieved all feasibility outcomes: appointing a supportive DVA clinical lead and IRIS ADViSE AE, establishing links with a local DVA provider, adapting electronic records, developing local referral pathways and rates of enquiry, identification and referral were found to be measurable. Site 1: 10% enquiry rate (n=267), 4% identification rate (n=16) and eight AE referrals. Site 2: 61% enquiry rate (n=1090), a 7% identification rate (n=79) and eight AE referrals. IRIS ADViSE can be successfully developed and implemented in sexual health clinics. It fulfils the unmet need for DVA training. Longer

  7. Associations between presence of relevant information in referrals to radiology and prevalence rates in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedner, Charlotta; Sundgren, Pia C; Kelly, Aine Marie

    2013-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess if the presence of information including the pretest probability (Wells score), other known risk factors, and symptoms given on referrals for computed tomography (CT) pulmonary angiography correlated with prevalence rates for pulmonary embolism (PE). Also, to evaluate for differences between a university and a regional hospital setting regarding patient characteristics, amount of relevant information provided on referrals, and prevalence rates for pulmonary embolism. Retrospective review of all consecutive referrals (emergency room, inpatient, and outpatient) for CT performed on children and adults for suspected PE from two sites: a tertiary (university) hospital (site 1) and a secondary (regional) hospital (site 2) over a 5-year period. The overall prevalence rate was 510/3641 or 14% of all referrals. Significantly higher number of males had a positive CT compared to women (18% versus 12%, P relevant information on the referral and the probability for positive finding existed, a slight trend was noted (P = .09). In two categories, "hypoxia" and "signs of deep vein thrombosis," the presence of this information conferred a higher probability for pulmonary embolism, P information conferred a higher probability for pulmonary embolism. The amount of relevant clinical information on the request did not correlate with prevalence rates, which may reflect a lack of documentation on the part of emergency physicians who may use a "gestalt" approach. Request forms likely did not capture all relevant patient risks and many factors may interact with each other, both positively and negatively. Pretest probability estimations were rarely performed, despite their inclusion in major society guidelines. Copyright © 2013 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Anesthesia Preoperative Clinic Referral for Elevated Hba1c Reduces Complication Rate in Diabetic Patients Undergoing Total Joint Arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallio, Peter J; Nolan, Jenea; Olsen, Amy C; Breakwell, Susan; Topp, Richard; Pagel, Paul S

    2015-06-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is risk factor for complications after orthopedic surgery. We tested the hypothesis that anesthesia preoperative clinic (APC) referral for elevated glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reduces complication rate after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Patients (n = 203) with and without DM were chosen from 1,237 patients undergoing TJA during 2006 - 12. Patients evaluated in the APC had surgery in 2006 - 8 regardless of HbA1c (uncontrolled). Those evaluated between in subsequent two-year intervals were referred to primary care for HbA1c ≥ 10% and ≥ 8%, respectively, to improve DM control before surgery. Complications and mortality were quantified postoperatively and at three, six, and twelve months. Length of stay (LOS) and patients requiring a prolonged LOS (> 5 days) were recorded. Patients (197 men, 6 women) underwent 71, 131, and 1 total hip, knee, and shoulder replacements, respectively. Patients undergoing TJA with uncontrolled HbA1c and those with HbA1c patients without DM. An increase in complication rate was observed in DM patients with uncontrolled HbA1c versus patients without DM (P patients with preoperative HbA1c that was uncontrolled or ≥ 10% required prolonged LOS versus those without DM (P diabetics undergoing TJA.

  9. The impact of glaucoma referral refinement criteria on referral to, and first-visit discharge rates from, the hospital eye service: the Health Innovation & Education Cluster (HIEC) Glaucoma Pathways project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnarajan, Gokulan; Newsom, Wendy; French, Karen; Kean, Jane; Chang, Lydia; Parker, Mike; Garway-Heath, David F; Bourne, Rupert R A

    2013-03-01

    To assess the impact of referral refinement criteria on the number of patients referred to, and first-visit discharges from, the Hospital Eye Service (HES) in relation to the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) Glaucoma Guidelines, Joint College Group Guidance (JCG) and the NICE commissioning guidance. All low-risk (one risk factor: suspicious optic disc, abnormal visual field (VF), raised intra-ocular pressure (IOP) (22-28 mmHg) or IOP asymmetry (>5 mmHg) and high-risk (more than one risk factor, shallow anterior chamber or IOP >28 mmHg) referrals to the HES from 2006 to 2011 were analysed. Low-risk referrals were seen by Optometrists with a specialist interest in glaucoma and high-risk referrals were referred directly to the HES. Two thousand nine hundred and twelve patient records were analysed. The highest Consultant first-visit discharge rates were for referrals based on IOP alone (45% for IOP 22-28 mmHg) and IOP asymmetry (53%), VF defect alone (46%) and for abnormal IOP and VF (54%). The lowest first-visit discharge rates were for referrals for suspicious optic disc (19%) and IOP >28 mmHg (22%). 73% of patients aged 65-80 and 60% of patients aged >80 who were referred by the OSI due to an IOP between 22-28 mmHg would have satisfied the JCG criteria for non-referral. For patients referred with an IOP >28 mmHg and an otherwise normal examination, adherence to the NICE commissioning guidance would have resulted in 6% fewer referrals. In 2010 this scheme reduced the number of patients attending the HES by 15%, which resulted in a saving of £16 258 (13%). The results support that referrals for a raised IOP alone or in combination with an abnormal VF be classified as low-risk and undergo referral refinement. Adherence to the JCG and the NICE commissioning guidance as onward referral criteria for specialist optometrists in this referral refinement scheme would result in fewer referrals. Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics © 2013 The College

  10. The effect of medical malpractice liability on rate of referrals received by specialist physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiao; Spurr, Stephen J; Nan, Bin; Fendrick, A Mark

    2013-10-01

    Using nationally representative data from the United States, this paper analyzed the effect of a state’s medical malpractice environment on referral visits received by specialist physicians. The analytic sample included 12,839 ambulatory visits to specialist care doctors in office-based settings in the United States during 2003–2007. Whether the patient was referred for the visit was examined for its association with the state’s malpractice environment, assessed by the frequency and severity of paid medical malpractice claims, medical malpractice insurance premiums and an indicator for whether the state had a cap on non-economic damages. After accounting for potential confounders such as economic or professional incentives within practices, the analysis showed that statutory caps on non-economic damages of $250,000 were significantly associated with lower likelihood of a specialist receiving referrals, suggesting a potential impact of a state’s medical malpractice environment on physicians’ referral behavior.

  11. Variation in intrapartum referral rates in primary midwifery care in the Netherlands: A discrete choice experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offerhaus, P.M.; Otten, W.; Boxem-Tiemessen, J.C.; Jonge, A. de; Pal-de Bruin, K.M. van der; Scheepers, P.L.; Lagro-Janssen, A.L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective in midwife-led care models of maternity care, midwives are responsible for intrapartum referrals to the obstetrician or obstetric unit, in order to give their clients access to secondary obstetric care. This study explores the influence of risk perception, policy on routine labour

  12. Variation in intrapartum referral rates in primary midwifery care in the Netherlands: a discrete choice experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offerhaus, P.M.; Otten, W.; Boxem-Tiemessen, J.C.G.; de Jonge, A.; de Bruin, K.; Scheepers, P.L.H.; Lagro-Janssen, A.L.M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: in midwife-led care models of maternity care, midwives are responsible for intrapartum referrals to the obstetrician or obstetric unit, in order to give their clients access to secondary obstetric care. This study explores the influence of risk perception, policy on routine labour

  13. Anesthesia Preoperative Clinic Referral for Elevated Hba1c Reduces Complication Rate in Diabetic Patients Undergoing Total Joint Arthroplasty

    OpenAIRE

    Kallio, Peter J.; Nolan, Jenea; Olsen, Amy C.; Breakwell, Susan; Topp, Richard; Pagel, Paul S.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is risk factor for complications after orthopedic surgery. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that anesthesia preoperative clinic (APC) referral for elevated glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reduces complication rate after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Patients and Methods: Patients (n = 203) with and without DM were chosen from 1,237 patients undergoing TJA during 2006 - 12. Patients evaluated in the APC had surgery in 2006 - 8 regardless of HbA1c (uncon...

  14. An integrated village maternity service to improve referral patterns in a rural area in West-Java.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alisjahbana, A; Williams, C; Dharmayanti, R; Hermawan, D; Kwast, B E; Koblinsky, M

    1995-06-01

    The Regionalization of Perinatal Care, an intervention study carried out in Tanjungsari, a subdistrict in rural West Java, aimed to develop a comprehensive maternal health program to improve maternal and perinatal health outcomes. The main inputs included training at all levels of the health care system (informal and formal) and the establishment of birthing homes in villages to make services more accessible. Special attention was given to referral, transportation, communication and appropriate case management, A social marketing program was conducted to inform people of the accessible birthing homes for clean delivery, located near the women, and with better transportation and communications to referral facilities should complications arise. The study design was longitudinal, following all pregnant women from early pregnancy until 42 days postpartum in an intervention and a comparison area. The population was +/- 90,000 in the intervention area and 40,000 in the comparison area. Inclusion criteria were all mother and infant units delivered between June 1st, 1992 and May 31st, 1993. Analysis showed the following results: Most women sought antenatal care (> 95%). In Tanjungsari, nearly 90% sought such care from professional providers as versus 75% in the control area of Cisalak. Most women with bleeding or bleeding and edema during pregnancy sought professional assistance in both the study and control areas. However, fever for more than 3 days received more attention in the study area versus control area (93 vs. 69%). Greater than 85% of deliveries in both areas were conducted by TBAs. However, in the study area, nearly one-third of those with intrapartum complications (17%) delivered in a health facility compared to one-tenth in the control area. This meant a hospital delivery, primarily with assistance of a doctor or doctor/midwife combination. Overall referral rates by TBAs were low -13% of women with complications in Tanjungsari and 6% in Cisalak. More women

  15. Consequences of digital mammography in population-based breast cancer screening: initial changes and long-term impact on referral rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluekens, Adriana M.J. [National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening, Nijmegen (Netherlands); St. Elisabeth Hospital, Department of Radiology, Tilburg (Netherlands); Karssemeijer, Nico [Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Radiology, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Beijerinck, David; Deurenberg, Jan J.M. [Preventicon Screening Centre/Mid-West, Utrecht (Netherlands); Engen, Ruben E. van [National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Broeders, Mireille J.M. [National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and HTA, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Heeten, Gerard J. den [National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Academic Medical Centre (AMC), Department of Radiology, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2010-09-15

    To investigate the referral pattern after the transition to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) in a population-based breast cancer screening programme. Preceding the nationwide digitalisation of the Dutch screening programme, an FFDM feasibility study was conducted. Detection and referral rates for FFDM and screen-film mammography (SFM) were compared for first and subsequent screens. Furthermore, radiological characteristics of referrals in digital screening were assessed. A total of 312,414 screening mammograms were performed (43,913 digital and 268,501 conventional), with 4,473 consecutive referrals (966 following FFDM). Initially the FFDM referral rate peaked, and many false-positive results were noted as a consequence of pseudolesions and increased detection of (benign) microcalcifications. A higher overall referral rate was observed in FFDM screening in both first and subsequent examinations (p <.001), with a significant increase in cancer detection (p =.010). As a result of initial inexperience with digital screening images implementing FFDM in a population-based breast cancer screening programme may lead to a strong, but temporary increase in referral. Dedicated training in digital screening for radiographers and screening radiologists is therefore recommended. Referral rates decrease and stabilise (learning curve effect) at a higher level than in conventional screening, yet with significantly enhanced cancer detection. (orig.)

  16. Consequences of digital mammography in population-based breast cancer screening: initial changes and long-term impact on referral rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluekens, Adriana M J; Karssemeijer, Nico; Beijerinck, David; Deurenberg, Jan J M; van Engen, Ruben E; Broeders, Mireille J M; den Heeten, Gerard J

    2010-09-01

    To investigate the referral pattern after the transition to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) in a population-based breast cancer screening programme. Preceding the nationwide digitalisation of the Dutch screening programme, an FFDM feasibility study was conducted. Detection and referral rates for FFDM and screen-film mammography (SFM) were compared for first and subsequent screens. Furthermore, radiological characteristics of referrals in digital screening were assessed. A total of 312,414 screening mammograms were performed (43,913 digital and 268,501 conventional), with 4,473 consecutive referrals (966 following FFDM). Initially the FFDM referral rate peaked, and many false-positive results were noted as a consequence of pseudolesions and increased detection of (benign) microcalcifications. A higher overall referral rate was observed in FFDM screening in both first and subsequent examinations (p < .001), with a significant increase in cancer detection (p = .010). As a result of initial inexperience with digital screening images implementing FFDM in a population-based breast cancer screening programme may lead to a strong, but temporary increase in referral. Dedicated training in digital screening for radiographers and screening radiologists is therefore recommended. Referral rates decrease and stabilise (learning curve effect) at a higher level than in conventional screening, yet with significantly enhanced cancer detection.

  17. Consequences of digital mammography in population-based breast cancer screening: initial changes and long-term impact on referral rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluekens, Adriana M.J.; Karssemeijer, Nico; Beijerinck, David; Deurenberg, Jan J.M.; Engen, Ruben E. van; Broeders, Mireille J.M.; Heeten, Gerard J. den

    2010-01-01

    To investigate the referral pattern after the transition to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) in a population-based breast cancer screening programme. Preceding the nationwide digitalisation of the Dutch screening programme, an FFDM feasibility study was conducted. Detection and referral rates for FFDM and screen-film mammography (SFM) were compared for first and subsequent screens. Furthermore, radiological characteristics of referrals in digital screening were assessed. A total of 312,414 screening mammograms were performed (43,913 digital and 268,501 conventional), with 4,473 consecutive referrals (966 following FFDM). Initially the FFDM referral rate peaked, and many false-positive results were noted as a consequence of pseudolesions and increased detection of (benign) microcalcifications. A higher overall referral rate was observed in FFDM screening in both first and subsequent examinations (p <.001), with a significant increase in cancer detection (p =.010). As a result of initial inexperience with digital screening images implementing FFDM in a population-based breast cancer screening programme may lead to a strong, but temporary increase in referral. Dedicated training in digital screening for radiographers and screening radiologists is therefore recommended. Referral rates decrease and stabilise (learning curve effect) at a higher level than in conventional screening, yet with significantly enhanced cancer detection. (orig.)

  18. Influence of Referral Pathway on Ebola Virus Disease Case-Fatality Rate and Effect of Survival Selection Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rudolf, Frauke; Damkjær, Mads; Lunding, Suzanne

    2017-01-01

    Case-fatality rates in Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) varied widely during the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. We assessed the influence of referral pathway on ETC case-fatality rates with a retrospective cohort of 126 patients treated at the Mathaska ETC in Port Loko, Sierra...... Leone. The patients consisted of persons who had confirmed EVD when transferred to the ETC or who had been diagnosed onsite. The case-fatality rate for transferred patients was 46% versus 67% for patients diagnosed onsite (p = 0.02). The difference was mediated by Ebola viral load at diagnosis...

  19. Introduction of electronic referral from community associated with more timely review by secondary services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, J; White, S; Day, K J; Gu, Y; Pollock, M

    2011-01-01

    Electronic referral (eReferral) from community into public secondary healthcare services was introduced to 30 referring general medical practices and 28 hospital based services in late 2007. To measure the extent of uptake of eReferral and its association with changes in referral processing. Analysis of transactional data from the eReferral message service and the patient information management system of the affected hospital; interview of clinical, operational and management stakeholders. eReferral use rose steadily to 1000 transactions per month in 2008, thereafter showing moderate growth to 1200 per month in 2010. Rate of eReferral from the community in 2010 is estimated at 56% of total referrals to the hospital from general practice, and as 71% of referrals from those having done at least one referral electronically. Referral latency from letter date to hospital triage improves significantly from 2007 to 2009 (psystem usability issues. With eReferrals, a referral's status can be checked, and its content read, by any authorized user at any time. The period of eReferral uptake was associated with significant speed-up in referral processing without changes in staffing levels. The eReferral system provides a foundation for further innovation in the community-secondary interface, such as electronic decision support and shared care planning systems. We observed substantial rapid voluntary uptake of eReferrals associated with faster, more reliable and more transparent referral processing.

  20. Alaska: Improving Referrals of Victims of Maltreatment to the IDEA Part C Program. State Spotlight: Data Sharing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derrington, Taletha; Peters, Mary Louise; Mauzy, Denise; Ruggiero, Robert

    2015-01-01

    This 2015 state spotlight document describes how Alaska Part C improved the referral of children from Child Welfare to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Program by an automated transfer of data from Child Welfare to Part C for substantiated cases of child maltreatment (i.e., child abuse and/or neglect).

  1. Rated casemix of general practitioner referrals to practice counsellors and clinical psychologists: a retrospective survey of a year's caseload.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cape, J; Parham, A

    2001-06-01

    Although evidence-based guidelines are beginning to be produced as to which psychological therapies might be appropriate for which patients, little is known about how general medical practitioners (GPs) in practice distribute referrals between different psychological therapy services. In a retrospective survey, 19 practice counsellors and 10 clinical psychologists from the same geographical area rated a year's caseload of GP referrals using identical data collection methods. Rated casemix was found to be broadly similar, although practice counsellors rated relationship and bereavement problems as more common in their caseloads (totalling 986 patients), and clinical psychologists rated panic disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive problems as more common in their caseloads (totalling 320 patients). Depression and anxiety reactions were the most common problems rated in both groups, but the clinical psychologist cases of depression were rated as more severe and complex. Where differences were found, they may have reflected the different ways that counsellors and clinical psychologists conceptualize cases rather than actual differences in casemix. The results are discussed in relation to evidence-based guideline recommendations about cases appropriate to be seen by practice counsellors and by clinical psychologists in primary and secondary care, and the need to adapt such guidance to local services and skills of practitioners.

  2. Improving Efficiency Of Dietetic Services In Chronic Kidney Disease With A Categorised Referral Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda Morey

    2012-06-01

    At baseline, it was found that 18 of 57 (31.6% attempts to book dietetic appointments were not successful due to fully booked clinics (7 new and 11 reviews. While 6 of the 11 reviews were for reasons of higher dietetic urgency e.g. hyperkalaemia and malnutrition, 6 out of 7 new referrals were for lifestyle related reasons e.g. obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol. It is felt the new categorised referral tool and pathways will provide better guidance for referral and appropriate use of dietetic resources for CKD management, to be evaluated in early 2012.

  3. Evaluation of specialist referrals at a rural health care clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggerstaff, Mary Ellen; Short, Nancy

    2017-07-01

    Transition to a value-based care system involves reducing costs improving population health and enhancing the patient experience. Many rural hospitals must rely on specialist referrals because of a lack of an internal system of specialists on staff. This evaluation of the existing specialist referrals from primary care was conducted to better understand and improve the referral process and address costs, population health, and the patient experience. A 6-month retrospective chart review was conducted to evaluate quality and outcomes of specialty referrals submitted by 10 primary care providers. During a 6-month period in 2015, there was a total of 13,601 primary care patient visits and 3814 referrals, a referral rate of approximately 27%. The most striking result of this review was that nearly 50% of referred patients were not making the prescribed specialist appointment. Rather than finding a large number of unnecessary referrals, we found overall referral rates higher than expected, and a large percentage of our patients were not completing their referrals. The data and patterns emerging from this investigation would guide the development of referral protocols for a newly formed accountable care organization and lead to further quality improvement projects: a LEAN effort, dissemination of results to clinical and executive staff, protocols for orthopedic and neurosurgical referrals, and recommendations for future process improvements. ©2017 American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

  4. Multiple Behavior Change Intervention to Improve Detection of Unmet Social Needs and Resulting Resource Referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvin, Jeffrey D; Bettenhausen, Jessica L; Anderson-Carpenter, Kaston D; Collie-Akers, Vicki; Plencner, Laura; Krager, Molly; Nelson, Brooke; Donnelly, Sara; Simmons, Julia; Higinio, Valeria; Chung, Paul J

    2016-03-01

    It is critical that pediatric residents learn to effectively screen families for active and addressable social needs (ie, negative social determinants of health). We sought to determine 1) whether a brief intervention teaching residents about IHELP, a social needs screening tool, could improve resident screening, and 2) how accurately IHELP could detect needs in the inpatient setting. During an 18-month period, interns rotating on 1 of 2 otherwise identical inpatient general pediatrics teams were trained in IHELP. Interns on the other team served as the comparison group. Every admission history and physical examination (H&P) was reviewed for IHELP screening. Social work evaluations were used to establish the sensitivity and specificity of IHELP and document resources provided to families with active needs. During a 21-month postintervention period, every third H&P was reviewed to determine median duration of continued IHELP use. A total of 619 admissions met inclusion criteria. Over 80% of intervention team H&Ps documented use of IHELP. The percentage of social work consults was nearly 3 times greater on the intervention team than on the comparison team (P Social work provided resources for 78% of positively screened families. The median duration of screening use by residents after the intervention was 8.1 months (interquartile range 1-10 months). A brief intervention increased resident screening and detection of social needs, leading to important referrals to address those needs. Copyright © 2016 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neonatal hearing screening of high-risk infants using automated auditory brainstem response: a retrospective analysis of referral rates.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McGurgan, I J

    2013-10-07

    The past decade has seen the widespread introduction of universal neonatal hearing screening (UNHS) programmes worldwide. Regrettably, such a programme is only now in the process of nationwide implementation in the Republic of Ireland and has been largely restricted to one screening modality for initial testing; namely transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE). The aim of this study is to analyse the effects of employing a different screening protocol which utilises an alternative initial test, automated auditory brainstem response (AABR), on referral rates to specialist audiology services.

  6. Radiologists' responses to inadequate referrals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lysdahl, Kristin Bakke [Oslo University College, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo (Norway); University of Oslo, Section for Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern, Oslo (Norway); Hofmann, Bjoern Morten [University of Oslo, Section for Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern, Oslo (Norway); Gjoevik University College, Faculty of Health Care and Nursing, Gjoevik (Norway); Espeland, Ansgar [Haukeland University Hospital, Department of Radiology, Bergen (Norway); University of Bergen, Section for Radiology, Department of Surgical Sciences, Bergen (Norway)

    2010-05-15

    To investigate radiologists' responses to inadequate imaging referrals. A survey was mailed to Norwegian radiologists; 69% responded. They graded the frequencies of actions related to referrals with ambiguous indications or inappropriate examination choices and the contribution of factors preventing and not preventing an examination of doubtful usefulness from being performed as requested. Ninety-five percent (344/361) reported daily or weekly actions related to inadequate referrals. Actions differed among subspecialties. The most frequent were contacting the referrer to clarify the clinical problem and checking test results/information in the medical records. Both actions were more frequent among registrars than specialists and among hospital radiologists than institute radiologists. Institute radiologists were more likely to ask the patient for additional information and to examine the patient clinically. Factors rated as contributing most to prevent doubtful examinations were high risk of serious complications/side effects, high radiation dose and low patient age. Factors facilitating doubtful examinations included respect for the referrer's judgment, patient/next-of-kin wants the examination, patient has arrived, unreachable referrer, and time pressure. In summary, radiologists facing inadequate referrals considered patient safety and sought more information. Vetting referrals on arrival, easier access to referring clinicians, and time for radiologists to handle inadequate referrals may contribute to improved use of imaging. (orig.)

  7. Improving efficiency and saving money in an otolaryngology urgent referral clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nader; Virk, Jagdeep; George, Jason; Elmiyeh, Behrad; Singh, Arvind

    2015-06-16

    A closed loop audit of the ear nose and throat (ENT) urgent referral clinic at a London hospital was conducted assessing the number of patients reviewed, referral source, appropriateness of referral, presenting complaint and assigned follow-up appointments. Data was sourced from clinic letters and the patient appointment system over a 3-mo period. The initial cycle analysed 490 patients and the subsequent cycle 396. The initial audit yielded clinically relevant and cost effective recommendations which were implemented, and the audit cycle was subsequently repeated. The re-audit demonstrated decreased clinic numbers from an average 9.8 to 7.2 patients per clinic, in keeping with ENT United Kingdom guidelines. A 21% decrease in patient follow-up and 13% decrease in inappropriate referrals was achieved. Direct bookings into outpatient clinics decreased by 8%, due to correct referral pathway utilisation. Comparisons of all data sets were found to show statistical significance P saving of £32490 in a period of 3 mo (£590 per clinic). We demonstrated that simple guidelines, supervision and consultant-led education which are non-labour intensive can have a significant impact on service provision and cost.

  8. [Nosocomial urinary tract and surgical site infection rates in the Maternity Ward at the General Referral Hospital in Katuba, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukuke, Hendrick Mbutshu; Kasamba, Eric; Mahuridi, Abdulu; Nlandu, Roger Ngatu; Narufumi, Suganuma; Mukengeshayi, Abel Ntambue; Malou, Vicky; Makoutode, Michel; Kaj, Françoise Malonga

    2017-01-01

    In Intertropical Africa hospitalized patients are exposed to a risk of nosocomial infections. The dearth of published data on this subject limits the descriptive analysis of the situation. This study aimed to determine the incidence, the germs responsible for these infections and the risk factors of nosocomial infections in the Maternity Ward at the General Referral Hospital in Katuba, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. We conducted a descriptive, longitudinal study from 1 October 2014 to 1 January 2015. Our study population consisted of 207 women who had been hospitalized in the Maternity Ward at the General Referral Hospital in Katuba. We carried out a comprehensive data collection. Nosocomial infection rate accounted for 15.5%. Parturient women who had been hospitalized for more than three days were three times more likely to develop a nosocomial infection (p=0.003), while those who had had a complicated delivery were four times more likely to be at risk of developing nosocomial infection (p = 0.000). Escherichia coli was the most isolated causative agent (38.1%), followed by Citrobacter freundi (23.8%), Acinobacter baumani (.18, 2%), Staphylococcus aureus (18.2%), Enterococcus aureus (14.3%) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (9.1%). Ampicillin was the most prescribed antibiotic, to which isolated microbes were resistant. It is necessary to improve hospital hygiene and to conduct further study to examine the similarity between germs strains in the environment and those in biological fluids.

  9. An Overview of Cancer Rehabilitation and Exercise in the Literature: Promoting Increased Referrals to Improve Oncology Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie J. Waltke

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Medical management for malignant neoplastic diseases includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal and biological therapies. Each of these antineoplastic interventions has unique impacts on physiological, musculoskeletal and functional performance. Cancer rehabilitation is the area of physical medicine responsible for addressing impairments associated with cancer treatment and survivorship, advanced disease and end of life. Although it is expected that more than one-half of persons being treated for cancer will suffer moderate pain and physical and functional decline, and that most will describe fatigue, referrals to rehabilitation are traditionally low. Evidence suggests that referrals to rehabilitation before, during and after treatment for neoplastic disease may improve physiological and functional performance, quality of life and survival outcomes. Oncology practitioners are encouraged to refer patients undergoing cancer treatment to a rehabilitation professional at the peridiagnosis period.

  10. Improving timeliness and efficiency in the referral process for safety net providers: application of the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckard, Gloria J; Borkowski, Nancy; Diaz, Deisell; Sanchez, Carlos; Boisette, Serge A

    2010-01-01

    Designated primary care clinics largely serve low-income and uninsured patients who present a disproportionate number of chronic illnesses and face great difficulty in obtaining the medical care they need, particularly the access to specialty physicians. With limited capacity for providing specialty care, these primary care clinics generally refer patients to safety net hospitals' specialty ambulatory care clinics. A large public safety net health system successfully improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the specialty clinic referral process through application of Lean Six Sigma, an advanced process-improvement methodology and set of tools driven by statistics and engineering concepts.

  11. Referral Criteria from Community Clinics to Pediatric Emergency Departments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob Urkin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Referral of patients to a pediatric emergency department (PED should be medically justified and the need for referral well communicated. The objectives of this paper were (1 to create a list of criteria for referral from the community to the PED, (2 to describe how community physicians categorize their need for referral, and (3 to determine agreement between the physician's referral letter and the selected criteria. We present a descriptive study of referrals to the PED of Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel, during February to April 2003. A list of 22 criteria for referral was created, using the Delphi method for reaching consensus. One or more criteria could be selected from this list for each referral, by the referring community physicians and, independently, based on the physicians' referral letters, by two consultants, and compared. There were 140 referrals included in the study. A total of 262 criteria for referral were selected by the referring community physicians. The criteria most frequently selected were: “Need for same-day consultation/laboratory/imaging result not available in the community” (32.1%, “Suspected life- or organ-threatening infection” (16.4%, and “Need for hospitalization” (15.7%. Rates of agreement regarding criteria for referral between the referring physicians and the two consultants, and a senior community pediatrician and a senior PED pediatrician, were 57.9 and 48.6%, respectively. We conclude that the standard referral letter does not convey in full the level of need for referral to the PED. A list of criteria for referral could augment efficient utilization of emergency department services and improve communication between community physicians and the PED.

  12. Comparison of Newborn Hearing Screening in Well-Baby Nursery and NICU: A Study Applied to Reduce Referral Rate in NICU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Pei-Chun; Chen, Wei-I; Huang, Chih-Ming; Liu, Ching-Ju; Chang, Hsiu-wen; Lin, Hung-Ching

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether newborn hearing screening in a well-baby nursery (WBN) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nursery: 1) meet three targeted, screening, referral, and diagnostic follow-up rates; 2) compare the average age of diagnosis for infants admitted to the WIN and NICU; and 3) determine prevalence of hearing loss in neonatal population; and 4) try to find a practical newborn hearing screening time algorithm to reduce refer rate in NICU. It examined 15,624 newborns in the WBN (13,676) and NICU (1948) screened for congenital HL using AABR. The variables analyzed in it were the screening rate, referral rate, follow-up rate, diagnostic rate and diagnostic age, prevalence rate, degrees of congenital bilateral HL. The study was approved by the hospital's institutional review board (13MMHISO23). The screening rates were 99.8% and 99.6% in the WBN and NICU groups, respectively, without significant difference. The referral rates were 0.7% and 2.8% in the WBN and NICU groups, with significant difference. Furthermore, the diagnostic follow-up rates were 76.7% and 89.1% in the WBN and NICU groups, without significant difference. The average initial diagnostic ages were 1.9 months and 3.8 months in the WBN and NICU groups, with significant difference. The prevalence of congenital bilateral hearing loss were 0.27% and 1.6% in the WBN and NICU groups, with significant difference. The screening, referral and follow-up rate in the WBN and NICU groups were equivalent to the quality indicators. For NICU group, screening and diagnostic follow up were performed later than those in WBN group; however the lower referral rate in our NICU group was successfully achieved in this study and can be applied clinically. The prevalence of congenital bilateral hearing loss was higher in the NICU group than in the WBN group.

  13. Referral rates and trends in radiotherapy as part of primary treatment of cancer in South Netherlands, 1988-2002

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vulto, Ans; Louwman, Marieke; Rodrigus, Patrick; Coebergh, Jan Willem W.

    2006-01-01

    Background and purpose: To study referral rates and time trends in the use of primary radiotherapy (RT). Patients and Methods: The proportion and number of irradiated patients were calculated in a population-based setting among 58,436 cancer patients diagnosed between 1988 and 2002. Results: The number of patients receiving RT within 6 months of diagnosis (RT6mo) increased by about 3.3% annually, the proportion of all incident cases that received RT6mo remained stable (±30%). Only 20% of elderly patients (75+) received RT6mo. The proportion of cancer patients that received RT6mo increased markedly between 1988-1992 and 1998-2002 for patients with prostate cancer (15 and 28%, respectively), rectal cancer (33 and 43%) and brain tumours (48 and 67%). The absolute number of irradiated breast cancer patients increased 30% between 1988 and 2002. Among patients with rectal cancer, a shift occurred from postoperative to preoperative RT since 1995. The percentage of irradiated patients with stage I endometrial cancer decreased from 47% in 1988-1992 to 15% in 1998-2002. Conclusions: The percentage of cancer patients who received primary RT remained stable throughout 1988-2002, being consistently lower for older patients. The increased number of irradiated patients was due mainly to earlier detection and the ageing of the population. To clarify the overall percentage of patients irradiated, population-based studies on RT given after 6 months since diagnosis are warranted

  14. Do specialist self-referral insurance policies improve access to HIV-experienced physicians as a regular source of care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heslin, Kevin C; Andersen, Ronald M; Ettner, Susan L; Kominski, Gerald F; Belin, Thomas R; Morgenstern, Hal; Cunningham, William E

    2005-10-01

    Health insurance policies that require prior authorization for specialty care may be detrimental to persons with HIV, according to evidence that having a regular physician with HIV expertise leads to improved patient outcomes. The objective of this study is to determine whether HIV patients who can self-refer to specialists are more likely to have physicians who mainly treat HIV. The authors analyze cross-sectional survey data from the HIV Costs and Services Utilization Study. At baseline, 67 percent of patients had insurance that permitted self-referral. In multivariate analyses, being able to self-refer was associated with an 8-12 percent increased likelihood of having a physician at a regular source of care that mainly treats patients with HIV. Patients who can self-refer are more likely to have HIV-experienced physicians than are patients who need prior authorization. Insurance policies allowing self-referral to specialists may result in HIV patients seeing physicians with clinical expertise relevant to HIV care.

  15. Improving malaria recognition, treatment and referral practices by training caretakers in rural Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okeke, Theodora A

    2010-05-01

    A caretaker training programme was carried out in Ugwuogo-Nike, a rural area in south-east Nigeria, based on formative research within the community. A training of trainers workshop was organized for 30 leaders of women groups who subsequently trained other mothers in their group. Community information activities, which lasted for a period of eight months, included the use of posters, drama group and jingles. The programme was evaluated using the quantitative and qualitative methods that were employed at baseline, which included community survey and focus group discussions (FGDs). For the community survey, households with children under five years of age were identified and provided the sampling frame, from which 300 households were chosen using the systematic sampling method. The target population for the FGDs were caretakers of children under five years. Post-intervention evaluation of the programme showed significant (pmanagement of malaria and referral practices for severe malaria. Those who correctly reported that mosquitoes were the cause of malaria rose markedly from 39.7% to 88.7%. Knowledge of symptoms of mild and severe malaria also increased significantly. Only 1.5% of caretakers were aware of the correct dose of anti-malarial before intervention, but this increased to 41.5%. The impact of intervention brought about a dramatic change in the practice of taking severely ill children, especially those with convulsion, to a traditional healer. A minority (6.7%) of caretakers took a severely ill child to a traditional healer as against 60% pre-intervention. There was also a significant increase in use of formal health facilities for the treatment of severely ill children. The study findings support the view that training of mothers to recognize, treat appropriately and refer severe cases of malaria is feasible and may lead to a reduction in the incidence of severe disease.

  16. A prospective study to assess the value of MMP-9 in improving the appropriateness of urgent referrals for colorectal cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hobbs Richard FD

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bowel cancer is common and is a major cause of death. Most people with bowel symptoms who meet the criteria for urgent referral to secondary care will not be found to have bowel cancer, and some people who are found to have cancer will have been referred routinely rather than urgently. If general practitioners could better identify people who were likely to have bowel cancer or conditions that may lead to bowel cancer, the pressure on hospital clinics may be reduced, enabling these patients to be seen more quickly. Increased levels of an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9 have been found to be associated with such conditions, and this can be measured from a blood sample. This study aims to find out whether measuring MMP-9 levels could improve the appropriateness of urgent referrals for patients with bowel symptoms. Methods People aged 18 years or older referred to a colorectal clinic will be asked to complete a questionnaire about symptoms, recent injuries or chronic illnesses (these can increase the level of matrix metalloproteinases and family history of bowel cancer. A blood sample will be taken from people who consent to take part to assess MMP-9 levels, and the results of examination at the clinic and/or investigations arising from the clinic visit will be collected from hospital records. The accuracy of MMP-9 will be assessed by comparing the MMP-9 level with the resulting diagnosis. The combination of factors (e.g. symptoms and MMP-9 level that best predict a diagnosis of malignancy (invasive disease or polyps will be determined. Discussion Although guidelines are in place to facilitate referrals to colorectal clinics, symptoms alone do not adequately distinguish people with malignancy from people with benign conditions. This study will establish whether MMP-9 could assist this process. If this were the case, measurement of MMP-9 levels could be used by general practitioners to assist in the identification

  17. Adrenal vein sampling: substantial need for technical improvement at regional referral centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Panda; Holmes, Daniel T

    2013-10-01

    Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is the gold standard for localization of aldosterone producing adenoma. The anatomy of the right adrenal vein makes this procedure technically demanding and it may yield no clinical information if the adrenal veins are not adequately cannulated. Having frequently observed the technical failure of AVS, we undertook a review of 220 procedures in British Columbia, Canada. Subjects were retrospectively identified through the laboratory information system. The following were collected: demographics, screening aldosterone concentration and renin activity/mass, results of dynamic function tests, AVS aldosterone and cortisol results. Standard calculations were performed on AVS data and site-specific success rates were compared. The effect of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) stimulation on the selectivity index (SI) and lateralization index (LI) were explored. The overall technical success-rate of AVS procedures was only 44% in procedures where no ACTH-stimulation was used (n=200) but this rose significantly (psuccess of AVS is lower than reported elsewhere. Provided that effects on the LI are considered, the use of ACTH-stimulation during AVS assists in the identification of unilateral forms of PA. Copyright © 2013 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving the management of acute diarrhoea and dehydration in under-5 children in a paediatric referral facility in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senbanjo, Idowu O; Ch'ng, Chin Lye; Allen, Stephen J

    2017-02-01

    Mortality from acute diarrhoea and dehydration (AD/D) in children is high despite existing management guidelines. The aim of this study was to identify deficiencies in the management of AD/D by health staff and assess changes in management after a training intervention in a paediatric referral facility in Lagos, Nigeria. In a retrospective review of case notes, the management of AD/D was assessed using WHO guidelines as the standard. An e-learning module was developed that directly addressed deficiencies and was used to train health staff. Changes in the management of AD/D were assessed by re-auditing case notes. There were learning needs among health staff in the management of AD/D. Altogether, 34 (97.1%) of 35 residents were trained. Training resulted in modest improvements in the number of children in whom nutritional status was assessed, use of oral rather than intravenous fluids for rehydration and reducing unnecessary laboratory tests. Training resulted in marked improvements in the correct volume of (pre- vs. post-training 6.3% vs. 94.1%, P<0.001) and follow-up of fluid therapy (8.1% vs. 98.0%; P<0.001), prescription of zinc (41.6% vs. 85.1%, P<0.001) and providing advice on when to return after discharge (77.6% vs. 96.0%, P<0.001). Although statistically significant, the minimal improvements in antibiotic use (43.8% vs. 56.6%, P = 0.03), re-starting feeds (10.6% vs. 38.6%, P<0.001) and counselling about feeding (11.8% vs. 33.7%, P<0.001) highlighted areas for further training. In low-resource countries, clinical auditing and training can significantly improve the management of illnesses that contribute to child deaths and identify areas where further training is required.

  19. A complex social intervention for multidisciplinary teams to improve patient referrals in bosttrical care: desing of a stepped wedge study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romijn, A.; Bruijne, M.C. de; Teunissen, P.W.; Groot, C.J.M. de; Wagner, C.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: In obstetrics, patients often experience referral situations between different care professionals. In these multidisciplinary teams, a focus on communication and interprofessional collaboration is needed to ensure care of high quality. Crew resource management team training is

  20. Does routine psychosocial screening improve referral to psychosocial care providers and patient-radiotherapist communication? A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braeken, Anna P B M; Lechner, Lilian; Eekers, Daniëlle B P; Houben, Ruud M A; van Gils, Francis C J M; Ambergen, Ton; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M

    2013-11-01

    This study tests whether using a screening instrument improves referral to psychosocial care providers (e.g. psychologist) and facilitates patient-radiotherapist communication. A cluster randomized controlled trial was used. Fourteen radiotherapists were randomly allocated to the experimental or control group and 568 of their patients received care in accordance with the group to which their radiotherapist was allocated. Patients in the experimental group were asked to complete a screening instrument before and at the end of the radiation treatment period. All patients were requested to complete questionnaires concerning patient-physician communication after the first consultation and concerning psychosocial care 3 and 12 months post-intervention. Patients who completed the screening instrument were referred to social workers at an earlier stage than patients who did not (Pcommunication. Our results suggest that a simple screening procedure can be valuable for the timely treatment of psychosocial problems in patients. Future efforts should be directed at appropriate timing of screening and enhancing physicians' awareness regarding the importance of identifying, discussing and treating psychosocial problems in cancer patients. Psychosocial screening can be enhanced by effective radiotherapist-patient communication. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Stable overall referral rates of primary radiotherapy for newly diagnosed cancer patients in the ageing population of South-Eastern Netherlands, 1975-1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lybeert, Marnix L.M.; Louwman, Marieke; Coebergh, Jan-Willem W.

    2004-01-01

    Background and purpose: To determine the primary radiotherapy (RT) consumption in a population of almost one million inhabitants, served by one RT centre. Primary RT was defined as being planned, started or finished within 4-6 months of diagnosis. Application was evaluated according to tumour category, stage and year of diagnosis during three 8-year periods: 1975-1982, 1983 -1990 and 1991-1998. Results: Most patients were between 60 and 75 years. The number of patients receiving primary RT increased with 3% annually over the whole studied period, but remained proportionally stable for males at 30% and decreased for females from 36.2 to 34.6%. A decrease of referral rates for patients with gynaecological cancer was observed. The introduction of breast-conserving therapy in 1981 and of population screening for women aged 50-69 years in 1992 led to a considerable increase of primary RT. The eightfold increase in number of irradiated patients with localised prostate cancer rather reflected a higher detection rate than an increased referral rate. Except for an important increase of irradiated patients with rectal cancer, largely due to the shift to preoperative RT since 1994, and of patients with brain cancer, only slight alterations in referral rates were observed for the other cancers. Conclusions: Use of primary RT remained proportionally steady and modest. The marked increase in workload was mainly due to more and earlier detection of breast and prostate cancer and treatment changes in rectal cancer. Decreases were observed for each of the gynecological cancers

  2. Interdisciplinary expert consultation via a teleradiology platform. Influence on therapeutic decision-making and patient referral rates to an academic tertiary care center

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helck, Andreas; Matzko, M.; Trumm, C.G.; Grosse, C.; Reiser, M.; Ertl-Wagner, B.; Piltz, S.

    2009-01-01

    In addition to teleradiological reporting as a nighthawking or a regular service, teleradiological communication can be used for interdisciplinary expert consultation. We intended to evaluate an interdisciplinary consultation system based on a teleradiology platform with regard to its impact on therapeutic decision-making, directed patient referrals to an academic tertiary care center and the economic benefit for the hospital providing the service. Therefore, consultations from five secondary care centers and consecutive admissions to an academic tertiary care center were prospectively evaluated over a time period of six months. A total of 69 interdisciplinary expert consultations were performed. In 54% of the cases the patients were consecutively referred to the university hospital for further treatment. In all acutely life-threatening emergencies (n=9), fast and focused treatment by referral to the academic tertiary care center was achieved (average time to treat 130 min). The admissions to the academic tertiary care center led to improved utilization of its facilities with additional revenue of more than 1 000 000 Euro p.a. An interdisciplinary expert consultation via a teleradiology platform enables fast and efficient expert care with improved and accelerated patient management and improved utilization of the service providing hospital. (orig.)

  3. Referral for psychological therapy of people with long term conditions improves adherence to antidepressants and reduces emergency department attendance: Controlled before and after study

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lusignan, Simon; Chan, Tom; Tejerina Arreal, Maria C.; Parry, Glenys; Dent-Brown, Kim; Kendrick, Tony

    2013-01-01

    Background Referral to psychological therapies is recommended for people with common mental health problems (CMHP) however its impact on healthcare utilisation in people with long term conditions (LTCs) is not known. Method Routinely collected primary care, psychological therapy clinic and hospital data were extracted for the registered population of 20 practices (N = 121199). These data were linked using the SAPREL (Secure and Private Record Linkage) method. We linked the 1118 people referred to psychological therapies with 6711 controls, matched for age, gender and practice. We compared utilisation of healthcare resources by people with LTCs, 6 months before and after referral, and conducted a controlled before and after study to compare health utilisation with controls. We made the assumption that collection of a greater number of repeat prescriptions for antidepressants was associated with greater adherence. Results Overall 21.8% of people with an LTC had CMHP vs. 18.8% without (p < 0.001). People with LTCs before referral were more likely to use health care resources (2-tailed t-test p < 0.001). Cases with LTCs showed referral to the psychological therapies clinic was associated with increased antidepressant medication prescribing (mean differences 0.62, p < 0.001) and less use of emergency department than controls (mean difference −0.21, p = 0.003). Conclusions Referral to improved access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services appears of value to people with LTC. It is associated with the issue of a greater number of prescriptions for anti-depressant medicines and less use of emergency services. Further studies are needed to explore bed occupancy and outpatient attendance. PMID:23639304

  4. Improving professional IT doctorate completion rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Kisalay Burmeister

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Professional doctorates in Information Technology (IT have been a relatively recent phenomenon, giving IT professionals career management choices not previously available to them. However, successful completion rates are the lowest of all disciplines. Completed doctorates rate in quality equivalent to PhDs, and retention has been identified as a major obstacle to completion. This qualitative study, involving 44 semi-structured interviews with students, supervisors and institutional support personnel, investigated the obstacles. Amongst the strategies discovered to improve completion rates were retention, student engagement with supervisors, feedback on progress, student engagement in the course, and student involvement in institutional communities of practice.

  5. Practices and attitudes of doctors and patients to downward referral in Shanghai, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wenya; Li, Meina; Nong, Xin; Ding, Tao; Ye, Feng; Liu, Jiazhen; Dai, Zhixing; Zhang, Lulu

    2017-04-03

    In China, the rate of downward referral is relatively low, as most people are unwilling to be referred from hospitals to community health systems (CHSs). The aim of this study was to explore the effect of doctors' and patients' practices and attitudes on their willingness for downward referral and the relationship between downward referral and sociodemographic characteristics. Doctors and patients of 13 tertiary hospitals in Shanghai were stratified through random sampling. The questionnaire surveyed their sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes towards CHSs and hospitals, understanding of downward referral, recognition of the community first treatment system, and downward referral practices and willingness. Descriptive statistics, χ 2 test and stepwise logistic regression analysis were employed for statistical analysis. Only 20.8% (161/773) of doctors were willing to accept downward referrals, although this proportion was higher among patients (37.6%, 326/866). Doctors' willingness was influenced by education, understanding of downward referral, and perception of health resources in hospitals. Patients' willingness was influenced by marital status, economic factors and recognition of the community first treatment system. Well-educated doctors who do not consider downward referral would increase their workloads and those with a more comprehensive understanding of hospitals and downward referral process were more likely to make a downward referral decision. Single-injury patients fully recognising the community first treatment system were more willing to accept downward referral. Patients' willingness was significantly increased if downward referral was cost-saving. A better medical insurance system was another key factor for patients to accept downward referral decisions, especially for the floating population. To increase the rate of downward referral, the Chinese government should optimise the current referral system and conduct universal publicity for

  6. Improving access to geriatric mental health services: a randomized trial comparing treatment engagement with integrated versus enhanced referral care for depression, anxiety, and at-risk alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Stephen J; Coakley, Eugenie H; Zubritsky, Cynthia; Ware, James H; Miles, Keith M; Areán, Patricia A; Chen, Hongtu; Oslin, David W; Llorente, Maria D; Costantino, Giuseppe; Quijano, Louise; McIntyre, Jack S; Linkins, Karen W; Oxman, Thomas E; Maxwell, James; Levkoff, Sue E

    2004-08-01

    The authors sought to determine whether integrated mental health services or enhanced referral to specialty mental health clinics results in greater engagement in mental health/substance abuse services by older primary care patients. This multisite randomized trial included 10 sites consisting of primary care and specialty mental health/substance abuse clinics. Primary care patients 65 years old or older (N=24,930) were screened. The final study group consisted of 2,022 patients (mean age=73.5 years; 26% female; 48% ethnic minority) with depression (N=1,390), anxiety (N=70), at-risk alcohol use (N=414), or dual diagnosis (N=148) who were randomly assigned to integrated care (mental health and substance abuse providers co-located in primary care; N=999) or enhanced referral to specialty mental health/substance abuse clinics (i.e., facilitated scheduling, transportation, payment; N=1,023). Seventy-one percent of patients engaged in treatment in the integrated model compared with 49% in the enhanced referral model. Integrated care was associated with more mental health and substance abuse visits per patient (mean=3.04) relative to enhanced referral (mean=1.91). Overall, greater engagement was predicted by integrated care and higher mental distress. For depression, greater engagement was predicted by integrated care and more severe depression. For at-risk alcohol users, greater engagement was predicted by integrated care and more severe problem drinking. For all conditions, greater engagement was associated with closer proximity of mental health/substance abuse services to primary care. Older primary care patients are more likely to accept collaborative mental health treatment within primary care than in mental health/substance abuse clinics. These results suggest that integrated service arrangements improve access to mental health and substance abuse services for older adults who underuse these services.

  7. The Relationship between Place of Residence and Hospitalization Rate in the Biggest Referral Hospital of the Northwest according to Hospitalization Wards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Talebpour

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ​ Background and objectives: In accordance with the global pattern, the urban population in Iran is higher than the rural population. But, are the statistics of using hospitalization services in public hospitals in these two categories similar to this pattern? This study seeks to determine the effect of place of residence on hospitalization rate by examining annual hospitalization statistics of the country’s biggest referral hospital in the northwest. Material and Methods: The method used in this study is cross-sectional and all cases of hospitalization in Imam Reza Hospital as the northwest’s biggest referral hospital were picked by available sampling method. The cases of 30260 hospitalized patients were examined through direct observation and items extracted from their files were recorded in the checklist. In order to determine the relations between the variables, K2 test was applied and the P-value was considered less than 0.05 The obtained data were analyzed by SPSS.16 software. Results: Results indicated that the frequency distribution of patients in terms of their urban or rural residence did not yield any significant difference (P>0/05. Results also showed that the highest hospitalization rate for urban patients was 16.1% (3305 individuals in surgery ward while it was 14.2% (1384 individuals for rural patients in orthopedic ward. The least significant statistical difference between urban and rural hospitalization rates was observed in renal ward with 72.9% (1162 individual urban patients and 27.1% (432 individuals rural patients of total patients hospitalized in this ward. The most significant statistical difference between urban and rural hospitalization rates was observed in ICU with 44.9% (297 individuals urban patients and 55.1% (365 individuals rural patients of the total patients hospitalized in this ward. Conclusion: A relative comparison among illnesses in urban and rural populations, aside from illnesses caused by trauma

  8. Gaps in referral to cardiac rehabilitation of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragam, Krishna G; Dai, Dadi; Neely, Megan L; Bhatt, Deepak L; Roe, Matthew T; Rumsfeld, John S; Gurm, Hitinder S

    2015-05-19

    Rates of referral to cardiac rehabilitation after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have been historically low despite the evidence that rehabilitation is associated with lower mortality in PCI patients. This study sought to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with referral to cardiac rehabilitation in a national PCI cohort, and to assess the association between insurance status and referral patterns. Consecutive patients who underwent PCI and survived to hospital discharge in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry between July 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012 were analyzed. Cardiac rehabilitation referral rates, and patient and institutional factors associated with referral were evaluated for the total study population and for a subset of Medicare patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction. Patients who underwent PCI (n = 1,432,399) at 1,310 participating hospitals were assessed. Cardiac rehabilitation referral rates were 59.2% and 66.0% for the overall population and the AMI/Medicare subgroup, respectively. In multivariable analyses, presentation with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (odds ratio 2.99; 95% confidence interval: 2.92 to 3.06) and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (odds ratio: 1.99; 95% confidence interval: 1.94 to 2.03) were associated with increased odds of referral to cardiac rehabilitation. Models adjusted for insurance status showed significant site-specific variability in referral rates, with more than one-quarter of all hospitals referring rehabilitation. Site-specific variation in referral rates is significant and is unexplained by insurance coverage. These findings highlight the potential need for hospital-level interventions to improve cardiac rehabilitation referral rates after PCI. Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Referrals and relationships: in-practice referrals meetings in a general practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowlands, G; Willis, S; Singleton, A

    2001-08-01

    GP referrals to secondary care are an important factor in the cost of running the NHS. The known variation in referral rates between doctors has the potential to cause tension within primary care which will be exacerbated by the latest reorganization of primary care and the trend towards capitation-based budgets. The importance of postgraduate learning for GPs has been recognized; continuing professional development is moving towards self-directed practice-based learning programmes. Educational interventions have been shown to alter doctors' prescribing behaviour. This, together with the pressure on accounting for referral activity, makes the prospect of improving, and possibly reducing, referral activity through educational interventions very attractive. This study complemented a randomized controlled trial (RCT) which investigated whether an intervention of the type which had reduced prescribing costs would have a similar effect on referral activity. The context of the study, description of the characteristics of the practice and the issues seen as important by the doctors and practice manager were identified through preliminary semi-structured interviews. The practice then held a series of educational in-practice meetings to discuss referrals and issues arising from referrals. The audio- and videotaped transcripts were interpreted using content and group dynamic analysis. Participants commented upon our preliminary findings. In addition, we used dimensional analysis to induce a preliminary theory describing the effect of the intervention on this general practice which enabled us to review the findings of the parallel RCT. The educational value of the meetings and the learning needs of the participants were also assessed. Our complementary study showed no alteration of practice referral rates following the educational intervention. The qualitative study, unencumbered by the assumptions inherent in the development of the hypothesis tested in the RCT, highlighted

  10. Referral expectations of radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, W.L.; Altmaier, E.; Berberoglu, L.; Morris, K.

    1989-01-01

    The expectation of the referring physician are key to developing a successful practice in radiology. Structured interviews with 17 clinicians in both community care and academic practice documented that accuracy of the radiologic report was the single most important factor in clinician satisfaction. Data intercorrelation showed that accuracy of report correlated with frequency of referral (r = .49). Overall satisfaction of the referring physician with radiology correlated with accuracy (r = .69), patient satisfaction (r = .36), and efficiency in archiving (r = .42). These data may be weighted by departmental managers to allocate resources for improving referring physician satisfaction

  11. Development of a quarterly referral productivity report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Cai; Sandoval, Alex; Hicks, Katrina N; Edwards, Tim J; Green, Lyle D

    2007-10-11

    The Office of Physician Relations at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) has developed a dynamic referral productivity reporting tool for its Multidisciplinary Care Centers (MCC). The tool leverages information within the institution's Enterprise Information Warehouse (EIW) using business intelligent software Hyperion Intelligent Explorer Suite 8.3. the referral productivity reports are intended to provide each MCC with detailed referral and registration data outlining how, and from where, patients arrive here for treatment. The reports supports operational and strategic initiatives aimed at improving referral processes and market related program development.

  12. Improved Specimen-Referral System and Increased Access to Quality Laboratory Services in Ethiopia: The Role of the Public-Private Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebede, Yenew; Fonjungo, Peter N; Tibesso, Gudeta; Shrivastava, Ritu; Nkengasong, John N; Kenyon, Thomas; Kebede, Amha; Gadde, Renuka; Ayana, Gonfa

    2016-04-15

    Nonstandardized specimen-transport logistics, lack of laboratory personnel to transport specimens, lack of standard specimen containers, and long turnaround time (TAT) hindered access to quality laboratory services. The objective of the Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BD)-US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was to support country-specific programs to develop integrated laboratory systems, services, and quality improvement strategies, with an emphasis on strengthening the specimen-referral system (SRS). In 2007, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) joined with the BD-PEPFAR PPP to strengthen laboratory systems. A joint planning and assessment committee identified gaps in the SRS for prioritization and intervention and piloted the system in Addis Ababa and Amhara Region. The PPP established standardized, streamlined specimen logistics, using the Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise to support a laboratory network in which 554 facilities referred specimens to 160 laboratories. The PPP supported procuring 400 standard specimen containers and the training of 586 laboratory personnel and 81 postal workers. The average TAT was reduced from 7 days (range, 2-14 days) to 2 days (range, 1-3 days) in Addis Ababa and from 10 days (range, 6-21 days) to 5 days (range, 2-6 days) in Amhara Region. This study highlights the feasibility and untapped potential of PPPs to strengthen laboratory systems. This planned and structured approach to improving specimen referral enhanced access to quality laboratory services. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. evaluative study of medical doctors' mode of referral for physiother

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Olwafemi Odebiyi

    physicians' mode of referral of patients for physiotherapy in Nigeria. A total of 1192 physicians .... The Influence of Medical School of Graduation. Table 1 shows the .... This must have also been responsible for the high rate of referral observed.

  14. Asthma referrals: a key component of asthma management that needs to be addressed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Price D

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available David Price,1,2 Leif Bjermer,3 David A Bergin,4 Rafael Martinez5 1Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK; 2Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute, Singapore; 3Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 4Novartis Ireland Limited, Dublin, Ireland; 5Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland Abstract: Heterogeneity of asthma and difficulty in achieving optimal control are the major challenges in the management of asthma. To help attain the best possible clinical outcomes in patients with asthma, several guidelines provide recommendations for patients who will require a referral to a specialist. Such referrals can help in clearing the uncertainty from the initial diagnosis, provide tailored treatment options to patients with persistent symptoms and offer the patients access to health care providers with expertise in the management of the asthma; thus, specialist referrals have a substantial impact on disease prognosis and the patient’s health status. Hurdles in implementing these recommendations include lack of their dissemination among health care providers and nonadherence to these guidelines; these hurdles considerably limit the implementation of specialist referrals, eventually affecting the rate of referrals. In this review, recommendations for specialist referrals from several key international and national asthma guidelines and other relevant published literature are evaluated. Furthermore, we highlight why referrals are not happening, how this can be improved, and ultimately, what should be done in the specialist setting, based on existing evidence in published literature. Keywords: asthma, disease management, specialization, primary care physicians, referral

  15. Improving Survey Response Rates in Online Panels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mogens Jin; Nielsen, Christian Videbæk

    2016-01-01

    Identifying ways to efficiently maximize the response rate to surveys is important to survey-based research. However, evidence on the response rate effect of donation incentives and especially altruistic and egotistic-type text appeal interventions is sparse and ambiguous. By a randomized survey...... experiment among 6,162 members of an online survey panel, this article shows how low-cost incentives and cost-free text appeal interventions may impact the survey response rate in online panels. The experimental treatments comprise (a) a cash prize lottery incentive, (b) two donation incentives equating...... survey response with a monetary donation to a good cause, (c) an egotistic-type text appeal, and (d) an altruistic-type text appeal. Relative to a control group, we find higher response rates among the recipients of the egotistic-type text appeal and the lottery incentive. Donation incentives yield lower...

  16. Does ownership structure improve credit ratings?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aws AlHares

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This study seeks to examine the impact of Block Ownership structure on Credit Ratings in OECD countries. This research seeks to contribute to the extant literature by exploring the effects of Corporate Governance (CG mechanisms on corporate credit ratings. The study uses a panel data of 200 companies from Anglo American and European countries between 2010 and 2014. The ordinary least square regression is used to examine the relationships. Additionally, to alleviate the concern of potential endogeneity, we use fixed effect regression, two-stage least squares using instrumental variables. The results show there is a negative and significant relationship between block ownership and credit ratings, with a greater significance among Anglo American countries than among European countries. The rationale for this is that Anglo-American system gives preferential treatment to individual shareholders and its accounting tradition leads to a decline in risk and increase in credit ratings. The result is consistent with the multi-theoretical framework predictions derived from the agency and stewardship theories. Future research could investigate credit ratings using other credit rating agencies, selecting a larger sample that includes small, mid-size and large companies. This paper extends, as well as contributes to extant CG literature by offering new evidence on the effect of block ownership on credit ratings between two different traditions. This will be explored by employing firm-level CG mechanisms by accounting for control variables. The findings will help regulators and policymakers in OECD countries in evaluating the adequacy of current CG reforms to prevent management misconduct and scandals.

  17. Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amaral-Garcia, Sofia; Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica

    We provide an assessment of the introduction of experience rating for medical malpractice insurance using 2002-2009 inpatient discharge records data on deliveries from the Italian Region of Piedmont. Considering experience rating as an increase in medical malpractice pressure, we show that such i...... specification. We show that our results are robust to the different methodologies, and they can be explained in terms of a reduction in the discretion over obstetric decisions ratherthan a change in the risk profile of the patients....... schedules of non economic damages to set compensations for personal injuries and 6 do not. We use this ex-ante policy conditions to distinguish treated from control and implement first a difference in difference analysis, the robustness of which we test through a basic difference in discontinuities...

  18. Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amaral-Garcia, Sofia; Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica

    strategy exploits the exogenous location of public hospitals in court districts with and without schedules for noneconomic damages. We perform difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities analyses. We find that the increase in medical malpractice pressure is associated with a decrease...... by the introduction of experience-rated malpractice liability insurance. Our identification strategy exploits the exogenous location of public hospitals in court districts with and without schedules for noneconomic damages. We perform difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities analyses. We find...

  19. Improved Taxation Rate for Bin Packing Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Walter; Qiu, Xian

    A cooperative bin packing game is a N-person game, where the player set N consists of k bins of capacity 1 each and n items of sizes a 1, ⋯ ,a n . The value of a coalition of players is defined to be the maximum total size of items in the coalition that can be packed into the bins of the coalition. We present an alternative proof for the non-emptiness of the 1/3-core for all bin packing games and show how to improve this bound ɛ= 1/3 (slightly). We conjecture that the true best possible value is ɛ= 1/7.

