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Sample records for improved adjuvant medical

  1. Aiming at the target: improved adjuvant medical therapy.

    PubMed

    Bedard, Philippe L; Dinh, Phuong; Sotiriou, Christos; Piccart-Gebhart, Martine J

    2009-10-01

    The 2007 St. Gallen Expert Panel recognized the existence of molecular tools for risk stratification, but recommended the use of high-quality standard pathological testing alone for risk allocation and treatment selection. Over the last two years, much has been learned about these novel molecular tools: they demonstrate similar prognostic power; their performance appears to be driven by improved quantification of cellular proliferation; tumour burden remains an important determinant of long-term outcome; and their prediction of responsiveness to systemic therapy is suboptimal. In the meantime, great effort has continued to be invested in evaluating individual predictive markers to guide treatment selection. A number of putative targets that showed early promise--such as HER-2 and TOP2A gene amplification for anthracyclines, Myc amplification for trastuzumab, and Tau expression for taxanes--have yielded disappointing results when subjected to subsequent validation. These failings underscore the difficulty of accurate, reproducible target measurement and the inherent complexity of early breast cancer which is unlikely to be captured by a single gene or protein alteration. Future progress in adjuvant treatment tailoring will require a fundamental shift towards multi-dimensional thinking--with the development of multi-parameter assays that integrate tumour biology, disease burden, and host-related factors. The traditional model of post hoc predictive marker validation appears unlikely to produce tangible gains in the era of targeted systemic therapy. It is hoped that coupling prospective biomarker discovery with new drug development in earlier stages of disease will yield additional targets that can be used to guide clinical decision-making in the future. PMID:19914538

  2. Improving vaccine delivery using novel adjuvant systems.

    PubMed

    Pichichero, Michael E

    2008-01-01

    Adjuvants have been common additions to vaccines to help facilitate vaccine delivery. With advancements in vaccine technology, several adjuvants which activate immune specific responses have emerged. Available data show these adjuvants elicit important immune responses in both healthy and immunocompromised populations, as well as the elderly. Guidelines for the use and licensure of vaccine adjuvants remain under discussion. However, there is a greater understanding of the innate and adaptive immune response, and the realization of the need for immune specific adjuvants appears to be growing. This is a focused review of four adjuvants currently in clinical trial development: ASO4, ASO2A, CPG 7907, and GM-CSF. The vaccines including these adjuvants are highly relevant today, and are expected to reduce the disease burden of cervical cancer, hepatitis B and malaria. PMID:18398303

  3. Mucosal adjuvants to improve wildlife rabies vaccination.

    PubMed

    Fry, Tricia; Van Dalen, Kaci; Hurley, Jerome; Nash, Paul

    2012-10-01

    RABORAL V-RG(®)a is a recombinant vaccine used in oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programs for wildlife in the United States. Vaccination rates for raccoons are substantially lower than vaccination rates for gray foxes and coyotes. Research suggests that the low viscosity of the oral vaccine may preclude animals from receiving an effective dose when biting into the vaccine bait delivery system. We evaluated the possibility of using two benign compounds, chitosan and N,N,N-trimethylated chitosan (TMC), to increase the viscosity of the vaccine and potentially act as adjuvants to improve the immune response in raccoons (Procyon lotor). Forty mildly sedated raccoons were orally vaccinated via needleless syringe with either RABORAL V-RG (n = 12), chitosan+RABORAL V-RG (n = 12), TMC+ RABORAL V-RG (n = 12), or no vaccine (n = 4), on day 0 and again on day 90. We collected sera every 2-4 wk for 4 mo and evaluated rabies virus-neutralizing antibodies (rVNA). Raccoons were considered responders if rVNA titers were ≥ 0.1 IU/mL. Eleven of 12 raccoons vaccinated with TMC+RABORAL V-RG responded after one dose of vaccine, as did eight of 12 vaccinated with RABORAL V-RG, and three of 12 vaccinated with chitosan+ RABORAL V-RG. Our results suggest that the inclusion of an adjuvant, such as TMC, could increase vaccine efficacy to aid in controlling rabies virus spread in wildlife reservoirs. PMID:23060506

  4. Chemotherapy: Does Neoadjuvant or Adjuvant Therapy Improve Outcomes?

    PubMed

    Canter, Robert J

    2016-10-01

    Since preoperative chemotherapy has been clearly shown to improve outcomes for patients with Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and osteosarcoma, practitioners have attempted to extend the use of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy to other types of adult soft tissue sarcoma. Given the high risk of distant recurrence and disease-specific death for patients with soft tissue sarcoma tumors larger than 10 cm, these patients should be considered candidates for neoadjuvant chemotherapy as well as investigational therapies. Yet, potential toxicity from cytotoxic chemotherapy is substantial, and there remains little consensus and wide variation regarding the indications for use of chemotherapy in the adjuvant/neoadjuvant setting. PMID:27591503

  5. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  6. [Adjuvants and additives in vaccines--medical relevance].

    PubMed

    Wiedermann-Schmidt, Ursula; Maurer, Wolfgang

    2005-08-01

    Side effects of vaccinations can have different causes. Substances admixed to vaccines may produce allergic or toxic reactions. The significance and importance of causal associations is discussed in this paper. A table is added listing the most important substances in vaccines, such as inactivating substances, preservatives, stabilizers, adjuvants, and residual substances derived from production processes. Among possible allergic reactions, type I reactions, as the most undesirable ones, should be avoided. In this respect, vaccines against yellow fever are the most important ones. With respect to antibiotics, it should be stressed that penicillin and cephalosporins are not contained in any of the vaccines. The significance of side effects caused by ethylmercury as a preservative (thiomersal) is extensively discussed in the literature. Allergy against this substance is common among the population, manifested as type IV reactions following superficial antigen administration. It has been shown that deep intramuscular injection of thiomersal-containing vaccines may be administered even to persons who are allergic to this substance without risk of side effects. Regarding toxic side effects after application of thiomersal, several studies have disproved a causal relation between thiomersal exposure and developmental disorders. Nevertheless, the general recommendation is to use thiomersal-free vaccines, unless no other preparations are available. In these cases risk of morbidity and mortality from the vaccine-preventable diseases outweigh by far any theoretical risk from ethylmercury. PMID:16160800

  7. Pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation improves survival. A prospective, single-institution experience.

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, C J; Abrams, R A; Grochow, L B; Sohn, T A; Ord, S E; Hruban, R H; Zahurak, M L; Dooley, W C; Coleman, J; Sauter, P K; Pitt, H A; Lillemoe, K D; Cameron, J L

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to evaluate prospectively survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, comparing two different postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation protocol to those of no adjuvant therapy. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Based on limited data from the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, adjuvant chemoradiation therapy has been recommended after pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, or uncinate process of the pancrease. However, many patients continue to receive no such therapy. METHODS: From October 1991 through September 1995, all patients with resected, pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, or uncinate process of the pancreas were reviewed by a multidisciplinary group (surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, and pathology) and were offered three options for postoperative treatment after pancreaticoduodenectomy: 1) standard therapy: external beam radiation therapy to the pancreatic bed (4000-4500 cGy) given with two 3-day fluorouracil (5-FU) courses and followed by weekly bolus 5-FU (500 mg/m2 per day) for 4 months; 2) intensive therapy: external beam radiation therapy to the pancreatic bed (5040-5760 cGy) with prophylactic hepatic irradiation (2340-2700 cGy) given with and followed by infusional 5-FU (200 mg/m2 per day) plus leucovorin (5 mg/m2 per day) for 5 of 7 days for 4 months; or 3) no therapy: no postoperative radiation therapy or chemotherapy. RESULTS: Pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed in 174 patients, with 1 in-hospital death (0.6%). Ninety-nine patients elected standard therapy, 21 elected intensive therapy, and 53 patients declined therapy. The three groups were comparable with respect to race, gender, intraoperative blood loss, tumor differentiation, lymph node status, tumor diameter, and resection margin status. Univariate analyses indicated that tumor diameter < 3 cm, intraoperative blood loss < 700 mL, absence of intraoperative blood transfusions, and use

  8. Evaluation of adjuvant effects of fucoidan for improving vaccine efficacy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Su-Yeon; Joo, Hong-Gu

    2015-01-01

    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweed, including Fucus vesiculosus. This compound is known to have immunostimulatory effects on various types of immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells. A recent study described the application of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. Vaccination is regarded as the most efficient prophylactic method for preventing harmful or epidemic diseases. To increase vaccine efficacy, effective adjuvants are needed. In the present study, we determined whether fucoidan can function as an adjuvant using vaccine antigens. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan increases the expression of the activation markers major histocompatibility complex class II, cluster of differentiation (CD)25, and CD69 in spleen cells. In combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica antigen, fucoidan increased the viability and tumor necrosis factor-α production of spleen cells. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the in vivo production of antigen-specific antibodies in mice inoculated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antigen. Overall, this study has provided valuable information about the use of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. PMID:25549218

  9. Evaluation of adjuvant effects of fucoidan for improving vaccine efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Su-Yeon

    2015-01-01

    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweed, including Fucus vesiculosus. This compound is known to have immunostimulatory effects on various types of immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells. A recent study described the application of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. Vaccination is regarded as the most efficient prophylactic method for preventing harmful or epidemic diseases. To increase vaccine efficacy, effective adjuvants are needed. In the present study, we determined whether fucoidan can function as an adjuvant using vaccine antigens. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan increases the expression of the activation markers major histocompatibility complex class II, cluster of differentiation (CD)25, and CD69 in spleen cells. In combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica antigen, fucoidan increased the viability and tumor necrosis factor-α production of spleen cells. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the in vivo production of antigen-specific antibodies in mice inoculated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antigen. Overall, this study has provided valuable information about the use of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. PMID:25549218

  10. Improved adjuvant endocrine therapy for premenopausal women with endocrine responsive disease

    PubMed Central

    Goldhirsch, Aron; Colleoni, Marco; Regan, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Results from two randomised global trials (SOFT & TEXT) designed to newly define the most effective components of adjuvant endocrine therapy for premenopausal women with endocrine responsive disease, showed that for some, those with high risk of relapse, the use of the aromatase inhibitor exemestane together with ovarian function suppression with GnRH analogue (triptorelin) yielded the most favourable treatment outcome compared with tamoxifen. For women with low risk of relapse, treatment with tamoxifen was similar to ovarian function suppression together with either exemestane or tamoxifen. For women with intermediate risk of relapse, ovarian function suppression added to tamoxifen was not inferior to exemestane, while it resulted in superior outcomes compared to tamoxifen alone. Now, these trials provide critical information for the adjuvant treatment of premenopausal women with endocrine responsive breast cancer and are important for the development of future trials for further improvement of adjuvant endocrine therapies for the younger population. PMID:26082801

  11. Improving Patient's Primary Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Leguelinel-Blache, Géraldine; Dubois, Florent; Bouvet, Sophie; Roux-Marson, Clarisse; Arnaud, Fabrice; Castelli, Christel; Ray, Valérie; Kinowski, Jean-Marie; Sotto, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Quality of transitions of care is one of the first concerns in patient safety. Redesigning the discharge process to incorporate clinical pharmacy activities could reduce the incidence of postdischarge adverse events by improving medication adherence. The present study investigated the value of pharmacist counseling sessions on primary medication adherence after hospital discharge. This study was conducted in a 1844-bed hospital in France. It was divided in an observational period and an interventional period of 3 months each. In both periods, ward-based clinical pharmacists performed medication reconciliation and inpatient follow-up. In interventional period, initial counseling and discharge counseling sessions were added to pharmaceutical care. The primary medication adherence was assessed by calling community pharmacists 7 days after patient discharge. We compared the measure of adherence between the patients from the observational period (n = 201) and the interventional period (n = 193). The rate of patients who were adherent increased from 51.0% to 66.7% between both periods (P < 0.01). When discharge counseling was performed (n = 78), this rate rose to 79.7% (P < 0.001). The multivariate regression performed on data from both periods showed that age of at least 78 years old, and 3 or less new medications on discharge order were predictive factors of adherence. New medications ordered at discharge represented 42.0% (n = 1018/2426) of all medications on discharge order. The rate of unfilled new medications decreased from 50.2% in the observational period to 32.5% in the interventional period (P < 10−7). However, patients included in the observational period were not significantly more often readmitted or visited the emergency department than the patients who experienced discharge counseling during the interventional period (45.3% vs. 46.2%; P = 0.89). This study highlights that discharge counseling sessions are

  12. Compliance with adjuvant capecitabine in patients with stage II and III colon cancer: comparison of administrative versus medical record data.

    PubMed

    Amlani, Adam; Kumar, Aalok; Ruan, Jenny Y; Cheung, Winson Y

    2016-08-01

    We aimed to examine the frequency of treatment delays as well as the reasons and appropriateness of such delays in early stage colon cancer patients receiving adjuvant capecitabine by comparing data from pharmacy dispensing versus medical records. Patients diagnosed with stage II or III colon cancer from 2008 to 2012 and who received at least two cycle of adjuvant capecitabine were reviewed for treatment delays. Data from pharmacy dispensing and patient medical records were compared. Multivariate regression models were constructed to identify predictors of treatment delays. A total of 697 patients were analyzed: median age was 70 years (IQR 30-89), 394 (57%) were men, 598 (86%) reported Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0/1, and 191 (27%) had stage II disease. In this study cohort, 396 (57%) patients experienced at least 1 treatment delay during their adjuvant treatment. Upon medical record review, half of treatment delays identified using pharmacy administrative data were actually attributable to side effects, of which over 90% were considered clinically appropriate for patients to withhold rather than to continue the drug. The most prevalent side effects were hand-foot syndrome and diarrhea which occurred in 176 (44%) and 67 (17%) patients, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed a statistically significant association between stage and inappropriate treatment delays whereby patients with stage II disease were more likely to experience drug noncompliance (OR 1.79, 95% CI: 1.27-2.53, P < 0.001) than those with stage III disease. Compliance with adjuvant capecitabine was reasonable. Adherence ascertained from pharmacy administrative data differs significantly from that obtained from medical records. PMID:27228415

  13. Improving Medical Education: Improving Patient Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pugsley, Lesley; McCrorie, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Is medical education unique among all other educational disciplines? Why does it not seem to conform to the rules laid down by universities for every other faculty? We explore the ways in which particular elements pertaining to medical education have been perceived historically and consider the ways in which medical educators and students have…

  14. Medical Interpreting: Improving Communication with Your Patients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tebble, Helen

    The guide is designed for physicians and other medical practitioners who need to work with medical interpreters to improve communication with patients. Special attention is given to the Australian context. An introductory section discusses the need for medical interpreters and explains the guide's organization. Subsequent sections address these…

  15. Total quality management approach improves medication replacement.

    PubMed

    Anderson, L K

    1994-07-01

    Total quality management (TQM) is based on understanding customer needs, improving key processes that affect customer satisfaction, and creating cross-functional teams to resolve process problems. This article describes application of TQM principles and problem-solving processes to improve one OR's medication exchange system. The problem was excessive monthly pharmacy medication replacement costs. The goal was to reduce the monthly medication replacement costs by 50%. Within four months, monthly medication replacement charges decreased from $656 to $302, and by one year, monthly charges decreased to $160. The new process had fewer steps, fewer staff members involved, and fewer delays in medication replacement. PMID:8085806

  16. Improving Adjuvant Hormone Therapy Use in Medicaid Managed Care–Insured Women, New York State, 2012–2014

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Wei; Boscoe, Francis P.; Schymura, Maria J.; Roohan, Patrick J.; Gesten, Foster C.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction In 2010, national guidelines recommended that women with nonmetastatic, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer take adjuvant hormone therapy for 5 years. As results from randomized clinical trials became available, guidelines were revised in 2014 to recommend 10 years of therapy. Despite evidence of its efficacy, low initiation rates have been documented among women insured by New York State Medicaid. This article describes a coordinated quality improvement pilot conducted by a state department of health and Medicaid managed care plans to engage women in guideline-concordant adjuvant hormone therapy. Methods Women enrolled in Medicaid managed care with nonmetastatic, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer and who had surgery from May 1, 2012, through November 30, 2012, were identified using linked Medicaid and Cancer Registry data. Adjuvant hormone therapy status was determined from Medicaid pharmacy data. Contact information for nonadherent women was supplied to health plan care managers who conducted outreach activities. Adjuvant hormone therapy status in the 6 months following outreach was evaluated. Results In the 6 months postoutreach, 61% of women in the contacted group filled at least 1 prescription, compared with 52% in the noncontacted group. Among those with at least 1 filled prescription, 50% of the contacted group were adherent, compared with 25% in the noncontacted group. Conclusion This pilot suggests outreach conducted by health plan care managers, facilitated by linked Medicaid and Cancer Registry data, is an effective method to improve adjuvant hormone therapy initiation and adherence rates in Medicaid managed care–insured women. PMID:27584876

  17. Synthetic DNA Vaccines: Improved Vaccine Potency by Electroporation and Co-Delivered Genetic Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Flingai, Seleeke; Czerwonko, Matias; Goodman, Jonathan; Kudchodkar, Sagar B.; Muthumani, Kar; Weiner, David B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, DNA vaccines have undergone a number of technological advancements that have incited renewed interest and heightened promise in the field. Two such improvements are the use of genetically engineered cytokine adjuvants and plasmid delivery via in vivo electroporation (EP), the latter of which has been shown to increase antigen delivery by nearly 1000-fold compared to naked DNA plasmid delivery alone. Both strategies, either separately or in combination, have been shown to augment cellular and humoral immune responses in not only mice, but also in large animal models. These promising results, coupled with recent clinical trials that have shown enhanced immune responses in humans, highlight the bright prospects for DNA vaccines to address many human diseases. PMID:24204366

  18. Improved biochemical outcome with adjuvant radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer with poor pathologic features

    SciTech Connect

    Vargas, Carlos; Kestin, Larry L. . E-mail: lkestin@beaumont.edu; Weed, Dan W.; Krauss, Daniel; Vicini, Frank A.; Martinez, Alvaro A.

    2005-03-01

    5-year BC rate was 52% for RP+RT vs. 30% for RP (p < 0.01). The 5-year BC rate for patients with seminal vesicle invasion was 60% for RP+RT vs. 18% for RP (p < 0.01). For those with positive margins, the 5-year BC rate was 64% for RP+RT vs. 27% for RP (p < 0.01). The use of adjuvant RT remained statistically significant on multivariate analysis when applying either biochemical failure definition. Adjuvant RT also remained statistically significant when including the postoperative PSA level (>30 days after surgery) in the multivariate analyses. In addition, 99 (17%) of the 583 RP patients required salvage prostatic fossa RT (median dose, 59.4 Gy) at a median interval of 1.3 years after surgery (range, 0.1-8.4) for a palpable recurrence (n = 10) or a detectable/rising postoperative PSA level (n = 89). The median PSA level before salvage RT was 0.8 ng/mL (mean, 3.2 ng/mL). The 5-year and 8-year BC rate, using the PSA < 0.1 ng/mL definition, from the date of salvage RT was 41% and 35%, respectively. The 5-year and 8-year BC rate, using the PSA < 0.3 ng/mL definition, was 46% and 36%, respectively. The 8-year local recurrence rate after salvage RT was 4%. Conclusion: Adjuvant RT demonstrated improved efficacy against prostate cancer. For patients with poor pathologic features (extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, positive margins), adjuvant RT improved the biochemical outcome independent of other prognostic factors.

  19. Encapsulation and modified-release of thymol from oral microparticles as adjuvant or substitute to current medications.

    PubMed

    Rassu, G; Nieddu, M; Bosi, P; Trevisi, P; Colombo, M; Priori, D; Manconi, P; Giunchedi, P; Gavini, E; Boatto, G

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to encapsulate, thymol, in natural polymers in order to obtain (i) taste masking effect and, then, enhancing its palatability and (ii) two formulations for systemic and local delivery of herbal drug as adjuvants or substitutes to current medications to prevent and treat several human and animal diseases. Microspheres based on methylcellulose or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP) were prepared by spray drying technique. Microparticles were in vitro characterized in terms of yield of production, drug content and encapsulation efficiency, particle size, morphology and drug release. Both formulations were in vivo orally administered and pharmacokinetic analysis was carried out. The polymers used affect the release and, then, the pharmacokinetic profile of thymol. Encapsulation into methylcellulose microspheres leads to short half/life but bioavailability remarkably increases compared to the free thymol. In contrast, enteric formulation based on HPMCP shows very limited systemic absorption. These formulations could be proposed as alternative or adjuvants for controlling pathogen infections in human or animal. In particular, methylcellulose microspheres can be used for thymol systemic administration at low doses and HPMCP particles for local treatment of intestinal infections. PMID:25442269

  20. Graphene Oxides Decorated with Carnosine as an Adjuvant To Modulate Innate Immune and Improve Adaptive Immunity in Vivo.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

    Current studies have revealed the immune effects of graphene oxide (GO) and have utilized them as vaccine carriers and adjuvants. However, GO easily induces strong oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction at the site of injection. It is very necessary to develop an alternative adjuvant based on graphene oxide derivatives for improving immune responses and decreasing side effects. Carnosine (Car) is an outstanding and safe antioxidant. Herein, the feasibility and efficiency of ultrasmall graphene oxide decorated with carnosine as an alternative immune adjuvant were explored. OVA@GO-Car was prepared by simply mixing ovalbumin (OVA, a model antigen) with ultrasmall GO covalently modified with carnosine (GO-Car). We investigated the immunological properties of the GO-Car adjuvant in model mice. Results show that OVA@GO-Car can promote robust and durable OVA-specific antibody response, increase lymphocyte proliferation efficiency, and enhance CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell activation. The presence of Car in GO also probably contributes to enhancing the antigen-specific adaptive immune response through modulating the expression of some cytokines, including IL-6, CXCL1, CCL2, and CSF3. In addition, the safety of GO-Car as an adjuvant was evaluated comprehensively. No symptoms such as allergic response, inflammatory redness swelling, raised surface temperatures, physiological anomalies of blood, and remarkable weight changes were observed. Besides, after modification with carnosine, histological damages caused by GO-Car in lung, muscle, kidney, and spleen became weaken significantly. This study sufficiently suggest that GO-Car as a safe adjuvant can effectively enhance humoral and innate immune responses against antigens in vivo. PMID:26766427

  1. Improving medication adherence in migraine treatment.

    PubMed

    Seng, Elizabeth K; Rains, Jeanetta A; Nicholson, Robert A; Lipton, Richard B

    2015-06-01

    Medication adherence is integral to successful treatment of migraine and other headache. The existing literature examining medication adherence in migraine is small, and the methodologies used to assess adherence are limited. However, these studies broadly suggest poor adherence to both acute and preventive migraine medications, with studies using more objective monitoring reporting lower adherence rates. Methods for improving medication adherence are described, including organizational strategies, provider-monitoring and self-monitoring of adherence, regimen strategies, patient education, self-management skills training (e.g., stimulus control, behavioral contracts), and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The article concludes by discussing the future of research regarding adherence to medications for migraine and other headaches. PMID:26040703

  2. AS04-adjuvanted virus-like particles containing multiple M2 extracellular domains of influenza virus confer improved protection.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yu-Na; Kim, Min-Chul; Lee, Young-Tae; Hwang, Hye Suk; Cho, Min-Kyoung; Lee, Jong Seok; Ko, Eun-Ju; Kwon, Young-Man; Kang, Sang-Moo

    2014-07-31

    The ectodomain of matrix protein 2 (M2e) of influenza virus is suggested to be a rational target for a universal influenza A vaccine. However, there are some concerns that M2e vaccines might not be highly effective in the general population with diverse genetic backgrounds. Here we examined the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the baculovirus-derived virus-like particles containing multiple M2e (M2eVLP) with AS04 adjuvant in a C57BL/6 mouse strain (H-2(b)). M2eVLP vaccine induced significant levels of M2e-specific IgG in C57BL/6 mice after vaccination. Furthermore, M2eVLP adjuvanted with AS04 was more effective than M2eVLP alone in conferring protection as well as in inducing recall humoral and T cell responses specific for M2e after lethal influenza virus challenge. A mechanistic study provides evidence that activation of dendritic cells by the toll-like receptor 4 agonist MPL in the AS04 adjuvant was associated with interferon-γ producing CD4 T cell responses. Our results suggest that AS04 adjuvanted M2eVLP vaccines have the potential to improve cross-protection. PMID:24951867

  3. Adjuvant treatment

    PubMed Central

    Sultana, Asma; Neoptolemos, John

    2006-01-01

    Exocrine pancreatic cancer (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the western world, accounting for 5% of all cancer-related deaths. Only a small percentage of patients with pancreatic cancer are able to undergo potentially curative resection, even in specialized centres, and prognosis remains poor after successful surgery. Over the last few years efforts have been directed towards the development of adjuvant therapies in attempts to improve outcome. The main trials of adjuvant chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy with follow-on chemotherapy are described in this paper, followed by the results of the ESPAC-1 trial and the status of ESPAC-2 and -3 trials. PMID:18333088

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

    PubMed

    van Niekerk, S; Malan, A P

    2015-03-01

    The citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, is a highly destructive pest of citrus, occurring only in the aerial parts of plants. Humidity will be one of the key factors to consider when using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as biological control agents. Different adjuvants can be added to suspensions of EPNs, to improve control as a foliar application. An aqueous suspension containing Heterorhabditis zealandica and 0.3% Zeba® significantly increased P. citri mortality by 22% at 80% relative humidity (RH) with a temperature cycle starting at 22°C for 14 h and 11°C for 11 h. The same polymer formulation was tested for Steinernema yirgalemense and mortality of P. citri increased by 21% at 60% RH and by 27% at 80% RH. The addition of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to H. zealandica suspensions did not significantly retard application run-off on citrus leaves. The combination of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba®, however, was able to significantly retard sedimentation, increasing the average number of nematodes deposited on 2-cm2 leaf discs by 10 nematodes. In an aqueous suspension, nematodes settle rapidly to the bottom, resulting in an uneven distribution of nematodes. Xanthan gum, at a concentration of 0.2%, was highly effective at retarding sedimentation, with 72% of the initial nematode number still in suspension after 1 h. Zeba®, at a concentration of 0.3%, despite not being as effective as Xanthan gum, nevertheless still retarded sedimentation significantly. This is the first report of the potential of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to improve EPN performance against P. citri when used above ground in citrus orchards. PMID:25652668

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sabolch, Aaron; Else, Tobias; Griffith, Kent A.; Ben-Josef, Edgar; Williams, Andrew; Miller, Barbra S.; Worden, Francis; Jolly, Shruti

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Improved bioherbicidal efficacy by Myrothecium verrucaria via spray adjuvants or herbicide mixtures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbicides and spray adjuvants were evaluated for compatibility with the bioherbicidal fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria. Several commercial formulations of glyphosate were found to be compatible for tank mixing with M. verrucaria, including Touchdown and RoundUp HiTech. Others, such as Accord XRT II...

  7. Radiation Therapy Is Associated With Improved Survival in the Adjuvant and Definitive Treatment of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

    SciTech Connect

    Shinohara, Eric T. Mitra, Nandita; Guo Mengye; Metz, James M.

    2008-12-01

    Purpose: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (IHC) are rare tumors for which large randomized studies regarding the use of radiation are not available. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adjuvant and definitive radiation therapy in the treatment of IHC in a large group of patients. Methods and Materials: This is a retrospective analysis of 3,839 patients with IHC collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Results: Patients received either surgery alone (25%), radiation therapy alone (10%), surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy (7%) or no treatment (58%). The median age of the patient population was 73 years (range, 22-102 years); 52% of patients were male and 81% were Caucasian. Median OS was 11 (95% confidence interval [CI], 9-13), 6 (95% CI, 5-6), 7 (95% CI, 6-8), and 3 months for surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy, sugery alone, radiation therapy alone, and no treatment, respectively. The OS was significantly different between surgery alone and surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy (p = 0.014) and radiation therapy alone and no treatment (p < 0.0001). Use of surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy conferred the greatest benefit on OS (HR = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.34-0.47), followed by surgery alone (hazard ratio [HR], 0.49; 95% CI, 0.44-0.54) and radiation therapy alone (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59-0.77) compared with no treatment, on multivariate analysis. Propensity score adjusted hazard ratios (controlling for age, race/ethnicity, stage, and year of diagnosis) were also significant (surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy vs. surgery alone (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70-0.96); radiation therapy alone vs. no treatment (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58-0.76)). Conclusions: The study results suggest that adjuvant and definitive radiation treatment prolong survival, although cure rates remain low. Future studies should evaluate the addition of chemotherapy and biologics to the treatment of

  8. Trastuzumab improves locoregional control in HER2-positive breast cancer patients following adjuvant radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lu; Cai, Gang; Xu, Fei; Yang, Zhao-Zhi; Yu, Xiao-Li; Ma, Jin-Li; Zhang, Qian; Wu, Jiong; Guo, Xiao-Mao; Chen, Jia-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The benefit of adjuvant trastuzumab in disease-free and overall survival for human epidermal receptor 2–positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients is well established. However, the effect of trastuzumab on locoregional control remains unclear, particularly in patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy (RT). In this study, we investigated the locoregional benefit of trastuzumab in patients with HER2+ breast cancer after adjuvant RT. Using a single institutional database, we identified 278 patients with stage II/III invasive HER2+ breast tumors receiving adjuvant RT between January 2008 and July 2011. We compared the locoregional outcomes of 134 patients who received trastuzumab to 144 patients without trastuzumab within the same period. Clinical and biological factors that might impact on the locoregional benefit of trastuzumab were also assessed. At the median follow-up of 45 months, trastuzumab significantly lowered the risk of locoregional recurrence (LRR) with a 3-year LRR rate of 2.4% versus 7.5% for the cohort with and without trastuzumab (P = 0.019). Trastuzumab was associated with a more significant locoregional benefit in the hormone receptor–positive (HR+)/HER2+ subgroup, with a 3-year LRR of 0% versus 6.7% in the cohort with and without trastuzumab (P = 0.027). For HR−/HER2+ breast tumor patients, the 3-year LRR rate was still lower for the cohort with trastuzumab (4.7% vs 8.6%). However, statistical significance was not found (P = 0.179). Both univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that trastuzumab treatment was the only significant predictive factor for LRR (hazard ratio, 4.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–15.35; P = 0.039). Adjuvant trastuzumab in addition to RT is associated with significant reduced LRR risk in HER2+ breast cancer. PMID:27512838

  9. Electronic medical records and quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Carter, Jonathan T

    2015-04-01

    Widespread adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) in the United States is transforming the practice of medicine from a paper-based cottage industry into an integrated health care delivery system. Most physicians and institutions view the widespread use of EMRs to be inevitable. But the transformation has not been painless. Many have questioned whether the substantial investment in electronic health records has really been justified by improved patient outcomes or quality of care. This article describes historical and recent efforts to use EMRs to improve the quality of patient care, and provides a roadmap of EMR uses for the foreseeable future. PMID:25771280

  10. Improvements in breast cancer survival between 1995 and 2012 in Denmark: The importance of earlier diagnosis and adjuvant treatment.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Maj-Britt; Ejlertsen, Bent; Mouridsen, Henning T; Christiansen, Peer

    2016-06-01

    Background Breast cancer mortality has declined from 1995 through 2012 which may be attributed to earlier diagnosis, changes in lifestyle risk factors, and improved treatments. To a large extent the relative contribution of these modalities are unknown. Mammography screening was introduced late in Denmark; in 1995 around 20% of the Danish female population aged 50-69 was covered by population-based screening, and this was in 2008 extended to the entire population. Breast conserving surgery gradually replaced mastectomy, and sentinel node biopsy was introduced. In the same period adjuvant treatment was extended considerable. Methods A population-based study of 68 842 breast cancer patients registered in the clinical database of the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group in 1995-2012. Comprehensive data on prognostic factors, comorbidity and treatment together with complete follow-up for survival were used to evaluate improvements in mortality and standardized mortality rate in successive time periods. Results The results from this study demonstrated a significant improvement in prognosis in successive time periods covering 1995-2012. Apart from patients with a high Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) improvements were seen in all subgroups of patients. Prognostic factors were more favorable in the latest time period accordingly to the introduction of nationwide screening. In the study period adjuvant treatment was extended considerable. Conclusion The impact of screening was by nature of limited magnitude. The modified treatment strategies implemented by the use of nationwide guidelines seemed to have a major impact on the substantial survival improvements. PMID:26797010

  11. Trends in vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Schijns, Virgil E J C; Lavelle, Ed C

    2011-04-01

    Adjuvants are essential components of most clinically used vaccines. This is because the majority of nonliving vaccines are relatively poor inducers of adaptive immunity unless effective adjuvants are co-administered. Aluminum salts (alum) have been used as adjuvants with great success for almost a century and have been particularly effective at promoting protective humoral immunity. However, alum is not optimally effective for diseases where cell-mediated immunity is required for protection. Furthermore, adjuvants including oil-in-water emulsions have shown improved efficacy for avian influenza protection suggesting that even for diseases where humoral immunity can confer protection, there is scope for developing improved adjuvants. There have been major developments in antigen discovery over the past decade, which has accelerated the vaccine development process for new indications and this demands a new generation of adjuvants that can drive and specifically direct the desired immune responses. A number of systems are under investigation that combine different types of adjuvants into specific formulations with greater activity. Additionally, targeting of vaccines to specific immune cells shows great promise. In the case of cancer and chronic infectious diseases, it may be difficult to develop effective vaccines without blocking immune regulatory pathways, which impede cell-mediated responses. However, increased understanding of immunology and particularly the innate immune system is informing vaccine adjuvant research and consequently driving the development of novel and specifically directed vaccine adjuvant strategies. In this article we address the importance of adjuvants in vaccine development, the known mode of action of specific adjuvants and recent developments in this important field. PMID:21506650

  12. Leptin-based Adjuvants: An Innovative Approach to Improve Vaccine Response

    PubMed Central

    White, Sarah J.; Taylor, Matthew J.; Hurt, Ryan; Jensen, Michael D.; Poland, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Leptin is a pleiotropic hormone with multiple direct and regulatory immune functions. Leptin deficiency or resistance hinders the immunologic, metabolic, and neuroendocrinologic processes necessary to thwart infections and their associated complications, and to possibly protect against infectious diseases following vaccination. Circulating leptin levels are proportional to body fat mass. High circulating leptin concentrations, as observed in obesity, are indicative of the development of leptin transport saturation/signaling desensitization. Leptin bridges nutritional status and immunity. Although its role in vaccine response is currently unknown, over-nutrition has been shown to suppress vaccine-induced immune responses. For instance, obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) is associated with lower antigen-specific antibody titers following influenza, hepatitis B, and tetanus vaccinations. This suggests that obesity, and possibly saturable leptin levels, are contributing factors to poor vaccine immunogenicity. While leptin-based therapies have not been investigated as vaccine adjuvants thus far, leptin’s role in immunity suggests that application of these therapies is promising and worth investigation to enhance vaccine response in people with leptin signaling impairments. This review will examine the possibility of using leptin as a vaccine adjuvant by: briefly reviewing the distribution and signal transduction of leptin and its receptors; discussing the physiology of leptin with emphasis on its immune functions; reviewing the causes of attenuation of leptin signaling; and finally, providing plausible inferences for the innovative use of leptin-based pharmacotherapies as vaccine adjuvants. PMID:23370154

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

    SciTech Connect

    Elshaikh, Mohamed A.; Vance, Sean; Suri, Jaipreet S.; Mahan, Meredith; Munkarah, Adnan

    2014-02-01

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

  14. Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement during Pregnancy: An Adjuvant Option When Medical Therapy Fails

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Fátima; Torres, Rita; Borges, Augusta

    2013-01-01

    The authors present a case of a 27-year-old multiparous woman, with multiple thrombophilia, whose pregnancy was complicated with deep venous thrombosis requiring placement of a vena cava filter. At 15th week of gestation, following an acute deep venous thrombosis of the right inferior limb, anticoagulant therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) was instituted without improvement in her clinical status. Subsequently, at 18 weeks of pregnancy, LMWH was switched to warfarin. At 30th week of gestation, the maintenance of high thrombotic risk was the premise for placement of an inferior vena cava filter for prophylaxis of pulmonary embolism during childbirth and postpartum. There were no complications and a vaginal delivery was accomplished at 37 weeks of gestation. Venal placement of inferior vena cava filters is an attractive option as prophylaxis for pulmonary embolism during pregnancy. PMID:23781361

  15. Improving Medical Practice: A Conceptual Framework

    PubMed Central

    Solberg, Leif I.

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE The purpose of this article is to produce a relatively simple conceptual framework for guiding and studying practice improvement. METHODS I summarize the lessons from my experience with a variety of quality improvement research studies during the last 30 years, supplemented with relevant literature from both medicine and other industries about the issues associated with successful quality improvement. RESULTS My experience suggests that organizational leadership with an urgent vision for change, ability to manage the change process, and selection of systematic changes capable of fulfilling the vision are each critical for successful quality improvement. Published literature from other industries emphasizes the importance of a goal-directed change process managed by leaders who recognize the need to engage their employees and other leaders in a disciplined but flexible way that accommodates external and internal factors and uses teams and group learning. It also suggests the importance of organizational context and the level of external and internal barriers and facilitators for change. The resulting model proposes that priority, change process, and care process content are necessary for measurable improvements in quality of care and patient outcomes, although internal and external barriers must also be attended to and addressed. CONCLUSION This framework may provide a guide to those in the front lines of care who would like to make the care transformations that are needed to greatly improve care. It may also be helpful to those who are developing or testing interventions and recruiting medical practices for such change efforts. PMID:17548853

  16. Improved Interactive Medical-Imaging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Improvement of the PapMV nanoparticle adjuvant property through an increased of its avidity for the antigen [influenza NP].

    PubMed

    Savard, Christian; Laliberté-Gagné, Marie-Ève; Babin, Cindy; Bolduc, Marilène; Guérin, Annie; Drouin, Karine; Forget, Marie-Andrée; Majeau, Nathalie; Lapointe, Réjean; Leclerc, Denis

    2012-03-28

    The principal caveat of existing influenza vaccine is their failure to provide long-term protection. This lack of efficiency is caused by persistent (drift) and dramatic (shift) antigenic changes on the major surface proteins, the main target of protective immunity generated by traditional vaccines. Alternatively, vaccination with most conserved protein, like the nucleoprotein (NP) can stimulate immunity against multiple serotypes and could potentially provides an extended protection. The NP antigen contains more than 90% protein sequence homology among influenza A isolates and it also contains dominant CTL targets epitopes that made this antigen an attractive target for developing universal vaccine. However, NP protein is a weak antigen and need the use of adjuvant to increase its immunogenicity. We have developed an innovative high avidity VLP (HAV) nanoparticle to improve its adjuvant property to the NP antigen. The nanoparticles are derived from papaya mosaic virus capsid protein (PapMV CP) produced in a bacteria expression system. We generated the HAV by adding an affinity peptide directed to the NP protein at the surface of the VLPs. The fusions of the affinity peptide to PapMV VLPs increased the avidity of PapMV VLPs to NP protein. This modification enhanced the humoral and the IFN-γ response directed to NP. Moreover, the immunity generated by the HAV adjuvanted NP vaccine improved the protection of vaccinated mice to a challenge with influenza virus. The protection was characterized by accelerated virus elimination after the onset of infection and rapid recovery of the vaccinated animals. PMID:22326774

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

    SciTech Connect

    Twu, Chih-Wen; Wang, Wen-Yi; Chen, Chien-Chih; Liang, Kai-Li; Jiang, Rong-San; Wu, Ching-Te; Shih, Yi-Ting; Lin, Po-Ju; Liu, Yi-Chun; Lin, Jin-Ching

    2014-05-01

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

  19. How to improve medical education website design

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Internet provides a means of disseminating medical education curricula, allowing institutions to share educational resources. Much of what is published online is poorly planned, does not meet learners' needs, or is out of date. Discussion Applying principles of curriculum development, adult learning theory and educational website design may result in improved online educational resources. Key steps in developing and implementing an education website include: 1) Follow established principles of curriculum development; 2) Perform a needs assessment and repeat the needs assessment regularly after curriculum implementation; 3) Include in the needs assessment targeted learners, educators, institutions, and society; 4) Use principles of adult learning and behavioral theory when developing content and website function; 5) Design the website and curriculum to demonstrate educational effectiveness at an individual and programmatic level; 6) Include a mechanism for sustaining website operations and updating content over a long period of time. Summary Interactive, online education programs are effective for medical training, but require planning, implementation, and maintenance that follow established principles of curriculum development, adult learning, and behavioral theory. PMID:20409344

  20. Improvement of medication compliance in uncontrolled hypertension.

    PubMed

    Haynes, R B; Sackett, D L; Gibson, E S; Taylor, D W; Hackett, B C; Roberts, R S; Johnson, A L

    1976-06-12

    38 hypertensive Canadian steelworkers who were neither compliant with medications nor at goal diastolic blood-pressure six months after starting treatment were allocated either to a control group or to an experimental group who were taught how to measure their own blood-pressures, asked to chart their home blood-pressures and pill taking, and taught how to tailor pill taking to their daily habits and rituals; these men were also seen fortnightly by a highschool graduate with no formal health professional training who reinforced the experimental manoeuvres and rewarded improvements in compliance and blood-pressure. Six months later, average compliance had fallen by 1.5% in the control group but rose 21.3% in the experimental group. Blood-pressures fell in 17 of 20 experimental patients (to goal in 6) and in 10 of 18 control patients (to goal in 2). PMID:73694

  1. Adjuvant oestrogen therapy does not improve disease activity in postmenopausal patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed Central

    van den Brink, H R; van Everdingen, A A; van Wijk, M J; Jacobs, J W; Bijlsma, J W

    1993-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To investigate whether oestrogens can be used as treatment to diminish disease activity in women with rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS--Forty postmenopausal female patients with active rheumatoid arthritis participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study on the possible beneficial effect of adjuvant treatment of oestradiol on disease activity. RESULTS--Thirty three patients completed 52 weeks of treatment with 2 mg oestradiol-valerate or placebo. No statistically significant difference was found in and between both treatment groups with regard to articular indices, pain score by visual analogue scale, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and health questionnaire on daily activities before, during and at the end of the study. CONCLUSION--This first randomised prospective placebo-controlled study shows no beneficial effect of oestrogens on disease activity in postmenopausal female patients with rheumatoid arthritis. PMID:8311536

  2. Tissue expander placement and adjuvant radiotherapy after surgical resection of retroperitoneal liposarcoma offers improved local control

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Given that retroperitoneal liposarcoma (LPS) is extremely difficult to completely resect, and has a relatively high rate of recurrence, radiotherapy (RT) is the treatment of choice after surgical resection. However, it is difficult to obtain a sufficient radiation field because of the close proximity of surrounding organs. We introduce the use of tissue expanders (TEs) after LPS resection in an attempt to secure a sufficient radiation field and to improve recurrence-free survival. This study is a retrospective review of 53 patients who underwent surgical resection of LPS at Samsung Medical Center between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2012, and had no residual tumor detected 2 months postoperatively. The median follow-up period was 38.9 months. Patients were divided into 3 groups. Those in group 1 (n = 17) had TE inserted and received postoperative RT. The patients in group 2 (n = 9) did not have TE inserted and received postoperative RT. Finally, those in group 3 (n = 27) did not receive postoperative RT. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify the risk factors associated with recurrence-free survival within 3 years. Younger age, history of LPS treatment, and RT after TE insertion (group 1 vs group 2 or 3) were significantly favorable factors influencing 3-year recurrence-free survival. TE insertion after LPS resection is associated with increased 3-year recurrence-free survival, most likely because it allows effective delivery of postoperative RT. PMID:27512857

  3. Improving medical handover at the weekend: a quality improvement project.

    PubMed

    Michael, Emma; Patel, Chandni

    2015-01-01

    In recent years medical handover has been identified as an increasingly important area for hospitals to improve upon, in light of the changes in shift patterns for doctors. Significant changes to weekday handover had recently been successfully introduced at Broomfield hospital. Weekend handover remained a concern, with an electronic and paper system being used simultaneously. Our objectives were to introduce a new electronic handover system for weekend handover at Broomfield Hospital and improve the organisation of the weekend handover meeting to promote patient safety. Doctors involved in weekend handover were surveyed using a questionnaire, to establish insufficiencies in the weekend handover process; where both the electronic ExtraMed system and paper were being used inconsistently. A new weekend handover system was introduced together with a new user-friendly electronic handover database, addressing the identified difficulties in the current system. These changes met the medical handover guidelines set by the Royal College of Physicians. Three months after the launch of the new system, doctors were re-surveyed using a modified questionnaire to assess the impact our changes had made. Before changes were implemented only 12% of doctors surveyed used the electronic system for weekend. Eighty-nine percent found sorting through jobs time consuming and 67% were handed jobs to them meant for a different grade of doctor. Only 41% were aware who to hand weekend discharges to. Subjective assessment of safety was 3.18 out of 5. The electronic system was felt to be time consuming and complicated. After execution of the new weekend handover process, 100% of doctors reported using the electronic system for weekend handover. Only 47% of doctors felt sorting through jobs was time consuming and 89% of doctors were aware who to handover weekend discharges to. Subjective assessment of the safety of weekend handover improved to 3.84 out of 5. Informal interviews on the ward

  4. Pharmacists' Role in Improving Diabetes Medication Management

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Marie

    2009-01-01

    Today there are significant gaps between reaching the goal of “optimal medication therapy” and the current state of medication use in the United States. Pharmacists are highly accessible and well-trained—yet often underutilized—key health care professionals who can move us closer toward achieving better medication therapy outcomes for patients. Diabetes medication management programs led by pharmacists are described. This is consistent with the “medical home” concept of care that promotes primary care providers working collaboratively to coordinate patient-centered care. Pharmacists utilize their clinical expertise in monitoring and managing diabetes medication plans to positively impact health outcomes and empower patients to actively manage their health. In addition, pharmacists can serve as a resource to other health care providers and payers to assure safe, appropriate, cost-effective diabetes medication use. PMID:20046662

  5. Improvement of DNA vaccination by adjuvants and sophisticated delivery devices: vaccine-platforms for the battle against infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Advantages of DNA vaccination against infectious diseases over more classical immunization methods include the possibilities for rapid manufacture, fast adaptation to newly emerging pathogens and high stability at ambient temperatures. In addition, upon DNA immunization the antigen is produced by the cells of the vaccinated individual, which leads to activation of both cellular and humoral immune responses due to antigen presentation via MHC I and MHC II molecules. However, so far DNA vaccines have shown most efficient immunogenicity mainly in small rodent models, whereas in larger animals including humans there is still the need to improve effectiveness. This is mostly due to inefficient delivery of the DNA plasmid into cells and nuclei. Here, we discuss technologies used to overcome this problem, including physical means such as in vivo electroporation and co-administration of adjuvants. Several of these methods have already entered clinical testing in humans. PMID:25648133

  6. Improving basic life support training for medical students

    PubMed Central

    Lami, Mariam; Nair, Pooja; Gadhvi, Karishma

    2016-01-01

    Questions have been raised about basic life support (BLS) training in medical education. This article addresses the research evidence behind why BLS training is inadequate and suggests recommendations for improving BLS training for medical students. PMID:27114720

  7. Lipid-Core Nanocapsules Improved Antiedematogenic Activity of Tacrolimus in Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Model.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Despite significant technological advances, rheumatoid arthritis remains an incurable disease with great impact on the life quality of patients. We studied the encapsulation of tacrolimus in lipidcore nanocapsules (TAC-LNC) as a strategy to enhance its systemic anti-arthritic properties. TAC-LNC presented unimodal distribution of particles with z-average diameter of 212 +/- 11, drug content close to the theoretical value (0.80 mg mL(-1)), and 99.43% of encapsulation efficiency. An in vitro sustained release was determined for TAC-LNC with anomalous transport mechanism (n = 0.61). In vivo studies using an arthritis model induced by Complete Freund's Adjuvant demonstrated that the animals treated with TAC-LNC presented a significantly greater inhibition of paw oedema after intraperitoneal administration. Furthermore, the encapsulation of TAC in lipid-core nanocapsules was potentially able to prevent hyperglycemia in the animals. In conclusion, TAC-LNC was prepared with 100% yield of nanoscopic particles having satisfactory characteristics for systemic use. This formulation represents a promising strategy to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the near future. PMID:27433576

  8. Does the use of ketamine or nitroglycerin as an adjuvant to lidocaine improve the quality of intravenous regional anesthesia?

    PubMed Central

    Elmetwaly, Khaled Fawzy; Hegazy, Nasr Abdelmohsen; Aboelseoud, Abdelkhalek Abdelmonem; Alshaer, Ahmad Abdullah

    2010-01-01

    , respectively, versus 54.8 ± 28 µg in the control group. VAS scores of tourniquet pain were higher at 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes in the control group compared with the other study groups (P < 0.0001). It was also higher in LN group compared with LK group at 30 and 40 minutes (P < 0.001). Postoperative VAS scores were higher for the first 4 h in control group compared with the other study groups (P< 0.0001). Conclusions: The adjuvant drugs (ketamine or NTG) when added to lidocaine in IVRA were effective in improving the overall quality of anesthesia, reducing tourniquet pain, increasing tourniquet tolerance and improving the postoperative analgesia in comparison to the control group. Ketamine as an adjuvant produced better tolerance to tourniquet than the other groups. NTG as an adjuvant produced faster onset of sensory and motor blockades in comparison to other groups. PMID:20927263

  9. Twelve tips to improve medical teaching rounds.

    PubMed

    Abdool, Muhammad Ali; Bradley, Don

    2013-11-01

    The ward round is the bread and butter of internal medicine. It forms the basis of clinical decision making and reviewing patients' progress. It is fundamental to the role of the internal medical physician. It allows for the review of the patients' notes, signs and symptoms, physiological parameters and investigation results. Most importantly, it allows for an interaction with the patient and their relatives and is a means of relating medical information back, answer queries and plan future medical management strategies. These should be integrated into the teaching round by a senior clinician so that time away from the bedside is also used to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Here, I would like to draw on my experience as a learner as well as an educator, together with the available literature, to draw up a simple 12-step teaching strategy that should help the ward round serve the dual purpose of teaching medical students and junior doctors. PMID:24004439

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

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Pooja; Barai, Ishani; Prasad, Sunila; Gadhvi, Karishma

    2016-01-01

    Guidelines in the UK require all doctors to actively take part in quality improvement. To ease future doctors into the process, formal quality improvement teaching can be delivered during medical school. PMID:27051330

  11. Continuous quality improvement and medical informatics: the convergent synergy.

    PubMed

    Werth, G R; Connelly, D P

    1992-01-01

    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) and medical informatics specialists need to converge their efforts to create synergy for improving health care. Health care CQI needs medical informatics' expertise and technology to build the information systems needed to manage health care organizations according to quality improvement principles. Medical informatics needs CQI's philosophy and methods to build health care information systems that can evolve to meet the changing needs of clinicians and other stakeholders. This paper explores the philosophical basis for convergence of CQI and medical informatics efforts, and then examines a clinical computer workstation development project that is applying a combined approach. PMID:1482948

  12. Approaches to improve poultry vaccination using novel poultry adjuvants against coccidiosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lotem, Michal; Merims, Sharon; Frank, Stephen; Hamburger, Tamar; Nissan, Aviram; Kadouri, Luna; Cohen, Jonathan; Straussman, Ravid; Eisenberg, Galit; Frankenburg, Shoshana; Carmon, Einat; Alaiyan, Bilal; Shneibaum, Shlomo; Ozge Ayyildiz, Zeynep; Isbilen, Murat; Mert Senses, Kerem; Ron, Ilan; Steinberg, Hanna; Smith, Yoav; Shiloni, Eitan; Gure, Ali Osmay; Peretz, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    Background. There is not yet an agreed adjuvant treatment for melanoma patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer stages III B and C. We report administration of an autologous melanoma vaccine to prevent disease recurrence. Patients and Methods. 126 patients received eight doses of irradiated autologous melanoma cells conjugated to dinitrophenyl and mixed with BCG. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to unmodified melanoma cells was determined on the vaccine days 5 and 8. Gene expression analysis was performed on 35 tumors from patients with good or poor survival. Results. Median overall survival was 88 months with a 5-year survival of 54%. Patients attaining a strong DTH response had a significantly better (p = 0.0001) 5-year overall survival of 75% compared with 44% in patients without a strong response. Gene expression array linked a 50-gene signature to prognosis, including a cluster of four cancer testis antigens: CTAG2 (NY-ESO-2), MAGEA1, SSX1, and SSX4. Thirty-five patients, who received an autologous vaccine, followed by ipilimumab for progressive disease, had a significantly improved 3-year survival of 46% compared with 19% in nonvaccinated patients treated with ipilimumab alone (p = 0.007). Conclusion. Improved survival in patients attaining a strong DTH and increased response rate with subsequent ipilimumab suggests that the autologous vaccine confers protective immunity. PMID:27294163

  14. Alcohol Medical Scholars Program--A Mentorship Program for Improving Medical Education regarding Substance Use Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. [Computers do not improve undergraduate medical education].

    PubMed

    van der Meer, J

    2006-04-29

    There is no convincing evidence that computer-assisted learning (CAL) leads to better doctors. Apprenticeships supervised by expert teachers are a time-honoured and effective way to educate future doctors. Medical faculties should not invest in CAL at the expense of properly supervised clerkships. PMID:17225741

  16. Medication use evaluation: pharmacist rubric for performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Fanikos, John; Jenkins, Kathryn L; Piazza, Gregory; Connors, Jean; Goldhaber, Samuel Z

    2014-12-01

    Despite rigorous expert review, medications often fall into routine use with unrecognized and unwanted complications. Use of some medications remains controversial because information to support efficacy is conflicting, scant, or nonexistent. Medication use evaluation (MUE) is a performance improvement tool that can be used when there is uncertainty regarding whether a medication will be beneficial. It is particularly useful when limited evidence is available on how best to choose between two or more medications. MUEs can analyze the process of medication prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration, and monitoring. MUEs can be part of a structured or mandated multidisciplinary quality management program that focuses on evaluating medication effectiveness and improving patient safety. Successful MUE programs have a structure in place to support completion of rapid-cycle data collection, analysis, and intervention that supports practice change. PMID:25521847

  17. Adjuvant chemotherapy is not associated with improved survival for all high-risk factors in stage II colon cancer.

    PubMed

    Verhoeff, S R; van Erning, F N; Lemmens, V E P P; de Wilt, J H W; Pruijt, J F M

    2016-07-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy can be considered in high-risk stage II colon cancer comprising pT4, poor/undifferentiated grade, vascular invasion, emergency surgery and/or <10 evaluated lymph nodes (LNs). Adjuvant chemotherapy administration and its effect on survival was evaluated for each known risk factor. All patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer who underwent resection and were diagnosed in the Netherlands between 2008 and 2012 were included. After stratification by risk factor(s) (vascular invasion could not be included), Cox regression was used to discriminate the independent association of adjuvant chemotherapy with the probability of death. Relative survival was used to estimate disease-specific survival. A total of 4,940 of 10,935 patients with stage II colon cancer were identified as high risk, of whom 790 (16%) patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with a pT4 received adjuvant chemotherapy more often (37%). Probability of death in pT4 patients receiving chemotherapy was lower compared to non-recipients (3-year overall survival 91% vs. 73%, HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.28-0.66). The relative excess risk (RER) of dying was also lower for pT4 patients receiving chemotherapy compared to non-recipients (3-year relative survival 94% vs. 85%, RER 0.36, 95% CI 0.17-0.74). For patients with only poor/undifferentiated grade, emergency surgery or <10 LNs evaluated, no association between receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy and survival was observed. In high-risk stage II colon cancer, adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with higher survival in pT4 only. To prevent unnecessary chemotherapy-induced toxicity, further refinement of patient subgroups within stage II colon cancer who could benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy seems indicated. PMID:26914273

  18. Communication in a medical setting: can standards be improved?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Do standards exist to improve communication in a medical setting? What are the minimal requirements to make our communication with patients and their family clear and simple? International literature, as well as psychology, philosophy, and even our brain structure offer ways to improve communication. We reflected about what is preventing effective communication in the medical setting and how/from where should we set about improving it. PMID:23295153

  19. Novel adjuvant systems.

    PubMed

    McCluskie, M J; Weeratna, R D

    2001-11-01

    Vaccination remains the single most valuable tool in the prevention of infectious disease. Nevertheless, there exists a need to improve the performance of existing vaccines such that fewer boosts are needed or to develop novel vaccines. For the development of effective vaccines for humans, a great need exists for safe and effective adjuvants. A number of novel adjuvants have been reported in recent years including: i) bacterial toxins such as cholera toxin, CT, and the Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin, LT; ii) less toxic derivatives of CT and LT; iii) endogenous human immunomodulators, such as IL-2, IL-12, GM-CSF; iv) hormones; v) lipopeptides; vi) saponins, such as QS-21; vii) synthetic oligonucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG ODN); viii) lipid 'A derivatives, such as monophosphoryl lipid A, MPL, and ix) muramyl dipeptide (MDP) derivatives. Herein, we will review recent findings using these novel adjuvant systems. PMID:12455400

  20. Improving Medication Management among At-risk Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Delinda; Kripalani, Sunil; DuPapau, V.J.

    2013-01-01

    Low health literacy is common among Medicare recipients and affects their understanding of complex medication regimens. Interventions are needed to improve medication use among older adults, while addressing low health literacy. Community-dwelling older adults in this study were enrolled in an inner-city adult day center. They completed a baseline measure of health literacy, medication self-efficacy, and medication adherence. They were provided with a personalized, illustrated daily medication schedule (PictureRx™). Six weeks later, their medication self-efficacy and adherence were assessed. Among the 20 participants in this pilot project, 70% had high likelihood of limited health literacy and took an average of 13.2 prescription medications. Both self-efficacy and medication adherence increased significantly after provision of the PictureRx cards (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). Al participants rated the PictureRx cards as very helpful in terms of helping them remember the medication’s purpose and dosing. Illustrated daily medication schedules improve medication self-efficacy and adherence among at-risk, community-dwelling older adults. PMID:22587641

  1. Elder and Caregiver Solutions to Improve Medication Adherence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Improving medical induction in obstetrics and gynaecology

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Eve; Palmer, Edward; Lloyd, Jilly

    2014-01-01

    We present a year long quality improvement project to bring a new induction programme to the obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) department of University Hospital Lewisham (UHL). Aimed at non-speciality junior doctors, including general practice and foundation trainees, the induction programme has sought to improve the quality of care delivered and experience of these transiting junior doctors. We have demonstrated a readily implementable and sustainable programme that requires only modest input of time from senior trainees (ST3+) periodically throughout the year. We have highlighted the specific need for senior consultant investment in the success and sustainability of such a project. We have demonstrated improvement of learning outcomes (p=0.01) in junior doctors undertaking the induction programme at Kirkpatrick's hierarchy level 2.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Adjuvant Therapy for Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Davar, Diwakar; Tarhini, Ahmad A.

    2012-01-01

    Estimates from the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry suggest that melanoma incidence will reach 70,230 in 2011, of which 8,790 will die. The rising incidence and predilection for young individuals makes this tumor a leading source of lost productive years in the society. High-dose interferon-α2b is the only agent approved for adjuvant therapy of melanoma; the improvement in relapse-free survival has been observed across nearly all published studies and meta-analyses. However toxicity affects compliance and current research is focusing upon biomarkers that may allow selection of patients with greater likelihood of response, and exploring new agents either singly or in combination that may improve upon the benefit of IFN. In this article, we review the data for the adjuvant therapy of malignant melanoma - focusing on the results obtained with various regimens testing the several formulations of interferon-α2, and the adjuvant studies of vaccines and radiotherapy. Recent advances in the treatment of metastatic disease have established a role for CTLA-4 blockade and BRAF-inhibition, and raising hopes that these agents may have a role in the adjuvant setting. At present, several trials investigating combinations of novel agents with existing immunomodulators are underway. PMID:22453021

  5. Adjuvant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor therapy results in improved spatial learning and stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis in a mouse model of pneumococcal meningitis.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Anna Kathrin; Reich, Arno; Falkenburger, Björn; Schulz, Jörg B; Brandenburg, Lars Ove; Ribes, Sandra; Tauber, Simone C

    2015-01-01

    Despite the development of new antibiotic agents, mortality of pneumococcal meningitis remains high. In addition, meningitis results in severe long-term morbidity, most prominently cognitive deficits. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) stimulates proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells and increases the number of circulating neutrophil granulocytes. This study investigated the effect of adjuvant G-CSF treatment on cognitive function after pneumococcal meningitis. C57BL/6 mice were infected by subarachnoid injection of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 3 and treated with ceftriaxone and G-CSF subcutaneously or ceftriaxone alone for 5 days. Clinical scores, motor performance, and mortality during bacterial meningitis were unaffected by adjuvant G-CSF treatment. No effect of G-CSF treatment on production of proinflammatory cytokines or activation of microglia or astrocytes was observed. The G-CSF treatment did, however, result in hippocampal neurogenesis and improved spatial learning performance 6 weeks after meningitis. These results suggest that G-CSF might offer a new adjuvant therapeutic approach in bacterial meningitis to reduce long-term cognitive deficits. PMID:25470346

  6. Medication Reconciliation Improvement Through the Use of Video.

    PubMed

    Dewan, Maya; Kraus, Blair; Davis, Daniela; McCloskey, John

    2015-01-01

    Accurate medication reconciliation at the time of hospital admission is vital to preventing adverse drug events. Compliance with medication reconciliation in our pediatric intensive care unit was low initially with overall medication reconciliation at 70%. Due to the high front line provider turnover in our unit, we focused on technological reminders for completion and used unique and innovative ways to motivate our supervising staff. Our goal was to reach >95% completion within 24 hours for medication reconciliation for all patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. Pre-pilot discussions focused on examples of errors of medication reconciliation within our own institution resulting in patient harm via traditional power point presentation. The initial pilot phase instituted a job aid on how to add the medication reconciliation completion reminder column. Email updates on completion status began one week after initiation. During the implementation and spread phase, fun interactive videos were used to acknowledge roll out to the full unit. Compliance was monitored and humorous biweekly video updates emphasizing accountability were introduced. In the sustain phase, monthly video updates served as education and a reminder for provider staff. The use of a medication reconciliation completion column and reminder emails resulted in goal completion (>95%) by three weeks post intervention for the pilot unit. Overall medication reconciliation completion also reached goal of >95% completion within the entire unit after three weeks of implementation and spread. Compliance fell below goal so video updates were modified utilizing humor and emphasizing accountability. This resulted in sustained compliance now more than forty weeks post implementation. Unit compliance currently remains >95% completion within 24 hours now more than forty weeks post intervention. The use of the medication reconciliation reminder column resulted in improvement in compliance; however

  7. Laser vaccine adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Kashiwagi, Satoshi; Brauns, Timothy; Gelfand, Jeffrey; Poznansky, Mark C

    2014-01-01

    Immunologic adjuvants are essential for current vaccines to maximize their efficacy. Unfortunately, few have been found to be sufficiently effective and safe for regulatory authorities to permit their use in vaccines for humans and none have been approved for use with intradermal vaccines. The development of new adjuvants with the potential to be both efficacious and safe constitutes a significant need in modern vaccine practice. The use of non-damaging laser light represents a markedly different approach to enhancing immune responses to a vaccine antigen, particularly with intradermal vaccination. This approach, which was initially explored in Russia and further developed in the US, appears to significantly improve responses to both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines administered to the laser-exposed tissue, particularly the skin. Although different types of lasers have been used for this purpose and the precise molecular mechanism(s) of action remain unknown, several approaches appear to modulate dendritic cell trafficking and/or activation at the irradiation site via the release of specific signaling molecules from epithelial cells. The most recent study, performed by the authors of this review, utilized a continuous wave near-infrared laser that may open the path for the development of a safe, effective, low-cost, simple-to-use laser vaccine adjuvant that could be used in lieu of conventional adjuvants, particularly with intradermal vaccines. In this review, we summarize the initial Russian studies that have given rise to this approach and comment upon recent advances in the use of non-tissue damaging lasers as novel physical adjuvants for vaccines. PMID:25424797

  8. [New initiatives to improve medication safety in hospitals].