  20. Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amaral-Garcia, Sofia; Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica

    2015-01-01

    is associated with a decrease in the probability of performing a C-section from 2.3 to 3.7 percentage points (7–11.6%) with no consequences for medical complications or neonatal outcomes. The impact can be explained by a reduction in the discretion of obstetric decision-making rather than by patient cream......Using inpatient discharge records from the Italian region of Piedmont, we estimate the impact of an increase in malpractice pressure brought about by experience-rated liability insurance on obstetric practices. Our identification strategy exploits the exogenous location of public hospitals in court...... districts with and without schedules for noneconomic damages. We perform difference-in-differences analysis on the entire sample and on a subsample which only considers the nearest hospitals in the neighborhood of court district boundaries. We find that the increase in medical malpractice pressure...

  1. Interventions targeted at primary care practitioners to improve the identification and referral of patients with co-morbid obesity: a realist review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blane, David N; Macdonald, Sara; Morrison, David; O'Donnell, Catherine A

    2015-05-01

    Obesity is one of the most significant public health challenges in the developed world. Recent policy has suggested that more can be done in primary care to support adults with obesity. In particular, general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) could improve the identification and referral of adults with obesity to appropriate weight management services. Previous interventions targeted at primary care practitioners in this area have had mixed results, suggesting a more complex interplay between patients, practitioners, and systems. The objectives of this review are (i) to identify the underlying 'programme theory' of interventions targeted at primary care practitioners to improve the identification and referral of adults with obesity and (ii) to explore how and why GPs and PNs identify and refer individuals with obesity, particularly in the context of weight-related co-morbidity. This protocol will explain the rationale for using a realist review approach and outline the key steps in this process. Realist review is a theory-led approach to knowledge synthesis that provides an explanatory analysis aimed at discerning what works, for whom, in what circumstances, how, and why. In this review, scoping interviews with key stakeholders involved in the planning and delivery of adult weight management services in Scotland helped to inform the identification of formal theories - from psychology, sociology, and implementation science - that will be tested as the review progresses. A comprehensive search strategy is described, including scope for iterative searching. Data analysis is outlined in three stages (describing context-mechanism-outcome configurations, exploring patterns in these configurations, and developing and testing middle-range theories, informed by the formal theories previously identified), culminating in the production of explanatory programme theory that considers individual, interpersonal, and institutional/systems-level components. This is the

  2. Improving Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection Rates in the Medical Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Haytham; Raji, Salama J.; Khallaf, Abeer; Abu Hija, Seham; Mathew, Raji; Rashed, Hanan; Du Plessis, Christelle; Allie, Zaytoen; Ellahham, Samer

    2017-01-01

    Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi is the main tertiary care referral hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 560 bed capacity with a high occupancy rate. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Preventing health care associated infections, including Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI), is a high priority for our hospital. In order to improve CAUTI rates a multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this performance improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to reduce CAUTI rates and the outcome of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in General Medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital, with an average of 390 patients admitted per month during the study period. The study period was from March 2015 till April 2016. Our aim was to reduce CAUTI rates per 1000 device days in the medical units. Implemented interventions resulted in a reduction of CAUTI from 6.8 per 1000 device days in March 2015 to zero CAUTI in February through April 2016. PMID:28469893

  3. Successful implementation of the World Health Organization hand hygiene improvement strategy in a referral hospital in Mali, Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allegranzi, Benedetta; Sax, Hugo; Bengaly, Loséni; Richet, Hervé; Minta, Daouda K; Chraiti, Marie-Noelle; Sokona, Fatoumata Maiga; Gayet-Ageron, Angèle; Bonnabry, Pascal; Pittet, Didier

    2010-02-01

    To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the World Health Organization hand hygiene improvement strategy in a low-income African country. A before-and-after study from December 2006 through June 2008, with a 6-month baseline evaluation period and a follow-up period of 8 months from the beginning of the intervention. University Hospital, Bamako, Mali. Participants. Two hundred twenty-four healthcare workers. The intervention consisted of introducing a locally produced, alcohol-based handrub; monitoring hand hygiene compliance; providing performance feedback; educating staff; posting reminders in the workplace; and promoting an institutional safety climate according to the World Health Organization multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy. Hand hygiene infrastructure, compliance, healthcare workers' knowledge and perceptions, and handrub consumption were evaluated at baseline and at follow-up. Severe deficiencies in the infrastructure for hand hygiene were identified before the intervention. Local handrub production and quality control proved to be feasible, affordable, and satisfactory. At follow-up, handrubbing was the quasi-exclusive hand hygiene technique (93.3%). Compliance increased from 8.0% at baseline to 21.8% at follow-up (P appreciation of each strategy component by staff. Multimodal hand hygiene promotion is feasible and effective in a low-income country. Access to handrub was critical for its success. These findings motivated the government of Mali to expand the intervention nationwide. This experience represents a significant advancement for patient safety in developing countries.

  4. Global Imaging referral guidelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawooya, M.; Perez, M.; Lau, L.; Reeed, M.

    2010-01-01

    The medical imaging specialists called for global referral guidelines which would be made available to referring doctors. These referral guidelines should be:- Applicable in different health care settings, including resource-poor settings; Inclusive in terms of the range of clinical conditions; User-friendly and accessible (format/media); Acceptable to stakeholders, in particular to the referrers as the main target audience. To conceive evidence-based medicine as an integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. The Direct recipients of the Referral Guidelines would be:- Referrers: general practitioners / family doctors; paediatricians; emergency department doctors; other specialists and health workers. Providers (medical imaging practitioners): radiologists; nuclear medicine physicians; radiographers; other appropriately qualified practitioners providing diagnostic imaging services. For the Referral Guidelines to be effective there need to be: Credibility evidence-based Practicality end user involvement Context local resources, disease profiles Endorsement, opinion leaders Implementation- policy, education, CPOE - Monitoring of the use clinical audit, report feedback. The aim of the Referral Guidelines Project was to: Produce global referral guidelines that are evidence-based, cost effective and appropriate for the local setting, and include consideration of available equipment and expertise (RGWG; SIGs); Include supporting information about radiation doses, potential risks, protection of children and pregnant women (introductory chapter); Facilitate the implementation of the guidelines through guidance and tools (e.g. implementation guides, checklists, capacity building tools, guides on stakeholders engagement, audit support criteria); Conduct pilot testing in different clinical settings from each of the six WHO regions; Promote the inclusion of the referral guidelines in the curricula of medical schools; Develop and implement

  5. Effect of exercise referral schemes in primary care on physical activity and improving health outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, A H; Fox, K R; Hillsdon, M; Anokye, N; Campbell, J L; Foster, C; Green, C; Moxham, T; Mutrie, N; Searle, J; Trueman, P; Taylor, R S

    2011-01-01

    Objective To assess the impact of exercise referral schemes on physical activity and health outcomes. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, and ongoing trial registries up to October 2009. We also checked study references. Study selection Design: randomised controlled trials or non-randomised controlled (cluster or individual) studies published in peer review journals. Population: sedentary individuals with or without medical diagnosis. Exercise referral schemes defined as: clear referrals by primary care professionals to third party service providers to increase physical activity or exercise, physical activity or exercise programmes tailored to individuals, and initial assessment and monitoring throughout programmes. Comparators: usual care, no intervention, or alternative exercise referral schemes. Results Eight randomised controlled trials met the inclusion criteria, comparing exercise referral schemes with usual care (six trials), alternative physical activity intervention (two), and an exercise referral scheme plus a self determination theory intervention (one). Compared with usual care, follow-up data for exercise referral schemes showed an increased number of participants who achieved 90-150 minutes of physical activity of at least moderate intensity per week (pooled relative risk 1.16, 95% confidence intervals 1.03 to 1.30) and a reduced level of depression (pooled standardised mean difference −0.82, −1.28 to −0.35). Evidence of a between group difference in physical activity of moderate or vigorous intensity or in other health outcomes was inconsistent at follow-up. We did not find any difference in outcomes between exercise referral schemes and the other two comparator groups. None of the included trials separately reported outcomes in individuals with specific medical diagnoses.Substantial heterogeneity in the quality and nature of the exercise referral

  6. Short Stature Diagnosis and Referral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Maghnie

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The “360° GH in Europe” meeting, which examined various aspects of GH diseases, was held in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2016. The Merck KGaA (Germany funded meeting comprised three sessions entitled “Short Stature Diagnosis and Referral,” “Optimizing Patient Management,” and “Managing Transition.” Each session had three speaker presentations, followed by a discussion period, and is reported as a manuscript, authored by the speakers. The first session examined current processes of diagnosis and referral by endocrine specialists for pediatric patients with short stature. Requirements for referral vary widely, by country and by patient characteristics such as age. A balance must be made to ensure eligible patients get referred while healthcare systems are not over-burdened by excessive referrals. Late referral and diagnosis of non-GH deficiency conditions can result in increased morbidity and mortality. The consequent delays in making a diagnosis may compromise the effectiveness of GH treatment. Algorithms for growth monitoring and evaluation of skeletal disproportions can improve identification of non-GH deficiency conditions. Performance and validation of guidelines for diagnosis of GH deficiency have not been sufficiently tested. Provocative tests for investigation of GH deficiency remain equivocal, with insufficient information on variations due to patient characteristics, and cutoff values for definition differ not only by country but also by the assay used. When referring and diagnosing causes of short stature in pediatric patients, clinicians need to rely on many factors, but the most essential is clinical experience.

  7. Quality Rating and Improvement System State Evaluations and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is a method used by states and local jurisdictions to assess the level of quality of child care and early education programs, improve quality, and convey quality ratings to parents and other consumers. A typical QRIS incorporates the following components: quality standards for participating providers;…

  8. How Did Successful High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Janna Siegel; Smith, Robert W.; Rinka, Jason

    2016-01-01

    The researchers surveyed 23 North Carolina high schools that had markedly improved their graduation rates over the past five years. The administrators reported on the dropout prevention practices and programs to which they attributed their improved graduation rates. The majority of schools reported policy changes, especially with suspension. The…

  9. Can virtual autopsy with postmortem CT improve clinical diagnosis of cause of death? A retrospective observational cohort study in a Dutch tertiary referral centre

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemans, Lianne J P; Kubat, Bela; Prokop, Mathias; Klein, Willemijn M

    2018-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether virtual autopsy with postmortem CT (PMCT) improves clinical diagnosis of the immediate cause of death. Design Retrospective observational cohort study. Inclusion criteria: inhospital and out-of-hospital deaths over the age of 1 year in whom virtual autopsy with PMCT and conventional autopsy were performed. Exclusion criteria: forensic cases, postmortal organ donors and cases with incomplete scanning procedures. Cadavers were examined by virtual autopsy with PMCT prior to conventional autopsy. The clinically determined cause of death was recorded before virtual autopsy and was then adjusted with the findings of virtual autopsy. Using conventional autopsy as reference standard, we investigated the increase in sensitivity for immediate cause of death, type of pathology and anatomical system involved before and after virtual autopsy. Setting Tertiary referral centre. Participants 86 cadavers that underwent conventional and virtual autopsy between July 2012 and June 2016. Intervention PMCT consisted of brain, cervical spine and chest–abdomen–pelvis imaging. Conventional autopsy consisted of thoracoabdominal examination with/without brain autopsy. Primary and secondary outcome measures Increase in sensitivity for the immediate cause of death, type of pathology (infection, haemorrhage, perfusion disorder, other or not assigned) and anatomical system (pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, other or not assigned) involved, before and after virtual autopsy. Results Using PMCT, the sensitivity for immediate cause of death increased with 12% (95% CI 2% to 22%) from 53% (41% to 64%) to 64% (53% to 75%), with 18% (9% to 27%) from 65% (54% to 76%) to 83% (73% to 91%) for type of pathology and with 19% (9% to 30%) from 65% (54% to 76%) to 85% (75% to 92%) for anatomical system. Conclusion While unenhanced PMCT is an insufficient substitute for conventional autopsy, it can improve diagnosis of cause of death over clinical diagnosis alone

  10. Can virtual autopsy with postmortem CT improve clinical diagnosis of cause of death? A retrospective observational cohort study in a Dutch tertiary referral centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemans, Lianne J P; Kubat, Bela; Prokop, Mathias; Klein, Willemijn M

    2018-03-16

    To investigate whether virtual autopsy with postmortem CT (PMCT) improves clinical diagnosis of the immediate cause of death. Retrospective observational cohort study. inhospital and out-of-hospital deaths over the age of 1 year in whom virtual autopsy with PMCT and conventional autopsy were performed. forensic cases, postmortal organ donors and cases with incomplete scanning procedures. Cadavers were examined by virtual autopsy with PMCT prior to conventional autopsy. The clinically determined cause of death was recorded before virtual autopsy and was then adjusted with the findings of virtual autopsy. Using conventional autopsy as reference standard, we investigated the increase in sensitivity for immediate cause of death, type of pathology and anatomical system involved before and after virtual autopsy. Tertiary referral centre. 86 cadavers that underwent conventional and virtual autopsy between July 2012 and June 2016. PMCT consisted of brain, cervical spine and chest-abdomen-pelvis imaging. Conventional autopsy consisted of thoracoabdominal examination with/without brain autopsy. Increase in sensitivity for the immediate cause of death, type of pathology (infection, haemorrhage, perfusion disorder, other or not assigned) and anatomical system (pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, other or not assigned) involved, before and after virtual autopsy. Using PMCT, the sensitivity for immediate cause of death increased with 12% (95% CI 2% to 22%) from 53% (41% to 64%) to 64% (53% to 75%), with 18% (9% to 27%) from 65% (54% to 76%) to 83% (73% to 91%) for type of pathology and with 19% (9% to 30%) from 65% (54% to 76%) to 85% (75% to 92%) for anatomical system. While unenhanced PMCT is an insufficient substitute for conventional autopsy, it can improve diagnosis of cause of death over clinical diagnosis alone and should therefore be considered whenever autopsy is not performed. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of

  11. Physician Referral Patterns

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The physician referral data was initially provided as a response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. These files represent data from 2009 through June 2013...

  12. Cost-effectiveness analysis of timely dialysis referral after renal transplant failure in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Villa Guillermo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A cost-effectiveness analysis of timely dialysis referral after renal transplant failure was undertaken from the perspective of the Public Administration. The current Spanish situation, where all the patients undergoing graft function loss are referred back to dialysis in a late manner, was compared to an ideal scenario where all the patients are timely referred. Methods A Markov model was developed in which six health states were defined: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplantation, late referral hemodialysis, late referral peritoneal dialysis and death. The model carried out a simulation of the progression of renal disease for a hypothetical cohort of 1,000 patients aged 40, who were observed in a lifetime temporal horizon of 45 years. In depth sensitivity analyses were performed in order to ensure the robustness of the results obtained. Results Considering a discount rate of 3 %, timely referral showed an incremental cost of 211 €, compared to late referral. This cost increase was however a consequence of the incremental survival observed. The incremental effectiveness was 0.0087 quality-adjusted life years (QALY. When comparing both scenarios, an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 24,390 €/QALY was obtained, meaning that timely dialysis referral might be an efficient alternative if a willingness-to-pay threshold of 45,000 €/QALY is considered. This result proved to be independent of the proportion of late referral patients observed. The acceptance probability of timely referral was 61.90 %, while late referral was acceptable in 38.10 % of the simulations. If we however restrict the analysis to those situations not involving any loss of effectiveness, the acceptance probability of timely referral was 70.10 %, increasing twofold that of late referral (29.90 %. Conclusions Timely dialysis referral after graft function loss might be an efficient alternative in Spain, improving both

  13. Cost-effectiveness analysis of timely dialysis referral after renal transplant failure in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Guillermo; Sánchez-Álvarez, Emilio; Cuervo, Jesús; Fernández-Ortiz, Lucía; Rebollo, Pablo; Ortega, Francisco

    2012-08-16

    A cost-effectiveness analysis of timely dialysis referral after renal transplant failure was undertaken from the perspective of the Public Administration. The current Spanish situation, where all the patients undergoing graft function loss are referred back to dialysis in a late manner, was compared to an ideal scenario where all the patients are timely referred. A Markov model was developed in which six health states were defined: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplantation, late referral hemodialysis, late referral peritoneal dialysis and death. The model carried out a simulation of the progression of renal disease for a hypothetical cohort of 1,000 patients aged 40, who were observed in a lifetime temporal horizon of 45 years. In depth sensitivity analyses were performed in order to ensure the robustness of the results obtained. Considering a discount rate of 3 %, timely referral showed an incremental cost of 211 €, compared to late referral. This cost increase was however a consequence of the incremental survival observed. The incremental effectiveness was 0.0087 quality-adjusted life years (QALY). When comparing both scenarios, an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 24,390 €/QALY was obtained, meaning that timely dialysis referral might be an efficient alternative if a willingness-to-pay threshold of 45,000 €/QALY is considered. This result proved to be independent of the proportion of late referral patients observed. The acceptance probability of timely referral was 61.90 %, while late referral was acceptable in 38.10 % of the simulations. If we however restrict the analysis to those situations not involving any loss of effectiveness, the acceptance probability of timely referral was 70.10 %, increasing twofold that of late referral (29.90 %). Timely dialysis referral after graft function loss might be an efficient alternative in Spain, improving both patients' survival rates and health-related quality of life at an

  14. Referral bias in ALS epidemiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logroscino, Giancarlo; Marin, Benoit; Piccininni, Marco; Arcuti, Simona; Chiò, Adriano; Hardiman, Orla; Rooney, James; Zoccolella, Stefano; Couratier, Philippe; Preux, Pierre-Marie; Beghi, Ettore

    2018-01-01

    Despite concerns about the representativeness of patients from ALS tertiary centers as compared to the ALS general population, the extent of referral bias in clinical studies remains largely unknown. Using data from EURALS consortium we aimed to assess nature, extent and impact of referral bias. Four European ALS population-based registries located in Ireland, Piedmont, Puglia, Italy, and Limousin, France, covering 50 million person-years, participated. Demographic and clinic characteristics of ALS patients diagnosed in tertiary referral centers were contrasted with the whole ALS populations enrolled in registries in the same geographical areas. Patients referred to ALS centers were younger (with difference ranging from 1.1 years to 2.4 years), less likely to present a bulbar onset, with a higher proportion of familial antecedents and a longer survival (ranging from 11% to 15%) when compared to the entire ALS population in the same geographic area. A trend for referral bias is present in cohorts drawn from ALS referral centers. The magnitude of the possible referral bias in a particular tertiary center can be estimated through a comparison with ALS patients drawn from registry in the same geographic area. Studies based on clinical cohorts should be cautiously interpreted. The presence of a registry in the same area may improve the complete ascertainment in the referral center.

  15. Improving completion rates in adult education through social responsibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlgren, Bjarne; Mariager-Anderson, Kristina

    2017-01-01

    Dropout is a serious problem within education. This article reports on an intervention project, titled “New Roles for the Teacher—Increased Completion Rates Through Social Responsibility,” which sought to reduce nonattendance and dropout rates in the Danish adult educational system by improving...... of reducing drop-out rates. As a consequence, the teachers acted more consistently and purposefully to prevent dropout, and a positive effect of the intervention on drop-out rates was documented....

  16. Electronic referrals: what matters to the users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Jim; Gu, Yulong; Day, Karen; White, Sue; Pollock, Malcolm

    2012-01-01

    Between September 2010 and May 2011 we evaluated three implementations of electronic referral (eReferral) systems at Hutt Valley, Northland and Canterbury District Health Boards in New Zealand. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered through project documentation, database records and stakeholder interviews. This paper reports on the user perspectives based on interviews with 78 clinical, management and operational stakeholders in the three regions. Themes that emerge across the regions are compared and synthesised. Interviews focused on pre-planned domains including quality of referral, ease of use and patient safety, but agendas were adapted progressively to elaborate and triangulate on themes emerging from earlier interviews and to clarify indications from analysis of database records. The eReferral users, including general practitioners, specialists and administrative staff, report benefits in the areas of: (1) availability and transparency of referral-related data; (2) work transformation; (3) improved data quality and (4) the convenience of auto-population from the practice management system into the referral forms. eReferral provides enhanced visibility of referral data and status within the limits of the implementation (which only goes to the hospital door in some cases). Users in all projects indicated the desire to further exploit IT to enhance two-way communication between community and hospital. Reduced administrative handling is a clear work transformation benefit with mixed feedback regarding clinical workload impact. Innovations such as GP eReferral triaging teams illustrate the further potential for workflow transformation. Consistent structure in eReferrals, as well as simple legibility, enhances data quality. Efficiency and completeness is provided by auto-population of forms from system data, but opens issues around data accuracy. All three projects highlight the importance of user involvement in design, implementation and refinement. In

  17. Does a pre-hospital emergency pathway improve early diagnosis and referral in suspected stroke patients? – Study protocol of a cluster randomised trial [ISRCTN41456865

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Giuliano

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Early interventions proved to be able to improve prognosis in acute stroke patients. Prompt identification of symptoms, organised timely and efficient transportation towards appropriate facilities, become essential part of effective treatment. The implementation of an evidence based pre-hospital stroke care pathway may be a method for achieving the organizational standards required to grant appropriate care. We performed a systematic search for studies evaluating the effect of pre-hospital and emergency interventions for suspected stroke patients and we found that there seems to be only a few studies on the emergency field and none about implementation of clinical pathways. We will test the hypothesis that the adoption of emergency clinical pathway improves early diagnosis and referral in suspected stroke patients. We designed a cluster randomised controlled trial (C-RCT, the most powerful study design to assess the impact of complex interventions. The study was registered in the Current Controlled Trials Register: ISRCTN41456865 – Implementation of pre-hospital emergency pathway for stroke – a cluster randomised trial. Methods/design Two-arm cluster-randomised trial (C-RCT. 16 emergency services and 14 emergency rooms were randomised either to arm 1 (comprising a training module and administration of the guideline, or to arm 2 (no intervention, current practice. Arm 1 participants (152 physicians, 280 nurses, 50 drivers attended an interactive two sessions course with continuous medical education CME credits on the contents of the clinical pathway. We estimated that around 750 patients will be met by the services in the 6 months of observation. This duration allows recruiting a sample of patients sufficient to observe a 30% improvement in the proportion of appropriate diagnoses. Data collection will be performed using current information systems. Process outcomes will be measured at the cluster level six months after the

  18. Can adding web-based support to UK primary care exercise referral schemes improve patients’ physical activity levels? Findings from an internal pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Taylor

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Promoting physical activity (PA via primary care exercise referral schemes (ERS is common but there is no rigorous evidence for long term changes in PA (Pavey et al, 2011 among those with chronic conditions. From July 2015, for 15 months, the e-coachER trial began to recruit 1400 patients (in SW England, Birmingham and Glasgow with one or more chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, osteoarthritis, or depression, who are eligible and about to attend an ERS. The two-arm parallel RCT is powered to determine if the addition of a web-based, interactive, theory-driven and evidence-based support system called e-coachER (hosted on the ‘LifeGuide’ platform will result in at least 10% more patients who do 150 mins or more per week of accelerometer assessed moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA at 12 months. Recruitment into the trial is within primary care, using both mail-merged patient invitations and opportunistic GP invitations (and exercise referrals. Within the trial, after participants are screened, provide consent and complete baseline assessments, they are randomised to receive usual ERS at each site or usual ERS plus a mailed Welcome Pack with registration details to access e-coachER on-line. Inclusion criteria for entering the trial are: (1 Aged 16-74 years; (2 with one or more of the following: obesity (BMI 30-35, hypertension (SBP 140-179 or DBP 90-109, type 2 diabetes, lower limb osteoarthritis, recent history of treatment for depression; (3 Participants who are in the two lowest (of four groups using the GP Physical Activity Questionnaire; (4 have an e-mail address and access to the internet; (5 Eligible for an ERS. The intervention rationale, design and content are reported in another presentation. Aims: This presentation will provide initial findings from a 3 month internal pilot phase with a focus on trial recruitment and initial intervention engagement. We will present data on the

  19. Drug Improves Birth Rates for Women with Ovary Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... NIH Research Matters July 21, 2014 Drug Improves Birth Rates for Women with Ovary Disorder At a ... more effective than standard therapy in increasing live births for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Letrozole could ...

  20. Patient-Therapist Value Congruence and Ratings of Client Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Janie L.

    1978-01-01

    It can be concluded from the results of the two studies described here that value similarity between client and therapist is related to therapists' ratings of client improvement. This phenomenon can be expected in therapies irrespective of theoretical orientation. (Author)

  1. Improving Completion Rates in Adult Education through Social Responsibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlgren, Bjarne; Mariager-Anderson, Kristina

    2017-01-01

    Dropout is a serious problem within education. This article reports on an intervention project, titled "New Roles for the Teacher--Increased Completion Rates Through Social Responsibility," which sought to reduce nonattendance and drop-out rates in the Danish adult educational system by improving teachers' competences. This goal was…

  2. IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EXCHANGE RATE POLICY IN CONTEMPORARY VIETNAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    The Dong Phung

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses the issue of effectiveness of exchange rate policy in contemporary Vietnam, along with the assessment of the mechanism of this policy from 1989 to the present day. The author analyzes constraints of implementing the exchange rate policy in the past and gives recommendations aimed at improving its efficiency nowadays.

  3. Positron imaging system with improved count rate and tomographic capability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    A system with improved count rate capability for detecting the radioactive distribution of positron events within an organ of interest in a living subject is described. Objects of the invention include improving the scintillation crystal and pulse processing electronics, avoiding the limitations of collimators and provide an Arger camera positron imaging system that avoids the use of collimators. (U.K.)

  4. Re-Audit of the Contents of GP Referral letters to General Adult Community Psychiatrists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odelola, Catherine; Jabbar, Farid

    2017-09-01

    The quality of information provided by referring general practitioners to secondary care mental health services are crucial elements in the effective management of patients. In order to establish effective communication, both primary and secondary care health professionals should contribute to planning and organising this process taking into account their different opinions and views. Anonymous questionnaire was designed to collect information on items that GPs and psychiatrist rated as most important items in GP referral letters to psychiatrists. The questionnaires were sent out electronically. Each item was scored using a rating scale where 0 was least important and 10 was most important. Items that scored 8 and above were agreed by all as the most important items. 76 GP letters were audited using a devised checklist of the identified most important items. Data was collected and analysed using a devised data collection tool. A re-audit was done 6months later. A response rate of 70% was obtained for both psychiatrists and GPs. Reasons for referral were described in almost all GP referral letters (95%). Only 24% referral letters had details about current physical health which improved to 59%. Concerns about risk were described in only 47% of letters and treatment provided by GP in 50% of letters. These improved in 79% and 71% of letters respectively in the re-audit. The involvement of professionals in devising a standardised approach for referral letters has improved communication in this re-audit between GPs and Psychiatrists. This is evident in the improvement in key aspects of the referral letters: past medical history, past psychiatric history, current physical health, treatment provided by GP. Efficient communication between GPs and psychiatrists improves the quality of health care for patients.

  5. Referral recommendations for osteoarthritis of the knee incorporating patients' preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musila, Nyokabi; Underwood, Martin; McCaskie, Andrew W; Black, Nick; Clarke, Aileen; van der Meulen, Jan H

    2011-01-01

    Background. GPs have to respond to conflicting policy developments. As gatekeeper they are supposed to manage the growing demand for specialist services and as patient advocate they should be responsive to patients' preferences. We used an innovative approach to develop a referral guideline for patients with chronic knee pain that explicitly incorporates patients' preferences. Methods. A guideline development group of 12 members including patients, GPs, orthopaedic surgeons and other health care professionals used formal consensus development informed by systematic evidence reviews. They rated the appropriateness of referral for 108 case scenarios describing patients according to symptom severity, age, body mass, co-morbidity and referral preference. Appropriateness was expressed on scale from 1 (‘strongly disagree’) to 9 (‘strongly agree’). Results. Ratings of referral appropriateness were strongly influenced by symptom severity and patients' referral preferences. The influence of other patient characteristics was small. There was consensus that patients with severe knee symptoms who want to be referred should be referred and that patient with moderate or mild symptoms and strong preference against referral should not be referred. Referral preference had a greater impact on the ratings of referral appropriateness when symptoms were moderate or severe than when symptoms were mild. Conclusions. Referral decisions for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee should only be guided by symptom severity and patients' referral preferences. The guideline development group seemed to have given priority to avoiding inefficient resource use in patients with mild symptoms and to respecting patient autonomy in patients with severe symptoms. PMID:20817791

  6. An audit of referral and treatment patterns of high-risk prostate cancer patients in Alberta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alghamdi, Majed; Taggar, Amandeep; Tilley, Derek; Kerba, Marc; Kostaras, Xanthoula; Gotto, Geoffrey; Sia, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to determine the impact of clinical practice guidelines (CPG) on rates of radiation oncologist (RO) referral, androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), radiation therapy (RT), and radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients with high-risk prostate cancer (HR-PCa). All men >18 years, diagnosed with PCa in 2005 and 2012 were identified from the Alberta Cancer Registry. Patient age, aggregated clinical risk group (ACRG) score, Gleason score (GS), pre-treatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA), RO referral, and treatment received were extracted from electronic medical records. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine associations between RO referral rates and relevant factors. HR-PCa was diagnosed in 261 of 1792 patients in 2005 and 435 of 2148 in 2012. Median age and ACRG scores were similar in both years (p>0.05). The rate of patients with PSA >20 were 67% and 57% in 2005 and 2012, respectively (p=0.004). GS ≤6 was found in 13% vs. 5% of patients, GS 7 in 27% vs. 24%, and GS ≥8 in 59% vs. 71% in 2005 and 2012, respectively (p<0.001). In 2005, RO referral rate was 68% compared to 56% in 2012 (p=0.001), use of RT + ADT was 53% compared to 32% (p<0.001), and RP rate was 9% vs. 17% (p=0.002). On regression analysis, older age, 2012 year of diagnosis and higher PSA were associated with decreased RO referral rates (odds ratios [OR] 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39-0.61; OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34-0.76; and OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.39-0.61), respectively [p<0.001]). Since CPG creation in 2005, RO referral rates and ADT + RT use declined and RP rates increased, which demonstrates a need to improve adherence to CPG in the HR-PCa population.

  7. Falling caesarean section rate and improving intra-partum outcomes: a prospective cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Pina; Zaher, Summia; Penketh, Richard; Cherian, Sobha; Collis, Rachel E; Sanders, Julia; Bhal, Kiron

    2018-02-19

    To evaluate caesarean section (CS) rates and moderate to severe hypoxaemic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) rates with other core intra-partum outcomes following reconfiguration of maternity services in Cardiff, South Wales, UK. Cohort study of births from 2006 to 2015. A University tertiary referral centre for foetal and maternal medicine with 6000 births/year, University Hospital of Wales, United Kingdom. Data relating to births from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2015 were extracted from the computerized maternity database on a yearly basis. Case notes of all mothers and babies for the same duration were hand searched for documentation of HIE. HIE data was also collected prospectively by neonatologist (SC) and obstetrician (PA). Incidence of caesarean section births, babies with moderate to severe HIE, instrumental vaginal births, obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) associated with instrumental delivery, and major post-partum haemorrhage (MPPH) of 2500 mL or more. During this 10-year period, a downward trend in emergency CS rate was seen from 15.6% in 2006 to 10.5% in 2015, reducing total CS rate from 25.5% in 2006 to 21.2% in 2015. A downward trend in the incidence of moderate and severe HIE was seen over the same period. There was an increase in operative vaginal births (OVB) from 12.8% to 15%. The rate of spontaneous vaginal births (SVB) remained stable. The incidence of OASIS remained constant and MPPH rate has fallen. Following amalgamation of two medium sized obstetric units and the opening of a Midwifery Led Unit (MLU), core intrapartum outcomes have improved. Contributing factors are the introduction of regular multidisciplinary training with enhanced team working, compulsory education for obstetricians and midwives on cardiotocograph (CTG) interpretation, increased consultant presence on delivery suite, robust risk management systems and broad multidisciplinary agreement on clinical guidelines promoting vaginal birth.

  8. Attitudes regarding specialist referrals in periodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, G; Durham, J A; Preshaw, P M

    2007-02-24

    To examine the attitudes of dental practitioners towards specialist periodontal referral in the North East of England. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 10 practitioners. Interviews continued until data saturation occurred. The data were organised using a framework and analysed by two researchers working independently. Perceptions of periodontal disease and treatment appear to be heavily influenced by the NHS remuneration system. Treatment in general practice was limited to simple scaling and there was an apparent reluctance to treat advanced periodontitis. Such cases were commonly referred to specialists, confirming the demand for a referral service in periodontics. The perceived potential for medico-legal consequences was a strong driver of referrals. Distance to the referral centre and the perceived costs of treatment were significant barriers to referral. Dentists valued the specialist's personal reputation and clinical skills more highly than academic status. Deficiencies in communication between primary and secondary care were highlighted. Increased resources are required to manage periodontal diseases within the NHS. There is a need for a periodontal referral service in the North East of England to improve accessibility to specialist care. This would appear to be most appropriately delivered by increased numbers of specialist practitioners.

  9. High Rates of Undiagnosed Psychological Distress Exist in a Referral Population for Spinal Cord Stimulation in the Management of Chronic Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamji, Mohammed F; Rodriguez, Jessica; Shcharinsky, Alina; Paul, Darcia

    2016-06-01

    Neuropathic pain affects various dimensions of patient health including physical, psychological, and socioeconomic. The spectrum of psychological dysfunction that accompanies this pain phenotype is unknown, as well as differences based on the etiology of the pain among patients referred for spinal cord stimulation (SCS). We prospectively assessed SCS referral patients with neuropathic pain for features of psychological distress, either mood or anxiety. Demographic data included age, gender, diagnosis, marital status, and educational level. Screening tools were applied for neuropathic pain (Douleur Neuropathic Quatre and Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs) and psychological distress (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI] and Beck Anxiety Inventory [BAI]). Descriptive statistics defined disease prevalence, compared by gender and diagnosis. Logistic regression correlated pain intensity with severity of psychopathology. Among 150 patients with suitable neuropathic pain diagnoses and no treatable structural pathology, 57% were women, median age was 54 years, and 35% and 42% admitted to routine smoking and alcohol use, respectively. The most common diagnoses were complex regional pain syndrome (46%) and failed back surgery syndrome (38%). Depression symptoms were screened positive by BDI in 63% of patients, and anxiety symptoms were screened positive by BAI in 23% of patients. Pain intensity correlated with BDI scores (p pain specialists, and surgeons to screen SCS patients for such psychopathology. This represents an opportunity to enhance overall pain management as well as success with invasive neuromodulation strategies. © 2015 International Neuromodulation Society.

  10. Optimization of burn referrals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reiband, Hanna K; Lundin, Kira; Alsbjørn, Bjarne

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Correct estimation of the severity of burns is important to obtain the right treatment of the patient and to avoid over- and undertriage. In this study we aimed to assess how often the guidelines for referral of burn injured patients are met at the national burn centre (NBC), Denmar...

  11. Referral letter with an attached structured reply form: Is it a solution for not getting replies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. P. J. C. Ramanayake

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Communication between primary care doctors and specialists/hospital doctors is vital for smooth functioning of a health care system. In many instances referral and reply letters are the sole means of communication between general practitioners and hospital doctors/specialists. Despite the obvious benefits to patient care, answers to referral letters are the exception worldwide. In Sri Lanka hand written conventional letters are used to refer patients and replies are scarce. Materials and Methods: This interventional study was designed to assess if attaching a structured reply form with the referral letter would increase the rate of replies/back-referrals. It was conducted at the Family Medicine Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya. A structured referral letter (form was designed based on guide lines and literature and it was used for referral of patients for a period of six months. Similarly a structured reply form was also designed and both the referral letter and the reply letter were printed on A4 papers side by side and these were used for the next six months for referrals. Both letters had headings and space underneath to write details pertaining to the patient. A register was maintained to document the number of referrals and replies received during both phases. Patents were asked to return the reply letters if specialists/hospital doctors obliged to reply. Results: Total of 90 patients were referred using the structured referral form during 1st phase. 80 letters (with reply form attached were issued during the next six months. Patients were referred to eight different specialties. Not a single reply during the 1 st phase and there were six 6 (7.5% replies during the 2 nd phase. Discussion: This was an attempt to improve communication between specialists/hospital doctors and primary care doctors. Even though there was some improvement it was not satisfactory. A multicenter island wide study should be

  12. On Improving Convergence Rates for Nonnegative Kernel Density Estimators

    OpenAIRE

    Terrell, George R.; Scott, David W.

    1980-01-01

    To improve the rate of decrease of integrated mean square error for nonparametric kernel density estimators beyond $0(n^{-\\frac{4}{5}}),$ we must relax the constraint that the density estimate be a bonafide density function, that is, be nonnegative and integrate to one. All current methods for kernel (and orthogonal series) estimators relax the nonnegativity constraint. In this paper we show how to achieve similar improvement by relaxing the integral constraint only. This is important in appl...

  13. Improving Accuracy of Influenza-Associated Hospitalization Rate Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Carrie; Kirley, Pam Daily; Aragon, Deborah; Meek, James; Farley, Monica M.; Ryan, Patricia; Collins, Jim; Lynfield, Ruth; Baumbach, Joan; Zansky, Shelley; Bennett, Nancy M.; Fowler, Brian; Thomas, Ann; Lindegren, Mary L.; Atkinson, Annette; Finelli, Lyn; Chaves, Sandra S.

    2015-01-01

    Diagnostic test sensitivity affects rate estimates for laboratory-confirmed influenza–associated hospitalizations. We used data from FluSurv-NET, a national population-based surveillance system for laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations, to capture diagnostic test type by patient age and influenza season. We calculated observed rates by age group and adjusted rates by test sensitivity. Test sensitivity was lowest in adults >65 years of age. For all ages, reverse transcription PCR was the most sensitive test, and use increased from 65 years. After 2009, hospitalization rates adjusted by test sensitivity were ≈15% higher for children 65 years of age. Test sensitivity adjustments improve the accuracy of hospitalization rate estimates. PMID:26292017

  14. Acute Care Referral Systems in Liberia: Transfer and Referral Capabilities in a Low-Income Country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jimin; Barreix, Maria; Babcock, Christine; Bills, Corey B

    2017-12-01

    Introduction Following two decades of armed conflict in Liberia, over 95% of health care facilities were partially or completely destroyed. Although the Liberian health system has undergone significant rehabilitation, one particular weakness is the lack of organized systems for referral and prehospital care. Acute care referral systems are a critical component of effective health care delivery and have led to improved quality of care and patient outcomes. Problem This study aimed to characterize the referral and transfer systems in the largest county of Liberia. A cross-sectional, health referral survey of a representative sample of health facilities in Montserrado County, Liberia was performed. A systematic random sample of all primary health care (PHC) clinics, fraction proportional to district population size, and all secondary and tertiary health facilities were included in the study sample. Collected data included baseline information about the health facility, patient flow, and qualitative and quantitative data regarding referral practices. A total of 62 health facilities-41 PHC clinics, 11 health centers (HCs), and 10 referral hospitals (RHs)-were surveyed during the 6-week study period. In sum, three percent of patients were referred to a higher-level of care. Communication between health facilities was largely unsystematic, with lack of specific protocols (n=3; 5.0%) and standardized documentation (n=26; 44.0%) for referral. While most health facilities reported walking as the primary means by which patients presented to initial health facilities (n=50; 81.0%), private vehicles, including commercial taxis (n=37; 60.0%), were the primary transport mechanism for referral of patients between health facilities. This study identified several weaknesses in acute care referral systems in Liberia, including lack of systematic care protocols for transfer, documentation, communication, and transport. However, several informal, well-functioning mechanisms for

  15. Improved picture rate conversion using classification based LMS-filters.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    An, L.; Heinrich, A.; Cordes, C.N.; Haan, de G.; Rabbani, Majid

    2009-01-01

    Due to the recent explosion of multimedia formats and the need to convert between them, more attention is drawn to picture rate conversion. Moreover, growing demands on video motion portrayal without judder or blur requires improved format conversion. The simplest conversion repeats the latest

  16. Oxygen uptake rate (OUR) control strategy for improving avermectin B

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Glucose metabolism plays a crucial role in the process of avermectin B1a biosynthesis. Controlling glucose feeding based on oxygen uptake rate (OUR) was established to improve the efficiency of avermectin B1a production. The result showed that avermectin B1a production was greatly enhanced by OUR control strategy.

  17. Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and Children's Cognitive Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Providing enriched learning environments is important to stimulating children's development in early childhood. Early child-care policymakers in many states in the US have adopted Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) as a way to verify quality of child care and to support children's school readiness. Objective: The purpose of…

  18. Improved heavy oil recovery by low rate waterflooding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mai, A. [Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Kantzas, A. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada). Tomographic Imaging and Porous Media Laboratory

    2008-10-15

    Waterflooding techniques are frequently used to recover oil in low viscosity or marginal heavy oil reservoirs. This paper described a low-rate waterflooding oil recovery mechanism. The mechanism was determined by examining the effect of sand permeability on the impact of viscous force contributions. Changes in permeability and injection rates parameters were studied in order to evaluate the significance of imbibition, and a method of quantifying the effect of capillary forces was presented. The mechanism was demonstrated in an experimental study that used sand packs of varying permeabilities wet-packed into cores with overburden pressures. A fixed injection rate was used to investigate waterflooding in the different permeability systems with 2 different oils. Overall recovery rates were examined as a function of injection velocity. An analysis of normalized oil production rates demonstrated that viscous forces are more important during the early phases of waterflooding. The study showed that breakthrough oil recovery values increased with higher permeability values. However, when injection rates were reduced to low frontal velocity values, the correlation between sand permeability and breakthrough oil recovery resulted in low permeability rates. Lower permeability porous media resulted in more restrictive flow conditions. However, the capillary force components increased as a result of the smaller pore sizes, which in turn led to enhanced water imbibition and higher oil recovery values after water breakthrough. It was concluded that waterflooding rates can be modified later in the recovery process in order to improve final oil recovery values. 21 refs., 3 tabs., 11 figs.

  19. Sequential improvements in organ procurement increase the organ donation rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billeter, Adrian T; Sklare, Seth; Franklin, Glen A; Wright, Jerry; Morgan, Gary; O'Flynn, Paul E; Polk, Hiram C

    2012-11-01

    Organ demand exceeds availability of transplantable organs. Organ procurement continues to suffer from failures to identify potential donors, inability to obtain consent for donation, as well as failures to retrieve certain organs as donor demographics change. The purpose of this article is to propose how sequentially introduced measures can increase organ donation rates as well as improve organ procurement. We analysed the effect of stepwise improvements in the organ procurement process patients in a university-based surgical intensive care unit over a 20-year period. We related newly introduced measures in the organ retrieval process with changes in donation rates. We specifically targeted these three main steps in the donation process: donor identification, conversion of potential donors to actual donors, and organ protection during the procurement process. Finally, we assessed the effect of the same measures on organ procurement after introduction in other hospitals of the same organ procurement region. Introduction of quality improvement steps increased all of the observed parameters. The number of organ donors was stabilised due to a better identification of potential donors, a major increase in conversion from potential to actual donors, and an increase in extended criteria donor. Improvements in organ protection led to higher rates of organs transplanted per donor and increased recovery of lungs and hearts despite increasing donor age. The same measures were introduced successfully in other hospitals in our organ procurement region. Sequential improvements in organ procurement can increase the yield of retrieved organs. The same measures can be applied to other hospitals and lead to comparable improvements in organ donation. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Positron imaging system with improved count rate and tomographic capability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muehllehner, G.; Buchin, M.P.

    1980-01-01

    Improvements to a positron camera imaging system are described. A pair of Angear-type scintillation cameras serve as the detectors, each camera being positioned on opposite sides of the organ of interest. Pulse shaping circuits reduce the pulse duration below 900 nanoseconds and the integration time below 500 noneseconds, improving the count rate capability and the counting statistics of the system and thus the image quality and processing speed. The invention also provides means for rotating the opposed camera heads about an axis which passes through the organ of interest. The cameras do not use collimators, and are capable of accepting radiation travelling in planes not perpendicular to the scintillation crystals. (LL)

  1. Neurology referrals to a liaison psychiatry service.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Fitzgerald, P

    2012-02-03

    The objective of the present study was to assess the activity of the Liaison Psychiatry service of Cork University Hospital in relation to all in-patient neurology referrals over a 12-month period. Of 1685 neurology admissions, 106 (6%) were referred to liaison psychiatry for assessment. 91 referrals (86%) met criteria for a psychiatric disorder according to DSM-IV, the commonest being major depression (24%) and somatoform disorder (23%). Patients with multiple sclerosis or epilepsy comprised nearly half of all referrals (48 cases; 45%). Approximately 20% of M.S. in-patients (21 cases) were referred for psychiatric assessment, with the corresponding figure in epilepsy being 25% (18 cases). Although only 106 (6%) neurology in-patients were referred to liaison psychiatry, psychiatric diagnoses were documented in 327 (20%) discharge forms, presumably reflecting previous diagnosis. The above findings indicate that psychiatric illness is common among neurology inpatients screened by liaison psychiatry yet referral rates are relatively low in terms of the overall number of neurology in-patients. Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed in 86% of referrals indicating high concordance between neurologists and liaison psychiatry regarding the presence of a psychiatric disorder.

  2. Improved Bit Rate Control for Real-Time MPEG Watermarking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pranata Sugiri

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The alteration of compressed video bitstream due to embedding of digital watermark tends to produce unpredictable video bit rate variations which may in turn lead to video playback buffer overflow/underflow or transmission bandwidth violation problems. This paper presents a novel bit rate control technique for real-time MPEG watermarking applications. In our experiments, spread spectrum watermarks are embedded in the quantized DCT domain without requantization and motion reestimation to achieve fast watermarking. The proposed bit rate control scheme evaluates the combined bit lengths of a set of multiple watermarked VLC codewords, and successively replaces watermarked VLC codewords having the largest increase in bit length with their corresponding unmarked VLC codewords until a target bit length is achieved. The proposed method offers flexibility and scalability, which are neglected by similar works reported in the literature. Experimental results show that the proposed bit rate control scheme is effective in meeting the bit rate targets and capable of improving the watermark detection robustness for different video contents compressed at different bit rates.

  3. Improving human papilloma virus vaccination rates throughout military treatment facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Rachel; Lemmon, Keith; Trivedi, Nidhi J; Hansen, Shana

    2018-03-07

    The four objectives of this study were to (1) educate military healthcare providers on HPV disease and vaccine, (2) assess short term recall of information presented at educational sessions, (3) assess provider comfort level with the vaccine, and (4) assess improvement in HPV vaccination rates. Standardized interactive educational sessions were conducted at military primary care clinics with pre- and post-educational quizzes administered before and immediately following the sessions. Provider attitudes were assessed using Likert scale questionnaires. Vaccination rates in children and young adolescents ages 11-18 at one of the participating regions that had a champion and started a Quality Improvement (QI) project were assessed at baseline, at 3-months and at 6-months post sessions. 200 providers were reached at 48 primary care clinics during May 2014 through October 2015 with 200 quizzes and Likert scale questionnaires returned. There was increase in knowledge following the educational sessions as revealed in the pre- and post- test scores [t(57) = -5.04, p knowledge recall and comfort level in answering parents' questions was seen. We found that educational sessions can improve HPV vaccination rates in military clinics that have a vaccine champion for up to 3-months. Further research into the effects of having clinic vaccine champions is critical. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Childhood intussusception at the Moi teaching and referral hospital ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To review the management of childhood intussusception at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret and identify factors that require attention for improved outcome. Design: A retrospective descriptive study covering the period January 2000 to December 2003. Setting: Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, ...

  5. Behavior Analytic Consultation for Academic Referral Concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufrene, Brad A.; Zoder-Martell, Kimberly A.; Dieringe, Shannon Titus; Labrot, Zachary

    2016-01-01

    Applied behavior analysis provides a technology of human behavior that demonstrates great potential for improving socially important outcomes for individuals. School-based consultation may provide a vehicle for delivering applied behavior analysis services in schools to address academic referral concerns. In this article, we propose that…

  6. An Australian hospital's training program and referral pathway within a multi-disciplinary health-justice partnership addressing family violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsdike, Kirsty; Humphreys, Cathy; Diemer, Kristin; Ross, Stuart; Gyorki, Linda; Maher, Helena; Vye, Penelope; Llewelyn, Fleur; Hegarty, Kelsey

    2018-06-01

    An innovative health-justice partnership was established to deliver legal assistance to women experiencing family violence who attended an Australian hospital. This paper reports on a multifaceted response to build capacity and willingness of health professionals to identify signs of family violence and engage with referral pathways to on-site legal assistance. A Realistic Evaluation analysed health professionals' knowledge and attitudes towards identification, response and referral for family violence before and after training; and use of referral pathways. Of 123 health professionals participating in training, 67 completed baseline and follow-up surveys. Training improved health professionals' self-reported knowledge of, and confidence in, responding to family violence and understanding of lawyers' roles in hospitals. Belief that patients should be referred to on-site legal services increased. Training did not correspond to actual increased referrals to legal assistance. The program built capacity and willingness of health professionals to identify signs of, and respond to, family violence. Increase in referral rates to legal assistance was not shown. Potential improvements include better data capture and greater availability of legal services. Implications for public health: Strong hospital system supports and reliable recording of family violence referrals need to be in place before introducing such partnerships to other hospitals. © 2017 The Authors.

  7. Improving inferior vena cava filter retrieval rates with the define, measure, analyze, improve, control methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutphin, Patrick D; Reis, Stephen P; McKune, Angie; Ravanzo, Maria; Kalva, Sanjeeva P; Pillai, Anil K

    2015-04-01

    To design a sustainable process to improve optional inferior vena cava (IVC) filter retrieval rates based on the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) methodology of the Six Sigma process improvement paradigm. DMAIC, an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control, was employed to design and implement a quality improvement project to increase IVC filter retrieval rates at a tertiary academic hospital. Retrievable IVC filters were placed in 139 patients over a 2-year period. The baseline IVC filter retrieval rate (n = 51) was reviewed through a retrospective analysis, and two strategies were devised to improve the filter retrieval rate: (a) mailing of letters to clinicians and patients for patients who had filters placed within 8 months of implementation of the project (n = 43) and (b) a prospective automated scheduling of a clinic visit at 4 weeks after filter placement for all new patients (n = 45). The effectiveness of these strategies was assessed by measuring the filter retrieval rates and estimated increase in revenue to interventional radiology. IVC filter retrieval rates increased from a baseline of 8% to 40% with the mailing of letters and to 52% with the automated scheduling of a clinic visit 4 weeks after IVC filter placement. The estimated revenue per 100 IVC filters placed increased from $2,249 to $10,518 with the mailing of letters and to $17,022 with the automated scheduling of a clinic visit. Using the DMAIC methodology, a simple and sustainable quality improvement intervention was devised that markedly improved IVC filter retrieval rates in eligible patients. Copyright © 2015 SIR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Appropriateness and diagnostic yield of referrals for oesophagogastroduodenoscopy at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachi, K; Nkrumah, K N

    2011-01-01

    Increasing endoscopy workload in open-access services necessitates adoption of appropriateness criteria to check abuse and improve yield. To assess the appropriateness of referrals for oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD) and its relationship to yield at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Accra. Referrals, signs, and symptoms of 375 consecutive patients for diagnostic oesophagogastroduodenoscopy were evaluated over four months. Indications were categorized as appropriate or inappropriate using the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) guidelines and endoscopic findings (yield) categorized as positive or negative. The relationship between these was analyzed and the diagnostic accuracy of the guidelines determined. There were 209 (55.7%) females, and 316 (84.3%) open-access procedures. Mean age was 46±17 years. Dyspepsia, 272 (72.5%) and epigastric tenderness, 192 (41.4 %) were the commonest symptom and sign respectively. Only 133 (35.5%) reported alarm symptoms. Appropriate referrals constituted 221(58.9%). Inappropriate referral rate was similar for endoscopists and non-endoscopists. Positive yield was 62.7%. Male sex, age > 45 years, haematemesis, persistent vomiting, gastroenterologists' referrals and epigastric tenderness were the best predictors of positive yield. Gastritis, 121 (32.3%), duodenal ulcer, 48 (12.5%) and oesophagitis, 36 (9.6%) were the leading endoscopy diagnoses. Carcinomas were reported only after 45 years and 18 (81.8%) of the cases had alarm symptoms. Inappropriate referral for OGD rate is high in Accra. Yield is improved by adherence to the ASGE guidelines but its accuracy as a screening tool for OGD at Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital is too low to recommend it for adoption.

  9. Variation in referral and access to new psychological therapy services by age: an empirical quantitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettit, Sophie; Qureshi, Adam; Lee, William; Stirzaker, Alex; Gibson, Alex; Henley, William; Byng, Richard

    2017-07-01

    Older people with common mental health problems (CMHPs) are known to have reduced rates of referral to psychological therapy. To assess referral rates to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, contact with a therapist, and clinical outcome by age. Empirical research study using patient episodes of care from South West of England IAPT services. By analysing 82 513 episodes of care (2010-2011), referral rates and clinical improvement were compared with both total population and estimated prevalence in each age group using IAPT data. Probable recovery of those completing treatment was calculated for each group. Estimated prevalence of CMHPs peaks in 45-49-year-olds (20.59% of population). The proportions of patients identified with CMHPs being referred peaks at 20-24 years (22.95%) and reduces with increase in age thereafter to 6.00% for 70-74-year-olds. Once referred, the proportion of those attending first treatment increases with age between 20 years (57.34%) and 64 years (76.97%). In addition, the percentage of those having a clinical improvement gradually increases from the age of 18 years (12.94%) to 69 years (20.74%). Younger adults are more readily referred to IAPT services. However, as a proportion of those referred, probabilities of attending once, attending more than once, and clinical improvement increase with age. It is uncertain whether optimum levels of referral have been reached for young adults. It is important to establish whether changes to service configuration, treatment options, and GP behaviour can increase referrals for middle-aged and older adults. © British Journal of General Practice 2017.

  10. Abused women's experiences of a primary care identification and referral intervention: a case study analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury-Jones, Caroline; Clark, Maria; Taylor, Julie

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this study was to report the findings of a qualitative case study that investigated abused women's experiences of an identification and referral intervention and to discuss the implications for nurses, specifically those working in primary and community care. Domestic violence and abuse is a significant public health issue globally but it is a hidden problem that is under-reported. In the UK, Identification and Referral to Improve Safety is a primary care-based intervention that has been found to increase referral rates of abused women to support and safety services. This paper reports on the findings of an evaluation study of two sites in England. Qualitative study with a case study design. In line with case study design, the entire evaluation study employed multiple data collection methods. We report on the qualitative interviews with women referred through the programme. The aim was to elicit their experiences of the three aspects of the intervention: identification; referral; safety. Data collection took place March 2016. Ten women took part. Eight had exited the abusive relationship but two remained with the partner who had perpetrated the abuse. Women were overwhelmingly positive about the programme and irrespective of whether they had remained or exited the relationship all reported perceptions of increased safety and improved health. Nurses have an important role to play in identifying domestic violence and abuse and in referral and safety planning. As part of a portfolio of domestic violence and abuse interventions, those that empower women to take control of their safety (such as Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) are important. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Improvement of rate of operation of LWRs, (2)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makiura, Ryutaro

    1978-01-01

    In the first part, the growing importance of improving the rate of operation of nuclear power plants is expressed in view of the big unit capacity of the present plants. The following parts of this report are devoted to the description of various measures for improving the reliability and the rate of operation of BWR plants from the standpoint of plant makers. The first subject is the early solution of ''singular troubles'', for example, the channel wear due to the oscillation of LPRM strings. The second subject is ''ordinary troubles'' such as valve leak and malfunction, deterioration of various parts, and vibration of pipes. The improvement of load factor is discussed in the third part in connection with the present efforts to abolish the PCIOMR operation and to employ the fine motion of control rod-driving mechanism. The final subject concerns with the efforts for shortening the time required for regular inspection. Review of inspection items and shortening of their required time, reduction of radiation exposure automated and remote-controlled operation, and intensive training of operators are the main subjects discussed here. (Aoki, K.)

  12. Enhanced detection rate of typhoid fever among clinically suspected patients in a tertiary referral hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh using nested polymerase chain reaction technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, S; Miah, M R; Khatun, S

    2015-12-01

    A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific for Salmonella enterica subspecies enteric serovar Typhi was used for the detection of the pathogen, in blood. This study was done during the period of March 2013 to February 2014. A total of 80 clinically suspected cases of typhoid fever were included in the study. Blood was collected from all participating individuals. Nested PCR targeting the flagellin gene (fliC) of Salmonella Typhi & blood culture were done for each of the cases. The positivity rate of PCR & blood culture was 70%& 20% respectively. The positivity rate of PCR was significantly higher than blood culture (Ptyphoid fever cases on the basis of clinical features but with negative cultures. We conclude that the PCR technique could be used as a novel diagnostic method of typhoid fever, particularly in culture-negative cases in an endemic country like Bangladesh.

  13. Sales Growth Rate Forecasting Using Improved PSO and SVM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xibin Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Accurate forecast of the sales growth rate plays a decisive role in determining the amount of advertising investment. In this study, we present a preclassification and later regression based method optimized by improved particle swarm optimization (IPSO for sales growth rate forecasting. We use support vector machine (SVM as a classification model. The nonlinear relationship in sales growth rate forecasting is efficiently represented by SVM, while IPSO is optimizing the training parameters of SVM. IPSO addresses issues of traditional PSO, such as relapsing into local optimum, slow convergence speed, and low convergence precision in the later evolution. We performed two experiments; firstly, three classic benchmark functions are used to verify the validity of the IPSO algorithm against PSO. Having shown IPSO outperform PSO in convergence speed, precision, and escaping local optima, in our second experiment, we apply IPSO to the proposed model. The sales growth rate forecasting cases are used to testify the forecasting performance of proposed model. According to the requirements and industry knowledge, the sample data was first classified to obtain types of the test samples. Next, the values of the test samples were forecast using the SVM regression algorithm. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model has good forecasting performance.

  14. Employee Referrals and Efficiency Wages

    OpenAIRE

    Kugler, Adriana D.

    2002-01-01

    Many workers believe that personal contacts are crucial for obtaining jobs in high-wage sectors. On the other hand, firms in high-wage sectors report using employee referrals because they help provide screening and monitoring of new employees. This Paper develops a matching model that can explain the link between inter-industry wage differentials and the use of employee referrals. Referrals lower monitoring costs because high-effort referees can exert peer pressure on co-workers, allowing fir...

  15. Combining biological and psychosocial baseline variables did not improve prediction of outcome of a very-low-energy diet in a clinic referral population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumithran, P; Purcell, K; Kuyruk, S; Proietto, J; Prendergast, L A

    2018-02-01

    Consistent, strong predictors of obesity treatment outcomes have not been identified. It has been suggested that broadening the range of predictor variables examined may be valuable. We explored methods to predict outcomes of a very-low-energy diet (VLED)-based programme in a clinically comparable setting, using a wide array of pre-intervention biological and psychosocial participant data. A total of 61 women and 39 men (mean ± standard deviation [SD] body mass index: 39.8 ± 7.3 kg/m 2 ) underwent an 8-week VLED and 12-month follow-up. At baseline, participants underwent a blood test and assessment of psychological, social and behavioural factors previously associated with treatment outcomes. Logistic regression, linear discriminant analysis, decision trees and random forests were used to model outcomes from baseline variables. Of the 100 participants, 88 completed the VLED and 42 attended the Week 60 visit. Overall prediction rates for weight loss of ≥10% at weeks 8 and 60, and attrition at Week 60, using combined data were between 77.8 and 87.6% for logistic regression, and lower for other methods. When logistic regression analyses included only baseline demographic and anthropometric variables, prediction rates were 76.2-86.1%. In this population, considering a wide range of biological and psychosocial data did not improve outcome prediction compared to simply-obtained baseline characteristics. © 2017 World Obesity Federation.

  16. Exercise training improves heart rate variability after methamphetamine dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Brett Andrew; Chudzynski, Joy; Dickerson, Daniel; Mooney, Larissa; Rawson, Richard A; Garfinkel, Alan; Cooper, Christopher B

    2014-06-01

    Heart rate variability (HRV) reflects a healthy autonomic nervous system and is increased with physical training. Methamphetamine dependence (MD) causes autonomic dysfunction and diminished HRV. We compared recently abstinent methamphetamine-dependent participants with age-matched, drug-free controls (DF) and also investigated whether HRV can be improved with exercise training in the methamphetamine-dependent participants. In 50 participants (MD = 28; DF = 22), resting heart rate (HR; R-R intervals) was recorded over 5 min while seated using a monitor affixed to a chest strap. Previously reported time domain (SDNN, RMSSD, pNN50) and frequency domain (LFnu, HFnu, LF/HF) parameters of HRV were calculated with customized software. MD were randomized to thrice-weekly exercise training (ME = 14) or equal attention without training (MC = 14) over 8 wk. Groups were compared using paired and unpaired t-tests. Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. Participant characteristics were matched between groups (mean ± SD): age = 33 ± 6 yr; body mass = 82.7 ± 12 kg, body mass index = 26.8 ± 4.1 kg·min. Compared with DF, the MD group had significantly higher resting HR (P HRV indices were similar between ME and MC groups. However, after training, the ME group significantly (all P HRV, based on several conventional indices, was diminished in recently abstinent, methamphetamine-dependent individuals. Moreover, physical training yielded a marked increase in HRV, representing increased vagal modulation or improved autonomic balance.

  17. Improved rate control for electron-beam evaporation and evaluation of optical performance improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gevelber, Michael; Xu, Bing; Smith, Douglas

    2006-03-01

    A new deposition-rate-control and electron-beam-gun (e-gun) strategy was developed that significantly reduces the growth-rate variations for e-beam-deposited SiO2 coatings. The resulting improvements in optical performance are evaluated for multilayer bandpass filters. The adverse effect of uneven silica-source depletion on coating spectral performances during long deposition runs is discussed.

  18. Policy considerations for improving influenza vaccination rates among pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollard, Elizabeth K; Guenzel, Nicholas; Brown, Peggy A; Keeler, Heidi J; Cramer, Mary E

    2014-01-01

    Influenza exposure during pregnancy can cause severe health problems for both the mother and her offspring, including an increased risk of mortality. Influenza vaccination during all trimesters of pregnancy is safe and effective, and recommended by professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Despite these recommendations, the U.S. vaccination rates remain low in this high-risk population. A policy analysis based on the five-part method identified by Teitelbaum and Wilensky () addresses factors to consider in identifying the best voluntary policy options to improve the vaccination rates. The authors provide discussion of the background, landscape, and stakeholder interests and the pros and cons of two voluntary policy options to increase vaccination. The policy options include: (a) financial incentives for providers and (b) an education emphasis for providers and staff. The authors conclude that based on considerations of cost, provider preference, and practicality of implementation, a continuing educational intervention is the preferred policy venue to increase vaccination rates. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Using the emergency department as a screening site for high blood pressure. A method for improving hypertension detection and appropriate referral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamon, J; Green, L; Levine, D M; Gibson, G; Gurley, H T

    1987-08-01

    This study describes the development and testing of a high blood pressure protocol for use in emergency departments (ED) to enhance detection of those patients appropriate for subsequent referral. The protocol involves two serial blood pressure measurements and a patient interview to determine: 1) previous history of high blood pressure (HBP), 2) treatment in past year for HBP, and 3) usual source of medical care. The accuracy of patient reporting was validated by comparison with the patients' hospital record (reflecting outpatient and inpatient visits). Results indicate that these self-reports have high levels of sensitivity (range 90-100%) and specificity (range 79-96%). Use of the additional patient information increased the sensitivity of the screening protocol in identifying when and where a patient should be referred. Use of this methodology indicates that the protocol is a simple and effective method for HBP screening. The findings also suggest that the ED is an ideal site for screening the "hard-to-reach" hypertensive population.

  20. Increasing fMRI sampling rate improves Granger causality estimates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fa-Hsuan Lin

    Full Text Available Estimation of causal interactions between brain areas is necessary for elucidating large-scale functional brain networks underlying behavior and cognition. Granger causality analysis of time series data can quantitatively estimate directional information flow between brain regions. Here, we show that such estimates are significantly improved when the temporal sampling rate of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is increased 20-fold. Specifically, healthy volunteers performed a simple visuomotor task during blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD contrast based whole-head inverse imaging (InI. Granger causality analysis based on raw InI BOLD data sampled at 100-ms resolution detected the expected causal relations, whereas when the data were downsampled to the temporal resolution of 2 s typically used in echo-planar fMRI, the causality could not be detected. An additional control analysis, in which we SINC interpolated additional data points to the downsampled time series at 0.1-s intervals, confirmed that the improvements achieved with the real InI data were not explainable by the increased time-series length alone. We therefore conclude that the high-temporal resolution of InI improves the Granger causality connectivity analysis of the human brain.

  1. Doubling the referral rate of monogenic diabetes through a nationwide information campaign--update on glucokinase gene mutations in a Polish cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowiec, M; Fendler, W; Antosik, K; Baranowska, A; Gnys, P; Zmyslowska, A; Malecki, M; Mlynarski, W

    2012-12-01

    In order to improve recruitment efficiency of patients with monogenic diabetes in Poland, in September 2010 a nationwide advertising campaign was launched to inform multiple target groups interested or participating in pediatric diabetologic care. Promotional actions aimed at informing physicians, patients, parents and educators were carried out through nationwide newspapers, medical and patient-developed websites and educational conference presentations. Recruitment efficiency was compared between September 2010 (publication of the first report on project's results) and the following 12 months. The number of families and patients referred to genetic screening was increased by 92% and 96% respectively nearly reaching the numbers recruited throughout the initial 4 years of the project. Participation of non-academic centers was also significantly increased from 2.3% to 7.5% (p = 0.0005). DNA sequencing and Multiplex Ligation-dependant Probe Amplification of the glucokinase gene resulted in finding 50 different mutations. Among those mutations, 19 were novel variants, which included: 17 missense mutations (predicted to be pathogenic according to bioinformatic analysis), 1 nonsense mutation and 1 mutation affecting a consensus intronic splice site. Advertising actions directed at increasing recruitment efficiency are a powerful and possibly neglected tool in screening for rare genetic disorders with a clinically defined phenotype. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Rates of Delirium Diagnosis Do Not Improve with Emergency Risk Screening: Results of the Emergency Department Delirium Initiative Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendts, Glenn; Love, Jennefer; Nagree, Yusuf; Bruce, David; Hare, Malcolm; Dey, Ian

    2017-08-01

    To determine whether a bundled risk screening and warning or action card system improves formal delirium diagnosis and person-centered outcomes in hospitalized older adults. Prospective trial with sequential introduction of screening and interventional processes. Two tertiary referral hospitals in Australia. Individuals aged 65 and older presenting to the emergency department (ED) and not requiring immediate resuscitation (N = 3,905). Formal ED delirium screening algorithm and use of a risk warning card with a recommended series of actions for the prevention and management of delirium during the subsequent admission MEASUREMENTS: Delirium diagnosis at hospital discharge, proportion discharged to new assisted living arrangements, in-hospital complications (use of sedation, falls, aspiration pneumonia, death), hospital length of stay. Participants with a positive risk screen were significantly more likely (relative risk = 6.0, 95% confidence interval = 4.9-7.3) to develop delirium, and the proportion of at-risk participants with a positive screen was constant across three study phases. Delirium detection rate in participants undergoing the final intervention (Phase 3) was 12.1% (a 2% absolute and 17% relative increase from the baseline rate) but this was not statistically significant (P = .29), and a similar relative increase was seen over time in participants not receiving the intervention CONCLUSION: A risk screening and warning or action card intervention in the ED did not significantly improve rates of delirium detection or other important outcomes. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics Society.

  3. Improving Interprofessional Consistency in Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Interpretation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindappagari, Shravya; Zaghi, Sahar; Zannat, Ferdous; Reimers, Laura; Goffman, Dena; Kassel, Irene; Bernstein, Peter S

    2016-07-01

    Objective To determine if mandatory online training in electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) improved agreement in documentation between obstetric care providers and nurses on labor and delivery. Methods Health care professionals working in obstetrics at our institution were required to complete a course on EFM interpretation. We performed a retrospective chart review of 701 charts including patients delivered before and after the introduction of the course to evaluate agreement among providers in their documentation of their interpretations of the EFM tracings. Results Agreement between provider and nurse documentation at the time of admission improved for variability and accelerations (variability: 91.1 vs. 98.3%, p < 0.001; and accelerations: 75.2 vs. 87.7%, p < 0.001). Similarly, agreement improved at the time of the last note prior to delivery for documentation of variability and accelerations (variability: 82.1 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.001; and accelerations: 56.7 vs. 68.6%, p = 0.0012). Agreement in interpretation of decelerations both at the time of admission and at the time of delivery increased (86.3 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.0787, and 56.7 vs. 61.1%, p = 0.2314, respectively) but was not significant. Conclusion An online EFM course can significantly improve consistency in multidisciplinary documentation of fetal heart rate tracing interpretation. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  4. Decreasing Emergency Department Walkout Rate and Boarding Hours by Improving Inpatient Length of Stay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artenstein, Andrew W; Rathlev, Niels K; Neal, Douglas; Townsend, Vernette; Vemula, Michael; Goldlust, Sheila; Schmidt, Joseph; Visintainer, Paul

    2017-10-01

    Patient progress, the movement of patients through a hospital system from admission to discharge, is a foundational component of operational effectiveness in healthcare institutions. Optimal patient progress is a key to delivering safe, high-quality and high-value clinical care. The Baystate Patient Progress Initiative (BPPI), a cross-disciplinary, multifaceted quality and process improvement project, was launched on March 1, 2014, with the primary goal of optimizing patient progress for adult patients. The BPPI was implemented at our system's tertiary care, academic medical center, a high-volume, high-acuity hospital that serves as a regional referral center for western Massachusetts. The BPPI was structured as a 24-month initiative with an oversight group that ensured collaborative goal alignment and communication of operational teams. It was organized to address critical aspects of a patient's progress through his hospital stay and to create additional inpatient capacity. The specific goal of the BPPI was to decrease length of stay (LOS) on the inpatient adult Hospital Medicine service by optimizing an interdisciplinary plan of care and promoting earlier departure of discharged patients. Concurrently, we measured the effects on emergency department (ED) boarding hours per patient and walkout rates. The BPPI engaged over 300 employed clinicians and non-clinicians in the work. We created increased inpatient capacity by implementing daily interdisciplinary bedside rounds to proactively address patient progress; during the 24 months, this resulted in a sustained rate of discharge orders written before noon of more than 50% and a decrease in inpatient LOS of 0.30 days (coefficient: -0.014, 95% CI [-0.023, -0.005] Pboarding hours per patient decreased by approximately 2.1 hours (coefficient: -0.09; 95% CI [-0.15, -0.02] P = 0.007). Concurrently, ED walkout rates decreased by nearly 32% to a monthly mean of 0.4 patients (coefficient: 0.4; 95% CI [-0.7, -0.1] P= 0

  5. Open-access ultrasound referrals from general practice.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hughes, P

    2015-03-01

    Direct access referral for radiological investigations from General Practice (GP) provides an indispensable diagnostic tool and avoids the inherently long waiting time that referral through a hospital based specialty would entail. Improving access to hospital based radiology services is one of Health Information and Quality Authority\\'s key recommendations in its report on patient referrals from general practice. This study aimed to review all GP referrals for ultrasound investigations to a tertiary referral teaching hospital over a seven month period with respect to their demographics, waiting times and diagnostic outcomes. 1,090 ultrasounds originating in general practice were carried out during the study period. Positive findings were recorded in 332 (30.46%) examinations. The median waiting time from receipt of referral to the diagnostic investigation was 56 days (range 16 - 91 years). 71 (6.5%) patients had follow-up imaging investigations while recommendation for hospital based specialty referral was made in 35 cases (3.2%). Significant findings included abdominal aortic aneurysms, metastatic disease and lymphoma. Direct access to ultrasound for general practitioners allows the referring physician to make an informed decision with regard to the need for specialist referral. We believe these findings help support the case for national direct access to diagnostic ultrasound for general practitioners.

  6. Improvement of energy expenditure prediction from heart rate during running

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charlot, Keyne; Borne, Rachel; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Chapelot, Didier; Pichon, Aurélien; Cornolo, Jérémy; Brugniaux, Julien Vincent

    2014-01-01

    We aimed to develop new equations that predict exercise-induced energy expenditure (EE) more accurately than previous ones during running by including new parameters as fitness level, body composition and/or running intensity in addition to heart rate (HR). Original equations predicting EE were created from data obtained during three running intensities (25%, 50% and 70% of HR reserve) performed by 50 subjects. Five equations were conserved according to their accuracy assessed from error rates, interchangeability and correlations analyses: one containing only basic parameters, two containing VO 2max  or speed at VO 2max  and two including running speed with or without HR. Equations accuracy was further tested in an independent sample during a 40 min validation test at 50% of HR reserve. It appeared that: (1) the new basic equation was more accurate than pre-existing equations (R 2  0.809 versus. 0,737 respectively); (2) the prediction of EE was more accurate with the addition of VO 2max  (R 2  = 0.879); and (3) the equations containing running speed were the most accurate and were considered to have good agreement with indirect calorimetry. In conclusion, EE estimation during running might be significantly improved by including running speed in the predictive models, a parameter readily available with treadmill or GPS. (paper)

  7. Heart rate variability biofeedback improves cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakakibara, Masahito; Hayano, Junichiro; Oikawa, Leo O; Katsamanis, Maria; Lehrer, Paul

    2013-12-01

    The present study was designed to examine the effect of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback on the cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep in daily life. Forty-five healthy young adults were randomly assigned to one of three groups: HRV biofeedback, Autogenic Training(AT), and no-treatment control. Participants in the HRV biofeedback were instructed to use a handheld HRV biofeedback device before their habitual bedtime, those in the AT were asked to listen to an audiotaped instruction before bedtime,and those in the control were asked to engage in their habitual activity before bedtime. Pulse wave signal during sleep at their own residences was measured continuously with a wrist watch-type transdermal photoelectric sensor for three time points. Baseline data were collected on the first night of measurements, followed by two successive nights for HRV biofeedback, AT, or control. Cardiorespiratory resting function was assessed quantitatively as the amplitude of high frequency(HF) component of pulse rate variability, a surrogate measure of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. HF component increased during sleep in the HRV biofeedback group,although it remained unchanged in the AT and control groups. These results suggest that HRV biofeedback before sleep may improve cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep.

  8. Towards successful coordination of electronic health record based-referrals: a qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Esquivel, Adol; Sittig, Dean F; Paul, Lindsey A; Espadas, Donna; Singh, Simran; Singh, Hardeep

    2011-07-27

    Successful subspecialty referrals require considerable coordination and interactive communication among the primary care provider (PCP), the subspecialist, and the patient, which may be challenging in the outpatient setting. Even when referrals are facilitated by electronic health records (EHRs) (i.e., e-referrals), lapses in patient follow-up might occur. Although compelling reasons exist why referral coordination should be improved, little is known about which elements of the complex referral coordination process should be targeted for improvement. Using Okhuysen & Bechky's coordination framework, this paper aims to understand the barriers, facilitators, and suggestions for improving communication and coordination of EHR-based referrals in an integrated healthcare system. We conducted a qualitative study to understand coordination breakdowns related to e-referrals in an integrated healthcare system and examined work-system factors that affect the timely receipt of subspecialty care. We conducted interviews with seven subject matter experts and six focus groups with a total of 30 PCPs and subspecialists at two tertiary care Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Using techniques from grounded theory and content analysis, we identified organizational themes that affected the referral process. Four themes emerged: lack of an institutional referral policy, lack of standardization in certain referral procedures, ambiguity in roles and responsibilities, and inadequate resources to adapt and respond to referral requests effectively. Marked differences in PCPs' and subspecialists' communication styles and individual mental models of the referral processes likely precluded the development of a shared mental model to facilitate coordination and successful referral completion. Notably, very few barriers related to the EHR were reported. Despite facilitating information transfer between PCPs and subspecialists, e-referrals remain prone to coordination

  9. Towards successful coordination of electronic health record based-referrals: a qualitative analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Lindsey A

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Successful subspecialty referrals require considerable coordination and interactive communication among the primary care provider (PCP, the subspecialist, and the patient, which may be challenging in the outpatient setting. Even when referrals are facilitated by electronic health records (EHRs (i.e., e-referrals, lapses in patient follow-up might occur. Although compelling reasons exist why referral coordination should be improved, little is known about which elements of the complex referral coordination process should be targeted for improvement. Using Okhuysen & Bechky's coordination framework, this paper aims to understand the barriers, facilitators, and suggestions for improving communication and coordination of EHR-based referrals in an integrated healthcare system. Methods We conducted a qualitative study to understand coordination breakdowns related to e-referrals in an integrated healthcare system and examined work-system factors that affect the timely receipt of subspecialty care. We conducted interviews with seven subject matter experts and six focus groups with a total of 30 PCPs and subspecialists at two tertiary care Department of Veterans Affairs (VA medical centers. Using techniques from grounded theory and content analysis, we identified organizational themes that affected the referral process. Results Four themes emerged: lack of an institutional referral policy, lack of standardization in certain referral procedures, ambiguity in roles and responsibilities, and inadequate resources to adapt and respond to referral requests effectively. Marked differences in PCPs' and subspecialists' communication styles and individual mental models of the referral processes likely precluded the development of a shared mental model to facilitate coordination and successful referral completion. Notably, very few barriers related to the EHR were reported. Conclusions Despite facilitating information transfer between PCPs and

  10. Patient reminder and recall interventions to improve immunization rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson Vann, Julie C; Jacobson, Robert M; Coyne-Beasley, Tamera; Asafu-Adjei, Josephine K; Szilagyi, Peter G

    2018-01-18

    Immunization rates for children and adults are rising, but coverage levels have not reached optimal goals. As a result, vaccine-preventable diseases still occur. In an era of increasing complexity of immunization schedules, rising expectations about the performance of primary care, and large demands on primary care providers, it is important to understand and promote interventions that work in primary care settings to increase immunization coverage. One common theme across immunization programs in many nations involves the challenge of implementing a population-based approach and identifying all eligible recipients, for example the children who should receive the measles vaccine. However, this issue is gradually being addressed through the availability of immunization registries and electronic health records. A second common theme is identifying the best strategies to promote high vaccination rates. Three types of strategies have been studied: (1) patient-oriented interventions, such as patient reminder or recall, (2) provider interventions, and (3) system interventions, such as school laws. One of the most prominent intervention strategies, and perhaps best studied, involves patient reminder or recall systems. This is an update of a previously published review. To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of various types of patient reminder and recall interventions to improve receipt of immunizations. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase and CINAHL to January 2017. We also searched grey literature and trial registers to January 2017. We included randomized trials, controlled before and after studies, and interrupted time series evaluating immunization-focused patient reminder or recall interventions in children, adolescents, and adults who receive immunizations in any setting. We included no-intervention control groups, standard practice activities that did not include immunization patient reminder or recall, media-based activities aimed at promoting immunizations

  11. A Review Of Referral Patterns For Sagittal Synostosis In Ireland: 2008-2013

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Berney, M J

    2018-01-01

    Sagittal synostosis (SS) is the commonest form of craniosynostosis. Children with sagittal synostosis in Ireland are treated in the National Paediatric Craniofacial Centre (NPCC) in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. This retrospective study analysed the correlation between referral patterns to the unit and age at operation. The notes of 81 patients referred over a 5 year period (April 2008 – April 2013) to the NPCC with non-syndromic SS were reviewed and demographics and referral information were recorded. Of 81 patients reviewed, 60 (74%) were referred before 6 months of age, while 21 (26%) had late referrals. Neonatologists referred 100% of infants before 6 months, paediatricians referred 71%, and GPs 64%. Later referral was associated with a more complex referral pathway, including multiple-steps of referral and unnecessary investigations. Improved clinician knowledge and emphasis on the importance of early referral may lead to a reduction in late referrals.

  12. Physicians' tacit and stated policies for determining patient benefit and referral to cardiac rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckstead, Jason W; Pezzo, Mark V; Beckie, Theresa M; Shahraki, Farnaz; Kentner, Amanda C; Grace, Sherry L

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of prescribing cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for patients following heart surgery is well documented; however, physicians continue to underuse CR programs, and disparities in the referral of women are common. Previous research into the causes of these problems has relied on self-report methods, which presume that physicians have insight into their referral behavior and can describe it accurately. In contrast, the research presented here used clinical judgment analysis (CJA) to discover the tacit judgment and referral policies of individual physicians. The specific aims were to determine 1) what these policies were, 2) the degree of self-insight that individual physicians had into their own policies, 3) the amount of agreement among physicians, and 4) the extent to which judgments were related to attitudes toward CR. Thirty-six Canadian physicians made judgments and decisions regarding 32 hypothetical cardiac patients, each described on 5 characteristics (gender, age, type of cardiovascular procedure, presence/absence of musculoskeletal pain, and degree of motivation) and then completed the 19 items of the Attitude towards Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral scale. Consistent with previous studies, there was wide variation among physicians in their tacit and stated judgment policies, and self-insight was modest. On the whole, physicians showed evidence of systematic gender bias as they judged women as less likely than men to benefit from CR. Insight data suggest that 1 in 3 physicians were unaware of their own bias. There was greater agreement among physicians in how they described their judgments (stated policies) than in how they actually made them (tacit policies). Correlations between attitude statements and CJA measures were modest. These findings offer some explanation for the slow progress of efforts to improve CR referrals and for gender disparities in referral rates.

  13. Physicians’ Tacit and Stated Policies for Determining Patient Benefit and Referral to Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckstead, Jason W.; Pezzo, Mark V.; Beckie, Theresa M.; Shahraki, Farnaz; Kentner, Amanda C.; Grace, Sherry L.

    2015-01-01

    Background The benefits of prescribing cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for patients following heart surgery is well documented. However physicians continue to underutilize CR programs and disparities in the referral of women are common. Previous research into the causes of these problems has relied on self-report methods which presume that physicians have insight into their referral behavior and can describe it accurately. In contrast, the research presented here employed clinical judgment analysis (CJA) to discover the tacit judgment and referral policies of individual physicians. Purpose The specific aims were to determine 1) what these policies were, 2) the degree of self-insight that individual physicians had into their own policies, 3) the amount of agreement among physicians, and 4) the extent to which judgments were related to attitudes toward CR. Method Thirty-six Canadian physicians made judgments and decisions regarding 32 hypothetical cardiac patients, each described on five characteristics (gender, age, type of surgical procedure, presence/absence of musculoskeletal pain, and degree of motivation) and then completed the 19 items of the Attitude towards Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral instrument. Results There was wide variation among physicians in their tacit and stated judgment policies. Physicians exhibited greater agreement in what they believed they were doing (stated policies) than in what they actually did (tacit policies). Nearly one-third of the physicians showed evidence of systematic, and perhaps subliminal, gender bias as they judged women as less likely than men to benefit from CR. Correlations between attitude statements and CJA measures were modest. Conclusions These findings offer some explanation for the slow progress of efforts to improve CR referrals and for gender disparities in referral rates. PMID:23784848

  14. [Recruiting and Personal Development in Surgical Departments of Large Referral Centers - Current Practice and Options for Improvement from Industry and Service Business].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homayounfar, K; König, S; Rabe, C; Beck-Broichsitter, B; Lützen, U; Ghadimi, M B; Schmidt, C

    2017-12-01

    Background Cut-throat competition, cost pressure, generation Y, shortage of qualified staff and feminisation influence human resources management in visceral surgery. The assessment of the current situation by chief surgeons (CS) as well as proof of transferability of strategies from industry and service business (ISB) have not yet been investigated. Material and Methods The CS of university hospitals and large referral centres (> 800 beds) were interviewed (n = 100) on the basis of a standardised questionnaire including 43 items. Closed questions were designed with a 5-point Likert scale and their analysis was presented as means (MW) and standard deviations (±). Ten human resources manager (HMR) of ISB were invited to participate in 45-minute telephone interviews. Results Thirty-seven CS participated in the survey, 15 of whom were full professors. Unsolicited applications (100%), job advertisements (78%) and direct approaches to final year students (78%) were the most common ways of recruitment. Only 17% of CS used a standardised form for preparation. Professional expertise (MW 2.2 ± 0.9), social skills (MW 1.9 ± 0.6) and excellent German language skills (MW 1.8 ± 0.8) were named as important qualifications for employment, while references and certificates were regarded as being less important (MW 3.2 ± 0.9). Personal development was regarded as important (MW 1.1 ± 0.2), but a defined period for residency was not guaranteed (MW 3.0 ± 1.5). Transparent selection criteria for career opportunities (MW 2.5 ± 1.1) and different career models (MW 2.7 ± 1.2) were only rarely available. Six HRM participated in the interviews. Active head-hunting (75%), Internet platforms (75%), presentations at conferences (75%), as well as hiring trainees (50%), job advertisements (50%) and social media (50%) were established options to find qualified employees. Professional and management careers were often separate career paths, while

  15. Do poison center triage guidelines affect healthcare facility referrals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, B E; Smith, C A; McKinney, P E; Litovitz, T L; Tandberg, W D

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which poison center triage guidelines influence healthcare facility referral rates for acute, unintentional acetaminophen-only poisoning and acute, unintentional adult formulation iron poisoning. Managers of US poison centers were interviewed by telephone to determine their center's triage threshold value (mg/kg) for acute iron and acute acetaminophen poisoning in 1997. Triage threshold values and healthcare facility referral rates were fit to a univariate logistic regression model for acetaminophen and iron using maximum likelihood estimation. Triage threshold values ranged from 120-201 mg/kg (acetaminophen) and 16-61 mg/kg (iron). Referral rates ranged from 3.1% to 24% (acetaminophen) and 3.7% to 46.7% (iron). There was a statistically significant inverse relationship between the triage value and the referral rate for acetaminophen (p variability in poison center triage values and referral rates for iron and acetaminophen poisoning. Guidelines can account for a meaningful proportion of referral variation. Their influence appears to be substance dependent. These data suggest that efforts to determine and utilize the highest, safe, triage threshold value could substantially decrease healthcare costs for poisonings as long as patient medical outcomes are not compromised.

  16. Improving pediatric immunization rates: description of a resident-led clinical continuous quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kyle Bradford; Gren, Lisa H; Backman, Richard

    2014-09-01

    Increased emphasis is being placed on the continuous quality improvement (CQI) education of residents of all specialties. This article describes a resident-led continuous quality improvement (CQI) project, based on a novel curriculum, to improve the immunization rates of children under 2 years old at the Madsen Family Health Center (MHC). All third-year residents were trained in the FOCUS-PDSA CQI methodology through concurrent didactic lectures and experience leading the CQI team. The CQI team included clinical staff led by a third-year family medicine resident and mentored by a member of the family medicine faculty. Immunization records were distributed to provider-medical assistant teamlets daily for each pediatric patient scheduled in clinic as the intervention. Compliance with the intervention (process measure), as well as immunization rates at 2 and 5 months post-intervention (outcome measure), were monitored. Immunization records were printed on 84% of clinic days from October 24, 2011 to March 31, 2012. The percentage of patients immunized at baseline was 66%. The percentage immunized as of December 31, 2011 was 96% and was 91% as of March 31, 2012. An important educational experience was organized for third-year family medicine residents through learning CQI skills, leading a CQI team, and directing a CQI project to completion. Significant improvement in the percentage of patients under 2 years old immunized at the MHC was achieved by presenting provider-medical assistant teamlets with immunization records of all pediatric patients on the daily clinic schedule.

  17. Nanopurification of semen improves AI pregnancy rates in beef cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reproductive efficiency is several times more important than any other factor affecting economic efficiency in beef production. Multiple studies have been conducted to improve fertility of beef cows, but few studies have been conducted to improve fertility in sires. Also, with current improvements...

  18. Multiple sclerosis, from referral to confirmed diagnosis: an audit of clinical practice.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Kelly, S B

    2012-02-01

    BACKGROUND: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend a timeline of 6 weeks from referral to neurology consultation and then 6 weeks to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVES: We audited the clinical management of all new outpatient referrals diagnosed with MS between January 2007 and May 2010. METHODS: We analysed the timelines from referral to first clinic visit, to MRI studies and lumbar puncture (LP) (if performed) and the overall interval from first visit to the time the diagnosis was given to the patient. RESULTS: Of the 119 diagnoses of MS\\/Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), 93 (78%) were seen within 6 weeks of referral. MRI was performed before first visit in 61% and within 6 weeks in a further 27%. A lumbar puncture (LP) was performed in 83% of all patients and was done within 6 weeks in 78%. In total, 63 (53%) patients received their final diagnosis within 6 weeks of their first clinic visit, with 57 (48%) patients having their diagnosis delayed. The main rate-limiting steps were the availability of imaging and LP, and administrative issues. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that, even with careful scheduling, it is difficult for a specialist service to obtain MRI scans and LP results so as to fulfil NICE guidelines within the optimal six-week period. An improved service would require MRI scans to be arranged before the first clinic visit in all patients with suspected MS.

  19. Prospective trial of angiography and embolization for all grade III to V blunt splenic injuries: nonoperative management success rate is significantly improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Preston R; Chang, Michael C; Hoth, J Jason; Mowery, Nathan T; Hildreth, Amy N; Martin, R Shayn; Holmes, James H; Meredith, J Wayne; Requarth, Jay A

    2014-04-01

    Nonoperative management (NOM) of blunt splenic injury is well accepted. Substantial failure rates in higher injury grades remain common, with one large study reporting rates of 19.6%, 33.3%, and 75% for grades III, IV, and V, respectively. Retrospective data show angiography and embolization can increase salvage rates in these severe injuries. We developed a protocol requiring referral of all blunt splenic injuries, grades III to V, without indication for immediate operation for angiography and embolization. We hypothesized that angiography and embolization of high-grade blunt splenic injury would reduce NOM failure rates in this population. This was a prospective study at our Level I trauma center as part of a performance-improvement project. Demographics, injury characteristics, and outcomes were compared with historic controls. The protocol required all stable patients with grade III to V splenic injuries be referred for angiography and embolization. In historic controls, referral was based on surgeon preference. From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, there were 168 patients with grades III to V spleen injuries admitted; NOM was undertaken in 113 (67%) patients. The protocol was followed in 97 patients, with a failure rate of 5%. Failure rate in the 16 protocol deviations was 25% (p = 0.02). Historic controls from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009 were compared with the protocol group. One hundred and fifty-three patients with grade III to V injuries were admitted during this period, 80 (52%) patients underwent attempted NOM. Failure rate was significantly higher than for the protocol group (15%, p = 0.04). Use of a protocol requiring angiography and embolization for all high-grade spleen injuries slated for NOM leads to a significantly decreased failure rate. We recommend angiography and embolization as an adjunct to NOM for all grade III to V splenic injuries. Copyright © 2014 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Timely Referral to Outpatient Nephrology Care Slows Progression and Reduces Treatment Costs of Chronic Kidney Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Lonnemann

    2017-03-01

    Discussion: Timely referral to outpatient nephrology care is associated with slowed disease progression, less hospital admissions, reduced total treatment costs, and improved survival in patients with CKD.

  1. Provider-Initiated Patient Satisfaction Reporting Yields Improved Physician Ratings Relative to Online Rating Websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, Benjamin F; Waddell, Brad S; Nodzo, Scott R; Lange, Jeffrey; Nocon, Allina A; Amundsen, Spencer; Tarity, T David; McLawhorn, Alexander S

    2017-09-01

    Recently, providers have begun to publicly report the results of patient satisfaction surveys from their practices. However, these outcomes have never been compared with the findings of commercial online physician rating websites. The goals of the current study were to (1) compare overall patient satisfaction ratings for orthopedic surgeons derived from provider-based third-party surveys with existing commercial physician rating websites and (2) determine the association between patient ratings and provider characteristics. The authors identified 12 institutions that provided publicly available patient satisfaction outcomes derived from third-party surveys for their orthopedic surgeons as of August 2016. Orthopedic surgeons at these institutions were eligible for inclusion (N=340 surgeons). Provider characteristics were recorded from publicly available data. Four high-traffic commercial online physician rating websites were identified: Healthgrades.com, UCompareHealthCare.com, Vitals.com, and RateMDs.com. For each surgeon, overall ratings (on a scale of 1-5), total number of ratings, and percentage of negative ratings were compared between provider-initiated internal ratings and each commercial online website. Associations between baseline factors and overall physician ratings and negative ratings were assessed. Provider-initiated internal patient satisfaction ratings showed a greater number of overall patient ratings, higher overall patient satisfaction ratings, and a lower percentage of negative comments compared with commercial online physician rating websites. A greater number of years in practice had a weak association with lower internal ratings, and an academic practice setting and a location in the Northeast were protective factors for negative physician ratings. Compared with commercial online physician rating websites, provider-initiated patient satisfaction ratings of orthopedic surgeons appear to be more favorable, with greater numbers of responses

  2. Improving Standards of Care in Obstructed Labour: A Criteria-Based Audit at a Referral Hospital in a Low-Resource Setting in Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Objective In low-resource settings, obstructed labour is strongly associated with severe maternal morbidity and intrapartum asphyxia, and consequently maternal and perinatal deaths. This study evaluated the impact of a criteria-based audit of the diagnosis and management of obstructed labour in a low-resource setting. Methods A baseline criteria-based audit was conducted from October 2013 to March 2014, followed by a workshop in which stakeholders gave feedback on interventions agreed upon to improve obstetric care. The implemented interventions included but were not limited to introducing standard guidelines for diagnosis and management of obstructed labour, agreeing on mandatory review by specialist for cases that are assigned caesarean section, re-training and supervision on use and interpretation of partograph and, strengthening team work between doctors, mid-wives and theatre staff. After implementing these interventions in March, a re-audit was performed from July 2015 to November, 2015, and the results were compared to those of the baseline audit. Results Two hundred and sixty deliveries in the baseline survey and 250 deliveries in the follow-up survey were audited. Implementing the new criteria improved the diagnosis from 74% to 81% (p = 0.049) and also the management of obstructed labour from 4.2% at baseline audit to 9.2% at re-audit (p = 0.025). Improved detection of prolonged labour through heightened observation of regular contractions, protracted cervical dilatation, protracted descent of presenting part, arrested cervical dilation, and severe moulding contributed to improved standards of diagnosis (all p labour using available resources. Some of the observed changes in practice were of modest magnitude implying demand for further improvements, while sustaining those already put in place. PMID:27893765

  3. Inpatient case fatality rates improvements in children under 5 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Africa (SA),[2] and contribute significantly to the under-5 mortality rate. In 2015, pneumonia ... under-5 deaths (excluding perinatal causes), accounting for 16% and ... Corresponding author: L Bamford (lesley.bamford@health.gov.za). Data on ...

  4. Improved air ventilation rate estimation based on a statistical model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brabec, M.; Jilek, K.

    2004-01-01

    A new approach to air ventilation rate estimation from CO measurement data is presented. The approach is based on a state-space dynamic statistical model, allowing for quick and efficient estimation. Underlying computations are based on Kalman filtering, whose practical software implementation is rather easy. The key property is the flexibility of the model, allowing various artificial regimens of CO level manipulation to be treated. The model is semi-parametric in nature and can efficiently handle time-varying ventilation rate. This is a major advantage, compared to some of the methods which are currently in practical use. After a formal introduction of the statistical model, its performance is demonstrated on real data from routine measurements. It is shown how the approach can be utilized in a more complex situation of major practical relevance, when time-varying air ventilation rate and radon entry rate are to be estimated simultaneously from concurrent radon and CO measurements

  5. Does Low-Field Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Improve the Results of Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery? Experience of the Implementation of a New Device in a Referral Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Sergio; Reyes, Luis; Roldán, Pedro; Torales, Jorge; Halperin, Irene; Hanzu, Felicia; Langdon, Cristobal; Alobid, Isam; Enseñat, Joaquim

    2017-06-01

    To assess the contribution of low-field intraoperative magnetic resonance (iMRI) to endoscopic pituitary surgery. We analyzed a prospective series of patients undergoing endoscopic endonasal surgery for pituitary macroadenomas assisted with a low-field iMRI (PoleStarN30, 0.15 T [Medtronic]). Clinical, radiologic, and surgical variables were analyzed and compared with our fully endoscopic historic cohort operated on without iMRI assistance. A bibliographic review of pituitary surgery assisted with iMRI was conducted. Thirty patients (57% female; mean age, 55 years) were prospectively analyzed. The most frequent tumor subtype was nonfunctioning macroadenoma (50%). The average Knosp grade was 2.3 and mean tumor size was 18 mm. Surgical and positioning time were 102 and 47 minutes, respectively. Hospital stay and complication rates were similar to our historical cohort for pituitary surgery. Mean follow-up was 10 months. Complete resection (CR) was achieved in 83% of patients. Seven patients (23%) benefited from iMRI assistance and achieved a CR in their surgeries. All patients except 1 experienced hormonal activity remission. iMRI sensitivity and specificity was 0.8 and 1, respectively. Although not statistically significant, CR rates were globally 11.5% superior in iMRI series compared with our historical cohort. This difference was independent of cavernous sinus invasiveness grade (CR rate increased 12.5% for Knosp grade 0-2 and 8.1% for Knosp grade 3-4). Low-field iMRI is a useful and safe assistance even in advanced surgical techniques such as endoscopy. Its contribution is limited by the intrinsic features of the tumor. Further randomized studies are required to confirm the cost-effectiveness of iMRI in pituitary surgery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Chern-Simons diffusion rate in improved holographic QCD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gürsoy, U.; Iatrakis, I.; Kiritsis, E.; Nitti, F.; O’Bannon, A.

    2013-01-01

    In (3 + 1)-dimensional SU(N c) Yang-Mills (YM) theory, the Chern-Simons diffusion rate, ΓCS, is determined by the zero-momentum, zero-frequency limit of the retarded two-point function of the CP-odd operator tr [F ∧ F ], with F the YM field strength. The Chern-Simons diffusion rate is a crucial

  7. Physicians' opinions about partner notification methods: case reporting, patient referral, and provider referral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogben, M; St Lawrence, J S; Montaño, D E; Kasprzyk, D; Leichliter, J S; Phillips, W R

    2004-02-01

    The United States has relied upon partner notification strategies to help break the chain of infection and re-infection for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Physicians are a vital link in the system of STD control, but little is known of physician opinions about partner notification strategies. We collected opinions about partner notification from a national probability sample of physicians in specialties diagnosing STDs. Physicians responded to 17 questions about three relevant forms of STD partner notification: patient based referral, provider based referral, and case reporting. Exploratory factor analyses showed that responses for each form of partner notification could be grouped into four categories: perceived practice norms, infection control, patient relationships, and time/money. Multivariate analyses of the factors showed that physicians endorsed patient based referral most favourably and provider based referral least favourably. Physicians' opinions about partner notification strategies appear to reflect objective reality in some areas, but not in others. Strategies that improve the fit between physicians' opinions and effective notification are needed: some are discussed here.

  8. ACDOS2: an improved neutron-induced dose rate code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lagache, J.C.

    1981-06-01

    To calculate the expected dose rate from fusion reactors as a function of geometry, composition, and time after shutdown a computer code, ACDOS2, was written, which utilizes up-to-date libraries of cross-sections and radioisotope decay data. ACDOS2 is in ANSI FORTRAN IV, in order to make it readily adaptable elsewhere

  9. Optimum stocking rate for goat production on improved highland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of four stocking rates (SR; 7.5, 15, 30 and 45 goats ha-1) on goat performance and herbage productivity were examined on the perennial pastures. The experiment was applied by grazing 65 six-months old Chinese Yunling black goat wethers for two years. Significant year × SR interactions were observed on ...

  10. ACDOS2: an improved neutron-induced dose rate code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagache, J.C.

    1981-06-01

    To calculate the expected dose rate from fusion reactors as a function of geometry, composition, and time after shutdown a computer code, ACDOS2, was written, which utilizes up-to-date libraries of cross-sections and radioisotope decay data. ACDOS2 is in ANSI FORTRAN IV, in order to make it readily adaptable elsewhere.

  11. Caregivers' compliance with referral advice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lal, Sham; Ndyomugenyi, Richard; Paintain, Lucy

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Several malaria endemic countries have implemented community health worker (CHW) programmes to increase access to populations underserved by health care. There is considerable evidence on CHW adherence to case management guidelines, however, there is limited evidence on the compliance...... in the control arm were trained to treat malaria with ACTs based on fever symptoms. Caregivers' referral forms were linked with CHW treatment forms to determine whether caregivers complied with the referral advice. Factors associated with compliance were examined with logistic regression. RESULTS: CHW saw 18......,497 child visits in the moderate-to-high transmission setting and referred 15.2% (2815/18,497) of all visits; in the low-transmission setting, 35.0% (1135/3223) of all visits were referred. Compliance to referral was low, in both settings

  12. The path to improved reaction rates for astrophysics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rauscher, T.

    2011-01-01

    This review focuses on nuclear reactions in astrophysics and, more specifically, on reactions with light ions (nucleons and α particles) proceeding via the strong interaction. It is intended to present the basic definitions essential for studies in nuclear astrophysics, to point out the differences between nuclear reactions taking place in stars and in a terrestrial laboratory, and to illustrate some of the challenges to be faced in theoretical and experimental studies of those reactions. The discussion revolves around the relevant quantities for astrophysics, which are the astrophysical reaction rates. The sensitivity of the reaction rates to the uncertainties in the prediction of various nuclear properties is explored and some guidelines for experimentalists are also provided. (author)

  13. Measurement for the Leak Rate enhanced by a Improved Method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bae, Sang-Hoon; Choi, Young-San; Kim, Young-Ki; Lee, Yong-Sub; Jung, Hoan-Sung

    2007-01-01

    The leak rate measurement of the HANARO such as a research reactor that adopts a confinement concept for a reactor hall is very important one during a period inspection. This test verifies whether the reactor building could maintain the negative pressure or not when radiation is perceived by abnormal accidents. Of course, this may not cause a problem in a reactor operation only if it can satisfy the design requirement, but it is necessary to have some margin of a limitation value because a reactor hall should be managed more conservatively than the design reference. To meet the requirements of this strict design condition, previous method was changed to a new type of test with more stable and robust measuring method. The new leak rate measurement method is briefly introduced and the merits of this proposed method are shown through the data analyzed for last 3 years

  14. Facility optimization to improve activation rate distributions during IVNAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebrahimi Khankook, Atiyeh; Rafat Motavalli, Laleh; Miri Hakimabad, Hashem

    2013-01-01

    Currently, determination of body composition is the most useful method for distinguishing between certain diseases. The prompt-gamma in vivo neutron activation analysis (IVNAA) facility for non-destructive elemental analysis of the human body is the gold standard method for this type of analysis. In order to obtain accurate measurements using the IVNAA system, the activation probability in the body must be uniform. This can be difficult to achieve, as body shape and body composition affect the rate of activation. The aim of this study was to determine the optimum pre-moderator, in terms of material for attaining uniform activation probability with a CV value of about 10% and changing the collimator role to increase activation rate within the body. Such uniformity was obtained with a high thickness of paraffin pre-moderator, however, because of increasing secondary photon flux received by the detectors it was not an appropriate choice. Our final calculations indicated that using two paraffin slabs with a thickness of 3 cm as a pre-moderator, in the presence of 2 cm Bi on the collimator, achieves a satisfactory distribution of activation rate in the body. (author)

  15. Improving publication rates in a collaborative clinical trials research network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Stephanie Wilson; Carlo, Waldemar A.; Truog, William E.; Stevenson, David K.; Van Meurs, Krisa P.; Sánchez, Pablo J.; Das, Abhik; Devaskar, Uday; Nelin, Leif D.; Petrie Huitema, Carolyn M.; Crawford, Margaret M.; Higgins, Rosemary D.

    2016-01-01

    Unpublished results can bias biomedical literature, favoring positive over negative findings, primary over secondary analyses, and can lead to duplicate studies that unnecessarily endanger subjects and waste resources. The Neonatal Research Network’s (NRN) publication policies for approving, reviewing, and tracking abstracts and papers work to combat these problems. In 2003, the NRN restricted investigators with unfinished manuscripts from proposing new ones and in 2010, urged authors to complete long-outstanding manuscripts. Data from 1991 to 2015 were analyzed to determine effectiveness of these policy changes. The NRN has achieved an overall publication rate of 78% for abstracts. For 1990–2002, of 137 abstracts presented, 43 (31%) were published within 2 years; for 2003–2009, after the manuscript completion policy was instituted, of 140 abstracts presented, 68 (49%) were published within 2 years. Following the effort in 2010, the rate increased to 64%. The NRN surpassed reported rates by developing a comprehensive process, holding investigators accountable and tracking abstracts from presentation to publication. PMID:27423510

  16. Improving SysSim's Planetary Occurrence Rate Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashby, Keir; Ragozzine, Darin; Hsu, Danley; Ford, Eric B.

    2017-10-01

    Kepler's catalog of thousands of transiting planet candidates enables statistical characterization of the underlying planet occurrence rates as a function of period and radius. Due to geometric factors and general noise in measurements, we know that many planets--especially those with a small-radius and/or long-period--were not observed by Kepler.To account for Kepler's detection criteria, Hsu et al. 2017 expanded on work in Lissuaer et al. 2011 to develop the Planetary System Simulator or "SysSim". SysSim uses a forward model to generate simulated catalogs of exoplanet systems, determine which of those simulated planets would have been seen by Kepler in the presence of uncertainties, and then compares those “observed planets” to those actually seen by Kepler. It then uses Approximate Bayesian Computation to infer the posterior probability distributions of the input parameters used to generate the forward model. In Hsu et al. 2017, we focused on matching the observed frequency of planets by solving for the underlying occurrence rate for each bin in a 2-dimensional grid of radius and period. After summarizing the results of Hsu et al. 2017, we show new results that investigate the effect on occurrence rates from including more accurate completeness products (from the Kepler DR25 analysis) into SysSim.

  17. Factors affecting cardiac rehabilitation referral by physician specialty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Sherry L; Grewal, Keerat; Stewart, Donna E

    2008-01-01

    Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is widely underutilized because of multiple factors including physician referral practices. Previous research has shown CR referral varies by type of provider, with cardiologists more likely to refer than primary care physicians. The objective of this study was to compare factors affecting CR referral in primary care physicians versus cardiac specialists. A cross-sectional survey of a stratified random sample of 510 primary care physicians and cardiac specialists (cardiologists or cardiovascular surgeons) in Ontario identified through the Canadian Medical Directory Online was administered. One hundred four primary care physicians and 81 cardiac specialists responded to the 26-item investigator-generated survey examining medical, demographic, attitudinal, and health system factors affecting CR referral. Primary care physicians were more likely to endorse lack of familiarity with CR site locations (P negatively impacting CR referral practices than cardiac specialists. Cardiac specialists were significantly more likely to perceive that their colleagues and department would regularly refer patients to CR than primary care physicians (P Marketing CR site locations, provision of standardized referral forms, and ensuring discharge summaries are communicated to primary care physicians may improve their willingness to refer to CR.

  18. Improvement of dissolution rate of indomethacin by inkjet printing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wickström, Henrika; Palo, Mirja; Rijckaert, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare printable inks of the poorly water soluble drug indomethacin (IMC), fabricate printed systems with flexible doses and investigate the effect of ink excipients on the printability, dissolution rate and the solid state properties of the drug. A piezoelectric...... the spectra of the carrier substrate. Yet, the samples retained their yellow color after 6months of storage at room temperature and after drying at elevated temperature in a vacuum oven. This suggests that the samples remained either in a dissolved or an amorphous form. Based on the results from this study...... a formulation guidance for inkjet printing of poorly soluble drugs is also proposed....

  19. Improving Pupil Referral Unit Outcomes: Pupil Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, Siobhan; Frederickson, Norah

    2013-01-01

    Concern has been expressed about the quality of alternative provision for young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and the poor academic and social outcomes many experience. Little research has sought the views of the young people themselves regarding the enablers and barriers to positive outcomes they have encountered. A…

  20. Moving up the Ladder: How Do States Deliver Quality Improvement Supports within Their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems? Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holod, Aleksandra; Faria, Ann-Marie; Weinberg, Emily; Howard, Eboni

    2015-01-01

    As national attention has increasingly focused on the potential for high-quality early childhood education (ECE) to improve children's school readiness, states have developed quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) to document the quality of ECE programs, support systematic quality improvement, and provide clear information to families…

  1. Reiki improves heart rate homeostasis in laboratory rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Ann Linda; Wagers, Christina; Schwartz, Gary E

    2008-05-01

    To determine whether application of Reiki to noise-stressed rats can reduce their heart rates (HRs) and blood pressures. In a previous study, we showed that exposure of rats to 90 dB white noise for 15 minutes caused their HRs and blood pressures to significantly increase. Reiki has been shown to significantly decrease HR and blood pressure in a small group of healthy human subjects. However, use of humans in such studies has the disadvantage that experimental interpretations are encumbered by the variable of belief or skepticism regarding Reiki. For that reason, noise-stressed rats were used as an animal model to test the efficacy of Reiki in reducing elevated HR and blood pressure. Three unrestrained, male Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with radiotelemetric transducers were exposed daily for 8 days to a 15-minute white noise regimen (90 dB). For the last 5 days, the rats received 15 minutes of Reiki immediately before the noise and during the noise period. The experiment was repeated on the same animals but using sham Reiki. The animals were housed in a quiet room in University of Arizona Animal Facility. Mean HRs and blood pressure were determined before Reiki/sham Reiki, during Reiki/sham Reiki, and during the noise in each case. Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced HR compared to initial values. With Reiki, there was a high correlation between change in HR and initial HR, suggesting a homeostatic effect. Reiki, but not sham Reiki, significantly reduced the rise in HR produced by exposure of the rats to loud noise. Neither Reiki nor sham Reiki significantly affected blood pressure. Reiki is effective in modulating HR in stressed and unstressed rats, supporting its use as a stress-reducer in humans.

  2. A project investigating music therapy referral trends within palliative care: an Australian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne-Thompson, Anne; Daveson, Barbara; Hogan, Bridgit

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to analyze music therapy (MT) referral trends from palliative care team members across nine Australian inpatient and community-based palliative care settings. For each referral 6 items were collected: referral source, reason and type; time from Palliative Care Program (PCP) admission to MT referral; time from MT referral to death/discharge; and profile of referred patient. Participants (196 female, 158 male) were referred ranging in age from 4-98 years and most were diagnosed with cancer (91%, n = 323). Nurses (47%, n = 167) referred most frequently to music therapy. The mean average time in days for all referrals from PCP admission to MT referral was 11.47 and then 5.19 days to time of death. Differences in length of time to referral ranged from 8.19 days (allied health staff) to 43.75 days (families). Forty-eight percent of referrals (48.5%, n = 172) were completed when the patient was rated at an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance (ECOG) of three. Sixty-nine percent (n = 244) were living with others at the time of referral and most were Australian born. Thirty-six percent (36.7%, n = 130) were referred for symptom-based reasons, and 24.5% (n = 87) for support and coping. Implications for service delivery of music therapy practice, interdisciplinary care and benchmarking of music therapy services shall be discussed.

  3. Managing Consumer Referrals in a Chain Network

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Arbatskaya; Hideo Konishi

    2014-01-01

    We consider the optimal pricing and referral strategy of a monopoly that uses a simple consumer communication network (a chain) to spread product information. The first-best policy with fully discriminatory position-based referral fees involves standard monopoly pricing and referral fees that provide consumers with strictly positive referral incentives. Effective price discrimination among consumers based on their positions in the chain occurs in both the first-best solution and the second-be...

  4. E-referral Solutions: Successful Experiences, Key Features and Challenges- a Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naseriasl, Mansour; Adham, Davoud; Janati, Ali

    2015-06-01

    around the world health systems constantly face increasing pressures which arise from many factors, such as an ageing population, patients and providers demands for equipment's and services. In order to respond these challenges and reduction of health system's transactional costs, referral solutions are considered as a key factor. This study was carried out to identify referral solutions that have had successes. relevant studies identified using keywords of referrals, consultation, referral system, referral model, referral project, electronic referral, electronic booking, health system, healthcare, health service and medical care. These searches were conducted using PubMed, ProQuest, Google Scholar, Scopus, Emerald, Web of Knowledge, Springer, Science direct, Mosby's index, SID, Medlib and Iran Doc data bases. 4306 initial articles were obtained and refined step by step. Finally, 27 articles met the inclusion criteria. we identified seventeen e-referral systems developed in UK, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark, Scotland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and U.S. Implemented solutions had variant degrees of successes such as improved access to specialist care, reduced wait times, timeliness and quality of referral communication, accurate health information transfer and integration of health centers and services. each one of referral solutions has both positive and changeable aspects that should be addressed according to sociotechnical conditions. These solutions are mainly formed in a small and localized manner.

  5. Barriers to palliative radiotherapy referral: A Canadian perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samant, Rajiv S.; Fitzgibbon, Edward; Meng, Joanne; Graham, Ian D.

    2007-01-01

    Radiotherapy is an effective but underutilized treatment modality for cancer patients. We decided to investigate the factors influencing radiotherapy referral among family physicians in our region. A 30-item survey was developed to determine palliative radiotherapy knowledge and factors influencing referral. It was sent to 400 physicians in eastern Ontario (Canada) and the completed surveys were evaluated. The overall response rate was 50% with almost all physicians seeing cancer patients recently (97%) and the majority (80%) providing palliative care. Approximately 56% had referred patients for radiotherapy previously and 59% were aware of the regional community oncology program. Factors influencing radiotherapy referral included the following: waiting times for radiotherapy consultation and treatment, uncertainty about the benefits of radiotherapy, patient age, and perceived patient inconvenience. Physicians who referred patients for radiotherapy were more than likely to provide palliative care, work outside of urban centres, have hospital privileges and had sought advice from a radiation oncologist in the past. A variety of factors influence the referral of cancer patients for radiotherapy by family physicians and addressing issues such as long waiting times, lack of palliative radiotherapy knowledge and awareness of Cancer Centre services could increase the rate of appropriate radiotherapy patient referral

  6. Challenges in referral communication between VHA primary care and specialty care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuchowski, Jessica L; Rose, Danielle E; Hamilton, Alison B; Stockdale, Susan E; Meredith, Lisa S; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Cordasco, Kristina M

    2015-03-01

    Poor communication between primary care providers (PCPs) and specialists is a significant problem and a detriment to effective care coordination. Inconsistency in the quality of primary-specialty communication persists even in environments with integrated delivery systems and electronic medical records (EMRs), such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The purpose of this study was to measure ease of communication and to characterize communication challenges perceived by PCPs and primary care personnel in the VHA, with a particular focus on challenges associated with referral communication. The study utilized a convergent mixed-methods design: online cross-sectional survey measuring PCP-reported ease of communication with specialists, and semi-structured interviews characterizing primary-specialty communication challenges. 191 VHA PCPs from one regional network were surveyed (54% response rate), and 41 VHA PCPs and primary care staff were interviewed. PCP-reported ease of communication mean score (survey) and recurring themes in participant descriptions of primary-specialty referral communication (interviews) were analyzed. Among PCPs, ease-of-communication ratings were highest for women's health and mental health (mean score of 2.3 on a scale of 1-3 in both), and lowest for cardiothoracic surgery and neurology (mean scores of 1.3 and 1.6, respectively). Primary care personnel experienced challenges communicating with specialists via the EMR system, including difficulty in communicating special requests for appointments within a certain time frame and frequent rejection of referral requests due to rigid informational requirements. When faced with these challenges, PCPs reported using strategies such as telephone and e-mail contact with specialists with whom they had established relationships, as well as the use of an EMR-based referral innovation called "eConsults" as an alternative to a traditional referral. Primary-specialty communication is a continuing

  7. Critical care outreach referrals: a mixed-method investigative study of outcomes and experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattison, Natalie; Eastham, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    To explore referrals to a critical care outreach team (CCOT), associated factors around patient management and survival to discharge, and the qualitative exploration of referral characteristics (identifying any areas for service improvement around CCOT). A single-centre mixed method study in a specialist hospital was undertaken, using an explanatory design: participant selection model. In this model, quantitative results (prospective and retrospective episode of care review, including modified early warning system (MEWS), time and delay of referral and patient outcomes for admission and survival) are further explained by qualitative (interview) data with doctors and nurses referring to outreach. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS +17 and 19, and qualitative data were analysed using grounded theory principles. A large proportion of referrals (124/407 = 30·5%) were made by medical staff. For 97 (97/407 = 23·8%) referrals, there was a delay between the point at which patients deteriorated (as verified by retrospective record review and MEWS score triggers) and the time at when patients were referred. The average delay was 2·96 h (95% CI 1·97-3·95; SD 9·56). Timely referrals were associated with improved outcomes; however, no causal attribution can be made from the circumstances around CCOT referral. Qualitative themes included indications for referral, facilitating factors for referral, barriers to referral and consequences of referral, with an overarching core theory of reassurance. Outreach was seen as back-up and this core theory demonstrates the important, and somewhat less tangible, role outreach has in supporting ward staff to care for at-risk patients. Mapping outreach episodes of care and patient outcomes can help highlight areas for improvement. This study outlines reasons for referral and how outreach can facilitate patient pathways in critical illness. © 2011 The Authors. Nursing in Critical Care © 2011 British Association of Critical Care

  8. Specialist participation in healthcare delivery transformation: influence of patient self-referral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliu, Oluseyi; Sun, Gordon; Burke, James; Chung, Kevin C; Davis, Matthew M

    2014-01-01

    Improving coordination of care and containing healthcare costs are prominent goals of healthcare reform. Specialist involvement in healthcare delivery transformation efforts like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is necessary to achieve these goals. However, patients’ self-referrals to specialists may undermine care coordination and incur unnecessary costs if patients frequently receive care from specialists not engaged in such healthcare delivery transformation efforts. Additionally, frequent self-referrals may also diminish the incentive for specialist participation in reform endeavors like ACOs to get access to a referral base. To examine recent national trends in self-referred new visits to specialists. A descriptive cross-sectional study of new ambulatory visits to specialists from 2000 to 2009 using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. We calculated nationally representative estimates of the proportion of new specialist visits through self-referrals among Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries. We also estimated the nationally representative absolute number of self-referred new specialist visits among both groups of beneficiaries. Among Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries, self-referred visits declined from 32.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 24.0%-40.4%) to 19.6% (95% CI, 13.9%-23.3%) and from 32.4% (95% CI, 27.9%-36.8%) to 24.1% (95% CI,18.8%-29.4%), respectively. Hence, at least 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 new visits to specialists among Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries, respectively, are self-referred. The current considerable rate of self-referred new specialist visits among both Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries may have adverse implications for organizations attempting to transform healthcare delivery with improved care coordination.

  9. Audit of emergency obstetric referrals from a secondary level hospital in Haryana, North India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashi Kant

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The maternal mortality ratio in India is high. An effective emergency obstetric care (EmOC strategy has been identified as a priority to reduce maternal deaths. Since the capacity of different levels of public health facilities to provide EmOC is varied, an effective referral system is crucial. However, few studies have evaluated the functioning and quality of referral systems in India. A systematic monitoring of referrals helps to identify current gaps in the provision of essential obstetric care. Objective: This study was conducted to identify the medical and logistic reasons for emergency obstetric referrals from a subdistrict hospital (SDH. Methods: An audit of emergency referrals during the period January 2015–December 2015 was carried out. Records of all obstetric patients referred from the maternity ward during the study period were reviewed. Results: The referral rate was found to be 31.7%. Preterm labor (30.6%, pregnancy-induced hypertension (17%, and fetal distress (10.6% were the main reasons for referral. Deficiencies were found in critical determinants of functionality, that is, nonavailability of emergency cesarean, neonatal care unit, and blood bank. Conclusions: The referral rate at the SDH was high. Lack of workforce and infrastructural facilities led to referrals of women who ought to have been managed at this level of the hospital.

  10. Automatic referral to cardiac rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Jane P

    2008-01-01

    The pervasive negative impact of cardiovascular disease in the United States is well documented. Although advances have been made, the campaign to reduce the occurrence, progression, and mortality continues. Determining evidence-based data is only half the battle. Implementing new and updated clinical guidelines into daily practice is a challenging task. Cardiac rehabilitation is an example of a proven intervention whose benefit is hindered through erratic implementation. The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the American Heart Association (AHA) have responded to this problem by publishing the AACVPR/ACC/AHA 2007 Performance Measures on Cardiac Rehabilitation for Referral to and Delivery of Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Services. This new national guideline recommends automatic referral to cardiac rehabilitation for every eligible patient (performance measure A-1). This article offers guidance for the initiation of an automatic referral system, including individualizing your protocol with regard to electronic or paper-based order entry structures.

  11. Referral criteria for school-based hearing screening in South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Referral criteria for school-based hearing screening in South Africa: Considerations for resource-limited contexts. ... Diagnostic audiometry confirmed that almost half (47%) of the referred children had a hearing loss. Conclusion: A screening intensity of 25 dB HL andimmediate rescreen reduces the referral rate significantly ...

  12. Gastrointestinal malignancies at five regional referral hospitals in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The distribution of oesophageal, liver, stomach and colorectal cancers diagnosed per year across the five referral hospitals was ... Conclusion: Oesophageal, liver, stomach and colorectal cancer remain the most common gastrointestinal malignancies and their rate is .... intake, poor dietary patterns such as consumption of a.

  13. Primary care nurses: effects on secondary care referrals for diabetes?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, C.E. van; Verheij, R.A.; Hansen, J.; Velden, L. van der; Nijpels, G.; Groenewegen, P.P.; Bakker, D.H. de

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Primary care nurses play an important role in diabetes care, and were introduced in GP-practice partly to shift care from hospital to primary care. The aim of this study was to assess whether the referral rate for hospital treatment for diabetes type II (T2DM) patients has changed with

  14. Managing outpatient consultations: from referral to discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rachael; Jacob, Hannah; Morrissey, Benita; Macaulay, Chloe; Gomez, Kumudini; Fertleman, Caroline

    2017-08-01

    Although a great deal of paediatric consultations are not urgent, doctors in training spend so much time providing service for acute conditions that they spend little time focusing on outpatient work before they become a consultant. Engaging clinicians in the managerial aspects of providing clinical care is a key to improving outcomes, and this article addresses these aspects of the outpatient consultation from referral to discharge. We aim to provide doctors in training with a tool to use during their training and their first few years as a consultant, to think about how outpatient work is organised and how it can be improved to maximise patient experience. The non-urgent consultation varies across the world; this article is aimed to be relevant to an international audience. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  15. Patient gender affects the referral and recommendation for total joint arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borkhoff, Cornelia M; Hawker, Gillian A; Wright, James G

    2011-07-01

    Rates of use of total joint arthroplasty among appropriate and willing candidates are lower in women than in men. A number of factors may explain this gender disparity, including patients' preferences for surgery, gender bias influencing physicians' clinical decision-making, and the patient-physician interaction. We propose a framework of how patient gender affects the patient and physician decision-making process of referral and recommendation for total joint arthroplasty and consider potential interventions to close the gender gap in total joint arthroplasty utilization. The process involved in the referral and recommendation for total joint arthroplasty involves eight discrete steps. A systematic review is used to describe the influence of patient gender and related clinical and nonclinical factors at each step. WHERE ARE WE NOW?: Patient gender plays an important role in the process of referral and recommendation for total joint arthroplasty. Female gender primarily affects Steps 3 through 8, suggesting barriers unique to women exist in the patient-physician interaction. WHERE DO WE NEED TO GO?: Developing and evaluating interventions that improve the quality of the patient-physician interaction should be the focus of future research. HOW DO WE GET THERE?: Potential interventions include using decision support tools that facilitate shared decision-making between patients and their physicians and promoting cultural competency and shared decision-making skills programs as a core component of medical education. Increasing physicians' acceptance and awareness of the unconscious biases that may be influencing their clinical decision-making may require additional skills programs.