    PubMed

    Otero López, María José

    2004-01-01

    Medication errors constitute a significant public health problem and are recognised as such nowadays among healthcare professionals, societies, authorities and international organizations. This has led to seeking and implementing effective practices focused on improving medication use safety. This article briefly describes some of the most recent initiatives promoted to prevent medication errors in the hospital setting. These safety improvement initiatives are based upon progressively developing an institutional culture of safety and on establishing practices designed to reduce errors or detect them in time, thus avoiding adverse effects to patients. Among these recent initiatives are the safety practices approved by the National Quality Forum, and the National Patient Safety Goals that the Joint Commission on Healthcare Accreditation has required since 2003. Also mentioned are several strategies that have been offered to facilitate the application of these practices, among which are the Pathways to Medication Safely, the development of collaborative projects among hospitals and organizations of experts, and the inclusion of a medication safety specialist in hospitals as a support figure overseeing the application of safety measures. Finally, the challenges inherent in putting these preventive measures into real patient's care are discussed. The barriers confronting this step must obviously be faced if improvements in patient safety are truly to be achieved. PMID:15293954

  9. Assessing risk of hospital readmissions for improving medical practice.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Parimal; Smith, L Douglas; Woeltje, Keith F

    2016-09-01

    We compare statistical approaches for predicting the likelihood that individual patients will require readmission to hospital within 30 days of their discharge and for setting quality-control standards in that regard. Logistic regression, neural networks and decision trees are found to have comparable discriminating power when applied to cases that were not used to calibrate the respective models. Significant factors for predicting likelihood of readmission are the patient's medical condition upon admission and discharge, length (days) of the hospital visit, care rendered during the hospital stay, size and role of the medical facility, the type of medical insurance, and the environment into which the patient is discharged. Separately constructed models for major medical specialties (Surgery/Gynecology, Cardiorespiratory, Cardiovascular, Neurology, and Medicine) can improve the ability to identify high-risk patients for possible intervention, while consolidated models (with indicator variables for the specialties) can serve well for assessing overall quality of care. PMID:25876516

  10. One Approach to Improving Indigenous Health Care through Medical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hays, Richard

    2002-01-01

    Australia's newest medical school, located at James Cook University (Queensland), is committed to improving Aboriginal health care. At least five Indigenous students must be admitted per year, and Indigenous people sit on committees responsible for student selection, curriculum design, staff selection, training, and research. All staff receive…

  11. Enhancing Commitment Improves Adherence to a Medical Regimen.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putnam, Dana E.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Evaluated commitment-based intervention for improvement of adherence to 10-day antibiotic regimen. Subjects were 60 college students. Experimental subjects made verbal and written commitments for adherence and completed tasks designed to increase their investment in medication regimen. Controls performed similarly structured tasks unrelated to…

  12. Understanding and improving inpatient mortality in academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Behal, Raj; Finn, Jeannine

    2009-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe factors contributing to potentially preventable mortality in academic medical centers and the organizational characteristics associated with success in reducing mortality. Sixteen U.S. academic medical centers that wished to improve risk-adjusted inpatient mortality rates requested a consultation that included interviews with physicians, nurses, and hospital leaders; review of medical records; and evaluation of systems and processes of care. The assessments took place on-site; they identified key factors contributing to preventable mortality, and each hospital received specific recommendations. Changes in observed mortality and in the ratio of observed to expected mortality were measured from 2002 to final follow-up in 2007. Evaluations determined each hospital's success factors and key barriers to improvement. The key factors contributing to preventable mortality were delays in responding to deteriorating patients, suboptimal critical care, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative complications, medical errors, and community issues such as the availability of hospice care. Of the 16 hospitals, 12 were able to reduce their mortality index. The five hospitals that had the greatest improvement in mortality were the only hospitals with a broad level of engagement among hospital and physician leaders, including the department chairs. In the hospitals whose performance did not improve, the department chairs were not engaged in the process. The academic medical centers that focused on mortality reduction and had engagement of physicians, especially department chairs, were able to achieve meaningful reductions in hospital mortality. The necessary ingredients for achieving meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes included good data, a sound method for change, and physician leadership. PMID:19940569

  13. How Patients Can Improve the Accuracy of their Medical Records

    PubMed Central

    Dullabh, Prashila M.; Sondheimer, Norman K.; Katsh, Ethan; Evans, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Assess (1) if patients can improve their medical records’ accuracy if effectively engaged using a networked Personal Health Record; (2) workflow efficiency and reliability for receiving and processing patient feedback; and (3) patient feedback’s impact on medical record accuracy. Background: Improving medical record’ accuracy and associated challenges have been documented extensively. Providing patients with useful access to their records through information technology gives them new opportunities to improve their records’ accuracy and completeness. A new approach supporting online contributions to their medication lists by patients of Geisinger Health Systems, an online patient-engagement advocate, revealed this can be done successfully. In late 2011, Geisinger launched an online process for patients to provide electronic feedback on their medication lists’ accuracy before a doctor visit. Patient feedback was routed to a Geisinger pharmacist, who reviewed it and followed up with the patient before changing the medication list shared by the patient and the clinicians. Methods: The evaluation employed mixed methods and consisted of patient focus groups (users, nonusers, and partial users of the feedback form), semi structured interviews with providers and pharmacists, user observations with patients, and quantitative analysis of patient feedback data and pharmacists’ medication reconciliation logs. Findings/Discussion: (1) Patients were eager to provide feedback on their medications and saw numerous advantages. Thirty percent of patient feedback forms (457 of 1,500) were completed and submitted to Geisinger. Patients requested changes to the shared medication lists in 89 percent of cases (369 of 414 forms). These included frequency—or dosage changes to existing prescriptions and requests for new medications (prescriptions and over-the counter). (2) Patients provided useful and accurate online feedback. In a subsample of 107 forms

  14. Electronic monitoring and counseling to improve medication adherence.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Marc I; Rigsby, Michael O; Salahi, Jamelah T; Ryan, Caitlin E; Cramer, Joyce A

    2004-04-01

    Electronic caps, pill caps that record the date and time of pill bottle opening provide an objective measure of adherence to prescribed medication. A promising intervention to improve adherence, cue-dose training, involves reviewing patients' pill cap-generated reports concerning their medication-taking and offering individualized recommendations for remembering to take medications at specific times of day. In this preliminary study, 79 patients prescribed the antihyperglycemic medication metformin had adherence assessed during a 4-week baseline period. Adherence, defined as proportion of prescribed doses taken within a predetermined 4-h window, was measured using electronic MEMS caps. Those who had less than 80% baseline adherence (n = 33) were randomly assigned to either receive 4 months of cue-dose training (n = 16) or to a control group (n = 17). Cue-dose training was associated with significantly better adherence to metformin (mean improvement of 15%). The effects of cue-dose training on adherence to other antihyperglycemic medication did not reach statistical significance. Glycosylated hemoglobin (a measure of blood sugar control) did not differ between groups. Data from nine patients who reviewed pill cap-generated data with their primary care providers suggested that both patients and providers found the discussion moderately helpful and not at all uncomfortable. PMID:14998735

  15. A Synchronized Prescription Refill Program Improved Medication Adherence.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Jalpa A; Lim, Raymond; Li, Pengxiang; Young, Peinie P; Lawnicki, Victor F; State, Joseph J; Troxel, Andrea B; Volpp, Kevin G

    2016-08-01

    Synchronizing medication refills-renewing all medications at the same time from the same pharmacy-is an increasingly popular strategy to improve adherence to medication regimens, but there has been little research regarding its effectiveness. In light of increasing policy interest, we evaluated the impact of a pilot refill synchronization program implemented by a large national insurer. A random sample of Medicare Advantage patients receiving mail-order refills for common maintenance medications (antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, or antidiabetic agents) were invited to join the program and followed for twelve months. On average, the absolute increase in the proportion of patients deemed adherent during follow-up was 3-10 percentage points for the intervention group, compared to 1-5 percentage points for the control group. Patients with poorer baseline adherence showed larger increases in the absolute proportion deemed adherent in intervention (23-26 percentage points) compared to a control group (13-15 percentage points). Synchronizing refills might be a promising intervention to improve adherence to maintenance medications, especially among Medicare patients with low baseline adherence. PMID:27503977

  16. Improving medical education in Kenya: an international collaboration.

    PubMed

    Mayo, Alexa

    2014-04-01

    This paper describes a partnership between the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) Library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The libraries are collaborating to develop best practices for the CHS Library as it meets the challenge of changing medical education information needs in a digital environment. The collaboration is part of a Medical Education Partnership Initiative. The library project has several components: an assessment of the CHS Library, learning visits in the United States and Kenya, development of recommendations to enhance the CHS Library, and ongoing evaluation of the program's progress. Development of new services and expertise at the CHS Library is critical to the project's success. A productive collaboration between the HS/HSL and CHS Library is ongoing. A successful program to improve the quality of medical education will have a beneficial impact on health outcomes in Kenya. PMID:24860265

  17. Improving medical education in Kenya: an international collaboration*†

    PubMed Central

    Mayo, Alexa

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a partnership between the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) Library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The libraries are collaborating to develop best practices for the CHS Library as it meets the challenge of changing medical education information needs in a digital environment. The collaboration is part of a Medical Education Partnership Initiative. The library project has several components: an assessment of the CHS Library, learning visits in the United States and Kenya, development of recommendations to enhance the CHS Library, and ongoing evaluation of the program's progress. Development of new services and expertise at the CHS Library is critical to the project's success. A productive collaboration between the HS/HSL and CHS Library is ongoing. A successful program to improve the quality of medical education will have a beneficial impact on health outcomes in Kenya. PMID:24860265

  18. Dialect Topic Modeling for Improved Consumer Medical Search

    SciTech Connect

    Crain, Steven P.; Yang, Shuang-Hong; Zha, Hongyuan; Jiao, Yu

    2010-01-01

    Access to health information by consumers is ham- pered by a fundamental language gap. Current attempts to close the gap leverage consumer oriented health information, which does not, however, have good coverage of slang medical terminology. In this paper, we present a Bayesian model to automatically align documents with different dialects (slang, com- mon and technical) while extracting their semantic topics. The proposed diaTM model enables effective information retrieval, even when the query contains slang words, by explicitly modeling the mixtures of dialects in documents and the joint influence of dialects and topics on word selection. Simulations us- ing consumer questions to retrieve medical information from a corpus of medical documents show that diaTM achieves a 25% improvement in information retrieval relevance by nDCG@5 over an LDA baseline.

  19. Method of evaluating and improving ambulatory medical care.

    PubMed Central

    Payne, B C; Lyons, T F; Neuhaus, E; Kolton, M; Dwarshius, L

    1984-01-01

    The usefulness of an action-research model is demonstrated in the evaluation and improvement of ambulatory medical care in a variety of settings: solo office practice, prepaid capitation multiple-specialty group practice, and medical school hospital-based outpatient clinic practice. Improvements in the process of medical care are found to relate directly to the intensity and duration of planned interventions by the study group and are demonstrated to follow organizational changes in the participating sites--primarily managerial and support services initiated by policy decisions in each study site. Improvement in performance approaching one standard deviation results from the most intense intervention, about one-half standard deviation at the next level of intervention, and virtually no change from a simple feedback of performance measures. On the basis of these findings and other operational and research efforts to improve physician performance, it is unlikely that simple feedback of performance measures will elicit a change in behavior. However, noncoercive methods involving health care providers in problem identification, problem solving, and solution implementation are demonstrated to be effective. PMID:6735736

  20. Improving acute medical management: Junior Doctor Emergency Prescription Cards

    PubMed Central

    Hutton, Joe; Gingell, Megan; Hutchinson, Lisa

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Improving medical SHO weekend handover at a tertiary referral centre.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Olivia; Fisher, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    The GMC states that, 'You must be satisfied that, when you are off duty, suitable arrangements have been made for your patients' medical care…including effective hand-over procedures' [1]. The medical weekend handover system at this tertiary referral centre involved multiple pieces of paper with no clear list of tasks, and no way to identify critically unwell patients. Patients could be missed from the ward round or could be difficult to identify under pressure. The authors felt this process could pose a threat to patient safety so decided to improve it. A questionnaire was distributed to all 11 medical SHOs with 100% response rate. Results showed that 72% thought the process was unstructured, 81% did not think the process was always safe, and 100% thought it could be improved. After discussions with senior medical management and with the approval of the trust audit committee, a new weekend handover proforma was designed, taking into consideration the results and comments from the questionnaire. The new proforma is accessible through a shared drive, which can be accessed by all medical SHOs in the hospital. Each team is able to copy their patients onto the combined ward-based list. There are columns for specific weekend jobs and registrar/SHO reviews. Any potentially unwell patients are highlighted in bold and discussed with the on-call SHO on Friday. All medical SHOs were given a post-implementation questionnaire after the new handover process had been in place for two months. Results of this showed that 100% of SHOs felt an improvement had been made, with 100% stating that the new system was more structured (64% always, 36% most of the time). The SHO's perception of patient safety increased from 81% generally unsafe, to 100% generally safe. The new handover has been well received and supported by the current SHO cohort. Improvements in the structure of handover have been made with perceived improvements in patient safety. Due to the success of the system, the

  2. Additional Therapy with a Mistletoe Product during Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Breast Cancer Patients Improves Quality of Life: An Open Randomized Clinical Pilot Trial.

    PubMed

    Tröger, Wilfried; Zdrale, Zdravko; Tišma, Nevena; Matijašević, Miodrag

    2014-01-01

    Background. Breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy often experience a loss of quality of life. Moreover chemotherapy may induce neutropenia. Patients report a better quality of life when additionally treated with mistletoe products during chemotherapy. Methods. In this prospective randomized open-label pilot study 95 patients were randomized into three groups. All patients were treated with an adjuvant chemotherapy. The primary objective of the study was quality of life, the secondary objective was neutropenia. Here we report the comparison of HxA (n = 34) versus untreated control (n = 31). Results. In the explorative analysis ten of 15 scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30 showed a better quality of life in the HxA group compared to the control group (P < 0.001 to P = 0.038 in Dunnett-T3 test). The difference was clinically relevant (difference of at least 5 points, range 5.4-12.2) in eight of the ten scores. Neutropenia occurred in 7/34 HxA patients and in 8/31 control patients (P = 0.628). Conclusions. This pilot study showed an improvement of quality of life by treating breast cancer patients with HxA additionally to CAF. Although the open design may be a limitation, the findings show the feasibility of a confirmatory study using the methods described here. PMID:24701238

  3. Additional Therapy with a Mistletoe Product during Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Breast Cancer Patients Improves Quality of Life: An Open Randomized Clinical Pilot Trial

    PubMed Central

    Tröger, Wilfried; Ždrale, Zdravko; Tišma, Nevena; Matijašević, Miodrag

    2014-01-01

    Background. Breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy often experience a loss of quality of life. Moreover chemotherapy may induce neutropenia. Patients report a better quality of life when additionally treated with mistletoe products during chemotherapy. Methods. In this prospective randomized open-label pilot study 95 patients were randomized into three groups. All patients were treated with an adjuvant chemotherapy. The primary objective of the study was quality of life, the secondary objective was neutropenia. Here we report the comparison of HxA (n = 34) versus untreated control (n = 31). Results. In the explorative analysis ten of 15 scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30 showed a better quality of life in the HxA group compared to the control group (P < 0.001 to P = 0.038 in Dunnett-T3 test). The difference was clinically relevant (difference of at least 5 points, range 5.4–12.2) in eight of the ten scores. Neutropenia occurred in 7/34 HxA patients and in 8/31 control patients (P = 0.628). Conclusions. This pilot study showed an improvement of quality of life by treating breast cancer patients with HxA additionally to CAF. Although the open design may be a limitation, the findings show the feasibility of a confirmatory study using the methods described here. PMID:24701238

  4. Using a structured questionnaire improves seizure description by medical students

    PubMed Central

    Kapadia, Saher; Shah, Hemang; McNair, Nancy; Pruitt, J. Ned; Murro, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate a structured questionnaire for improving a medical students’ ability to identify, describe and interpret a witnessed seizure. Methods Ninety two 3rd year medical students, blinded to seizure diagnosis, viewed videos of a primary generalized seizure and a complex partial seizure.  Students next completed an unstructured questionnaire that asked the students to describe the seizure video recordings. The students then completed a structured questionnaire that asked the student to respond to 17 questions regarding specific features occurring during the seizures.  We determined the number and types of correct responses for each questionnaire. Results Overall, the structured questionnaire was more effective in eliciting an average of 9.25 correct responses compared to the unstructured questionnaire eliciting an average of 5.30 correct responses (p < 0.001). Additionally, 10 of the 17 seizure features were identified more effectively with the structured questionnaire. Potentially confounding factors, prior knowledge of someone with epilepsy or a prior experience of viewing a seizure, did not predict the student’s ability to correctly identify any of the 17 features. Conclusions A structured questionnaire significantly improves a medical student’s ability to provide an accurate clinical description of primary generalized and complex partial witnessed seizures. Our analysis identified the 10 specific features improved by using the structured questionnaire. PMID:26752118

  5. Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care

    PubMed Central

    Awosogba, Temitope; Betancourt, Joseph R.; Conyers, F. Garrett; Estapé, Estela S.; Francois, Fritz; Gard, Sabrina J.; Kaufman, Arthur; Lunn, Mitchell R.; Nivet, Marc A.; Oppenheim, Joel D.; Pomeroy, Claire; Yeung, Howa

    2015-01-01

    Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities. PMID:23659676

  6. [An improved medical image fusion algorithm and quality evaluation].

    PubMed

    Chen, Meiling; Tao, Ling; Qian, Zhiyu

    2009-08-01

    Medical image fusion is of very important value for application in medical image analysis and diagnosis. In this paper, the conventional method of wavelet fusion is improved,so a new algorithm of medical image fusion is presented and the high frequency and low frequency coefficients are studied respectively. When high frequency coefficients are chosen, the regional edge intensities of each sub-image are calculated to realize adaptive fusion. The choice of low frequency coefficient is based on the edges of images, so that the fused image preserves all useful information and appears more distinctly. We apply the conventional and the improved fusion algorithms based on wavelet transform to fuse two images of human body and also evaluate the fusion results through a quality evaluation method. Experimental results show that this algorithm can effectively retain the details of information on original images and enhance their edge and texture features. This new algorithm is better than the conventional fusion algorithm based on wavelet transform. PMID:19813594

  7. Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care.

    PubMed

    Awosogba, Temitope; Betancourt, Joseph R; Conyers, F Garrett; Estapé, Estela S; Francois, Fritz; Gard, Sabrina J; Kaufman, Arthur; Lunn, Mitchell R; Nivet, Marc A; Oppenheim, Joel D; Pomeroy, Claire; Yeung, Howa

    2013-05-01

    Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities. PMID:23659676

  8. Improving physician and medical student education in substance use disorders.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Stephen A; Dekker, Michael A

    2007-09-01

    Medical and psychosocial problems related to substance use disorders (SUDs) remain a major source of national morbidity and mortality. This situation exists despite greater understanding of genetic, neurobiologic, and social underpinnings of the development of these illnesses that has resulted in many advances in addiction medicine. The value of assessment and brief intervention of this disease is well documented. Patients need to be identified and engaged in order for them to be treated. A variety of evidence-based pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatments are now available. Strong evidence exists that treatment of patients for SUDs produces results similar to or better than those obtained from treatment for other chronic illnesses. It is also clear that physicians can play a pivotal role in helping to reduce the burden of disease related to SUDs However, to do this, physicians need to be better educated. Through such education comes greater confidence in identification and providing treatment. Also, the discomfort and stigma often associated with this disease are reduced. The federal government-through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Surgeon General, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation (DOT)-is expending concerted efforts to improve physician education in addiction medicine. These efforts culminated in the Second Leadership Conference on Medical Education in Substance Abuse in December 2006. The osteopathic medical profession was represented at this conference. This article reviews not only the recommendations from this meeting, but also the nature of the problem, how members of the osteopathic medical profession are currently addressing it, and a strategy for improvement endorsed by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine. PMID:17908828

  9. Design and evaluation of surface and adjuvant modified PLGA microspheres for uptake by dendritic cells to improve vaccine responses.

    PubMed

    Salvador, Aiala; Sandgren, Kerrie J; Liang, Frank; Thompson, Elizabeth A; Koup, Richard A; Pedraz, José Luis; Hernandez, Rosa Maria; Loré, Karin; Igartua, Manoli

    2015-12-30

    Designing strategies for targeting antigens to dendritic cells is a major goal in vaccinology. Here, PLGA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres and with several surface modifications that affect to their uptake by human blood primary dendritic cells and monocytes have been evaluated. Higher uptake was found by all the cell types when cationic microspheres (PLGA modified with polyethylene imine) were used. These cationic particles were in vivo evaluated in mice. In addition, MPLA(1) or poly(I:C)(2) and α-GalCer(3) were also encapsulated to address their adjuvant effect. All the microspheres were able to produce humoral immune responses, albeit they were higher for cationic microspheres. Moreover, surface charge seemed to have a role on biasing the immune response; cationic microspheres induced higher IFN-γ levels, indicative of Th1 activation, while unmodified ones mainly triggered IL4 and IL17A release, showing Th2 activation. Thus, we have shown here the potential and versatility of these MS, which may be tailored to needs. PMID:26475970

  10. Interventions to improve adherence to lipid lowering medication

    PubMed Central

    Schedlbauer, Angela; Schroeder, Knut; Peters, Tim; Fahey, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Background Lipid lowering drugs are still widely underused, despite compelling evidence about their effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Poor patient adherence to medication regimen is a major factor in the lack of success in treating hyperlipidaemia. In this review we focus on interventions, which encourage patients at risk of heart disease or stroke to take lipid lowering medication regularly. Objectives To assess the effect of interventions aiming at improved adherence to lipid lowering drugs, focusing on measures of adherence and clinical outcomes. Search strategy We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo and CINAHL. Date of most recent search was in February 2003. No language restrictions were applied. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials of adherence-enhancing interventions to lipid lowering medication in adults for both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in an ambulatory setting. Data collection and analysis Two reviewers extracted data independently and assessed studies according to criteria outlined by the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook. Main results The eight studies found contained data on 5943 patients. Interventions could be stratified into four categories: 1. simplification of drug regimen, 2. patient information/education, 3. intensified patient care such as reminding and 4. complex behavioural interventions such as group sessions. Change in adherence ranged from −3% to 25% (decrease in adherence by 3% to increase in adherence by 25%). Three studies reported significantly improved adherence through simplification of drug regimen (category 1), improved patient information/education (category 2) and reminding (category 3). The fact that the successful interventions were evenly spread across the categories, does not suggest any advantage of one particular type of intervention. The methodological and analytical quality was

  11. Improving acute care through use of medical device data.

    PubMed

    Kennelly, R J

    1998-02-01

    The Medical Information Bus (MIB) is a data communications standard for bedside patient connected medical devices. It is formally titled IEEE 1073 Standard for Medical Device Communications. MIB defines a complete seven layer communications stack for devices in acute care settings. All of the design trade-offs in writing the standard were taken to optimize performance in acute care settings. The key clinician based constraints on network performance are: (1) the network must be able to withstand multiple daily reconfigurations due to patient movement and condition changes; (2) the network must be 'plug-and-play' to allow clinicians to set up the network by simply plugging in a connector, taking no other actions; (3) the network must allow for unambiguous associations of devices with specific patients. A network of this type will be used by clinicians, thus giving complete, accurate, real time data from patient connected devices. This capability leads to many possible improvements in patient care and hospital cost reduction. The possible uses for comprehensive automatic data capture are only limited by imagination and creativity of clinicians adapting to the new hospital business paradigm. PMID:9600414

  12. Improving the medical records department processes by lean management

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: Lean management is a process improvement technique to identify waste actions and processes to eliminate them. The benefits of Lean for healthcare organizations are that first, the quality of the outcomes in terms of mistakes and errors improves. The second is that the amount of time taken through the whole process significantly improves. Aims: The purpose of this paper is to improve the Medical Records Department (MRD) processes at Ayatolah-Kashani Hospital in Isfahan, Iran by utilizing Lean management. Materials and Methods: This research was applied and an interventional study. The data have been collected by brainstorming, observation, interview, and workflow review. The study population included MRD staff and other expert staff within the hospital who were stakeholders and users of the MRD. Statistical Analysis Used: The MRD were initially taught the concepts of Lean management and then formed into the MRD Lean team. The team then identified and reviewed the current processes subsequently; they identified wastes and values, and proposed solutions. Results: The findings showed that the MRD units (Archive, Coding, Statistics, and Admission) had 17 current processes, 28 wastes, and 11 values were identified. In addition, they offered 27 comments for eliminating the wastes. Conclusion: The MRD is the critical department for the hospital information system and, therefore, the continuous improvement of its services and processes, through scientific methods such as Lean management, are essential. Originality/Value: The study represents one of the few attempts trying to eliminate wastes in the MRD. PMID:26097862

  13. A Medical Reasoning Program That Improves with Experience

    PubMed Central

    Koton, Phyllis

    1988-01-01

    A physician's problem-solving performance improves with experience. The performance of most medical expert systems does not. I have developed a diagnosis program for coronary disease that improves its performance by remembering and learning from cases that it has already solved. The program diagnoses commonly-seen problems efficiently by recalling similar, previous cases and adapting their solutions through simple modifications. When it lacks experience in solving a particular type of problem, the program resorts to reasoning from a physiological model, then remembers the solution for future use. The program can produce solutions identical to those derived by a model-based expert system for the same domain, but with an increase of two orders of magnitude in efficiency. The method described is independent of the particular domain and should be generally applicable.

  14. Big data in medical informatics: improving education through visual analytics.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2014-01-01

    A continuous effort to improve healthcare education today is currently driven from the need to create competent health professionals able to meet healthcare demands. Limited research reporting how educational data manipulation can help in healthcare education improvement. The emerging research field of visual analytics has the advantage to combine big data analysis and manipulation techniques, information and knowledge representation, and human cognitive strength to perceive and recognise visual patterns. The aim of this study was therefore to explore novel ways of representing curriculum and educational data using visual analytics. Three approaches of visualization and representation of educational data were presented. Five competencies at undergraduate medical program level addressed in courses were identified to inaccurately correspond to higher education board competencies. Different visual representations seem to have a potential in impacting on the ability to perceive entities and connections in the curriculum data. PMID:25160372

  15. Improving Patient Outcomes With Oral Heart Failure Medications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Hospitals are under immense pressure to reduce heart failure readmissions that occur within 30 days of discharge, and to improve the quality of care for these patients. Penalties mandated by the Affordable Care Act decrease hospital reimbursement and ultimately the overall cost of caring for these patients increases if they are not well managed. Approximately 25% of patients hospitalized for heart failure are at high risk for readmission and these rates have not changed over the past decade. As a result of an aging population, the incidence of heart failure is expected to increase to one in five Americans over the age of 65. Pharmacologic management can reduce the risk of death and help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. Healthcare providers who have knowledge of heart failure medications and drug interactions and share this information with their patients contribute to improved long-term survival and physical functioning as well as fewer hospitalizations and a delay of progressive worsening of heart failure. PMID:27145405

  16. Adjuvant treatment for pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Daoud, Vladimir; Saif, Muhammad Wasif; Goodman, Martin

    2014-07-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Surgical resection has been shown to be the only curable treatment available. Unfortunately only 20% of all patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are surgical candidates due to the aggressive biology of this disease. There is no clear consensus on what type of adjuvant therapy should be used for patients with pancreatic cancer. Chemoradiation is the favored treatment modality by many in the United States while gemcitabine based chemotherapy is favored in Europe. Both of these approaches have been shown by large prospective, randomized trials to improve disease free intervals and in some studies overall survival. The survival of these patients, even status post resection and adjuvant therapy, remains poor and therefore the need for alternative adjuvant therapies is needed. We will therefore discuss Abstracts #4124, #TPS4162, #4120 and #E15191 in this paper which are relevant to the issues described above. PMID:25076340

  17. Adjuvants: Classification, Modus Operandi, and Licensing

    PubMed Central

    Apostólico, Juliana de Souza

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Improving emergency department flow through Rapid Medical Evaluation unit

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Improving illiterate patients understanding and adherence to discharge medications

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Matthew; Syed, Faizan; Rashid, Amjid; Fayyaz, Umer

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Adherence to a hospital discharge medication regime is crucial for successful treatment and to avoid increasing rates of drug resistance. A patient's success in adhering to their medication regime is dependent on many social, cultural, economic, illness and therapy-related factors, and these are often more pronounced in the developing world. Anecdotal evidence in Services Hospital, Lahore (Pakistan) suggested that the relatively high levels of illiteracy in the patient population was a major factor in poor adherence. Baseline measurement revealed that 48% of all the hospital's patients were illiterate with just 5%–12% of illiterate patients being able to interpret their handwritten discharge prescription after leaving hospital. Unsurprisingly follow-up clinics reported very poor adherence. This quality improvement project intervened by designing a new discharge prescription proforma which used pictures and symbols rather than words to convey the necessary information. Repeated surveys demonstrated large relative increases in comprehension of the new proformas amongst illiterate patients with between 23%–35% of illiterate patients understanding the new proformas. PMID:26734151

  20. Improving Workplace-Based Learning for Undergraduate Medical Students.

    PubMed

    Sajjad, Madiha; Mahboob, Usman

    2015-01-01

    Workplace-based learning is considered as one of the most effective way of translating medical theory into clinical practice. Although employed traditionally at postgraduate level, this strategy can be used in undergraduate students coming for clerkships in clinical departments. There are many challenges to workplace learning such as, unfavorable physical environment, lack of interest by clinical staff and teachers, and lack of student motivation. Clinical teachers can help bridge this gap and improve workplace learning through individual and collaborative team effort. Knowledge of various educational theories and principles and their application at workplace can enhance student learning and motivation, for which faculty development is much needed. Different teaching and learning activities can be used and tailored according to the clinical setting. Active reflection by students and constructive feedback from the clinicians forms the backbone of effective workplace learning. PMID:26649028

  1. A performance improvement plan to increase nurse adherence to use of medication safety software.

    PubMed

    Gavriloff, Carrie

    2012-08-01

    Nurses can protect patients receiving intravenous (IV) medication by using medication safety software to program "smart" pumps to administer IV medications. After a patient safety event identified inconsistent use of medication safety software by nurses, a performance improvement team implemented the Deming Cycle performance improvement methodology. The combined use of improved direct care nurse communication, programming strategies, staff education, medication safety champions, adherence monitoring, and technology acquisition resulted in a statistically significant (p < .001) increase in nurse adherence to using medication safety software from 28% to above 85%, exceeding national benchmark adherence rates (Cohen, Cooke, Husch & Woodley, 2007; Carefusion, 2011). PMID:22703685

  2. Biosafe Nanoscale Pharmaceutical Adjuvant Materials

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Shubin; Li, Shengliang; Wang, Chongxi; Liu, Juan; Yang, Xiaolong; Wang, Paul C.; Zhang, Xin; Liang, Xing-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Thanks to developments in the field of nanotechnology over the past decades, more and more biosafe nanoscale materials have become available for use as pharmaceutical adjuvants in medical research. Nanomaterials possess unique properties which could be employed to develop drug carriers with longer circulation time, higher loading capacity, better stability in physiological conditions, controlled drug release, and targeted drug delivery. In this review article, we will review recent progress in the application of representative organic, inorganic and hybrid biosafe nanoscale materials in pharmaceutical research, especially focusing on nanomaterial-based novel drug delivery systems. In addition, we briefly discuss the advantages and notable functions that make these nanomaterials suitable for the design of new medicines; the biosafety of each material discussed in this article is also highlighted to provide a comprehensive understanding of their adjuvant attributes. PMID:25429253

  3. Blood pressure control. Improving medication compliance among ESRD patients.

    PubMed

    Krevolin, Larry; Ilagan, Justin

    2015-08-01

    Medication compliance among individuals with hypertension symbolizes a growing concern within the medical community. It is said that roughly 50% of hypertensive patients in the United States do not comply with their medication regimen. Uncontrolled hypertension in turn can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Because compliance to medication regimens is complex and difficult to ascertain, solutions to this problem must be multifactorial. PMID:26454916

  4. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Determining medical improvement and its... Disability Due to Substantial Gainful Activity or Medical Improvement § 220.178 Determining medical... (c) of § 220.177 discuss what is meant by medical improvement, medical improvement not related to...

  5. 76 FR 12969 - Campaign To Improve Poor Medication Adherence (U18)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-09

    ... ] importance of good medication adherence, a vital first step toward improved adherence behavior and better... toward improved adherence behavior and better health outcomes. Relevance Inadequate medication adherence... behaviors to increase appropriate medication adherence and thus enhance health outcomes is an important...

  6. Improving continuing medical education by enhancing interactivity: lessons from Iran

    PubMed Central

    FAGHIHI, SEYED ALIAKBAR; KHANKEH, HAMID REZA; HOSSEINI, SEYED JALIL; SOLTANI ARABSHAHI, SEYED KAMRAN; FAGHIH, ZAHRA; PARIKH, SAGAR V.; SHIRAZI, MANDANA

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Continuing Medical Education (CME) has been considered as a lifelong commitment for doctors to provide the optimal care for patients. Despite a long history of creating CME programs, outcomes are far from ideal. The present qualitative study aims to clarify the barriers affecting effectiveness of the CME programs in Iran based on the experiences of general practitioners. Methods Sixteen general practitioners were recruited to participate in in-depth interviews and field observations concerning experiences with CME. The study was performed using a qualitative content analysis method. The codes, categories and themes were explored through an inductive process in which the researchers moved from specific to general. Results The participants’ experiences identified a number of barriers, particularly insufficient interaction with the instructors; additional problems included the teachers’ use of an undifferentiated approach; unreal and abstract CME; and ignorance of the diverse reasons to participate in CME. Conclusion Based on the study results, there are multiple barriers to effective implementation of CME in Iran. The key barriers include insufficient interaction between the trainees and providers, which must be considered by other stakeholders and program designers. Such interactions would facilitate improved program design, invite more specific tailoring of the education to the participants, allow for more effective educational methods and set the stage for outcome evaluation from the learners actually applying their new knowledge in practice. Replication of these findings with another sample would improve confidence in these recommendations, but these findings are broadly consistent with findings in the educational literature on improving the efficacy of CME. PMID:27104199

  7. Evaluation of Systemic Follistatin as an Adjuvant to Stimulate Muscle Repair and Improve Motor Function in Pompe Mice

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Joseph W; Bercury, Scott D; Finn, Patrick; Cheng, Seng H; Scheule, Ronald K; Ziegler, Robin J

    2010-01-01

    Due to the lack of acid α-glucosidase (GAA) activity, Pompe mice develop glycogen storage pathology and progressive skeletal muscle dysfunction with age. Applying either gene or enzyme therapy to reconstitute GAA levels in older, symptomatic Pompe mice effectively reduces glycogen storage in skeletal muscle but provides only modest improvements in motor function. As strategies to stimulate muscle hypertrophy, such as by myostatin inhibition, have been shown to improve muscle pathology and strength in mouse models of muscular dystrophy, we sought to determine whether these benefits might be similarly realized in Pompe mice. Administration of a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 8 vector encoding follistatin, an inhibitor of myostatin, increased muscle mass and strength but only in Pompe mice that were treated before 10 months of age. Younger Pompe mice showed significant muscle fiber hypertrophy in response to treatment with follistatin, but maximal gains in muscle strength were achieved only when concomitant GAA administration reduced glycogen storage in the affected muscles. Despite increased grip strength, follistatin treatment failed to improve rotarod performance. These findings highlight the importance of treating Pompe skeletal muscle before pathology becomes irreversible, and suggest that adjunctive therapies may not be effective without first clearing skeletal muscle glycogen storage with GAA. PMID:20551907

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

    PubMed Central

    Okafor, Nnaemeka G.; Doshi, Pratik B.; Miller, Sara K.; McCarthy, James J.; Hoot, Nathan R.; Darger, Bryan F.; Benitez, Roberto C.; Chathampally, Yashwant G.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Medical errors are frequently under-reported, yet their appropriate analysis, coupled with remediation, is essential for continuous quality improvement. The emergency department (ED) is recognized as a complex and chaotic environment prone to errors. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a web-based ED-specific incident reporting system using an iterative process. Methods A web-based, password-protected tool was developed by members of a quality assurance committee for ED providers to report incidents that they believe could impact patient safety. Results The utilization of this system in one residency program with two academic sites resulted in an increase from 81 reported incidents in 2009, the first year of use, to 561 reported incidents in 2012. This is an increase in rate of reported events from 0.07% of all ED visits to 0.44% of all ED visits. In 2012, faculty reported 60% of all incidents, while residents and midlevel providers reported 24% and 16% respectively. The most commonly reported incidents were delays in care and management concerns. Conclusion Error reporting frequency can be dramatically improved by using a web-based, user-friendly, voluntary, and non-punitive reporting system. PMID:26759657

  9. Adjuvant Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Intracranial Chordomas.

    PubMed

    Choy, Winward; Terterov, Sergei; Ung, Nolan; Kaprealian, Tania; Trang, Andy; DeSalles, Antonio; Chung, Lawrance K; Martin, Neil; Selch, Michael; Bergsneider, Marvin; Yong, William; Yang, Isaac

    2016-02-01

    Objective Chordomas are locally aggressive, highly recurrent tumors requiring adjuvant radiotherapy following resection for successful management. We retrospectively reviewed patients treated for intracranial chordomas with adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT). Methods A total of 57 patients underwent 83 treatments at the UCLA Medical Center between February 1990 and August 2011. Mean follow-up was 57.8 months. Mean tumor diameter was 3.36 cm. Overall, 8 and 34 patients received adjuvant SRS and SRT, and the mean maximal dose of radiation therapy was 1783.3 cGy and 6339 cGy, respectively. Results Overall rate of recurrence was 51.8%, and 1- and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 88.2% and 35.2%, respectively. Gross total resection was achieved in 30.9% of patients. Adjuvant radiotherapy improved outcomes following subtotal resection (5-year PFS 62.5% versus 20.1%; p = 0.036). SRS and SRT produced comparable rates of tumor control (p = 0.28). Higher dose SRT (> 6,000 cGy) (p = 0.013) and younger age (< 45 years) (p = 0.03) was associated with improved rates of tumor control. Conclusion Adjuvant radiotherapy is critical following subtotal resection of intracranial chordomas. Adjuvant SRT and SRS were safe and improved PFS following subtotal resection. Higher total doses of SRT and younger patient age were associated with improved rates of tumor control. PMID:26949587

  10. Medication management at home: enhancing nurse's skills and improving patient satisfaction--a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Mager, Diana R; Morrissey Ross, Mary

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this longitudinal study was to improve nurse medication management skills during home care (HC) visits, and thus improve care quality and the related patient ratings of nurse performance. Nurses completed presurveys asking how often they asked to see, taught about, and explained side effects of patient medications. Two focus groups were held with HC nurses to determine barriers to provision of such medication interventions, followed by presentation of a series of 5 medication-related educational sessions. HC nurse's surveys 6 months later reveal an increased frequency of medication skill performance, and patient ratings in these same areas improved statistically significantly, nearing or surpassing national benchmarks. PMID:23659219

  11. Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Background Despite evidence of inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, teaching these skills has declined. One method of enhancing inspection skills is teaching “visual literacy,” the ability to reason physiology and pathophysiology from careful and unbiased observation. Objective To improve students’ visual acumen through structured observation of artworks, understanding of fine arts concepts and applying these skills to patient care. Design Prospective, partially randomized pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis. Participants Twenty-four pre-clinical student participants were compared to 34 classmates at a similar stage of training. Intervention Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis consists of eight paired sessions of art observation exercises with didactics that integrate fine arts concepts with physical diagnosis topics and an elective life drawing session. Measurements The frequency of accurate observations on a 1-h visual skills examination was used to evaluate pre- vs. post-course descriptions of patient photographs and art imagery. Content analysis was used to identify thematic categories. All assessments were blinded to study group and pre- vs. post-course evaluation. Results Following the course, class participants increased their total mean number of observations compared to controls (5.41 ± 0.63 vs. 0.36 ± 0.53, p < 0.0001) and had increased sophistication in their descriptions of artistic and clinical imagery. A ‘dose-response’ was found for those who attended eight or more sessions, compared to participants who attended seven or fewer sessions (6.31 + 0.81 and 2.76 + 1.2, respectively, p = 0.03). Conclusions This interdisciplinary course improved participants’ capacity to make accurate observations of art and physical findings. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0) contains

  12. Medication Safety During Pregnancy: Improving Evidence-Based Practice.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Susan M; Miller, Richard K; Chambers, Christina; Cooper, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 90% of women in the United States have taken medications during pregnancy. Medication exposures during pregnancy can result in adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes including birth defects, fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, and longer-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Advising pregnant women about the safety of medication use during pregnancy is complicated by a lack of data necessary to engage the woman in an informed discussion. Routinely, health care providers turn to the package insert, yet this information can be incomplete and can be based entirely on animal studies. Often, adequate safety data are not available. In a busy clinical setting, health care providers need to be able to quickly locate the most up-to-date information in order to counsel pregnant women concerned about medication exposure. Deciding where to locate the best available information is difficult, particularly when the needed information does not exist. Pregnancy registries are initiated to obtain more data about the safety of specific medication exposures during pregnancy; however, these studies are slow to produce meaningful information, and when they do, the information may not be readily available in a published form. Health care providers have valuable data in their everyday practice that can expand the knowledge base about medication safety during pregnancy. This review aims to discuss the limitations of the package insert regarding medication safety during pregnancy, highlight additional resources available to health care providers to inform practice, and communicate the importance of pregnancy registries for expanding knowledge about medication safety during pregnancy. PMID:26771055

  13. Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Improvements to Emergency Medical Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeGraffenreid, Jeff Gordon

    The challenge facing many emergency medical services (EMS) is the implementation of a comprehensive educational strategy to address emergency responses to terrorism. One such service, Johnson County (Kansas) Medical Action, needed a strategy that would keep paramedics safe and offer the community an effective approach to mitigation. A…

  14. The potential of adjuvants to improve immune responses against TdaP vaccines: A preclinical evaluation of MF59 and monophosphoryl lipid A.