  16. Innovation in managing the referral process at a Canadian pediatric hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Daune; Parker, Sandra; MacMillan, Sharon; Blais, Irene; Wong, Eugene; Robertson, Chris J; Bruce-Barrett, Cindy

    2009-01-01

    The provision of timely and optimal patient care is a priority in pediatric academic health science centres. Timely access to care is optimized when there is an efficient and consistent referral system in place. In order to improve the patient referral process and, therefore, access to care, an innovative web-based system was developed and implemented. The Ambulatory Referral Management System enables the electronic routing for submission, review, triage and management of all outpatient referrals. The implementation of this system has provided significant metrics that have informed how processes can be improved to increase access to care. Use of the system has improved efficiency in the referral process and has reduced the work associated with the previous paper-based referral system. It has also enhanced communication between the healthcare provider and the patient and family and has improved the security and confidentiality of patient information management. Referral guidelines embedded within the system have helped to ensure that referrals are more complete and that the patient being referred meets the criteria for assessment and treatment in an ambulatory setting. The system calculates and reports on wait times, as well as other measures.

  17. Improving health promotion through central rating of interventions: the need for Responsive Guidance.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Maarten Olivier; Bal, Roland; Roelofs, Caspar David; Schuit, Albertine Jantine

    2017-01-01

    In several countries, attempts are made to improve health promotion by centrally rating the effectiveness of health promotion interventions. The Dutch Effectiveness Rating System (ERS) for health promotion interventions is an improvement-oriented approach in which multi-disciplinary expert

  18. The Guyana Diabetes and Foot Care Project: Improved Diabetic Foot Evaluation Reduces Amputation Rates by Two-Thirds in a Lower Middle Income Country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibbald, R. Gary; Martin, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Background. Type 2 diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in Guyana, South America. A complex, interprofessional, quality improvement intervention to improve foot and diabetes care was rolled out in two phases. Methods & Findings. Phase 1: Establishment of an Interprofessional Diabetic Foot Center (DFC) of Excellence to improve foot care and reduce diabetes-related amputations at the national referral hospital. Phase 2: Regionalization to cover 90% of the Guyanese population and expansion to include improved management of diabetes and hypertension. Fourteen key opinion leaders were educated and 340 health care professionals from 97 facilities trained. Eight centers for the evaluation and treatment of foot ulcers were established and 7567 people with diabetes evaluated. 3452 participants had foot screening and 48% were deemed high risk; 10% of these had undocumented foot ulcers. There was a 68% reduction in rate of major amputations (P diabetes with women (F/M = 2.09) and increased risk of major amputation in men [odds ratio 2.16 (95% CI 1.83, 2.56)] were documented. Conclusions. This intervention improved foot care with reduction in major amputations sustained over 5 years. PMID:26089901

  19. Evaluation and Referral for Child Maltreatment in Pediatric Poisoning Victims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Joanne N.; Pecker, Lydia H.; Russo, Michael E.; Henretig, Fred; Christian, Cindy W.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Although the majority of poisonings in young children are due to exploratory ingestions and might be prevented through improved caregiver supervision, the circumstances that warrant evaluation for suspected maltreatment and referral to Child Protective Services (CPS) are unclear. Therefore the objective of this study was to determine…

  20. The added value of a mobile application of Community Case Management on referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates of children aged under 5 years in two districts in Northern Malawi: study protocol for a pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Victoria; O'Connor, Yvonne; Heavin, Ciara; Mastellos, Nikolaos; Tran, Tammy; O'Donoghue, John; Fitzpatrick, Annette L; Ide, Nicole; Wu, Tsung-Shu Joseph; Chirambo, Griphin Baxter; Muula, Adamson S; Nyirenda, Moffat; Carlsson, Sven; Andersson, Bo; Thompson, Matthew

    2017-10-11

    There is evidence to suggest that frontline community health workers in Malawi are under-referring children to higher-level facilities. Integrating a digitized version of paper-based methods of Community Case Management (CCM) could strengthen delivery, increasing urgent referral rates and preventing unnecessary re-consultations and hospital admissions. This trial aims to evaluate the added value of the Supporting LIFE electronic Community Case Management Application (SL eCCM App) compared to paper-based CCM on urgent referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates, in two districts in Northern Malawi. This is a pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial assessing the added value of the SL eCCM App on urgent referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates of children aged 2 months and older to up to 5 years, within 7 days of the index visit. One hundred and two health surveillance assistants (HSAs) were stratified into six clusters based on geographical location, and clusters randomized to the timing of crossover to the intervention using simple, computer-generated randomization. Training workshops were conducted prior to the control (paper-CCM) and intervention (paper-CCM + SL eCCM App) in assigned clusters. Neither participants nor study personnel were blinded to allocation. Outcome measures were determined by abstraction of clinical data from patient records 2 weeks after recruitment. A nested qualitative study explored perceptions of adherence to urgent referral recommendations and a cost evaluation determined the financial and time-related costs to caregivers of subsequent health care utilization. The trial was conducted between July 2016 and February 2017. This is the first large-scale trial evaluating the value of adding a mobile application of CCM to the assessment of children aged under 5 years. The trial will generate evidence on the potential use of mobile health for CCM in Malawi, and more widely in other low- and middle

  1. HIV Viral Load Trends in Six Eastern Caribbean Countries Utilizing a Regional Laboratory Referral Service: Implications for Treatment as Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, R Clive; Carmichael-Simmons, Kelly; Hambleton, Ian R; Best, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Since 2009, seven countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, have been utilizing a laboratory referral service for HIV-1 viral load (VL) offered by The Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU) Laboratory, Barbados. The objective of this study was to evaluate 5 year VL trends in the six larger OECS countries participating in this regional referral service. Blood samples were collected in source countries and transported to Barbados as frozen plasma according to a standardized protocol. Plasma specimens were amplified by RT PCR on a Roche TaqMan 48 analyser (Roche Diagnostics, Panama City, Panama). VL was considered optimally suppressed below a threshold level of < 200 HIV-1 copies/mL of blood. The same threshold was used as a binary indicator in an analysis of the secular change in VL suppression. Montserrat was excluded due to insufficient number of samples. A steady rise in VL referrals from OECS countries was recorded, rising from 312 samples in 2009 to 1,060 samples in 2013. A total of 3,543 samples were tested, with a sample rejection rate (9.2%) mostly due to breaks in the cold chain. Aggregate VL data showed the odds of VL suppression in the Eastern Caribbean improved by 66% for each additional year after 2009 (Odds Ratio 1.66 [95% CI 1.46 to 1.88]; p<0.001). We demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a regional laboratory referral service for HIV VL monitoring in the Eastern Caribbean. Aggregate VL trends showed a significant year-on-year improvement in VL suppression, implying public health benefits through treatment as prevention in the OECS. VL provides a powerful monitoring & evaluation tool for strengthening HIV programs at country level among the small island states participating in this regional referral network.

  2. HIV Viral Load Trends in Six Eastern Caribbean Countries Utilizing a Regional Laboratory Referral Service: Implications for Treatment as Prevention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Clive Landis

    Full Text Available Since 2009, seven countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, have been utilizing a laboratory referral service for HIV-1 viral load (VL offered by The Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU Laboratory, Barbados. The objective of this study was to evaluate 5 year VL trends in the six larger OECS countries participating in this regional referral service.Blood samples were collected in source countries and transported to Barbados as frozen plasma according to a standardized protocol. Plasma specimens were amplified by RT PCR on a Roche TaqMan 48 analyser (Roche Diagnostics, Panama City, Panama. VL was considered optimally suppressed below a threshold level of < 200 HIV-1 copies/mL of blood. The same threshold was used as a binary indicator in an analysis of the secular change in VL suppression. Montserrat was excluded due to insufficient number of samples.A steady rise in VL referrals from OECS countries was recorded, rising from 312 samples in 2009 to 1,060 samples in 2013. A total of 3,543 samples were tested, with a sample rejection rate (9.2% mostly due to breaks in the cold chain. Aggregate VL data showed the odds of VL suppression in the Eastern Caribbean improved by 66% for each additional year after 2009 (Odds Ratio 1.66 [95% CI 1.46 to 1.88]; p<0.001.We demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a regional laboratory referral service for HIV VL monitoring in the Eastern Caribbean. Aggregate VL trends showed a significant year-on-year improvement in VL suppression, implying public health benefits through treatment as prevention in the OECS. VL provides a powerful monitoring & evaluation tool for strengthening HIV programs at country level among the small island states participating in this regional referral network.

  3. Community referral in home management of malaria in western Uganda: A case series study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nsungwa-Sabiiti Jesca

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Home Based Management of fever (HBM was introduced as a national policy in Uganda to increase access to prompt presumptive treatment of malaria. Pre-packed Chloroquine/Fansidar combination is distributed free of charge to febrile children Methods A case-series study was performed during 20 weeks in a West-Ugandan sub-county with an under-five population of 3,600. Community drug distributors (DDs were visited fortnightly and recording forms collected. Referred children were located and primary caretaker interviewed in the household. Referral health facility records were studied for those stating having completed referral. Results Overall referral rate was 8% (117/1454. Fever was the main reason for mothers to seek DD care and for DDs to refer. Twenty-six of the 28 (93% "urgent referrals" accessed referral care but 8 (31% delayed >24 hours. Waiting for antimalarial drugs to finish caused most delays. Of 32 possible pneumonias only 16 (50% were urgently referred; most delayed ≥ 2 days before accessing referral care. Conclusion The HBM has high referral compliance and extends primary health care to the communities by maintaining linkages with formal health services. Referral non-completion was not a major issue but failure to recognise pneumonia symptoms and delays in referral care access for respiratory illnesses may pose hazards for children with acute respiratory infections. Extending HBM to also include pneumonia may increase prompt and effective care of the sick child in sub-Saharan Africa.

  4. Epidemiology of infective endocarditis in a large Belgian non-referral hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poesen, K; Pottel, H; Colaert, J; De Niel, C

    2014-06-01

    Guidelines for diagnosis of infective endocarditis are largely based upon epidemiological studies in referral hospitals. Referral bias, however, might impair the validity of guidelines in non-referral hospitals. Recent studies in non-referral care centres on infective endocarditis are sparse. We conducted a retrospective epidemiological study on infective endocarditis in a large non-referral hospital in a Belgian city (Kortrijk). The medical record system was searched for all cases tagged with a putative diagnosis of infective endocarditis in the period 2003-2010. The cases that fulfilled the modified Duke criteria for probable or definite infective endocarditis were included. Compared to referral centres, an older population with infective endocarditis, and fewer predisposing cardiac factors and catheter-related infective endocarditis is seen in our population. Our patients have fewer prosthetic valve endocarditis as well as fewer staphylococcal endocarditis. Our patients undergo less surgery, although mortality rate seems to be highly comparable with referral centres, with nosocomial infective endocarditis as an independent predictor of mortality. The present study suggests that characteristics of infective endocarditis as well as associative factors might differ among non-referral hospitals and referral hospitals.

  5. Efficacy of an Internet-based depression intervention to improve rates of treatment in adolescent mothers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia Logsdon, M; Myers, John; Rushton, Jeff; Gregg, Jennifer L; Josephson, Allan M; Davis, Deborah Winders; Brothers, Kyle; Baisch, Kristin; Carabello, Anissa; Vogt, Krista; Jones, Kayla; Angermeier, Jennifer

    2018-06-01

    Approximately 400,000 adolescents give birth in the USA annually. Although one-half experience depressive symptoms, less than 25% comply with referrals for depression evaluation and treatment. The current study tested the effectiveness of an Internet-based depression intervention on seeking depression treatment. Based upon the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the intervention included vignettes, questions and answers, and resources. Before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and 2 weeks later the adolescent mothers (n = 151) answered questions related to TPB variables and depression treatment. Data were compared to adolescent mothers (n = 138) in the control group. Data were collected in community organizations or home visits for the control group. Adolescent mothers in the intervention group answered questions and completed the intervention from a computer of their choice. The adolescents were primarily African American (89.2%), less than high school educated (51.7%), had given birth in last year (97.1%), with a mean age 18.2 years. The intervention led to significant changes in attitude, perceived control, intention to seek mental health treatment, and actually seeking depression treatment. Untreated postpartum depression dramatically impacts a mother's relationship with her child, her functioning at work and school, health care-seeking behaviors, mothering skills, and her development as well as the development of her child. An Internet-based depression intervention is an inexpensive method to increase rates of depression treatment.

  6. Improvements in the energy resolution and high-count-rate performance of bismuth germanate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koehler, P.E.; Wender, S.A.; Kapustinsky, J.S.

    1985-01-01

    Several methods for improving the energy resolution of bismuth germanate (BGO) have been investigated. It is shown that some of these methods resulted in a substantial improvement in the energy resolution. In addition, a method to improve the performance of BGO at high counting rates has been systematically studied. The results of this study are presented and discussed

  7. Coaching for Quality Improvement: Lessons Learned from Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Research Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tout, Kathryn; Isner, Tabitha; Zaslow, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Coaching and other on-site, individualized professional development strategies (consultation, mentoring, and technical assistance) are promising approaches to support the application of new teaching practices and overall quality improvement among practitioners in early care and education settings. This Research Brief summarizes a recent report…

  8. Monitoring the referral system through benchmarking in rural Niger: an evaluation of the functional relation between health centres and the district hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyé Hamidou

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The main objective of this study is to establish a benchmark for referral rates in rural Niger so as to allow interpretation of routine referral data to assess the performance of the referral system in Niger. Methods Strict and controlled application of existing clinical decision trees in a sample of rural health centres allowed the estimation of the corresponding need for and characteristics of curative referrals in rural Niger. Compliance of referral was monitored as well. Need was matched against actual referral in 11 rural districts. The referral patterns were registered so as to get an idea on the types of pathology referred. Results The referral rate benchmark was set at 2.5 % of patients consulting at the health centre for curative reasons. Niger's rural districts have a referral rate of less than half this benchmark. Acceptability of referrals is low for the population and is adding to the deficient referral system in Niger. Mortality because of under-referral is highest among young children. Conclusion Referral patterns show that the present programme approach to deliver health care leaves a large amount of unmet need for which only comprehensive first and second line health services can provide a proper answer. On the other hand, the benchmark suggests that well functioning health centres can take care of the vast majority of problems patients present with.

  9. Improved achievable secrecy rate of visible light communication with cooperative jamming

    KAUST Repository

    Zaid, Hajar; Rezki, Zouheir; Chaaban, Anas; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim

    2016-01-01

    constraint on the input distribution which renders Gaussian inputs not admissible. We provide an achievable secrecy rate that improves upon a recently established one in a concurrent work by Mostafa and Lampe. Our scheme follows from both the secrecy capacity

  10. Referrral Systems Development and Survey of Perioperative and Critical Care Referral to Anesthetists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narendra, P L; Hegde, Harihar V; Khan, Maroof Ahmad; Talikoti, Dayanand G; Nallamilli, Samson

    2017-01-01

    Anesthetists come in contact with more than two-third of hospital patients. Timely referral to anesthetists is vital in perioperative and remote site settings. Delayed referrals, improper referrals, and referrals at inappropriate levels can result in inadequate preparation, perioperative complications, and poor outcome. The self administered paper survey to delegates attending anesthesia conferences. Questions were asked on how high-risk, emergency surgical cases remote site and critical care patients were referred to anesthetists and presence of rapid response teams. The response rate was 43.8%. Sixty percent (55.3-64.8, P - 0.001) reported high-risk elective cases were referred after admission. Sixty-eight percent (63.42-72.45, P - 0.001) opined preoperative resting echocardiographs were useful. Six percent (4.16-8.98, P - 0.001) reported emergency room referral before arrival of the patient. Twenty-five percent (20.92-29.42, P - 0.001) indicated high-risk obstetric cases were referred immediately after admission. Consultants practiced preoperative stabilization more commonly than residents (32% vs. 22%) ( P - 0.004). For emergency surgery, resident referrals occurred after surgery time was fixed (40% vs. 28%) ( P - 0.012). Residents dealt with more cases without full investigations in obstetrics (28% vs. 15) ( P = 0.002). Remote site patients were commonly referred to residents after sedation attempts (32% vs. 20%) ( P = 0.036). Only 34.8 said hosptals where tbey practiced had dedicated cardiac arrest team in place. Anesthetic departments must periodically assess whether subgroups of patients are being referred in line with current guidelines. Cancellations, critical incidents and complications arising out of referral delays, and improper referrals must be recorded as referral incidents and a separate referral incident registry must be maintained in each department. Regular referral audits must be encouraged.

  11. An improved model for considering strain rate effects on reinforced concrete elements behavior under dynamic loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sim, J.; Soroushian, P.

    1989-01-01

    An improved model for predicting the reinforced concrete element behavior under dynamic strain rates was developed using the layer modeling technique. The developed strain rate sensitive model for axial/flexural analysis of reinforced concrete elements was used to predict the test results, performed at different loading rates, and the predictions were reasonable. The developed analysis technique was used to study the loading rate sensitivity of reinforced concrete beams and columns with different geometry and material properties. Two design formulas for computing the loading rate dependent axial and flexural strengths of reinforced concrete sections are suggested

  12. Improving the rate and quality of medicaid well child care exams in primary care practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katy Duncan; Merchen, Eileen; Turner, Crystal D; Vaught, Cara; Fritz, Terrie; Mold, Jim

    2010-07-01

    Providing recommended well child care to children insured bythe Medicaid Program can be challenging. Members of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine (DFPM) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center contracted to help practices improve the rates and quality of well child care visits within the Oklahoma Medicaid Program. Sixteen pediatric and family medicine practices in three Oklahoma counties chose to participate in this quality improvement initiative. The records of Sooner Care-insured children age 0-20 were reviewed for both rate and quality of well child care visits made during the previous twelve months. Performance feedback was provided. Practice guidelines, Sooner Care requirements, and tips from exemplary practices were provided. In two of the counties, a case manager helped practices with challenging patients. Practice Enhancement Assistants (PEAs) then helped practices implement a variety of strategies to increase visit rates and improve the quality of early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) visits. Information technology (IT) support was provided when needed. The average rates of visits, for all counties combined, increased. Visit rates increased more in the younger age groups (birth to two years). There was significant improvement in quality of visits. Rates and quality improved much more in some practices than in others. A combination of academic detailing, performance feedback, practice facilitation, case management, and IT support produced increases in the quality and rates of EPSDT exams.

  13. Comparability of the Social Skills Improvement System to the Social Skills Rating System: A Norwegian Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamst-Klaussen, Thor; Rasmussen, Lene-Mari P.; Svartdal, Frode; Strømgren, Børge

    2016-01-01

    The Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scales (SSIS-RS) is a multi-informant instrument assessing social skills and problem behavior in children and adolescents. It is a revised version of the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS). A Norwegian translation of the SSRS has been validated, but this has not yet been done for the Norwegian…

  14. Improved decay rates for solutions for a multidimensional generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation

    KAUST Repository

    Said-Houari, Belkacem

    2014-01-01

    the Fourier transform and the energy method, we show the global existence and the convergence rates of the solutions under the smallness assumption on the initial data and we give better decay rates of the solutions. This result improves early works in J

  15. Improving participation rates by providing choice of participation mode: two randomized controlled trials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijmans, N.; Lieshout, J. van; Wensing, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Low participation rates reduce effective sample size, statistical power and can increase risk for selection bias. Previous research suggests that offering choice of participation mode can improve participation rates. However, few head-to-head trials compared choice of participation mode

  16. 38 CFR 3.24 - Improved pension rates-Surviving children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension rates-Surviving children. 3.24 Section 3.24 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation General § 3.24 Improved pension...

  17. The effect of referral for cardiac rehabilitation on survival following acute myocardial infarction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewinter, Christian; Bland, John M; Crouch, Simon

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: International guidelines recommend referral for cardiac rehabilitation (CR) after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, the impact on long-term survival after CR referral has not been adjusted by time-variance. We compared the effects of CR referral after hospitalization for AMI......% CI, 0.66 to 0.96, p = 0.02 in 2003) when patients entered the model at three months after discharge and had a common exit at 90 months. Significant positive and negative predictors for CR referral were beta-blocker prescription (+), reperfusion (+) and age (-) in 1995, and reperfusion...... (+), revascularization (+), heart failure (HF) (+), antiplatelets (+), angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) (+), statins (+), diabetes (-), and the modified Global Registry of Acute Cardiac Events (GRACE) risk score (-) in 2003. CONCLUSIONS: CR referral was associated with improved survival in 2003...

  18. Improving health promotion through central rating of interventions: the need for Responsive Guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Maarten Olivier; Bal, Roland; Roelofs, Caspar David; Schuit, Albertine Jantine

    2017-11-23

    In several countries, attempts are made to improve health promotion by centrally rating the effectiveness of health promotion interventions. The Dutch Effectiveness Rating System (ERS) for health promotion interventions is an improvement-oriented approach in which multi-disciplinary expert committees rate available health promotion interventions as 'theoretically sound', 'probably effective' or 'proven effective'. The aim of this study is to explore the functioning of the ERS and the perspective of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners regarding its contribution to improvement. We interviewed 53 selected key informants from research, policy and practice in the Netherlands and observed the assessment of 12 interventions. Between 2008 and 2012, a total of 94 interventions were submitted to the ERS, of which 23 were rejected, 58 were rated as 'theoretically sound', 10 were rated as 'probably effective' and 3 were rated as 'proven effective'. According to participants, the ERS was intended to facilitate both the improvement of available interventions and the improvement of health promotion in practice. While participants expected that describing and rating interventions promoted learning and enhanced the transferability of interventions, they were concerned that the ERS approach was not suitable for guiding intervention development and improving health promotion in practice. The expert committees that assessed the interventions struggled with a lack of norms for the relevance of effects and questions about how effects should be studied and rated. Health promotion practitioners were concerned that the ERS neglected the local adaptation of interventions and did not encourage the improvement of aspects like applicability and costs. Policy-makers and practitioners were worried that the lack of proven effectiveness legitimised cutbacks rather than learning and advancing health promotion. While measuring and centrally rating the effectiveness of interventions can be

  19. Characteristics Of Referrals To An Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Practitioners (GMPS) sent the most referrals (507 or 74.0%), specialist medical practitioners (SMPs) sent 86(12.6%) and general dental practitioners (GDPs) sent 59(8.6%) referrals. The medical specialty with most referrals was paediatrics (29.0 % of the SMPs referrals). 44.5% of the referrals had no provisional diagnosis, ...

  20. Referral for assisted reproductive technology: Indications and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ramakantb

    Over an 8-year period, 23 consenting infertile patients/ couples were given referral for assisted conception. The median age was 36 years and mean duration of infertility was 43 months. Indications for referral as shown in Table 1 were male factor in five (21.7%) patients, female factor in seven (30.4%) patients, and both ...

  1. Reading Intervention and Special Education Referrals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polcyn, Dawn M.; Levine-Donnerstein, Deborah; Perfect, Michelle M.; Obrzut, John E.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined whether consistently implementing reading fluency interventions prior to referring students for a special education evaluation led to fewer overall special education referrals, as well as more accurate special education referrals. Results indicated that the implementation of a peer-mediated reading fluency intervention…

  2. Reducing RN Vacancy Rate: A Nursing Recruitment Office Process Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisgen, Stephanie A; Page, Nancy E; Thornlow, Deirdre K; Merwin, Elizabeth I

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this study was to reduce the RN vacancy rate at an academic medical center by improving the hiring process in the Nursing Recruitment Office. Inability to fill RN positions can lead to higher vacancy rates and negatively impact staff and patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and the organization's bottom line. The Model for Improvement was used to design and implement a process improvement project to improve the hiring process from time of interview through the position being filled. Number of days to interview and check references decreased significantly, but no change in overall time to hire and time to fill positions was noted. RN vacancy rate also decreased significantly. Nurse manager satisfaction with the hiring process increased significantly. Redesigning the recruitment process supported operational efficiencies of the organization related to RN recruitment.

  3. Does treadmill running performance, heart rate and breathing rate response during maximal graded exercise improve after volitional respiratory muscle training?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, K; Sharma, V K; Subramanian, S K

    2017-05-10

    Maximal physical exertion in sports usually causes fatigue in the exercising muscles, but not in the respiratory muscles due to triggering of the Respiratory muscle metabo-reflex, a sympathetic vasoconstrictor response leading to preferential increment in blood flow to respiratory muscles. 1 We planned to investigate whether a six week yogic pranayama based Volitional Respiratory Muscle Training (VRMT) can improve maximal Graded Exercise Treadmill Test (GXTT) performance in healthy adult recreational sportspersons. Consecutive, consenting healthy adult recreational sportspersons aged 20.56±2.49 years (n=30), volunteered to 'baseline recording' of resting heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), respiratory rate (RR), and Bruce ramp protocol maximal GXTT until volitional exhaustion providing total test time (TTT), derived VO2max, Metabolic Equivalent of Task (METs), HR and BP response during maximal GXTT and drop in recovery HR data. After six weeks of observation, they underwent 'pre-intervention recording' followed by supervised VRMT intervention for 6 weeks (30 minutes a day; 5 days a week) and then 'post-intervention recording'. Repeated measures ANOVA with pairwise t statistical comparison was used to analyse the data. After supervised VRMT, we observed significant decrease in their resting supine RR (prespiratory muscle aerobic capacity, attenuation of respiratory muscle metabo-reflex, increase in cardiac stroke volume and autonomic resetting towards parasympatho-dominance. Yogic Pranayama based VRMT can be used in sports conditioning programme of athletes to further improve their maximal exercise performance, and as part of rehabilitation training during return from injury.

  4. Improved decay rates for solutions for a multidimensional generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation

    KAUST Repository

    Said-Houari, Belkacem

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we study the decay rates of solutions for the generalized Benjamin-Bona-Mahony equation in multi-dimensional space. For initial data in some L1-weighted spaces, we prove faster decay rates of the solutions. More precisely, using the Fourier transform and the energy method, we show the global existence and the convergence rates of the solutions under the smallness assumption on the initial data and we give better decay rates of the solutions. This result improves early works in J. Differential Equations 158(2) (1999), 314-340 and Nonlinear Anal. 75(7) (2012), 3385-3392. © 2014-IOS Press.

  5. To refer or not to refer: a qualitative study of reasons for referral from Role 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driver, J M; Nelson, T G; Simpson, R; Wall, C

    2012-09-01

    There are currently over 9000 British soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The Defence Medical Services provide primary health care to soldiers at forward locations using Regimental Medical Officers (RMOs) and General Duties Medical Officers (GDMOs). If required, GDMOs can refer patients to senior colleagues. Currently, little is known about the reasons for referrals by GDMOs. This study aims to identify the main factors affecting why GDMOs refer from forward locations. Nine GDMOs, who deployed on Operation HERRICK 13, were invited to join the study. They maintained a log of their referrals for two 14 day periods, one in each half of their tour. In addition, a semi-structured interview was performed with each GDMO in order to elicit the common themes surrounding referrals. The mean referral rate was 0.9 referrals/GDMO/week. The main reasons for referral were dental problems, musculoskeletal injuries, abdominal pain of unknown cause, and ano-genital problems. Factors that influenced referrals included availability of forwardly projected services (dentist and physiotherapist), manpower availability at the locations, the availability of flights (affected by weather, enemy action, and schedule of routine flights), and the timing of the tour in relation to leave. Referrals from GDMOs were due to doctor inexperience in the treatment of a particular condition, lack of access to investigations and the potential for deterioration in a location without adequate support. The referral decision process was affected by the patient's importance with regards to the mission, the weather and access to safe transportation. The introduction of clinical guidelines for common conditions in conjunction with minor alterations to GDMO training could help reduce referrals from Role 1, preserving manpower, reducing costs, and minimising risk to evacuation aircraft.

  6. High risk pregnancy referrals adequacy in the Basic Health Services of Sobral, Ceará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Juvenal Linhares

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To describe the appropriateness of referrals of high-risk pregnancies in the basic healthcare network of Sobral, in Ceará, Brazil. Methods: A descriptive quantitative study. The medical files of 173 pregnant patients referred to the high-risk outpatient clinic of Centro de Especialidades Médicas of Sobral, during the period from July 2006 to April 2007, were analyzed. Variables analyzed were correctness of the referrals, professionals who made them, causes and origins of the referrals, and age bracket of the patients referred. The referrals were divided into “appropriate” and “inappropriate”, according to the classification of risk established by the technical manual of the Ministry of Health. Rresults: Of the 173 cases, 102 (59% were considered appropriate/correct, and 71 (41% referrals were considered inappropriate/incorrect. The referrals were divided according to the professional class of the referring individuals: physicians or nurses. Of the 173 referrals, 49 (28.3% were made by physicians, and 124 (71.7% by nurses. Of the 49 patients referred by physicians, 39 (79.6% were considered correct. Of the 124 referrals made by nurses, 63 (50.8% were considered incorrect, revealing a significant difference between the groups (p < 0.00001. The most common causes of referrals of pregnant patients were hypertensive syndromes (23.6%, physiological modifications of pregnancy (22.6%, prolonged pregnancy (15.1%, and diabetes (12.3%. Cconclusions: There was a low rate of appropriate/correct referrals. There is a need for training in the basic healthcare network for quality prenatal care, with special emphasis on referring nurses.

  7. Improving village poultry’s survival rate through community-based poultry health management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sodjinou, Epiphane; Henningsen, Arne; Koudande, Olorounto D.

    Community-based poultry health management (CBM) is a strategy for village poultry improvement based on the installment of “poultry interest groups” in experimental villages. These groups serve as a channel for the dissemination of village poultry improvement technologies. The use of CBM is due...... to the fact that village poultry farming is practiced in a total or partial scavenging system which gives the impression that all the birds in the village belong to the same flock. Accordingly, actions that target all farmers of the same village may have a larger impact on the village poultry’s survival rate...... than actions that target individual producers. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of CBM on the survival rate of village poultry. Based on data collected on 353 poultry keepers, the study shows that CBM significantly improves the survival rate of village poultry. The adoption...

  8. Improving village poultry's survival rate through community-based poultry health management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sodjinou, Epiphane; Henningsen, Arne; Koudande, Olorounto Delphin

    2012-01-01

    Community-based poultry health management (CBM) is a strategy for village poultry improvement based on the installment of “poultry interest groups” in experimental villages. These groups serve as a channel for the dissemination of village poultry improvement technologies. The use of CBM is due...... to the fact that village poultry farming is practiced in a total or partial scavenging system which gives the impression that all the birds in the village belong to the same flock. Accordingly, actions that target all farmers of the same village may have a larger impact on the village poultry's survival rate...... than actions that target individual producers. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of CBM on the survival rate of village poultry. Based on data collected on 353 poultry keepers, the study shows that CBM significantly improves the survival rate of village poultry. The adoption...

  9. Strength training improves fatigue resistance and self-rated health in workers with chronic pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sundstrup, Emil; Jakobsen, Markus Due; Brandt, Mikkel

    2016-01-01

    of a randomized controlled trial investigates the effect of strength training on muscular fatigue resistance and self-rated health among workers with chronic pain. Sixty-six slaughterhouse workers with chronic upper limb pain and work disability were randomly allocated to 10 weeks of strength training or usual...... (Spearman's rho = -0.40; P = 0.01). In conclusion, specific strength training improves muscular fatigue resistance and self-rated health and reduces pain of the hand/wrist in manual workers with chronic upper limb pain. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01671267.......-rated health and pain. Time to fatigue, muscle strength, hand/wrist pain, and self-rated health improved significantly more following strength training than usual care (all P

  10. Audit and Feedback: A Quality Improvement Study to Increase Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Rebecca Culver; Carter, Kimberly Ferren; Jackson, Julie; Hodges, Deborah

    The purpose of this quality improvement study was to explore the impact of audit and feedback on the pneumococcal immunization rate for at-risk adults in ambulatory settings. Study findings support the hypothesis that timely, individualized audit and feedback can have a positive impact on immunization rate; generalized feedback that did not provide actionable information did not have the same impact. The difference between the interventions was significant, χ (1, N = 1993) = 124.7, P <.001.

  11. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling to Improve Natural Flow Rate and Sweet Pepper Productivity in Greenhouse

    OpenAIRE

    W. Limtrakarn; P. Boonmongkol; A. Chompupoung; K. Rungprateepthaworn; J. Kruenate; P. Dechaumphai

    2012-01-01

    Natural flow rate and sweet peppers productivity in tropical greenhouse are improved by CFD simulation is the main objective of this research work. Most of the greenhouse types today are in the arch shape. To develop an improved greenhouse structure for the region, the arch type was built and used as the control model. Mae Sar Mai agriculture research station under the royal project foundation was selected as the field test site. Temperature sensors with data logger were installed to monitor ...

  12. Trends in referral patterns, invasive management, and mortality in elderly patients referred for exercise stress testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzas-Mosquera, Alberto; Peteiro, Jesús; Broullón, Francisco J; Calviño-Santos, Ramón; Mosquera, Víctor X; Barbeito-Caamaño, Cayetana; Larrañaga-Moreira, José María; Maneiro-Melón, Nicolás; Álvarez-García, Nemesio; Vázquez-Rodríguez, José Manuel

    2015-12-01

    Scarce data are available on the temporal patterns in clinical characteristics and outcomes of elderly patients referred for exercise stress testing. We aimed to assess the trends in baseline characteristics, tests results, referrals for invasive management, and mortality in these patients. We evaluated 11,192 patients aged ≥65years who were referred for exercise stress testing between January 1998 and December 2013. Calendar years were grouped into four quadrennia (1998-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2009, and 2010-2013), and trends in clinical characteristics of the patients, type and results of the tests, referrals for invasive management, and mortality across the different periods were assessed. Despite a progressive decrease in the proportion of patients with non-interpretable baseline electrocardiograms or prior history of coronary artery disease, there was a gradual and marked increase in the use of cardiac imaging from 32.8% in 1998-2001 to 67.6% in 2010-2013 (pstress testing both without imaging (from 18.9 to 13.6%, pstress testing, we observed a decline over time in the probability of inducible myocardial ischemia, an increase in the use of cardiac imaging and in the rate of coronary revascularization, and an improvement in the survival rate at 1year. Copyright © 2015 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Referral Systems to Integrate Health and Economic Strengthening Services for People with HIV: A Qualitative Assessment in Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, Clinton; Andersson, Zach; Cann, Meredith

    2016-12-23

    Supporting the diverse needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV) can help reduce the individual and structural barriers they face in adhering to antiretroviral treatment (ART). The Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance II (LIFT) project sought to improve adherence in Malawi by establishing 2 referral systems linking community-based economic strengthening and livelihoods services to clinical health facilities. One referral system in Balaka district, started in October 2013, connected clients to more than 20 types of services while the other simplified approach in Kasungu and Lilongwe districts, started in July 2014, connected PLHIV attending HIV and nutrition support facilities directly to community savings groups. From June to July 2015, LIFT visited referral sites in Balaka, Kasungu, and Lilongwe districts to collect qualitative data on referral utility, the perceived association of referrals with client and household health and vulnerability, and the added value of the referral system as perceived by network member providers. We interviewed a random sample of 152 adult clients (60 from Balaka, 57 from Kasungu, and 35 from Lilongwe) who had completed their referral. We also conducted 2 focus group discussions per district with network providers. Clients in all 3 districts indicated their ability to save money had improved after receiving a referral, although the percentage was higher among clients in the simplified Kasungu and Lilongwe model than the more complex Balaka model (85.6% vs. 56.0%, respectively). Nearly 70% of all clients interviewed had HIV infection; 72.7% of PLHIV in Balaka and 95.7% of PLHIV in Kasungu and Lilongwe credited referrals for helping them stay on their ART. After the referral, 76.0% of clients in Balaka and 92.3% of clients in Kasungu and Lilongwe indicated they would be willing to spend their savings on health costs. The more diverse referral network and use of an mHealth app to manage data in Balaka hindered provider uptake

  14. Patient factors in referral choice for total joint replacement surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conner-Spady, Barbara L; Marshall, Deborah A; Bohm, Eric; Dunbar, Michael J; Loucks, Lynda; Hennigar, Allan W; Frank, Cy; Noseworthy, Tom W

    2014-04-01

    Although the option of next available surgeon can be found on surgeon referral forms for total joint replacement surgery, its selection varies across surgical practices. Objectives are to assess the determinants of (a) a patient's request for a particular surgeon; and (b) the actual referral to a specific versus the next available surgeon. Questionnaires were mailed to 306 consecutive patients referred to orthopedic surgeons. We assessed quality of life (Oxford Hip and Knee scores, Short Form-12, EuroQol 5D, Pain Visual Analogue Scale), referral experience, and the importance of surgeon choice, surgeon reputation, and wait time. We used logistic regression to build models for the 2 objectives. We obtained 176 respondents (response rate, 58%), 60% female, 65% knee patients, mean age of 65 years, with no significant differences between responders versus nonresponders. Forty-three percent requested a particular surgeon. Seventy-one percent were referred to a specific surgeon. Patients who rated surgeon choice as very/extremely important [adjusted odds ratio (OR), 6.54; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.57-16.64] and with household incomes of $90,000+ versus <$30,000 (OR, 5.74; 95% CI, 1.56-21.03) were more likely to request a particular surgeon. Hip patients (OR, 3.03; 95% CI, 1.18-7.78), better Physical Component Summary-12 (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.02-1.63), and patients who rated surgeon choice as very/extremely important (OR, 3.88; 95% CI, 1.56-9.70) were more likely to be referred to a specific surgeon. Most patients want some choice in the referral decision. Providing sufficient information is important, so that patients are aware of their choices and can make an informed choice. Some patients prefer a particular surgeon despite longer wait times.

  15. Evaluating the referral preferences and consultation requests of primary care physicians with otolaryngology - head and neck surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, John R; Wong, Eric; Sowerby, Leigh J

    2015-12-29

    No literature exists which examines referral preferences to, or the consultation process with, Otolaryngology. In a recent Canadian Medical Association nation-wide survey of General Practitioners and Family Physicians, Otolaryngology was listed as the second-most problematic specialty for referrals. The purpose of this study was to learn about and improve upon the referral process between primary care physicians (PCPs) and Otolaryngology at an academic centre in Southwestern Ontario. PCPs who actively refer patients to Otolaryngology within the catchment area of Western University were asked to complete a short paper-based questionnaire. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 50 PCPs were surveyed. Subspecialty influenced 90.0% of the referrals made. Specialist wait times altered 58.0% of referrals. All PCPs preferred to communicate via fax. Half of those surveyed wanted clinical notes from every encounter. Seventy-four percent of respondents wanted inappropriate referrals forwarded to the proper specialist automatically. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed were satisfied with current wait times. A central referral system was favored by 74% of PCPs. Improvements could help streamline the referral and consultation practices with Otolaryngology in Southwestern Ontario. A central referral system and reduction in the frequency of consultative reports can be considered.

  16. Referrals to a regional allergy clinic - an eleven year audit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hewson Paul

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Allergy is a serious and apparently increasing public health problem yet relatively little is known about the types of allergy seen in routine tertiary practice, including their spatial distribution, co-occurrence or referral patterns. This study reviewed referrals over an eleven year period to a regional allergy clinic that had a well defined geographical boundary. For those patients confirmed as having an allergy we explored: (i differences over time and by demographics, (ii types of allergy, (iii co-occurrence, and (iv spatial distributions. Methods Data were extracted from consultant letters to GPs, from September 1998 to September 2009, for patients confirmed as having an allergy. Other data included referral statistics and population data by postcode. Simple descriptive analysis was used to describe types of allergy. We calculated 11 year standardised morbidity ratios for postcode districts and checked for spatial clustering. We present maps showing 11 year rates by postcode, and 'difference' maps which try to separate referral effect from possible environmental effect. Results Of 5778 referrals, 961 patients were diagnosed with an allergy. These were referred by a total of 672 different GPs. There were marked differences in referral patterns between GP practices and also individual GPs. The mean age of patients was 35 and there were considerably more females (65% than males. Airborne allergies were the most frequent (623, and there were very high rates of co-occurrence of pollen, house dust mite, and animal hair allergies. Less than half (410 patients had a food allergy, with nuts, fruit, and seafood being the most common allergens. Fifteen percent (142 had both a food and a non-food allergy. Certain food allergies were more likely to co-occur, for example, patients allergic to dairy products were more likely to be allergic to egg. There were age differences by types of allergy; people referred with food allergies were

  17. Education and the Economy: Boosting New Jersey's Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Building on its previous work examining education and the economy, the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), with generous support from State Farm[R], analyzed the economies of all fifty states and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits that states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a…

  18. Education and the Economy: Boosting New Hampshire's Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Building on its previous work examining education and the economy, the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), with generous support from State Farm[R], analyzed the economies of all fifty states and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits that states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a…

  19. Education and the Economy: Boosting New Mexico's Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Building on its previous work examining education and the economy, the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), with generous support from State Farm[R], analyzed the economies of all fifty states and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits that states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a…

  20. Education and the Economy: Boosting New York's Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Building on its previous work examining education and the economy, the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), with generous support from State Farm[R], analyzed the economies of all fifty states and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits that states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a…

  1. Leadership training to improve adenoma detection rate in screening colonoscopy: A randomised trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.F. Kaminski (Michal); J. Anderson (John); R.M. Valori (Roland ); E. Kraszewska (Ewa); M. Rupinski (Maciej); J. Pachlewski (Jacek); E. Wronska (Ewa); M. Bretthauer (Michael); S. Thomas-Gibson (Siwan); E.J. Kuipers (Ernst); J. Regula (J.)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractObjective Suboptimal adenoma detection rate (ADR) at colonoscopy is associated with increased risk of interval colorectal cancer. It is uncertain how ADR might be improved. We compared the effect of leadership training versus feedback only on colonoscopy quality in a countrywide

  2. An Analysis of a Plan to Improve Graduation Rates in Johnston County Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrow, David Ross

    2015-01-01

    There have been limited qualitative case studies exploring effective strategies designed to improve graduation rates in rural school districts. Specifically, few studies have presented information based solely upon the voices of practitioners themselves in solving the graduation crisis in America's public schools. This study will add to the…

  3. Why doctors do not answer referral letters

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Referral letters act as permission slips to allow patients easy access to ... Methods: A qualitative study method was used, as the purpose of this study was to .... The total list of topics ..... Research design: qualitative and quantitative approaches.

  4. Appropriateness of Referrals for Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Appropriateness of Referrals for Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. ... Accra between January and December, 2008 were interviewed and evaluated for this study. ... Presentations with bleeding and suspicion of malignancy showed statistical ...

  5. Scissor-type knife significantly improves self-completion rate of colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection: Single-center prospective randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashina, Takeshi; Takeuchi, Yoji; Nagai, Kengo; Matsuura, Noriko; Ito, Takashi; Fujii, Mototsugu; Hanaoka, Noboru; Higashino, Koji; Uedo, Noriya; Ishihara, Ryu; Iishi, Hiroyasu

    2017-05-01

    Colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection (C-ESD) is recognized as a difficult procedure. Recently, scissors-type knives were launched to reduce the difficulty of C-ESD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combined use of a scissors-type knife and a needle-type knife with a water-jet function (WJ needle-knife) for C-ESD compared with using the WJ needle-knife alone. This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in a referral center. Eighty-five patients with superficial colorectal neoplasms were enrolled and randomly assigned to undergo C-ESD using a WJ needle-knife alone (Flush group) or a scissor-type knife-supported WJ needle-knife (SB Jr group). Procedures were conducted by two supervised residents. Primary endpoint was self-completion rate by the residents. Self-completion rate was 67% in the SB Jr group, which was significantly higher than that in the Flush group (39%, P = 0.01). Even after exclusion of four patients in the SB Jr group in whom C-ESD was completed using the WJ needle-knife alone, the self-completion rate was significantly higher (63% vs 39%; P = 0.03). Median procedure time among the self-completion cases did not differ significantly between the two groups (59 vs 51 min; P = 0.14). No fatal adverse events were observed in either group. In this single-center phase II trial, scissor-type knife significantly improved residents' self-completion rate for C-ESD, with no increase in procedure time or adverse events. A multicenter trial would be warranted to confirm the validity of the present study. © 2016 Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society.

  6. Using an Inpatient Quality Improvement Curriculum for Internal Medicine Residents to Improve Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Administration Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolin, Jonathan; van Aalst, Robertus; Volpp, Bryan; Taylor, Thomas; Cohen, Emily

    2018-06-01

    Pneumococcal infections are an important source of morbidity and mortality in older adults and persons with compromised immune systems. New recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) became available September 2014, which included recommendations for the use of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). A study was conducted to increase the PCV13 vaccination rates of hospitalized patients at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center (White River Junction, Vermont) through the use of a resident-driven quality improvement (QI) project. From December 2014 through April 2016, 16 internal medicine inpatient residents addressed inpatient PCV13 vaccination rates by participating in the facility's QI curriculum. Eight Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles were used, including discharge template editing, electronic reminders, and the discovery of a vaccination administration documentation error in the record through data validation. The measure was the monthly percentage of patients who received PCV13 vaccination (vaccination completion rate) of those discharged from the hospital medicine service who were due for PCV13 vaccination. The percentage of veterans discharged with an up-to-date PCV13 vaccination on discharge increased from approximately 30% to 87% and was sustained. Despite being driven by many different residents, this project demonstrates that continuous improvement can be achieved through a structured and iterative process while providing active learning of core QI concepts to residents. It also displays a method in which new guidelines can be incorporated into practice in an effective manner. Finally, this project is an example of how resident-driven data validation can lead to further improvement. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Second opinion oral pathology referrals in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, B; Hussaini, H M; Rich, A M

    2017-04-01

    Referral for a second opinion is an important aspect of pathology practice, which reduces the rate of diagnostic error and ensures consistency with diagnoses. The Oral Pathology Centre (OPC) is the only specialist oral diagnostic centre in New Zealand. OPC provides diagnostic services to dentists and dental specialists throughout New Zealand and acts as a referral centre for second opinions for oral pathology specimens that have been sent to anatomical pathologists. The aim of this study was to review second opinion referral cases sent to the OPC over a 15-year period and to assess the levels of concordance between the original and final diagnoses. The findings indicated that the majority of referred cases were odontogenic lesions, followed by connective tissue, epithelial and salivary lesions. The most prevalent diagnoses were ameloblastoma and keratocystic odontogenic tumour, followed by oral squamous cell carcinoma. Discordant diagnoses were recorded in 24% of cases. Diagnostic discrepancies were higher in odontogenic and salivary gland lesions, resulting in the change of diagnoses. Second opinion of oral pathology cases should be encouraged in view of the relative rarity of these lesions in general pathology laboratories and the rates of diagnostic discrepancy, particularly for odontogenic and salivary gland lesions. Copyright © 2017 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Rating the strength of scientific evidence: relevance for quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohr, Kathleen N

    2004-02-01

    To summarize an extensive review of systems for grading the quality of research articles and rating the strength of bodies of evidence, and to highlight for health professionals and decision-makers concerned with quality measurement and improvement the available "best practices" tools by which these steps can be accomplished. Drawing on an extensive review of checklists, questionnaires, and other tools in the field of evidence-based practice, this paper discusses clinical, management, and policy rationales for rating strength of evidence in a quality improvement context, and documents best practices methods for these tasks. After review of 121 systems for grading the quality of articles, 19 systems, mostly specific, met a priori scientific standards for grading systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and diagnostic tests; eight systems (of 40 reviewed) met similar standards for rating the overall strength of evidence. All can be used as is or adapted for particular types of evidence reports or systematic reviews. Formally grading study quality and rating overall strength of evidence, using sound instruments and procedures, can produce reasonable levels of confidence about the science base for parts of quality improvement programs. With such information, health care professionals and administrators concerned with quality improvement can understand better the level of science (versus only clinical consensus or opinion) that supports practice guidelines, review criteria, and assessments that feed into quality assurance and improvement programs. New systems are appearing and research is needed to confirm the conceptual and practical underpinnings of these grading and rating systems, but the need for those developing systematic reviews, practice guidelines, and quality or audit criteria to understand and undertake these steps is becoming increasingly clear.

  9. Increasing recruitment rates in an inpatient clinical research study using quality improvement methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauers, Hadley S; Beck, Andrew F; Kahn, Robert S; Simmons, Jeffrey M

    2014-11-01

    One important benefit of successful patient recruitment is increased generalizability of findings. We sought to optimize enrollment of children admitted with asthma as part of a population-based, prospective, observational cohort study with the goal of enrolling at least 60% of all eligible and staffed patients. Quality improvement methods were used to improve cohort recruitment. Weekly meetings with study staff and study leadership were held to plan and discuss how to maximize recruitment rates. Significant initial variability in recruitment success prompted the team to use small-scale tests of change to increase recruitment numbers. A number of tests were trialed, focusing primarily on reducing patient refusals and improving recruitment process efficiency. Recruitment rates were calculated by dividing eligible by enrolled patients and displayed using annotated Shewhart control charts. Control charts were used to illustrate week-to-week variability while also enabling differentiation of common-cause and special-cause variation. The study enrolled 774 patients, representing 54% of all eligible and 59% of those eligible for whom staff were available to enroll. Our mean weekly recruitment rate increased from 55% during the first 3 months of the study to a statistically significant sustained rate of 61%. This was sustained given numerous obstacles, such as departing and hiring of staff and adding a second recruitment location. Implementing quality improvement methods within a larger research study led to an increase in the rate of recruitment as well as the stability in recruitment rates from week-to-week. Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  10. Acceptance of referral for partners by clients testing positive for human immunodeficiency virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Netsanet F

    2013-01-01

    from the study were categorized by nine themes. A comprehensive and integrated approach of partner notification and a referral framework with active counselor involvement was developed.Conclusion: Partner notification and referral can be improved by an integrated and comprehensive framework, with active involvement of HIV counselors in the disclosure process.Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus, partner notification and referral, partner locator information

  11. First quality score for referral letters in gastroenterology—a validation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskeland, Sigrun Losada; Brunborg, Cathrine; Seip, Birgitte; Wiencke, Kristine; Hovde, Øistein; Owen, Tanja; Skogestad, Erik; Huppertz-Hauss, Gert; Halvorsen, Fred-Arne; Garborg, Kjetil; Aabakken, Lars; de Lange, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Objective To create and validate an objective and reliable score to assess referral quality in gastroenterology. Design An observational multicentre study. Setting and participants 25 gastroenterologists participated in selecting variables for a Thirty Point Score (TPS) for quality assessment of referrals to gastroenterology specialist healthcare for 9 common indications. From May to September 2014, 7 hospitals from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority participated in collecting and scoring 327 referrals to a gastroenterologist. Main outcome measure Correlation between the TPS and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for referral quality. Results The 327 referrals had an average TPS of 13.2 (range 1–25) and an average VAS of 4.7 (range 0.2–9.5). The reliability of the score was excellent, with an intra-rater intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.87 and inter-rater ICC of 0.91. The overall correlation between the TPS and the VAS was moderate (r=0.42), and ranged from fair to substantial for the various indications. Mean agreement was good (ICC=0.47, 95% CI (0.34 to 0.57)), ranging from poor to good. Conclusions The TPS is reliable, objective and shows good agreement with the subjective VAS. The score may be a useful tool for assessing referral quality in gastroenterology, particularly important when evaluating the effect of interventions to improve referral quality. PMID:27855107

  12. Outcome of referrals for deceased organ donation to the government organ procurement organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suguitan, G A; Cabanayan-Casasola, C B; Danguilan, R A; Jaro, J M A

    2014-05-01

    The Human Organ Preservation Effort is a government organ procurement organization that pioneered the Deceased Organ Donation Program in the Philippines. Deceased organ donation comprises only 20% of kidney transplantation in the Philippines in the last 3 years. Various measures were implemented to improve deceased organ donor referrals and organ retrieval. To compare outcome of deceased organ donor referrals from 2002 to 2008 and 2009 to 2012 in the Philippines. This retrospective study reviewed the deceased organ donor referrals from 2002 to 2008 and 2009 to 2012. There were 437 referrals for potential deceased organ donors from 2009 to 2012, compared to 434 referrals from 2002 to 2008. Referrals were mainly trauma victims (76%) followed by those with cerebrovascular accidents (12%). In the recent cohort, 81% were approached and 60% consented for donation, but only 23% were retrieved and transplanted. Among those not retrieved, the majority (19%) were medically unsuitable and 6% retracted their consent. Although there was an increasing trend of organ donation referrals in the last 4 years, only 25% were procured. The reasons for nonprocurement should be addressed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Patient factors associated with lung transplant referral and waitlist for patients with cystic fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuan; Vela, Monica; Rudakevych, Tanya; Wigfield, Christopher; Garrity, Edward; Saunders, Milda R

    2017-03-01

    Since 2005, the Lung Allocation Score (LAS) has prioritized patient benefit and post-transplant survival, reducing waitlist to transplant time to fibrosis (CF) and pulmonary fibrosis (PF). We analyzed the times from transplant eligibility to referral, work-up and waitlisting using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests. Overall, the referral rate for transplant-eligible patients was 64%. Of those referred, approximately 36% reach the lung transplant waitlist. Referred CF patients were significantly more likely to reach the transplant waitlist than PF patients (CF 60% vs PF 22%, p < 0.05). In addition, CF patients had a shorter wait from transplant eligibility to waitlist than PF patients (329 vs 2,369 days, respectively [25th percentile], p < 0.05). Patients with PF and CF both faced delays from eligibility to referral and waitlist. Quality improvement efforts are needed to better identify and refer appropriate patients for lung transplant evaluation. Targeted interventions may facilitate more efficient evaluation completion and waitlist appearance. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Improved predictions of nuclear reaction rates with the TALYS reaction code for astrophysical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goriely, S.; Hilaire, S.; Koning, A.J

    2008-01-01

    Context. Nuclear reaction rates of astrophysical applications are traditionally determined on the basis of Hauser-Feshbach reaction codes. These codes adopt a number of approximations that have never been tested, such as a simplified width fluctuation correction, the neglect of delayed or multiple-particle emission during the electromagnetic decay cascade, or the absence of the pre-equilibrium contribution at increasing incident energies. Aims. The reaction code TALYS has been recently updated to estimate the Maxwellian-averaged reaction rates that are of astrophysical relevance. These new developments enable the reaction rates to be calculated with increased accuracy and reliability and the approximations of previous codes to be investigated. Methods. The TALYS predictions for the thermonuclear rates of relevance to astrophysics are detailed and compared with those derived by widely-used codes for the same nuclear ingredients. Results. It is shown that TALYS predictions may differ significantly from those of previous codes, in particular for nuclei for which no or little nuclear data is available. The pre-equilibrium process is shown to influence the astrophysics rates of exotic neutron-rich nuclei significantly. For the first time, the Maxwellian- averaged (n, 2n) reaction rate is calculated for all nuclei and its competition with the radiative capture rate is discussed. Conclusions. The TALYS code provides a new tool to estimate all nuclear reaction rates of relevance to astrophysics with improved accuracy and reliability. (authors)

  15. Novel approach to improve the attitude update rate of a star tracker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuo; Xing, Fei; Sun, Ting; You, Zheng; Wei, Minsong

    2018-03-05

    The star tracker is widely used in attitude control systems of spacecraft for attitude measurement. The attitude update rate of a star tracker is important to guarantee the attitude control performance. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to improve the attitude update rate of a star tracker. The electronic Rolling Shutter (RS) imaging mode of the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor in the star tracker is applied to acquire star images in which the star spots are exposed with row-to-row time offsets, thereby reflecting the rotation of star tracker at different times. The attitude estimation method with a single star spot is developed to realize the multiple attitude updates by a star image, so as to reach a high update rate. The simulation and experiment are performed to verify the proposed approaches. The test results demonstrate that the proposed approach is effective and the attitude update rate of a star tracker is increased significantly.

  16. Bridging the care continuum: patient information needs for specialist referrals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steltenkamp Carol L

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Information transfer is critical in the primary care to specialist referral process and has been examined extensively in the US and other countries, yet there has been little attention to the patient's perspective of the information transfer process. This cross-sectional study examined the quality of the information received by patients with a chronic condition from the referring and specialist physician in the specialist referral process and the relationship of the quality of information received to trust in the physicians. Methods Structured telephone interviews were conducted with a random sample of 250 patients who had experienced a referral to a specialist for the first visit for a chronic condition within the prior six months. The sample was selected from the patients who visited specialist physicians at any of the 500 hospitals from the National Research Corporation client base. Results Most patients (85% received a good explanation about the reason for the specialist visit from the referring physician yet 26% felt unprepared about what to expect. Trust in the referring physician was highly associated with the preparatory information patients received. Specialists gave good explanations about diagnosis and treatment, but 26% of patients got no information about follow-up. Trust in the specialist correlated highly with good explanations of diagnosis, treatment, and self-management. Conclusion Preparatory information from referring physicians influences the quality of the referral process, the subsequent coordination of care, and trust in the physician. Changes in the health care system can improve the information transfer process and improve coordination of care for patients.

  17. Evaluating research recruitment strategies to improve response rates amongst South African nurses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha Khamisa

    2014-03-01

    Research purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate three research recruitment methods for their impact on recruitment and participation rates amongst South African nurses. Motivation for the study: A limited number of studies exist that formally evaluates different recruitment strategies to improve participation in research amongst nurses within developing contexts, especially South Africa. Research approach, design and method: Participants were recruited using three different methods. Of the 250 nurses randomly selected and invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey, 201 agreed and 162 (81% returned the questionnaires. Main findings: Nursing management participation in the recruitment and data collection process produces more favourable response rates. Reminders and the use of shorter questionnaires also aid higher response rates. Practical/managerial implications: Reminders as well as face-to-face recruitment strategies (especially by a familiar person successfully improved participation rates amongst South African nurses in this study. Contribution/value-add: This study identifies some strategies that could be used more widely to increase the recruitment and participation of South African nurses in research whilst potentially improving their work situation.

  18. Referral determinants in Swiss primary care with a special focus on managed care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Tandjung

    Full Text Available Studies have shown large variation of referral probabilities in different countries, and many influencing factors have been described. This variation is most likely explained by different healthcare systems, particularly to which extent primary care physicians (PCPs act as gatekeepers. In Switzerland no mandatory gatekeeping system exists, however insurance companies offer voluntary managed care plans with reduced insurance premiums. We aimed at investigating the role of managed care plans as a potential referral determinant in a non-gatekeeping healthcare system. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 90 PCPs collecting data on consultations and referrals in 2012/2013. During each consultation up to six reasons for encounters (RFE were documented. For each RFE PCPs indicated whether a referral was initiated. Determinants for referrals were analyzed by hierarchical logistic regression, taking the potential cluster effect of the PCP into account. To further investigate the independent association of the managed care plan with the referral probability, a hierarchical multivariate logistic regression model was applied, taking into account all available data potentially affecting the referring decision. PCPs collected data on 24'774 patients with 42'890 RFE, of which 2427 led to a referral. 37.5% of patients were insured in managed health care plans. Univariate analysis showed significant higher referral rates of patients with managed care plans (10.7% vs. 8.5%. The difference in referral probability remained significant after controlling for other confounders in the hierarchical multivariate regression model (OR 1.355. Patients in managed care plans were more likely to be referred than patients without such a model. These data contradict the argument that patients in managed care plans have limited healthcare access, but underline the central role of PCPs as coordinator of care.

  19. Evaluation of cardiovascular risk-lowering health benefits accruing from laboratory-based, community-based and exercise-referral exercise programmes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R; Thompson, J E S; Ruffino, J-S; Davies, N A; Watkeys, L; Hooper, S; Jones, P M; Walters, G; Clayton, D; Thomas, A W; Morris, K; Llewellyn, D H; Ward, M; Wyatt-Williams, J; McDonnell, B J

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the ability of community-based exercise programmes to facilitate public participation in exercise and hence improved cardiovascular health, we assessed the respective impacts of: a continuously monitored exercise programme based within our university (study 1); a Valleys Regional Park-facilitated community-based outdoor exercise programme (study 2); a Wales National Exercise Referral Scheme-delivered exercise-referral programme (study 3). Biomolecular (monocytic PPARγ target gene expression), vascular haemodynamic (central/peripheral blood pressure, arterial stiffness), clinical (insulin sensitivity, blood lipids) and anthropometric (body mass index, waist circumference, heart rate) parameters were investigated using RT-PCR, applanation tonometry, chemical analysis and standard anthropometric techniques. In studies 1-3, 22/28, 32/65 and 11/14 participants adhered to their respective exercise programmes, and underwent significant increases in physical activity levels. Importantly, beneficial effects similar to those seen in our previous studies (eg, modulations in expression of monocytic PPARγ target genes, decreases in blood pressure/arterial stiffness, improvements in blood lipids/insulin sensitivity) were observed (albeit to slightly differing extents) only in participants who adhered to their respective exercise programmes. While study 1 achieved more intense exercise and more pronounced beneficial effects, significant cardiovascular risk-lowering health benefits related to biomolecular markers, blood pressure, arterial stiffness and blood lipids were achieved via community/referral-based delivery modes in studies 2 and 3. Because cardiovascular health benefits were observed in all 3 studies, we conclude that the majority of benefits previously reported in laboratory-based studies can also be achieved in community-based/exercise-referral settings. These findings may be of use in guiding policymakers with regard to introduction and/or continued

  20. Is physiotherapy self-referral with telephone triage viable, cost-effective and beneficial to musculoskeletal outpatients in a primary care setting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallett, Ross; Bakker, Edward; Burton, Maria

    2014-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to establish if physiotherapy self-referral (SR) is viable, cost effective and beneficial to musculoskeletal outpatients in a primary care setting. In an urban National Health Service (NHS) primary care physiotherapy service, waiting times, attendance rates and treatment ratios (thus, episode-of-care costs) were deemed unsustainable. The introduction of 'Any Qualified Provider' is imminent and will drive NHS physiotherapy services to compete directly with private counterparts. Current literature, healthcare policy and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy strongly advocate SR to promote value for money and improve the patient experience. A repeated measure prospective cohort study introduced an SR pathway parallel to existing general practice (GP) referrals and compared costs, attendance and data relating to the patient experience across groups. SR referral groups were found to have a higher proportion of female patients presenting with acute conditions. Cost minimization analysis indicated an average 32.3% reduction in episode-of-care cost with an SR-initiated intervention. An estimated cost minimization of between £84,387.80 and £124,472.06 was calculated if SR were to be expanded service-wide. SR referral reduced waiting times and improved patient satisfaction relating to waiting times and communication compared with traditional pathways. The results of the present study showed that the introduction of the described SR pathway was feasible, cost-effective and offered comparable care. Certain aspects of the SR patient experience compared more favourably than those studied in traditional GP referral routes. They also added to an existing body of evidence supporting SR with a variety of administrative processes in various socioeconomic settings. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Empowering surgical nurses improves compliance rates for antibiotic prophylaxis after caesarean birth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimoni, Zvi; Kama, Naama; Mamet, Yaakov; Glick, Joseph; Dusseldorp, Natan; Froom, Paul

    2009-11-01

    Empowering surgical nurses improves compliance rates for antibiotic prophylaxis after caesarean birth. This paper is a report of a study of the effect of empowering surgical nurses to ensure that patients receive antibiotic prophylaxis after caesarean birth. Despite the consensus that single dose antibiotic prophylaxis is beneficial for women have either elective or non-elective caesarean delivery, hospitals need methods to increase compliance rates. In a study in Israel in 2007 surgical nurses were empowered to ensure that a single dose of cefazolin was given to the mother after cord clamping. A computerized system was used to identify women having caesarean births, cultures sent and culture results. Compliance was determined by chart review. Rates of compliance, suspected wound infections, and confirmed wound infections in 2007 were compared to rates in 2006 before the policy change. Relative risks were calculated dividing 2007 rates by those in 2006, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Taylor's series that does not assume a normal distribution. Statistical significance was assessed using the chi-square test. The compliance rate was increased from 25% in 2006 to 100% in 2007 (chi-square test, P rates decreased from 16.8% (186/1104) to 12.6% (137/1089) after the intervention (relative risk 0.75, 95% confidence interval, 0.61-0.92). Surgical nurses can ensure universal compliance for antibiotic prophylaxis in women after caesarean birth, leading to a reduction in wound infections.

  2. The safe motherhood referral system to reduce cesarean sections and perinatal mortality - a cross-sectional study [1995-2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudge Marilza VC

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2000, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs set targets for reducing child mortality and improving maternal health by 2015. Objective To evaluate the results of a new education and referral system for antenatal/intrapartum care as a strategy to reduce the rates of Cesarean sections (C-sections and maternal/perinatal mortality. Methods Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Botucatu Medical School, Sao Paulo State University/UNESP, Brazil. Population: 27,387 delivering women and 27,827 offspring. Data collection: maternal and perinatal data between 1995 and 2006 at the major level III and level II hospitals in Botucatu, Brazil following initiation of a safe motherhood education and referral system. Main outcome measures: Yearly rates of C-sections, maternal (/100,000 LB and perinatal (/1000 births mortality rates at both hospitals. Data analysis: Simple linear regression models were adjusted to estimate the referral system's annual effects on the total number of deliveries, C-section and perinatal mortality ratios in the two hospitals. The linear regression were assessed by residual analysis (Shapiro-Wilk test and the influence of possible conflicting observations was evaluated by a diagnostic test (Leverage, with p Results Over the time period evaluated, the overall C-section rate was 37.3%, there were 30 maternal deaths (maternal mortality ratio = 109.5/100,000 LB and 660 perinatal deaths (perinatal mortality rate = 23.7/1000 births. The C-section rate decreased from 46.5% to 23.4% at the level II hospital while remaining unchanged at the level III hospital. The perinatal mortality rate decreased from 9.71 to 1.66/1000 births and from 60.8 to 39.6/1000 births at the level II and level III hospital, respectively. Maternal mortality ratios were 16.3/100,000 LB and 185.1/100,000 LB at the level II and level III hospitals. There was a shift from direct to indirect causes of

  3. Reducing questionnaire length did not improve physician response rate: a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, Eva E; van der Heide, Agnes; Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D

    2014-04-01

    To examine the effect of reducing questionnaire length on the response rate in a physician survey. A postal four double-page questionnaire on end-of-life decision making was sent to a random sample of 1,100 general practitioners, 400 elderly care physicians, and 500 medical specialists. Another random sample of 500 medical specialists received a shorter questionnaire of two double pages. After 3 months and one reminder, all nonresponding physicians received an even shorter questionnaire of one double page. Total response was 64% (1,456 of 2,269 eligible respondents). Response rate of medical specialists for the four double-page questionnaire was equal to that of the two double-page questionnaire (190 and 191 questionnaires were returned, respectively). The total response rate increased from 53% to 64% after sending a short one double-page questionnaire (1,203-1,456 respondents). The results of our study suggest that reducing the length of a long questionnaire in a physician survey does not necessarily improve response rate. To improve response rate and gather more information, researchers could decide to send a drastically shortened version of the questionnaire to nonresponders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Referral of children seeking care at private health facilities in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbonye, Anthony K; Buregyeya, Esther; Rutebemberwa, Elizeus; Clarke, Siân E; Lal, Sham; Hansen, Kristian S; Magnussen, Pascal; LaRussa, Philip

    2017-02-14

    In Uganda, referral of sick children seeking care at public health facilities is poor and widely reported. However, studies focusing on the private health sector are scanty. The main objective of this study was to assess referral practices for sick children seeking care at private health facilities in order to explore ways of improving treatment and referral of sick children in this sector. A survey was conducted from August to October 2014 in Mukono district, central Uganda. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire supplemented by Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant interviews with private providers and community members. A total of 241 private health facilities were surveyed; 170 (70.5%) were registered drug shops, 59 (24.5%) private clinics and 12 (5.0%) pharmacies. Overall, 104/241 (43.2%) of the private health facilities reported that they had referred sick children to higher levels of care in the two weeks prior to the survey. The main constraints to follow referral advice as perceived by caretakers were: not appreciating the importance of referral, gender-related decision-making and negotiations at household level, poor quality of care at referral facilities, inadequate finances at household level; while the perception that referral leads to loss of prestige and profit was a major constraint to private providers. In conclusion, the results show that referral of sick children at private health facilities faces many challenges at provider, caretaker, household and community levels. Thus, interventions to address constraints to referral of sick children are urgently needed.

  5. Can accelerometry data improve estimates of heart rate variability from wrist pulse PPG sensors?*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Maciej; Li, Xuan; Khaghani-Far, Iman; Gordon, Christine M.; Pavel, Misha; Jimison Member, Holly B.

    2018-01-01

    A key prerequisite for precision medicine is the ability to assess metrics of human behavior objectively, unobtrusively and continuously. This capability serves as a framework for the optimization of tailored, just-in-time precision health interventions. Mobile unobtrusive physiological sensors, an important prerequisite for realizing this vision, show promise in implementing this quality of physiological data collection. However, first we must trust the collected data. In this paper, we present a novel approach to improving heart rate estimates from wrist pulse photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. We also discuss the impact of sensor movement on the veracity of collected heart rate data. PMID:29060185

  6. Can accelerometry data improve estimates of heart rate variability from wrist pulse PPG sensors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Maciej; Xuan Li; Khaghani-Far, Iman; Gordon, Christine M; Pavel, Misha; Jimison, Holly B

    2017-07-01

    A key prerequisite for precision medicine is the ability to assess metrics of human behavior objectively, unobtrusively and continuously. This capability serves as a framework for the optimization of tailored, just-in-time precision health interventions. Mobile unobtrusive physiological sensors, an important prerequisite for realizing this vision, show promise in implementing this quality of physiological data collection. However, first we must trust the collected data. In this paper, we present a novel approach to improving heart rate estimates from wrist pulse photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. We also discuss the impact of sensor movement on the veracity of collected heart rate data.

  7. Efficiency and hospital effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Amin, Mona; Makarem, Suzanne C; Rosko, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency has emerged as a central goal to the operations of health care organizations. There are two competing perspectives on the relationship between efficiency and organizational performance. Some argue that organizational slack is a waste and that efficiency contributes to organizational performance, whereas others maintain that slack acts as a buffer, allowing organizations to adapt to environmental demands and contributing to organizational performance. As value-based purchasing becomes more prevalent, health care organizations are incented to become more efficient and, at the same time, improve their patients' experiences and outcomes. Unused slack resources might facilitate the timely implementation of these improvements. Building on previous research on organizational slack and inertia, we test whether efficiency and other organizational factors predict organizational effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings. We rely on data from the American Hospital Association and HCAHPS. We estimate hospital cost-efficiency by Stochastic Frontier Analysis and use regression analysis to determine whether efficiency, competition, hospital size, and other organizational factors are significant predictors of hospital effectiveness. Our findings indicate that efficiency and hospital size have a significant negative association with organizational ability to improve HCAHPS ratings. Although achieving organizational efficiency is necessary for health care organizations, given the changes that are currently occurring in the U.S. health care system, it is important for health care managers to maintain a certain level of slack to respond to environmental demands and have the resources needed to improve their performance.

  8. Assessment of Outreach by a Regional Burn Center: Could Referral Criteria Revision Help with Utilization of Resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Nicholas H; Leonard, Clint; Rae, Lisa

    2018-02-20

    The objectives of this study were to identify trends in preburn center care, assess needs for outreach and education efforts, and evaluate resource utilization with regard to referral criteria. We hypothesized that many transferred patients were discharged home after brief hospitalizations and without need for operation. Retrospective chart review was performed for all adult and pediatric transfers to our regional burn center from July 2012 to July 2014. Details of initial management including TBSA estimation, fluid resuscitation, and intubation status were recorded. Mode of transport, burn center length of stay, need for operation, and in-hospital mortality were analyzed. In two years, our burn center received 1004 referrals from other hospitals including 713 inpatient transfers. Within this group, 621 were included in the study. Among transferred patients, 476 (77%) had burns less than 10% TBSA, 69 (11%) had burns between 10-20% TBSA, and 76 (12%) had burns greater than 20% TBSA. Referring providers did not document TBSA for 261 (42%) of patients. Among patients with less than 10% TBSA burns, 196 (41%) received fluid boluses. Among patients with TBSA < 10%, 196 (41%) were sent home from the emergency department or discharged within 24 hours, and an additional 144 (30%) were discharged within 48 hours. Overall, 187 (30%) patients required an operation. In-hospital mortality rates were 1.5% for patients who arrived by ground transport, 14.9% for rotor wing transport, and 18.2% for fixed wing transport. Future education efforts should emphasize the importance of calculating TBSA to guide need for fluid resuscitation and restricting fluid boluses to patients that are hypotensive. Clarifying the American Burn Association burn center referral criteria to distinguish between immediate transfer vs outpatient referral may improve patient care and resource utilization.

  9. Choosing wisely: a model-based analysis evaluating the trade-offs in cancer benefit and diagnostic referrals among alternative HPV testing strategies in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Emily A; Pedersen, Kine; Sy, Stephen; Kristiansen, Ivar Sønbø; Kim, Jane J

    2017-09-05

    Forthcoming cervical cancer screening strategies involving human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for women not vaccinated against HPV infections may increase colposcopy referral rates. We quantified health and resource trade-offs associated with alternative HPV-based algorithms to inform decision-makers when choosing between candidate algorithms. We used a mathematical simulation model of HPV-induced cervical carcinogenesis in Norway. We compared the current cytology-based strategy to alternative strategies that varied by the switching age to primary HPV testing (ages 25-34 years), the routine screening frequency (every 3-10 years), and management of HPV-positive, cytology-negative women. Model outcomes included reductions in lifetime cervical cancer risk, relative colposcopy rates, and colposcopy rates per cervical cancer prevented. The age of switching to primary HPV testing and the screening frequency had the largest impacts on cancer risk reductions, which ranged from 90.9% to 96.3% compared to no screening. In contrast, increasing the follow-up intensity of HPV-positive, cytology-negative women provided only minor improvements in cancer benefits, but generally required considerably higher rates of colposcopy referrals compared to current levels, resulting in less efficient cervical cancer prevention. We found that in order to maximise cancer benefits HPV-based screening among unvaccinated women should not be delayed: rather, policy makers should utilise the triage mechanism to control colposcopy referrals.

  10. Improving the Accuracy of Planet Occurrence Rates from Kepler Using Approximate Bayesian Computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Danley C.; Ford, Eric B.; Ragozzine, Darin; Morehead, Robert C.

    2018-05-01

    We present a new framework to characterize the occurrence rates of planet candidates identified by Kepler based on hierarchical Bayesian modeling, approximate Bayesian computing (ABC), and sequential importance sampling. For this study, we adopt a simple 2D grid in planet radius and orbital period as our model and apply our algorithm to estimate occurrence rates for Q1–Q16 planet candidates orbiting solar-type stars. We arrive at significantly increased planet occurrence rates for small planet candidates (R p 80 day) compared to the rates estimated by the more common inverse detection efficiency method (IDEM). Our improved methodology estimates that the occurrence rate density of small planet candidates in the habitable zone of solar-type stars is {1.6}-0.5+1.2 per factor of 2 in planet radius and orbital period. Additionally, we observe a local minimum in the occurrence rate for strong planet candidates marginalized over orbital period between 1.5 and 2 R ⊕ that is consistent with previous studies. For future improvements, the forward modeling approach of ABC is ideally suited to incorporating multiple populations, such as planets, astrophysical false positives, and pipeline false alarms, to provide accurate planet occurrence rates and uncertainties. Furthermore, ABC provides a practical statistical framework for answering complex questions (e.g., frequency of different planetary architectures) and providing sound uncertainties, even in the face of complex selection effects, observational biases, and follow-up strategies. In summary, ABC offers a powerful tool for accurately characterizing a wide variety of astrophysical populations.

  11. Availability of, referral to and participation in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation after heart valve surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Tina B; Berg, Selina K; Sibilitz, Kirstine L

    2015-01-01

    variation. The overall uptake rate was 52%. Simultaneous CABG was associated with a higher probability of referral to CR (OR 2.02 (95%CI 1.12-3.65)); being unmarried (0.44 (0.27-0.72)) and having TAVI with a lower probability (0.26; 0.13-0.52). The referral pattern varied across administrative regions...... were linked to nationwide registries. We analysed the provision and content of programmes using descriptive statistics, and factors associated with referral and participation using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Coverage of CR programmes for these patients was high, with national programme......- and patient-level influenced uptake and included significant regional variation in referral pattern. Further research into the effect and organization of CR post heart valve surgery is needed....

  12. Provider Communication, Prompts, and Feedback to Improve HPV Vaccination Rates in Resident Clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Cynthia M; Schaffer, Stanley J; Dhepyasuwan, Nui; Blumkin, Aaron; Albertin, Christina; Serwint, Janet R; Darden, Paul M; Humiston, Sharon G; Mann, Keith J; Stratbucker, William; Szilagyi, Peter G

    2018-04-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates lag behind vaccination rates for other adolescent vaccines; a bundled intervention may improve HPV vaccination rates. Our objective is to evaluate the impact of quality improvement (QI) training plus a bundled practice-based intervention (provider prompts plus communication skills training plus performance feedback) on improving HPV vaccinations in pediatric resident continuity clinics. Staff and providers in 8 resident clinics participated in a 12-month QI study. The intervention included training to strengthen provider communication about the HPV vaccine. Clinics also implemented provider prompts, received monthly performance feedback, and participated in learning collaborative calls. The primary outcome measure was eligible visits with vaccination divided by vaccine-eligible visits (captured HPV vaccination opportunities). Practices performed chart audits that were fed into monthly performance feedback on captured HPV vaccination opportunities. We used conditional logistic regression (conditioning on practice) to assess captured vaccination opportunities, with the time period of the study (before and after the QI intervention) as the independent variable. Overall, captured opportunities for HPV vaccination increased by 16.4 percentage points, from 46.9% to 63.3%. Special cause was demonstrated by centerline shift, with 8 consecutive points above the preintervention mean. On adjusted analyses, patients were more likely to receive a vaccine during, versus before, the intervention (odds ratio: 1.87; 95% confidence interval: 1.54-2.28). Captured HPV vaccination rates improved at both well-child and other visits (by 11.7 and 13.0 percentage points, respectively). A bundled intervention of provider prompts and training in communication skills plus performance feedback increased captured opportunities for HPV vaccination. Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  13. Improving H-Q rating curves in temprorary streams by using Acoustic Doppler Current meters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchand, P.; Salles, C.; Rodier, C.; Hernandez, F.; Gayrard, E.; Tournoud, M.-G.

    2012-04-01

    Intermittent rivers pose different challenges to stream rating due to high spatial and temporal gradients. Long dry periods, cut by short duration flush flood events explain the difficulty to obtain reliable discharge data, for low flows as well as for floods: problems occur with standard gauging, zero flow period, etc. Our study aims to test the use of an acoustic Doppler currentmeter (ADC) for improving stream rating curves in small catchments subject to large variations of discharge, solid transport and high eutrophication levels. The study is conducted at the outlet of the river Vène, a small coastal river (67 km2) located close to the city of Montpellier (France). The low flow period lasts for more than 6 month; during this period the river flow is sustained by effluents from urban sewage systems, which allows development of algae and macrophytes in the riverbed. The ADC device (Sontek ®Argonaut SW) is a pulsed Doppler current profiling system designed for measuring water velocity profiles and levels that are used to compute volumetric flow rates. It is designed for shallow waters (less than 4 meter depth). Its main advantages are its low cost and high accuracy (±1% of the measured velocity or ±0.05 m/sec, as reported by the manufacturer). The study will evaluate the improvement in rating curves in an intermittent flow context and the effect of differences in sensitivity between low and high water level, by comparing mean flow velocity obtained by ADC to direct discharges measurements. The study will also report long-term use of ADC device, by considering effects of biofilms, algae and macrophytes, as well as solid transport on the accuracy of the measurements. In conclusion, we show the possibility to improve stream rating and continuous data collection of an intermittent river by using a ADC with some precautions.

  14. Improving HIV post-exposure prophylaxis rates after pediatric acute sexual assault.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Samantha; Deutsch, Stephanie A; Gieseker, Rebecca; Molnar, Jennifer; Lavelle, Jane M; Scribano, Philip V

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of our study was to increase the rate of children with appropriate HIV-PEP regimens among those diagnosed with sexual assault in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Emergency Department (ED). The outcome measure was the percent of patients receiving correct HIV-PEP. We retrospectively reviewed 97 charts over 31 months to define the baseline rate of children receiving appropriate HIV-PEP regimens (pre QI-implementation period: 2/2012-8/2014). Among children in which HIV-PEP was indicated following sexual assault, 40% received the recommended 28-day course. Root cause analysis indicated prescribing errors accounted for 87% of patients not receiving appropriate HIV-PEP. Process drivers included standardizing care coordination follow-up calls to elicit specific information about HIV-PEP, ED educational initiatives targeted at HIV-PEP prescribing, revision of the clinical pathway to specify indicated duration of HIV-PEP, and revision of the order set to auto-populate the number of days for the HIV-PEP prescription. During the QI-implementation period (9/2014-4/2015), the rate of appropriate HIV-PEP increased to 64% (median 60%) and the average number of days between incorrect HIV-PEP regimens was 24.5. Post QI-implementation (5/2015-3/2016), the rate of appropriate HIV-PEP increased to 84% (median 100%) and the average number of days between incorrect HIV-PEP regimens increased to 78.4. A multifaceted quality improvement process improved the rate of receipt of appropriate HIV-PEP regimens for pediatric victims of sexual assault. Decision support tools are instrumental in sustaining ideal care delivery, but require ongoing evaluation and improvement in order to remain optimally effective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Lung Focused Resuscitation at a Specialized Donor Care Facility Improves Lung Procurement Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Stephanie H; Kreisel, Daniel; Marklin, Gary F; Cook, Lindsey; Hachem, Ramsey; Kozower, Benjamin D; Balsara, Keki R; Bell, Jennifer M; Frederiksen, Christine; Meyers, Bryan F; Patterson, G Alexander; Puri, Varun

    2018-05-01

    Lung procurement for transplantation occurs in approximately 20% of brain dead donors and is a major impediment to wider application of lung transplantation. We investigated the effect of lung protective management at a specialized donor care facility on lung procurement rates from brain dead donors. Our local organ procurement organization instituted a protocol of lung protective management at a freestanding specialized donor care facility in 2008. Brain dead donors from 2001 to 2007 (early period) were compared with those from 2009 to 2016 (current period) for lung procurement rates and other solid-organ procurement rates using a prospectively maintained database. An overall increase occurred in the number of brain dead donors during the study period (early group, 791; late group, 1,333; p procurement rate (lung donors/all brain dead donors) improved markedly after the introduction of lung protective management (early group, 157 of 791 [19.8%]; current group, 452 of 1,333 [33.9%]; p procurement rate (total number of organs procured/donor) also increased during the study period (early group, 3.5 organs/donor; current group, 3.8 organs/donor; p = 0.006). Lung protective management in brain dead donors at a specialized donor care facility is associated with higher lung utilization rates compared with conventional management. This strategy does not adversely affect the utilization of other organs in a multiorgan donor. Copyright © 2018 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Improvement in Device Performance and Reliability of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes through Deposition Rate Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Wei Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We demonstrated a fabrication technique to reduce the driving voltage, increase the current efficiency, and extend the operating lifetime of an organic light-emitting diode (OLED by simply controlling the deposition rate of bis(10-hydroxybenzo[h]qinolinato beryllium (Bebq2 used as the emitting layer and the electron-transport layer. In our optimized device, 55 nm of Bebq2 was first deposited at a faster deposition rate of 1.3 nm/s, followed by the deposition of a thin Bebq2 (5 nm layer at a slower rate of 0.03 nm/s. The Bebq2 layer with the faster deposition rate exhibited higher photoluminescence efficiency and was suitable for use in light emission. The thin Bebq2 layer with the slower deposition rate was used to modify the interface between the Bebq2 and cathode and hence improve the injection efficiency and lower the driving voltage. The operating lifetime of such a two-step deposition OLED was 1.92 and 4.6 times longer than that of devices with a single deposition rate, that is, 1.3 and 0.03 nm/s cases, respectively.

  17. Evaluating an approach to improving the adoption rate of wireless drug library updates for smart pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppe, Lindsey B; Eckel, Stephen F

    2011-01-15

    An academic medical center's approach to improving the adoption rate of wireless drug library updates for smart pumps was evaluated. A multidisciplinary team composed of pharmacy, nursing, medical engineering, materials management, and patient equipment personnel at an academic medical center collaborated to update the drug libraries of more than 1800 smart pumps via a wireless control system. Two pilot tests were completed to identify and resolve issues before the live wireless update was attempted. The second pilot test, a passive approach, produced an adoption rate of 42% of 1804 pumps at the end of one week and a rate of 56% on day 10. The goal of 80% was not achieved until day 22. The change to an active multidisciplinary process three months later produced an adoption rate of 80% for 1869 pumps on day 10, resulting in a 45.4% increase in the adoption rate between the two trials on day 10 (p libraries reduced the amount of time required to reach a goal adoption rate of 80%.

  18. The performance of one belt and one road exchange rate: Based on improved singular spectrum analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Guo, Kun

    2017-10-01

    ;One Belt and One Road; strategy in China is on push of foreign trade openness at northwest, southwest and northeast, absorption of the excess capacity and new support for economic increase. However, the fluctuation in RMB exchange rate with the countries along the road is unstable so related Chinese enterprises will face high risk of exchange rate. Precise explanation or prediction for exchange rate has been the challengeable hop point in the international finance. This paper decomposed the One Belt One Road Exchange Rate Index (OBORR) and the RMB Effective Exchange Rate Index (CNYX) into trend term, market fluctuation term and noise term using improved singular spectrum analysis (SSA). It turns out that the increasing velocity of OBORR is greater than that of CNYX in the long term, and there is dynamic lead-lag structure in the medium term. In the short term, the fluctuation range and frequency of OBORR are greater than those of CNYX, which means there will be more exchange rate risks in One Belt and One Road countries.

  19. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF REFERRALS TO ELECTRODIAGNOSTIC EXAMINATION OF THE PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Podnar

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Background. Clinical neurophysiologists observe a large number of examinees referred to a electromyographic (EMG laboratory without clinical symptoms or signs of the peripheral nervous system lesion. Such referrals do not improve management of patients, but only unnecessarily burden examinees and laboratory personnel. The aim of the present study was to check appropriateness of referrals to electrodiagnostic examination, look for reasons for problems and suggest possible improvements.Methods. From the database of the Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology in Ljubljana all examinees evaluated by the author in a »general« EMG laboratory in the first 4 months of 2002 were included. From data about examinees, referral doctors, referral diagnoses, clinical symptoms and signs and electrophysiological findings, predictive values for neurological referral diagnoses and electrodiagnostic abnormalities were calculated using descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses.Results. Three hundred examinees (42% men were included. Neurological diagnosis was provided in 55% of referrals. Electrodiagnostic abnormalities were found in 45% of examinees (carpal tunnel syndrome 50%, radiculopathy 25%, other mononeuropathies 15%, polineuropathy 9%. In 9% of examinees only clinical, and in 47% neither clinical nor electrodiagnostic abnormalities were demonstrated. Using a multivariate analysis positive effect of referral with neurological diagnosis, of paraesthesiae and findings of weakness and sensory loss, and negative effect of pain and referral diagnosis cervicobrachialgia or lumboischialgia on pathological electrodiagnostic findings were found. Isolated pain and paraesthesiae (with carpal tunnel syndrome excluded were particularly poor predictors of abnormal electrodiagnostic findings (9% and 16%, respectively. With exception of 20 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, none with normal clinical neurological examination had abnormal electrodiagnostic findings

  20. Improving Bayesian credibility intervals for classifier error rates using maximum entropy empirical priors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafsson, Mats G; Wallman, Mikael; Wickenberg Bolin, Ulrika; Göransson, Hanna; Fryknäs, M; Andersson, Claes R; Isaksson, Anders

    2010-06-01

    Successful use of classifiers that learn to make decisions from a set of patient examples require robust methods for performance estimation. Recently many promising approaches for determination of an upper bound for the error rate of a single classifier have been reported but the Bayesian credibility interval (CI) obtained from a conventional holdout test still delivers one of the tightest bounds. The conventional Bayesian CI becomes unacceptably large in real world applications where the test set sizes are less than a few hundred. The source of this problem is that fact that the CI is determined exclusively by the result on the test examples. In other words, there is no information at all provided by the uniform prior density distribution employed which reflects complete lack of prior knowledge about the unknown error rate. Therefore, the aim of the study reported here was to study a maximum entropy (ME) based approach to improved prior knowledge and Bayesian CIs, demonstrating its relevance for biomedical research and clinical practice. It is demonstrated how a refined non-uniform prior density distribution can be obtained by means of the ME principle using empirical results from a few designs and tests using non-overlapping sets of examples. Experimental results show that ME based priors improve the CIs when employed to four quite different simulated and two real world data sets. An empirically derived ME prior seems promising for improving the Bayesian CI for the unknown error rate of a designed classifier. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The referral backfire effect: The identity threatening nature of referral failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claus, B.; Geyskens, K.; Millet, K.; Dewitte, S.

    2012-01-01

    The present paper shows that when a person has the experience of giving advice but that advice is not acted upon, there is a reduced openness to external information. We call this the "referral backfire effect". We argue that this referral backfire effect is due to the identity threatening nature of

  2. Improved achievable secrecy rate of visible light communication with cooperative jamming

    KAUST Repository

    Zaid, Hajar

    2016-02-25

    In this paper we study the problem of securing a visible light communication (VLC) link against passive eavesdropping, with the help of a (friendly) jammer. Differently from radio frequency (RF) communications, VLC imposes a peak amplitude constraint on the input distribution which renders Gaussian inputs not admissible. We provide an achievable secrecy rate that improves upon a recently established one in a concurrent work by Mostafa and Lampe. Our scheme follows from both the secrecy capacity result by Wyner and the artificial noise scheme by Goel and Negi, but using truncated Gaussian input distributions instead of uniform ones. Via numerical results, we show that our secrecy rate outperforms the concurrent rate in different settings. © 2015 IEEE.

  3. Influence of ammonia flow rate for improving properties of polycrystalline GaN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariff, A.; Ahmad, M. A.; Hassan, Z.; Zainal, N.

    2018-06-01

    Post-annealing treatment in ammonia ambient is widely accepted for GaN material, but less works have been done to investigate the influence of the ammonia (NH3) flow rate for reducing the N-deficiency as well as improving the quality of the material. In this work, we investigated the influence of NH3 flow rate at 1, 2, 3, and 4 slm in improving properties of a ∼1 μm thick polycrystalline GaN layer. Our simulation work suggested that the uniformity of temperature and pressure gradient of the NH3 gas did not lead to the reduction of N-deficiency of the polycrystalline GaN layer. Instead, it was found that the mitigation of the N-deficiency was strongly influenced by the fluid velocity of the NH3 gas, which had passed over the layer. Either at lower or higher fluid velocity, the chance for the active N atoms to incorporate into the GaN lattice structure was low. Therefore, the N-deficiency on the polycrystalline GaN layer could not be minimized under these conditions. As measured by EDX, the N atoms incorporation was the most effective when the NH3 flow rate at 3 slm, suggesting the flow rate significantly improved the N-deficiency of the polycrystalline GaN layer. Furthermore, it favored the formation of larger hexagonal faceted grains, with the smallest FWHM of XRD peaks from the GaN diffractions in (10 1 bar 0), (0002) and (10 1 bar 1) orientations, while allowing the polycrystalline GaN layer to show sharp and intense emissions peak of NBE in a PL spectrum.

  4. Heart rate recovery improves after weight loss in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Rebecca L; Buckley, Jonathan D; Noakes, Manny; Clifton, Peter M; Norman, Robert J; Brinkworth, Grant D

    2010-03-01

    To determine the effects of weight loss on heart rate recovery (HRR) in overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A 10-week prospective clinical intervention. Clinical research unit. Fifty-seven overweight and obese women with PCOS (age: 29.8 +/- 0.8 years; body mass index [BMI] 36.2 +/- 0.7 kg/m(2)). A dietary plan of 5-6 MJ/day ( approximately 30% energy restricted). Heart rate recovery (defined as the reduction in heart rate after 1 minute from peak heart rate after a graded treadmill test to exhaustion), weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and sex steroids before and after the intervention. The mean percentage of weight loss was (-6.7 +/- 0.4%). There were significant reductions in waist circumference (-6.9 +/- 0.6 cm), blood pressure (-4.9/-2.5 +/- 1.2/1.2 mm Hg), fasting insulin (-3.4 +/- 0.7 mU/L), fasting glucose (-0.17 +/- 0.05 mmol/L), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (-0.43 +/- 0.09), T (-0.38 +/- 0.07 nmol/L), free androgen index (-2.86 +/- 0.58), and an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin [SHBG] (5.86 +/- 1.12 nmol/L). The HRR improved from 30.9 +/- 1.1 to 38.0 +/- 1.1 beats/min and that was related to the reduction in body weight (r = -0.34) and waist circumference (r = -0.27). Weight loss in overweight and obese women with PCOS is associated with improvements in HRR, which suggests improved autonomic function. This highlights the importance of weight loss to reduce the cardiovascular disease risk in these women. Crown Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Improved estimates of external gamma dose rates in the environs of Hinkley Point Power Station

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macdonald, H.F.; Thompson, I.M.G.

    1988-07-01

    The dominant source of external gamma dose rates at centres of population within a few kilometres of Hinkley Point Power Station is the routine discharge of 41-Ar from the 'A' station magnox reactors. Earlier estimates of the 41-Ar radiation dose rates were based upon measured discharge rates, combined with calculations using standard plume dispersion and cloud-gamma integration models. This report presents improved dose estimates derived from environmental gamma dose rate measurements made at distances up to about 1 km from the site, thus minimising the degree of extrapolation introduced in estimating dose rates at locations up to a few kilometres from the site. In addition, results from associated chemical tracer measurements and wind tunnel simulations covering distances up to about 4 km from the station are outlined. These provide information on the spatial distribution of the 41-Ar plume during the initial stages of its dispersion, including effects due to plume buoyancy and momentum and behaviour under light wind conditions. In addition to supporting the methodology used for the 41-Ar dose calculations, this information is also of generic interest in the treatment of a range of operational and accidental releases from nuclear power station sites and will assist in the development and validation of existing environmental models. (author)

  6. Improved predictions of nuclear reaction rates for astrophysics applications with the TALYS reaction code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goriely, S.; Hilaire, S.; Koning, A.J.

    2008-01-01

    Nuclear reaction rates for astrophysics applications are traditionally determined on the basis of Hauser-Feshbach reaction codes, like MOST. These codes use simplified schemes to calculate the capture reaction cross section on a given target nucleus, not only in its ground state but also on the different thermally populated states of the stellar plasma at a given temperature. Such schemes include a number of approximations that have never been tested, such as an approximate width fluctuation correction, the neglect of delayed particle emission during the electromagnetic decay cascade or the absence of the pre-equilibrium contribution at increasing incident energies. New developments have been brought to the reaction code TALYS to estimate the Maxwellian-averaged reaction rates of astrophysics relevance. These new developments give us the possibility to calculate with an improved accuracy the reaction cross sections and the corresponding astrophysics rates. The TALYS predictions for the thermonuclear rates of astrophysics relevance are presented and compared with those obtained with the MOST code on the basis of the same nuclear ingredients for nuclear structure properties, optical model potential, nuclear level densities and γ-ray strength. It is shown that, in particular, the pre-equilibrium process significantly influences the astrophysics rates of exotic neutron-rich nuclei. The reciprocity theorem traditionally used in astrophysics to determine photo-rates is also shown no to be valid for exotic nuclei. The predictions obtained with different nuclear inputs are also analyzed to provide an estimate of the theoretical uncertainties still affecting the reaction rate prediction far away from the experimentally known regions. (authors)

  7. Can use of an administrative database improve accuracy of hospital-reported readmission rates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgerton, James R; Herbert, Morley A; Hamman, Baron L; Ring, W Steves

    2018-05-01

    Readmission rates after cardiac surgery are being used as a quality indicator; they are also being collected by Medicare and are tied to reimbursement. Accurate knowledge of readmission rates may be difficult to achieve because patients may be readmitted to different hospitals. In our area, 81 hospitals share administrative claims data; 28 of these hospitals (from 5 different hospital systems) do cardiac surgery and share Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) clinical data. We used these 2 sources to compare the readmissions data for accuracy. A total of 45,539 STS records from January 2008 to December 2016 were matched with the hospital billing data records. Using the index visit as the start date, the billing records were queried for any subsequent in-patient visits for that patient. The billing records included date of readmission and hospital of readmission data and were compared with the data captured in the STS record. We found 1153 (2.5%) patients who had STS records that were marked "No" or "missing," but there were billing records that showed a readmission. The reported STS readmission rate of 4796 (10.5%) underreported the readmission rate by 2.5 actual percentage points. The true rate should have been 13.0%. Actual readmission rate was 23.8% higher than reported by the clinical database. Approximately 36% of readmissions were to a hospital that was a part of a different hospital system. It is important to know accurate readmission rates for quality improvement processes and institutional financial planning. Matching patient records to an administrative database showed that the clinical database may fail to capture many readmissions. Combining data with an administrative database can enhance accuracy of reporting. Copyright © 2017 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Enhanced Thermostability of Arabidopsis Rubisco activase improves photosynthesis and growth rates under moderate heat stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurek, Itzhak; Chang, Thom Kai; Bertain, Sean M; Madrigal, Alfredo; Liu, Lu; Lassner, Michael W; Zhu, Genhai

    2007-10-01

    Plant photosynthesis declines when the temperature exceeds its optimum range. Recent evidence indicates that the reduction in photosynthesis is linked to ribulose-1,5-bis-phosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) deactivation due to the inhibition of Rubisco activase (RCA) under moderately elevated temperatures. To test the hypothesis that thermostable RCA can improve photosynthesis under elevated temperatures, we used gene shuffling technology to generate several Arabidopsis thaliana RCA1 (short isoform) variants exhibiting improved thermostability. Wild-type RCA1 and selected thermostable RCA1 variants were introduced into an Arabidopsis RCA deletion (Deltarca) line. In a long-term growth test at either constant 26 degrees C or daily 4-h 30 degrees C exposure, the transgenic lines with the thermostable RCA1 variants exhibited higher photosynthetic rates, improved development patterns, higher biomass, and increased seed yields compared with the lines expressing wild-type RCA1 and a slight improvement compared with untransformed Arabidopsis plants. These results provide clear evidence that RCA is a major limiting factor in plant photosynthesis under moderately elevated temperatures and a potential target for genetic manipulation to improve crop plants productivity under heat stress conditions.

  9. Physical Exercise Improves Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villafaina, Santos; Collado-Mateo, Daniel; Fuentes, Juan Pedro; Merellano-Navarro, Eugenio; Gusi, Narcis

    2017-09-23

    The aim of the present systematic review is to provide an up-to-date analysis of the research on the effects of exercise programs on heart rate variability (HRV) in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). An electronic search of the literature (PubMed, PEDro and Web of Science) was performed. "HRV", "heart rate variability", "exercise", "physical" and "diabetes" were the terms used for article retrieval. Lastly, 15 articles were selected. PRISMA methodology was employed and data were extracted according to the PICOS approach. Although HRV is not routinely measured in the management of T2DM, it is an important measure due to its relation with mortality and diabetic neuropathy. Physical exercise has become a therapy for T2DM, because it improves physical fitness and functional capacity, enhances metabolic control and insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammatory markers and neuropathy symptoms and can increase the regenerative capacity of cutaneous axons, slowing or preventing neuropathy progression. However, it is not clear to what extent physical exercise can improve HRV in this population. Participation in the 15 selected studies was similar in men and women (48.01% men and 51.99% women). All the intervention programs included aerobic training, and it was complemented by strength training in four studies. Duration of physical exercise sessions ranged between 30 and 75 min, the frequency being between 2 and 7 days/week. Statistically significant improvements in groups with diabetes, relative to baseline, were observed in nine studies. More than 3 days per week of aerobic training, complemented by strength training, during at least 3 months seems to improve HRV in T2DM. Weekly frequency might be the most important factor to improve HRV. These aspects could help to design better programs based in scientific evidence, incorporating HRV as an important variable associated with diabetic neuropathy and mortality.

  10. Cyclic efforts to improve completion rates of masters’ degree students in nursing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizeth Roets

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Supervisors at Higher Education Institutions are challenged to shorten throughput of Master’s degree students in nursing as researchers are needed to improve the art and science of the nursing profession. Globally the completion time for a postgraduate degree in the health sciences varies between 4.7 and 5.5 years. The purpose of the study was to describe strategies that were implemented to shorten completion time and attrition rate of postgraduate students. A cyclic technical, scientific collaborative mode within an action research methodology was used to identify factors impeding completion time in this study. Contrary to other studies, supervision was not an inhibiting factor in this study. Physical, technical, academic and financial aspects were identified by postgraduate students through questionnaires and informal discussion groups with supervisors as well as progress reports. Strategies were implemented to address these. Following implementation of all strategies, 42% of the postgraduate students in the School of Nursing completed their Master’s degree within two years. This implies a 34% improvement. Although the completion rate improved it was still unsatisfactory and new challenges were identified during the second cycle, for example, the number of inexperienced supervisors increased and they needed mentoring. Speed mentoring is a possible solution to the problem.

  11. Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in Early Care and Education Programs and Home-Based Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sheila; Robbins, Taylor; Schneider, Will; Kreader, J. Lee; Ong, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRISs) commonly offer on-site technical assistance (TA) and coaching to help early care and education settings achieve quality improvements and a higher QRIS rating. In surveys of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs, almost all states reported the use of on-site TA and coaching in both center-based and…

  12. Primary care physician referral patterns in Ontario, Canada: a descriptive analysis of self-reported referral data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddy, Clare; Arbab-Tafti, Sadaf; Moroz, Isabella; Keely, Erin

    2017-08-22

    In many countries, the referral-consultation process faces a number of challenges from inefficiencies and rising demand, resulting in excessive wait times for many specialties. We collected referral data from a sample of family doctors across the province of Ontario, Canada as part of a larger program of research. The purpose of this study is to describe referral patterns from primary care to specialist and allied health services from the primary care perspective. We conducted a prospective study of patient referral data submitted by primary care providers (PCP) from 20 clinics across Ontario between June 2014 and January 2016. Monthly referral volumes expressed as a total number of referrals to all medical and allied health professionals per month. For each referral, we also collected data on the specialty type, reason for referral, and whether the referral was for a procedure. PCPs submitted a median of 26 referrals per month (interquartile range 11.5 to 31.8). Of 9509 referrals eligible for analysis, 97.8% were directed to medical professionals and 2.2% to allied health professionals. 55% of medical referrals were directed to non-surgical specialties and 44.8% to surgical specialties. Medical referrals were for procedures in 30.8% of cases and non-procedural in 40.9%. Gastroenterology received the largest share (11.2%) of medical referrals, of which 62.3% were for colonoscopies. Psychology received the largest share (28.3%) of referrals to allied health professionals. We described patterns of patient referral from primary care to specialist and allied health services for 30 PCPs in 20 clinics across Ontario. Gastroenterology received the largest share of referrals, nearly two-thirds of which were for colonoscopies. Future studies should explore the use of virtual care to help manage non-procedural referrals and examine the impact that procedural referrals have on wait times for gastroenterology.

  13. Provider attributes correlation analysis to their referral frequency and awards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, Matthew T; Rivas, Ryan L; Hristidis, Vagelis

    2016-03-14

    There has been a recent growth in health provider search portals, where patients specify filters-such as specialty or insurance-and providers are ranked by patient ratings or other attributes. Previous work has identified attributes associated with a provider's quality through user surveys. Other work supports that intuitive quality-indicating attributes are associated with a provider's quality. We adopt a data-driven approach to study how quality indicators of providers are associated with a rich set of attributes including medical school, graduation year, procedures, fellowships, patient reviews, location, and technology usage. In this work, we only consider providers as individuals (e.g., general practitioners) and not organizations (e.g., hospitals). As quality indicators, we consider the referral frequency of a provider and a peer-nominated quality designation. We combined data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and several provider rating web sites to perform our analysis. Our data-driven analysis identified several attributes that correlate with and discriminate against referral volume and peer-nominated awards. In particular, our results consistently demonstrate that these attributes vary by locality and that the frequency of an attribute is more important than its value (e.g., the number of patient reviews or hospital affiliations are more important than the average review rating or the ranking of the hospital affiliations, respectively). We demonstrate that it is possible to build accurate classifiers for referral frequency and quality designation, with accuracies over 85 %. Our findings show that a one-size-fits-all approach to ranking providers is inadequate and that provider search portals should calibrate their ranking function based on location and specialty. Further, traditional filters of provider search portals should be reconsidered, and patients should be aware of existing pitfalls with these filters and educated on local

  14. A technician-delivered 'virtual clinic' for triaging low-risk glaucoma referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotecha, A; Brookes, J; Foster, P J

    2017-06-01

    PurposeThe purpose of this study is to describe the outcomes of a technician-delivered glaucoma referral triaging service with 'virtual review' of resultant data by a consultant ophthalmologist.Patients and methodsThe Glaucoma Screening Clinic reviewed new optometrist or GP-initiated glaucoma suspect referrals into a specialist ophthalmic hospital. Patients underwent testing by three ophthalmic technicians in a dedicated clinical facility. Data were reviewed at a different time and date by a consultant glaucoma ophthalmologist. Approximately 10% of discharged patients were reviewed in a face-to-face consultant-led clinic to examine the false-negative rate of the service.ResultsBetween 1 March 2014 and 31 March 2016, 1380 patients were seen in the clinic. The number of patients discharged following consultant virtual review was 855 (62%). The positive predictive value of onward referrals was 84%. Three of the 82 patients brought back for face-to-face review were deemed to require treatment, equating to negative predictive value of 96%.ConclusionsOur technician-delivered glaucoma referral triaging clinic incorporates consultant 'virtual review' to provide a service model that significantly reduces the number of onward referrals into the glaucoma outpatient department. This model may be an alternative to departments where there are difficulties in implementing optometrist-led community-based referral refinement schemes.

  15. Justification of doctors' referral for radiological imaging among some Nigerian doctors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Osaigbovo Ighodaro

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The demand for radiological examination has increased tremendously despite paucity of referring clinicians' knowledge on radiation protection. Reasons to justify these referrals vary. Consequently, the aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between clinicians' knowledge of radiological imaging dosage to their referral justification and guideline. Materials and Methods: Structured questionnaires were developed with four sections (Section 1, sociodemographic data; Section 2, justification for imaging referral; Section 3, knowledge of radiation dose to patients; Section 4, effect of irradiation. The questionnaires were administered at a previous Nigerian Medical Association National Conference, which took place at Lagos in 2013. Sections 3 and 4 were scored and rated. Results: The respondents gave plausible reasons to refer patients for radiological evaluation despite the observation that majority of them were unaware of the existence of referral guidelines and had poor knowledge on radiation. Only 16 (12.2% of the respondents had a fair score on knowledge about radiation dose to patients while 110 (84.0% had poor score. Five (3.8% of the respondents had good score. Similarly, on identifying effect of radiation, 10 (7.6% had good score, 4 (3.1% fair score, and 117 (89.3% poor score. Conclusion: Most of the referrals of patients for radiological evaluation by the respondents were not based on the standard guidelines. Therefore, it is pertinent that referral guidelines should be developed and implemented and clinicians should be educated and trained on radiation protection.

  16. Interventions to Improve Rate of Diabetes Testing Postpartum in Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamel, Maureen S; Werner, Erika F

    2017-02-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. In the USA, four million women are screened annually for GDM in pregnancy in part to improve pregnancy outcomes but also because diagnosis predicts a high risk of future type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Therefore, among women with GDM, postpartum care should be focused on T2DM prevention. This review describes the current literature aimed to increase postpartum diabetes testing among women with GDM. Data suggest that proactive patient contact via a health educator, a phone call, or even postal mail is associated with higher rates of postpartum diabetes testing. There may also be utility to changing the timing of postpartum diabetes testing. Despite the widespread knowledge regarding the importance of postpartum testing for women with GDM, testing rates remain low. Alternative testing strategies and large randomized trials addressing postpartum testing are warranted.

  17. Characteristics of patients with diabetes who accept referrals for care management services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bree Holtz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Patients with chronic conditions can improve their health through participation in self-care programs. However, awareness of and enrollment in these programs are generally low. Objective: We sought to identify factors influencing patients’ receptiveness to a referral for programs and services supporting chronic disease management. Methods: We analyzed data from 541 high-risk diabetic patients who completed an assessment between 2010 and 2013 from a computer-based, nurse-led Navigator referral program within a large primary care clinic. We compared patients who accepted a referral to those who declined. Results: A total of 318 patients (75% accepted 583 referrals, of which 52% were for self-care programs. Patients who accepted a referral had more primary care visits in the previous year, were more likely to be enrolled in another program, expressed more interest in using the phone and family or friends for support, and were more likely to report recent pain than those who declined a referral. Discussion: Understanding what factors influence patients’ decisions to consider and participate in self-care programs has important implications for program design and development of strategies to connect patients to programs. This work informs outreach efforts to identify and engage patients who are likely to benefit from self-care activities.

  18. Access to specialty care in autism spectrum disorders-a pilot study of referral source

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    West Therese

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the United States, a medical home model has been shown to improve the outcomes for children with special health care needs. As part of this model, primary care physicians provide comprehensive medical care that includes identification of delayed and/or atypical development in children and coordination of care with specialists. However, it is not clear if families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD rely on the medical home model for care of their child to the same extent as families of children with other special health care needs. This study aims to add to the understanding of medical care for children with ASD by examining the referral source for specialty care. Methods This retrospective study was accomplished by evaluating parent completed intake data for children with ASD compared to those with other neurological disorders in a single physician Pediatric Neurology Practice at a major urban medical center in Northern New Jersey. To account for referral bias, a similar comparison study was conducted using a multispecialty ASD practice at the same medical center. Parent reported "source of referral" and "reason for the referral" of 189 ASD children and 108 non-ASD neurological disordered children were analyzed. Results The specialty evaluations of ASD were predominantly parent initiated. There were significantly less referrals received from primary care physicians for children with ASD compared to children with other neurodevelopmental disorders. Requirement of an insurance referral was not associated with a primary care physician prompted specialty visit.We identified different patterns of referral to our specialty clinics for children with ASD vs. children with other neurolodevelopmental disorders. Conclusion The majority of the families of children with ASD evaluated at our autism center did not indicate that a primary care physician initiated the specialty referral. This study suggests that families of

  19. Spirometry as a motivational tool to improve smoking cessation rates: a systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilt, Timothy J; Niewoehner, Dennis; Kane, Robert L; MacDonald, Roderick; Joseph, Anne M

    2007-01-01

    Obtaining spirometric testing and providing those results to individuals who smoke has been advocated as a motivational tool to improve smoking cessation. However, its effectiveness is not known. We conducted a systematic review to determine if this approach improves rates of smoking cessation. Data sources included MEDLINE (1966 to October 2005), the Cochrane Library, and experts in the field. Eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) enrolled at least 25 smokers per arm, evaluated spirometry with associated counseling or in combination with other treatments, followed subjects at least 6 months, and provided smoking abstinence rates. Results from nonrandomized studies also were summarized. The primary outcome was patient-reported long-term (at least 6 months) sustained abstinence with biological validation. Additional outcomes included self-reported abstinence and point-prevalence abstinence. Seven RCTs (N = 6,052 subjects) met eligibility criteria. Follow-up duration ranged from 9 to 36 months. In six trials, the intervention group received concomitant treatments previously demonstrated to increase cessation independently. The range of abstinence was 3%-14% for control subjects and 7%-39% among intervention groups, statistically significantly in favor of intervention in four studies. The only RCT that assessed the independent contribution of spirometry in combination with counseling demonstrated a nonsignificant 1% improvement in patient-reported point-prevalence abstinence at 12 months in the group that received spirometry plus counseling versus counseling alone (6.5% versus 5.5%). Findings from observational studies were mixed, and the lack of controls makes interpretation problematic. Available evidence is insufficient to determine whether obtaining spirometric values and providing that information to patients improves smoking cessation compared with other smoking cessation methods. Spirometric values are of limited benefit as a predictor of smoking

  20. Assessment of the uptake of neonatal and young infant referrals by community health workers to public health facilities in an urban informal settlement, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nsibande Duduzile

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Globally, 40% of the 7.6 million deaths of children under five every year occur in the neonatal period (first 28 days after birth. Increased and earlier recognition of illness facilitated by community health workers (CHWs, coupled with effective referral systems can result in better child health outcomes. This model has not been tested in a peri-urban poor setting in Africa, or in a high HIV context. Methods The Good Start Saving Newborn Lives (SNL study (ISRCTN41046462 conducted in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, was a community randomized trial to assess the effect of an integrated home visit package delivered to mothers by CHWs during pregnancy and post-delivery on uptake of PMTCT interventions and appropriate newborn care practices. CHWs were trained to refer babies with illnesses or identified danger signs. The aim of this sub-study was to assess the effectiveness of this referral system by describing CHW referral completion rates as well as mothers’ health-care seeking practices. Interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire with all mothers whose babies had been referred by a CHW since the start of the SNL trial. Descriptive analysis was conducted to describe referral completion and health seeking behaviour of mothers. Results Of the 2423 women enrolled in the SNL study, 148 sick infants were referred between June 2008 and June 2010. 62% of referrals occurred during the first 4 weeks of life and 22% between birth and 2 weeks of age. Almost all mothers (95% completed the referral as advised by CHWs. Difficulty breathing, rash and redness/discharge around the cord accounted for the highest number of referrals (26%, 19% and 17% respectively. Only16% of health workers gave written feedback on the outcome of the referral to the referring CHW. Conclusions We found high compliance with CHW referral of sick babies in an urban South African township. This suggests that CHWs can play a significant role, within community

  1. Assessment of the uptake of neonatal and young infant referrals by community health workers to public health facilities in an urban informal settlement, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nsibande, Duduzile; Doherty, Tanya; Ijumba, Petrida; Tomlinson, Mark; Jackson, Debra; Sanders, David; Lawn, Joy

    2013-02-06

    Globally, 40% of the 7.6 million deaths of children under five every year occur in the neonatal period (first 28 days after birth). Increased and earlier recognition of illness facilitated by community health workers (CHWs), coupled with effective referral systems can result in better child health outcomes. This model has not been tested in a peri-urban poor setting in Africa, or in a high HIV context. The Good Start Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) study (ISRCTN41046462) conducted in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, was a community randomized trial to assess the effect of an integrated home visit package delivered to mothers by CHWs during pregnancy and post-delivery on uptake of PMTCT interventions and appropriate newborn care practices. CHWs were trained to refer babies with illnesses or identified danger signs. The aim of this sub-study was to assess the effectiveness of this referral system by describing CHW referral completion rates as well as mothers' health-care seeking practices. Interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire with all mothers whose babies had been referred by a CHW since the start of the SNL trial. Descriptive analysis was conducted to describe referral completion and health seeking behaviour of mothers. Of the 2423 women enrolled in the SNL study, 148 sick infants were referred between June 2008 and June 2010. 62% of referrals occurred during the first 4 weeks of life and 22% between birth and 2 weeks of age. Almost all mothers (95%) completed the referral as advised by CHWs. Difficulty breathing, rash and redness/discharge around the cord accounted for the highest number of referrals (26%, 19% and 17% respectively). Only16% of health workers gave written feedback on the outcome of the referral to the referring CHW. We found high compliance with CHW referral of sick babies in an urban South African township. This suggests that CHWs can play a significant role, within community outreach teams, to improve newborn health and reduce child

  2. Paramedic-Initiated Home Care Referrals and Use of Home Care and Emergency Medical Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Amol A; Klich, John; Thurston, Adam; Scantlebury, Jordan; Kiss, Alex; Seddon, Gayle; Sinha, Samir K

    2018-01-01

    We examined the association between paramedic-initiated home care referrals and utilization of home care, 9-1-1, and Emergency Department (ED) services. This was a retrospective cohort study of individuals who received a paramedic-initiated home care referral after a 9-1-1 call between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Home care, 9-1-1, and ED utilization were compared in the 6 months before and after home care referral. Nonparametric longitudinal regression was performed to assess changes in hours of home care service use and zero-inflated Poisson regression was performed to assess changes in the number of 9-1-1 calls and ambulance transports to ED. During the 24-month study period, 2,382 individuals received a paramedic-initiated home care referral. After excluding individuals who died, were hospitalized, or were admitted to a nursing home, the final study cohort was 1,851. The proportion of the study population receiving home care services increased from 18.2% to 42.5% after referral, representing 450 additional people receiving services. In longitudinal regression analysis, there was an increase of 17.4 hours in total services per person in the six months after referral (95% CI: 1.7-33.1, p = 0.03). The mean number of 9-1-1 calls per person was 1.44 (SD 9.58) before home care referral and 1.20 (SD 7.04) after home care referral in the overall study cohort. This represented a 10% reduction in 9-1-1 calls (95% CI: 7-13%, p home care referral and 0.79 (SD 6.27) after home care referral, representing a 7% reduction (95% CI: 3-11%, p home care records were included in the analysis, the reductions in 9-1-1 calls and ambulance transports to ED were attenuated but remained statistically significant. Paramedic-initiated home care referrals in Toronto were associated with improved access to and use of home care services and may have been associated with reduced 9-1-1 calls and ambulance transports to ED.

  3. Utilisation of a direct access echocardiography service by general practitioners in a remote and rural area--distance and rurality are not barriers to referral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choo, Wai K; McGeary, Katie; Farman, Colin; Greyling, Andre; Cross, Stephen J; Leslie, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to examine whether general practitioner (GP) practice locations in remote and rural areas affected the pattern of direct access echocardiography referral and to assess any variations in echocardiographic findings. All referrals made by all GP practices in the Scottish Highlands over a 36-month period were analysed. Referral patterns were examined according to distance and rurality based on the Scottish Government's Urban-Rural Classification. Reasons for referral and cardiac abnormality detection rates were also examined. In total, 1188 referrals were made from 49 different GP practices; range of referral rates was 0.3-20.1 per 1000 population with a mean of 6.5 referrals per 1000 population. Referral rates were not significantly different between urban and rural practices after correction for population size. There was no correlation between the referral rates and the distance from the centre (r2=0.004, p=0.65). The most common reason for referral was the presence of new murmur (46%). The most common presenting symptom was breathlessness (44%). Overall, 28% of studies had significant abnormal findings requiring direct input from a cardiologist. There was no clear relationship between referral rates and cardiac abnormality detection rates (r2=0.07, p=0.37). The average cardiac abnormality detection rate was 56%, (range 52-60%), with no variation based on rurality (p=0.891). In this cohort, rurality and distance were not barriers to an equitable direct access echocardiography service. Cardiac abnormality detection rates are consistent with that of other studies.

  4. Factors influencing general practitioner referral of patients developing end-stage renal failure: a standardised case-analysis study.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Montgomery, Anthony J

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To understand why treatment referral rates for ESRF are lower in Ireland than in other European countries, an investigation of factors influencing general practitioner referral of patients developing ESRF was conducted. METHOD: Randomly selected general practitioners (N = 51) were interviewed using 32 standardised written patient scenarios to elicit referral strategies. Main outcome measures: General practitioner referral levels and thresholds for patients developing end-stage renal disease; referral routes (nephrologist vs other physicians); influence of patient age, marital status and co-morbidity on referral. RESULTS: Referral levels varied widely with the full range of cases (0-32; median = 15) referred by different doctors after consideration of first laboratory results. Less than half (44%) of cases were referred to a nephrologist. Patient age (40 vs 70 years), marital status, co-morbidity (none vs rheumatoid arthritis) and general practitioner prior specialist renal training (yes or no) did not influence referral rates. Many patients were not referred to a specialist at creatinine levels of 129 micromol\\/l (47% not referred) or 250 micromol\\/l (45%). While all patients were referred at higher levels (350 and 480 micromol\\/l), referral to a nephrologist decreased in likelihood as scenarios became more complex; 28% at 129 micromol\\/l creatinine; 28% at 250 micromol\\/l; 18% at 350 micromol\\/l and 14% at 480 micromol\\/l. Referral levels and routes were not influenced by general practitioner age, sex or practice location. Most general practitioners had little current contact with chronic renal patients (mean number in practice = 0.7, s.d. = 1.3). CONCLUSION: The very divergent management patterns identified highlight the need for guidance to general practitioners on appropriate management of this serious condition.

  5. Looking inside the black box: a theory-based process evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial of printed educational materials (the Ontario printed educational message, OPEM to improve referral and prescribing practices in primary care in Ontario, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemyre Louise

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Randomised controlled trials of implementation strategies tell us whether (or not an intervention results in changes in professional behaviour but little about the causal mechanisms that produce any change. Theory-based process evaluations collect data on theoretical constructs alongside randomised trials to explore possible causal mechanisms and effect modifiers. This is similar to measuring intermediate endpoints in clinical trials to further understand the biological basis of any observed effects (for example, measuring lipid profiles alongside trials of lipid lowering drugs where the primary endpoint could be reduction in vascular related deaths. This study protocol describes a theory-based process evaluation alongside the Ontario Printed Educational Message (OPEM trial. We hypothesize that the OPEM interventions are most likely to operate through changes in physicians' behavioural intentions due to improved attitudes or subjective norms with little or no change in perceived behavioural control. We will test this hypothesis using a well-validated social cognition model, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB that incorporates these constructs. Methods/design We will develop theory-based surveys using standard methods based upon the TPB for the second and third replications, and survey a subsample of Ontario family physicians from each arm of the trial two months before and six months after the dissemination of the index edition of informed, the evidence based newsletter used for the interventions. In the third replication, our study will converge with the "TRY-ME" protocol (a second study conducted alongside the OPEM trial, in which the content of educational messages was constructed using both standard methods and methods informed by psychological theory. We will modify Dillman's total design method to maximise response rates. Preliminary analyses will initially assess the internal reliability of the measures and use

  6. Chiropractors' Characteristics Associated with Physician Referrals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blanchette, M. A.; Rivard, M.; Dionne, C. E.

    2015-01-01

    , and the percentage of patients referred to other health care providers were associated with a higher number of MD referrals to DCs. The percentage of patients with somatovisceral conditions, using a particular chiropractic technique (hole in one and Thompson), taking his/her own radiographs, being the client...

  7. 32 CFR 701.9 - Referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... referral, a point of contact by name, a telephone number (commercial and DSN), and an e-mail address (if... record any FOIA request for investigative, intelligence, or any other type of records that are on loan to.... However, if for investigative or intelligence purposes, the outside agency desires anonymity, a DON...