    PubMed

    Agnolon, Valentina; Bruno, Cristina; Leuzzi, Rosanna; Galletti, Bruno; D'Oro, Ugo; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Seubert, Anja; O'Hagan, Derek T; Baudner, Barbara C

    2015-08-15

    The successful approach of combining diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis antigens into a single vaccine has become a cornerstone of immunization programs. Yet, even if vaccination coverage is high, a resurgence of pertussis has been reported in many countries suggesting current vaccines may not provide adequate protection. To induce better tailored and more durable immune responses against pertussis vaccines different approaches have been proposed, including the use of novel adjuvants. Licensed aP vaccines contain aluminum salts, which mainly stimulate humoral immune responses and might not be ideal for protecting against Bordetella pertussis infection. Adjuvants inducing more balanced T-helper profiles or even Th1-prone responses might be more adequate. In this study, two adjuvants already approved for human use have been tested: MF59 emulsion and the combination of aluminum hydroxide with the Toll-Like Receptor 4 agonist MPLA. Adjuvanticity was evaluated in a mouse model using a TdaP vaccine containing three B. pertussis antigens: genetically detoxified pertussis toxin (PT-9K/129G), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN) The physico-chemical compatibility of TdaP antigens with the proposed adjuvants, together with a quicker onset and changed quality of the antibody responses, fully supports the replacement of aluminum salts with a new adjuvant to enhance aP vaccines immunogenicity. PMID:26149936

  15. Effective interventions to improve medication adherence in Type 2 diabetes: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Joni L Strom; Walker, Rebekah J; Smalls, Brittany L; Campbell, Jennifer A; Egede, Leonard E

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Aim Medication adherence is associated with improved outcomes in diabetes. Interventions have been established to help improve medication adherence; however, the most effective interventions in patients with Type 2 diabetes remain unclear. The goal of this study was to distinguish whether interventions were effective and identify areas for future research. Methods Medline was searched for articles published between January 2000 and May 2013, and a reproducible strategy was used. Study eligibility criteria included interventions measuring medication adherence in adults with Type 2 diabetes. Results Twenty seven studies met the inclusion criteria and 13 showed a statistically significant change in medication adherence. Conclusion Heterogeneity of the study designs and measures of adherence made it difficult to identify effective interventions that improved medication adherence. Additionally, medication adherence may not be solely responsible for achieving glycemic control. Researchers must emphasize tailored interventions that optimize management and improve outcomes, and examine the need for clear indicators of medication adherence. PMID:25214893

  16. [Influenza vaccine and adjuvant].

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Tetsuo

    2011-01-01

    Adjuvant is originated from the Latin word "adjuvare" which means "help" in English to enhance the immunological responses when given together with antigens. The beginning of adjuvant was mineral oil which enhanced the immune response when it was given with inactivated Salmonella typhimurium. Aluminium salt was used to precipitate diphtheria toxoid and increased level of antibody response was demonstrated when administered with alum-precipitated antigens. Since 1930, aluminium salt has been used as DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine) adjuvant. Many candidates were tested for adjuvant activity but only aluminum salt is allowed to use for human vaccines. New adjuvant MF59, oil-in-water emulsion type, was developed for influenza vaccine for elderly (Fluad) and series of AS adjuvant are used for hepatitis B, pandemic flue, and human papiloma virus vaccines. Oil-adjuvanted influenza pandemic vaccines induced higher antibody response than alum-adjuvanted vaccine with higher incidence of adverse events, especially for local reactions. Alum-adjuvanted whole virion inactivated H5N1 vaccine was developed in Japan, and it induced relatively well immune responses in adults. When it applied for children, febrile reaction was noted in approximately 60% of the subjects, with higher antibodies. Recent investigation on innate immunity demonstrates that adjuvant activity is initiated from the stimulation on innate immunity and/or inflammasome, resulting in cytokine induction and antigen uptake by monocytes and macrophages. The probable reason for high incidence of febrile reaction should be investigated to develop a safe and effective influenza vaccine. PMID:22129866

  17. Cryptanalysis and improvement of an improved two factor authentication protocol for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Chaudhry, Shehzad Ashraf; Naqvi, Husnain; Shon, Taeshik; Sher, Muhammad; Farash, Mohammad Sabzinejad

    2015-06-01

    Telecare medical information systems (TMIS) provides rapid and convenient health care services remotely. Efficient authentication is a prerequisite to guarantee the security and privacy of patients in TMIS. Authentication is used to verify the legality of the patients and TMIS server during remote access. Very recently Islam et al. (J. Med. Syst. 38(10):135, 2014) proposed a two factor authentication protocol for TMIS using elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to improve Xu et al.'s (J. Med. Syst. 38(1):9994, 2014) protocol. They claimed their improved protocol to be efficient and provides all security requirements. However our analysis reveals that Islam et al.'s protocol suffers from user impersonation and server impersonation attacks. Furthermore we proposed an enhanced protocol. The proposed protocol while delivering all the virtues of Islam et al.'s protocol resists all known attacks. PMID:25912427

  18. Does Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Improve Outcomes In pT1-3N0 Oral Cavity Cancer With Tumor-Free Margins and Perineural Invasion?

    SciTech Connect

    Liao, C.-T.; Chang, J.T.-C.; Wang, H.-M.; Ng, S.-H.; Hsueh Chuen; Lee, L.-Y.; Lin, C.-H.

    2008-06-01

    Purpose: The criteria for administration of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remain controversial, and it is unclear whether patients with pT1-3N0 disease benefit from adjuvant radiation in the presence of free margins and perineural invasion. The goal of this report was to determine whether this group would benefit from adjuvant radiation therapy in terms of 5-year local control rate and overall survival rate. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively reviewed our case records from January 1996 to May 2005. In all, 460 pT1-3N0 OSCC patients had tumor-free margins, of whom 68 had perineural invasion. Postoperative adjuvant RT was performed in patients with pT4 tumors, positive lymph nodes, or close margins ({<=}4 mm). In addition, selected OSCC patients with large pT3 tumors or perineural invasion received postoperative adjuvant RT. Local control and overall survival rates were plotted by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: There were no significant differences in 5-year local control (p 0.1936) and overall survival (p = 0.5580) rates between patients with perineural invasion compared with those without. Among patients with perineural invasion, the addition of adjuvant radiotherapy did not significantly alter the 5-year local control rate (p = 0.3170) or the overall survival rate (p = 0.0935). Conclusion: Altogether, these data seem to indicate that radical surgical resection alone should be considered a sufficient treatment for OSCC patients with pT1-3N0 disease, even in the presence of perineural invasion.

  19. Recent Advances of Vaccine Adjuvants for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Minh Trang

    2015-01-01

    Vaccines are the most effective and cost-efficient method for preventing diseases caused by infectious pathogens. Despite the great success of vaccines, development of safe and strong vaccines is still required for emerging new pathogens, re-emerging old pathogens, and in order to improve the inadequate protection conferred by existing vaccines. One of the most important strategies for the development of effective new vaccines is the selection and usage of a suitable adjuvant. Immunologic adjuvants are essential for enhancing vaccine potency by improvement of the humoral and/or cell-mediated immune response to vaccine antigens. Thus, formulation of vaccines with appropriate adjuvants is an attractive approach towards eliciting protective and long-lasting immunity in humans. However, only a limited number of adjuvants is licensed for human vaccines due to concerns about safety and toxicity. We summarize current knowledge about the potential benefits of adjuvants, the characteristics of adjuvants and the mechanisms of adjuvants in human vaccines. Adjuvants have diverse modes of action and should be selected for use on the basis of the type of immune response that is desired for a particular vaccine. Better understanding of current adjuvants will help exploring new adjuvant formulations and facilitate rational design of vaccines against infectious diseases. PMID:25922593

  20. [An improved motion estimation of medical image series via wavelet transform].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Rao, Nini; Wang, Gang

    2006-10-01

    The compression of medical image series is very important in telemedicine. The motion estimation plays a key role in the video sequence compression. In this paper, an improved square-diamond search (SDS) algorithm is proposed for the motion estimation of medical image series. The improved SDS algorithm reduces the number of the searched points. This improved SDS algorithm is used in wavelet transformation field to estimate the motion of medical image series. A simulation experiment for digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is made. The experiment results show that the algorithm accuracy is higher than that of other algorithms in the motion estimation of medical image series. PMID:17121333

  1. An improved comprehensive medical kit for passenger aircraft.

    PubMed

    Glazer, I; Cohen, S

    1987-11-01

    For the past 20 years, El Al has been carrying drugs and equipment for use by physicians on board the aircraft for medical emergencies. In addition, first aid equipment including a resuscitator (respirator)--to be used by the trained cabin attendants--and over-the-counter medications in a Hostess Purse are also carried. We have recently adopted a standard medical kit (MK) which contains primarily drugs considered essential to emergency cardiac care. However, its contents were extended, based on our experience in the airline and the recommendations of the Air Transport Medicine Committee of the Aerospace Medical Association. This would enable a competent physician on board to reasonably manage most medical emergencies until landing at the scheduled destination or at the nearest safe airport where better diagnostic means and treatment may be available. Equipment and drugs are designed to handle most acute allergic, cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, nervous, and psychiatric emergencies. Also included in the MK is a table of the drugs, their trade name, generic name, action, indications, contraindications, administration, and dosage. A check-off list of the drugs and equipment used by the physician, as well as space for provisional diagnosis and disposition, is provided. PMID:3689279

  2. [Rectal cancer and adjuvant chemotherapy: which conclusions?].

    PubMed

    Bachet, J-B; Rougier, P; de Gramont, A; André, T

    2010-01-01

    Adenocarcinoma of the rectum represents about a third of cases of colorectal cancer, with an annual incidence of 12,000 cases in France. On the contrary of colon cancer, the benefice of adjuvant chemotherapy in rectal cancer has not been definitively proved, more because this question was assessed in few recent studies than because negative results. Preoperative radiochemotherapy is now the reference treatment for mid and lower rectal cancers, and allow to increase the local control without improvement of progression free survival and overall survival. The data of the "historical studies" of adjuvant treatment in rectal cancer published before 1990, of the meta-analysis of adjuvant trials in rectal cancer and of the QUASAR study suggest that adjuvant chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidines (intravenous or oral), in absence of pre-operative treatment, decrease the risk of metastatic relapse after curative surgery for a rectal cancer of stage II or III. This benefice seems similar to the one observed in colon cancer. In the EORTC radiotherapy group trial 22921, an adjuvant chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil and low dose of leucovorin was not associated with a significantly improvement of overall survival but, despite the fact that only 42.9% of patients received all planed cycles, the progression free survival was increased (not significantly) in groups receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. The French recommendations are to discuss the indication of adjuvant chemotherapy by fluoropyrimidines in cases of stage III rectal cancer on histopathologic reports and no chemotherapy in case of stade II. Despite the fact that none study have assessed a combination of fluoropyrimidines and oxaliplatin in adjuvant setting in rectal cancer, like in colon cancer, the Folfox4, modified Folfox6 or Xelox regimens are valid options in stage III (experts opinion). In cases of pathologic complete remission or in absence of involved nodes, the benefice of adjuvant chemotherapy is not assessed. In

  3. Improving medication calculation skills of practicing nurses and senior nursing students: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Harne-Britner, Sarah; Kreamer, Carolyn L; Frownfelter, Penny; Helmuth, Amy; Lutter, Stacy; Schafer, Deborah J; Wilson, Cyndy

    2006-01-01

    Medication administration is an essential nursing competency as calculation difficulties can lead to serious medication errors. Nurses involved in staff education need to be aware of methods to assess for computation difficulty and develop strategies for nurses to improve their computation abilities. The purposes of this quasi-experimental pilot study were to assess the medication calculation skills of nurses and nursing students and to determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies aimed at improving these skills. PMID:16885685

  4. Managing medical comorbidities in patients with depression to improve prognosis.

    PubMed

    Thase, Michael E

    2016-02-01

    Medical comorbidities contribute to poor antidepressant response, treatment resistance, and poor outcomes in many patients with depression. Depression can co-occur with thyroid conditions, chronic pain conditions, central nervous system disorders, and more. Inflammatory conditions such as diabetes and obesity are also associated with depression, and the connection between inflammation and depression may lead to testing that could better match patients to specific antidepressant treatment. Interventions for patients with depression and a comorbid medical condition include careful selection of antidepressant therapy as well as psychotherapy and adjunctive agents. PMID:26829434

  5. Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe?

    PubMed

    Tomljenovic, L; Shaw, C A

    2011-01-01

    Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science's understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community. We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue. PMID:21568886

  6. Do Clinical Breast Examination Skills Improve During Medical School?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1998-01-01

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

  7. Improving Medical Students' Attitudes toward and Skills with the Elderly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Intrieri, Robert C.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Examined effect of experimental program in gerontology and geriatrics on third-year medical students. Experimental students (n=45) participated in four group sessions emphasizing psychological, sociodemographic, and physiological aspects of aging and interpersonal communication skills. Participants developed more positive attitudes and…

  8. How personalized medical data could improve health care.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Niklas; Grinberg, Alice; Okkels, Niels

    2014-10-01

    We present a redesign of medical test results by placing the information of blood samples in the context of the patient's personal clinical data. We predict that implementing personalized data in the treatment of patients will promote engagement in the treatment, motivate patients to take responsibility and lead to greater satisfaction with the patient-doctor relationship. PMID:25117520

  9. Visual analytics in medical education: impacting analytical reasoning and decision making for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The medical curriculum is the main tool representing the entire undergraduate medical education. Due to its complexity and multilayered structure it is of limited use to teachers in medical education for quality improvement purposes. In this study we evaluated three visualizations of curriculum data from a pilot course, using teachers from an undergraduate medical program and applying visual analytics methods. We found that visual analytics can be used to positively impacting analytical reasoning and decision making in medical education through the realization of variables capable to enhance human perception and cognition on complex curriculum data. The positive results derived from our evaluation of a medical curriculum and in a small scale, signify the need to expand this method to an entire medical curriculum. As our approach sustains low levels of complexity it opens a new promising direction in medical education informatics research. PMID:25991109

  10. Antibody and T-cell responses to a virosomal adjuvanted H9N2 avian influenza vaccine: impact of distinct additional adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Radosević, Katarina; Rodriguez, Ariane; Mintardjo, Ratna; Tax, Dennis; Bengtsson, Karin Lövgren; Thompson, Catherine; Zambon, Maria; Weverling, Gerrit Jan; Uytdehaag, Fons; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2008-07-01

    A highly efficacious vaccine is required to counteract a threat of an avian influenza pandemic. Increasing the potency of vaccines by adjuvation is essential not only to overcome generally low immunogenicity of pandemic strains, but also to allow dose sparing and as such to make it feasible to satisfy huge global production demands. In this study we evaluated the ability of four distinct adjuvants to further increase immune responses to a virosomal adjuvanted avian H9N2 influenza vaccine in mice. Currently registered adjuvants aluminium phosphate, aluminium hydroxide and MF59, as well as a novel promising adjuvant MATRIX-M were included in the study. Our results demonstrate that all adjuvants significantly increased the H9N2 haemagglutinin (HA) inhibition and ELISA antibody titers induced with the virosomal adjuvanted vaccine. The adjuvants exhibited different effect on the isotype of virus specific antibodies, with MATRIX-M inducing the most pronounced skewing to IgG2a, i.e. towards Th1 type of response. While the virosomal adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine efficiently induced CD4(+) T-cell response, with no further increase upon adjuvation, the CD8(+) T-cell responses induced with virosomal adjuvanted vaccine could be significantly improved upon additional adjuvation with MATRIX-M or MF59. All adjuvants demonstrated a dose sparing effect, i.e. in combination with the virosomal adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine they increased immune responses to comparable level independent of the tested vaccine dose. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that immune responses to a virosomal adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine can be further enhanced by add-on adjuvants, with MATRIX-M being overall the most potent adjuvant in combination with virosomes, followed by MF59 and finally aluminium-based adjuvants. PMID:18514980

  11. Adjuvant chemotherapy for early-stage cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Asano, Hiroshi; Todo, Yukiharu; Watari, Hidemichi

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer: Is it needed?

    PubMed Central

    Milinis, Kristijonas; Thornton, Michael; Montazeri, Amir; Rooney, Paul S

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy has become a standard treatment of advanced rectal cancer in the West. The benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery alone have been well established. However, controversy surrounds the use adjuvant chemotherapy in patients who received preoperative chemoradiotherapy, despite it being recommended by a number of international guidelines. Results of recent multicentre randomised control trials showed no benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in terms of survival and rates of distant metastases. However, concerns exist regarding the quality of the studies including inadequate staging modalities, out-dated chemotherapeutic regimens and surgical approaches and small sample sizes. It has become evident that not all the patients respond to adjuvant chemotherapy and more personalised approach should be employed when considering the benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy. The present review discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the current evidence-base and suggests improvements for future studies. PMID:26677436

  13. [Recent advance in adjuvant therapy for breast cancer].

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Chikako; Watanabe, Toru

    2002-12-01

    Adjuvant systemic therapy has contributed to a significant improvement of disease-free and overall survival in addition to surgery and irradiation to the local disease. The adjuvant therapy to a patient is determined integrating the information on estimated risk of recurrence, benefit and harm of the therapy and the patient's value. In this review, the state of the art of adjuvant therapy is discussed from several aspects, such as interpretation and evaluation of risk, the best available evidences on adjuvant systemic therapy, the future direction of primary therapy for breast cancer, and patient-oriented decision making. PMID:12506467

  14. Mechanisms of Action of Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Awate, Sunita; Babiuk, Lorne A.; Mutwiri, George

    2013-01-01

    Adjuvants are used in many vaccines, but their mechanisms of action are not fully understood. Studies from the past decade on adjuvant mechanisms are slowly revealing the secrets of adjuvant activity. In this review, we have summarized the recent progress in our understanding of the mechanisms of action of adjuvants. Adjuvants may act by a combination of various mechanisms including formation of depot, induction of cytokines and chemokines, recruitment of immune cells, enhancement of antigen uptake and presentation, and promoting antigen transport to draining lymph nodes. It appears that adjuvants activate innate immune responses to create a local immuno-competent environment at the injection site. Depending on the type of innate responses activated, adjuvants can alter the quality and quantity of adaptive immune responses. Understanding the mechanisms of action of adjuvants will provide critical information on how innate immunity influences the development of adaptive immunity, help in rational design of vaccines against various diseases, and can inform on adjuvant safety. PMID:23720661

  15. Teaching Performance Improvement: An Opportunity for Continuing Medical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staker, Larry V.

    2003-01-01

    Practicing physicians generally are not engaged in either the methods of performance improvement for health care or the measurement and reporting of clinical outcomes. The principal reasons are lack of compensation for such work, the perception that the work of performance improvement adds no value and is a waste of time, the lack of knowledge and…

  16. Internet supply ordering. Helping medical group practices improve business operations.

    PubMed

    Mayer, D

    2000-01-01

    Technology has opened the door to a new world of management tools in the physician practice environment. Productivity aids on the Web promise to alter forever the way we do everything--from interacting with vendors to caring for patients. Online medical, surgical and pharmaceutical supply acquisition sites, for example, already offer more efficient alternatives to phone and fax ordering, back-order challenges and supply cost monitoring. Not all sites are the same, however, and physicians and practice administrators must compare and contrast their needs with site offerings. PMID:11345667

  17. A Medication Combination for the Treatment of Central Poststroke Pain via the Adjuvant Use of Prednisone With Gabapentin: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Batlle, Luis; Mattie, Ryan; Irwin, Robert

    2016-03-01

    Central poststroke pain is a neuropathic pain syndrome that can occur from pathology of the brain. The case presented is of a woman with multiple comorbidities who was found to have an acute infarct in the left middle and anterior cerebral artery territories. She began to complain of worsening diffuse right upper and lower extremity pain, and central poststroke pain was diagnosed. First-line agents were contraindicated as the result of medical comorbidities, and chronic kidney disease only permitted the use of low-dose gabapentin. The patient's morbid obesity inspired the use of an adjunct medication protocol of a prednisone taper for proper treatment. After starting this treatment regimen, the patient experienced significant pain relief with eventual resolution. A steroid-based treatment protocol was used successfully in the early stages of central poststroke pain with proper side effect management and may have prevented difficult treatment management in the outpatient setting. PMID:26409194

  18. How to improve the performance of a good medical practice team: twelve techniques.

    PubMed

    Hills, Laura

    2013-01-01

    It is incredibly easy to ignore the medical practice team that is doing a good job. However, when we allow good performers to continue as they are, they probably won't improve. Their performance may even worsen. This is unfortunate because with a little bit of effort and support, good performers can often learn to excel. This article offers 12 techniques medical practice managers can use to bring their team members from good performance to excellent. It describes how to use goal-setting, work assignments, modeling, confidence building, team retreats, rewards, incentives, and reinforcement to ratchet up a good medical practice team's performance. This article also identifies the signs of medical employee mediocrity. It describes why setting higher expectations of your medical practice employees will ultimately improve their performance. Finally, this article suggests 10 practical and affordable strategies that medical practice managers can use to reinforce excellent performance in their good employees. PMID:23866656

  19. Advancing medical-surgical nursing practice: improving management of the changing patient condition.

    PubMed

    Monroe, Heidi; Plylar, Peggy; Krugman, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Higher patient acuities and more novice nurses on medical-surgical units have Educators focused on achieving positive outcomes with changes in patient condition. An educational program was developed to enhance nurses' knowledge, skill, and confidence in assessing hemodynamics, recognizing early signs of instability, and administering vasoactive medications. The program was successful with significant knowledge improvement as well as an increased use of the Medical Emergency Team while maintaining a low number of code calls. PMID:25407973

  20. Rationale and design of the Multicenter Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Unresolved medication discrepancies during hospitalization can contribute to adverse drug events, resulting in patient harm. Discrepancies can be reduced by performing medication reconciliation; however, effective implementation of medication reconciliation has proven to be challenging. The goals of the Multi-Center Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS) are to operationalize best practices for inpatient medication reconciliation, test their effect on potentially harmful unintentional medication discrepancies, and understand barriers and facilitators of successful implementation. Methods Six U.S. hospitals are participating in this quality improvement mentored implementation study. Each hospital has collected baseline data on the primary outcome: the number of potentially harmful unintentional medication discrepancies per patient, as determined by a trained on-site pharmacist taking a “gold standard” medication history. With the guidance of their mentors, each site has also begun to implement one or more of 11 best practices to improve medication reconciliation. To understand the effect of the implemented interventions on hospital staff and culture, we are performing mixed methods program evaluation including surveys, interviews, and focus groups of front line staff and hospital leaders. Discussion At baseline the number of unintentional medication discrepancies in admission and discharge orders per patient varies by site from 2.35 to 4.67 (mean=3.35). Most discrepancies are due to history errors (mean 2.12 per patient) as opposed to reconciliation errors (mean 1.23 per patient). Potentially harmful medication discrepancies averages 0.45 per patient and varies by site from 0.13 to 0.82 per patient. We discuss several barriers to implementation encountered thus far. In the end, we anticipate that MARQUIS tools and lessons learned have the potential to decrease medication discrepancies and improve patient outcomes. Trial

  1. Dispersion and evaporation of droplets amended with adjuvants on soybeans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased use of adjuvants to improve pesticide spray application efficiency is hindered by a lack of knowledge to enhance droplet adhesion. Dispersion and evaporation of single 300 µm droplets amended with four different spray adjuvants deposited at four different soybean plant locations were inves...

  2. Evaluating spray adjuvants to extend residual activity of microbiol pesticides`

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Based on requests to improve the residual efficacy of baculovirus applications, a commercial adjuvant (Nu-Film 17(R) and an experimental lignin adjuvant were evaluated for resistance to environmental degradation. Nu-Film is a commercial product derived from pine resin; and lignin is a by-product of...

  3. Adjuvant Effects on Evaporation Time and Wetted Area of Droplets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Appropriate adjuvant selection for pesticide applications is central to improve spray performances on waxy leaves and to reduce off-target losses. Evaporation and deposition patterns of 500 µm sessile droplets with five classes of adjuvants on five different waxy plants were investigated. Droplets g...

  4. Improving the Quality of Nursing Home Care and Medical-Record Accuracy with Direct Observational Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnelle, John F.; Osterweil, Dan; Simmons, Sandra F.

    2005-01-01

    Nursing home medical-record documentation of daily-care occurrence may be inaccurate, and information is not documented about important quality-of-life domains. The inadequacy of medical record data creates a barrier to improving care quality, because it supports an illusion of care consistent with regulations, which reduces the motivation and…

  5. Improvements in extremity dose assessment for ionising radiation medical applications.

    PubMed

    Ginjaume, M; Pérez, S; Ortega, X

    2007-01-01

    This study aims at testing the INTE ring dosemeter based on MCP-Ns and TLD-100 detectors on users from the field of medical applications, namely radiopharmacists, personnel at a cyclotron facility with corresponding FDG synthesis cells, interventional radiology technologists and radiologists. These users were chosen due to the fact that they have a significantly high risk of exposure to their hands. Following previous results, MCP-Ns TL thin material was used for radiology measurements, whereas TLD-100 was preferred for other applications. The dosemeters were tested to make sure that they were waterproof and that they could be sterilised properly prior to use. Results confirm the need to implement finger dosimetry, mainly for interventional radiologists as finger dose can be >50 times higher than whole-body dose and 3 times higher than wrist dose. PMID:17277325

  6. Polyionic vaccine adjuvants: another look at aluminum salts and polyelectrolytes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvants improve the adaptive immune response to a vaccine antigen by modulating innate immunity or facilitating transport and presentation. The selection of an appropriate adjuvant has become vital as new vaccines trend toward narrower composition, expanded application, and improved safety. Functionally, adjuvants act directly or indirectly on antigen presenting cells (APCs) including dendritic cells (DCs) and are perceived as having molecular patterns associated either with pathogen invasion or endogenous cell damage (known as pathogen associated molecular patterns [PAMPs] and damage associated molecular patterns [DAMPs]), thereby initiating sensing and response pathways. PAMP-type adjuvants are ligands for toll-like receptors (TLRs) and can directly affect DCs to alter the strength, potency, speed, duration, bias, breadth, and scope of adaptive immunity. DAMP-type adjuvants signal via proinflammatory pathways and promote immune cell infiltration, antigen presentation, and effector cell maturation. This class of adjuvants includes mineral salts, oil emulsions, nanoparticles, and polyelectrolytes and comprises colloids and molecular assemblies exhibiting complex, heterogeneous structures. Today innovation in adjuvant technology is driven by rapidly expanding knowledge in immunology, cross-fertilization from other areas including systems biology and materials sciences, and regulatory requirements for quality, safety, efficacy and understanding as part of the vaccine product. Standardizations will aid efforts to better define and compare the structure, function and safety of adjuvants. This article briefly surveys the genesis of adjuvant technology and then re-examines polyionic macromolecules and polyelectrolyte materials, adjuvants currently not known to employ TLR. Specific updates are provided for aluminum-based formulations and polyelectrolytes as examples of improvements to the oldest and emerging classes of vaccine adjuvants in use. PMID:25648619

  7. Rational design of small molecules as vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tom Y-H; Singh, Manmohan; Miller, Andrew T; De Gregorio, Ennio; Doro, Francesco; D'Oro, Ugo; Skibinski, David A G; Mbow, M Lamine; Bufali, Simone; Herman, Ann E; Cortez, Alex; Li, Yongkai; Nayak, Bishnu P; Tritto, Elaine; Filippi, Christophe M; Otten, Gillis R; Brito, Luis A; Monaci, Elisabetta; Li, Chun; Aprea, Susanna; Valentini, Sara; Calabrό, Samuele; Laera, Donatello; Brunelli, Brunella; Caproni, Elena; Malyala, Padma; Panchal, Rekha G; Warren, Travis K; Bavari, Sina; O'Hagan, Derek T; Cooke, Michael P; Valiante, Nicholas M

    2014-11-19

    Adjuvants increase vaccine potency largely by activating innate immunity and promoting inflammation. Limiting the side effects of this inflammation is a major hurdle for adjuvant use in vaccines for humans. It has been difficult to improve on adjuvant safety because of a poor understanding of adjuvant mechanism and the empirical nature of adjuvant discovery and development historically. We describe new principles for the rational optimization of small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) targeting Toll-like receptor 7 as adjuvants with a predicted increase in their therapeutic indices. Unlike traditional drugs, SMIP-based adjuvants need to have limited bioavailability and remain localized for optimal efficacy. These features also lead to temporally and spatially restricted inflammation that should decrease side effects. Through medicinal and formulation chemistry and extensive immunopharmacology, we show that in vivo potency can be increased with little to no systemic exposure, localized innate immune activation and short in vivo residence times of SMIP-based adjuvants. This work provides a systematic and generalizable approach to engineering small molecules for use as vaccine adjuvants. PMID:25411473

  8. Improving healthcare recruitment: the jupiter medical center experience.

    PubMed

    Uomo, Paul Dell; Schwieters, Jill

    2009-04-01

    Hospitals that want to improve their recruitment efforts should: Make recruitment a priority within the organization. Take steps to reduce high vacancy rates and turnover among first-year employees. Develop a recruitment marketing plan for key positions. Establish human resources metrics to track costs and effectiveness of recruiting efforts. Enhance the recruitment process for hiring managers and job candidates. PMID:19391571

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

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Jyoti; Susan, Deepa

    2016-01-01

    Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) are an uncommon and diverse group of more than 50 mesenchymal malignancies. Each of these histologic subtypes represents a unique disease with distinct biologic behavior and varying sensitivity to chemotherapy. The judicious use of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy along with surgery and radiation in the treatment of localized STS has a role in improving patient outcomes by decreasing local and distant recurrences. There is evidence that the use of adjuvant chemotherapy to a mixed cohort of chemo sensitive and insensitive sarcoma subtypes results in limited benefit. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to identify the subpopulation with high metastatic potential and to identify effective histology-specific treatment options to these patients. Present perspective, will focus on the rationale for adjuvant chemotherapy in sarcoma, with emphasis on the histology driven chemotherapy. It will outline key therapeutic opportunities and hurdles in adjuvant medical treatment of sarcoma, focusing on specific subtypes that are on the verge of new breakthroughs, as well as those in which promise has not lived up to expectations. PMID:27169114

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

    PubMed

    Bajpai, Jyoti; Susan, Deepa

    2016-01-01

    Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) are an uncommon and diverse group of more than 50 mesenchymal malignancies. Each of these histologic subtypes represents a unique disease with distinct biologic behavior and varying sensitivity to chemotherapy. The judicious use of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy along with surgery and radiation in the treatment of localized STS has a role in improving patient outcomes by decreasing local and distant recurrences. There is evidence that the use of adjuvant chemotherapy to a mixed cohort of chemo sensitive and insensitive sarcoma subtypes results in limited benefit. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to identify the subpopulation with high metastatic potential and to identify effective histology-specific treatment options to these patients. Present perspective, will focus on the rationale for adjuvant chemotherapy in sarcoma, with emphasis on the histology driven chemotherapy. It will outline key therapeutic opportunities and hurdles in adjuvant medical treatment of sarcoma, focusing on specific subtypes that are on the verge of new breakthroughs, as well as those in which promise has not lived up to expectations. PMID:27169114

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

    PubMed Central

    Poeggel, Sven; Duraibabu, Dineshbabu; Kalli, Kyriacos; Leen, Gabriel; Dooly, Gerard; Lewis, Elfed; Kelly, Jimmy; Munroe, Maria

    2015-01-01

    This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS). The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer (EFPI) with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF) acid and femtosecond (FS) laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of sp = 2–10 nmkPa and a resolution of better than ΔP = 10 Pa (0.1 cm H2O). A static pressure test in 38 cmH2O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H2O) in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by k=10.7 pmK, which results in a temperature resolution of better than ΔT = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes. PMID:26184331

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

    PubMed

    Poeggel, Sven; Duraibabu, Dineshbabu; Kalli, Kyriacos; Leen, Gabriel; Dooly, Gerard; Lewis, Elfed; Kelly, Jimmy; Munroe, Maria

    2015-01-01

    This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS). The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF) acid and femtosecond (FS) laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of sp = 2-10 nm/kPa and a resolution of better than ΔP = 10 Pa protect (0.1 cm H2O). A static pressure test in 38 cm H2O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H2O) in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by k = 10.7 pm/K, which results in a temperature resolution of better than ΔT = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes. PMID:26184331

  13. Droplet evaporation and spread on waxy and hairy leaves associated with type and concentration of adjuvants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adjuvants can improve pesticide application efficiency and effectiveness. However, knowledge is lacking on quantitative behaviors of adjuvant-amended pesticide droplets on foliage. Evaporation rates and wetted areas of 500 µm diameter water droplets amended with four adjuvants applied to waxy and h...