  8. Factors influencing variation in physician adenoma detection rates: a theory-based approach for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, Louise; Hunkeler, Enid M; Jensen, Christopher D; Michie, Susan; Lee, Jeffrey K; Doubeni, Chyke A; Zauber, Ann G; Levin, Theodore R; Quinn, Virginia P; Corley, Douglas A

    2016-03-01

    Interventions to improve physician adenoma detection rates for colonoscopy have generally not been successful, and there are little data on the factors contributing to variation that may be appropriate targets for intervention. We sought to identify factors that may influence variation in detection rates by using theory-based tools for understanding behavior. We separately studied gastroenterologists and endoscopy nurses at 3 Kaiser Permanente Northern California medical centers to identify potentially modifiable factors relevant to physician adenoma detection rate variability by using structured group interviews (focus groups) and theory-based tools for understanding behavior and eliciting behavior change: the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation behavior model; the Theoretical Domains Framework; and the Behavior Change Wheel. Nine factors potentially associated with adenoma detection rate variability were identified, including 6 related to capability (uncertainty about which types of polyps to remove, style of endoscopy team leadership, compromised ability to focus during an examination due to distractions, examination technique during withdrawal, difficulty detecting certain types of adenomas, and examiner fatigue and pain), 2 related to opportunity (perceived pressure due to the number of examinations expected per shift and social pressure to finish examinations before scheduled breaks or the end of a shift), and 1 related to motivation (valuing a meticulous examination as the top priority). Examples of potential intervention strategies are provided. By using theory-based tools, this study identified several novel and potentially modifiable factors relating to capability, opportunity, and motivation that may contribute to adenoma detection rate variability and be appropriate targets for future intervention trials. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Use of the liquisolid compact technique for improvement of the dissolution rate of valsartan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveen Chella

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to improve the dissolution rate of the poorly soluble drug valsartan by delivering the drug as a liquisolid compact. Liquisolid compacts were prepared using propylene glycol as solvent, Avicel PH102 as carrier, and Aerosil 200 as the coating material. The crystallinity of the newly formulated drug and the interaction between excipients was examined by X-ray powder diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, respectively. The dissolution studies for the liquisolid formulation and the marketed product were carried out at different pH values. The results showed no change in the crystallinity of the drug and no interaction between excipients. The dissolution efficiency of valsartan at 15 min was increased from 4.02% for plain drug and 13.58% for marketed product to 29.47% for the liquisolid formulation. The increase in the dissolution rate was also found to be significant compared to the marketed product at lower pH values, simulating the gastric environment where valsartan is largely absorbed. The liquisolid technique appears to be a promising approach for improving the dissolution of poorly soluble drugs like valsartan.

  10. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling to Improve Natural Flow Rate and Sweet Pepper Productivity in Greenhouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Limtrakarn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Natural flow rate and sweet peppers productivity in tropical greenhouse are improved by CFD simulation is the main objective of this research work. Most of the greenhouse types today are in the arch shape. To develop an improved greenhouse structure for the region, the arch type was built and used as the control model. Mae Sar Mai agriculture research station under the royal project foundation was selected as the field test site. Temperature sensors with data logger were installed to monitor variation of temperature inside the greenhouse. The measured temperature data were used as the boundary conditions for the CFD analysis. A new greenhouse model with two-step roof shape was designed and the air flow behavior was simulated by using CFD. Regarding CFD results the air flow rate of the new model is about 39% higher than that of old model. The maximum temperature of the new model is lower than that of the old one. The sweet paper growths in both greenhouse models were measured and compared. Results show that the new model obtains 4°C lower maximum temperature in day time, 97% in number and 90% in weight higher the first grade pepper productivity than the old one.

  11. A novel embryo culture media supplement that improves pregnancy rates in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highet, A R; Bianco-Miotto, T; Pringle, K G; Peura, A; Bent, S; Zhang, J; Nottle, M B; Thompson, J G; Roberts, C T

    2017-03-01

    The preimplantation embryo in vivo is exposed to numerous growth factors in the female reproductive tract, which are not recapitulated in embryo culture media in vitro The IGF2 and plasminogen activator systems facilitate blastocyst development. We hypothesized that the addition of IGF2 in combination with urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen could improve rates of blastocyst hatching and implantation in mice. B6BcF1 and CBAB6F2 mouse embryos were divided into one of four supplemented culture media treatment groups: (1) control (media only); (2) 12.5 nM IGF2; (3) 10 µg/mL uPA and 5 µg/mL plasminogen; or (4) a combination of IGF2, uPA and plasminogen treatments. Embryo development to blastocyst stage and hatching were assessed before transfer to pseudopregnant recipient females and implantation, pregnancy rates and postnatal growth were assessed. After 90.5 h of culture, IGF2 + U + P treatment increased the percentage of B6BcF1 embryos that were hatching/hatched and percentage developing to blastocyst stage compared with controls (P culture, IGF2, uPA and plasminogen supplementation of culture media can improve pregnancy success, but the effect of treatment is dependent on the mouse strain. © 2017 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  12. Improving Rates of Post-Essure Hysterosalpingography in an Urban Population Using Electronic Tracking Reminders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virginia Hu, Yu-Han; Arora, Kavita Shah

    2017-02-01

    To demonstrate the efficacy of electronic reminders for follow-up hysterosalpingography (HSG) after Essure hysteroscopic sterilization in an urban tertiary care hospital obstetrics and gynecology practice. Retrospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-3). Obstetrics and gynecology practice at a university-affiliated urban tertiary care teaching hospital. Two hundred and fifty patients who underwent Essure hysteroscopic sterilization between June 2011 and July 2014. Implementation of electronic reminders for the office staff. Two hundred and fifty of 259 patients (96.5%) underwent Essure hysteroscopic sterilization and successful placement of coils into bilateral Fallopian tubes. Among these 250 patients, 135 (54%) returned for HSG at 3 months post-Essure as advised at the time of procedure. The use of electronic reminders prompted another 45 patients (18%) to return for HSG, improving the total post-Essure follow-up rate to 72%. Electronic reminders for the office staff of an urban tertiary care hospital's obstetrics and gynecology practice is an effective method for improving the rate of post-Essure HSG. Copyright © 2016 AAGL. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. An Improved in Vivo Deuterium Labeling Method for Measuring the Biosynthetic Rate of Cytokinins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Tarkowski

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available An improved method for determining the relative biosynthetic rate of isoprenoid cytokinins has been developed. A set of 11 relevant isoprenoid cytokinins, including zeatin isomers, was separated by ultra performance liquid chromatography in less than 6 min. The iP-type cytokinins were observed to give rise to a previously-unknown fragment at m/z 69; we suggest that the diagnostic (204-69 transition can be used to monitor the biosynthetic rate of isopentenyladenine. Furthermore, we found that by treating the cytokinin nucleotides with alkaline phosphatase prior to analysis, the sensitivity of the detection process could be increased. In addition, derivatization (propionylation improved the ESI-MS response by increasing the analytes' hydrophobicity. Indeed, the ESI-MS response of propionylated isopentenyladenosine was about 34% higher than that of its underivatized counterpart. Moreover, the response of the derivatized zeatin ribosides was about 75% higher than that of underivatized zeatin ribosides. Finally, we created a web-based calculator (IZOTOP that facilitates MS/MS data processing and offer it freely to the research community.

  14. Referral pattern of hemodialysis patients to nephrologists

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anees, M.; Mumtaz, A.; Nazir, M.; Ibrahim, M.; Kausar, T.

    2007-01-01

    To determine the referral pattern of dialysis patients to nephrologists and the effects of late referral on clinical, hematological and biochemical parameters in patients presenting for the first-time to dialysis center. This study was conducted on all patients of end stage renal diseases presenting for the first-time for undergoing hemodialysis at our center. Patients with acute renal failure were excluded from the study. At presentation, a history was taken from all the patients regarding seeking of nephrology services and referral pattern. Early and late referral was defined as the time of first referral or admission to a nephrologists greater or less than six months respectively before initiation of hemodialysis. All the patients were examined and their blood sample was drawn at the same time for routine hematological, biochemical parameters (urea, creatinine, serum potassium, calcium, phosphate and albumin) and viral markers (Anti HCV and HbsAg). In this study, 248 patients were enrolled, amongst them, 131 (52.8%) were male and 117 (47.2%) were female. Major causes of renal failure were diabetes mellitus, chronic glomerulonephritis and hypertension. Most of the patients were euvolemic and hypertensive. Sixty percent of patients were having very high urea (>200 mg/dl) and creatinine (>8.0 mg/dl). Most of the patients, 226 (91.1%), were anemic (Hemoglobin <11gm/dl) and 224 (90%) were hypoalbuminemic (serum albumin < 4gm/dl) on first presentation. Majority of patients were hyperkalemic, 139 (56.0%), hypocalcemic, 168 (67.7%) and serum phosphate level was high in only 117 (47%) patients. All the patients presented in emergency room to nephrologists at very late stage (100% late referral), when disease was very much advanced. All of them did not have permanent vascular access for hemodialysis on first presentation to dialysis center. Reasons for late referral were non-availability of nephrologists and nephrology services, non-renal doctors biased, unawareness and

  15. Improved growth rate in Clostridium thermocellum hydrogenase mutant via perturbed sulfur metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Ranjita; Wilson, Charlotte M; Giannone, Richard J; Klingeman, Dawn M; Rydzak, Thomas; Shah, Manesh B; Hettich, Robert L; Brown, Steven D; Guss, Adam M

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic engineering is a commonly used approach to develop organisms for an industrial function, but engineering aimed at improving one phenotype can negatively impact other phenotypes. This lack of robustness can prove problematic. Cellulolytic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum is able to rapidly ferment cellulose to ethanol and other products. Recently, genes involved in H 2 production, including the hydrogenase maturase hydG and NiFe hydrogenase ech , were deleted from the chromosome of C. thermocellum . While ethanol yield increased, the growth rate of Δ hydG decreased substantially compared to wild type. Addition of 5 mM acetate to the growth medium improved the growth rate in C. thermocellum ∆hydG , whereas wild type remained unaffected. Transcriptomic analysis of the wild type showed essentially no response to the addition of acetate. However, in C. thermocellum ΔhydG , 204 and 56 genes were significantly differentially regulated relative to wild type in the absence and presence of acetate, respectively. Genes, Clo1313_0108-0125, which are predicted to encode a sulfate transport system and sulfate assimilatory pathway, were drastically upregulated in C. thermocellum ΔhydG in the presence of added acetate. A similar pattern was seen with proteomics. Further physiological characterization demonstrated an increase in sulfide synthesis and elimination of cysteine consumption in C. thermocellum ΔhydG . Clostridium thermocellum ΔhydGΔech had a higher growth rate than ΔhydG in the absence of added acetate, and a similar but less pronounced transcriptional and physiological effect was seen in this strain upon addition of acetate. Sulfur metabolism is perturbed in C. thermocellum ΔhydG strains, likely to increase flux through sulfate reduction to act either as an electron sink to balance redox reactions or to offset an unknown deficiency in sulfur assimilation.

  16. An improved shuffled frog leaping algorithm based evolutionary framework for currency exchange rate prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Rajashree

    2017-11-01

    Forecasting purchasing power of one currency with respect to another currency is always an interesting topic in the field of financial time series prediction. Despite the existence of several traditional and computational models for currency exchange rate forecasting, there is always a need for developing simpler and more efficient model, which will produce better prediction capability. In this paper, an evolutionary framework is proposed by using an improved shuffled frog leaping (ISFL) algorithm with a computationally efficient functional link artificial neural network (CEFLANN) for prediction of currency exchange rate. The model is validated by observing the monthly prediction measures obtained for three currency exchange data sets such as USD/CAD, USD/CHF, and USD/JPY accumulated within same period of time. The model performance is also compared with two other evolutionary learning techniques such as Shuffled frog leaping algorithm and Particle Swarm optimization algorithm. Practical analysis of results suggest that, the proposed model developed using the ISFL algorithm with CEFLANN network is a promising predictor model for currency exchange rate prediction compared to other models included in the study.

  17. Novel driver method to improve ordinary CCD frame rate for high-speed imaging diagnosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Tong-Ding, E-mail: snuohui@126.com; Li, Bin-Kang; Yang, Shao-Hua; Guo, Ming-An; Yan, Ming

    2016-06-21

    The use of ordinary Charge-coupled-Device (CCD) imagers for the analysis of fast physical phenomenon is restricted because of the low-speed performance resulting from their long output times. Even though the form of Intensified-CCD (ICCD), coupled with a gated image intensifier, has extended their use for high speed imaging, the deficiency remains to be solved that ICDD could record only one image in a single shot. This paper presents a novel driver method designed to significantly improve the ordinary interline CCD burst frame rate for high-speed photography. This method is based on the use of vertical registers as storage, so that a small number of additional frames comprised of reduced-spatial-resolution images obtained via a specific sampling operation can be buffered. Hence, the interval time of the received series of images is related to the exposure and vertical transfer times only and, thus, the burst frame rate can be increased significantly. A prototype camera based on this method is designed as part of this study, exhibiting a burst rate of up to 250,000 frames per second (fps) and a capacity to record three continuous images. This device exhibits a speed enhancement of approximately 16,000 times compared with the conventional speed, with a spatial resolution reduction of only 1/4.

  18. Vitamin C supplementation improve the sputum conversion culture rate in pulmonary tuberculosis treatment while rifampicin susceptible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susanto, L.; Siregar, Y.; Kusumawati, L.

    2018-03-01

    The failure of first-line tuberculosis treatment greatly affects multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis. In vitro study of vitamin C induces the death of M. tuberculosis bacteria and accelerates healing of tuberculosis, so the multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis can be avoided. This research aimed to identify the effect of vitamin C as a supportive treatment on the sputum conversion rate. The randomizedand double group with a parallel design by matching pair method was used to collect samples. The first group was treated with standard tuberculosis treatment, and the other was given vitamin C supplementation. Vitamin C plasma level analyzation was performed before and after two months of treatment. Sputum conversion was evaluated every week for eight weeks. The comparison of vitamin C plasma level in pre and post-treatment group was significant (p=0.03) but not in the other group. There was no significant difference in vitamin C plasma level between two groups (p=0.21). The proportion of sputum conversion rate in both group in the first week was 0% vs. 9.6% (p=0.83) and the last week of study was 83.9% vs. 100% (p=0.02). In conclusion, vitamin C supplementation has effects in improving the healing process of tuberculosis patients as indicated by higher in sputum conversion rate.

  19. Diagnoses, Intervention Strategies, and Rates of Functional Improvement in Integrated Behavioral Health Care Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Ana J.; Gregus, Samantha J.; Rodriguez, Juventino Hernandez; Andrews, Arthur R.; Villalobos, Bianca T.; Pastrana, Freddie A.; Cavell, Timothy A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Compared with more traditional mental health care, integrated behavioral health care (IBHC) offers greater access to services and earlier identification and intervention of behavioral and mental health difficulties. The current study examined demographic, diagnostic, and intervention factors that predict positive changes for IBHC patients. Method Participants were 1,150 consecutive patients (mean age = 30.10 years, 66.6% female, 60.1% Hispanic, 47.9% uninsured) seen for IBHC services at 2 primary care clinics over a 34-month period. Patients presented with depressive (23.2%), anxiety (18.6%), adjustment (11.3%), and childhood externalizing (7.6%) disorders, with 25.7% of patients receiving no diagnosis. Results The most commonly delivered interventions included behavioral activation (26.1%), behavioral medicine-specific consultation (14.6%), relaxation training (10.3%), and parent-management training (8.5%). There was high concordance between diagnoses and evidence-based intervention selection. We used latent growth curve modeling to explore predictors of baseline global assessment of functioning (GAF) and improvements in GAF across sessions, utilizing data from a subset of 117 patients who attended at least 3 behavioral health visits. Hispanic ethnicity and being insured predicted higher baseline GAF, while patients with an anxiety disorder had lower baseline GAF than patients with other diagnoses. Controlling for primary diagnosis, patients receiving behavioral activation or exposure therapy improved at faster rates than patients receiving other interventions. Demographic variables did not relate to rates of improvement. Conclusion Results suggest even brief IBHC interventions can be focused, targeting specific patient concerns with evidence-based treatment components. PMID:25774786

  20. Executive functioning independently predicts self-rated health and improvement in self-rated health over time among community-dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Joanna Edel; Lawlor, Brian A

    2016-01-01

    Self-rated health, as distinct from objective measures of health, is a clinically informative metric among older adults. The purpose of our study was to examine the cognitive and psychosocial factors associated with self-rated health. 624 participants over the age of 60 were assessed at baseline, and of these, 510 were contacted for a follow-up two years later. Measures of executive function and self-rated health were assessed at baseline, and self-rated health was assessed at follow-up. We employed multiple linear regression analyses to investigate the relationship between executive functioning and self-rated health, while controlling for demographic, psychosocial and biological variables. Controlling for other relevant variables, executive functioning independently and solely predicted self-rated health, both at a cross-sectional level, and also over time. Loneliness was also found to cross-sectionally predict self-rated health, although this relationship was not present at a longitudinal level. Older adults' self-rated health may be related to their executive functioning and to their loneliness. Self-rated health appeared to improve over time, and the extent of this improvement was also related to executive functioning at baseline. Self-rated health may be a judgement made of one's functioning, especially executive functioning, which changes with age and therefore may be particularly salient in the reflections of older adults.

  1. Auditory feedback improves heart rate moderation during moderate-intensity exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaykevich, Alex; Grove, J Robert; Jackson, Ben; Landers, Grant J; Dimmock, James

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study is to determine whether exposure to automated HR feedback can produce improvements in the ability to regulate HR during moderate-intensity exercise and to evaluate the persistence of these improvements after feedback is removed. Twenty healthy adults performed 10 indoor exercise sessions on cycle ergometers over 5 wk after a twice-weekly schedule. During these sessions (FB), participants received auditory feedback designed to maintain HR within a personalized, moderate-intensity training zone between 70% and 80% of estimated maximum HR. All feedback was delivered via a custom mobile software application. Participants underwent an initial assessment (PREFB) to measure their ability to maintain exercise intensity defined by the training zone without use of feedback. After completing the feedback training, participants performed three additional assessments identical to PREFB at 1 wk (POST1), 2 wk (POST2), and 4 wk (POST3) after their last feedback session. Time in zone (TIZ), defined as the ratio of the time spent within the training zone divided by the overall time of exercise, rate of perceived exertion, instrumental attitudes, and affective attitudes were then evaluated to assess results using two-way, mixed-model ANOVA with sessions and gender as factors. Training with feedback significantly improved TIZ (P moderate-intensity exercise in healthy adults.

  2. Road accident rates: strategies and programmes for improving road traffic safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goniewicz, K; Goniewicz, M; Pawłowski, W; Fiedor, P

    2016-08-01

    Nowadays, the problem of road accident rates is one of the most important health and social policy issues concerning the countries in all continents. Each year, nearly 1.3 million people worldwide lose their life on roads, and 20-50 million sustain severe injuries, the majority of which require long-term treatment. The objective of the study was to identify the most frequent, constantly occurring causes of road accidents, as well as outline actions constituting a basis for the strategies and programmes aiming at improving traffic safety on local and global levels. Comparative analysis of literature concerning road safety was performed, confirming that although road accidents had a varied and frequently complex background, their causes have changed only to a small degree over the years. The causes include: lack of control and enforcement concerning implementation of traffic regulation (primarily driving at excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol, and not respecting the rights of other road users (mainly pedestrians and cyclists), lack of appropriate infrastructure and unroadworthy vehicles. The number of fatal accidents and severe injuries, resulting from road accidents, may be reduced through applying an integrated approach to safety on roads. The strategies and programmes for improving road traffic should include the following measures: reducing the risk of exposure to an accident, prevention of accidents, reduction in bodily injuries sustained in accidents, and reduction of the effects of injuries by improvement of post-accident medical care.

  3. A pediatric death audit in a large referral hospital in Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Elizabeth; Mlotha-Mitole, Rachel; Ciccone, Emily J; Tilly, Alyssa E; Montijo, Jennie M; Lang, Hans-Joerg; Eckerle, Michelle

    2018-02-21

    Death audits have been used to describe pediatric mortality in under-resourced settings, where record keeping is often a challenge. This information provides the cornerstone for the foundation of quality improvement initiatives. Malawi, located in sub-Saharan Africa, currently has an Under-5 mortality rate of 64/1000. Kamuzu Central Hospital, in the capital city Lilongwe, is a busy government referral hospital, which admits up to 3000 children per month. A study published in 2013 reported mortality rates as high as 9%. This is the first known audit of pediatric death files conducted at this hospital. A retrospective chart review on all pediatric deaths that occurred at Kamuzu Central Hospital (excluding deaths in the neonatal nursery) during a 13-month period was done using a standardized death audit form. A descriptive analysis was completed, including patient demographics, HIV and nutritional status, and cause of death. Modifiable factors were identified that may have contributed to mortality, including a lack of vital sign collection, poor documentation, and delays in the procurement or results of tests, studies, and specialist review. Seven hundred forty three total pediatric deaths were recorded and 700 deceased patient files were reviewed. The mortality rate by month ranged from a low of 2.2% to a high of 4.4%. Forty-four percent of deaths occurred within the first 24 h of admission, and 59% occurred within the first 48 h. The most common causes of death were malaria, malnutrition, HIV-related illnesses, and sepsis. The mortality rate for this pediatric referral center has dramatically decreased in the 6 years since the last published mortality data, but remains high. Areas identified for continued development include improved record keeping, improved patient assessment and monitoring, and more timely and reliable provision of testing and treatment. This study demonstrates that in low-resource settings, where reliable record keeping is often difficult

  4. Referral pathways for patients with TIA avoiding hospital admission: a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Bridie Angela; Ali, Khalid; Bulger, Jenna; Ford, Gary A; Jones, Matthew; Moore, Chris; Porter, Alison; Pryce, Alan David; Quinn, Tom; Seagrove, Anne C; Snooks, Helen; Whitman, Shirley; Rees, Nigel

    2017-02-14

    To identify the features and effects of a pathway for emergency assessment and referral of patients with suspected transient ischaemic attack (TIA) in order to avoid admission to hospital. Scoping review. PubMed, CINAHL Web of Science, Scopus. Reports of primary research on referral of patients with suspected TIA directly to specialist outpatient services. We screened studies for eligibility and extracted data from relevant studies. Data were analysed to describe setting, assessment and referral processes, treatment, implementation and outcomes. 8 international studies were identified, mostly cohort designs. 4 pathways were used by family doctors and 3 pathways by emergency department physicians. No pathways used by paramedics were found. Referrals were made to specialist clinic either directly or via a 24-hour helpline. Practitioners identified TIA symptoms and risk of further events using a checklist including the ABCD2 tool or clinical assessment. Antiplatelet medication was often given, usually aspirin unless contraindicated. Some patients underwent tests before referral and discharge. 5 studies reported reduced incident of stroke at 90 days, from 6-10% predicted rate to 1.3-2.1% actual rate. Between 44% and 83% of suspected TIA cases in these studies were referred through the pathways. Research literature has focused on assessment and referral by family doctors and ED physicians to reduce hospitalisation of patients with TIA. No pathways for paramedical use were reported. We will use results of this scoping review to inform development of a paramedical referral pathway to be tested in a feasibility trial. ISRCTN85516498. Stage: pre-results. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  5. On Optimizing H. 264/AVC Rate Control by Improving R-D Model and Incorporating HVS Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Gangyi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The state-of-the-art JVT-G012 rate control algorithm of H.264 is improved from two aspects. First, the quadratic rate-distortion (R-D model is modified based on both empirical observations and theoretical analysis. Second, based on the existing physiological and psychological research findings of human vision, the rate control algorithm is optimized by incorporating the main characteristics of the human visual system (HVS such as contrast sensitivity, multichannel theory, and masking effect. Experiments are conducted, and experimental results show that the improved algorithm can simultaneously enhance the overall subjective visual quality and improve the rate control precision effectively.

  6. Orlistat in polycystic ovarian syndrome reduces weight with improvement in lipid profile and pregnancy rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratap Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The effects of exercise, metformin, and orlistat on anthropometric parameters, lipid profile, endocrine parameters, and ovulation in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS women were compared. AIM: The aim was to study the efficacy of orlistat compared with metformin and exercise in PCOS. DESIGN: Randomized control trial. Methods: A total of 90 eligible PCOS women were randomly assigned to receive either of the two drugs (orlistat or metformin in combination with lifestyle interventions or as controls where they received lifestyle interventions alone. Anthropometric parameters were assessed at baseline and 4 weekly intervals for 3 months. Androgen levels, insulin resistance, ovulation and conception rates and lipid profile were also assessed at the end of study. Statistical Analysis: Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS version 17.0. Results: The levels of fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin and homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance were comparable in three treatment groups. Mean total testosterone, serum hormone binding globulin, free androgen index, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in all arms were comparable and statistically nonsignificant. However, orlistat and metformin were more effective in reducing weight, body mass index, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio. However, side-effects were less with orlistat. Ovulation rate was 33.3%, 23.35% with orlistat and metformin group respectively, but were not statistically significant. In orlistat group, significant improvement was observed in lipid profile at the end of 3 months. Conception rates were 40% and 16.7% and 3.3% in orlistat, metformin group and control group respectively (P - 0.003. Weight loss was found to be the best predictor of ovulation with sensitivity with good sensitivity. Conclusion: Orlistat is as effective as metformin in reducing weight and achieves similar ovulation rates in obese PCOS patients. However, orlistat has minimal side

  7. determinants of referral practices of clients by traditional birth

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GBENGY

    referral of high risk and complicated pregnancies and deliveries (Afr. J. Reprod. Health 2010 ... proportion of pregnant women are attended at childbirth ... tility; management of threatened abortion; ... refuse referral and whatever is the outcome.

  8. Dose escalation using conformal high-dose-rate brachytherapy improves outcome in unfavorable prostate cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez, Alvaro A.; Gustafson, Gary; Gonzalez, Jose; Armour, Elwood; Mitchell, Chris; Edmundson, Gregory; Spencer, William; Stromberg, Jannifer; Huang, Raywin; Vicini, Frank

    2002-01-01

    Purpose: To overcome radioresistance for patients with unfavorable prostate cancer, a prospective trial of pelvic external beam irradiation (EBRT) interdigitated with dose-escalating conformal high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy was performed. Methods and Materials: Between November 1991 and August 2000, 207 patients were treated with 46 Gy pelvic EBRT and increasing HDR brachytherapy boost doses (5.50-11.5 Gy/fraction) during 5 weeks. The eligibility criteria were pretreatment prostate-specific antigen level ≥10.0 ng/mL, Gleason score ≥7, or clinical Stage T2b or higher. Patients were divided into 2 dose levels, low-dose biologically effective dose 93 Gy (149 patients). No patient received hormones. We used the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology definition for biochemical failure. Results: The median age was 69 years. The mean follow-up for the group was 4.4 years, and for the low and high-dose levels, it was 7.0 and 3.4 years, respectively. The actuarial 5-year biochemical control rate was 74%, and the overall, cause-specific, and disease-free survival rate was 92%, 98%, and 68%, respectively. The 5-year biochemical control rate for the low-dose group was 52%; the rate for the high-dose group was 87% (p<0.001). Improvement occurred in the cause-specific survival in favor of the brachytherapy high-dose level (p=0.014). On multivariate analysis, a low-dose level, higher Gleason score, and higher nadir value were associated with increased biochemical failure. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Grade 3 gastrointestinal/genitourinary complications ranged from 0.5% to 9%. The actuarial 5-year impotency rate was 51%. Conclusion: Pelvic EBRT interdigitated with transrectal ultrasound-guided real-time conformal HDR prostate brachytherapy boost is both a precise dose delivery system and a very effective treatment for unfavorable prostate cancer. We demonstrated an incremental beneficial effect on biochemical control and cause

  9. Is travel-time to a specialist centre a risk factor for non-referral, non-attendance and loss to follow-up among patients with hepatitis C (HCV) infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astell-Burt, Thomas; Flowerdew, Robin; Boyle, Paul; Dillon, John

    2012-07-01

    Little is known about why many people diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection fail to reach and stay within specialist care services. We used a Geographic Information System and logit regression to investigate whether travel-time to a specialist centre was associated with an increased likelihood of non-referral, non-attendance and loss to follow-up among persons diagnosed with HCV between 1991 and 2003 in Tayside, Scotland (UK). Information was available on referral to, and utilisation of, the single HCV specialist centre in Tayside between 1991 and 2006. Longer travel-time to a specialist centre was associated with an increased likelihood of non-referral to a specialist centre following diagnosis (Odds Ratio: 1.25, 95% Confidence Interval: 1.09, 1.44). Patients living further from an HCV specialist centre were less likely to be referred to it for treatment that could cure their HCV infection. Neither a history of intravenous drug use (IDU), nor area deprivation predicted non-referral. Subsequent to referral, travel-time to a specialist centre was not associated with either non-attendance (0.83 (0.56, 1.21)) or loss to follow-up (0.98 (0.78, 1.22)), although a history of IDU was a strong predictor of both non-attendance and loss to follow-up. Non-attendance was less likely among older patients, while loss to follow-up was more common among those living in deprived areas. Once referred, patients appear able to cope with stress and financial cost of long and frequent journeys to hospital. However, as rates of referral improve from more geographically remote areas, long travel-times to an HCV specialist centre may become an important factor determining future utilisation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Regional scales of fire danger rating in the forest: improved technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Volokitina

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Wildland fires distribute unevenly in time and over area under the influence of weather and other factors. It is unfeasible to air patrol the whole forest area daily during a fire season as well as to keep all fire suppression forces constantly alert. Daily work and preparedness of forest fire protection services is regulated by the level of fire danger according to weather conditions (Nesterov’s index. PV-1 index, fire hazard class (Melekhov’s scale, regional scales (earlier called local scales. Unfortunately, there is still no unified comparable technique of making regional scales. As a result, it is difficult to maneuver forest fire protection resources, since the techniques currently used are not approved and not tested for their performance. They give fire danger rating incomparable even for neighboring regions. The paper analyzes the state-of-the-art in Russia and abroad. It is stated the irony is that with factors of fire danger measured quantitatively, the fire danger itself as a function has no quantitative expression. Thus, selection of an absolute criteria is of high importance for improvement of daily fire danger rating. On the example of the Chunsky forest ranger station (Krasnoyarsk Krai, an improved technique is suggested of making comparable local scales of forest fire danger rating based on an absolute criterion of fire danger rating – a probable density of active fires per million ha. A method and an algorithm are described of automatized local scales of fire danger that should facilitate effective creation of similar scales for any forest ranger station or aviation regional office using a database on forest fires and weather conditions. The information system of distant monitoring by Federal Forestry Agency of Russia is analyzed for its application in making local scales. To supplement the existing weather station net it is suggested that automatic compact weather stations or, if the latter is not possible, simple

  11. Improved meal presentation increases food intake and decreases readmission rate in hospitalized patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Daniela Abigail; Boaz, Mona; Krause, Ilan; Elis, Avishay; Chernov, Karina; Giabra, Mursi; Levy, Miriam; Giboreau, Agnes; Kosak, Sigrid; Mouhieddine, Mohamed; Singer, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    Reduced food intake is a frequent problem at a hospital setting, being a cause and/or consequence of malnutrition. Food presentation can affect food intake and induce nutritional benefit. To investigate the effect of improved meal presentation supported by gastronomy expertise on the food intake in adults hospitalized in internal medicine departments. Controlled before and after study. Two hundred and six newly hospitalized patients in internal medicine departments were included and divided in two groups, a) control: receiving the standard lunch from the hospital and b) experimental: receiving a lunch improved in terms of presentation by the advices received by the Institut Paul Bocuse, Ecully, Lyon, France together with the hospital kitchen of the Beilinson Hospital, without change in the composition of the meal. The amount of food left at the participants' plates was estimated using the Digital Imaging Method, which consisted in photographing the plates immediately to previous tray collection by the researcher. In addition, the nutritionDay questionnaire was used to measure other variables concerned to their food intake during hospitalization. Charlson Comorbidity Index was calculated. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding demography or Charlson Comorbidity Index. Patients who received the meal with the improved presentation showed significantly higher food intake than those who received the standard meal, despite reported loss in appetite. Participants from the experimental group left on their plate less starch (0.19 ± 0.30 vs. 0.52 + 0.41) (p  0.05). Both of the groups were asked how hungry they were before the meal and no significance was shown. More participants from the experimental group reported their meal to be tasty in comparison to those in the control group (49.5% vs. 33.7% p < 0.005). Length of stay was not different but readmission rate decreased significantly in the study group (p < 0.02) from 31.2% to 13

  12. Relation of Psychiatric Symptoms with Epilepsy, Asthma, and Allergy in Youth with ASD vs. Psychiatry Referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Rebecca J; Gadow, Kenneth D

    2017-08-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the association of psychopathology with the clinical correlates of epilepsy, asthma, and allergy within and between neurobehavioral syndromes. Participants were consecutively evaluated youth (6-18 years, 75 % male) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 589) and non-ASD outpatient psychiatry referrals (n = 653). Informants completed a background questionnaire (parents) and a psychiatric symptom severity rating scale (parents, teachers). Youth with ASD had higher rates of epilepsy and allergy but not asthma than psychiatry referrals, even when analyses were limited to youth with IQ ≥ 70. Somatic conditions evidenced variable associations with medical services utilization, educational interventions, family income, and maternal education. Youth with ASD with versus without epilepsy had more severe ASD social deficits (parents' ratings) and less severe ASD repetitive behaviors (teachers' ratings). Epilepsy was associated with more severe depression, mania, and schizophrenia symptoms in youth with ASD. Youth with allergy (psychiatry referrals only) had more severe anxiety and depression symptoms (parents' ratings) but less severe aggression (teachers' ratings) thus providing evidence of both context- and diagnostic-specificity. Youth with ASD versus non-ASD psychiatry referrals evidence a variable pattern of relations between somatic conditions and a range of clinical correlates, which suggests that the biologic substrates and psychosocial concomitants of neurodevelopmental disorders and their co-occurring somatic conditions may interact to produce unique clinical phenotypes.

  13. An Audit on the Appropriateness of Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography Referrals in a Tertiary Cardiac Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderazi, Ahmed Ali; Lynch, Mary

    2017-01-01

    In response to growing concerns regarding the overuse of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in the clinical setting, multiple societies, including the American College of Cardiology Foundation, have jointly published revised criteria regarding the appropriate use of this imaging modality. However, previous research indicates significant discrepancies in the rate of adherence to these guidelines. To assess the appropriateness of CCTA referrals in a tertiary cardiac center in Bahrain. This retrospective clinical audit examined the records of patients referred to CCTA between the April 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 in Mohammed bin Khalifa Cardiac Center. Using information from medical records, each case was meticulously audited against guidelines to categorize it as appropriate, inappropriate, or uncertain. Of the 234 records examined, 176 (75.2%) were appropriate, 47 (20.1%) were uncertain, and 11 (4.7%) were inappropriate. About 74.4% of all referrals were to investigate coronary artery disease (CAD). The most common indication that was deemed appropriate was the detection of CAD in the setting of suspected ischemic equivalent in patients with an intermediate pretest probability of CAD (65.9%). Most referrals deemed inappropriate were requested to detect CAD in asymptomatic patients at low or intermediate risk of CAD (63.6%). This audit demonstrates a relatively low rate of inappropriate CCTA referrals, indicating the appropriate and efficient use of this resource in the Mohammed bin Khalifa Cardiac Center. Agreement on and reclassification of "uncertain" cases by guideline authorities would facilitate a deeper understanding of referral appropriateness.

  14. Patterns of Palliative Care Referral in Patients Admitted With Heart Failure Requiring Mechanical Ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiskar, Katie J; Celi, Leo Anthony; McDermid, Robert C; Walley, Keith R; Russell, James A; Boyd, John H; Rush, Barret

    2018-04-01

    Palliative care is recommended for advanced heart failure (HF) by several major societies, though prior studies indicate that it is underutilized. To investigate patterns of palliative care referral for patients admitted with HF exacerbations, as well as to examine patient and hospital factors associated with different rates of palliative care referral. Retrospective nationwide cohort analysis utilizing the National Inpatient Sample from 2006 to 2012. Patients referred to palliative care were compared to those who were not. Patients ≥18 years of age with a primary diagnosis of HF requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) were included. A cohort of non-HF patients with metastatic cancer was created for temporal comparison. Between 2006 and 2012, 74 824 patients underwent MV for HF. A referral to palliative care was made in 2903 (3.9%) patients. The rate of referral for palliative care in HF increased from 0.8% in 2006 to 6.4% in 2012 ( P care referral in patients with cancer increased from 2.9% in 2006 to 11.9% in 2012 ( P care ( P care. The use of palliative care for patients with advanced HF increased during the study period; however, palliative care remains underutilized in this setting. Patient factors such as race and SES affect access to palliative care.

  15. [Improving the feed conversion rate in the pig fattening industry by optimising hygienic management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedl, Antonia M; Völkel, Inger; Schlindwein, Bernhard; Czerny, Claus-Peter

    2013-01-01

    Considering continuously increasing forage costs, the feed conversion rate has a major impact on the economic efficiency in hog fattening. The influence of hygienic management strategies on animal health and feed efficiency was evaluated by an online-study comprising animal health management data of 202 German pig fatteners. Data analysis included a simple comparison of averages, a linear regression analysis, and a cluster analysis. Due to geographical distribution and size of premises, the random sample was not representative but yielded in significant results. The total impact of hygienic management on feed conversion was calculated to be 23.9 %. Professional performance of rodent control (beta = 0.357; p conversion ranged from Euro 1.15 to and Euro 2.53 per pig. Likewise optimized growth performance as a result of improved hygienic management could partly compensate increasing feed costs. The results of this online-study reveal the need to establish reliable HACCP systems on farm level.

  16. Filters or Holt Winters Technique to Improve the SPF Forecasts for USA Inflation Rate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Bratu (Simionescu

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, transformations of SPF inflation forecasts were made in order to get moreaccurate predictions. The filters application and Holt Winters technique were chosen as possiblestrategies of improving the predictions accuracy. The quarterly inflation rate forecasts (1975 Q1-2012Q3 of USAmade by SPF were transformed using an exponential smoothing technique-HoltWinters-and these new predictions are better than the initial ones for all forecasting horizons of 4quarters. Some filters were applied to SPF forecasts (Hodrick-Prescott,Band-Pass and Christiano-Fitzegerald filters, but Holt Winters method was superior.Full sample asymmetric (Christiano-Fitzegerald and Band-Pass filtersmoothed values are more accurate than the SPF expectations onlyfor some forecast horizons.

  17. An improved hazard rate twisting approach for the statistic of the sum of subexponential variates

    KAUST Repository

    Rached, Nadhir B.; Kammoun, Abla; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim; Tempone, Raul

    2015-01-01

    In this letter, we present an improved hazard rate twisting technique for the estimation of the probability that a sum of independent but not necessarily identically distributed subexponential Random Variables (RVs) exceeds a given threshold. Instead of twisting all the components in the summation, we propose to twist only the RVs which have the biggest impact on the right-tail of the sum distribution and keep the other RVs unchanged. A minmax approach is performed to determine the optimal twisting parameter which leads to an asymptotic optimality criterion. Moreover, we show through some selected simulation results that our proposed approach results in a variance reduction compared to the technique where all the components are twisted.

  18. 24 CFR 17.9 - Referral to Department of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Referral to Department of Justice... Procedures § 17.9 Referral to Department of Justice. When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required under § 17.8, the referral or request shall be transmitted to the Department of Justice by the...

  19. 10 CFR 1014.7 - Referral to Department of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to Department of Justice. 1014.7 Section 1014.7... § 1014.7 Referral to Department of Justice. (a) When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required under § 1014.6, the referral or request shall be transmitted to the Department of Justice by the...

  20. 8 CFR 235.6 - Referral to immigration judge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 8 Aliens and Nationality 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to immigration judge. 235.6 Section 235.6 Aliens and Nationality DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS INSPECTION OF PERSONS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION § 235.6 Referral to immigration judge. (a) Notice—(1) Referral by Form I...

  1. The role of referrals in financing technology-based ventures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuven, J.M.J.

    2009-01-01

    Many referral mechanisms can be found in the context of entrepreneurship. Networks and third party referrals play a prominent role in spotting entrepreneurial opportunities and in acquiring the resources necessary for growth. In this dissertation, the focus is on the role of referrals in acquiring

  2. Referral for Outpatients Urological Services: Poor Conformity and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: This study was aimed at establishing the degree of conformity with the referral system, level of pre-referral investigative evaluations and degree of diagnosis concordance between the referring centres and the referral hospital in Western region of Kenya. Methods: This was a hospital based descriptive, ...

  3. Qualitative study on maternal referrals in rural Tanzania: Decision ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    The process in deciding to seek referral care is envisaged within community .... The three phases of delays model in accessing .... as dangerous at home and immediate care is required, the ... referral or is unable to pay the costs of referral, the ...

  4. A study to assess the quality of information in referral letters to the orthodontic department at Kingston Hospital, Surrey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izadi, Maryam; Gill, Daljit S; Naini, Farhad B

    2010-04-01

    To assess the quality of information included in referral letters sent to the orthodontic department at Kingston Hospital, Surrey, UK. Referral letters sent by both general dental practitioners (GDPs) and specialist orthodontists were analysed retrospectively in order to ascertain the percentage meeting the inclusion criteria as suggested by Mossey (2006) and the British Orthodontic Society (2008) for the quality of information included in an ideal orthodontic referral letter. Thirty-five consecutive letters sent between May and September 2005 and 206 letters sent in the same period in 2008 were collected by hand and analysed against the inclusion criteria. The numbers of referral letters received from GDPs, specialist orthodontists, and others sources were also determined. Most of the referrals sent in 2005 and 2008 included 40-50% of the referral inclusion points. This was despite an almost twofold increase in the number of referral letters received from specialist orthodontic practitioners in 2008. The majority of the letters, from both GDPs and specialists, did not include details of the oral hygiene or caries status of the patient, or an indication of their motivation towards treatment. None of the referral letters included a plaque score. The main weaknesses in the quality of information provided in referral letters were that in more than 80% of the letters there was no mention of the patient's medical history and no comment on caries status, the standard of oral hygiene, patient motivation for treatment, or an Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need score. The quality of information included in referral letters sent to Kingston Hospital orthodontic department needs to be improved.

  5. Tinnitus referral pathways within the National Health Service in England: a survey of their perceived effectiveness among audiology staff

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collins Luke

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the UK, audiology services deliver the majority of tinnitus patient care, but not all patients experience the same level of service. In 2009, the Department of Health released a Good Practice Guide to inform commissioners about key aspects of a quality tinnitus service in order to promote equity of tinnitus patient care in UK primary care, audiology, and in specialist multi-disciplinary centres. The purpose of the present research was to evaluate utilisation and opinions on pathways for the referral of tinnitus patients to and from English Audiology Departments. Methods We surveyed all audiology staff engaged in providing tinnitus services across England. A 36-item questionnaire was mailed to 351 clinicians in all 163 National Health Service (NHS Trusts identified as having a tinnitus service. 138 clinicians responded. The results presented here describe experiences and opinions of the current patient pathways to and from the audiology tinnitus service. Results The most common referral pathway was from general practice to a hospital-based Ear, Nose & Throat department and from there to a hospital-based audiology department (64%. Respondents considered the NHS tinnitus referral process to be generally effective (67%, but expressed needs for improving GP referral and patients' access to services. 'Open access' to the audiology clinic was rarely an option for patients (9%, nor was the opportunity to access specialist counselling provided by clinical psychology (35%. To decrease the number of inappropriate referrals, 40% of respondents called for greater awareness by referrers about the audiology tinnitus service. Conclusions Respondents in the present survey were generally satisfied with the tinnitus referral system. However, they highlighted some potential targets for service improvement including 1] faster and more appropriate referral from GPs, to be achieved through education on tinnitus referral criteria, 2] improved

  6. Improving the singles rate method for modeling accidental coincidences in high-resolution PET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, Josep F; Rafecas, Magdalena

    2010-01-01

    Random coincidences ('randoms') are one of the main sources of image degradation in PET imaging. In order to correct for this effect, an accurate method to estimate the contribution of random events is necessary. This aspect becomes especially relevant for high-resolution PET scanners where the highest image quality is sought and accurate quantitative analysis is undertaken. One common approach to estimate randoms is the so-called singles rate method (SR) widely used because of its good statistical properties. SR is based on the measurement of the singles rate in each detector element. However, recent studies suggest that SR systematically overestimates the correct random rate. This overestimation can be particularly marked for low energy thresholds, below 250 keV used in some applications and could entail a significant image degradation. In this work, we investigate the performance of SR as a function of the activity, geometry of the source and energy acceptance window used. We also investigate the performance of an alternative method, which we call 'singles trues' (ST) that improves SR by properly modeling the presence of true coincidences in the sample. Nevertheless, in any real data acquisition the knowledge of which singles are members of a true coincidence is lost. Therefore, we propose an iterative method, STi, that provides an estimation based on ST but which only requires the knowledge of measurable quantities: prompts and singles. Due to inter-crystal scatter, for wide energy windows ST only partially corrects SR overestimations. While SR deviations are in the range 86-300% (depending on the source geometry), the ST deviations are systematically smaller and contained in the range 4-60%. STi fails to reproduce the ST results, although for not too high activities the deviation with respect to ST is only a few percent. For conventional energy windows, i.e. those without inter-crystal scatter, the ST method corrects the SR overestimations, and deviations from

  7. Improving Rice Modeling Success Rate with Ternary Non-structural Fertilizer Response Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Zhang, Mingqing; Chen, Fang; Yao, Baoquan

    2018-06-13

    Fertilizer response modelling is an important technical approach to realize metrological fertilization on rice. With the goal of solving the problems of a low success rate of a ternary quadratic polynomial model (TPFM) and to expand the model's applicability, this paper established a ternary non-structural fertilizer response model (TNFM) based on the experimental results from N, P and K fertilized rice fields. Our research results showed that the TNFM significantly improved the modelling success rate by addressing problems arising from setting the bias and multicollinearity in a TPFM. The results from 88 rice field trials in China indicated that the proportion of typical TNFMs that satisfy the general fertilizer response law of plant nutrition was 40.9%, while the analogous proportion of TPFMs was only 26.1%. The recommended fertilization showed a significant positive linear correlation between the two models, and the parameters N 0 , P 0 and K 0 that estimated the value of soil supplying nutrient equivalents can be used as better indicators of yield potential in plots where no N or P or K fertilizer was applied. The theoretical analysis showed that the new model has a higher fitting accuracy and a wider application range.

  8. Improved repetition rate mixed isotope CO{sub 2} TEA laser

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohn, D. B., E-mail: dbctechnology@earthlink.net [DBC Technology Corp., 4221 Mesa St, Torrance, California 90505 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    A compact CO{sub 2} TEA laser has been developed for remote chemical detection that operates at a repetition rate of 250 Hz. It emits 700 mJ/pulse at 10.6 μm in a multimode beam with the {sup 12}C{sup 16}O{sub 2} isotope. With mixed {sup 12}C{sup 16}O{sub 2} plus {sup 13}C{sup 16}O{sub 2} isotopes it emits multiple lines in both isotope manifolds to improve detection of a broad range of chemicals. In particular, output pulse energies are 110 mJ/pulse at 9.77 μm, 250 mJ/pulse at 10 μm, and 550 mJ/pulse at 11.15 μm, useful for detection of the chemical agents Sarin, Tabun, and VX. Related work shows capability for long term sealed operation with a catalyst and an agile tuner at a wavelength shift rate of 200 Hz.

  9. Improving completion rates of students in biomedical PhD programs: an interventional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viđak, Marin; Tokalić, Ružica; Marušić, Matko; Puljak, Livia; Sapunar, Damir

    2017-08-25

    Analysis of graduation success at the University of Split School of Medicine PhD programs conducted in 2011 revealed that only 11% of students who enrolled and completed their graduate coursework between 1999 and 2011 earned a doctoral degree. In this prospective cohort study we evaluated and compared three PhD programs within the same medical school, where the newest program, called Translational Research in Biomedicine (TRIBE), established in the academic year 2010/11, aimed to increase the graduation rate through an innovative approach. The intervention in the new program was related to three domains: redefined recruitment strategy, strict study regulations, and changes to the curriculum. We compared performance of PhD students between the new and existing programs and analyzed their current status, time to obtain a degree (from enrolment to doctorate), age at doctorate, number of publications on which the thesis was based and the impact factor of journals in which these were published. These improvement strategies were associated with higher thesis completion rate and reduced time to degree for students enrolled in the TRIBE program. There was no change in the impact factor or number of publications that were the basis for the doctoral theses. Our study describes good practices which proved useful in the design or reform of the PhD training program.

  10. The hydrolytic stage in high solids temperature phased anaerobic digestion improves the downstream methane production rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffière, P; Dooms, M; Hattou, S; Benbelkacem, H

    2018-07-01

    The role of the hydrolytic stage in high solids temperature phased anaerobic digestion was investigated with a mixture of cattle slurry and maize silage with variable ratios (100, 70 and 30% volatile solids coming from cattle slurry). It was incubated for 48 h at 37, 55, 65 and 72 °C. Soluble chemical oxygen demand and biochemical methane potential were measured at 0, 24 and 48 h. Higher temperatures improved the amount of solubilized COD, which confirmed previously reported results. Nevertheless, solubilization mostly took place during the first 24 h. The rate of methane production in post-hydrolysis BMPs increased after 48 h hydrolysis time, but not after 24 h. The first order kinetic constant rose by 40% on average. No correlation was observed between soluble COD and downstream methane production rate, indicating a possible modification of the physical structure of the particulate solids during the hydrolytic stage. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Variable sampling-time technique for improving count rate performance of scintillation detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, E.; Nohara, N.; Murayama, H.

    1979-01-01

    A new technique is presented to improve the count rate capability of a scintillation spectrometer or a position sensitive detector with minimum loss of resolution. The technique is based on the combination of pulse shortening and selective integration in which the integration period is not fixed but shortened by the arrival of the following pulse. Theoretical analysis of the degradation of the statiscal component of resolution is made for the proposed system with delay line pulse shortening, and the factor of resolution loss is formulated as a function of the input pulse rate. A new method is also presented for determining the statistical component of resolution separately from the non-statistical system resolution. Preliminary experiments with a NaI(Tl) detector have been carried out, the results of which are consistent with the theoretical prediction. However, due to the non-exponential scintillation decay of the NaI(Tl) crystal, a simple delay line clipping is not satisfactory, and an RC high-pass filter has been added, which results in further degradation of the statistical resolution. (Auth.)

  12. The endoscopy Global Rating Scale – Canada: Development and implementation of a quality improvement tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntosh, Donald; Dubé, Catherine; Hollingworth, Roger; van Zanten, Sander Veldhuyzen; Daniels, Sandra; Ghattas, George

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Increasing use of gastrointestinal endoscopy, particularly for colorectal cancer screening, and increasing emphasis on health care quality highlight the need for endoscopy facilities to review the quality of the service they offer. OBJECTIVE: To adapt the United Kingdom Global Rating Scale (UK-GRS) to develop a web-based and patient-centred tool to assess and improve the quality of endoscopy services provided. METHODS: Based on feedback from 22 sites across Canada that completed the UK endoscopy GRS, and integrating results of the Canadian consensus on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy and other Canadian consensus reports, a working group of endoscopists experienced with the GRS developed the GRS-Canada (GRS-C). RESULTS: The GRS-C mirrors the two dimensions (clinical quality and quality of the patient experience) and 12 patient-centred items of the UK-GRS, but was modified to apply to Canadian health care infrastructure, language and current practice. Each item is assessed by a yes/no response to eight to 12 statements that are divided into levels graded D (basic) through A (advanced). A core team consisting of a booking clerk, charge nurse and the physician responsible for the unit is recommended to complete the GRS-C twice yearly. CONCLUSION: The GRS-C is intended to improve endoscopic services in Canada by providing endoscopy units with a straightforward process to review the quality of the service they provide. PMID:23472242

  13. The endoscopy Global Rating Scale-Canada: development and implementation of a quality improvement tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntosh, Donald; Dubé, Catherine; Hollingworth, Roger; Veldhuyzen van Zanten, Sander; Daniels, Sandra; Ghattas, George

    2013-02-01

    Increasing use of gastrointestinal endoscopy, particularly for colorectal cancer screening, and increasing emphasis on health care quality highlight the need for endoscopy facilities to review the quality of the service they offer. To adapt the United Kingdom Global Rating Scale (UK-GRS) to develop a web-based and patient-centred tool to assess and improve the quality of endoscopy services provided. Based on feedback from 22 sites across Canada that completed the UK endoscopy GRS, and integrating results of the Canadian consensus on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy and other Canadian consensus reports, a working group of endoscopists experienced with the GRS developed the GRS-Canada (GRS-C). The GRS-C mirrors the two dimensions (clinical quality and quality of the patient experience) and 12 patient-centred items of the UK-GRS, but was modified to apply to Canadian health care infrastructure, language and current practice. Each item is assessed by a yes⁄no response to eight to 12 statements that are divided into levels graded D (basic) through A (advanced). A core team consisting of a booking clerk, charge nurse and the physician responsible for the unit is recommended to complete the GRS-C twice yearly. The GRS-C is intended to improve endoscopic services in Canada by providing endoscopy units with a straightforward process to review the quality of the service they provide.

  14. Safewalk: Improving Enrichment and Adoption Rates for Shelter Dogs by Changing Human Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Terri M; Hadden, Louise

    2017-01-01

    Shelter dogs are typically cared for by staff and volunteers. At the Boston location of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, prior to 2009, any member of the public who was older than 16 years of age and attended 1 orientation could walk dogs available for adoption. There was no systematic method of training volunteers or staff to walk unruly, strong, or fearful dogs, nor was there any organized system of enrichment in the form of in-kennel or out-of-kennel training for the population of 20 to 40 dogs in the shelter. Using the Dick and Carey ( 1996 ) model of instructional design, a curriculum called "Safewalk" was devised and implemented. Safewalk created a hierarchical training system for volunteers. After training was implemented, outcomes and lengths of stay were then compared for dogs for the 3 years before and 4 years after Safewalk. Changes in adoption rates for pit bull-type dogs and non-pit bulls were significantly improved, and length of stay for non-pit bulls was significantly decreased. Other components of shelter life for dogs and people were also improved.

  15. Treatment rate improvement of the ozone oxidation method for laundry waste water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuo, Toshiaki; Nishi, Takashi

    2001-01-01

    Radioactive laundry waste water generated in nuclear power plants includes organic compounds to be removed, for which ozone oxidation treatment is a possibility. To verify the applicability, its total organic carbon concentration (TOC) lowering rate improvement was examined in 0.5x10 -3 m 3 batch and 3x10 -2 m 3 pilot equipment experiments. In the batch experiments, ozone at a concentration of 200 g/Nm 3 was dispersed into 0.5x10 -3 m 3 of Simulated Laundry Waste Water (SLWW) with TOC of 11 mM. Total organic carbon concentration was measured every hour to see the effects of the temperature, and the initial concentrations of both H 2 O 2 and NaOH which were added to urge OH radical generation from ozone. In the pilot equipment experiments, 1x10 -2 to 3x10 -2 m 3 of the SLWW were circulated using an ejector to disperse the ozone. The influences of the flow rate and the SLWW volume on lowering TOC were examined, because they were related to the ejector dispersion performance and the appropriate ozone addition per SLWW volume. Appropriate initial H 2 O 2 and NaOH concentrations in the batch experiments were 14.7 mM and 1 mM, respectively. Lowering of TOC became faster at higher temperatures, because ozone self-decomposition and OH radial diffusion to the organic compound molecules were promoted. Lowering of TOC also became faster at higher flow rates, while the influence of the volume became saturated. (author)

  16. Long-term dynamics of death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and improving air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravchenko, Julia; Akushevich, Igor; Abernethy, Amy P; Holman, Sheila; Ross, William G; Lyerly, H Kim

    2014-01-01

    The respiratory tract is a major target of exposure to air pollutants, and respiratory diseases are associated with both short- and long-term exposures. We hypothesized that improved air quality in North Carolina was associated with reduced rates of death from respiratory diseases in local populations. We analyzed the trends of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia mortality and changes of the levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10) using monthly data measurements from air-monitoring stations in North Carolina in 1993-2010. The log-linear model was used to evaluate associations between air-pollutant levels and age-adjusted death rates (per 100,000 of population) calculated for 5-year age-groups and for standard 2000 North Carolina population. The studied associations were adjusted by age group-specific smoking prevalence and seasonal fluctuations of disease-specific respiratory deaths. Decline in emphysema deaths was associated with decreasing levels of SO2 and CO in the air, decline in asthma deaths-with lower SO2, CO, and PM10 levels, and decline in pneumonia deaths-with lower levels of SO2. Sensitivity analyses were performed to study potential effects of the change from International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 to ICD-10 codes, the effects of air pollutants on mortality during summer and winter, the impact of approach when only the underlying causes of deaths were used, and when mortality and air-quality data were analyzed on the county level. In each case, the results of sensitivity analyses demonstrated stability. The importance of analysis of pneumonia as an underlying cause of death was also highlighted. Significant associations were observed between decreasing death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and decreases in levels of ambient air pollutants in North Carolina.

  17. Improving response rates using a monetary incentive for patient completion of questionnaires: an observational study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orchard Jo

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Poor response rates to postal questionnaires can introduce bias and reduce the statistical power of a study. To improve response rates in our trial in primary care we tested the effect of introducing an unconditional direct payment of £5 for the completion of postal questionnaires. Methods We recruited patients in general practice with knee problems from sites across the United Kingdom. An evidence-based strategy was used to follow-up patients at twelve months with postal questionnaires. This included an unconditional direct payment of £5 to patients for the completion and return of questionnaires. The first 105 patients did not receive the £5 incentive, but the subsequent 442 patients did. We used logistic regression to analyse the effect of introducing a monetary incentive to increase the response to postal questionnaires. Results The response rate following reminders for the historical controls was 78.1% (82 of 105 compared with 88.0% (389 of 442 for those patients who received the £5 payment (diff = 9.9%, 95% CI 2.3% to 19.1%. Direct payments significantly increased the odds of response (adjusted odds ratio = 2.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.0, P = 0.009 with only 12 of 442 patients declining the payment. The incentive did not save costs to the trial – the extra cost per additional respondent was almost £50. Conclusion The direct payment of £5 significantly increased the completion of postal questionnaires at negligible increase in cost for an adequately powered study.

  18. Improving response rates using a monetary incentive for patient completion of questionnaires: an observational study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brealey, Stephen D; Atwell, Christine; Bryan, Stirling; Coulton, Simon; Cox, Helen; Cross, Ben; Fylan, Fiona; Garratt, Andrew; Gilbert, Fiona J; Gillan, Maureen GC; Hendry, Maggie; Hood, Kerenza; Houston, Helen; King, David; Morton, Veronica; Orchard, Jo; Robling, Michael; Russell, Ian T; Torgerson, David; Wadsworth, Valerie; Wilkinson, Clare

    2007-01-01

    Background Poor response rates to postal questionnaires can introduce bias and reduce the statistical power of a study. To improve response rates in our trial in primary care we tested the effect of introducing an unconditional direct payment of £5 for the completion of postal questionnaires. Methods We recruited patients in general practice with knee problems from sites across the United Kingdom. An evidence-based strategy was used to follow-up patients at twelve months with postal questionnaires. This included an unconditional direct payment of £5 to patients for the completion and return of questionnaires. The first 105 patients did not receive the £5 incentive, but the subsequent 442 patients did. We used logistic regression to analyse the effect of introducing a monetary incentive to increase the response to postal questionnaires. Results The response rate following reminders for the historical controls was 78.1% (82 of 105) compared with 88.0% (389 of 442) for those patients who received the £5 payment (diff = 9.9%, 95% CI 2.3% to 19.1%). Direct payments significantly increased the odds of response (adjusted odds ratio = 2.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.0, P = 0.009) with only 12 of 442 patients declining the payment. The incentive did not save costs to the trial – the extra cost per additional respondent was almost £50. Conclusion The direct payment of £5 significantly increased the completion of postal questionnaires at negligible increase in cost for an adequately powered study. PMID:17326837

  19. Long-term dynamics of death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and improving air quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravchenko, Julia; Akushevich, Igor; Abernethy, Amy P; Holman, Sheila; Ross, William G; Lyerly, H Kim

    2014-01-01

    Background The respiratory tract is a major target of exposure to air pollutants, and respiratory diseases are associated with both short- and long-term exposures. We hypothesized that improved air quality in North Carolina was associated with reduced rates of death from respiratory diseases in local populations. Materials and methods We analyzed the trends of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia mortality and changes of the levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10) using monthly data measurements from air-monitoring stations in North Carolina in 1993–2010. The log-linear model was used to evaluate associations between air-pollutant levels and age-adjusted death rates (per 100,000 of population) calculated for 5-year age-groups and for standard 2000 North Carolina population. The studied associations were adjusted by age group-specific smoking prevalence and seasonal fluctuations of disease-specific respiratory deaths. Results Decline in emphysema deaths was associated with decreasing levels of SO2 and CO in the air, decline in asthma deaths–with lower SO2, CO, and PM10 levels, and decline in pneumonia deaths–with lower levels of SO2. Sensitivity analyses were performed to study potential effects of the change from International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 to ICD-10 codes, the effects of air pollutants on mortality during summer and winter, the impact of approach when only the underlying causes of deaths were used, and when mortality and air-quality data were analyzed on the county level. In each case, the results of sensitivity analyses demonstrated stability. The importance of analysis of pneumonia as an underlying cause of death was also highlighted. Conclusion Significant associations were observed between decreasing death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and decreases in levels of ambient air pollutants in North Carolina. PMID:25018627

  20. Development, improvement and calibration of neutronic reaction rates measurements: elaboration of a standard techniques basis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hudelot, J.P.

    1998-06-01

    In order to improve and to validate the neutronics calculation schemes, perfecting integral measurements of neutronics parameters is necessary. This thesis focuses on the conception, the improvement and the development of neutronics reaction rates measurements, and aims at building a base of standard techniques. Two subjects are discussed. The first one deals with direct measurements by fission chambers. A short presentation of the different usual techniques is given. Then, those last ones are applied through the example of doubling time measurements on the EOLE facility during the MISTRAL 1 experimental programme. Two calibration devices of fission chambers are developed: a thermal column located in the central part of the MINERVE facility, and a calibration cell using a pulsed high flux neutron generator and based on the discrimination of the energy of the neutrons with a time-of-flight method. This second device will soon allow to measure the mass of fission chambers with a precision of about 1 %. Finally, the necessity of those calibrations will be shown through spectral indices measurements in core MISTRAL 1 (UO 2 ) and MISTRAL 2 (MOX) of the EOLE facility. In each case, the associated calculation schemes, performed using the Monte Carlo MCNP code with the ENDF-BV library, will be validated. Concerning the second one, the goal is to develop a method for measuring the modified conversion ratio of 238 U (defined as the ratio of 238 U capture rate to total fission rate) by gamma-ray spectrometry of fuel rods. Within the framework of the MISTRAL 1 and MISTRAL 2 programmes, the measurement device, the experimental results and the spectrometer calibration are described. Furthermore, the MCNP calculations of neutron self-shielding and gamma self-absorption are validated. It is finally shown that measurement uncertainties are better than 1 %. The extension of this technique to future modified conversion ratio measurements for 242 Pu (on MOX rods) and 232 Th (on

  1. Development, improvement and calibration of neutronic reaction rate measurements: elaboration of a base of standard techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hudelot, J.P.

    1998-01-01

    In order to improve and to validate the neutronic calculation schemes, perfecting integral measurements of neutronic parameters is necessary. This thesis focuses on the conception, the improvement and the development of neutronic reaction rates measurements, and aims at building a base of standard techniques. Two subjects are discussed. The first one deals with direct measurements by fission chambers. A short presentation of the different usual techniques is given. Then, those last ones are applied through the example of doubling time measurements on the EOLE facility during the MISTRAL 1 experimental programme. Two calibration devices of fission chambers are developed: a thermal column located in the central part of the MINERVE facility, and a calibration cell using a pulsed high flux neutron generator and based on the discrimination of the energy of the neutrons with a time-of-flight method. This second device will soon allow to measure the mass of fission chambers with a precision of about 1 %. Finally, the necessity of those calibrations will be shown through spectral indices measurements in core MISTRAL 1 (UO 2 ) and MISTRAL 2 (MOX) of the EOLE facility. In each case, the associated calculation schemes, performed using the Monte Carlo MCNP code with the ENDF-BV library, will be validated. Concerning the second one, the goal is to develop a method for measuring the modified conversion ratio of 238 U (defined as the ratio of 238 U capture rate to total fission rate) by gamma-ray spectrometry of fuel rods. Within the framework of the MISTRAL 1 and MISTRAL 2 programmes, the measurement device, the experimental results and the spectrometer calibration are described. Furthermore, the MCNP calculations of neutron self-shielding and gamma self-absorption are validated. It is finally shown that measurement uncertainties are better than 1 %. The extension of this technique to future modified conversion ratio measurements for 242 Pu (on MOX rods) and 232 Th (on Thorium

  2. A Learning Collaborative Model to Improve Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Rates in Primary Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Cynthia M; Tyrrell, Hollyce; Wallace-Brodeur, Rachel; Goldstein, Nicolas P N; Darden, Paul M; Humiston, Sharon G; Albertin, Christina S; Stratbucker, William; Schaffer, Stanley J; Davis, Wendy; Szilagyi, Peter G

    2018-03-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates remain low, in part because of missed opportunities (MOs) for vaccination. We used a learning collaborative quality improvement (QI) model to assess the effect of a multicomponent intervention on reducing MOs. Study design: pre-post using a QI intervention in 33 community practices and 14 pediatric continuity clinics over 9 months to reduce MOs for HPV vaccination at all visit types. outcome measures comprised baseline and postproject measures of 1) MOs (primary outcome), and 2) HPV vaccine initiation and completion. Process measures comprised monthly chart audits of MOs for HPV vaccination for performance feedback, monthly Plan-Do-Study-Act surveys and pre-post surveys about office systems. providers were trained at the start of the project on offering a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination. Practices implemented provider prompts and/or standing orders and/or reminder/recall if desired, and were provided monthly feedback on MOs to assess their progress. chi-square tests were used to assess changes in office practices, and logistic regression used to assess changes in MOs according to visit type and overall, as well as HPV vaccine initiation and completion. MOs overall decreased (from 73% to 53% in community practices and 62% to 55% in continuity clinics; P < .01, and P = .03, respectively). HPV vaccine initiation increased for both genders in community practices (from 66% to 74% for female, 57% to 65% for male; P < .01), and for male patients in continuity clinics (from 68% to 75%; P = .05). Series completion increased overall in community practices (39% to 43%; P = .04) and for male patients in continuity clinics (from 36% to 44%; P = .03). Office systems changes using a QI model and multicomponent interventions decreased rates of MO for HPV vaccination and increased initiation and completion rates among some gender subgroups. A learning collaborative model provides an effective forum for practices to

  3. Ivabradine Improves Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ertugrul Kurtoglu

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ivabradine is a novel specific heart rate (HR-lowering agent that improves event-free survival in patients with heart failure (HF. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the effect of ivabradine on time domain indices of heart rate variability (HRV in patients with HF. Methods: Forty-eight patients with compensated HF of nonischemic origin were included. Ivabradine treatment was initiated according to the latest HF guidelines. For HRV analysis, 24-h Holter recording was obtained from each patient before and after 8 weeks of treatment with ivabradine. Results: The mean RR interval, standard deviation of all normal to normal RR intervals (SDNN, the standard deviation of 5-min mean RR intervals (SDANN, the mean of the standard deviation of all normal-to-normal RR intervals for all 5-min segments (SDNN index, the percentage of successive normal RR intervals exceeding 50 ms (pNN50, and the square root of the mean of the squares of the differences between successive normal to normal RR intervals (RMSSD were low at baseline before treatment with ivabradine. After 8 weeks of treatment with ivabradine, the mean HR (83.6 ± 8.0 and 64.6 ± 5.8, p < 0.0001, mean RR interval (713 ± 74 and 943 ± 101 ms, p < 0.0001, SDNN (56.2 ± 15.7 and 87.9 ± 19.4 ms, p < 0.0001, SDANN (49.5 ± 14.7 and 76.4 ± 19.5 ms, p < 0.0001, SDNN index (24.7 ± 8.8 and 38.3 ± 13.1 ms, p < 0.0001, pNN50 (2.4 ± 1.6 and 3.2 ± 2.2 %, p < 0.0001, and RMSSD (13.5 ± 4.6 and 17.8 ± 5.4 ms, p < 0.0001 substantially improved, which sustained during both when awake and while asleep. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that treatment with ivabradine improves HRV in nonischemic patients with HF.

  4. Employee-referral schemes and discrimination law

    OpenAIRE

    Connolly, M.

    2015-01-01

    Employee-referral schemes (‘introduce a friend’) are in common usage in recruitment. They carry a potential to discriminate by perpetuating an already unbalanced workforce (say, by gender and ethnicity). With this, or course, comes the risk of litigation and bad publicity as well as any inherent inefficiencies associated with discrimination. This article is threefold. First, it examines the present state of the law. Second, it is based on a survey of employers who use these schemes. Third, it...

  5. Undergoing varicocele repair before assisted reproduction improves pregnancy rate and live birth rate in azoospermic and oligospermic men with a varicocele: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, E Will; Wiener, Laura Elizabeth; Rajanahally, Saneal; Crowell, Karen; Coward, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    To evaluate how varicocele repair (VR) impacts pregnancy (PRs) and live birth rates in infertile couples undergoing assisted reproduction wherein the male partner has oligospermia or azoospermia and a history of varicocele. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Not applicable. Azoospermic and oligospermic males with varicoceles and in couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) with IUI, IVF, or testicular sperm extraction (TESE) with IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Measurement of PRs, live birth, and sperm extraction rates. Odds ratios for the impact of VR on PRs, live birth, and sperm extraction rates for couples undergoing ART. Seven articles involving a total of 1,241 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that VR improved live birth rates for the oligospermic (odds ratio [OR] = 1.699) and combined oligospermic/azoospermic groups (OR = 1.761). Pregnancy rates were higher in the azoospermic group (OR = 2.336) and combined oligospermic/azoospermic groups (OR = 1.760). Live birth rates were higher for patients undergoing IUI after VR (OR = 8.360). Sperm retrieval rates were higher in persistently azoospermic men after VR (OR = 2.509). Oligospermic and azoospermic patients with clinical varicocele who undergo VR experience improved live birth rates and PRs with IVF or IVF/ICSI. For persistently azoospermic men after VR requiring TESE for IVF/ICSI, VR improves sperm retrieval rates. Therefore, VR should be considered to have substantial benefits for couples with a clinical varicocele even if oligospermia or azoospermia persists after repair and ART is required. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. First quality score for referral letters in gastroenterology-a validation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskeland, Sigrun Losada; Brunborg, Cathrine; Seip, Birgitte; Wiencke, Kristine; Hovde, Øistein; Owen, Tanja; Skogestad, Erik; Huppertz-Hauss, Gert; Halvorsen, Fred-Arne; Garborg, Kjetil; Aabakken, Lars; de Lange, Thomas

    2016-10-08

    To create and validate an objective and reliable score to assess referral quality in gastroenterology. An observational multicentre study. 25 gastroenterologists participated in selecting variables for a Thirty Point Score (TPS) for quality assessment of referrals to gastroenterology specialist healthcare for 9 common indications. From May to September 2014, 7 hospitals from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority participated in collecting and scoring 327 referrals to a gastroenterologist. Correlation between the TPS and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for referral quality. The 327 referrals had an average TPS of 13.2 (range 1-25) and an average VAS of 4.7 (range 0.2-9.5). The reliability of the score was excellent, with an intra-rater intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.87 and inter-rater ICC of 0.91. The overall correlation between the TPS and the VAS was moderate (r=0.42), and ranged from fair to substantial for the various indications. Mean agreement was good (ICC=0.47, 95% CI (0.34 to 0.57)), ranging from poor to good. The TPS is reliable, objective and shows good agreement with the subjective VAS. The score may be a useful tool for assessing referral quality in gastroenterology, particularly important when evaluating the effect of interventions to improve referral quality. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  7. Obstetrical referrals by traditional birth attendants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustafa, Rozina; Hashmi, Haleema; Mustafa, Rubina

    2012-01-01

    In Pakistan 90% of births are conducted by TBA's. In most cases, TBA's are unable to diagnose the complications and are often unable to take decisions on timely referral. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, nature and outcome of life threatening obstetrical conditions in referrals by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). This Observational, Descriptive study was conducted from January to December 2007, in the obstetrical unit of Fatima Hospital, Baqai Medical University, a tertiary care community based hospital. The study included patients referred by TBA's who developed life threatening obstetric conditions (LTOCs). Total 64 patients were referred by TBA's. The prevalence was 7.8%. Out of them, 53 (82.8%) patients admitted with life threatening obstetric conditions. The near-miss morbidities and mortalities were 45 (84.9%) and 8 (15%) respectively. Maternal mortality to Near-miss morbidity ratio was 1:6. Obstructed labour caused near-miss morbidity in 32 (60.3%) patients with no mortality. Postpartum haemorrhage as life threatening condition developed in 16 (30.1%) patients with 10 (18.8%) near-miss morbidities and 6 (11.3%) mortalities. Puerperal sepsis accounted for 1 (1.88%) near-miss morbidity and 2 (3.76%) mortalities. The mortality index for puerperal sepsis is (66.6%) almost double of postpartum haemorrhage (37.5%). Mortality to near miss morbidity ratio is high. Misidentification and late referrals of complicated cases by TBA's were responsible for near-miss morbidities and mortalities.

  8. Characteristics of Successful and Unsuccessful Mental Health Referrals of Refugees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Patricia J.; Vinson, Gregory A.; Cook, Tonya; Lennon, Evelyn

    2018-01-01

    In this community based participatory research study, we explored key characteristics of mental health referrals of refugees using stories of providers collected through an on-line survey. Ten coders sorted 60 stories of successful referrals and 34 stories of unsuccessful referrals into domains using the critical incident technique. Principal Components Analysis yielded categories of successful referrals that included: active care coordination, proactive resolution of barriers, establishment of trust, and culturally responsive care. Unsuccessful referrals were characterized by cultural barriers, lack of care coordination, language barriers, system barriers, providers being unwilling to see refugees. Recommendations for training and policy are discussed. PMID:25735618

  9. Beta-decay rate and beta-delayed neutron emission probability of improved gross theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koura, Hiroyuki

    2014-09-01

    A theoretical study has been carried out on beta-decay rate and beta-delayed neutron emission probability. The gross theory of the beta decay is based on an idea of the sum rule of the beta-decay strength function, and has succeeded in describing beta-decay half-lives of nuclei overall nuclear mass region. The gross theory includes not only the allowed transition as the Fermi and the Gamow-Teller, but also the first-forbidden transition. In this work, some improvements are introduced as the nuclear shell correction on nuclear level densities and the nuclear deformation for nuclear strength functions, those effects were not included in the original gross theory. The shell energy and the nuclear deformation for unmeasured nuclei are adopted from the KTUY nuclear mass formula, which is based on the spherical-basis method. Considering the properties of the integrated Fermi function, we can roughly categorized energy region of excited-state of a daughter nucleus into three regions: a highly-excited energy region, which fully affect a delayed neutron probability, a middle energy region, which is estimated to contribute the decay heat, and a region neighboring the ground-state, which determines the beta-decay rate. Some results will be given in the presentation. A theoretical study has been carried out on beta-decay rate and beta-delayed neutron emission probability. The gross theory of the beta decay is based on an idea of the sum rule of the beta-decay strength function, and has succeeded in describing beta-decay half-lives of nuclei overall nuclear mass region. The gross theory includes not only the allowed transition as the Fermi and the Gamow-Teller, but also the first-forbidden transition. In this work, some improvements are introduced as the nuclear shell correction on nuclear level densities and the nuclear deformation for nuclear strength functions, those effects were not included in the original gross theory. The shell energy and the nuclear deformation for

  10. Improved detection rate of structural abnormalities in the first trimester using an extended examination protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iliescu, D; Tudorache, S; Comanescu, A; Antsaklis, P; Cotarcea, S; Novac, L; Cernea, N; Antsaklis, A

    2013-09-01

    To assess the potential of first-trimester sonography in the detection of fetal abnormalities using an extended protocol that is achievable with reasonable resources of time, personnel and ultrasound equipment. This was a prospective two-center 2-year study of 5472 consecutive unselected pregnant women examined at 12 to 13 + 6 gestational weeks. Women were examined using an extended morphogenetic ultrasound protocol that, in addition to the basic evaluation, involved a color Doppler cardiac sweep and identification of early contingent markers for major abnormalities. The prevalence of lethal and severe malformations was 1.39%. The first-trimester scan identified 40.6% of the cases detected overall and 76.3% of major structural defects. The first-trimester detection rate (DR) for major congenital heart disease (either isolated or associated with extracardiac abnormalities) was 90% and that for major central nervous system anomalies was 69.5%. In fetuses with increased nuchal translucency (NT), the first-trimester DR for major anomalies was 96%, and in fetuses with normal NT it was 66.7%. Most (67.1%) cases with major abnormalities presented with normal NT. A detailed first-trimester anomaly scan using an extended protocol is an efficient screening method to detect major fetal structural abnormalities in low-risk pregnancies. It is feasible at 12 to 13 + 6 weeks with ultrasound equipment and personnel already used for routine first-trimester screening. Rate of detection of severe malformations is greater in early- than in mid-pregnancy and on postnatal evaluation. Early heart investigation could be improved by an extended protocol involving use of color Doppler. Copyright © 2013 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Improvement of Biodesulfurization Rate of Alginate Immobilized Rhodococcus erythropolis R1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derikvand, Peyman; Etemadifar, Zahra

    2014-03-01

    Sulfur oxides released from the burning of oil causes severe environmental pollution. The sulfur can be removed via the 4S pathway in biodesulfurization (BDS). Immobilization approaches have been developed to prevent cell contamination of oil during the BDS process. The encapsulation of Rhodococcus erythropolis R1 in calcium alginate beads was studied in order to enhance conversion of dibenzothiophene (DBT) to 2-hydroxy biphenyl (2-HBP) as the final product. Also the effect of different factors on the BDS process was investigated. Calcium alginate capsules were prepared using peristaltic pumps with different needle sizes to control the beads sizes. Scanning electron microscopy and flow cytometry methods were used to study the distribution and viability of encapsulated cells, respectively. Two non-ionic surfactants and also nano Ƴ-Al2O3were used with the ratio of 0.5% (v/v) and 1:5 (v/v) respectively to investigate their BDS efficiency. In addition, the effect of different bead sizes and different concentrations of sodium alginate in BDS activity was studied. The 2% (w/v) sodium alginate beads with 1.5mm size were found to be the optimum for beads stability and efficient 2-HBP production. The viability of encapsulated cells decreased by 12% after 20 h of desulfurization, compared to free cells. Adding the non-ionic surfactants markedly enhanced the rate of BDS, because of increasing mass transfer of DBT to the gel matrix. In addition, Span 80 was more effective than Tween 80. The nanoƳ-Al2O3 particles could increase BDS rate by up to two-folds greater than that of the control beads. The nano Ƴ-Al2O3 can improve the immobilized biocatalyst for excellent efficiency of DBT desulfurization. Also the BDS activity can be enhanced by setting the other explained factors at optimum levels.

  12. Improvement of Biodesulfurization Rate of Alginate Immobilized Rhodococcus erythropolis R1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derikvand, Peyman; Etemadifar, Zahra

    2014-01-01

    Background: Sulfur oxides released from the burning of oil causes severe environmental pollution. The sulfur can be removed via the 4S pathway in biodesulfurization (BDS). Immobilization approaches have been developed to prevent cell contamination of oil during the BDS process. Objectives: The encapsulation of Rhodococcus erythropolis R1 in calcium alginate beads was studied in order to enhance conversion of dibenzothiophene (DBT) to 2-hydroxy biphenyl (2-HBP) as the final product. Also the effect of different factors on the BDS process was investigated. Materials and Methods: Calcium alginate capsules were prepared using peristaltic pumps with different needle sizes to control the beads sizes. Scanning electron microscopy and flow cytometry methods were used to study the distribution and viability of encapsulated cells, respectively. Two non-ionic surfactants and also nano Ƴ-Al2O3were used with the ratio of 0.5% (v/v) and 1:5 (v/v) respectively to investigate their BDS efficiency. In addition, the effect of different bead sizes and different concentrations of sodium alginate in BDS activity was studied. Results: The 2% (w/v) sodium alginate beads with 1.5mm size were found to be the optimum for beads stability and efficient 2-HBP production. The viability of encapsulated cells decreased by 12% after 20 h of desulfurization, compared to free cells. Adding the non-ionic surfactants markedly enhanced the rate of BDS, because of increasing mass transfer of DBT to the gel matrix. In addition, Span 80 was more effective than Tween 80. The nanoƳ-Al2O3 particles could increase BDS rate by up to two-folds greater than that of the control beads. Conclusions: The nano Ƴ-Al2O3 can improve the immobilized biocatalyst for excellent efficiency of DBT desulfurization. Also the BDS activity can be enhanced by setting the other explained factors at optimum levels. PMID:25147685

  13. Improvement of single detector proton radiography by incorporating intensity of time-resolved dose rate functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rongxiao; Jee, Kyung-Wook; Cascio, Ethan; Sharp, Gregory C.; Flanz, Jacob B.; Lu, Hsiao-Ming

    2018-01-01

    Proton radiography, which images patients with the same type of particles as those with which they are to be treated, is a promising approach to image guidance and water equivalent path length (WEPL) verification in proton radiation therapy. We have shown recently that proton radiographs could be obtained by measuring time-resolved dose rate functions (DRFs) using an x-ray amorphous silicon flat panel. The WEPL values were derived solely from the root-mean-square (RMS) of DRFs, while the intensity information in the DRFs was filtered out. In this work, we explored the use of such intensity information for potential improvement in WEPL accuracy and imaging quality. Three WEPL derivation methods based on, respectively, the RMS only, the intensity only, and the intensity-weighted RMS were tested and compared in terms of the quality of obtained radiograph images and the accuracy of WEPL values. A Gammex CT calibration phantom containing inserts made of various tissue substitute materials with independently measured relative stopping powers (RSP) was used to assess the imaging performances. Improved image quality with enhanced interfaces was achieved while preserving the accuracy by using intensity information in the calibration. Other objects, including an anthropomorphic head phantom, a proton therapy range compensator, a frozen lamb’s head and an ‘image quality phantom’ were also imaged. Both the RMS only and the intensity-weighted RMS methods derived RSPs within  ±  1% for most of the Gammex phantom inserts, with a mean absolute percentage error of 0.66% for all inserts. In the case of the insert with a titanium rod, the method based on RMS completely failed, whereas that based on the intensity-weighted RMS was qualitatively valid. The use of intensity greatly enhanced the interfaces between different materials in the obtained WEPL images, suggesting the potential for image guidance in areas such as patient positioning and tumor tracking by proton

  14. The influence of patients' complexity and general practitioners' characteristics on referrals to outpatient health services in an Italian region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Valent

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND. Patient referrals to outpatient health services may affect both health outcomes and health expenditures. General practitioners (GP have a crucial role in driving the use of outpatient services and recognizing factors which affect referrals is important for health managers and planners. OBJECTIVES. We investigated patient- and physician-related determinants of patient referrals in an Italian region. METHODS. This was cross-sectional study based on the individual linkage of administrative databases from the health information system of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. For each GP of the region, the association of the number of patient referrals to different types of outpatient services with the proportion of patients with chronic conditions, with the number of hospital admissions and drug prescriptions in 2012, and with GP's characteristics was investigated through multilevel multivariable Poisson regression models. RESULTS. Some chronic conditions (e.g., cancer, autoimmune diseases, endocrine diseases, digestive system diseases were positively associated with the number of referrals, as were hospital admissions and drug prescriptions. Time since GP's graduation was inversely related with referrals. CONCLUSION. Patient complexity and GP's experience affect referral rates. These factors should be considered in case of a reorganization of the general practice structure in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

  15. Referral to the Hospital And Emergency Ambulance Service Uses Patterns of the Inmates and Convicts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emine Oncu

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the reasons for referral to the hospital and 112 emergency ambulance service uses patterns of the inmates and convicts in an E type prison. Material and Method: In this descriptive study, it was evaluated the prison records associated with referral to the hospital and 112 emergency ambulance service uses for one year in 2010- 2011. Of the statistical analysis, descriptive statistics, chi-square test and Fisher%u2019s Exact Test were used. Results: All inmates and convicts were man, the median of age was 30,0 (min 18- max 68 years and substance use was 34,5%. The number of prisoners were referred to the hospital 815, total referrals were 1491; (referrals ranged from one to six and most common in January; and according to frequency, reasons of the referral were eyes problems, musculoskeletal disorders and psychological problems. Emergency medical service was used for in medical causes (78,3%, accident, trauma and injuries (16,4%, suicide (5,3%. Discussion: Findings from the study show that prisoners are more likely to have suffered physical and mental health problems that compared to the rest of society and have significantly high substance use rates.

  16. Teachers' Assumptions Regarding the Severity, Causes, and Outcomes of Behavioral Problems in Preschoolers: Implications for Referral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Elaine; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Asked preschool teachers (N=100) to rate severity, long-term outcome, stability, and importance of constitutional and environmental determinants for case vignettes describing three syndromes: aggression, hyperactivity, and withdrawal, and to judge the need for referral. Results indicated little evidence of sex bias in teachers' evaluations of the…

  17. Patient referral patterns and the spread of hospital-acquired infections through national health care networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjibbe Donker

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Rates of hospital-acquired infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, are increasingly used as quality indicators for hospital hygiene. Alternatively, these rates may vary between hospitals, because hospitals differ in admission and referral of potentially colonized patients. We assessed if different referral patterns between hospitals in health care networks can influence rates of hospital-acquired infections like MRSA. We used the Dutch medical registration of 2004 to measure the connectedness between hospitals. This allowed us to reconstruct the network of hospitals in the Netherlands. We used mathematical models to assess the effect of different patient referral patterns on the potential spread of hospital-acquired infections between hospitals, and between categories of hospitals (University medical centers, top clinical hospitals and general hospitals. University hospitals have a higher number of shared patients than teaching or general hospitals, and are therefore more likely to be among the first to receive colonized patients. Moreover, as the network is directional towards university hospitals, they have a higher prevalence, even when infection control measures are equally effective in all hospitals. Patient referral patterns have a profound effect on the spread of health care-associated infections like hospital-acquired MRSA. The MRSA prevalence therefore differs between hospitals with the position of each hospital within the health care network. Any comparison of MRSA rates between hospitals, as a benchmark for hospital hygiene, should therefore take the position of a hospital within the network into account.

  18. Long-term dynamics of death rates of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia and improving air quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kravchenko J

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Julia Kravchenko,1 Igor Akushevich,2 Amy P Abernethy,3 Sheila Holman,4 William G Ross Jr,5 H Kim Lyerly1,6 1Department of Surgery, 2Center for Population Health and Aging, 3Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University, Durham, 4Division of Air Quality, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, 5Nicholas School of the Environment, 6Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Background: The respiratory tract is a major target of exposure to air pollutants, and respiratory diseases are associated with both short- and long-term exposures. We hypothesized that improved air quality in North Carolina was associated with reduced rates of death from respiratory diseases in local populations. Materials and methods: We analyzed the trends of emphysema, asthma, and pneumonia mortality and changes of the levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide (SO2, nitrogen dioxide (NO2, carbon monoxide (CO, and particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10 using monthly data measurements from air-monitoring stations in North Carolina in 1993–2010. The log-linear model was used to evaluate associations between air-pollutant levels and age-adjusted death rates (per 100,000 of population calculated for 5-year age-groups and for standard 2000 North Carolina population. The studied associations were adjusted by age group-specific smoking prevalence and seasonal fluctuations of disease-specific respiratory deaths. Results: Decline in emphysema deaths was associated with decreasing levels of SO2 and CO in the air, decline in asthma deaths–with lower SO2, CO, and PM10 levels, and decline in pneumonia deaths–with lower levels of SO2. Sensitivity analyses were performed to study potential effects of the change from International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes, the effects of air pollutants on mortality during summer and winter, the impact of approach when only

  19. Effect of exogenous glutathione in medium fertilization to improve blastocyst rates of bovine embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Triwulaninngsih

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Glutathione (C10H17N3O6S is a tripeptide (γ-Glu-Cys-Gly widespread in living organism. Glutathione (GSH at the 5 mM concentration increased the motility and fertility of frozen-thawed sperm. Intracellulair glutathione improved the cleavage rate and embryo development to the blastocyst rate. Research on in vitro embryos production through the implementation of GSH during IVF (in vitro fertilization on embryo development has been conducted at the Laboratorium Reproductive of Physiology, Research Institute for Animal Production. Ovaries of beef cattle as source of oocytes were collected from the slaughterhouse in a thermo flask with 350C PBS as medium and transported to the laboratory. The oocytes were fertilized in vitro with selected motile sperm using Percoll gradient (90 and 45%. Ten COCs (cumulus oocytes complexes were transfered to 44 μl of fertilization medium (mTALP was performed with either 0; 0.25; 0.50; 0.75 and 1.00 mM of glutathione as treatment A, B, C, D and E respectively, and inseminated with 2 μl of capacitated sperm and added 2 μl of heparin and 2 μl of PHE (consisting of 20 μM penicillamine, 10 μM hypotaurine, 1 μM epinephrine. Incubation between sperm and oocytes in the 5% CO2 incubator and RH 90% in fertilization media (TALP for 20 hours. All zygotes were cultured in modification of CR1aa medium up to blastocyst and were fed serum 5 μl/50μl medium on day 6. Results of this experiment showed that the effect of concentration of glutathione (0, 0.25; 0.50; 0.75 and 1.00 mM on fertilization medium to the percentage of cleavage rates were 69.35 + 29.40; 79.07 + 13.17; 67.88 + 10.65; 98.10 + 3.30 and 82.62 + 24.19% not significant different (P>0.05 among treatments A, B, C, D dan E respectively.The precentages of morula and blastocyst for treatment D were 50.45 + 42.64% and 31.28 + 24.28%; while 36.55 + 24.13% and 17.74 + 17.86% for treatment E respectively.

  20. Relationships between family physicians’ referral for palliative radiotherapy, knowledge of indications for radiotherapy, and prior training: a survey of rural and urban family physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olson Robert A

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The primary objective of this research was to assess the relationship between FPs’ knowledge of palliative radiotherapy (RT and referral for palliative RT. Methods 1001 surveys were sent to FPs who work in urban, suburban, and rural practices. Respondents were tested on their knowledge of palliative radiotherapy effectiveness and asked to report their self-assessed knowledge. Results The response rate was 33%. FPs mean score testing their knowledge of palliative radiotherapy effectiveness was 68% (SD = 26%. The majority of FPs correctly identified that painful bone metastases (91%, airway obstruction (77%, painful local disease (85%, brain metastases (76% and spinal cord compression (79% can be effectively treated with RT, though few were aware that hemoptysis (42% and hematuria (31% can be effectively treated. There was a linear relationship between increasing involvement in palliative care and both self-assessed (p  Conclusions Self-assessed and tested knowledge of palliative RT is positively associated with referral for palliative RT. Since palliative RT is underutilized, further research is needed to assess whether family physician educational interventions improve palliative RT referrals. The current study suggests that studies could target family physicians already in practice, with educational interventions focusing on hemostatic and other less commonly known indications for palliative RT.

  1. Ethnic disparities in traumatic brain injury care referral in a Hispanic-majority population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budnick, Hailey C; Tyroch, Alan H; Milan, Stacey A

    2017-07-01

    Functional outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be significantly improved by discharge to posthospitalization care facilities. Many variables influence the discharge disposition of the TBI patient, including insurance status, patient condition, and patient prognosis. The literature has demonstrated an ethnic disparity in posthospitalization care referral, with Hispanics being discharged to rehabilitation and nursing facilities less often than non-Hispanics. However, this relationship has not been studied in a Hispanic-majority population, and thus, this study seeks to determine if differences in neurorehabilitation referrals exist among ethnic groups in a predominately Hispanic region. This study is a retrospective cohort that includes 1128 TBI patients who presented to University Medical Center El Paso, Texas, between the years 2005 and 2015. The patients' age, sex, race, residence, admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), GCS motor, Injury Severity Score (ISS), hospital and intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), mechanism of injury, and discharge disposition were analyzed in univariate and multivariate models. Our study population had an insurance rate of 55.5%. Insurance status and markers of injury severity (hospital LOS, intensive care unit LOS, ISS, GCS, and GCS motor) were predictive of discharge disposition to rehabilitation facilities. The study population was 70% Hispanic, yet Hispanics were discharged to rehabilitation facilities (relative risk: 0.56, P: 0.001) and to long-term acute care/nursing facilities (relative risk: 0.35, P < 0.0001) less than non-Hispanics even after LOS, ISS, ethnicity, insurance status, and residence were adjusted for in multivariate analysis. This study suggests that patients of different ethnicities but comparable traumatic severity and insurance status receive different discharge dispositions post-TBI even in regions in which Hispanics are the demographic majority. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  2. Increasing Winter Maximal Metabolic Rate Improves Intrawinter Survival in Small Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Magali; Clavijo-Baquet, Sabrina; Vézina, François

    Small resident bird species living at northern latitudes increase their metabolism in winter, and this is widely assumed to improve their chances of survival. However, the relationship between winter metabolic performance and survival has yet to be demonstrated. Using capture-mark-recapture, we followed a population of free-living black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) over 3 yr and evaluated their survival probability within and among winters. We also measured the size-independent body mass (M s ), hematocrit (Hct), basal metabolic rate (BMR), and maximal thermogenic capacity (Msum) and investigated how these parameters influenced survival within and among winters. Results showed that survival probability was high and constant both within (0.92) and among (0.96) winters. They also showed that while M s , Hct, and BMR had no significant influence, survival was positively related to Msum-following a sigmoid relationship-within but not among winter. Birds expressing an Msum below 1.26 W (i.e., similar to summer levels) had a winter. Our data therefore suggest that black-capped chickadees that are either too slow or unable to adjust their phenotype from summer to winter have little chances of survival and thus that seasonal upregulation of metabolic performance is highly beneficial. This study is the first to document in an avian system the relationship between thermogenic capacity and winter survival, a proxy of fitness.

  3. Improving rates of screening and prevention by leveraging existing information systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neil, Nancy

    2003-11-01

    In 1997 Virginia Mason Health System (VMMC), a vertically integrated hospital and multispecialty group practice, had no process or system to deliver the right patient clinical data, in the right form, at the right place--when providers needed it for effective patient care. Without any new investment in technology, a work group of five individuals leveraged existing, primarily paper-based information systems to launch development and implementation of a provider prompting tool--a primary care and prevention (PCP) report--which prompted providers to complete screening, prevention, and disease management services at every patient appointment. The work group developed and pilot tested the report and created a mechanism by which the report could be delivered just in time before each patient's appointment. The report integrated information from independent appointment scheduling, laboratory results reporting, patient demographics, and billing data sources. MEASURING THE PCP REPORT'S IMPACT: The results of two separate analyses demonstrate improvement in rates of screening and prevention across VMMC soon after the PCP report became available. These results led senior leadership to make the PCP report's utilization a systemwide imperative. The PCP report is used by nearly all primary care providers as a prompt to complete screening, prevention, and disease management services at every patient appointment.

  4. On the impact of improved dosimetric accuracy on head and neck high dose rate brachytherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peppa, Vasiliki; Pappas, Eleftherios; Major, Tibor; Takácsi-Nagy, Zoltán; Pantelis, Evaggelos; Papagiannis, Panagiotis

    2016-07-01

    To study the effect of finite patient dimensions and tissue heterogeneities in head and neck high dose rate brachytherapy. The current practice of TG-43 dosimetry was compared to patient specific dosimetry obtained using Monte Carlo simulation for a sample of 22 patient plans. The dose distributions were compared in terms of percentage dose differences as well as differences in dose volume histogram and radiobiological indices for the target and organs at risk (mandible, parotids, skin, and spinal cord). Noticeable percentage differences exist between TG-43 and patient specific dosimetry, mainly at low dose points. Expressed as fractions of the planning aim dose, percentage differences are within 2% with a general TG-43 overestimation except for the spine. These differences are consistent resulting in statistically significant differences of dose volume histogram and radiobiology indices. Absolute differences of these indices are however small to warrant clinical importance in terms of tumor control or complication probabilities. The introduction of dosimetry methods characterized by improved accuracy is a valuable advancement. It does not appear however to influence dose prescription or call for amendment of clinical recommendations for the mobile tongue, base of tongue, and floor of mouth patient cohort of this study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 3D representation of radioisotopic dose rates within nuclear plants for improved radioprotection and plant safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vabo, Rune; Rindahl, Grete; Piotrowski, Leon

    2010-01-01

    A better awareness of the origin and nature of gamma doses in nuclear environments is demonstrated by visualizing the dose maps created by individual radionucleides that are present in radioactive contaminations. This isotopic representation of doses is much more informative than showing a map of the measured total doses. Two practical examples are given : (a) the placing of protections, and (b) using radiation decay to help plan dismantling operations. The necessary radionucleide information can be easily obtained by the new EDF CZT gamma spectrometer that is now used by all its NPPs. Defining radioactive sources based on such information enables the reconstruction of the radiation situation in a virtual 3-D environment. In such a virtual environment, dose rates can be calculated in any position in space and information about how much each radionucleide contributes can be extracted. Such 3D visualisations increase the awareness and knowledge of the distribution of radiation in a nuclear facility and can be considered as an educational tool for training and improved ALARA procedures. (author)

  6. Application of the constant rate of pressure change method to improve jet pump performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long, X P; Yang, X L

    2012-01-01

    This paper adopts a new method named the constant rate of pressure change (CRPC) to improve the jet pump performance. The main contribution of this method is that the diffuser generates uniform pressure gradient. The performance of the jet pump with new diffusers designed by the CRPC method, obtained by CFD methods, was compared with that of the jet pump with traditional conical diffusers. It is found that the CRPC diffuser produces a linear pressure increase indeed. The higher friction loss and the separation decrease the CRPC diffuser efficiency and then lower the pump efficiency. The pump with shorter throats has higher efficiency at small flow ratio while its efficiency is lower than the original pump at lager flow ratio and the peak efficiency of the pumps with the throat length of 5-6 Dt is higher than that of the pumps with other throat length. When the throat length is less than 4 Dt, the CRPC diffuser efficiency is higher than the conical diffuser. The CRPC method could also be used to design the nozzle and other situations needing the pressure change gradually.

  7. Adolescent sexual assault victims and the legal system: building community relationships to improve prosecution rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Rebecca; Greeson, Megan R; Bybee, Deborah; Fehler-Cabral, Giannina

    2012-09-01

    Adolescents are at high risk for sexual assault, but few of these crimes are reported to the police and prosecuted by the criminal justice system. To address this problem, communities throughout the United States have implemented multidisciplinary interventions to improve post-assault care for victims and increase prosecution rates. The two most commonly implemented interventions are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs and Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs). The purpose of this study was to determine whether community-level context (i.e., stakeholder engagement and collaboration) was predictive of adolescent legal case outcomes, after accounting for "standard" factors that affect prosecution success (i.e., victim, assault, and evidence characteristics). Overall, 40% of the adolescent cases from these two SANE-SART programs (over a 10-year period) were successfully prosecuted. Cases were more likely to be prosecuted for younger victims, those with disabilities, those who knew their offenders, and instances in which the rape evidence collection kit was submitted by police for analysis. After accounting for these influences, multi-level modeling results revealed that in one site decreased allocation of community resources to adolescent sexual assault cases had a significant negative effect on prosecution case outcomes. Results are explained in terms of Wolff's (Am J Community Psychol 29:173-191, 2001) concept of "over-coalitioned" communities and Kelly's (1968) ecological principles.

  8. Population Growth Rate, Life Expectancy and Pension Program Improvement in China

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Zaigui

    2008-01-01

    Applying an overlapping-generations model with lifetime uncertainty, we examine in this paper China’s partially funded public pension system. The findings show that the individual contribution rate does not affect the capital-labor ratio but the firm contribution rate does. The optimal firm contribution rate depends on the capital share of income, social discount factor, survival probability, and population growth rate. The simulation results indicate that the optimal firm contribution rate r...

  9. Referral of children seeking care at private health facilities in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbonye, Anthony K.; Buregyeya, Esther; Rutebemberwa, Elizeus

    2017-01-01

    Background In Uganda, referral of sick children seeking care at public health facilities is poor and widely reported. However, studies focusing on the private health sector are scanty. The main objective of this study was to assess referral practices for sick children seeking care at private health...... facilities in order to explore ways of improving treatment and referral of sick children in this sector. Methods A survey was conducted from August to October 2014 in Mukono district, central Uganda. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire supplemented by Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant...... interviews with private providers and community members. Results A total of 241 private health facilities were surveyed; 170 (70.5%) were registered drug shops, 59 (24.5%) private clinics and 12 (5.0%) pharmacies. Overall, 104/241 (43.2%) of the private health facilities reported that they had referred sick...

  10. Prompt Referral in the Nonoperative Treatment of Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Injuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Joe Azzi, MD

    2017-12-01

    Conclusions:. The subgroup of newborns with an Apgar score <7 at 5 minutes shows improved long-term shoulder function when promptly examined by an OBPI clinic. We recommend a “fast-track” referral for this time-sensitive population.

  11. Using poisson regression to compare rates of unsatisfactory pap smears among gynecologists and to evaluate a performance improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachtel, Mitchell S; Hatley, Warren G; de Riese, Cornelia

    2009-01-01

    To evaluate impact of a performance improvement (PI) plan implemented after initial analysis, comparing 7 gynecologists working in 2 clinics. From January to October 2005, unsatisfactory rates for gynecologists and clinics were calculated. A PI plan was instituted at the end of the first quarter of 2006. Unsatisfactory rates for each quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007 were calculated. Poisson regression analyzed results. A total of 100 ThinPrep Pap smears initially deemed unsatisfactory underwent reprocessing and revaluation. The study's first part evaluated 2890 smears. Clinic unsatisfactory rates, 2.7% and 2.6%, were similar (p > 0.05). Gynecologists' unsatisfactory rates were 4.8-0.6%; differences between each of the highest 2 and lowest rates were significant (p improvement. Reprocessing ThinPrep smears is an important means of reducing unsatisfactory rates but should not be a substitute for attention to quality in sampling.

  12. Optimizing the pre-referral workup for gastroenterology and hepatology specialty care: consensus using the Delphi method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Chanda K; Boscardin, Christy K; Gleason, Nathaniel; Collado, Don; Terdiman, Jonathan; Terrault, Norah A; Gonzales, Ralph

    2016-02-01

    Specialty care referrals have doubled in the last decade. Optimization of the pre-referral workup by a primary care doctor can lead to a more efficient first specialty visit with the patient. Guidance regarding pre-referral laboratory testing is a first step towards improving the specialty referral process. Our aim was to establish consensus regarding appropriate pre-referral workup for common gastrointestinal and liver conditions. The Delphi method was used to establish local consensus for recommending certain laboratory tests prior to specialty referral for 13 clinical conditions. Seven conditions from The University of Michigan outpatient referral guidelines were used as a baseline. An expert panel of three PCPs and nine gastroenterologists from three academic hospitals participated in three iterative rounds of electronic surveys. Each panellist ranked each test using a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree). Local panellists could recommend additional tests for the initial diagnoses, and also recommended additional diagnoses needing guidelines: iron deficiency anaemia, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, fatty liver disease, liver mass and cirrhosis. Consensus was defined as ≥70% of experts scoring ≥4 (agree or strongly agree). Applying Delphi methodology to extrapolate externally developed referral guidelines for local implementation resulted in considerable modifications. For some conditions, many tests from the external group were eliminated by the local group (abdominal bloating; iron deficiency anaemia; irritable bowel syndrome). In contrast, for chronic diarrhoea, abnormal liver enzymes and viral hepatitis, all/most original tests were retained with additional tests added. For liver mass, fatty liver disease and cirrhosis, there was high concordance among the panel with few tests added or eliminated. Consideration of externally developed referral guidelines using a consensus-building process leads to significant local

  13. Randomized dynamical decoupling strategies and improved one-way key rates for quantum cryptography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kern, Oliver

    2009-05-25

    noisy preprocessing) followed by the use of a structured block code, higher secure key rates may be obtained. For the BB84 protocol it is shown that iterating the combined preprocessing leads to an even higher gain. In order to speed up the numerical evaluation of the key rates, results of representation theory come into play. If a coherent version of the protocol is considered, the block code used in the preprocessing stage becomes a concatenated stabilizer code which is obtained by concatenating an outer random code with an inner deterministic one. This concatenated stabilizer code is used to compute an improved lower bound on the quantum capacity of a certain quantum channel (the so-called qubit depolarizing channel). (orig.)

  14. Randomized dynamical decoupling strategies and improved one-way key rates for quantum cryptography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kern, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    noisy preprocessing) followed by the use of a structured block code, higher secure key rates may be obtained. For the BB84 protocol it is shown that iterating the combined preprocessing leads to an even higher gain. In order to speed up the numerical evaluation of the key rates, results of representation theory come into play. If a coherent version of the protocol is considered, the block code used in the preprocessing stage becomes a concatenated stabilizer code which is obtained by concatenating an outer random code with an inner deterministic one. This concatenated stabilizer code is used to compute an improved lower bound on the quantum capacity of a certain quantum channel (the so-called qubit depolarizing channel). (orig.)

  15. Chloroquine Improves Survival and Hematopoietic Recovery After Lethal Low-Dose-Rate Radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim Yiting; Hedayati, Mohammad; Merchant, Akil A.; Zhang Yonggang; Yu, Hsiang-Hsuan M.; Kastan, Michael B.; Matsui, William; DeWeese, Theodore L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: We have previously shown that the antimalarial agent chloroquine can abrogate the lethal cellular effects of low-dose-rate (LDR) radiation in vitro, most likely by activating the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein. Here, we demonstrate that chloroquine treatment also protects against lethal doses of LDR radiation in vivo. Methods and Materials: C57BL/6 mice were irradiated with a total of 12.8 Gy delivered at 9.4 cGy/hour. ATM null mice from the same background were used to determine the influence of ATM. Chloroquine was administered by two intraperitoneal injections of 59.4 μg per 17 g of body weight, 24 hours and 4 hours before irradiation. Bone marrow cells isolated from tibia, fibula, and vertebral bones were transplanted into lethally irradiated CD45 congenic recipient mice by retroorbital injection. Chimerism was assessed by flow cytometry. In vitro methylcellulose colony-forming assay of whole bone marrow cells and fluorescence activated cell sorting analysis of lineage depleted cells were used to assess the effect of chloroquine on progenitor cells. Results: Mice pretreated with chloroquine before radiation exhibited a significantly higher survival rate than did mice treated with radiation alone (80% vs. 31%, p = 0.0026). Chloroquine administration before radiation did not affect the survival of ATM null mice (p = 0.86). Chloroquine also had a significant effect on the early engraftment of bone marrow cells from the irradiated donor mice 6 weeks after transplantation (4.2% vs. 0.4%, p = 0.015). Conclusion: Chloroquine administration before radiation had a significant effect on the survival of normal but not ATM null mice, strongly suggesting that the in vivo effect, like the in vitro effect, is also ATM dependent. Chloroquine improved the early engraftment of bone marrow cells from LDR-irradiated mice, presumably by protecting the progenitor cells from radiation injury. Chloroquine thus could serve as a very useful drug for protection

  16. Referral patterns of patients with liver metastases due to colorectal cancer for resection.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Al-Sahaf, O

    2012-02-01

    INTRODUCTION: Colorectal carcinoma accounts for 10% of cancer deaths in the Western World, with the liver being the most common site of distant metastases. Resection of liver metastases is the treatment of choice, with a 5-year survival rate of 35%. However, only 5-10% of patients are suitable for resection at presentation. AIMS: To examine the referral pattern of patients with liver metastases to a specialist hepatic unit for resection. METHODOLOGY: Retrospective review of patient\\'s charts diagnosed with colorectal liver metastases over a 10-year period. RESULTS: One hundred nine (38 women, 71 men) patients with liver metastases were included, mean age 61 years; 79 and 30 patients had synchronous and metachronus metastases, respectively. Ten criteria for referral were identified; the referral rate was 8.25%, with a resection rate of 0.9%. Forty two percent of the patients had palliative chemotherapy; 42% had symptomatic treatment. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the advanced stage of colorectal cancer at presentation; in light of modern evidence-based, centre-oriented therapy of liver metastasis, we conclude that criteria of referral for resection should be based on the availability of treatment modalities.

  17. Relationships between family physicians’ referral for palliative radiotherapy, knowledge of indications for radiotherapy, and prior training: a survey of rural and urban family physicians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olson, Robert A; Lengoc, Sonca; Tyldesley, Scott; French, John; McGahan, Colleen; Soo, Jenny

    2012-01-01

    The primary objective of this research was to assess the relationship between FPs’ knowledge of palliative radiotherapy (RT) and referral for palliative RT. 1001 surveys were sent to FPs who work in urban, suburban, and rural practices. Respondents were tested on their knowledge of palliative radiotherapy effectiveness and asked to report their self-assessed knowledge. The response rate was 33%. FPs mean score testing their knowledge of palliative radiotherapy effectiveness was 68% (SD = 26%). The majority of FPs correctly identified that painful bone metastases (91%), airway obstruction (77%), painful local disease (85%), brain metastases (76%) and spinal cord compression (79%) can be effectively treated with RT, though few were aware that hemoptysis (42%) and hematuria (31%) can be effectively treated. There was a linear relationship between increasing involvement in palliative care and both self-assessed (p < 0.001) and tested (p = 0.02) knowledge. FPs had higher mean knowledge scores if they received post-MD training in palliative care (12% higher; p < 0.001) or radiotherapy (15% higher; p = 0.002). There was a strong relationship between FPs referral for palliative radiotherapy and both self-assessed knowledge (p < 0.001) and tested knowledge (p = 0.01). Self-assessed and tested knowledge of palliative RT is positively associated with referral for palliative RT. Since palliative RT is underutilized, further research is needed to assess whether family physician educational interventions improve palliative RT referrals. The current study suggests that studies could target family physicians already in practice, with educational interventions focusing on hemostatic and other less commonly known indications for palliative RT

  18. Sauti Za Wananchi “voice of the people”: patient satisfaction on the medical wards at a Kenyan Referral Hospital

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Geren Starr; Jerotich, Tecla Sum; Cheriro, Betsy Rono; Kiptoo, Robert Sitienei; Crowe, Susie Joanne; Koros, Elijah Kipkorir; Muthoni, Doreen Mutegi; Onalo, Paul Theodore

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Patient satisfaction is one indicator of healthcare quality. Few studies have examined the inpatient experiences in resource-scarce environments in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods To examine patient satisfaction on the public medical wards at a Kenyan referral hospital, we performed a cross-sectional survey focused on patients’ satisfaction with medical information and their relationship with staffing and hospital routine. Ratings of communication with providers, efforts to protect privacy, information about costs, food, and hospital environment were also elicited. Results Overall, the average patient satisfaction rating was 64.7, nearly midway between “average” and “good” Higher rated satisfaction was associated with higher self-rated general health scores and self-rated health gains during the hospitalization (p = 0.023 and p = 0.001). Women who shared a hospital bed found privacy to be “below average” to “poor” Most men (72.7%) felt information about costs was insufficient. Patients rated food and environmental quality favorably while also frequently suggesting these areas could be improved. Conclusion Overall, patients expressed satisfaction with the care provided. These ratings may reflect modest patients’ expectations as well as acceptable circumstances and performance. Women expressed concern about privacy while men expressed a desire for more information on costs. Inconsistencies were noted between patient ratings and free response answers. PMID:25469201

  19. Improvement of Automated POST Case Success Rate Using Support Vector Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwack, Matthew R.; Dees, Patrick D.

    2017-01-01

    an 8% pass rate, tens or hundreds of thousands of reps may be needed to be confident that the best repetition is at least close to the global optima. However, typical design study time constraints require that fewer repetitions be attempted, sometimes resulting in seed points that have only a handful of successful completions. If a small number of successful repetitions are used to generate a seed point, the graph method may inherit some inaccuracies as it chains DOE cases from the non-global-optimal seed points. This creates inherent noise in the graph data, which can limit the accuracy of the resulting surrogate models. For this reason, the goal of this work is to improve the seed point generation method and ultimately the accuracy of the resulting POST surrogate model. The work focuses on increasing the case pass rate for seed point generation.

  20. Detecting referral and selection bias by the anonymous linkage of practice, hospital and clinic data using Secure and Private Record Linkage (SAPREL: case study from the evaluation of the Improved Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT service

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parry Glenys

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evaluation of demonstration sites set up to provide improved access to psychological therapies (IAPT comprised the study of all people identified as having common mental health problems (CMHP, those referred to the IAPT service, and a sample of attenders studied in-depth. Information technology makes it feasible to link practice, hospital and IAPT clinic data to evaluate the representativeness of these samples. However, researchers do not have permission to browse and link these data without the patients' consent. Objective To demonstrate the use of a mixed deterministic-probabilistic method of secure and private record linkage (SAPREL - to describe selection bias in subjects chosen for in-depth evaluation. Method We extracted, pseudonymised and used fuzzy logic to link multiple health records without the researcher knowing the patient's identity. The method can be characterised as a three party protocol mainly using deterministic algorithms with dynamic linking strategies; though incorporating some elements of probabilistic linkage. Within the data providers' safe haven we extracted: Demographic data, hospital utilisation and IAPT clinic data; converted post code to index of multiple deprivation (IMD; and identified people with CMHP. We contrasted the age, gender, ethnicity and IMD for the in-depth evaluation sample with people referred to IAPT, use hospital services, and the population as a whole. Results The in IAPT-in-depth group had a mean age of 43.1 years; CI: 41.0 - 45.2 (n = 166; the IAPT-referred 40.2 years; CI: 39.4 - 40.9 (n = 1118; and those with CMHP 43.6 years SEM 0.15. (n = 12210. Whilst around 67% of those with a CMHP were women, compared to 70% of those referred to IAPT, and 75% of those subject to in-depth evaluation (Chi square p Conclusions The sample studied in-depth were older, more likely female, and less deprived than people with CMHP, and fewer had recorded ethnic minority status. Anonymous

  1. Measured glomerular filtration rate does not improve prediction of mortality by cystatin C and creatinine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundin, Per-Ola; Sjöström, Per; Jones, Ian; Olsson, Lovisa A; Udumyan, Ruzan; Grubb, Anders; Lindström, Veronica; Montgomery, Scott

    2017-04-01

    Cystatin C may add explanatory power for associations with mortality in combination with other filtration markers, possibly indicating pathways other than glomerular filtration rate (GFR). However, this has not been firmly established since interpretation of associations independent of measured GFR (mGFR) is limited by potential multicollinearity between markers of GFR. The primary aim of this study was to assess associations between cystatin C and mortality, independent of mGFR. A secondary aim was to evaluate the utility of combining cystatin C and creatinine to predict mortality risk. Cox regression was used to assess the associations of cystatin C and creatinine with mortality in 1157 individuals referred for assessment of plasma clearance of iohexol. Since cystatin C and creatinine are inversely related to mGFR, cystatin C - 1 and creatinine - 1 were used. After adjustment for mGFR, lower cystatin C - 1 (higher cystatin C concentration) and higher creatinine - 1 (lower creatinine concentration) were independently associated with increased mortality. When nested models were compared, avoiding the potential influence of multicollinearity, the independence of the associations was supported. Among models combining the markers of GFR, adjusted for demographic factors and comorbidity, cystatin C - 1 and creatinine - 1 combined explained the largest proportion of variance in associations with mortality risk ( R 2  = 0.61). Addition of mGFR did not improve the model. Our results suggest that both creatinine and cystatin C have independent associations with mortality not explained entirely by mGFR and that mGFR does not offer a more precise mortality risk assessment than these endogenous filtration markers combined. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.

  2. Omics in Reproductive Medicine: Application of Novel Technologies to Improve the IVF Success Rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerenz, R D

    Treatment for many infertile couples often consists of in vitro fertilization (IVF) but an estimated 70% of IVF cycles fail to produce a live birth. In an attempt to improve the live birth rate, the vast majority of IVF cycles performed in the United States involve the transfer of multiple embryos, a practice that increases the risk of multiple gestation pregnancy. This is a concern because multiple gestation pregnancies are associated with an increased incidence of maternal and fetal complications and significant cost associated with the care of preterm infants. As the ideal outcome of each IVF cycle is the birth of a single healthy baby, significant effort has focused on identifying embryos with the greatest developmental potential. To date, selection of euploid embryos using comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) is the most promising approach while metabolomic and proteomic assessment of spent culture medium have the potential to noninvasively assess embryo viability. Endometrial gene expression profiling may help determine the optimal time to perform embryo transfer. While CCS has been implemented in some clinics, further development and optimization will be required before analysis of spent culture medium and endometrial gene expression profiling make the transition to clinical use. This review will describe efforts to identify embryos with the greatest potential to result in a healthy, live birth, with a particular emphasis on detection of embryo aneuploidy and metabolic profiling of spent embryo culture medium. Assessment of endometrial receptivity to identify the optimal time to perform embryo transfer will also be discussed. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Improvement of force-sensor-based heart rate estimation using multichannel data fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruser, Christoph; Kortelainen, Juha M; Winter, Stefan; Tenhunen, Mirja; Parkka, Juha; Leonhardt, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to present and evaluate algorithms for heartbeat interval estimation from multiple spatially distributed force sensors integrated into a bed. Moreover, the benefit of using multichannel systems as opposed to a single sensor is investigated. While it might seem intuitive that multiple channels are superior to a single channel, the main challenge lies in finding suitable methods to actually leverage this potential. To this end, two algorithms for heart rate estimation from multichannel vibration signals are presented and compared against a single-channel sensing solution. The first method operates by analyzing the cepstrum computed from the average spectra of the individual channels, while the second method applies Bayesian fusion to three interval estimators, such as the autocorrelation, which are applied to each channel. This evaluation is based on 28 night-long sleep lab recordings during which an eight-channel polyvinylidene fluoride-based sensor array was used to acquire cardiac vibration signals. The recruited patients suffered from different sleep disorders of varying severity. From the sensor array data, a virtual single-channel signal was also derived for comparison by averaging the channels. The single-channel results achieved a beat-to-beat interval error of 2.2% with a coverage (i.e., percentage of the recording which could be analyzed) of 68.7%. In comparison, the best multichannel results attained a mean error and coverage of 1.0% and 81.0%, respectively. These results present statistically significant improvements of both metrics over the single-channel results (p < 0.05).

  4. Community health workers adherence to referral guidelines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lal, Sham; Ndyomugenyi, Richard; Paintain, Lucy

    2016-01-01

    artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and recognize symptoms in children that required immediate referral to the nearest health centre. Intervention arm CHWs had additional training on how to conduct an RDT; CHWs in the control arm used a presumptive diagnosis for malaria using clinical signs......Background Many malaria-endemic countries have implemented national community health worker (CHW) programmes to serve remote populations that have poor access to malaria diagnosis and treatment. Despite mounting evidence of CHWs’ ability to adhere to malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs...

  5. Trends in doctor consultations, antibiotic prescription, and specialist referrals for otitis media in children : 1995-2003

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plasschaert, Astrid I O; Rovers, Maroeska M; Schilder, Anne G M; Verheij, Theo J M; Hak, Eelko

    BACKGROUND: Reported trends regarding the incidence of otitis media and antibiotic prescription rates are inconsistent. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to assess changes in incidence of consultation rates, antibiotic prescription, and referral rates for otitis media in children over the years 1995-2003.

  6. A Quality Improvement Approach to Reducing the Caesarean section Surgical Site Infection Rate in a Regional Hospital

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O’ Hanlon, M

    2016-09-01

    Surgical site infection (SSI) rates are used extensively by hospitals as a basis for quality improvement. A 30-day post-discharge SSI programme for Caesarean section operations has been implemented in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital since 2011. It has been shown that skin antisepsis and antibiotic prophylaxis are key factors in the prevention of SSI. Using quality improvement methodology, an infection prevention bundle was introduced to address these two factors. Skin antisepsis was changed from povidone-iodine to chlorhexidine-alcohol. Compliance with choice of antibiotic prophylaxis increased from 89.6% in 2014 to 98.5% in 2015. Compliance with timing also improved. The SSI rate of 7.5% was the lowest recorded to date, with the majority of SSIs (64%) diagnosed after hospital discharge. The level of variation was also reduced. However, the continued presence of variation and possibility of lower infection rates from the literature imply that further improvements are required.

  7. Strengthening referral of sick children from the private health sector and its impact on referral uptake in Uganda: a cluster randomized controlled trial protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Buregyeya

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uganda’s under-five mortality is high, currently estimated at 66/1000 live births. Poor referral of sick children that seek care from the private sector is one of the contributory factors. The proposed intervention aims to improve referral and uptake of referral advice for children that seek care from private facilities (registered drug shops/private clinics. Methods/Design A cluster randomized design will be applied to test the intervention in Mukono District, central Uganda. A sample of study clusters will implement the intervention. The intervention will consist of three components: i raising awareness in the community: village health teams will discuss the importance of referral and encourage households to save money, ii training and supervision of providers in the private sector to diagnose, treat and refer sick children, iii regular meetings between the public and private providers (convened by the district health team to discuss the referral system. Twenty clusters will be included in the study, randomized in the ratio of 1:1. A minimum of 319 sick children per cluster and the total number of sick children to be recruited from all clusters will be 8910; adjusting for a 10 % loss to follow up and possible withdrawal of private outlets. Discussion The immediate sustainable impact will be appropriate treatment of sick children. The intervention is likely to impact on private sector practices since the scope of the services they provide will have expanded. The proposed study is also likely to have an impact on families as; i they may appreciate the importance of timely referral on child illness management, ii the cost savings related to reduced morbidity will be used by household to access other social services. The linkage between the private and public sectors will create a potential avenue for delivery of other public health interventions and improved working relations in the two sectors. Further, improved quality of

  8. Verification in Referral-Based Crowdsourcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naroditskiy, Victor; Rahwan, Iyad; Cebrian, Manuel; Jennings, Nicholas R.

    2012-01-01

    Online social networks offer unprecedented potential for rallying a large number of people to accomplish a given task. Here we focus on information gathering tasks where rare information is sought through “referral-based crowdsourcing”: the information request is propagated recursively through invitations among members of a social network. Whereas previous work analyzed incentives for the referral process in a setting with only correct reports, misreporting is known to be both pervasive in crowdsourcing applications, and difficult/costly to filter out. A motivating example for our work is the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge where the level of misreporting was very high. In order to undertake a formal study of verification, we introduce a model where agents can exert costly effort to perform verification and false reports can be penalized. This is the first model of verification and it provides many directions for future research, which we point out. Our main theoretical result is the compensation scheme that minimizes the cost of retrieving the correct answer. Notably, this optimal compensation scheme coincides with the winning strategy of the Red Balloon Challenge. PMID:23071530

  9. Psychiatric referrals in two general hospitals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doongaji D

    1989-07-01

    Full Text Available A prospective study was undertaken to compare the patterns of psychiatric referrals in two general hospitals in Bombay viz. the King Edward Memorial Hospital (64 cases and the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre (62 cases. It was observed that depressive symptoms were the most common presenting symptoms in these patients attending either of the hospitals. Similarly, the commonest diagnoses were depression and organic mental disorder. Attempted suicide with organophosphorous compounds was the commonest reason for hospitalization at K.E.M. Hospital (p less than 0.001. A significant number of these patients were females (p less than 0.05. The psychiatric referrals at Jaslok had been hospitalized mainly for suspected medical or neurological illness (p less than 0.001. These patients belonged to higher economic strata and hence had a better paying capacity compared to patients at KEM hospital, a significant number of whom were unemployed (p less than 0.001. The duration of pre-referred illness of patients and their stay at Jaslok hospital were longer as compared to those at KEM Hospital (p less than 0.01. The number of non-relevant special investigations carried out on patients in Jaslok was more (p less than 0.01. Further analysis of diagnoses revealed that a significant number of patients at KEM Hospital were admitted as primary psychiatric illness (p less than 0.05.