  14. Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Janet; Stabile, Mark; Jones, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    We examine the effects of a policy change in the province of Quebec, Canada which greatly expanded insurance coverage for prescription medications. We show that the change was associated with a sharp increase in the use of stimulant medications commonly prescribed for ADHD in Quebec relative to the rest of Canada. We ask whether this increase in medication use was associated with improvements in emotional functioning or academic outcomes among children with ADHD. We find little evidence of improvement in either the medium or the long run. Our results are silent on the effects on optimal use of medication for ADHD, but suggest that expanding medication in a community setting had little positive benefit and may have had harmful effects given the average way these drugs are used in the community. PMID:24954077

  15. Use-related risk analysis for medical devices based on improved FMEA.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    In order to effectively analyze and control use-related risk of medical devices, quantitative methodologies must be applied. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive technique for error detection and risk reduction. In this article, an improved FMEA based on Fuzzy Mathematics and Grey Relational Theory is developed to better carry out user-related risk analysis for medical devices. As an example, the analysis process using this improved FMEA method for a certain medical device (C-arm X-ray machine) is described. PMID:22317712

  16. Systemic immunotoxicity reactions induced by adjuvanted vaccines.

    PubMed

    Batista-Duharte, Alexander; Portuondo, Deivys; Pérez, O; Carlos, Iracilda Zeppone

    2014-05-01

    Vaccine safety is a topic of concern for the treated individual, the family, the health care personnel, and the others involved in vaccination programs as recipients or providers. Adjuvants are necessary components to warrant the efficacy of vaccines, however the overstimulation of the immune system is also associated with adverse effects. Local reactions are the most frequent manifestation of toxicity induced by adjuvanted vaccines and, with the exception of the acute phase response (APR), much less is known about the systemic reactions that follow vaccination. Their low frequency or subclinical expression meant that this matter has been neglected. In this review, various systemic reactions associated with immune stimulation will be addressed, including: APR, hypersensitivity, induction or worsening of autoimmune diseases, modification of hepatic metabolism and vascular leak syndrome (VLS), with an emphasis on the mechanism involved. Finally, the authors analyze the current focus of discussion about vaccine safety and opportunities to improve the design of new adjuvanted vaccines in the future. PMID:24607449

  17. Improving Medication Administration Safety in a Community Hospital Setting Using Lean Methodology.

    PubMed

    Critchley, Sandy

    2015-01-01

    Virtually all health care organizations have goals of improving patient safety, but despite clear goals and considerable investments, gains have been limited. This article explores a community hospital's resounding success using Lean methodology to improve medication administration safety with process changes designed by engaged employees and leaders with the knowledge and skill to effect improvements. This article inspires an interdisciplinary approach to quality improvement using reproducible strategies. PMID:25599523

  18. Adjuvanting an inactivated influenza vaccine with flagellin improves the function and quantity of the long-term antibody response in a nonhuman primate neonate model.

    PubMed

    Holbrook, Beth C; D'Agostino, Ralph B; Parks, Griffith D; Alexander-Miller, Martha A

    2016-09-01

    Young infants are at significantly increased risk of developing severe disease following infection with influenza virus. At present there is no approved vaccine for individuals below the age of six months given previous studies showing a failure of these individuals to efficiently seroconvert. Given the major impact of influenza on infant health, it is critical that we develop vaccines that will be safe and effective in this population. Using a nonhuman primate (NHP) model, we have evaluated the ability of an inactivated influenza virus vaccine adjuvanted with flagellin to result in long term immune responses in neonates. To evaluate this critical attribute, neonate NHP were vaccinated and boosted with inactivated influenza virus in combination with either flagellin or a mutant inactive flagellin control. Our studies show that inclusion of flagellin resulted in a significant increase (5-fold, p=0.04) in influenza virus-specific IgG antibody at 6months post-vaccination. In addition, the antibody present at this late time was of higher affinity (2.4-fold, p=0.02). Finally a greater percentage of infants had detectable neutralizing antibody. These results support the use of flagellin in neonates as an adjuvant that promotes long-lived, high affinity antibody responses. PMID:27516064

  19. Health Information Technology: Meaningful Use and Next Steps to Improving Electronic Facilitation of Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Background The use of health information technology (HIT) may improve medication adherence, but challenges for implementation remain. Objective The aim of this paper is to review the current state of HIT as it relates to medication adherence programs, acknowledge the potential barriers in light of current legislation, and provide recommendations to improve ongoing medication adherence strategies through the use of HIT. Methods We describe four potential HIT barriers that may impact interoperability and subsequent medication adherence. Legislation in the United States has incentivized the use of HIT to facilitate and enhance medication adherence. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) was recently adopted and establishes federal standards for the so-called "meaningful use" of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology that can directly impact medication adherence. Results The four persistent HIT barriers to medication adherence include (1) underdevelopment of data reciprocity across clinical, community, and home settings, limiting the capture of data necessary for clinical care; (2) inconsistent data definitions and lack of harmonization of patient-focused data standards, making existing data difficult to use for patient-centered outcomes research; (3) inability to effectively use the national drug code information from the various electronic health record and claims datasets for adherence purposes; and (4) lack of data capture for medication management interventions, such as medication management therapy (MTM) in the EHR. Potential recommendations to address these issues are discussed. Conclusion To make meaningful, high quality data accessible, and subsequently improve medication adherence, these challenges will need to be addressed to fully reach the potential of HIT in impacting one of our largest public health issues. PMID:26980270

  20. Randomized Trial of Telephone Outreach to Improve Medication Adherence and Metabolic Control in Adults With Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Schmittdiel, Julie A.; Pathak, Ram D.; Harris, Ronald I.; Newton, Katherine M.; Ohnsorg, Kris A.; Heisler, Michele; Sterrett, Andrew T.; Xu, Stanley; Dyer, Wendy T.; Raebel, Marsha A.; Thomas, Abraham; Schroeder, Emily B.; Desai, Jay R.; Steiner, John F.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Medication nonadherence is a major obstacle to better control of glucose, blood pressure (BP), and LDL cholesterol in adults with diabetes. Inexpensive effective strategies to increase medication adherence are needed. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a pragmatic randomized trial, we randomly assigned 2,378 adults with diabetes mellitus who had recently been prescribed a new class of medication for treating elevated levels of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) ≥8% (64 mmol/mol), BP ≥140/90 mmHg, or LDL cholesterol ≥100 mg/dL, to receive 1) one scripted telephone call from a diabetes educator or clinical pharmacist to identify and address nonadherence to the new medication or 2) usual care. Hierarchical linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the impact on 1) the first medication fill within 60 days of the prescription; 2) two or more medication fills within 180 days of the prescription; and 3) clinically significant improvement in levels of A1C, BP, or LDL cholesterol. RESULTS Of the 2,378 subjects, 89.3% in the intervention group and 87.4% in the usual-care group had sufficient data to analyze study outcomes. In intent-to-treat analyses, intervention was not associated with significant improvement in primary adherence, medication persistence, or intermediate outcomes of care. Results were similar across subgroups of patients defined by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and study site, and when limiting the analysis to those who completed the intended intervention. CONCLUSIONS This low-intensity intervention did not significantly improve medication adherence or control of glucose, BP, or LDL cholesterol. Wide use of this strategy does not appear to be warranted; alternative approaches to identify and improve medication adherence and persistence are needed. PMID:25315207

  1. Improving the Social Responsiveness of Medical Schools: Proceedings of the 1998 Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates/World Health Organization Invitational Conference.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gary, Nancy E., Ed.; Boelen, Charles, Ed.; Gastel, Barbara, Ed.; Ayers, William, Ed.

    1999-01-01

    Proceedings of the conference on improving the social responsiveness of medical schools include papers on the role of medical schools in relation to societal needs, the missions of medical schools (from North American, European, African, and Asian perspectives), measuring social responsiveness (perspective of the United Kingdom, standard-setting,…

  2. In-home medication reviews: a novel approach to improving patient care through coordination of care.

    PubMed

    Willis, Joel S; Hoy, Robert H; Jenkins, Wiley D

    2011-12-01

    The use of multiple medications, in persons 65 years and older, has been linked to increased risk for cognitive impairment, falls, hip fractures, hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, and mortality. The purpose of this study was to determine if trained undergraduate students, in conjunction with pharmacists, could provide in-home medication reviews and demonstrate benefit to the health and welfare of a senior population affiliated with a primary care facility. Students received training in the completion of an in-home medication inventory, assessing a home for fall risk, and performing blood pressures. Once trained and proven proficient students performed the assessments in homes of Decatur Family Medicine Residency patients 65 years and older. Collected medication inventories were reviewed by a hospital pharmacist for fall risk medications, major drug interactions, or duplicate therapy. Changes to patient management were made by the primary care provider as needed. In all, 75 students visited 118 patients in Fall 2010. Findings from the medication review include: 102 (86%) patients were prescribed at least one fall risk medication; 43% were prescribed 3 or more; 14% had the potential for a major drug interaction; and 7% were prescribed duplicate therapies. Fifty-seven patients had a subsequent change made to their clinical medication list. The results demonstrate that an in-home outreach can be successfully performed by student volunteers and provide data of high clinical relevance and use. This application of the patient-centered medical home can readily and directly improve patient safety. PMID:21499935

  3. Improved particle swarm optimization algorithm for android medical care IOT using modified parameters.

    PubMed

    Sung, Wen-Tsai; Chiang, Yen-Chun

    2012-12-01

    This study examines wireless sensor network with real-time remote identification using the Android study of things (HCIOT) platform in community healthcare. An improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) method is proposed to efficiently enhance physiological multi-sensors data fusion measurement precision in the Internet of Things (IOT) system. Improved PSO (IPSO) includes: inertia weight factor design, shrinkage factor adjustment to allow improved PSO algorithm data fusion performance. The Android platform is employed to build multi-physiological signal processing and timely medical care of things analysis. Wireless sensor network signal transmission and Internet links allow community or family members to have timely medical care network services. PMID:22492176

  4. DESIGN OF MEDICAL RADIOMETER FRONT-END FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    PubMed Central

    Klemetsen, Ø.; Birkelund, Y.; Jacobsen, S. K.; Maccarini, P. F.; Stauffer, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    (amplifiers and power meter). For the configuration with a low noise amplifier up front, damage would occur to the active components of the radiometer if used in presence of the microwave heating antenna. Nevertheless, this design showed significantly improved sensitivity of measured temperatures and merits further investigation to determine methods of protecting the radiometer for amplifier first front ends. PMID:21779411

  5. Adjuvants in micro- to nanoscale: current state and future direction.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Ankur; Das, Soumen; Schanen, Brian; Seal, Sudipta

    2016-01-01

    Adjuvants have been used in vaccines for over 70 years to promote long-lived and sterilizing immunity. Since then, various adjuvant systems were developed by combining nanotechnology with natural and/or synthetic immunomodulatory molecules. These systems are biocompatible, immunogenic, and possess higher antigen carrying capacity. This article showcases advancements made in the adjuvant systems formulations, their synthesis routes, and the improvement of these adjuvants have brought in response to combat against ongoing global health threats such as malaria, hepatitis C, universal influenza, and human immunodeficiency virus. This review also highlights the interaction of adjuvants with the delivery of antigens to cells and unfolds mechanism of actions. In addition, this review discusses the physicochemical factors responsible for the efficient interaction of nanoadjuvants with antigen receptors to develop more effective, less reactogenic, and multifunctional systems for the next generation vaccines. PMID:26053286

  6. [Adjuvants--essential components of new generation vaccines].

    PubMed

    Dzierzbicka, Krystyna; Kołodziejczyk, Aleksander M

    2006-01-01

    Adjuvants are essential components of vaccines that augment an immunological reaction of organism. New vaccines based on recombinant proteins and DNA, are more save than traditional vaccines but they are less immunogenic. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of new, improved vaccine adjuvants. There are two classes of adjuvants: vaccine delivery systems (e.g. emulsions, microparticles, immune-stimulating complexes ISCOMs, liposomes) and immunostimulatory adjuvants (e.g. lipopolysaccharide, monophosphoryl lipid A, CpG DNA, or muramylpeptides). The discovery of more potent and safer adjuvants may allow to development better prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against chronic infectious (e.g., HSV, HIV, HCV, HBV, HPV, or Helicobacter pylori) and noninfectious diseases as multiple sclerosis, insulin-dependent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, allergy and tumors (e.g., melanoma, breast, or colon cancer). PMID:17078510

  7. Update on Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Rampurwala, Murtuza M; Rocque, Gabrielle B; Burkard, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Although most women are diagnosed with early breast cancer, a substantial number recur due to persistent micro-metastatic disease. Systemic adjuvant chemotherapy improves outcomes and has advanced from first-generation regimens to modern dose-dense combinations. Although chemotherapy is the cornerstone of adjuvant therapy, new biomarkers are identifying patients who can forego such treatment. Neo-adjuvant therapy is a promising platform for drug development, but investigators should recognize the limitations of surrogate endpoints and clinical trials. Previous decades have focused on discovering, developing, and intensifying adjuvant chemotherapy. Future efforts should focus on customizing therapy and reducing chemotherapy for patients unlikely to benefit. In some cases, it may be possible to replace chemotherapy with treatments directed at specific genetic or molecular breast cancer subtypes. Yet, we anticipate that chemotherapy will remain a critical component of adjuvant therapy for years to come. PMID:25336961

  8. Using Simulation to Improve First-Year Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Identify Medication Errors Involving the Top 100 Prescription Medications

    PubMed Central

    Awdishu, Linda; Namba, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate first-year pharmacy students’ ability to identify medication errors involving the top 100 prescription medications. Design. In the first quarter of a 3-quarter pharmacy self-care course, a didactic lecture on the most common prescribing and dispensing prescription errors was presented to first-year pharmacy students (P1) in preparation for a prescription review simulation done individually and as a group. In the following quarter, they were given a formal prescription review workshop before a second simulation involving individual and group review of a different set of prescriptions. Students were evaluated based on the number of correctly checked prescriptions and a self-assessment of their confidence in reviewing prescriptions. Assessment. All 63 P1 students completed the prescription review simulations. The individual scores did not significantly change, but group scores improved from 79 (16.2%) in the fall quarter to 98.6 (4.7%) in the winter quarter. Students perceived improvement of their prescription checking skills, specifically in their ability to fill a prescription on their own, identify prescribing and dispensing errors, and perform pharmaceutical calculations. Conclusion. A prescription review module consisting of a didactic lecture, workshop and simulation-based methods to teach prescription analysis was successful at improving first year pharmacy students’ knowledge, confidence, and application of these skills. PMID:27402989

  9. Using Simulation to Improve First-Year Pharmacy Students' Ability to Identify Medication Errors Involving the Top 100 Prescription Medications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-25

    Objective. To evaluate first-year pharmacy students' ability to identify medication errors involving the top 100 prescription medications. Design. In the first quarter of a 3-quarter pharmacy self-care course, a didactic lecture on the most common prescribing and dispensing prescription errors was presented to first-year pharmacy students (P1) in preparation for a prescription review simulation done individually and as a group. In the following quarter, they were given a formal prescription review workshop before a second simulation involving individual and group review of a different set of prescriptions. Students were evaluated based on the number of correctly checked prescriptions and a self-assessment of their confidence in reviewing prescriptions. Assessment. All 63 P1 students completed the prescription review simulations. The individual scores did not significantly change, but group scores improved from 79 (16.2%) in the fall quarter to 98.6 (4.7%) in the winter quarter. Students perceived improvement of their prescription checking skills, specifically in their ability to fill a prescription on their own, identify prescribing and dispensing errors, and perform pharmaceutical calculations. Conclusion. A prescription review module consisting of a didactic lecture, workshop and simulation-based methods to teach prescription analysis was successful at improving first year pharmacy students' knowledge, confidence, and application of these skills. PMID:27402989

  10. Clinical Recommendations in Medical Practice: A Proposed Framework to Reduce Bias and Improve the Quality of Medical Decisions.

    PubMed

    Alfandre, David

    2016-01-01

    Patients rely on, benefit from, and are strongly influenced by physicians' recommendations. In spite of the centrality and importance of physicians' recommendations to clinical care, there is only a scant literature describing the conceptual process of forming a clinical recommendation, and no discrete professional standards for making individual clinical recommendations. Evidence-based medicine and shared decision making together are intended to improve medical decision making, but there has been limited attention to how a recommendation is discretely formulated from either of those processes or how patients' preferences ought to be considered and how much weight they should hold. Moreover, physicians' bias has been reported to strongly influence how a recommendation is derived, thereby undermining the quality of healthcare decisions and patients' trust. To demonstrate a potential for improving the quality of decisions, this article proposes a conceptual framework for how physicians should reach a clinical recommendation and apply the process in practice. For preference-sensitive clinical decisions-that is, clinical decisions when patients' values and preferences are relevant-the process for reaching a recommendation should be transparent to patients and should be based solely on the medical evidence and patients' values and preferences. When patients' preferences for care do not prioritize health, physicians decide whether their recommendation will prioritize a welfare-enhancing versus an autonomy-enhancing approach. When there are gaps in understanding how physicians derive their clinical recommendations and how to further improve the quality of the decisions, the author calls for further empiric research. PMID:27045301

  11. [Improved information in Medical School may increase recruitment of physician-scientists].

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Lars; Stockfelt, Marit; Finizia, Caterina

    The proportion of physicians undertaking doctoral studies has decreased progressively over the last years both in Sweden and internationally. To counteract this trend, it is important to investigate and improve the recruitment of medical students to research. In the fall of 2012, a questionnaire study investigating interest and involvement in research was conducted among all medical students at Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University in Sweden. The proportion of students involved in research (16 %) was unchanged from a previous similar study in 2006, and participating in a research project was considered to contribute positively to medical studies.  A large number of students (36 %) were interested in conducting research during the semesters, and the main disincentives included lack of time, lack of information, and lack of project and research group.  Research stimulating projects such as the 'Amanuensis Program' had a positive impact on research interest in general. For increased and early recruitment of medical students, efforts should be made to offer improved and regular information about conducting research, to publish available research projects and research groups, and to create and expand research programs for motivated medical students. Along with improved conditions and financial resources, we propose that these measures would help to accommodate the growing need for recruitment of medical students and physicians to research. PMID:25405623

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

    PubMed Central

    Tandrup Schmidt, Signe; Foged, Camilla; Smith Korsholm, Karen; Rades, Thomas; Christensen, Dennis

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tandrup Schmidt, Signe; Foged, Camilla; Korsholm, Karen Smith; Rades, Thomas; Christensen, Dennis

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, Debra L.; Chibnall, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Medical education can have significant negative effects on the well-being of medical students. To date, efforts to improve student mental health have focused largely on improving access to mental health providers, reducing the stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment, and implementing ancillary wellness programs. Still, new and innovative models that build on these efforts by directly addressing the root causes of stress that lie within the curriculum itself are needed to properly promote student wellness. In this article, the authors present a new paradigm for improving medical student mental health, by describing an integrated, multifaceted, preclinical curricular change program implemented through the Office of Curricular Affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine starting in the 2009–2010 academic year. The authors found that significant but efficient changes to course content, contact hours, scheduling, grading, electives, learning communities, and required resilience/mindfulness experiences were associated with significantly lower levels of depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and stress, and significantly higher levels of community cohesion, in medical students who participated in the expanded wellness program compared with those who preceded its implementation. The authors discuss the utility and relevance of such curricular changes as an overlooked component of change models for improving medical student mental health. PMID:24556765

  15. Cost-Effectiveness of a Computerized Provider Order Entry System in Improving Medication Safety Ambulatory Care

    PubMed Central

    Forrester, Sara H.; Hepp, Zsolt; Roth, Joshua A.; Wirtz, Heidi S.; Devine, Emily Beth

    2014-01-01

    Background Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is the process of entering physician orders directly into an electronic health record. Although CPOE has been shown to improve medication safety and reduce health care costs, these improvements have been demonstrated largely in the inpatient setting; the cost-effectiveness in the ambulatory setting remains uncertain. Objective The objective was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of CPOE in reducing medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs) in the ambulatory setting. Methods We created a decision-analytic model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of CPOE in a midsized (400 providers) multidisciplinary medical group over a 5-year time horizon— 2010 to 2014— the time frame during which health systems are implementing CPOE to meet Meaningful Use criteria. We adopted the medical group’s perspective and utilized their costs, changes in efficiency, and actual number of medication errors and ADEs. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. Scenario analyses were explored. Results In the base case, CPOE dominated paper prescribing, that is, CPOE cost $18 million less than paper prescribing, and was associated with 1.5 million and 14,500 fewer medication errors and ADEs, respectively, over 5 years. In the scenario that reflected a practice group of five providers, CPOE cost $265,000 less than paper prescribing, was associated with 3875 and 39 fewer medication errors and ADEs, respectively, over 5 years, and was dominant in 80% of the simulations. Conclusions Our model suggests that the adoption of CPOE in the ambulatory setting provides excellent value for the investment, and is a cost-effective strategy to improve medication safety over a wide range of practice sizes. PMID:24968993

  16. Improving educational environment in medical colleges through transactional analysis practice of teachers

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Marina

    2012-01-01

    Context: A FAIMER (Foundation for Advancement in International Medical Education and Research) fellow organized a comprehensive faculty development program to improve faculty awareness resulting in changed teaching practices and better teacher student relationships using Transactional Analysis (TA). Practicing TA tools help development of ‘awareness’ about intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. Objectives: To improve self-awareness among medical educators.To bring about self-directed change in practices among medical educators.To assess usefulness of TA tools for the same. Methods: An experienced trainer conducted a basic course (12 hours) in TA for faculty members. The PAC model of personality structure, functional fluency model of personal functioning, stroke theory on motivation, passivity and script theories of adult functional styles were taught experientially with examples from the Medical Education Scenario. Self-reported improvement in awareness and changes in practices were assessed immediately after, at three months, and one year after training. Findings: The mean improvement in self-'awareness' is 13.3% (95% C.I 9.3-17.2) among nineteen participants. This persists one year after training. Changes in practices within a year include, collecting feedback, new teaching styles and better relationship with students. Discussion and Conclusions: These findings demonstrate sustainable and measurable improvement in self-awareness by practice of TA tools. Improvement in self-'awareness' of faculty resulted in self-directed changes in teaching practices. Medical faculty has judged the TA tools effective for improving self-awareness leading to self-directed changes. PMID:24358808

  17. Text Messaging to Improve Hypertension Medication Adherence in African Americans: BPMED Intervention Development and Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Artinian, Nancy T; Schwiebert, Loren; Yarandi, Hossein; Levy, Phillip D

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypertension (HTN) is a major public health concern in the United States, with almost 78 million Americans age 20 years and over suffering from the condition. Moreover, HTN is a key risk factor for health disease and stroke. African Americans disproportionately shoulder the burdens of HTN, with greater prevalence, disease severity, earlier onset, and more HTN-related complications than age-matched whites. Medication adherence for the treatment of HTN is poor, with estimates indicating that only about half of hypertensive patients are adherent to prescribed medication regimens. Although no single intervention for improving medication adherence has emerged as superior to others, text message medication reminders have the potential to help improve medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN as mobile phone adoption is very high in this population. Objective The purpose of this two-phased study was to develop (Phase I) and test in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Phase II) a text message system, BPMED, to improve the quality of medication management through increasing medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN. Methods In Phase I, we recruited 16 target end-users from a primary care clinic, to assist in the development of BPMED through participating in one of three focus groups. Focus groups sought to gain patient perspectives on HTN, medication adherence, mobile phone use, and the use of text messaging to support medication adherence. Potential intervention designs were presented to participants, and feedback on the designs was solicited. In Phase II, we conducted two pilot RCTs to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of BPMED in primary care and emergency department settings. Both pilot studies recruited approximately 60 participants, who were randomized equally between usual care and the BPMED intervention. Results Although data collection is now complete, data analysis from the

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

    PubMed Central

    Vildbrad, Mads Dam; Lyhne, Johanne Marie

    2014-01-01

    Background To practice medicine, doctors must master leadership, communication, team management, and collaboration, in addition to medical knowledge. The CanMEDS framework describes seven roles of a doctor, but the six nonmedical expert roles are de-emphasized in the academic medical curriculum. Innovative opportunities are needed for medical students to develop as participants in a world of interdisciplinary health care. Methods We founded a volunteer-based, interdisciplinary, student-run project called SUNDdag (HEALTHday) with 60 students from 12 different educational backgrounds. To evaluate the learning outcomes of the project, we conducted a cross-sectional study using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. Results Students joined the project due to it being health-promoting, volunteer-based, and interdisciplinary. The medical students reported a significant increase of skills in all seven roles except for “medical expert”. They reported an increased understanding of the non-health-related students’ skills. Conclusion In their future careers, medical students must collaborate with health care professionals in a team-based approach to patient care and with non-health-related professionals in administrative tasks. Interdisciplinary volunteer-based initiatives like SUNDdag are potential platforms for medical students to improve their CanMEDS competencies. We encourage students to initiate similar projects and we encourage faculties to support volunteer-based, interdisciplinary initiatives due to their favorable cost-benefit ratio. PMID:25540602

  19. [The main ways of improvement of medical support of the Air Forces in modern conditions].

    PubMed

    Blaginin, A A; Grebeniuk, A N; Lizogub, I N

    2014-02-01

    Blaginin A.A., Grebenyuk A.N., Lizogub LN. - The main ways of improvement of medical support of the Air Forces in modern conditions. Aircrew conducting active hostilities suffers from the whole spectrum of factors and conditions of the combat situation. The main task for the medical service of the Air Force is to carry out preventive and curative action for aviation specialists who are responsible for the combat capability of aircraft formations. The medical service of the Air Force must have forces and facilities for planning, organization and implementation of the treatment of lightly wounded and sick aviation professionals with short periods of recovery, medical rehabilitation of aircrew qfter suffering injuries, diseases, sanatorium therapy of aircrew with partial failure of health, outpatient and inpatient medical examination aircrew - flight commissions, preventive rest of aviation specialists with symptoms of chronic fatigue. Should be trained aviation physicians, including both basic military medical education and in-depth study of the medical aspects of various fields of personnel of the Air Force. PMID:25046924

  20. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Performance improvement indicators of the Medical Records Department and Information Technology (IT) in hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Ajami, Sima; Ketabi, Saedeh; Torabiyan, Fatemeh

    2015-01-01

    Medical Record Department (MRD) has a vital role in making short and long term plans to improve health system services. The aim of this study was to describe performance improvement indicators of hospital MRD and information technology (IT). Collection of Data: A search was conducted in various databases, through related keywords in articles, books, and abstracts of conferences from 2001 to 2009. About 58 articles and books were available which were evaluated and finally 15 of them were selected based on their relevance to the study. MRD must be capable of supporting tasks such as patient care and continuity, institute management processes, medical education programs, medical research, communication between different wards of a hospital and administrative and medical staff. The use of IT in MRD can facilitate access to department, expedite communication within and outside department, reduce space with electronic medical records, reduce costs, accelerate activities such as coding by use of coding guide software and facilitate retrieval of records that will ultimately improve the performance of MRD. PMID:26150874

  2. Improving medical graduates’ training in palliative care: advancing education and practice

    PubMed Central

    Head, Barbara A; Schapmire, Tara J; Earnshaw, Lori; Chenault, John; Pfeifer, Mark; Sawning, Susan; Shaw, Monica A

    2016-01-01

    The needs of an aging population and advancements in the treatment of both chronic and life-threatening diseases have resulted in increased demand for quality palliative care. The doctors of the future will need to be well prepared to provide expert symptom management and address the holistic needs (physical, psychosocial, and spiritual) of patients dealing with serious illness and the end of life. Such preparation begins with general medical education. It has been recommended that teaching and clinical experiences in palliative care be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum, yet such education has not become the norm in medical schools across the world. This article explores the current status of undergraduate medical education in palliative care as published in the English literature and makes recommendations for educational improvements which will prepare doctors to address the needs of seriously ill and dying patients. PMID:26955298

  3. Improvement of the Russian system of medical care at the site of space crew landing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rukavishnikov, Ilya; Bogomolov, Valery; Polyakov, Alexey

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

  4. A proposed framework to improve the safety of medical devices in a Canadian hospital context

    PubMed Central

    Polisena, Julie; Jutai, Jeffrey; Chreyh, Rana

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Medical devices are used to monitor, replace, or modify anatomy or physiological processes. They are important health care innovations that enable effective treatment using less invasive techniques, and they improve health care delivery and patient outcomes. Devices can also introduce risk of harm to patients. Our objective was to propose a surveillance system framework to improve the safety associated with the use of medical devices in a hospital. Materials and methods The proposed medical device surveillance system incorporates multiple components to accurately document and assess the appropriate actions to reduce the risk of incidents, adverse events, and patient harm. The assumptions on which the framework is based are highlighted. The surveillance system was designed from the perspective of a tertiary teaching hospital that includes dedicated hospital staff whose mandate is to provide safe patient care to inpatients and outpatients and biomedical engineering services. Results The main components of the surveillance system would include an adverse medical device events database, a medical device/equipment library, education and training, and an open communication and feedback strategy. Close linkages among these components and with external medical device/equipment networks to the hospital must be established and maintained. A feedback mechanism on medical device-related incidents, as well as implementation and evaluation strategies for the surveillance system are described to ensure a seamless transition and a high satisfactory level among the hospital staff. The direct cost items of the proposed surveillance system for consideration, and its potential benefits are outlined. Conclusion The effectiveness of the proposed medical device surveillance system framework can be measured after it has been implemented in a Canadian hospital facility. PMID:24876796

  5. A review of behavioral tailoring strategies for improving medication adherence in serious mental illness

    PubMed Central

    Kreyenbuhl, Julie; Record, Elizabeth J.; Palmer-Bacon, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Nonadherence to psychopharmacological treatments poses a significant challenge to treatment success in individuals with serious mental illness, with upwards of 60% of people not taking their psychiatric medications as prescribed. Nonadherence is associated with adverse outcomes, including exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, increased hospitalizations and emergency room use, and increased health care costs. Whereas interventions using psychoeducation or cognitive approaches, such as motivational interviewing, have largely proven ineffective in improving adherence, approaches employing behavioral tailoring that incorporate medication taking into the daily routine and/or use environmental supports have shown promise. Recently, adherence-enhancing behavioral tailoring interventions that utilize novel technologies, such as electronic monitors and mobile phones, have been developed. Although interventions utilizing these platforms have the potential for widespread dissemination to a broad range of individuals, most require further empirical testing. This paper reviews selected behavioral tailoring strategies that aim to improve medication adherence and other functional outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness. PMID:27489459

  6. A review of behavioral tailoring strategies for improving medication adherence in serious mental illness.

    PubMed

    Kreyenbuhl, Julie; Record, Elizabeth J; Palmer-Bacon, Jessica

    2016-06-01

    Nonadherence to psychopharmacological treatments poses a significant challenge to treatment success in individuals with serious mental illness, with upwards of 60% of people not taking their psychiatric medications as prescribed. Nonadherence is associated with adverse outcomes, including exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, increased hospitalizations and emergency room use, and increased health care costs. Whereas interventions using psychoeducation or cognitive approaches, such as motivational interviewing, have largely proven ineffective in improving adherence, approaches employing behavioral tailoring that incorporate medication taking into the daily routine and/or use environmental supports have shown promise. Recently, adherence-enhancing behavioral tailoring interventions that utilize novel technologies, such as electronic monitors and mobile phones, have been developed. Although interventions utilizing these platforms have the potential for widespread dissemination to a broad range of individuals, most require further empirical testing. This paper reviews selected behavioral tailoring strategies that aim to improve medication adherence and other functional outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness. PMID:27489459

  7. The use of individually tailored environmental supports to improve medication adherence and outcomes in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Velligan, Dawn I; Diamond, Pamela M; Mintz, Jim; Maples, Natalie; Li, Xueying; Zeber, John; Ereshefsky, Larry; Lam, Yui-Wing F; Castillo, Desiree; Miller, Alexander L

    2008-05-01

    Cognitive adaptation training (CAT) is a psychosocial treatment that uses environmental supports such as signs, checklists, alarms, and the organization of belongings to cue and sequence adaptive behaviors in the home. Ninety-five outpatients with schizophrenia (structured clinical interview for diagnosis, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) were randomly assigned to (1) Full-CAT (CAT focused on many aspects of community adaptation including grooming, care of living quarters, leisure skills, social and role performance, and medication adherence), (2) Pharm-CAT (CAT focused only on medication and appointment adherence), or (3) treatment as usual (TAU). Treatment lasted for 9 months, and patients were followed for 6 months after the withdrawal of home visits. Medication adherence (assessed during unannounced, in-home pill counts) and functional outcomes were assessed at 3-month intervals. Results of mixed-effects regression models indicated that both CAT and Pharm-CAT treatments were superior to TAU for improving adherence to prescribed medication (P < .0001). Effects on medication adherence remained significant when home visits were withdrawn. Full-CAT treatment improved functional outcome relative to Pharm-CAT and TAU (P < .0001). However, differences for functional outcome across groups decreased following the withdrawal of home visits and were no longer statistically significant at the 6-month follow-up. Survival time to relapse or significant exacerbation was significantly longer in both CAT and Pharm-CAT in comparison to TAU (.004). Findings indicate that supports targeting medication adherence can improve and maintain this behavior. Comprehensive supports targeting multiple domains of functioning are necessary to improve functional outcomes. Maintenance of gains in functional outcome may require some form of continued intervention. PMID:17932089

  8. Integrating Education into Primary Care Quality and Cost Improvement at an Academic Medical Center

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, R. Van; Standiford, Connie J.; Green, Lee A.; Bernstein, Steven J.

    2006-01-01

    Introduction: In 1996 the University of Michigan Health System created the Guidelines Utilization, Implementation, Development, and Evaluation Studies (GUIDES) unit to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care for common medical problems. GUIDES's primary functions are to oversee the development of evidence-based, practical…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Pregnancy Medical Home Care Pathways Improve Quality of Perinatal Care and Birth Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Berrien, Kate; Ollendorff, Arthur; Menard, M Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    The clinical leadership of the Pregnancy Medical Home (PMH) program develops and disseminates clinical pathways to promote evidence-based practice and to improve quality of care and outcomes. PMH pathways represent the first standardized clinical guidance for obstetric providers statewide across all care settings. PMID:26509523

  11. Adjuvant Therapy Trials.

    PubMed

    Ursem, Carling; Van Loon, Katherine; Venook, Alan

    2016-01-01

    In 2015, ramucirumab and TAS-102 became the 10th and 11th drugs approved by the Food and Drug administration for the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer, not counting leucovorin, and yet only 3 agents, 5-fluorouracil, capecitabine, and oxaliplatin, have proven benefit in adjuvant treatment. In fact, there have been no additions (and 1 subtraction levamisole) to our arsenal of therapies for patients with stages II and III colon cancer for more than a decade. How did we get here? Are we stuck? And how do we move forward? PMID:27341598

  12. A hard pill to swallow: a qualitative study of women's experiences of adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Harrow, Alison; Dryden, Ruth; McCowan, Colin; Radley, Andrew; Parsons, Mark; Thompson, Alastair M; Wells, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Objective To explore women's experiences of taking adjuvant endocrine therapy as a treatment for breast cancer and how their beliefs about the purpose of the medication, side effects experienced and interactions with health professionals might influence adherence. Design Qualitative study using semistructured, one-to-one interviews. Setting 2 hospitals from a single health board in Scotland. Participants 30 women who had been prescribed tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole or letrozole) and had been taking this medication for 1–5 years. Results Women clearly wished to take their adjuvant endocrine therapy medication as prescribed, believing that it offered them protection against breast cancer recurrence. However, some women missed tablets and did not recognise that this could reduce the efficacy of the treatment. Women did not perceive that healthcare professionals were routinely or systematically monitoring their adherence. Side effects were common and impacted greatly on the women’s quality of life but did not always cause women to stop taking their medication, or to seek advice about reducing the side effects they experienced. Few were offered the opportunity to discuss the impact of side effects or the potential options available. Conclusions Although most women in this study took adjuvant endocrine therapy as prescribed, many endured a range of side effects, often without seeking help. Advice, support and monitoring for adherence are not routinely offered in conventional follow-up settings. Women deserve more opportunity to discuss the pros, cons and impact of long-term adjuvant endocrine therapy. New service models are needed to support adherence, enhance quality of life and ultimately improve survival. These should ideally be community based, in order to promote self-management in the longer term. PMID:24928595

  13. Carbohydrate-based immune adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Petrovsky, Nikolai; Cooper, Peter D

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Improving medication safety in UK care homes: challenges and current perspective.

    PubMed

    Fahrni, Mathumalar Loganathan; Franklin, Bryony Dean; Rawaf, Salman; Majeed, Azeem

    2014-02-01

    In the UK, there are policy and regulatory concerns regarding the governance of care homes and healthcare provision within these homes. From a public health perspective, these issues can pose significant challenges to the provision of safe and quality medication use services to care home residents. The objective of this paper is to highlight an important and neglected issue for the growing population of institutionalized older adults. We reviewed relevant literature for the years 2000 to present and identified recent efforts undertaken to improve medication safety standards in UK care homes. We consider the limitations and reasons for the National Health Service's restricted role and lack of leadership in providing medical services for this institutionalized population. The efforts taken by the Department of Health and other healthcare authorities targeting medication safety in care homes are also highlighted. In order to improve the quality of healthcare, specifically in areas related to medication safety and quality use of medicines, interventions need to be taken by the national government and similarly by local authorities and NHS commissioners. PMID:25057369

  15. The Importance of Medication Errors Reporting in Improving the Quality of Clinical Care Services

    PubMed Central

    Elden, Nesreen Mohamed Kamal; Ismail, Amira

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Medication errors have significant implications on patient safety. Error detection through an active management and effective reporting system discloses medication errors and encourages safe practices. Objectives: To improve patient safety through determining and reducing the major causes of medication errors (MEs), after applying tailored preventive strategies. Methodology: A pre-test, post-test study was conducted on all inpatients at a 177 bed hospital where all medication procedures in each ward were monitored by a clinical pharmacist. The patient files were reviewed, as well. Error reports were submitted to a hospital multidisciplinary committee to identify major causes of errors. Accordingly, corrective interventions that consisted of targeted training programs for nurses and physicians were conducted. Results: Medication errors were higher during ordering/prescription stage (38.1%), followed by administration phase (20.9%). About 45% of errors reached the patients: 43.5% were harmless and 1.4% harmful. 7.7% were potential errors and more than 47% could be prevented. After the intervention, error rates decreased from (6.7%) to (3.6%) (P≤0.001). Conclusion: The role of a ward based clinical pharmacist with a hospital multidisciplinary committee was effective in recognizing, designing and implementing tailored interventions for reduction of medication errors. A systematic approach is urgently needed to decrease organizational susceptibility to errors, through providing required resources to monitor, analyze and implement effective interventions. PMID:27045415

  16. Educational strategies aimed at improving student nurse's medication calculation skills: a review of the research literature.

    PubMed

    Stolic, Snezana

    2014-09-01

    Medication administration is an important and essential nursing function with the potential for dangerous consequences if errors occur. Not only must nurses understand the use and outcomes of administering medications they must be able to calculate correct dosages. Medication administration and dosage calculation education occurs across the undergraduate program for student nurses. Research highlights inconsistencies in the approaches used by academics to enhance the student nurse's medication calculation abilities. The aim of this integrative review was to examine the literature available on effective education strategies for undergraduate student nurses on medication dosage calculations. A literature search of five health care databases: Sciencedirect, Cinahl, Pubmed, Proquest, Medline to identify journal articles between 1990 and 2012 was conducted. Research articles on medication calculation educational strategies were considered for inclusion in this review. The search yielded 266 papers of which 20 meet the inclusion criteria. A total of 5206 student nurse were included in the final review. The review revealed educational strategies fell into four types of strategies; traditional pedagogy, technology, psychomotor skills and blended learning. The results suggested student nurses showed some benefit from the different strategies; however more improvements could be made. More rigorous research into this area is needed. PMID:25001180

  17. Improving Confidence in Competencies for International Medical Trips Using a Curriculum with Simulation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Many incoming medical and undergraduate students seek out international medical mission trips to supplement their education and training. However, few have the necessary skills to perform simple clinical tasks such as taking vital signs or conducting an initial patient interview. We conducted a small pilot study to assess the impact of simulation exercises on teaching incoming first-year medical students and undergraduate students basic clinical skills and teamwork. Our study population consisted of nine incoming medical students and 11 undergraduate students who participated in a training session involving simulated tasks prior to taking a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Participants completed a survey before and after the simulation and at the end of the trip. All 20 indicated the simulation was effective in teaching clinical and team-building skills. In addition, the simulation exercise improved participants' confidence in their ability to perform certain clinical tasks and work as a team prior to the mission trip. We concluded that simulation is effective for incoming medical and undergraduate students and can be used prior to global health trips to increase their confidence in performing tasks required for a successful experience. PMID:26720942

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

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Brooke; Rebel, Annette; Dilorenzo, Amy; Schell, Randall M.; Dority, Jeremy S.; Lukens, Faith; Sloan, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Residents are expected to have transition of care (ToC) skills upon entering graduate medical education. It is unclear whether experience and training during medical school is adequate. Objective The aim of the project was to assess: 1) graduating medical students’ ability to perform ToC in a crisis situation, and 2) whether using a cognitive aid improves the ToC quality. Methods The authors developed simulation scenarios for rapid response teams and a cognitive aid to assist in the ToC during crisis situations. Graduating medical students were enrolled and randomly divided into teams of three students, randomly assigned into one of two groups: teams using a cognitive aid for ToC (CA), or not using a cognitive aid (nCA). In the scenario, teams respond to a deteriorating patient and then transfer care to the next provider after stabilization. Three faculty reviewed the recording to assess completeness of the ToC and the overall quality. A completeness score was expressed as a fraction of the maximum score. Statistical analysis was performed using a t-test and Mann-Whitney U test. Results A total of 112 senior medical students participated: CA n=19, nCA n=17. The completeness score of the ToC and overall quality improved when using the cognitive aid (completeness score: CA 0.80±0.06 vs. nCA 0.52±0.07, p<0.01; ToC quality: CA 3.16±0.65 vs. nCA 1.92±0.56, p<0.01). Participants’ rating of knowledge and comfort with the ToC process increased after the simulation. Conclusion The completeness of information transfer during the ToC process by graduating medical students improved by using a cognitive aid in a simulated patient crisis. PMID:27435838

  19. Evaluation of medical staff and patient satisfaction of Chinese hospitals and measures for improvement.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Huang, Chengyu; Lu, Xiangchan; Chen, Siyuan; Zhao, Pan; Lu, Hongzhou

    2015-06-01

    Our goal is to establish criteria for evaluating satisfaction of medical staff and patients of Chinese hospitals and propose measures for improvement. A survey was conducted among medical staff and patients of infectious disease hospitals in three locations, i.e., Shanghai, Chongqing, and Nanning. The analyses included item analysis, factor analysis, reliability analysis, Pearson correlation and one-way analysis of variance. For the patient group, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) = 0.973, Cronbach's α = 0.962 and the Pearson correlation coefficients among the five dimensions of satisfaction ranged from 0.583 to 0.795. For the medical staff group, KMO = 0.972, Cronbach's α = 0.970, and the Pearson correlation coefficients among the five dimensions of satisfaction ranged from 0.603 to 0.854. The means on the five dimensions of satisfaction for the patient group were 0.74 to 1.34, 0.81 to 1.17, 0.78 to 1.07, 0.89 to 1.34, and 0.71 to 1.10. The means on the five dimensions of satisfaction for the medical staff group were 0.17 to 1.03, ‒ 0.16 to 0.60, ‒ 0.18 to 0.74, 0.23 to 0.72, and ‒ 0.39 to 0.37. The clinicians were less satisfied with the hospitals than the patients. Medical staff and patients in Shanghai were relatively more satisfied. Improving the evaluation criteria and survey methods with respect to medical staff and patient satisfaction with Chinese hospitals may increase clinician and patient satisfaction and improve the health care environment in China. PMID:26166371

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

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Filho, Alfredo D.; Morisky, Donald E.; Costa, Francisco A.; Pacheco, Sara T.; Neves, Sabrina F.; Lyra-Jr, Divaldo P.

    2014-01-01

    Background Effective interventions to improve medication adherence are usually complex and expensive. Objective To assess the impact of a low-cost intervention designed to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes in post-discharge patients with CVD. Method A pilot RCT was conducted at a teaching hospital. Intervention was based on the four-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-4). The primary outcome measure was medication adherence assessed using the eight-item MMAS at baseline, at 1 month post hospital discharge and re-assessed 1 year after hospital discharge. Other outcomes included readmission and mortality rates. Results 61 patients were randomized to intervention (n = 30) and control (n = 31) groups. The mean age of the patients was 61 years (SD 12.73), 52.5% were males, and 57.4% were married or living with a partner. Mean number of prescribed medications per patient was 4.5 (SD 3.3). Medication adherence was correlated to intervention (p = 0.04) and after 1 month, 48.4% of patients in the control group and 83.3% in the intervention group were considered adherent. However, this difference decreased after 1 year, when adherence was 34.8% and 60.9%, respectively. Readmission and mortality rates were related to low adherence in both groups. Conclusion The intervention based on a validated patient self-report instrument for assessing adherence is a potentially effective method to improve adherent behavior and can be successfully used as a tool to guide adherence counseling in the clinical visit. However, a larger study is required to assess the real impact of intervention on these outcomes. PMID:25590930

  1. A comprehensive model to build improvement capability in a pediatric academic medical center.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, Gerry M; Schoettker, Pamela J; Alessandrini, Evaline A; Luzader, Carolyn; Kotagal, Uma

    2014-01-01

    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center developed a comprehensive model to build quality improvement (QI) capability to support its goal to transform its delivery system through a series of training courses. Two online modules orient staff to basic concepts and terminology and prepare them to participate more effectively in QI teams. The basic program (Rapid Cycle Improvement Collaborative, RCIC) is focused on developing the capability to use basic QI tools and complete a narrow-scoped project in approximately 120 days. The Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I(2)S(2)) program is a leadership course focusing on improvement skills and developing a broader and deeper understanding of QI in the context of the organization and external environment. The Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM) course and Quality Scholars Program stimulate the use of more sophisticated methods and prepare Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and external faculty to undertake QI research. The Advanced Improvement Leadership Systems (AILS) sessions enable interprofessional care delivery system leadership teams to effectively lead a system of care, manage a portfolio of projects, and to deliver on CCHMC's strategic plan. Implementing these programs has shown us that 1) a multilevel curricular approach to building improvement capability is pragmatic and effective, 2) an interprofessional learning environment is critical to shifting mental models, 3) repetition of project experience with coaching and feedback solidifies critical skills, knowledge and behaviors, and 4) focusing first on developing capable interprofessional improvement leaders, versus engaging in broad general QI training across the whole organization, is effective. PMID:24369867

  2. Improving core medical training--innovative and feasible ideas to better training.

    PubMed

    Tasker, Fiona; Dacombe, Peter; Goddard, Andrew F; Burr, Bill

    2014-12-01

    A recent survey of UK core medical training (CMT) training conducted jointly by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) identified that trainees perceived major problems with their training. Service work dominated and compromised training opportunities, and of great concern, almost half the respondents felt that they had not been adequately prepared to take on the role of medical registrar. Importantly, the survey not only gathered CMT trainees' views of their current training, it also asked them for their 'innovative and feasible ways to improve CMT'. This article draws together some of these excellent ideas on how the quality of training and the experience of trainees could be improved. It presents a vision for how CMT trainees, consultant supervisors, training programme directors, clinical directors and managers can work together to implement relevant, feasible and affordable ways to improve training for doctors and deliver the best possible care for patients. PMID:25468846

  3. Integrating quality improvement into continuing medical education activities within a community hospital system.

    PubMed

    Eiser, Arnold R; McNamee, William B; Miller, Jean Yodis

    2013-01-01

    The integration of the Mercy Health System's quality improvement (QI) and continuing medical educational (CME) activities is described. With the implementation of computerized medical data, the opportunities for QI-focused CME are growing. The authors reviewed their regularly scheduled series and special CME programs to assess their impact on quality care processes. Clinical improvements were affected by combining national guidelines and advancements with local clinical data and interactions with physicians within interdisciplinary as well as specialty conferences. Case-based, multidisciplinary conferences lent themselves to this process to a greater extent than didactic conferences. The latter also could lead to QI when the topics were focused on specific quality initiatives that often are part of a national QI initiative. Although the authors consider these efforts to be at an intermediate stage of development, they have observed several QI/patient safety process improvements. PMID:22984092

  4. Adjuvant Therapy: Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Davar, Diwakar; Tarhini, Ahmad; Kirkwood, John M.

    2011-01-01

    With an incidence that is increasing at 2–5% per year, cutaneous melanoma is an international scourge that disproportionately targets young individuals. Despite much research, the treatment of advanced disease is still quite challenging. Immunotherapy with high-dose interferon-α2b or interleukin-2 benefits a select group of patients in the adjuvant and metastatic settings, respectively, with significant attendant toxicity. Advances in the biology of malignant melanoma and the role of immunomodulatory therapy have produced advances that have stunned the field. In this paper, we review the data for the use of interferon-α2b in various dosing ranges, vaccine therapy, and the role of radiotherapy in the adjuvant setting for malignant melanoma. Recent trials in the metastatic setting using anticytoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (anti-CTLA-4) monoclonal antibody therapy and BRAF inhibitor therapy have demonstrated clear benefit with prolongation of survival. Trials investigating combinations of these novel agents with existing immunomodulators are at present underway. PMID:22220281

  5. Healthcare Reimbursement and Quality Improvement: Integration Using the Electronic Medical Record

    PubMed Central

    Britton, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Reimbursement for healthcare has utilized a variety of payment mechanisms with varying degrees of effectiveness. Whether these mechanisms are used singly or in combination, it is imperative that the resulting systems remunerate on the basis of the quantity, complexity, and quality of care provided. Expanding the role of the electronic medical record (EMR) to monitor provider practice, patient responsiveness, and functioning of the healthcare organization has the potential to not only enhance the accuracy and efficiency of reimbursement mechanisms but also to improve the quality of medical care. PMID:26340397

  6. Psychosocial and Physical Effects of Adjuvant Chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Hislop, Thomas Gregory; Elwood, J. Mark; Waxler-Morrison, Nancy; Ragaz, Joseph; Skippen, Diane Hazel; Turner, I.D.

    1991-01-01

    Breast cancer patients younger than 55 completed a questionnaire on psychosocial factors and physical side effects shortly after diagnosis and 9 to 15 months after diagnosis. Those who had used adjuvant chemotherapy were more likely than those who had not to report physical side effects; there was little difference in psychosocial factors. Recent users were more likely than ex-users to report physical side effects, difficulties with domestic chores, and improvement in psychosocial factors. PMID:21229020

  7. Research on an Improved Medical Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model.

    PubMed

    Dong, Beibei; Yang, Jingjing; Hao, Shangfu; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Image enhancement can improve the detail of the image and so as to achieve the purpose of the identification of the image. At present, the image enhancement is widely used in medical images, which can help doctor's diagnosis. IEABPM (Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model) is one of the most common image enhancement algorithms. However, it may cause the lost of the texture details and other features. To solve the problems, this paper proposes an IIEABPM (Improved Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model). Simulation demonstrates that IIEABPM can effectively solve the problems of IEABPM, and improve image clarity, image contrast, and image brightness. PMID:26628929

  8. The Economics of Improving Medication Adherence in Osteoporosis: Validation and Application of a Simulation Model

    PubMed Central

    Schousboe, John T.; Losina, Elena; Solomon, Daniel H.

    2011-01-01

    Context: Adherence to osteoporosis treatment is low. Although new therapies and behavioral interventions may improve medication adherence, questions are likely to arise regarding their cost-effectiveness. Objective: Our objectives were to develop and validate a model to simulate the clinical outcomes and costs arising from various osteoporosis medication adherence patterns among women initiating bisphosphonate treatment and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of a hypothetical intervention to improve medication adherence. Design: We constructed a computer simulation using estimates of fracture rates, bisphosphonate treatment effects, costs, and utilities for health states drawn from the published literature. Probabilities of transitioning on and off treatment were estimated from administrative claims data. Setting and Patients: Patients were women initiating bisphosphonate therapy from the general community. Intervention: We evaluated a hypothetical behavioral intervention to improve medication adherence. Main Outcome Measures: Changes in 10-yr fracture rates and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were evaluated. Results: A hypothetical intervention with a one-time cost of $250 and reducing bisphosphonate discontinuation by 30% had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $29,571 per quality-adjusted life year in 65-yr-old women initiating bisphosphonates. Although the ICER depended on patient age, intervention effectiveness, and intervention cost, the ICERs were less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year for the majority of intervention cost and effectiveness scenarios evaluated. Results were sensitive to bisphosphonate cost and effectiveness and assumptions about the rate at which intervention and treatment effects decline over time. Conclusions: Our results suggests that behavioral interventions to improve osteoporosis medication adherence will likely have favorable ICERs if their efficacy can be sustained. PMID:21733991

  9. 78 FR 10181 - Global Quality Systems-An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-13

    ... Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION: Notice of... ``Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach to Improving Medical Product Safety.'' This 2-day public... Safety of our Drugs and Devices--the Complex Reality. Nanotechnology. Drug and Medical Device...

  10. Adjuvant therapy use among Appalachian breast cancer survivors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    of suboptimal AET adherence/persistence in Appalachia as well as positive associations between AET adherence/persistence and overall survival outcomes further underscore the importance of ensuring appropriate AET use in this population to reduce breast cancer mortality disparities. Our findings also suggest that intervention strategies focusing on individualized treatment and medication-related factors may improve adjuvant treatment use. PMID:26131828

  11. Adjuvant therapy use among Appalachian breast cancer survivors

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    -cause mortality. Our findings of suboptimal AET adherence/persistence in Appalachia as well as positive associations between AET adherence/persistence and overall survival outcomes further underscore the importance of ensuring appropriate AET use in this population to reduce breast cancer mortality disparities. Our findings also suggest that intervention strategies focusing on individualized treatment and medication-related factors may improve adjuvant treatment use. PMID:26131828

  12. Improving viable low cost generic medication prescription rate in primary care pediatric practice

    PubMed Central

    Sudhanthar, Sathyanarayan; Turner, Jane; Thakur, Kripa; Sigal, Yakov

    2015-01-01

    answer any questions from parents. Monthly reports were obtained from the HIT about our progress. After 12 months of implementing this project, the overall generic prescription rate increased from 20% at the end of first quarter 2012 to 53% at the end of 12 months, and 65.5% at the end of two years. This was well above the MSU health team (about six large group practices) primary care average of 34.6%. All brand name medication prescription rates were also decreased. This is a positive outcome for this project in a relatively short period of time, and a further plan will be to repeat the cycle and continue to improve on the generic prescription rate, thereby saving valuable dollars spent on health care. PMID:26734452

  13. Evaporation and Spread of Droplets with Various Types and Concentrations of Adjuvants on Waxy and Hairy Leaves

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adjuvants have been used to improve pesticide application efficiency and effectiveness for many years. However, knowledge on quantitative reactions of adjuvant-amended pesticide droplets on foliage is lacking. Evaporation rate and wetted area of 500 µm droplets with four different adjuvants on waxy ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Integrated Medical Model (IMM) Optimization Version 4.0 Functional Improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Improving the transition from medical school to internship – evaluation of a preparation for internship course

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study evaluates the impact of a new 'Preparation for Internship’ (PRINT) course, which was developed to facilitate the transition of University of New South Wales (UNSW) medical graduates from Medical School to Internship. Methods During a period of major curricular reform, the 2007 (old program) and 2009 (new program) cohorts of UNSW final year students completed the Clinical Capability Questionnaire (CCQ) prior to and after undertaking the PRINT course. Clinical supervisors’ ratings and self-ratings of UNSW 2009 medical graduates were obtained from the Hospital-based Prevocational Progress Review Form. Results Prior to PRINT, students from both cohorts perceived they had good clinical skills, with lower ratings for capability in procedural skills, operational management, and administrative tasks. After completing PRINT, students from both cohorts perceived significant improvement in their capability in procedural skills, operational management, and administrative tasks. Although PRINT also improved student-perceived capability in confidence, interpersonal skills and collaboration in both cohorts, curriculum reform to a new outcomes-based program was far more influential in improving self-perceptions in these facets of preparedness for hospital practice than PRINT. Conclusions The PRINT course was most effective in improving students’ perceptions of their capability in procedural skills, operational management and administrative tasks, indicating that student-to-intern transition courses should be clinically orientated, address relevant skills, use experiential learning, and focus on practical tasks. Other aspects that are important in preparation of medical students for hospital practice cannot be addressed in a PRINT course, but major improvements are achievable by program-wide curriculum reform. PMID:24485072

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

    PubMed Central

    Bergh, Anne-Marie; Etsane, Mama E.; Hugo, Jannie

    2015-01-01

    Background: The short timeframe of medical students’ rotations is not always conducive to successful, in-depth quality-improvement projects requiring a more longitudinal approach. Aim: To describe the process of inducting students into a longitudinal quality-improvement project, using the topic of the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative as a case study; and to explore the possible contribution of a quality-improvement project to the development of student competencies. Setting: Mpumalanga clinical learning centres, where University of Pretoria medical students did their district health rotations. Method: Consecutive student groups had to engage with a hospital's compliance with specific steps of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that form the standards for the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative. Primary data sources included an on-site PowerPoint group presentation (n = 42), a written group report (n = 42) and notes of individual interviews in an end-of-rotation objectively structured clinical examination station (n = 139). Results: Activities in each rotation varied according to the needs identified through the application of the quality-improvement cycle in consultation with the local health team. The development of student competencies is described according to the roles of a medical expert in the CanMEDS framework: collaborator, health advocate, scholar, communicator, manager and professional. The exposure to the real-life situation in South African public hospitals had a great influence on many students, who also acted as catalysts for transforming practice. Conclusion: Service learning and quality-improvement projects can be successfully integrated in one rotation and can contribute to the development of the different roles of a medical expert. More studies could provide insight into the potential of this approach in transforming institutions and student learning. PMID:26245606

  18. The adjuvanted influenza vaccines with novel adjuvants: experience with the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine.

    PubMed

    Podda, A

    2001-03-21

    Elderly people and subjects with underlying chronic diseases are at increased risk for influenza and related complications. Conventional influenza vaccines provide only limited protection in the elderly population. In order to enhance the immune response to influenza vaccines, several adjuvants have been evaluated. Among these, an oil in water adjuvant emulsion containing squalene, MF59, has been combined with subunit influenza antigens and tested in clinical trials in comparison with non-adjuvanted conventional vaccines. Data from a clinical database of over 10000 elderly subjects immunised with this adjuvanted vaccine (Fluad, Chiron Vaccines, Siena, Italy) demonstrate that, although common postimmunisation reactions are more frequent in recipients of the adjuvanted vaccine, this vaccine is well tolerated, also after re-immunisation in subsequent influenza seasons. Immunogenicity analyses demonstrate a consistently higher immune response with statistically significant increases of postimmunisation geometric mean titres, and of seroconversion and seroprotection rates compared to non-adjuvanted subunit and split influenza vaccines, particularly for the A/H3N2 and the B strains. The higher immunogenicity profile of the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine is maintained also after subsequent immunisations. An even higher adjuvant effect was shown in subjects with low pre-immunisation titre and in those affected by chronic underlying diseases. In conclusion, the addition of MF59 to subunit influenza vaccines enhances significantly the immune response in elderly subjects without causing clinically important changes in the safety profile of the influenza vaccine. PMID:11257408

  19. Improving the social responsiveness of medical schools: lessons from the Canadian experience.

    PubMed

    Cappon, P; Watson, D

    1999-08-01

    The recent Canadian experience in promoting social accountability and social responsiveness of medical schools has been one of steady improvement in certain institutions, against a background lacking overall national policy direction. Canada has several distinct advantages in trying to devise means of enhancing social accountability of medical training and health services, including a strong national system of publicly supported and financed health care of high quality, a network of excellent academic medical centers, and well-established accreditation bodies. A review of the literature, complemented by a new survey of Canadian medical schools, confirms that some of the centers, conscious of the need to promote social responsiveness, are developing innovative programs to do so. Future progress toward the goal of social responsiveness of medical schools on a pan-Canadian basis will require a more cohesive approach involving systematic sharing of best practices among academic health centers, effective alliances with other health professionals to promote these objectives, and support by federal and provincial ministries of health. Canadian awareness of an international movement tending to similar objectives would support the efforts of Canadian health professionals engaged in practices of enhanced accountability. PMID:10495748

  20. The Time is Now: Improving Substance Abuse Training in Medical Schools.

    PubMed

    Ram, Anita; Chisolm, Margaret S

    2016-06-01

    This commentary highlights the growing demand for substance abuse prevention and treatment, summarizes the literature regarding the current insufficiencies in substance abuse training in medical schools, and suggests strategies to address this gap in physician education. The authors describe how the combination of mandated coverage for substance abuse services and expanding treatment needs means that more physicians, regardless of their patient populations, will be faced with addressing the problem of substance use. The authors review the literature on substance abuse training in medical schools, which indicates insufficient exposure to this topic. The authors describe how current substance abuse training at medical schools is focused on transmitting scientific knowledge with relatively little education or training in attitudes and skills central to effective prevention and treatment. Given the gap between clinical need and physician education, the authors suggest several strategies for medical schools to increase training in substance abuse knowledge, attitudes, and skills, which will enhance the practice of evidence-based care. The authors posit that medical curricular reform, combined with initiatives to change clinical culture around substance abuse, will translate into improved rates of screening, shorter overall length of treatment, effective referrals for continued treatment, and increased access to care for individuals who use substances and so reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with substance use. PMID:25749922

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Fan; Xu, Lili

    2013-08-01

    Nowadays, patients can gain many kinds of medical service on line via Telecare Medical Information Systems(TMIS) due to the fast development of computer technology. So security of communication through network between the users and the server is very significant. Authentication plays an important part to protect information from being attacked by malicious attackers. Recently, Jiang et al. proposed a privacy enhanced scheme for TMIS using smart cards and claimed their scheme was better than Chen et al.'s. However, we have showed that Jiang et al.'s scheme has the weakness of ID uselessness and is vulnerable to off-line password guessing attack and user impersonation attack if an attacker compromises the legal user's smart card. Also, it can't resist DoS attack in two cases: after a successful impersonation attack and wrong password input in Password change phase. Then we propose an improved mutual authentication scheme used for a telecare medical information system. Remote monitoring, checking patients' past medical history record and medical consultant can be applied in the system where information transmits via Internet. Finally, our analysis indicates that the suggested scheme overcomes the disadvantages of Jiang et al.'s scheme and is practical for TMIS. PMID:23818249

  2. Getting Our Own House in Order: Improving Psychiatry Education to Medical Students as a Prelude to Medical School Education Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alpert, Jonathan E.; Schlozman, Steve; Badaracco, Mary Anne; Burke, Jay; Borus, Jonathan F.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: The authors summarize efforts to revitalize psychiatry teaching to medical students at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in advance of a major overhaul of the medical school curriculum. Methods: This preliminary report chronicles key challenges and the organization of the reform effort within the departments of psychiatry affiliated with the…

  3. Adjuvant therapy for gastric cancer: Current and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Foo, Marcus; Leong, Trevor

    2014-01-01

    The management of gastric cancer continues to evolve. Whilst surgery alone is effective when tumours present early, a large proportion of patients are diagnosed with loco-regionally advanced disease, resulting in high loco-regional and distant relapse rates, with subsequent poor survival. Early attempts at improving outcomes following resection were disappointing; however, randomized trials have now established either post-operative chemoradiotherapy (INT0116) or peri-operative chemotherapy as standard adjuvant therapies in the Western world. There remain, however, significant differences in the approach to management between the West and East. In Asia, where there is the highest incidence of gastric cancer, extended resection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy represents the standard of care. This review discusses current standard adjuvant therapy in gastric adenocarcinoma, as well as recent and ongoing trials investigating novel (neo)adjuvant approaches, which hope to build on the successes of previous studies. PMID:25320509

  4. Activity of glycated chitosan and other adjuvants to PDT vaccines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  5. Medication safety in acute care in Australia: where are we now? Part 2: a review of strategies and activities for improving medication safety 2002-2008

    PubMed Central

    Semple, Susan J; Roughead, Elizabeth E

    2009-01-01

    Background This paper presents Part 2 of a literature review examining medication safety in the Australian acute care setting. This review was undertaken for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, updating the 2002 national report on medication safety. Part 2 of the review examined the Australian evidence base for approaches to build safer medication systems in acute care. Methods A literature search was conducted to identify Australian studies and programs published from 2002 to 2008 which examined strategies and activities for improving medication safety in acute care. Results and conclusion Since 2002 there has been significant progress in strategies to improve prescription writing in hospitals with the introduction of a National Inpatient Medication Chart. There are also systems in place to ensure a nationally coordinated approach to the ongoing optimisation of the chart. Progress has been made with Australian research examining the implementation of computerised prescribing systems with clinical decision support. These studies have highlighted barriers and facilitators to the introduction of such systems that can inform wider implementation. However, Australian studies assessing outcomes of this strategy on medication incidents or patient outcomes are still lacking. In studies assessing education for reducing medication errors, academic detailing has been demonstrated to reduce errors in prescriptions for Schedule 8 medicines and a program was shown to be effective in reducing error prone prescribing abbreviations. Published studies continue to support the role of clinical pharmacist services in improving medication safety. Studies on strategies to improve communication between different care settings, such as liaison pharmacist services, have focussed on implementation issues now that funding is available for community-based services. Double checking versus single-checking by nurses and patient self-administration in hospital has been

  6. Towards a Better Corrosion Resistance and Biocompatibility Improvement of Nitinol Medical Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Improving oversight of the graduate medical education enterprise: one institution's strategies and tools.