  10. Vitamin C improves basal metabolic rate and lipid profile in alloxan ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    MADU

    3.1 Effect of vitamin C administration on basal metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate values in diabetic rats and control are presented in figure 1. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) in diabetic rats was 1.19 ± 0.15 ml/h/g, while the BMR in control rats was 0.76 ± 0.89 ml/h/g. The BMR value in diabetic rats treated with vitamin ...

  11. Higher Referrals for Diabetes Education in a Medical Home Model of Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manard, William T; Syberg, Kevin; Behera, Anit; Salas, Joanne; Schneider, F David; Armbrecht, Eric; Hooks-Anderson, Denise; Crannage, Erica; Scherrer, Jeffrey

    2016-01-01

    The medical home model has been gaining attention from the health care community as a strategy for improved outcomes for management of chronic disease, including diabetes. The purpose of this study was to compare referrals for diabetes education among patients receiving care from a medical home model versus a traditional practice. Data were obtained from a large, university-affiliated primary care patient data registry. All patients (age 18-96 years) with a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes and seen by a physician at least twice during 2011 to 2013 were selected for inclusion. Multivariate regression models measuring the association between medical home status and referral to diabetes education were computed before and after adjusting for covariates. A significantly (P patients in a medical home than without a medical home (23.9% vs 13.5%) received a referral for diabetes education. After adjusting for covariates, medical home patients were 2.7 times more likely to receive a referral for diabetes education (odds ratio, 2.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.69-4.35). Patients in a medical home model were more likely to receive referrals for diabetes education than patients in a standard university-affiliated family medicine practice. Future longitudinal designs that match characteristics of patients with a medical home with those of patients without one will provide strong evidence to determine whether referral to diabetes education is a result of the medical home model of care independent of confounding factors. © Copyright 2016 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  12. Strengthening the Referral System through Social Capital: A Qualitative Inquiry in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoah, Padmore Adusei; Phillips, David R

    2017-10-25

    The referral system in health care has been noted as very influential in determining which services are accessed and when. Nonetheless, existing studies have relied on specific measurable factors relating to health personnel, transportation and communication infrastructure, and finance to explain the challenges facing the referral policy in developing countries. While this is understandable, the role of social capital remains mostly uncharted even though it is implicit in the well-known lay referral system. Using various facets of the social capital concept, this paper empirically examines how the resources embedded in both structural and cognitive aspects of social relationships influence knowledge of, and adherence to, referral policy. This study is based on semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with 79 adults in the Ashanti Region of Ghana in 2015. Of the 79 participants, 28 lived in urban areas and 51 in rural localities. Eight health personnel and eight community leaders also contributed to the study. Additionally, six focus group discussions were held. The findings indicated that both cognitive and structural forms of social capital considerably underpinned the ability and willingness of people to adhere to the referral process. Moreover, the role of social capital was double-barrelled. It contributed in a significant way to encouraging or dissuading potential patients from rightly embracing the policy. In addition, precepts of social capital reinforced both positive and adverse effects of the other determinants of the policy such as finance and transportation. However, the magnitude of such impact was linked to how 'resourceful' and 'trustworthy' one's available social acquaintances were. The paper suggests that a cautious engagement with social capital will make it a potentially powerful tool for understanding the gaps in and improving the effectiveness of referral policy.

  13. Reducing post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage rates through a quality improvement project using a Swedish National quality register: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odhagen, Erik; Sunnergren, Ola; Söderman, Anne-Charlotte Hessén; Thor, Johan; Stalfors, Joacim

    2018-03-24

    Tonsillectomy (TE) is one of the most frequently performed ENT surgical procedures. Post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage (PTH) is a potentially life-threatening complication of TE. The National Tonsil Surgery Register in Sweden (NTSRS) has revealed wide variations in PTH rates among Swedish ENT centres. In 2013, the steering committee of the NTSRS, therefore, initiated a quality improvement project (QIP) to decrease the PTH incidence. The aim of the present study was to describe and evaluate the multicentre QIP initiated to decrease PTH rates. Six ENT centres, all with PTH rates above the Swedish average, participated in the 7-month quality improvement project. Each centre developed improvement plans describing the intended changes in clinical practice. The project's primary outcome variable was the PTH rate. Process indicators, such as surgical technique, were also documented. Data from the QIP centres were compared with a control group of 15 surgical centres in Sweden with similarly high PTH rates. Data from both groups for the 12 months prior to the start of the QIP were compared with data for the 12 months after the QIP. The QIP centres reduced the PTH rate from 12.7 to 7.1% from pre-QIP to follow-up; in the control group, the PTH rate remained unchanged. The QIP centres also exhibited positive changes in related key process indicators, i.e., increasing the use of cold techniques for dissection and haemostasis. The rates of PTH can be reduced with a QIP. A national quality register can be used not only to identify areas for improvement but also to evaluate the impact of subsequent improvement efforts and thereby guide professional development and enhance patient outcomes.

  14. Predictors of dropout in concurrent treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependence: Rate of improvement matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandberg, Laurie J.; Rosenfield, David; Alpert, Elizabeth; McLean, Carmen P.; Foa, Edna B.

    2016-01-01

    Objective The present study examined predictors and moderators of dropout among 165 adults meeting DSM-IV criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD). Participants were randomized to 24 weeks of naltrexone (NAL), NAL and prolonged exposure (PE), pill placebo, or pill placebo and PE. All participants received supportive AD counseling (the BRENDA manualized model). Method Logistic regression using the Fournier approach was conducted to investigate baseline predictors of dropout across the entire study sample. Rates of PTSD and AD symptom improvement were included to evaluate the impact of symptom change on dropout. Results Trauma type and rates of PTSD and AD improvement significantly predicted dropout, accounting for 76% of the variance in dropout. Accidents and “other” trauma were associated with the highest dropout, and physical assault was associated with the lowest dropout. For participants with low baseline PTSD severity, faster PTSD improvement predicted higher dropout. For those with high baseline severity, both very fast and very slow rates of PTSD improvement were associated with higher dropout. Faster rates of drinking improvement predicted higher dropout among participants who received PE. Conclusions The current study highlights the influence of symptom trajectory on dropout risk. Clinicians may improve retention in PTSD-AD treatments by monitoring symptom change at regular intervals, and eliciting patient feedback on these changes. PMID:26972745

  15. Predictors of dropout in concurrent treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependence: Rate of improvement matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandberg, Laurie J; Rosenfield, David; Alpert, Elizabeth; McLean, Carmen P; Foa, Edna B

    2016-05-01

    The present study examined predictors and moderators of dropout among 165 adults meeting DSM-IV criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD). Participants were randomized to 24 weeks of naltrexone (NAL), NAL and prolonged exposure (PE), pill placebo, or pill placebo and PE. All participants received supportive AD counseling (the BRENDA manualized model). Logistic regression using the Fournier approach was conducted to investigate baseline predictors of dropout across the entire study sample. Rates of PTSD and AD symptom improvement were included to evaluate the impact of symptom change on dropout. Trauma type and rates of PTSD and AD improvement significantly predicted dropout, accounting for 76% of the variance in dropout. Accidents and "other" trauma were associated with the highest dropout, and physical assault was associated with the lowest dropout. For participants with low baseline PTSD severity, faster PTSD improvement predicted higher dropout. For those with high baseline severity, both very fast and very slow rates of PTSD improvement were associated with higher dropout. Faster rates of drinking improvement predicted higher dropout among participants who received PE. The current study highlights the influence of symptom trajectory on dropout risk. Clinicians may improve retention in PTSD-AD treatments by monitoring symptom change at regular intervals, and eliciting patient feedback on these changes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Cilostazol May Improve Maturation Rates and Durability of Vascular Access for Hemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Todd E; Kasper, Gregory C; Seiwert, Andrew J; Comerota, Anthony J; Lurie, Fedor

    2017-04-01

    Cilostazol is effective in controlling pathophysiological pathways similar or identical to those involved in nonmaturation and failure of the arteriovenous access. This case-control study examined whether cilostazol would improve maturation rates and durability of vascular access for hemodialysis. The treatment group included 33 patients who received cilostazol for ≥30 days prior to creation of a dialysis access and continued with cilostazol therapy for ≥60 days after surgery. The matched (gender, age, race, diabetes, and the year of surgery) control group included 116 patients who underwent the same procedure but did not receive cilostazol prior to and at least 3 months after surgery. Primary outcomes were maturation and, for those that matured, time of functioning access, defined as the time from the first use to irreparable failure of the access. Secondary outcomes were time to maturation, complications, and time to first complication. Study group patients were 3.8 times more likely to experience fistula maturation compared to the controls (88% vs 66%, RR = 3.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-11.6, P = .016). Fewer patients in the study group had complications (76% vs 92%, P = .025), and the time from construction of the fistula to the first complication was longer (345.6 ± 441 days vs 198.3 ± 185.0 days, P = .025). Time to maturation was similar in both groups (119.3 ± 62.9 days vs 100.2 ± 61.7 days, P = .2). However, once matured, time to failure was significantly longer in the treatment group (903.7 ± 543.6 vs 381.6 ± 317.2 days, P = .001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the likelihood of maturation was significantly higher in the treatment group patients. These results suggest that dialysis access patients may benefit from preoperative and postoperative cilostazol therapy. If confirmed by a randomized trial, this treatment will have a major beneficial impact on patients dependent on a well-functioning access for their hemodialysis.

  17. Improving Immunization Rates Using Lean Six Sigma Processes: Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers National Initiative III Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hina-Syeda, Hussaini; Kimbrough, Christina; Murdoch, William; Markova, Tsveti

    2013-01-01

    Quality improvement education and work in interdisciplinary teams is a healthcare priority. Healthcare systems are trying to meet core measures and provide excellent patient care, thus improving their Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems scores. Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester Hills, MI, aligned educational and clinical objectives, focusing on improving immunization rates against pneumonia and influenza prior to the rates being implemented as core measures. Improving immunization rates prevents infections, minimizes hospitalizations, and results in overall improved patient care. Teaching hospitals offer an effective way to work on clinical projects by bringing together the skill sets of residents, faculty, and hospital staff to achieve superior results. WE DESIGNED AND IMPLEMENTED A STRUCTURED CURRICULUM IN WHICH INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMS ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE ON QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AND TEAMWORK, WHILE FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC CLINICAL PROJECT: improving global immunization rates. We used the Lean Six Sigma process tools to quantify the initial process capability to immunize against pneumococcus and influenza. The hospital's process to vaccinate against pneumonia overall was operating at a Z score of 3.13, and the influenza vaccination Z score was 2.53. However, the process to vaccinate high-risk patients against pneumonia operated at a Z score of 1.96. Improvement in immunization rates of high-risk patients became the focus of the project. After the implementation of solutions, the process to vaccinate high-risk patients against pneumonia operated at a Z score of 3.9 with a defects/million opportunities rate of 9,346 and a yield of 93.5%. Revisions to the adult assessment form fixed 80% of the problems identified. This process improvement project was not only beneficial in terms of improved quality of patient care but was also a positive learning experience for the interdisciplinary team, particularly for the residents. The

  18. Dysphagia referrals to a district general hospital gastroenterology unit: hard to swallow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melleney, Elizabeth Mary-Ann; Subhani, Javaid Mohammed; Willoughby, Charles Peter

    2004-01-01

    The aim of our study was to audit dysphagia referrals received by a specialist gastroenterology unit during an entire year. We used a prospective audit carried out over a 12-month period at the District General Hospital gastroenterology unit. The audit included 396 consecutive patients who were referred with swallowing difficulties. We found that 60 referrals (15.2%) were inaccurate and the patients had no swallowing problem. Of the 336 patients with genuine dysphagia, only 29 (8.6%) were new cancer cases. The large majority of subjects had benign disease mostly related to acid reflux. Weight loss was significantly associated with malignancy but also occurred in one third of patients with reflux alone. The temporal pattern of dysphagia was not significantly predictive of cancer. All the cancer patients were above the age of 50 years. Although patients were in general assessed rapidly after hospital referral, the productivity, in terms of early tumor diagnosis, was extremely low. We conclude that there is a substantial rate of inaccurate referrals of dysphagia patients. Most true cases of swallowing difficulty relate to benign disease. Even the devotion of considerable resources to the early diagnosis of esophago gastric malignancy in an attempt to conform with best practice guidelines results in a very low success rate in terms of the detection of potentially curable tumors.

  19. Improving retention and graduation rates for black students in nursing education: a developmental model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, S H

    1992-01-01

    High attrition rates among black students are a significant factor in the decline in graduation rates from nursing programs. Nursing education needs a program to address problems of anger, frustration, and loneliness and to develop the black student as a whole person.

  20. Improved knowledge about Conception Rates Influences the Decision to Stop Insemination in Dairy Cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inchaisri, C.; Vries, de A.; Jorritsma, R.; Hogeveen, Henk

    2012-01-01

    The conception rate in dairy cows is dependent on a number of cow factors such as days in milk and insemination number. Unfortunately, some of these factors were not accounted for in optimal insemination and replacement decision models. By using wrong estimates of the conception rate, the calculated

  1. Do Eco-rating Schemes Improve the Environmental Performance of Ships?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, René Taudal; Hermann, Roberto Rivas; Smink, Carla K.

    2018-01-01

    of ships. Extending the private environmental governance literature into a mature service industry with global operations, the paper shows that concerns about eco-rating schemes’ effectiveness also have relevance here. Shipping eco-rating schemes fall short of best practices for design and governance...

  2. Criteria-based audit of caesarean section in a referral hospital in rural Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heemelaar, S; Nelissen, E; Mdoe, P; Kidanto, H; van Roosmalen, J; Stekelenburg, J

    2016-04-01

    WHO uses the Caesarean section (CS) rate to monitor implementation of emergency obstetric care (EmOC). Although CS rates are rising in sub-Saharan Africa, maternal outcome has not improved. We audited indications for CS and related complications among women with severe maternal morbidity and mortality in a referral hospital in rural Tanzania. Cross-sectional study was from November 2009 to November 2011. Women with severe maternal morbidity and mortality were identified and those with CS were included in this audit. Audit criteria were developed based on the literature review and (inter)national guidelines. Tanzanian and Dutch doctors reviewed hospital notes. The main outcome measured was prevalence of substandard quality of care leading to unnecessary CS and delay in performing interventions to prevent CS. A total of 216 maternal near misses and 32 pregnancy-related deaths were identified, of which 82 (33.1%) had a CS. Indication for CS was in accordance with audit criteria for 36 of 82 (44.0%) cases without delay. In 20 of 82 (24.4%) cases, the indication was correct; however, there was significant delay in providing standard obstetric care. In 16 of 82 (19.5%) cases, the indication for CS was not in accordance with audit criteria. During office hours, CS was more often correctly indicated than outside office hours (60.0% vs. 36.0%, P audit. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Integrating spatial and temporal oxygen data to improve the quantification of in situ petroleum biodegradation rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Gregory B; Laslett, Dean; Patterson, Bradley M; Johnston, Colin D

    2013-03-15

    Accurate estimation of biodegradation rates during remediation of petroleum impacted soil and groundwater is critical to avoid excessive costs and to ensure remedial effectiveness. Oxygen depth profiles or oxygen consumption over time are often used separately to estimate the magnitude and timeframe for biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and subsurface environments. Each method has limitations. Here we integrate spatial and temporal oxygen concentration data from a field experiment to develop better estimates and more reliably quantify biodegradation rates. During a nine-month bioremediation trial, 84 sets of respiration rate data (where aeration was halted and oxygen consumption was measured over time) were collected from in situ oxygen sensors at multiple locations and depths across a diesel non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contaminated subsurface. Additionally, detailed vertical soil moisture (air-filled porosity) and NAPL content profiles were determined. The spatial and temporal oxygen concentration (respiration) data were modeled assuming one-dimensional diffusion of oxygen through the soil profile which was open to the atmosphere. Point and vertically averaged biodegradation rates were determined, and compared to modeled data from a previous field trial. Point estimates of biodegradation rates assuming no diffusion ranged up to 58 mg kg(-1) day(-1) while rates accounting for diffusion ranged up to 87 mg kg(-1) day(-1). Typically, accounting for diffusion increased point biodegradation rate estimates by 15-75% and vertically averaged rates by 60-80% depending on the averaging method adopted. Importantly, ignoring diffusion led to overestimation of biodegradation rates where the location of measurement was outside the zone of NAPL contamination. Over or underestimation of biodegradation rate estimates leads to cost implications for successful remediation of petroleum impacted sites. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  4. Examining Ratings on the VAL-ED Evaluation Instrument of Principals to Improve Instructional Leadership Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babin, Erin Pevey

    2017-01-01

    The biggest challenge facing American public schools today is increasing student achievement, and this depends on the educational system's ability to improve the quality of instruction. Principals play a key role in improving the quality of instruction on their campus through the instructional leadership practices they engage in on a daily basis.…

  5. An Effective Approach to Improving Day-Case Rates following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. Clarke

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Day-case laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC is a safe and cost-effective treatment for gallstones. In 2006, our institution recorded an 86% laparoscopic, 10% day-case, and 5% readmission rate. A gallbladder pathway was therefore introduced in 2007 with the aim of increasing daycase rates. Methods. Patients with symptomatic gallstones, proven on ultrasound, were referred to a specialist-led clinic. Those suitable for surgery were consented, preassessed, and provided with a choice of dates. All defaulted to day case unless deemed unsuitable due to comorbidity or social factors. Results. The number of cholecystectomies increased from 464 in 2006 to 578 in 2008. Day-case rates in 2006, 2007, 2008, and June 2009 were 10%, 20%, 30%, and 61%, respectively. Laparoscopic and readmission rates remained unchanged. Conversion rates for elective cholecystectomy fell from 6% in 2006 to 3% in 2009. Conclusions. Development of a gallbladder pathway increased day-case rates sixfold without an associated increase in conversion or readmission rates.

  6. Telephone referral education, and evidence of retention and transfer after six-months

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marshall Stuart D

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Effective communication between clinicians is essential for safe, efficient healthcare. We undertook a study to determine the longer-term effectiveness of an education session employing a structured method to teach referral-making skills to medical students. Methods All final year medical students received a forty-five minute education intervention consisting: discussion of effective telephone referrals; video viewing and critique; explanation, demonstration and practice using ISBAR; provision of a memory aid for use in their clinical work. Audio recordings were taken during a subsequent standardised simulation scenario and blindly assessed using a validated scoring system. Recordings were taken immediately before (control, several hours after (intervention, and at approximately six months after the education. Retention of the acronym and self-reports of transfer to the clinical environment were measured with a questionnaire at eight months. Results Referral clarity at six months was significantly improved from pre-intervention, and referral content showed a trend towards improvement. Both measures were lower than the immediate post-education test. The ISBAR acronym was remembered by 59.4% (n = 95/160 and used by the vast majority of the respondents who had made a clinical telephone referral (n = 135/143; 94.4%. Conclusions A brief education session improved telephone communication in a simulated environment above baseline for over six months, achieved functional retention of the acronym over a seven to eight month period and resulted in self reports of transfer of the learning into practice.

  7. User satisfaction with referrals at a collaborative virtual reference service Virtual reference services, Reference services, Referrals, User satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nahyun Kwon

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. This study investigated unmonitored referrals in a nationwide, collaborative chat reference service. Specifically, it examined the extent to which questions are referred, the types of questions that are more likely to be referred than others, and the level of user satisfaction with the referrals in the collaborative chat reference service. Method. The data analysed for this study were 420 chat reference transaction transcripts along with corresponding online survey questionnaires submitted by the service users. Both sets of data were collected from an electronic archive of a southeastern state public library system that has participated in 24/7 Reference of the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS. Results. Referrals in the collaborative chat reference service comprised approximately 30% of the total transactions. Circulation-related questions were the most often referred among all question types, possibly because of the inability of 'outside' librarians to access patron accounts. Most importantly, user satisfaction with referrals was found to be significantly lower than that of completed answers. Conclusion. The findings of this study addressed the importance of distinguishing two types of referrals: the expert research referrals conducive to collaborative virtual reference services; and the re-directional local referrals that increase unnecessary question traffic, thereby being detrimental to effective use of collaborative reference. Continuing efforts to conceptualize referrals in multiple dimensions are anticipated to fully grasp complex phenomena underlying referrals.

  8. Patients' satisfaction ratings and their desire for care improvement across oncology settings from France, Italy, Poland and Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brédart, A; Robertson, C; Razavi, D; Batel-Copel, L; Larsson, G; Lichosik, D; Meyza, J; Schraub, S; von Essen, L; de Haes, J C J M

    2003-01-01

    There has been an increasing interest in patient satisfaction assessment across nations recently. This paper reports on a cross-cultural comparison of the comprehensive assessment of satisfaction with care (CASC) response scales. We investigated what proportion of patients wanted care improvement for the same level of satisfaction across samples from oncology settings in France, Italy, Poland and Sweden, and whether age, gender, education level and type of items affected the relationships found. The CASC addresses patient's satisfaction with the care received in oncology hospitals. Patients are invited to rate aspects of care and to mention for each of these aspects, whether they would want improvement.One hundred and forty, 395, 186 and 133 consecutive patients were approached in oncology settings from France, Italy, Poland and Sweden, respectively. Across country settings, an increasing percentage of patients wanted care improvement for decreasing levels of satisfaction. However, in France a higher percentage of patients wanted care improvement for high-satisfaction ratings whereas in Poland a lower percentage of patients wanted care improvement for low-satisfaction ratings. Age and education level had a similar effect across countries. Confronting levels of satisfaction with desire for care improvement appeared useful in comprehending the meaning of response choice labels for the CASC across oncology settings from different linguistic and cultural background. Linguistic or socio-cultural differences were suggested for explaining discrepancies between countries. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Tapping the hidden potential Eddystone station's comprehensive effort to improve heat rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wusinich, D.F.; McCreight, M.K.

    1992-01-01

    Eddystone Generating Station in the past nine months has launched a successful new process for improving thermal performance. This process mobilizes people -- the entire station organization -- to step up to its day-today commitment, and its work effectiveness, to achieve higher thermal performance. A unique management and organization improvement process, called the Breakthrough Strategy, is a key factor in the success. This is a process for involving people in actual work improvement projects as the foundation for building sustainable, higher levels of organizational performance. This paper describes the process, how it was launched, and how it is becoming a way of life -- a foundation for continuous improvement throughout the station. It also reports how much impact non-technical factors really have on station performance. 4 figs

  10. Referral of tuberculosis symptomatic clients from private pharmacies to public sector clinics for diagnosis and treatment in Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Carolyn A; Ilomäki, Jenni; Pichenda, Koeut; Duncan, Gregory J; Saini, Bandana

    2015-04-01

    Cambodia is one of the 22 countries with a high burden of tuberculosis (TB). People often first seek treatment for cough and other TB symptoms through private pharmacies. The National Tuberculosis Programme trained willing private sector pharmacies to refer TB symptomatic clients to their closest public sector clinic for diagnosis and treatment. The study objective was to investigate factors associated with referral of TB symptomatic clients from pharmacies to public sector clinics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with staff from a stratified random sample of 180 private pharmacies in Phnom Penh in 2012. Trained interviewers were Khmer speakers. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with self-reported referral during the previous 3 months. Fifty (29.6%) pharmacies reported that they had referred 125 clients (range 1-10) to public sector clinics during the previous 3 months. In total, 164 (96.5%) pharmacies reported that they always referred all TB symptomatic clients to DOTS (directly observed treatment, short course) clinics. More than 6-year participation in the programme (OR 5.23, 95% CI 1.93-14.18) and willingness to always continue referring (OR 12.24, 95% CI 11.61-93.10) were associated with referral of one or more clients in the previous 3 months. Referral to the client's closest clinic was negatively associated with referral (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.23-0.99). Pharmacies' ongoing commitment to the Referral Programme was strongly associated with referral. Increased advocacy among the high number of non-referring pharmacies may improve programme performance. Factors negatively associated with referral may need investigation. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. A systematic review of patient and health system characteristics associated with late referral in chronic kidney disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aloudat Sarah

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To identify patient and health system characteristics associated with late referral of patients with chronic kidney disease to nephrologists. Methods MEDLINE, CENTRAL, and CINAHL were searched using the appropriate MESH terms in March 2007. Two reviewers individually and in duplicate reviewed the abstracts of 256 articles and selected 18 observational studies for inclusion. The reasons for late referral were categorized into patient or health system characteristics. Data extraction and content appraisal were done using a prespecified protocol. Results Older age, the existence of multiple comorbidities, race other than Caucasian, lack of insurance, lower socioeconomic status and educational levels were patient characteristics associated with late referral of patients with chronic kidney disease. Lack of referring physician knowledge about the appropriate timing of referral, absence of communication between referring physicians and nephrologists, and dialysis care delivered at tertiary medical centers were health system characteristics associated with late referral of patients with chronic kidney disease. Most studies identified multiple factors associated with late referral, although the relative importance and the combined effect of these factors were not systematically evaluated. Conclusion A combination of patient and health system characteristics is associated with late referral of patients with chronic kidney disease. Overall, being older, belonging to a minority group, being less educated, being uninsured, suffering from multiple comorbidities, and the lack of communication between primary care physicians and nephrologists contribute to late referral of patients with chronic kidney disease. Both primary care physicians and nephrologists need to engage in multisectoral collaborative efforts that ensure patient education and enhance physician awareness to improve the care of patients with chronic kidney disease.

  12. Description of inter-institutional referrals after admission for labor and delivery: a prospective population based cohort study in rural Maharashtra, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Archana B; Prakash, Amber Abhijeet; Raynes-Greenow, Camille; Pusdekar, Yamini V; Hibberd, Patricia L

    2017-05-19

    In 2008, the Indian government introduced financial assistance to encourage health facility deliveries. Facility births have increased, but maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality have not decreased raising questions about the quality of care provided in facilities and access to a quality referral system. We evaluated the potential role of inter-institutional transfers of women admitted for labor and delivery on adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes in an ongoing prospective, population-based Maternal and Newborn Health Registry in Central India. Pregnant women from 20 rural Primary Health Centers near Nagpur, Maharashtra were followed throughout pregnancy and to day 42 post-partum. Inter- institutional referral was defined as transfer of a woman from a first or second level facility where she was admitted for labor and delivery to facility providing higher level of care, after admission to the day of delivery. Maternal mortality, stillbirth, early and late neonatal mortality were compared in mothers who were and were not referred. Factors associated with inter-institutional referral were analyzed using multivariable models with generalized estimating equations, adjusted for clustering at the level of the Primary Health Center. Between June 2009 and June 2013, 3236 (9.4%) of 34,319 women had inter-institutional referral. Factors associated with referrals were maternal age (adjusted Relative Risk or aRR 1.1; 1.0-1.2); moderate or severe anemia (aRR 1.2; 1.2-1.4), gestational age <37 weeks (aRR 1.16; 1.05-1.27), multiple gestation (aRR 1.6; 1.2-2.1), absent fetal heart rate (aRR 1.7; 1.3-2.2), primigravida (aRR 1.4; 1.3, 1.6), primigravida with any pregnancy related maternal condition such as obstructed or prolonged labor; major antepartum or post-partum hemorrhage, hypertension or preeclampsia and breech, transverse or oblique lie (aRR 4.7; 3.8, 5.8), multigravida with any pregnancy related conditions (aRR 4.2; 3.4-5.2). Stillbirths, early neonatal

  13. APPLE-2: an improved version of APPLE code for plotting neutron and gamma ray spectra and reaction rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawasaki, Hiromitsu; Seki, Yasushi.

    1982-07-01

    A computer code APPLE-2 which plots the spatial distribution of energy spectra of multi-group neutron and/or gamma ray fluxes, and reaction rates has been developed. This code is an improved version of the previously developed APPLE code and has the following features: (1) It plots energy spectra of neutron and/or gamma ray fluxes calculated by ANISN, DOT and MORSE. (2) It calculates and plots the spatial distribution of neutron and gamma ray fluxes and various types of reaction rates such as nuclear heating rates, operational dose rates, displacement damage rates. (3) Input data specification is greatly simplified by the use of standard, response libraries and by close coupling with radiation transport calculation codes. (4) Plotting outputs are given in camera ready form. (author)

  14. Media ratings for movies, music, video games, and television: a review of the research and recommendations for improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentile, Douglas A; Humphrey, Jeremy; Walsh, David A

    2005-06-01

    This article review is organized by studies that are relevant for testing the reliability and validity of ratings systems. Specifically, the interrater reliability, consistency, temporal stability, content validity, construct validity, and criterion validity of media ratings systems are reviewed. Data that are related to testing the "forbidden fruit" and "tainted fruit" hypotheses also are reviewed. Several changes are recommended to improve the ratings systems, including the creation of a universal ratings system that could be applied equally to all media. The research reviewed here can provide a guide for how to construct a reliable, valid, and more useful ratings system. This is important because the decisions that parents make regarding their children's media use can be only as good as the information to which the parents have access.

  15. A trial for improving the rate of participation in breast cancer screening

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aki, Fuminori; Ito, Sueyoshi; Kaneko, Akira; Yamakawa, Takashi; Sugimoto, Takeki

    2007-01-01

    In order to search for a good method of increasing the rate of participation in breast cancer screening, we reviewed our previous records of breast cancer screening carried out by inspection and palpation during the preceding 32-year period. Screening by mammography was started in 2004, and in the following year became employed in all districts of Kochi Prefecture. When mammography screening began, we hoped that the participation rate would be at least 20%, which was the level when breast cancer screening was performed by inspection and palpation. In fact, the participation rate was as high as 27.6% in the period 2004-2005, and the breast cancer detection rate was 0.38%. We think that this high participation rate was achieved through complete transition from screening by inspection and palpation to that by mammography, offering guidance to district health nurses and local government administrative staff, education of the public about the importance of breast self-palpation, and other informative activities. (author)

  16. Pertussis incidence rates in Novi Sad (Serbia before and during improved surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrović Vladimir

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction/Objective. The Global Pertussis Initiative (GPI proposed clinical case definitions for pertussis diagnosis in three different age cohorts in order to improve surveillance of pertussis especially in older children, adolescents, and adults. The main goal of this research was to compare the burden of pertussis in the city of Novi Sad before and after the introduction of improved surveillance using the GPI clinical case definitions of pertussis. Methods. Baseline data on pertussis were obtained from routine (non-sentinel reporting before improved surveillance was introduced. From September 16, 2012, clinical case definitions proposed by GPI were applied within improved (sentinel and hospital surveillance, while surveillance clinical case definitions were not introduced within non-sentinel. To confirm the suspected diagnosis, sampling of nasopharyngeal swab and/or blood was obtained from all cases. The choice of laboratory method (PCR or ELISA depended on the duration of coughing and the age of the patients. Data were statistically processed by SPSS Statistics, version 22. Results. During the 12-year period before the introduction of improved surveillance, only two clinical pertussis cases were registered. In contrast, during the two-year period of improved surveillance, a total of 14 (season 2012/13 and 146 (season 2013/2014 confirmed pertussis cases were reported. Significant differences were determined in distribution of pertussis according to the type of surveillance and the level of health care. Conclusion. Introduction of clinical case definitions proposed by GPI improved the quality of surveillance and enabled an insight in the distribution of pertussis in all age groups and at all levels of health care.

  17. Does a referral from home to hospital affect satisfaction with childbirth? A cross-national comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gouwy Anneleen

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Belgian and Dutch societies present many similarities but differ with regard to the organisation of maternity care. The Dutch way of giving birth is well known for its high percentage of home births and its low medical intervention rate. In contrast, home births in Belgium are uncommon and the medical model is taken for granted. Dutch and Belgian maternity care systems are compared with regard to the influence of being referred to specialist care during pregnancy or intrapartum while planning for a home birth. We expect that a referral will result in lower satisfaction with childbirth, especially in Belgium. Methods Two questionnaires were filled out by 605 women, one at 30 weeks of pregnancy and one within the first two weeks after childbirth, either at home or in a hospital. Of these, 563 questionnaires were usable for analysis. Women were invited to participate in the study by independent midwives and obstetricians during antenatal visits in 2004–2005. Satisfaction with childbirth was measured by the Mackey Satisfaction with Childbirth Rating Scale, which takes into account the multidimensional nature of the concept. Results Belgian women are more satisfied than Dutch women and home births are more satisfying than hospital births. Women who are referred to the hospital while planning for a home birth are less satisfied than women who planned to give birth in hospital and did. A referral has a greater negative impact on satisfaction for Dutch women. Conclusion There is no reason to believe Dutch women receive hospital care of lesser quality than Belgian women in case of a referral. Belgian and Dutch attach different meaning to being referred, resulting in a different evaluation of childbirth. In the Dutch maternity care system home births lead to higher satisfaction, but once a referral to the hospital is necessary satisfaction drops and ends up lower than satisfaction with hospital births that were planned in advance

  18. A quality improvement project to improve the Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sepsis bundle compliance rate in a large healthcare system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raschke, Robert A; Groves, Robert H; Khurana, Hargobind S; Nikhanj, Nidhi; Utter, Ethel; Hartling, Didi; Stoffer, Brenda; Nunn, Kristina; Tryon, Shona; Bruner, Michelle; Calleja, Maria; Curry, Steven C

    2017-01-01

    Sepsis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in hospitalised patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated that US hospitals report sepsis bundle compliance rate as a quality process measure in October 2015. The specific aim of our study was to improve the CMS sepsis bundle compliance rate from 30% to 40% across 20 acute care hospitals in our healthcare system within 1 year. The study included all adult inpatients with sepsis sampled according to CMS specifications from October 2015 to September 2016. The CMS sepsis bundle compliance rate was tracked monthly using statistical process control charting. A baseline rate of 28.5% with 99% control limits was established. We implemented multiple interventions including computerised decision support systems (CDSSs) to increase compliance with the most commonly missing bundle elements. Compliance reached 42% (99% statistical process control limits 18.4%-38.6%) as CDSS was implemented system-wide, but this improvement was not sustained after CMS changed specifications of the outcome measure. Difficulties encountered elucidate shortcomings of our study methodology and of the CMS sepsis bundle compliance rate as a quality process measure.

  19. Dose escalation using conformal high-dose-rate brachytherapy improves outcome in unfavorable prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Alvaro A; Gustafson, Gary; Gonzalez, José; Armour, Elwood; Mitchell, Chris; Edmundson, Gregory; Spencer, William; Stromberg, Jannifer; Huang, Raywin; Vicini, Frank

    2002-06-01

    To overcome radioresistance for patients with unfavorable prostate cancer, a prospective trial of pelvic external beam irradiation (EBRT) interdigitated with dose-escalating conformal high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy was performed. Between November 1991 and August 2000, 207 patients were treated with 46 Gy pelvic EBRT and increasing HDR brachytherapy boost doses (5.50-11.5 Gy/fraction) during 5 weeks. The eligibility criteria were pretreatment prostate-specific antigen level >or=10.0 ng/mL, Gleason score >or=7, or clinical Stage T2b or higher. Patients were divided into 2 dose levels, low-dose biologically effective dose 93 Gy (149 patients). No patient received hormones. We used the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology definition for biochemical failure. The median age was 69 years. The mean follow-up for the group was 4.4 years, and for the low and high-dose levels, it was 7.0 and 3.4 years, respectively. The actuarial 5-year biochemical control rate was 74%, and the overall, cause-specific, and disease-free survival rate was 92%, 98%, and 68%, respectively. The 5-year biochemical control rate for the low-dose group was 52%; the rate for the high-dose group was 87% (p failure. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Grade 3 gastrointestinal/genitourinary complications ranged from 0.5% to 9%. The actuarial 5-year impotency rate was 51%. Pelvic EBRT interdigitated with transrectal ultrasound-guided real-time conformal HDR prostate brachytherapy boost is both a precise dose delivery system and a very effective treatment for unfavorable prostate cancer. We demonstrated an incremental beneficial effect on biochemical control and cause-specific survival with higher doses. These results, coupled with the low risk of complications, the advantage of not being radioactive after implantation, and the real-time interactive planning, define a new standard for treatment.

  20. Rate of Improvement following Volar Plate Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of Distal Radius Fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Dillingham

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To determine recovery timeline of unstable distal radius fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation with a locking volar plate. Methods. Data was collected prospectively on a consecutive series of twenty-seven patients during routine post-operative visits at 2 and 6 weeks, and 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. Range of motion measures and grip strength for both wrists were recorded. Results. Greatest gains were made within the first 3 months after surgery. Supination and pronation returned more quickly than flexion or extension, with supination and pronation both at 92% of the uninjured wrist at 3 months. Only flexion improved significantly between 3 and 6 months. All wrist motions showed some improvement until 1 year. Grip strength returned to 94% of the uninjured wrist by 12 months. Conclusions. Range of motion improvement will be greatest between 2 weeks and 3 months, with improvement continuing until 12 months. Grip strength should return to near normal by one year. Function and pain will improve, but not return to normal by the end of 12 months. Clinical Relevance. These results provide the surgeon with information that can be shared with patients on the anticipated timeline for normal recovery of function and strength.

  1. Modest weight loss in moderately overweight postmenopausal women improves heart rate variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouridsen, Mette Rauhe; Bendsen, Nathalie Tommerup; Astrup, Arne

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the effects of weight loss on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters in overweight postmenopausal women. Design and Methods: Forty-nine overweight postmenopausal women with an average body mass index of 28.8 1.9 kg/m2 underwent a 12-week dietary weight......-to-normal intervals for each 5-min period (SDNNindex). Baseline body fat mass (FM%) and changes in body composition was determined by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Before and after the weight-loss period, total abdominal fat, intra-abdominal fat (IAAT), and subcutaneous abdominal fat (SCAT) were measured by single...

  2. The Use of Peer Tutoring to Improve the Passing Rates in Mathematics Placement Exams of Engineering Students: A Success Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Rolando; Morales, Juan C.; Rivera, Gloribel

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a highly successful peer tutoring program that has resulted in an improvement in the passing rates of mathematics placement exams from 16% to 42%, on average. Statistical analyses were conducted using a Chi-Squared (?[superscript 2]) test for independence and the results were statistically significant (p-value much less than…

  3. 7 CFR 3.21 - Referrals of Debts to Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referrals of Debts to Justice. 3.21 Section 3.21... and Compromise of Claims § 3.21 Referrals of Debts to Justice. An agency shall promptly refer to Justice for litigation debts on which aggressive collection activity has been taken in accordance with...

  4. 5 CFR 177.108 - Referral to Department of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to Department of Justice. 177... ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIMS UNDER THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT § 177.108 Referral to Department of Justice. When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required, or the advice of the Department of Justice is...

  5. 44 CFR 11.17 - Referral to Department of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Justice. 11.17 Section 11.17 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY... Referral to Department of Justice. When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required under § 11.16, the referral or request shall be transmitted to the Department of Justice by the Chief Counsel...

  6. 40 CFR 1620.8 - Referral to Department of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Referral to Department of Justice... ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIMS ARISING UNDER THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT § 1620.8 Referral to Department of Justice. When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required, or the advice of the Department of Justice is...

  7. Why Doctors Do Not Answer Referral Letters | Smith | South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Healthcare workers at primary healthcare (PHC) clinics are frustrated by the fact that they do not receive replies to their referral letters to doctors. Referral letters act as permission slips to allow patients easy access to treatment by specialists at secondary and tertiary service levels and communicate reasons for ...

  8. 10 CFR 820.72 - Referral to the Attorney General.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to the Attorney General. 820.72 Section 820.72... Referral to the Attorney General. If there is reason to believe a criminal violation of the Act or the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has occurred, DOE may refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United...

  9. 29 CFR 1601.29 - Referral to the Attorney General.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 4 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Referral to the Attorney General. 1601.29 Section 1601.29... of Civil Actions § 1601.29 Referral to the Attorney General. If the Commission is unable to obtain... shall inform the Attorney General of the appropriate facts in the case with recommendations for the...

  10. 24 CFR 107.65 - Referral to the Attorney General.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Referral to the Attorney General... Referral to the Attorney General. If the results of a complaint investigation or a compliance review... appropriate cases shall recommend that the General Counsel refer the case to the Attorney General of the...

  11. 10 CFR 430.54 - Referral to the Attorney General.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to the Attorney General. 430.54 Section 430.54... Business Exemptions § 430.54 Referral to the Attorney General. Notice of the application for exemption under this subpart shall be transmitted to the Attorney General by the Secretary and shall contain (a) a...

  12. Referral letters to the psychiatrist in Nigeria: is communication ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Result: A majority (>80%) of the referral letters had no information on the current medication list, relevant psychosocial history, outline of management to date, results of investigations to date, and known allergies. Conclusion: Deficits in communication or information transfer through referral letters to the psychiatrist are ...

  13. 8 CFR 1235.6 - Referral to immigration judge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 8 Aliens and Nationality 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Referral to immigration judge. 1235.6 Section 1235.6 Aliens and Nationality EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS INSPECTION OF PERSONS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION § 1235.6 Referral to immigration judge...

  14. Referral letters to the psychiatrist in Nigeria: is communication ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    history, may not be elements that non-psychiatrist phy- sicians routinely collect during their examinations and, therefore, one would not expect such information to be available to be included in referral letters. Conclusion. Deficits in communication or information transfer through referral letters to the psychiatrist are common.

  15. Quality of psychiatric referrals to secondary-level care | Struwig ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Less than 20% of the referral letters included information on previous psychiatric consultations, current psychotropic medication, the outcome of physical examinations, and results of special investigations. Only 17 (6%) referral letters indicated a preliminary diagnosis according to an officially recognised classification system ...

  16. User Satisfaction with Referrals at a Collaborative Virtual Reference Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Nahyun

    2006-01-01

    Introduction: This study investigated unmonitored referrals in a nationwide, collaborative chat reference service. Specifically, it examined the extent to which questions are referred, the types of questions that are more likely to be referred than others, and the level of user satisfaction with the referrals in the collaborative chat reference…

  17. 45 CFR 1619.3 - Referral to the Corporation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Referral to the Corporation. 1619.3 Section 1619.3 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION § 1619.3 Referral to the Corporation. If a person requests information, not required...

  18. Motion Vector field improvement for picture rate conversion with reduced Halo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mertens, M.J.W.; Haan, de G.; Girod, B.; Bouman, C.A.; Steinbach, E.G.

    2001-01-01

    The quality of the interpolated images in picture rate upconversion is predominantly dependent on the accuracy of the motion vector fields. Block based MEs typically yield incorrect vectors in occlusion areas, which leads to an annoying halo in the upconverted video sequences. In the past we have

  19. 38 CFR 3.23 - Improved pension rates-Veterans and surviving spouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... and World War I veterans. The applicable maximum annual rate payable to a Mexican border period or World War I veteran under this section shall be increased by the amount specified in 38 U.S.C. 1521(g...(d)) (3) Veterans who are housebound. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1521(e)) (4) Two veterans married to one...

  20. Improved ovulation rate and implantation in rats treated with royal jelly

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ovaries and uteris of 12 mature female rats (Rattus norvegicus) were examined to determine the effect of commercial royal jelly on ovulation, ovarian weight and implantation rates. Rats were split in two groups of 6 each. Group one served as the treatment and group two the control. A daily dose of 25mg of royal jelly ...

  1. The separation distribution and merger rate of double white dwarfs: improved constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maoz, Dan; Hallakoun, Na'ama; Badenes, Carles

    2018-05-01

    We obtain new and precise information on the double white dwarf (DWD) population and on its gravitational-wave-driven merger rate by combining the constraints on the DWD population from two previous studies on radial velocity variation. One of the studies is based on a sample of white dwarfs (WDs) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS, which with its low spectral resolution probes systems at separations a distribution of initial WD separations (at the start of solely gravitational-wave-driven binary evolution), N(a)da ∝ aαda, is α = -1.30 ± 0.15 (1σ) +0.05 (systematic). The Galactic WD merger rate per WD is Rmerge = (9.7 ± 1.1) × 10-12 yr-1. Integrated over the Galaxy lifetime, this implies that 8.5-11 per cent of all WDs ever formed have merged with another WD. If most DWD mergers end as more-massive WDs, then some 10 per cent of WDs are DWD-merger products, consistent with the observed fraction of WDs in a `high-mass bump' in the WD mass function. The DWD merger rate is 4.5-7 times the Milky Way's specific Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) rate. If most SN Ia explosions stem from the mergers of some DWDs (say, those with massive-enough binary components) then ˜15 per cent of all WD mergers must lead to a SN Ia.

  2. Improving Posthospital Discharge Telephone Reach Rates Through Prehospital Discharge Face-to-Face Meetings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara, Franz H; Sheridan, Daniel J; Sullivan, Nancy J; Budhathoki, Chakra

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether a face-to-face meeting with patients by a telephonic case manager prehospital discharge would result in increased telephone follow-up (TFU) reach rates posthospital discharge. Acute care adult medicine inpatient units. A quasiexperimental design was utilized. Two adult inpatient medicine units were selected as the intervention and comparison groups. The framework of the study is the transitions theory. A convenience sampling technique was used, whereby 88 eligible patients on the intervention unit received face-to-face meetings prehospital discharge whereas 123 patients on the comparison unit received standard care (no face-to-face meetings). Cross-tabulation and chi-square tests were employed to examine the association of face-to-face meeting intervention and TFU reach rates. Implementing brief (face-to-face meetings by a telephonic case manager prehospital discharge resulted in a TFU reach rate of 87% on the intervention unit, whereas the comparison unit only had a 58% TFU reach rate (p communication with more patients posthospital discharge. A brief prehospital discharge face-to-face meeting with patients assisted them to understand the reasons for a posthospital discharge telephone call, identified the best times to call using accurate telephone numbers, and taught patients how best to prepare for the call. In addition, by meeting patients face-to-face, the telephonic case manager was no longer an unknown person on the telephone asking them questions about their medical condition. These factors combined may have significantly helped to increase TFU reach rates.

  3. Metronome improves compression and ventilation rates during CPR on a manikin in a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Karl B; Stickney, Ronald E; Gallison, Leanne; Smith, Robert E

    2010-02-01

    We hypothesized that a unique tock and voice metronome could prevent both suboptimal chest compression rates and hyperventilation. A prospective, randomized, parallel design study involving 34 pairs of paid firefighter/emergency medical technicians (EMTs) performing two-rescuer CPR using a Laerdal SkillReporter Resusci Anne manikin with and without metronome guidance was performed. Each CPR session consisted of 2 min of 30:2 CPR with an unsecured airway, then 4 min of CPR with a secured airway (continuous compressions at 100 min(-1) with 8-10 ventilations/min), repeated after the rescuers switched roles. The metronome provided "tock" prompts for compressions, transition prompts between compressions and ventilations, and a spoken "ventilate" prompt. During CPR with a bag/valve/mask the target compression rate of 90-110 min(-1) was achieved in 5/34 CPR sessions (15%) for the control group and 34/34 sessions (100%) for the metronome group (pmetronome or control group during CPR with a bag/valve/mask. During CPR with a bag/endotracheal tube, the target of both a compression rate of 90-110 min(-1) and a ventilation rate of 8-11 min(-1) was achieved in 3/34 CPR sessions (9%) for the control group and 33/34 sessions (97%) for the metronome group (pMetronome use with the secured airway scenario significantly decreased the incidence of over-ventilation (11/34 EMT pairs vs. 0/34 EMT pairs; pmetronome was effective at directing correct chest compression and ventilation rates both before and after intubation. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Using wavelength-normalized optical spectroscopy to improve the accuracy of bacteria growth rate quantification

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBirney, Samantha E.; Trinh, Kristy; Wong-Beringer, Annie; Armani, Andrea M.

    2017-02-01

    One of the fundamental analytical measurements performed in microbiology is monitoring and characterizing cell concentration in culture media. Measurement error will give rise to reproducibility problems in a wide range of applications, from biomanufacturing to basic research. Therefore, it is critical that the generated results are consistent. Single wavelength optical density (OD) measurements have become the preferred approach. Here, we compare the conventional OD600 technique with a multi-wavelength normalized scattering optical spectroscopy method to measure the growth rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading nosocomial pathogens with proven abilities to develop resistance. The multi-wavelength normalization process minimizes the impact of bacteria byproducts and environmental noise on the signal, thereby accurately quantifying growth rates with high fidelity at low concentrations. In contrast, due to poor absorbance and scattering at 600 nm, the classic OD600 measurement method is able to detect bacteria but cannot quantify the growth rate reliably. Our wavelength-normalization protocol to detect bacteria growth rates can be readily and easily adopted by research labs, given that it only requires the use of a standard spectrophotometer and implementation of straightforward data analysis. Measuring and monitoring bacteria growth rates play a critical role in a wide range of settings, spanning from therapeutic design and development to diagnostics and disease prevention. Having a full understanding of the growth cycles of bacteria known to cause severe infections and diseases will lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of these illnesses, leading to better treatment and, ultimately, the development of a cure.

  5. Consultation and referral between physicians in new medical practice environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, W A; Holloman, F C

    1985-10-01

    The traditional exchange of medical expertise between physicians for patient benefit has been accomplished by referral. Physicians have traditionally decided when and to whom to refer patients. Health care "systems" now dominate medical practice, and their formats can alter spontaneous collegial interaction in referral. Institutional programs now pursue patient referrals as part of a marketing strategy to attract new patients who then become attached to the institution, rather than to a physician. Referral behavior can affect a physician's personal income in prepaid insurance programs where referrals are discouraged. The referring physician may bear legal liability for actions of the consultant. New practice arrangements and affiliations may place physicians in financial conflict-of-interest situations, challenge ethical commitments, and add new moral responsibility.

  6. Integrating soil information into canopy sensor algorithms for improved corn nitrogen rate recommendation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop canopy sensors have proven effective at determining site-specific nitrogen (N) needs, but several Midwest states use different algorithms to predict site-specific N need. The objective of this research was to determine if soil information can be used to improve the Missouri canopy sensor algori...

  7. Minimal approaches to genetic improvement of growth rates in white spruce

    Science.gov (United States)

    D.T. Lester

    1973-01-01

    Several features of central importance to genetic improvement of white spruce have been demonstrated by tree breeders. First, white spruce is genetically a highly variable species and much of the existent variation can be readily incorporated in planting stock (Jeffers 1969, Holst and Teich 1969). Second, local seed often is not the best for rapid growth (Nienstaedt...

  8. Determining next steps in a hand hygiene improvement initiative by examining variation in hand hygiene compliance rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homa, Karen; Kirkland, Kathryn B

    2011-01-01

    Health care worker hand hygiene (HH) is a major quality and safety concern since poor hand hygiene has been linked with hospital associated infections. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has been involved in a 4-year initiative to improve hand hygiene. In 2006, HH compliance occurred 41% of the time and by 2009, it had improved to 91%. We wanted to understand some of the unexplained variability in HH to help determine where to target more specific strategies. To help determine where some of the variability in HH compliance rates occurred, an analysis of means chart was used to determine whether role type of the health care worker and hospital areas had significantly different HH rates compared with the overall HH rate. The overall HH rate between March 2008 and December 2009 was 87%. There was a wide and significant variation between the 16 groups of 2 types of health care workers in 8 hospital areas from the lowest rate of 64% to a high of 96%. Analysis of means revealed significant differences in HH rates relative to the type of worker and hospital areas. Although the method does not inform the organization of what type of intervention will work where and why, it allows high and low performing groups to be identified, so that organizations can learn from them to generate and test theories.

  9. Multi-disciplinary team for early gastric cancer diagnosis improves the detection rate of early gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Lianjun; Wu, Huichao; Zhu, Rong; Li, Youfeng; Wu, Xinglong; Xie, Rui; Li, Hongping; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Hua; Xiao, Hong; Chen, Hui; Zhen, Hong; Zhao, Kui; Yang, Xuefeng; Xie, Ming; Tuo, Bigung

    2017-12-06

    Gastric cancer is a frequent malignant tumor worldwide and its early detection is crucial for curing the disease and enhancing patients' survival rate. This study aimed to assess whether the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) can improve the detection rate of early gastric cancer (EGC). The detection rate of EGC at the Digestive Endoscopy Center, Affiliated Hospital, Zunyi Medical College, China between September 2013 and September 2015 was analyzed. MDT for the diagnosis of EGC in the hospital was established in September 2014. The study was divided into 2 time periods: September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014 (period 1) and September 1, 2014 to September 1, 2015 (period 2). A total of 60,800 patients' gastroscopies were performed during the two years. 61 of these patients (0.1%) were diagnosed as EGC, accounting for 16.44% (61/371) of total patients with gastric cancer. The EGC detection rate before MDT (period 1) was 0.05% (16/29403), accounting for 9.09% (16/176) of total patients with gastric cancer during this period. In comparison, the EGC detection rate during MDT (period 2) was 0.15% (45/31397), accounting for 23% (45/195) of total patients with gastric cancer during this period (P cooperation with Department of Pathology (OR = 10.1, 95% CI 2.39-43.3, P < 0.05). MDT could improve the endoscopic detection rate of EGC.

  10. Can Better Outdoor Environments Lead to Cost Benefits in Assisted Living Facilities Through Increased Word-of-Mouth Referrals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodiek, Susan; Boggess, May M; Lee, Chanam; Booth, Geoffrey J; Morris, Alisan

    2013-01-01

    This study explores how better outdoor environments may produce cost benefits for assisted living providers by raising occupancy levels through increased resident satisfaction and word-of-mouth referrals. Older adults who spend even minimal time outdoors may reap substantial health benefits. However, many existing outdoor areas in assisted living facilities are reportedly underutilized, in part because of design issues. Providers may be more willing to improve outdoor areas if they produce cost benefits for provider organizations. This study used data from a recent assisted living survey to assess the relationship between satisfaction with outdoor spaces, time spent outdoors, and resulting improvements in mood. A financial analysis was developed to estimate potential benefits from improved outdoor areas attributable to increased occupancy and decreased marketing costs associated with increased word-of-mouth referrals. Increasing resident satisfaction with outdoor areas (from approximately 29% to 96%) results in residents spending more time outdoors (increase of 1½ hours per week per resident) and improved psychological well-being (12% increase in feeling better). This greater overall satisfaction leads to 8% more residents willing to refer potential residents to their community. Because word-of-mouth referrals by current residents are a major factor in resident recruitment, improving outdoors areas leads to an estimated 4% increase in new residents, resulting in over $170,000 of increased revenue per year for a community of 100 residents. Improved outdoor space can provide substantial cost benefits for assisted living providers. Increasing resident well-being and satisfaction, and thereby generating additional word-of-mouth referrals, can result in higher occupancy levels. Outdoor environments, assisted living, cost benefits, resident satisfaction, occupancy levels, seniors, rental income, word-of-mouth referralPreferred Citation: Rodiek, S., Boggess, M. M., Lee

  11. Factors Related to Significant Improvement of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rates in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Telbivudine Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim. The improvement of estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs in chronic hepatitis B (CHB patients receiving telbivudine therapy is well known. The aim of this study was to clarify the kinetics of eGFRs and to identify the significant factors related to the improvement of eGFRs in telbivudine-treated CHB patients in a real-world setting. Methods. Serial eGFRs were calculated every 3 months using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI equation. The patients were classified as CKD-1, -2, or -3 according to a baseline eGFR of ≥90, 60–89, or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. A significant improvement of eGFR was defined as a more than 10% increase from the baseline. Results. A total of 129 patients were enrolled, of whom 36% had significantly improved eGFRs. According to a multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM (p=0.028 and CKD-3 (p=0.043 were both significantly related to such improvement. The rates of significant improvement of eGFR were about 73% and 77% in patients with DM and CKD-3, respectively. Conclusions. Telbivudine is an alternative drug of choice for the treatment of hepatitis B patients for whom renal safety is a concern, especially patients with DM and CKD-3.

  12. A socioecological approach to improving mammography rates in a tribal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Kevin C; Fairbanks, Jo; Finster, Carolyn E; Rafelito, Alvin; Luna, Jolene; Kennedy, Marianna

    2008-06-01

    This article highlights the processes and intermediate outcomes of a pilot project to increase mammography rates of women in an American Indian tribe in New Mexico. Using a socioecological framework and principles of community-based participatory research, a community coalition was able to (a) bolster local infrastructure to increase access to mammography services; (b) build public health knowledge and skills among tribal health providers; (c) identify community-specific knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs related to breast cancer; (d) establish interdependent partnerships among community health programs and between the tribe and outside organizations; and (e) adopt local policy initiatives to bolster tribal cancer control. These findings demonstrate the value of targeting a combination of individual, community, and environmental factors, which affect community breast cancer screening rates and incorporating cultural strengths and resources into all facets of a tribal health promotion intervention.

  13. Technological advances for improving adenoma detection rates: The changing face of colonoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishaq, Sauid; Siau, Keith; Harrison, Elizabeth; Tontini, Gian Eugenio; Hoffman, Arthur; Gross, Seth; Kiesslich, Ralf; Neumann, Helmut

    2017-07-01

    Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer. Over 90% follow an adenoma-to-cancer sequence over many years. Colonoscopy is the gold standard method for cancer screening and early adenoma detection. However, considerable variation exists between endoscopists' detection rates. This review considers the effects of different endoscopic techniques on adenoma detection. Two areas of technological interest were considered: (1) optical technologies and (2) mechanical technologies. Optical solutions, including FICE, NBI, i-SCAN and high definition colonoscopy showed mixed results. In contrast, mechanical advances, such as cap-assisted colonoscopy, FUSE, EndoCuff and G-EYE™, showed promise, with reported detections rates of up to 69%. However, before definitive recommendations can be made for their incorporation into daily practice, further studies and comparison trials are required. Copyright © 2017 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Improved model for the angular dependence of excimer laser ablation rates in polymer materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedder, J. E. A.; Holmes, A. S.; Dyer, P. E.

    2009-10-01

    Measurements of the angle-dependent ablation rates of polymers that have applications in microdevice fabrication are reported. A simple model based on Beer's law, including plume absorption, is shown to give good agreement with the experimental findings for polycarbonate and SU8, ablated using the 193 and 248 nm excimer lasers, respectively. The modeling forms a useful tool for designing masks needed to fabricate complex surface relief by ablation.

  15. An improved in vivo deuterium labeling method for measuring the biosynthetic rate of cytokinins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tarkowski, Petr; Floková, K.; Václavíková, Kateřina; Jaworek, P.; Raus, M.; Nordström, A.; Novák, Ondřej; Doležal, Karel; Šebela, M.; Frébortová, Jitka

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 12 (2010), s. 9214-9229 ISSN 1420-3049 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA522/08/0920; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01; GA ČR GA301/08/1649 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : cytokinin * deuterium labelling * biosynthetic rate Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 1.988, year: 2010

  16. Can we improve the clinical utility of respiratory rate as a monitored vital sign?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liangyou; Reisner, Andrew T; Gribok, Andrei; McKenna, Thomas M; Reifman, Jaques

    2009-06-01

    Respiratory rate (RR) is a basic vital sign, measured and monitored throughout a wide spectrum of health care settings, although RR is historically difficult to measure in a reliable fashion. We explore an automated method that computes RR only during intervals of clean, regular, and consistent respiration and investigate its diagnostic use in a retrospective analysis of prehospital trauma casualties. At least 5 s of basic vital signs, including heart rate, RR, and systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures, were continuously collected from 326 spontaneously breathing trauma casualties during helicopter transport to a level I trauma center. "Reliable" RR data were identified retrospectively using automated algorithms. The diagnostic performances of reliable versus standard RR were evaluated by calculation of the receiver operating characteristic curves using the maximum-likelihood method and comparison of the summary areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs). Respiratory rate shows significant data-reliability differences. For identifying prehospital casualties who subsequently receive a respiratory intervention (hospital intubation or tube thoracotomy), standard RR yields an AUC of 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.48-0.69), whereas reliable RR yields an AUC of 0.67 (0.57-0.77), P support algorithms.

  17. Improved upper bounds on energy dissipation rates in plane Couette flow with boundary injection and suction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Harry; Wen, Baole; Doering, Charles

    2017-11-01

    The rate of viscous energy dissipation ɛ in incompressible Newtonian planar Couette flow (a horizontal shear layer) imposed with uniform boundary injection and suction is studied numerically. Specifically, fluid is steadily injected through the top plate with a constant rate at a constant angle of injection, and the same amount of fluid is sucked out vertically through the bottom plate at the same rate. This set-up leads to two control parameters, namely the angle of injection, θ, and the Reynolds number of the horizontal shear flow, Re . We numerically implement the `background field' variational problem formulated by Constantin and Doering with a one-dimensional unidirectional background field ϕ(z) , where z aligns with the distance between the plates. Computation is carried out at various levels of Re with θ = 0 , 0 .1° ,1° and 2°, respectively. The computed upper bounds on ɛ scale like Re0 as Re > 20 , 000 for each fixed θ, this agrees with Kolmogorov's hypothesis on isotropic turbulence. The outcome provides new upper bounds to ɛ among any solution to the underlying Navier-Stokes equations, and they are sharper than the analytical bounds presented in Doering et al. (2000). This research was partially supported by the NSF Award DMS-1515161, and the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant.

  18. Development and characterization of solid dispersion of piroxicam for improvement of dissolution rate using hydrophilic carriers

    Di