    PubMed

    Afrin, Lawrence B; Arana, George W; Medio, Franklin J; Ybarra, Angela F N; Clarke, Harry S

    2006-05-01

    Accreditation organizations, financial stakeholders, legal systems, and regulatory agencies have increased the need for accountability in educational processes and curricular outcomes of graduate medical education. This demand for greater programmatic monitoring has placed pressure on institutions with graduate medical education (GME) programs to develop greater oversight of these programs. Meeting these challenges requires development of new GME management strategies and tools for institutional GME administrators to scrutinize programs, while still allowing these programs the autonomy to develop and implement educational methods to meet their unique training needs. At the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), senior administrators in the college of medicine felt electronic information management was a critical strategy for success and thus proceeded to carefully select an electronic residency management system (ERMS) to provide functionality for both individual programs and the GME enterprise as a whole. Initial plans in 2002 for a phased deployment had to be changed to a much more rapid deployment due to regulatory issues. Extensive communication and cooperation among MUSC's GME leaders resulted in a successful deployment in 2003. Evaluation completion rates have substantially improved, duty hours are carefully monitored, patient safety has improved through more careful oversight of residents' procedural privileges, regulators have been pleased, and central GME administrative visibility of program performance has dramatically improved. The system is now being expanded to MUSC's medical school and other health professions colleges. The authors discuss lessons learned and opportunities and challenges ahead, which include improving tracking of development of procedural competency, establishing and monitoring program performance standards, and integrating the ERMS with GME reimbursement systems. PMID:16639192

  8. Improving Medical Device Regulation: The United States and Europe in Perspective

    PubMed Central

    SORENSON, CORINNA; DRUMMOND, MICHAEL

    2014-01-01

    Context: Recent debates and events have brought into question the effectiveness of existing regulatory frameworks for medical devices in the United States and Europe to ensure their performance, safety, and quality. This article provides a comparative analysis of medical device regulation in the two jurisdictions, explores current reforms to improve the existing systems, and discusses additional actions that should be considered to fully meet this aim. Medical device regulation must be improved to safeguard public health and ensure that high-quality and effective technologies reach patients. Methods: We explored and analyzed medical device regulatory systems in the United States and Europe in accordance with the available gray and peer-reviewed literature and legislative documents. Findings: The two regulatory systems differ in their mandate and orientation, organization, pre-and postmarket evidence requirements, and transparency of process. Despite these differences, both jurisdictions face similar challenges for ensuring that only safe and effective devices reach the market, monitoring real-world use, and exchanging pertinent information on devices with key users such as clinicians and patients. To address these issues, reforms have recently been introduced or debated in the United States and Europe that are principally focused on strengthening regulatory processes, enhancing postmarket regulation through more robust surveillance systems, and improving the traceability and monitoring of devices. Some changes in premarket requirements for devices are being considered. Conclusions: Although the current reforms address some of the outstanding challenges in device regulation, additional steps are needed to improve existing policy. We examine a number of actions to be considered, such as requiring high-quality evidence of benefit for medium-and high-risk devices; moving toward greater centralization and coordination of regulatory approval in Europe; creating

  9. Roles of adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy for desmoplastic melanoma.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Daniel E; Patel, Kirtesh R; Switchenko, Jeffrey; Parker, Douglas; Lawson, David H; Delman, Keith A; Kudchadkar, Ragini R; Khan, Mohammad K

    2016-02-01

    Current guidelines are unclear as to the precise role of radiotherapy (RT) in patients with desmoplastic melanoma (DM). The purpose of this study was to evaluate our institutional outcomes in patients with DM, and to explore the roles of both adjuvant and salvage RT in these patients. We identified 100 patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of DM who received treatment at our institution from 2000 to 2014. Local control, distant metastasis-free survival, and overall survival (OS) were evaluated in the 95 patients managed surgically with or without adjuvant and/or salvage RT. The overall rate of local recurrence (LR) was 10%. There was no LR in either adjuvant or salvage RT cohort. Adjuvant RT did not significantly improve LR-free survival at 5 years (100 vs. 81%, P=0.59), despite the RT patients having worse pathological features. Four of seven (57%) salvage patients developed distant metastases, despite 100% local control. Adjuvant RT did not significantly impact 5-year overall survival (86 vs. 82%, P=0.43). RT shows a trend towards improved local control in both the adjuvant and salvage settings for patients with DM, and likely overcomes adverse risk factors after surgery in appropriately selected patients. Future prospective studies are needed to better address the optimal management for these patients. PMID:26397051

  10. Roles of adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy for desmoplastic melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Daniel E.; Patel, Kirtesh R.; Switchenko, Jeffrey; Parker, Douglas; Lawson, David H.; Delman, Keith A.; Kudchadkar, Ragini R.; Khan, Mohammad K.

    2016-01-01

    Current guidelines are unclear as to the precise role of radiotherapy (RT) in patients with desmoplastic melanoma (DM). The purpose of this study was to evaluate our institutional outcomes in patients with DM, and to explore the roles of both adjuvant and salvage RT in these patients. We identified 100 patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of DM who received treatment at our institution from 2000 to 2014. Local control, distant metastasis-free survival, and overall survival (OS) were evaluated in the 95 patients managed surgically with or without adjuvant and/or salvage RT. The overall rate of local recurrence (LR) was 10%. There was no LR in either adjuvant or salvage RT cohort. Adjuvant RT did not significantly improve LR-free survival at 5 years (100 vs. 81%, P = 0.59), despite the RTpatients having worse pathological features. Four of seven (57%) salvage patients developed distant metastases, despite 100% local control. Adjuvant RT did not significantly impact 5-year overall survival (86 vs. 82%, P = 0.43). RT shows a trend towards improved local control in both the adjuvant and salvage settings for patients with DM, and likely overcomes adverse risk factors after surgery in appropriately selected patients. Future prospective studies are needed to better address the optimal management for these patients. PMID:26397051

  11. Adjuvant therapy for ampullary carcinomas: The Mayo Clinic experience

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatia, Sumita; Miller, Robert C. . E-mail: miller.robert@mayo.edu; Haddock, Michael G.; Donohue, John H.; Krishnan, Sunil

    2006-10-01

    Purpose: To determine the effects of adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy for carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 125 patients who underwent definitive surgery for carcinomas involving the ampulla of Vater between April 1977 and February 2005 and who survived more than 50 days after surgery. Twenty-nine of the patients also received adjuvant radiotherapy (median dose, 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions) with concurrent 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy. Adverse prognostic factors were investigated, and overall survival (OS) and local and distant failure were estimated. Results: Adverse prognostic factors for decreased OS by univariate analysis included lymph node (LN) involvement, locally advanced tumors (T3/T4), and poor histologic grade. By multivariate analysis, positive LN status (p = 0.02) alone was associated with decreased OS. The addition of adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy improved OS for patients with positive LN (p = 0.01). Median survival for positive LN patients receiving adjuvant therapy was 3.4 years, vs. 1.6 years for those with surgery alone. Conclusions: The addition of adjuvant radiotherapy and 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy may improve OS in patients with LN involvement. The effect of adjuvant therapy on outcomes for patients with poor histologic grade or T3/T4 tumors without LN involvement could not be assessed.

  12. Aligning academic continuing medical education with quality improvement: a model for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Davis, Nancy L; Davis, David A; Johnson, Nathan M; Grichnik, Katherine L; Headrick, Linda A; Pingleton, Susan K; Bower, Elizabeth; Gibbs, Ronald

    2013-10-01

    The recent health care quality improvement (QI) movement has called for significant changes to the way that health care is delivered and taught in academic medical centers (AMCs). This movement also has affected academic continuing medical education (CME). In January 2011, to better align the CME and QI efforts of AMCs, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) launched a pilot initiative called Aligning and Educating for Quality (ae4Q). The goal of this pilot was to assist 11 AMCs as they moved to a more integrated model of continuous performance improvement by aligning their quality measurement and improvement with their continuing education endeavors. In this article, the authors describe the development of the ae4Q pilot and the resulting outcomes that have led to ongoing improvements.During the 18-month pilot, AAMC consultants conducted readiness assessments and on-site visits and provided consultation services and Web-based resources based on the AMC's needs. Following these interventions at each site, they then conducted both interviews with participants and postintervention assessment surveys to measure the impact of the pilot. Findings included demonstrated increases in the alignment of CME and QI, a greater use of quality data in CME design and delivery, and a greater use of CME as an intervention for clinical improvement. Two sites also attributed measureable improved clinical outcomes to their participation in the ae4Q pilot. The AAMC has used these findings to create resources and ongoing services to support AMCs as they pursue efforts to align QI and CME. PMID:23969360

  13. Resiliency Improvements in Medical Emergency Staff in Burn Missions: A Qualitative Study in an Iranian Context

    PubMed Central

    Froutan, Razieh; Khankeh, Hamid Reza; Fallahi, Masoud; Ahmadi, Fazlollah; Norouzi, Kian

    2015-01-01

    Background: Medical emergency staff complete understanding of the nature of resiliency in burn events is a prerequisite for improving the quality of clinical service delivery in pre-hospital burn events. Objectives: The present study aimed to describe resiliency in view of medical emergency staff in burn events. Materials and Methods: The present qualitative study was performed using a content analysis method. In total, 18 Iranian emergency care personnel participated in the study. A purposeful sampling method was applied until reaching data saturation. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and field observations. Afterwards, data was analyzed by face content analysis. Results: By analyzing 456 primary codes, four main concepts including: 1) scene safety/security, 2) effective clinical decision making, 3) self-efficacy and 4) religious support were extracted through content analysis from experiences of pre-hospital emergency personnel during burn care. Conclusions: Different factors affect resiliency improvements in medical emergency staff and consequently the quality of pre-hospital burn care. This study showed that various factors such as scene security/safety, effective decision making, self-efficacy and religious support are effective in the improvement of resiliency and the quality of pre-hospital emergency care. PMID:26421172

  14. Advances in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research and its mechanism.

    PubMed

    He, Peng; Zou, Yening; Hu, Zhongyu

    2015-01-01

    In the past few decades, hundreds of materials have been tried as adjuvant; however, only aluminum-based adjuvants continue to be used widely in the world. Aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate and alum constitute the main forms of aluminum used as adjuvants. Among these, aluminum hydroxide is the most commonly used chemical as adjuvant. In spite of its wide spread use, surprisingly, the mechanism of how aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants exert their beneficial effects is still not fully understood. Current explanations for the mode of action of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants include, among others, the repository effect, pro-phagocytic effect, and activation of the pro-inflammatory NLRP3 pathway. These collectively galvanize innate as well as acquired immune responses and activate the complement system. Factors that have a profound influence on responses evoked by aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant applications include adsorption rate, strength of the adsorption, size and uniformity of aluminum hydroxide particles, dosage of adjuvant, and the nature of antigens. Although vaccines containing aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants are beneficial, sometimes they cause adverse reactions. Further, these vaccines cannot be stored frozen. Until recently, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants were known to preferentially prime Th2-type immune responses. However, results of more recent studies show that depending on the vaccination route, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants can enhance both Th1 as well as Th2 cellular responses. Advances in systems biology have opened up new avenues for studying mechanisms of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants. These will assist in scaling new frontiers in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research that include improvement of formulations, use of nanoparticles of aluminum hydroxide and development of composite adjuvants. PMID:25692535

  15. Advances in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research and its mechanism

    PubMed Central

    He, Peng; Zou, Yening; Hu, Zhongyu

    2015-01-01

    In the past few decades, hundreds of materials have been tried as adjuvant; however, only aluminum-based adjuvants continue to be used widely in the world. Aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate and alum constitute the main forms of aluminum used as adjuvants. Among these, aluminum hydroxide is the most commonly used chemical as adjuvant. In spite of its wide spread use, surprisingly, the mechanism of how aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants exert their beneficial effects is still not fully understood. Current explanations for the mode of action of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants include, among others, the repository effect, pro-phagocytic effect, and activation of the pro-inflammatory NLRP3 pathway. These collectively galvanize innate as well as acquired immune responses and activate the complement system. Factors that have a profound influence on responses evoked by aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant applications include adsorption rate, strength of the adsorption, size and uniformity of aluminum hydroxide particles, dosage of adjuvant, and the nature of antigens. Although vaccines containing aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants are beneficial, sometimes they cause adverse reactions. Further, these vaccines cannot be stored frozen. Until recently, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants were known to preferentially prime Th2-type immune responses. However, results of more recent studies show that depending on the vaccination route, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants can enhance both Th1 as well as Th2 cellular responses. Advances in systems biology have opened up new avenues for studying mechanisms of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants. These will assist in scaling new frontiers in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research that include improvement of formulations, use of nanoparticles of aluminum hydroxide and development of composite adjuvants. PMID:25692535

  16. Expanding Continuous Quality Improvement Capacity in the Medical Intensive Care Unit: Prehealth Volunteers as a Solution.

    PubMed

    Priest, Kelsey C; Lobingier, Hannah; McCully, Nancy; Lombard, Jackie; Hansen, Mark; Uchiyama, Makoto; Hagg, Daniel S

    2016-01-01

    Health care delivery systems are challenged to support the increasing demands for improving patient safety, satisfaction, and outcomes. Limited resources and staffing are common barriers for making significant and sustained improvements. At Oregon Health & Science University, the medical intensive care unit (MICU) leadership team faced internal capacity limitations for conducting continuous quality improvement, specifically for the implementation and evaluation of the mobility portion of an evidence-based care bundle. The MICU team successfully addressed this capacity challenge using the person power of prehealth volunteers. In the first year of the project, 52 trained volunteers executed an evidence-based mobility intervention for 305 critically ill patients, conducting more than 200 000 exercise repetitions. The volunteers contributed to real-time evaluation of the project, with the collection of approximately 26 950 process measure data points. Prehealth volunteers are an untapped resource for effectively expanding internal continuous quality improvement capacity in the MICU and beyond. PMID:27031356

  17. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Barriers to improving primary care of depression: perspectives of medical group leaders.

    PubMed

    Whitebird, Robin R; Solberg, Leif I; Margolis, Karen L; Asche, Stephen E; Trangle, Michael A; Wineman, Arthur P

    2013-06-01

    Using clinical trials, researchers have demonstrated effective methods for treating depression in primary care, but improvements based on these trials are not being implemented. This might be because these improvements require more systematic organizational changes than can be made by individual physicians. We interviewed 82 physicians and administrative leaders of 41 medical groups to learn what is preventing those organizational changes. The identified barriers to improving care included external contextual problems (reimbursement, scarce resources, and access to/communication with specialty mental health), individual attitudes (physician and patient resistance), and internal care process barriers (organizational and condition complexity, difficulty standardizing and measuring care). Although many of these barriers are challenging, we can overcome them by setting clear priorities for change and allocating adequate resources. We must improve primary care of depression if we are to reduce its enormous adverse social and economic impacts. PMID:23515301

  19. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Participation of National Medical Associations in quality improvement activities - International comparison and the Israeli case

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Many countries have devoted considerable efforts in an attempt to improve the performance of their health care systems. National Medical Associations (NMAs), along with other stakeholders, play a part in the promotion of such activities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and level of participation of NMAs in activities of quality improvement in medicine, with a specific emphasis on Israel. Methods The authors conducted a survey among NMAs around the world inquiring as to their involvement in three central aspects of quality improvement: clinical guidelines, quality measurement and continuing medical education (CME). In addition, they conducted a review of the literature in order to gather more information and complete the data collected in the survey. The findings were processed and analyzed comparatively. Results Most of the NMAs surveyed participate in quality improvement activities at least to some extent. NMAs' main involvement is in the regulation of CME and they are involved to a much lesser extent in the preparation of clinical guidelines and in quality measurement. In Israel, the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has a dominant role in both the preparation of clinical guidelines and the regulation of CME credits. Discussion It is possible that the expertise maintained by the profession, coupled with the organizational power of the NMA as a union, is viewed as beneficial for regulating educational activities in medicine such as CME. Conversely, the issuing of clinical guidelines is usually regarded as a typical scientific activity, and therefore often rests in the hands of professional medical societies. Quality measurement is regarded as a distinctive administrative tool and is usually found in the province of governments. Based on the typology that we introduced in our previous paper, we discovered that the extent of NMAs’ involvement in quality improvement coincides with the mode of governance of the health care system

  1. Intravitreal Ranibizumab Injection as an Adjuvant in the Treatment of Neovascular Glaucoma Accompanied by Vitreous Hemorrhage after Diabetic Vitrectomy

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Xi; Chen, Yanwei; Wang, Yanuo; Yang, Lu; Zhong, Yisheng

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To determine the efficacy of intravitreal ranibizumab injection as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of neovascular glaucoma (NVG) accompanied by postvitrectomy diabetic vitreous hemorrhage (PDVH). Methods. Eighteen NVG patients (18 eyes) accompanied by PDVH were enrolled in this prospective, monocenter, 12-month, interventional case series. The consecutive 18 patients with an IOP ≥ 25 mmHg despite being treated with the maximum medical therapy were treated with intravitreal ranibizumab injections. Vitreous surgery or/with Ahmed valve implantation were indicated if no clinical improvement in vitreous haemorrhage and uncontrolled IOP was shown. Results. Ten patients got clear vitreous and controlled IOP only with 2.7 ± 1.8 injections of ranibizumab without additional surgery. Vitrectomy or/with Ahmed valve implantation was administered in the other 8 eyes due to uncontrolled VH and IOP. At follow-up month 12, all the 18 eyes gained clear vitreous. At month 12 BCVA improved significantly compared to baseline. The baseline and follow-up at month 12 IOP/medication usage were 36.7 ± 8.1 mmHg on 3.4 ± 0.7 medications and 16.2 ± 4.9 mmHg on 0.67 ± 0.77 medications, respectively. Conclusions. The findings suggest that intravitreal ranibizumab injection as adjuvant therapy for treatment of NVG accompanied by PDVH may be safe and potentially effective. This clinical trial is registered with NCT02647515. PMID:27293875

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents an innovative electronic medical records (EMR) system, RF-MediSys, which can perform medical information sharing and retrieval effectively and which is accessible via a 'smart' medical card. With such a system, medical diagnoses and treatment decisions can be significantly improved when compared with the conventional practice of using paper medical records systems. Furthermore, the entire healthcare delivery process, from registration to the dispensing or administration of medicines, can be visualised holistically to facilitate performance review. To examine the feasibility of implementing RF-MediSys and to determine its usefulness to users of the system, a survey was conducted within a multi-disciplinary medical service organisation that operates a network of medical clinics and paramedical service centres throughout Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Questionnaires were distributed to 300 system users, including nurses, physicians and patients, to collect feedback on the operation and performance of RF-MediSys in comparison with conventional paper-based medical record systems. The response rate to the survey was 67%. Results showed a medium to high level of user satisfaction with the radiofrequency identification (RFID)-based EMR system. In particular, respondents provided high ratings on both 'user-friendliness' and 'system performance'. Findings of the survey highlight the potential of RF-MediSys as a tool to enhance quality of medical services and patient safety. PMID:21430306

  3. Strengthening physician relationships. Improving service to medical practices helps hospitals meet patients' needs.

    PubMed

    Rezac, P J

    1991-03-01

    In 1983 Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD, launched a medical staff-based marketing plan. Initial research focused on discovering service-area referring physicians' perceptions and level of utilization of Sacred Heart and its medical staff. The plan's ultimate goal was to strengthen relationships with referring physicians and thus improve the hospital's ability to deliver high-quality healthcare to those in its service area. Physicians were asked to indicate how important certain attributes were in choosing a medical specialist and a referral hospital. Among the attributes they most often cited as "very important" in choice of a specialist were specialist's reputation, patient's previous satisfaction, communication with a referring physician, and patient's preference. For choosing a referral hospital the most frequently cited attributes were availability of latest technology and equipment, hospital's reputation, patient's previous satisfaction, and patient's preference. The study also gathered information on physicians' utilization of and satisfaction with a variety of Sacred Heart services. As a result of the study, the hospital implemented a seven-part strategy to increase referring physicians' satisfaction with and utilization of the hospital and its medical staff. A follow-up study five years later revealed a 6.7 percent increase in the number of service-area physicians who referred patients to Sacred Heart and a 14.2 percent increase in the number of physicians who were "very satisfied" with the hospital's services. The consumer study revealed that high-quality professional services and highly personalized services were very important to patients. PMID:10109226

  4. Adjuvant Immunotherapy of Melanoma, and Development of New Approaches Using the Neo- Adjuvant Approach in Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Davar, Diwakar; Tarhini, Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Melanoma is the third most common skin cancer but the leading cause of death from cutaneous malignancies. While early-stage disease is frequently cured by surgical resection with excellent long-term survival, patients with deeper primary lesions (AJCC stage IIB-C) and those with microscopic (IIIA) or clinically evident regional lymph node or in-transit metastases (IIIB-C) have an increased risk of relapse and death–the latter approaching 70% or more at 5 years. In patients at high-risk of recurrence/metastases, adjuvant therapy with high-dose interferon alpha-2b (HDI) following definitive surgical resection has been shown to improve relapse free and overall survival. Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy have offered the prospect to improve regional recurrence risk and overall survival in several solid tumors. The advent of effective new molecularly targeted therapies for metastatic disease and new immunotherapies that overcome checkpoints of immune response have augmented the range of new options that are in current trial evaluation to determine their role as potential adjuvant therapies, alone and in combination with one another, and the established modality of IFNα. The differential characteristics of the host immune response between early and advanced melanoma provide a strong mechanistic rationale for the use of neo-adjuvant immunotherapeutic approaches in melanoma, and the opportunity to evaluate the mechanism of action suggest neoadjuvant trial evaluation for each of the new candidate agents and combinations of interest. Several neo-adjuvant trials have been conducted in the phase II setting, which have illuminated the mechanism of IFNα, as well as providing insight to the effects of anti-CTLA4 blocking antibodies. These agents (anti-CTLA4 blocking antibody ipilimumab [BMS], and BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib [Genentech]) are likely to be followed by other immunotherapies that may overcome the PD-1 checkpoint (anti-PD1 [BMS, Merck, Curetech] and anti

  5. Improvement in the family-centered medical home enhances outcomes for children and youth with special healthcare needs.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Jeanne W; Sherrieb, Kathleen; Cooley, W Carl

    2009-01-01

    Family-centered, coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally competent care for children and youth with special healthcare needs is a national priority. Access to a primary care medical home is a US Maternal and Child Health Bureau performance measure. Most primary care practices lack methods by which to partner with families and improve care. Gaps remain in the number of children with access to a high-quality medical home. The Medical Home Index and Medical Home Family Index and Survey resulting from 10 pilot practices reveal improvements in practice capacity and subsequently in child and family outcomes. PMID:19542808

  6. Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, New York: improving health in an urban community.

    PubMed

    Foreman, Spencer

    2004-12-01

    The author calls on academic medical centers that serve urban communities to go beyond the traditional mission of patient care, teaching, and research by accepting responsibility to build community-based care systems that are capable of improving the health of underserved populations within their reach. The experience of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, is presented to illustrate the nature, scope, and complexity of the undertaking that is required. Eight initiatives are described: expanding the primary care network, creating The Children's Hospital at Montefiore and the Child Health Network, responding to the needs of other high-risk populations, integrating the network with health information technology, using care-management systems to improve quality, reinforcing ethical allocation of resources, building teaching and research into the network, and preserving community vitality. The author believes that the current health care environment offers opportunities that may help to stimulate change in the direction of community-based systems. Managed care provides financial incentives to academic centers that are willing to accept risk and responsibly manage the care of a defined community, and advanced information technologies can support them in that endeavor. The author concludes that for academic medical centers with the proper systems in place, accepting responsibility for the community is not only the right thing to do, it is the strategic thing to do. PMID:15563649

  7. Communicating the role and value of vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Gellin, Bruce G; Salisbury, David M

    2015-06-01

    Despite the inclusion of adjuvants in many routinely used vaccines to improve the immune response, their presence and role are neither clear in product details such as the packaging or in the Summaries of Product Characteristics, nor understood by health professionals or the public. For many vaccines the adjuvant may simply be described as 'Adsorbed' without clarification that the adsorbing onto a material such as aluminium hydroxide adjuvants the antigens. As many future vaccines are likely to be adjuvanted, the presence of adjuvants, either those used in existing vaccines or novel formulations, may raise public and professional concerns unless communication materials are prepared in advance to allay anxieties such as those that have arisen over some present vaccine ingredients such as thiomersal. This raises a dilemma about how active such communications should be: over-promotion of the presence of a new adjuvant may cause unneeded anxieties; under-promotion may raise concerns over concealment of information. Research is needed and appropriate communication materials should be prepared. PMID:26022567

  8. The Role of Adjuvant Radiation in Uterine Sarcomas

    SciTech Connect

    Sampath, Sagus; Schultheiss, Timothy E.; Ryu, Janice K.; Wong, Jeffrey Y.C.

    2010-03-01

    Purpose: To determine clinical and pathological factors significant for overall survival (OS) and local-regional failure-free survival (LRFFS) in uterine sarcoma as they relate to adjuvant radiotherapy (AR). Methods and Materials: A retrospective analysis of 3,650 patients with uterine sarcoma was conducted using the National Oncology Database, a proprietary database of aggregated tumor registries owned by Impac Medical Systems (Sunnyvale, CA). Adjuvant radiotherapy was defined as postoperative external beam radiation to the pelvis, with or without brachytherapy. Prognostic factors were identified by multivariate analysis (MVA) using the Cox proportional hazards model. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival, with significant differences (p < 0.05) determined using the log-rank test. Results: The median follow-up time was 59 months, with a 5-year OS of 37%. Significant prognostic factors for OS were stage, race/ethnicity, grade, age, histology, lymph node status, and surgical treatment (p < 0.01 for all factors). Use of AR was not predictive for OS. For nonmetastatic cancer patients receiving definitive surgery (n = 2,206), the 5-year LRFFS was 87%. In this group, stage, grade, histology, and AR were prognostic for LRFFS (p < 0.05), with AR associated with improved outcome compared with surgery alone (hazard ratio = 0.4, p < 0.001). Patients with carcinosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, poorly differentiated tumors, and negative lymph nodes had reduced local-regional failure (LRF) with AR (log-rank, p < 0.05 for all). Conclusion: In the largest retrospective analysis of uterine sarcoma published thus far, AR conferred a 53% reduction in the risk of LRF at 5 years. Use of AR may have broader indications than what are currently accepted in clinical practice.

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

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, David Stern; Hauer, Karen E.; Poncelet, Ann; Mookherjee, Somnath

    2012-01-01

    Background Competence in quality improvement (QI) is a priority for medical students. We describe a self-directed QI skills curriculum for medical students in a 1-year longitudinal integrated third-year clerkship: an ideal context to learn and practice QI. Methods Two groups of four students identified a quality gap, described existing efforts to address the gap, made quantifying measures, and proposed a QI intervention. The program was assessed with knowledge and attitude surveys and a validated tool for rating trainee QI proposals. Reaction to the curriculum was assessed by survey and focus group. Results Knowledge of QI concepts did not improve (mean knowledge score±SD): pre: 5.9±1.5 vs. post: 6.6±1.3, p=0.20. There were significant improvements in attitudes (mean topic attitude score±SD) toward the value of QI (pre: 9.9±1.8 vs. post: 12.6±1.9, p=0.03) and confidence in QI skills (pre: 13.4±2.8 vs. post: 16.1±3.0, p=0.05). Proposals lacked sufficient analysis of interventions and evaluation plans. Reaction was mixed, including appreciation for the experience and frustration with finding appropriate mentorship. Conclusion Clinical-year students were able to conduct a self-directed QI project. Lack of improvement in QI knowledge suggests that self-directed learning in this domain may be insufficient without targeted didactics. Higher order skills such as developing measurement plans would benefit from explicit instruction and mentorship. Lessons from this experience will allow educators to better target QI curricula to medical students in the clinical years. PMID:22611330

  10. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment in pancreatic cancer

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most aggressive human malignancies, ranking 4th among causes for cancer-related death in the Western world including the United States. Surgical resection offers the only chance of cure, but only 15 to 20 percent of cases are potentially resectable at presentation. Different studies demonstrate and confirm that advanced pancreatic cancer is among the most complex cancers to treat and that these tumors are relatively resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Currently there is no consensus around the world on what constitutes “standard” adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer. This controversy derives from several studies, each fraught with its own limitations. Standards of care also vary somewhat with regard to geography and economy, for instance chemo-radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy or vice versa is considered the optimal therapy in North America while chemotherapy alone is the current standard in Europe. Regardless of the efforts in adjuvant and neoadjuvant improved therapy, the major goal to combat pancreatic cancer is to find diagnostic markers, identifying the disease in a pre-metastatic stage and making a curative treatment accessible to more patients. In this review, authors examined the different therapy options for advanced pancreatic patients in recent years and the future directions in adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments for these patients. PMID:22529684

  11. Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Ciarlo, Timothy J.; Mullin, Christopher A.; Frazier, James L.; Schmehl, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Comparable quality attributes of hepatitis E vaccine antigen with and without adjuvant adsorption-dissolution treatment

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Most vaccines require adjuvants for antigen stabilization and immune potentiation. Aluminum-based adjuvants are the most widely used adjuvants for human vaccines. Previous reports demonstrated the preservation of antigen conformation and other antigen characteristics after recovery from adjuvanted Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus vaccines. In this study, we used a combination of various physiochemical and immunochemical methods to analyze hepatitis E vaccine antigen quality attributes after recovery from adjuvants. All biochemical and biophysical methods showed similar characteristics of the p239 protein after recovery from adjuvanted vaccine formulation compared to the antigen in solution which never experienced adsorption/desorption process. Most importantly, we demonstrated full preservation of key antigen epitopes post-recovery from adjuvanted vaccine using a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies as exquisite probes. Antigenicity of p239 was probed with a panel of 9 mAbs using competition/blocking ELISA, surface plasmon resonance and sandwich ELISA methods. These multifaceted analyses demonstrated the preservation of antigen key epitopes and comparable protein thermal stability when adsorbed on adjuvants or of the recovered antigen post-dissolution treatment. A better understanding of the antigen conformation in adjuvanted vaccine will enhanced our knowledge of antigen-adjuvant interactions and facilitate an improved process control and development of stable vaccine formulation. PMID:26018442

  13. Initiatives by the government and physician groups to improve awareness of medical ethics: Challenges in Japan

    PubMed Central

    MORIOKA, Yasuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Physicians have been required to possess high ethical standards, as medical practice is directly involved with patients' lives. Although ethics arise out of an individual's consciousness, ethical regulations imposed by the nation/government together with self-regulation by physician groups are important in the practice of ethics, for which reason countries around the world undertake various initiatives. This paper investigates physician licensure, organizations governing physician status, the role of physician groups, and the actual conditions of lifelong learning and ethics education in developed countries worldwide, in contrast with which it throws problems in the situation in Japan into relief. Organizations governing physician status, the form of medical associations, and the improvement of lifelong learning are pointed out as critical issues especially in Japan. PMID:22498978

  14. Use of S-[2,3-Bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-Propyl]-R-Cysteinyl-Amido-Monomethoxy Polyethylene Glycol as an Adjuvant Improved Protective Immunity Associated with a DNA Vaccine Encoding Cu,Zn Superoxide Dismutase of Brucella abortus in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Retamal-Díaz, Angello; Riquelme-Neira, Roberto; Sáez, Darwin; Rivera, Alejandra; Fernández, Pablo; Cabrera, Alex; Guzmán, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a DNA vaccine encoding Brucella abortus Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) using the Toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist S-[2,3-bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-propyl]-R-cysteinyl-amido-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (BPPcysMPEG) as an adjuvant. Intranasal coadministration of BPPcysMPEG with a plasmid carrying the SOD-encoding gene (pcDNA-SOD) into BALB/c mice elicited antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Humoral responses were characterized by the stimulation of IgG2a and IgG1 and by the presence of SOD-specific secretory IgA in nasal and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. Furthermore, T-cell proliferative responses and increased production of gamma interferon were also observed upon splenocyte restimulation with recombinant SOD. Cytotoxic responses were also stimulated, as demonstrated by the lysis of RB51-SOD-infected J774.A1 macrophages by cells recovered from immunized mice. The pcDNA-SOD/BPPcysMPEG formulation induced improved protection against challenge with the virulent strain B. abortus 2308 in BALB/c mice over that provided by pcDNA-SOD, suggesting the potential of this vaccination strategy against Brucella infection. PMID:25165025

  15. Quality improvement and practice-based research in neurology using the electronic medical record

    PubMed Central

    Frigerio, Roberta; Kazmi, Nazia; Meyers, Steven L.; Sefa, Meredith; Walters, Shaun A.; Silverstein, Jonathan C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We describe quality improvement and practice-based research using the electronic medical record (EMR) in a community health system–based department of neurology. Our care transformation initiative targets 10 neurologic disorders (brain tumors, epilepsy, migraine, memory disorders, mild traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, Parkinson disease, restless legs syndrome, and stroke) and brain health (risk assessments and interventions to prevent Alzheimer disease and related disorders in targeted populations). Our informatics methods include building and implementing structured clinical documentation support tools in the EMR; electronic data capture; enrollment, data quality, and descriptive reports; quality improvement projects; clinical decision support tools; subgroup-based adaptive assignments and pragmatic trials; and DNA biobanking. We are sharing EMR tools and deidentified data with other departments toward the creation of a Neurology Practice-Based Research Network. We discuss practical points to assist other clinical practices to make quality improvements and practice-based research in neurology using the EMR a reality. PMID:26576324

  16. Computerised clinical decision support systems to improve medication safety in long-term care homes: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Marasinghe, Keshini Madara

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Computerised clinical decision support systems (CCDSS) are used to improve the quality of care in various healthcare settings. This systematic review evaluated the impact of CCDSS on improving medication safety in long-term care homes (LTC). Medication safety in older populations is an important health concern as inappropriate medication use can elevate the risk of potentially severe outcomes (ie, adverse drug reactions, ADR). With an increasing ageing population, greater use of LTC by the growing ageing population and increasing number of medication-related health issues in LTC, strategies to improve medication safety are essential. Methods Databases searched included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus and Cochrane Library. Three groups of keywords were combined: those relating to LTC, medication safety and CCDSS. One reviewer undertook screening and quality assessment. Results Overall findings suggest that CCDSS in LTC improved the quality of prescribing decisions (ie, appropriate medication orders), detected ADR, triggered warning messages (ie, related to central nervous system side effects, drug-associated constipation, renal insufficiency) and reduced injury risk among older adults. Conclusions CCDSS have received little attention in LTC, as attested by the limited published literature. With an increasing ageing population, greater use of LTC by the ageing population and increased workload for health professionals, merely relying on physicians’ judgement on medication safety would not be sufficient. CCDSS to improve medication safety and enhance the quality of prescribing decisions are essential. Analysis of review findings indicates that CCDSS are beneficial, effective and have potential to improve medication safety in LTC; however, the use of CCDSS in LTC is scarce. Careful assessment on the impact of CCDSS on medication safety and further modifications to existing CCDSS are recommended for wider acceptance. Due to scant evidence in the current literature

  17. STAAR: improving the reliability of care coordination and reducing hospital readmissions in an academic medical centre

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Jocelyn Alexandria; Carr, Laura S; Collins, Jacqueline; Doyle Petrongolo, Joanne; Hall, Kathryn; Murray, Jane; Smith, Jessica; Tata, Lee Ann

    2015-01-01

    Setting Massachusetts General Hospital embarked on a 4-year project to reduce readmissions in a high volume general medicine unit (November 2009 to September 2013). Objective To reduce 30-day readmissions to 10% through improved care coordination. Design As a before–after study, a total of 7586 patients admitted to the medicine unit during the intervention period included 2620 inpatients meeting high risk for readmission criteria. Of those, 2620 patients received nursing interventions and 539 patients received pharmacy interventions. Intervention The introduction of a Discharge Nurse (D/C RN) for patient/family coaching and a Transitional Care Pharmacist (TC PharmD) for predischarge medication reconciliation and postdischarge patient phone calls. Other interventions included modifications to multidisciplinary care rounds and electronic medication reconciliation. Main outcome measure All-cause 30-day readmission rates. Results Readmission rates decreased by 30% (21% preintervention to 14.5% postintervention) (p<0.05). From July 2010 to December 2011, rates of readmission among high-risk patients who received the D/C RN intervention with or without the TC PharmD medication reconciliation/education intervention decreased to 15.9% (p=0.59). From January to June 2010, rates of readmission among high-risk patients who received the TC PharmD postdischarge calls decreased to 12.9% (p=0.55). From June 2010 to December 2011, readmission rates for patients on the medical unit that did not receive the designated D/C RN or TC PharmD interventions decreased to 15.8% (p=0.61) and 16.2% (0.31), respectively. Conclusions A multidisciplinary approach to improving care coordination reduced avoidable readmissions both among those who received interventions and those who did not. This further demonstrated the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration. PMID:26246901

  18. Can enriching emotional intelligence improve medical students’ proactivity and adaptability during OB/GYN clerkships?

    PubMed Central

    Guseh, Stephanie H.; Chen, Xiaodong P.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this pilot study was to examine our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence through resident coaches could improve third-year medical students’ adaptability and proactivity on the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship. Methods An observational pilot study was conducted in a teaching hospital. Fourteen 3rd year medical students from two cohorts of clerkships were randomly divided into two groups, and equally assigned to trained resident coaches and untrained resident coaches. Data was collected through onsite naturalistic observation of students’ adaptability and proactivity in clinical settings using a checklist with a 4-point Likert scale (1=poor to 4=excellent). Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the differences between these two groups. Results A total of 280 data points were collected through onsite observations conducted by investigators. All (n=14) students’ adaptability and proactivity performance significantly improved from an average of 3.04 to 3.45 (p=0.014) over 6-week clerkship. Overall, students with trained resident coaches adapted significantly faster and were more proactive in the obstetrics and gynecology clinical setting than the students with untrained coaches (3.31 vs. 3.24, p=0.019). Conclusions Findings from our pilot study supported our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence knowledge through resident coaches was able to help medical students adapt into obstetrics and gynecology clinical settings faster and become more proactive in learning. Clerkship programs can incorporate the concept of a resident coach in their curriculum to help bridge medical students into clinical settings and to help them engage in self-directed learning throughout the rotation. PMID:26708233

  19. Innate immunity and adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Akira, Shizuo

    2011-10-12

    Innate immunity was for a long time considered to be non-specific because the major function of this system is to digest pathogens and present antigens to the cells involved in acquired immunity. However, recent studies have shown that innate immunity is not non-specific, but is instead sufficiently specific to discriminate self from pathogens through evolutionarily conserved receptors, designated Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Indeed, innate immunity has a crucial role in early host defence against invading pathogens. Furthermore, TLRs were found to act as adjuvant receptors that create a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, and to have important roles in the induction of adaptive immunity. This paradigm shift is now changing our thinking on the pathogenesis and treatment of infectious, immune and allergic diseases, as well as cancers. Besides TLRs, recent findings have revealed the presence of a cytosolic detector system for invading pathogens. I will review the mechanisms of pathogen recognition by TLRs and cytoplasmic receptors, and then discuss the roles of these receptors in the development of adaptive immunity in response to viral infection. PMID:21893536

  20. Innate immunity and adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Akira, Shizuo

    2011-01-01

    Innate immunity was for a long time considered to be non-specific because the major function of this system is to digest pathogens and present antigens to the cells involved in acquired immunity. However, recent studies have shown that innate immunity is not non-specific, but is instead sufficiently specific to discriminate self from pathogens through evolutionarily conserved receptors, designated Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Indeed, innate immunity has a crucial role in early host defence against invading pathogens. Furthermore, TLRs were found to act as adjuvant receptors that create a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, and to have important roles in the induction of adaptive immunity. This paradigm shift is now changing our thinking on the pathogenesis and treatment of infectious, immune and allergic diseases, as well as cancers. Besides TLRs, recent findings have revealed the presence of a cytosolic detector system for invading pathogens. I will review the mechanisms of pathogen recognition by TLRs and cytoplasmic receptors, and then discuss the roles of these receptors in the development of adaptive immunity in response to viral infection. PMID:21893536

  1. An Enhanced Synthetic Multiclade DNA Prime Induces Improved Cross-Clade-Reactive Functional Antibodies when Combined with an Adjuvanted Protein Boost in Nonhuman Primates

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Megan C.; Hutnick, Natalie A.; Pollara, Justin; Myles, Devin J. F.; Williams, Constance; Yan, Jian; LaBranche, Celia C.; Khan, Amir S.; Sardesai, Niranjan Y.; Montefiori, David; Barnett, Susan W.; Zolla-Pazner, Susan; Ferrari, Guido

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The search for an efficacious human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine remains a pressing need. The moderate success of the RV144 Thai clinical vaccine trial suggested that vaccine-induced HIV-1-specific antibodies can reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection. We have made several improvements to the DNA platform and have previously shown that improved DNA vaccines alone are capable of inducing both binding and neutralizing antibodies in small-animal models. In this study, we explored how an improved DNA prime and recombinant protein boost would impact HIV-specific vaccine immunogenicity in rhesus macaques (RhM). After DNA immunization with either a single HIV Env consensus sequence or multiple constructs expressing HIV subtype-specific Env consensus sequences, we detected both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to all vaccine immunogens. These T-cell responses were further increased after protein boosting to levels exceeding those of DNA-only or protein-only immunization. In addition, we observed antibodies that exhibited robust cross-clade binding and neutralizing and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity after immunization with the DNA prime-protein boost regimen, with the multiple-Env formulation inducing a more robust and broader response than the single-Env formulation. The magnitude and functionality of these responses emphasize the strong priming effect improved DNA immunogens can induce, which are further expanded upon protein boost. These results support further study of an improved synthetic DNA prime together with a protein boost for enhancing anti-HIV immune responses. IMPORTANCE Even with effective antiretroviral drugs, HIV remains an enormous global health burden. Vaccine development has been problematic in part due to the high degree of diversity and poor immunogenicity of the HIV Env protein. Studies suggest that a relevant HIV vaccine will likely need to induce broad cellular and humoral responses from a simple vaccine

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

    PubMed Central

    Milic, Natasa M.; Trajkovic, Goran Z.; Bukumiric, Zoran M.; Cirkovic, Andja; Nikolic, Ivan M.; Milin, Jelena S.; Milic, Nikola V.; Savic, Marko D.; Corac, Aleksandar M.; Marinkovic, Jelena M.; Stanisavljevic, Dejana M.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Optimizing Adherence to Adjuvant Imatinib in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Tetzlaff, Eric D.; Davey, Monica P.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Automating patient safety incident reporting to improve healthcare quality in the defence medical services.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Di; Piper, N

    2015-12-01

    There are many reasons for poor compliance with patient safety incident reporting in the UK. The Defence Medical Services has made a significant investment to address the culture and process by which risk to patient safety is managed within its organisation. This paper describes the decision process and technical considerations in the design of an automated reporting system together with the implementation procedure aimed to maximise compliance. The elimination of inherent weaknesses in feedback mechanisms from the three Armed Forces, which had been uniquely different, ensured the quality of data improved, which enabled resources to be prioritised that would also have a direct impact upon the quality of patient care. PMID:26400974

  5. Collaborative Depression Care in a Safety Net Medical Home: Facilitators and Barriers to Quality Improvement.

    PubMed

    Price-Haywood, Eboni G; Dunn-Lombard, Donisha; Harden-Barrios, Jewel; Lefante, John J

    2016-02-01

    Little is known about how to integrate primary care with mental/behavioral services outside of clinical trials. The authors implemented a collaborative care model (CCM) for depression in a safety net patient-centered medical home. The model focused on universal screening for symptoms, risk stratification based on symptom severity, care management for intensive follow-up, and psychiatry consultation. CCM increased rates of primary care physician encounters, timely follow-up for monitoring symptoms of depression, and documentation of treatment response. Contextual factors that facilitated or hindered practice redesign included clinic leadership, quality improvement culture, staffing, technology infrastructure, and external incentives/disincentives for organizational change. PMID:26087153

  6. A randomized trial comparing in person and electronic interventions for improving adherence to oral medications in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Velligan, Dawn; Mintz, Jim; Maples, Natalie; Xueying, Li; Gajewski, Stephanie; Carr, Heather; Sierra, Cynthia

    2013-09-01

    Poor adherence to medication leads to symptom exacerbation and interferes with the recovery process for patients with schizophrenia. Following baseline assessment, 142 patients in medication maintenance at a community mental health center were randomized to one of 3 treatments for 9 months: (1) PharmCAT, supports including pill containers, signs, alarms, checklists and the organization of belongings established in weekly home visits from a PharmCAT therapist; (2) Med-eMonitor (MM), an electronic medication monitor that prompts use of medication, cues the taking of medication, warns patients when they are taking the wrong medication or taking it at the wrong time, record complaints, and, through modem hookup, alerts treatment staff of failures to take medication as prescribed; (3) Treatment as Usual (TAU). All patients received the Med-eMonitor device to record medication adherence. The device was programmed for intervention only in the MM group. Data on symptoms, global functioning, and contact with emergency services and police were obtained every 3 months. Repeated measures analyses of variance for mixed models indicated that adherence to medication was significantly better in both active conditions than in TAU (both p<0.0001). Adherence in active treatments ranged from 90-92% compared to 73% in TAU based on electronic monitoring. In-person and electronic interventions significantly improved adherence to medication, but that did not translate to improved clinical outcomes. Implications for treatment and health care costs are discussed. PMID:23086987

  7. Cryptanalysis and improvement of 'A privacy enhanced scheme for telecare medical information systems'.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Saru; Khan, Muhammad Khurram; Kumar, Rahul

    2013-08-01

    To ensure reliable telecare services some user authentication schemes for telecare medical information system (TMIS) have been presented in literature. These schemes are proposed with intent to regulate only authorized access to medical services so that medical information can be protected from misuse. Very recently Jiang et al. proposed a user authentication scheme for TMIS which they claimed to provide enhanced privacy. They made use of symmetric encryption/decryption with cipher block chaining mode (CBC) to achieve the claimed user privacy. Their scheme provides features like user anonymity and user un-traceability unlike its preceding schemes on which it is built. Unluckily, authors overlook some important aspects in designing their scheme due to which it falls short to resist user impersonation attack, guessing attacks and denial of service attack. Besides, its password change phase is not secure; air message confidentiality is at risk and also has some other drawbacks. Therefore, we propose an improved scheme free from problems observed in Jiang et al.'s scheme and more suitable for TMIS. PMID:23689993

  8. Improving the legibility of prescription medication labels for older adults and adults with visual impairment

    PubMed Central

    Leat, Susan J.; Krishnamoorthy, Abinaya; Carbonara, Antonio; Gold, Deborah; Rojas-Fernandez, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Most current prescription labels fail to meet print guidelines, especially in print size. We therefore compared the legibility of current prescription medication labels against the legibility of prototype labels, based on current guidelines for legibility. Method: Sample medication labels were obtained from pharmacies, and prototype medication labels were developed according to legibility guidelines from nongovernmental organizations and pharmacy organizations. Three groups of participants, consisting of older adults with normal vision, older adults with visual impairment and younger adults with visual impairment (total N = 71) took part. Participants were asked to read and rank the labels. Reading speed and accuracy were determined. Results: Accuracies were high (75%–100%), and there were no significant differences between samples or prototypes or between groups. Prototypes, however, were read faster than samples (p < 0.001). Subjectively, participants preferred the largest print option (p < 0.001) and instructions with the numbers written in highlighted uppercase words (p < 0.001). Discussion: The results indicate that improvements to the label would include larger print size, a consistent layout with left justification and using upper case with highlighting for emphasis of the numbers in the instructions. PMID:27212968

  9. [Further training for medical specialists in respiratory medicine: how can we improve it?].

    PubMed

    Karg, O

    2015-09-01

    Young physicians in Germany often criticize the advanced training programme, especially the lack of structure and the insufficient rotations. The Medical Association in each Bundesland/federal state require to include a proposal for advanced training and rotation in a trainer's aplication for an educational license. However, there is no systematic scrutiny of these concepts and therefore the criteria stated outcomes are often only incompletely met. Trainers engage too little in training methods and medical didactics. They rarely evaluate learning outcomes, and structured assessments based on workplace are exceptions. The reasons are deeply rooted in Germany's education system: Resources for specialist training are not provided, and there is no funding for a commitment in continued medical education. In addition, teaching is not assigned a quantifiable value. However, during the last decade awareness has arisen that good training programmes are an important part of quality assurance and the validation of a hospital. Better planning, structuring and evaluation of training programmes is necessary. New learning methods should be incorporated in training programmes. The German Respiratory Society (DGP) wishes to contribute to the improvement of advanced training: for example with "train the trainer" seminars for teachers, with a structured educational course programme for the trainees, with assessments such as the HERMES (Harmonized Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists) exam and with support for the accreditation as a Respiratory Training Centre of the ERS (European Respiratory Society) and EBAP (European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology). PMID:26335895

  10. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement that... determination, based on the symptoms, signs and laboratory findings as they then existed. (4) Impairment...

  11. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement that... determination, based on the symptoms, signs and laboratory findings as they then existed. (4) Impairment...

  12. Improving end of life care: an information systems approach to reducing medical errors.

    PubMed

    Tamang, S; Kopec, D; Shagas, G; Levy, K

    2005-01-01

    Chronic and terminally ill patients are disproportionately affected by medical errors. In addition, the elderly suffer more preventable adverse events than younger patients. Targeting system wide "error-reducing" reforms to vulnerable populations can significantly reduce the incidence and prevalence of human error in medical practice. Recent developments in health informatics, particularly the application of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as data mining, neural networks, and case-based reasoning (CBR), presents tremendous opportunities for mitigating error in disease diagnosis and patient management. Additionally, the ubiquity of the Internet creates the possibility of an almost ideal network for the dissemination of medical information. We explore the capacity and limitations of web-based palliative information systems (IS) to transform the delivery of care, streamline processes and improve the efficiency and appropriateness of medical treatment. As a result, medical error(s) that occur with patients dealing with severe, chronic illness and the frail elderly can be reduced.The palliative model grew out of the need for pain relief and comfort measures for patients diagnosed with cancer. Applied definitions of palliative care extend this convention, but there is no widely accepted definition. This research will discuss the development life cycle of two palliative information systems: the CONFER QOLP management information system (MIS), currently used by a community-based palliative care program in Brooklyn, New York, and the CAREN case-based reasoning prototype. CONFER is a web platform based on the idea of "eCare". CONFER uses XML (extensible mark-up language), a W3C-endorced standard mark up to define systems data. The second system, CAREN, is a CBR prototype designed for palliative care patients in the cancer trajectory. CBR is a technique, which tries to exploit the similarities of two situations and match decision-making to the best

  13. The Usability of Diabetes MAP: A Web-delivered Intervention for Improving Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Lyndsay A; Bethune, Magaela C; Lagotte, Andrea E

    2016-01-01

    Background Web-delivered interventions are a feasible approach to health promotion. However, if a website is poorly designed, difficult to navigate, and has technical bugs, it will not be used as intended. Usability testing prior to evaluating a website’s benefits can identify barriers to user engagement and maximize future use. Objective We developed a Web-delivered intervention called Diabetes Medication Adherence Promotion (Diabetes MAP) and used a mixed-methods approach to test its usability prior to evaluating its efficacy on medication adherence and glycemic control in a randomized controlled trial. Methods We recruited English-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) from an academic medical center who were prescribed diabetes medications. A trained research assistant administered a baseline survey, collected medical record information, and instructed participants on how to access Diabetes MAP. Participants were asked to use the site independently for 2 weeks and to provide survey and/or focus group feedback on their experience. We analyzed survey data descriptively and qualitative data thematically to identify participants’ favorable and unfavorable experiences, characterize usability concerns, and solicit recommendations for improving Diabetes MAP. Results Enrolled participants (N=32) were an average of 51.7 ± 11.8 years old, 66% (21/32) female, 60% (19/32) non-Hispanic White, 88% (28/32) had more than 12 years of education, half had household incomes over $50,000, and 78% (25/32) were privately insured. Average duration of diagnosed diabetes was 7.8 ± 6.3 years, average A1c was 7.4 ± 2.0, and 38% (12/32) were prescribed insulin. Of enrolled participants, 91% (29/32) provided survey and/or focus group feedback about Diabetes MAP. On the survey, participants agreed website information was clear and easy to understand, but in focus groups they reported navigational challenges and difficulty overcoming user errors (eg, entering data in an

  14. Improvement of spinal non-viral IL-10 gene delivery by D-mannose as a transgene adjuvant to control chronic neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Peri-spinal subarachnoid (intrathecal; i.t.) injection of non-viral naked plasmid DNA encoding the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10 (pDNA-IL-10) suppresses chronic neuropathic pain in animal models. However, two sequential i.t. pDNA injections are required within a discrete 5 to 72-hour period for prolonged efficacy. Previous reports identified phagocytic immune cells present in the peri-spinal milieu surrounding the i.t injection site that may play a role in transgene uptake resulting in subsequent IL-10 transgene expression. Methods In the present study, we aimed to examine whether factors known to induce pro-phagocytic anti-inflammatory properties of immune cells improve i.t. IL-10 transgene uptake using reduced naked pDNA-IL-10 doses previously determined ineffective. Both the synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, and the hexose sugar, D-mannose, were factors examined that could optimize i.t. pDNA-IL-10 uptake leading to enduring suppression of neuropathic pain as assessed by light touch sensitivity of the rat hindpaw (allodynia). Results Compared to dexamethasone, i.t. mannose pretreatment significantly and dose-dependently prolonged pDNA-IL-10 pain suppressive effects, reduced spinal IL-1β and enhanced spinal and dorsal root ganglia IL-10 immunoreactivity. Macrophages exposed to D-mannose revealed reduced proinflammatory TNF-α, IL-1β, and nitric oxide, and increased IL-10 protein release, while IL-4 revealed no improvement in transgene uptake. Separately, D-mannose dramatically increased pDNA-derived IL-10 protein release in culture supernatants. Lastly, a single i.t. co-injection of mannose with a 25-fold lower pDNA-IL-10 dose produced prolonged pain suppression in neuropathic rats. Conclusions Peri-spinal treatment with D-mannose may optimize naked pDNA-IL-10 transgene uptake for suppression of allodynia, and is a novel approach to tune spinal immune cells toward pro-phagocytic phenotype for improved non-viral gene therapy. PMID:24884664

  15. Ultralow Dose of Naloxone as an Adjuvant to Intrathecal Morphine Infusion Improves Perceived Quality of Sleep but Fails to Alter Persistent Pain

    PubMed Central

    Lundborg, Christopher; Bjersing, Jan; Dahm, Peter; Hansson, Elisabeth; Biber, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: This randomized, cross-over, double-blind, controlled study of continuous intrathecal morphine administration in patients with severe, long-term pain addresses whether the supplementation of low doses of naloxone in this setting is associated with beneficial clinical effects. Methods: All of the study subjects (n=11) provided informed consent and were recruited from a subset of patients who were already undergoing long-term treatment with continuous intrathecal morphine because of difficult-to-treat pain. The patients were (in a randomized order) also given intrathecal naloxone (40 ng/24 h or 400 ng/24 h). As control, the patients’ ordinary dose of morphine without any additions was used. The pain (Numeric Rating Scale, NRS) during activity, perceived quality of sleep, level of activity, and quality of life as well as the levels of several proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood were assessed. The prestudy pain (NRS during activity) in the study group ranged from 3 to 10. Results: A total of 64% of the subjects reported improved quality of sleep during treatment with naloxone at a dose of 40 ng per 24 hours as compared with 9% with sham treatment (P=0.024). Although not statistically significant, pain was reduced by 2 NRS steps or more during supplemental treatment with naloxone in 36% of subjects when using the 40 ng per 24 hours dose and in 18% of the subjects when using naloxone 400 ng per 24 hours dose. The corresponding percentage among patients receiving unaltered treatment was 27%. Conclusions: To conclude, the addition of an ultralow dose of intrathecal naloxone (40 ng/24 h) to intrathecal morphine infusion in patients with severe, persistent pain improved perceived quality of sleep. We were not able to show any statistically significant effects of naloxone on pain relief, level of activity, or quality of life. PMID:25629634

  16. Critical factors in the translation of improved antimicrobial strategies for medical implants and devices.

    PubMed

    Grainger, David W; van der Mei, Henny C; Jutte, Paul C; van den Dungen, Jan J A M; Schultz, Marcus J; van der Laan, Bernard F A M; Zaat, Sebastian A J; Busscher, Henk J

    2013-12-01

    Biomaterials-associated infection incidence represents an increasing clinical challenge as more people gain access to medical device technologies worldwide and microbial resistance to current approaches mounts. Few reported antimicrobial approaches to implanted biomaterials ever get commercialized for physician use and patient benefit. This is not for lack of ideas since many thousands of claims to new approaches to antimicrobial efficacy are reported. Lack of translation of reported ideas into medical products approved for use, results from conflicting goals and purposes between the various participants involved in conception, validation, development, commercialization, safety and regulatory oversight, insurance reimbursement, and legal aspects of medical device innovation. The scientific causes, problems and impressive costs of the limiting clinical options for combating biomaterials-associated infection are well recognized. Demands for improved antimicrobial technologies constantly appear. Yet, the actual human, ethical and social costs and consequences of their occurrence are less articulated. Here, we describe several clinical cases of biomaterials-associated infections to illustrate the often-missing human elements of these infections. We identify the current societal forces at play in translating antimicrobial research concepts into clinical implant use and their often-orthogonal constituencies, missions and policies. We assert that in the current complex environment between researchers, funding agencies, physicians, patients, providers, producers, payers, regulatory agencies and litigators, opportunities for translatable successes are minimized under the various risks assumed in the translation process. This argues for an alternative approach to more effectively introduce new biomaterials and device technologies that can address the clinical issues by providing patients and medical practitioners new options for desperate clinical conditions ineffectively

  17. Search and retrieval of medical images for improved diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekin, Ahmet; Jasinschi, Radu; Turan, Erman; Engbers, Rene; van der Grond, Jeroen; van Buchem, Mark A.

    2007-01-01

    In the medical world, the accuracy of diagnosis is mainly affected by either lack of sufficient understanding of some diseases or the inter-, and/or intra-observer variability of the diagnoses. The former requires understanding the progress of diseases at much earlier stages, extraction of important information from ever growing amounts of data, and finally finding correlations with certain features and complications that will illuminate the disease progression. The latter (inter-, and intra- observer variability) is caused by the differences in the experience levels of different medical experts (inter-observer variability) or by mental and physical tiredness of one expert (intra-observer variability). We believe that the use of large databases can help improve the current status of disease understanding and decision making. By comparing large number of patients, some of the otherwise hidden relations can be revealed that results in better understanding, patients with similar complications can be found, the diagnosis and treatment can be compared so that the medical expert can make a better diagnosis. To this effect, this paper introduces a search and retrieval system for brain MR databases and shows that brain iron accumulation shape provides additional information to the shape-insensitive features, such as the total brain iron load, that are commonly used in the clinics. We propose to use Kendall's correlation value to automatically compare various returns to a query. We also describe a fully automated and fast brain MR image analysis system to detect degenerative iron accumulation in brain, as it is the case in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The system is composed of several novel image processing algorithms and has been extensively tested in Leiden University Medical Center over so far more than 600 patients.

  18. [Assessment of financial performance improves the quality of healthcare provided by medical organizations].

    PubMed

    Afek, Arnon; Meilik, Ahuva; Rotstein, Zeev

    2009-01-01

    Today, medical organizations have to contend with a highly competitive environment, an atmosphere saturated with a multitude of innovative new technologies and ever-increasing costs. The ability of these organizations to survive and to develop and expand their services mandates adoption of management guidelines based on the world of finance/commerce, adapted to make them relevant to the world of medical service. In this article the authors chose to present a management administration assessment which is a process that ensures that the management will effectively administer the organization's resources, and meet the goals set by the organization. The system demands that hospital "centers of responsibility" be defined, a management information system be set up, activities be priced, budget be defined and the expenses assessed. These processes make it possible to formulate a budget and assess any possible deviation between the budget and the actual running costs. An assessment of deviations will reveal any possible deviation of the most significant factor--efficiency. Medical organization managers, with the cooperation of the directors of the "centers of responsibility", can assess subunit activities and gain an understanding of the significance of management decisions and thus improve the quality of management, and the medical organization. The goal of this management system is not only to Lower costs and to meet the financial goals that were set; it is a tool that ensures quality. Decreasing expenditure is important in this case, but is only secondary in importance and will be a result of reducing the costs incurred by services lacking in quality. PMID:19320392

  19. Using the Deming quality improvement method to manage medical record department product lines.

    PubMed

    Postal, S N

    1990-06-01

    The above application of the quality improvement cycle provides insight into the use of the Deming method to address one of several identified customer needs and expectations obtained during the managing phase of product-line administration. Implementation of the quality improvement method requires a major commitment from all team members. Process improvement requires a willingness to be detail oriented. Gathering of statistics--such as analysis turn-around time--and evaluation are critical. This objective view of processes requires accountability and a commitment to change. Improvements focus on long-term problem resolution, not the quick fixes that result from addressing symptoms of problems. True problem resolution occurs by solving the root causes of variations. Medical record departments must move from being outcome oriented to being process focused. It is no longer feasible to be constantly putting out fires in an environment that demands well-planned and well-designed products that meet customers' expectations. The long-term management of product lines requires a systematic method of planning, doing, checking, and acting. The Deming quality improvement method provides a framework for positive change that focuses on quality processes resulting in a quality product that meets consumers' needs. PMID:10106656

  20. Improving venous thromboembolism risk assessment compliance using the electronic tool in admitted medical patients

    PubMed Central

    Taha, Haytham; Raji, Salama J.; Ellahham, Samer; Bashir, Nihal; Al hanaee, Manar; Boharoon, Hessa; AlFalahi, May

    2015-01-01

    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 that is fully occupied most of the time. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment has been identified as a critical patient safety measure and key performance indicator. The electronic VTE risk assessment form a computerized decision support tool was introduced to improve adherence with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis recommendations. A multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this quality improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to enhance compliance with VTE risk assessment and the outcomes of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in General Medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital. The study period was from April 2014 till August 2015.The lessons learned were disseminated throughout the hospital. Our aim was to improve VTE risk assessment compliance by using the electronic form in order to ensure patient safety and reduce preventable harm. VTE risk assessment compliance improved in general medicine from 4% to 98%, and overall SKMC compliance from 21% to above 90%. PMID:26734399

  1. Improving venous thromboembolism risk assessment compliance using the electronic tool in admitted medical patients.

    PubMed

    Taha, Haytham; Raji, Salama J; Ellahham, Samer; Bashir, Nihal; Al Hanaee, Manar; Boharoon, Hessa; AlFalahi, May

    2015-01-01

    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 that is fully occupied most of the time. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment has been identified as a critical patient safety measure and key performance indicator. The electronic VTE risk assessment form a computerized decision support tool was introduced to improve adherence with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis recommendations. A multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this quality improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to enhance compliance with VTE risk assessment and the outcomes of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in General Medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital. The study period was from April 2014 till August 2015.The lessons learned were disseminated throughout the hospital. Our aim was to improve VTE risk assessment compliance by using the electronic form in order to ensure patient safety and reduce preventable harm. VTE risk assessment compliance improved in general medicine from 4% to 98%, and overall SKMC compliance from 21% to above 90%. PMID:26734399

  2. [A novel improved TOPSIS method and its application in medical science].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiren; Ren, Lifeng; Chen, Liwen; Sun, Zhenqiu

    2013-02-01

    The TOPSIS method is a static comprehensive evaluation method for wide range applications. However, it encounters the reverse order problem in practical applications. Moreover, its evaluation value Ci only reflects the relative proximity of each evaluation object inside but not to the degree of closeness to the ideal optimal solution. The evaluation value is also limited to distinguish between the ranges of merit ranking. Since TOPSIS method has the wide range of applications, it is necessary to overcome the drawbacks of TOPSIS method. This article proposes a new improved TOPSIS method, which shows strict isotonicity and is more sensitive than the traditional TOPSIS method. The medical application based on this improved TOPSIS method is introduced. PMID:23456068

  3. Improved dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Cao, Tianjie; Zhai, Jingxuan

    2013-04-01

    In order to protect users' identity privacy, Chen et al. proposed an efficient dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems. However, Chen et al.'s scheme has some weaknesses. In Chen et al.'s scheme, an attacker can track a user by a linkability attack or an off-line identity guessing attack. Chen et al.'s scheme is also vulnerable to an off-line password guessing attack and an undetectable on-line password guessing attack when user's smart card is stolen. In server side, Chen et al.'s scheme needs large computational load to authentication a legal user or reject an illegal user. To remedy the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme, we propose an improved smart card based password authentication scheme. Our analysis shows that the improved scheme can overcome the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme. PMID:23345091

  4. Ways to Improve the Current Performance of the Boards of Trustees of Medical Universities in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Damari, B; Aminloo, H; Farzan, H; Rahbari, M; Alikhani, S

    2013-01-01

    Background: Establishment of boards of trustees for all universities was legalized in 1988. It is crucial to assess the performance of the boards and to adjust them to the mandates raised by new visions of the country. Methods: Subjects were members of boards of trustees and officers in charge of board’s affairs at medical universities. Furthermore, a sample of 860 resolutions adopted by the boards was selected to assess the state of their enforcement. Results: About 70% of the resolutions addressed have been enforced. There is a consensus on focusing on policy-making and high supervision on the objectives of the institutes rather than other areas. Furthermore, ways suggested improving the performance of the boards. Conclusion: Despite the rather high enforcement rate of the resolution in the past ten years, several interventions are suggested to improve the current performance of the boards of trustees and to meet new directions. PMID:23865014

  5. Interactive Learning Module Improves Resident Knowledge of Risks of Ionizing Radiation Exposure From Medical Imaging.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Alexander Y; Breaud, Alan H; Schneider, Jeffrey I; Kadom, Nadja; Mitchell, Patricia M; Linden, Judith A

    2016-01-01

    Physician awareness of the risks of ionizing radiation exposure related to medical imaging is poor. Effective educational interventions informing physicians of such risk, especially in emergency medicine (EM), are lacking. The SIEVERT (Suboptimal Ionizing Radiation Exposure Education - A Void in Emergency Medicine Residency Training) learning module was designed to improve provider knowledge of the risks of radiation exposure from medical imaging and comfort in communicating these risks to patients. The 1-hour module consists of introductory lecture, interactive discussion, and role-playing scenarios. In this pilot study, we assessed the educational effect using unmatched, anonymous preintervention and postintervention questionnaires that assessed fund of knowledge, participant self-reported imaging ordering practices in several clinical scenarios, and trainee comfort level in discussing radiation risks with patients. All 25 EM resident participants completed the preintervention questionnaire, and 22 completed the postintervention questionnaire within 4 hours after participation. Correct responses on the 14-question learning assessment increased from 6.32 (standard deviation = 2.36) preintervention to 12.23 (standard deviation = 1.85) post-intervention. Overall, 24% of residents were comfortable with discussing the risks of ionizing radiation exposure with patients preintervention, whereas 41% felt comfortable postintervention. Participants ordered fewer computed tomography scans in 2 of the 4 clinical scenarios after attending the educational intervention. There was improvement in EM residents' knowledge regarding the risks of ionizing radiation exposure from medical imaging, and increased participant self-reported comfort levels in the discussion of these risks with patients after the 1-hour SIEVERT learning module. PMID:26657346

  6. A multifaceted prospective memory intervention to improve medication adherence: design of a randomized control trial.

    PubMed

    Insel, Kathleen C; Einstein, Gilles O; Morrow, Daniel G; Hepworth, Joseph T

    2013-01-01

    Adherence to prescribed antihypertensive agents is critical because control of elevated blood pressure is the single most important way to prevent stroke and other end organ damage. Unfortunately, nonadherence remains a significant problem. Previous interventions designed to improve adherence have demonstrated only small benefits of strategies that target single facets such as understanding medication directions. The intervention described here is informed by prospective memory theory and performance of older adults in laboratory-based paradigms and uses a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to improve adherence. It incorporates multiple strategies designed to support key components of prospective remembering involved in taking medication. The intervention is delivered by nurses in the home with an education control group for comparison. Differences between groups in overall adherence following the intervention and 6 months later will be tested. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels also will be examined between groups and as they relate to adherence. Intra-individual regression is planned to examine change in adherence over time and its predictors. Finally, we will examine the association between executive function/working memory and adherence, predicting that adherence will be related to executive/working memory in the control group but not in the intervention group. PMID:23010608

  7. The use of information technology in improving medical performance. Part II. Physician-support tools.

    PubMed

    Gawande, A A; Bates, D W

    2000-02-14

    Increasing data from a few sites demonstrate that information technologies can improve physician decision making and clinical effectiveness. For example, computer-based physician order entry systems, automated laboratory alert systems, and artificial neural networks have demonstrated significant reductions in medical errors. In addition, Internet services to disseminate new knowledge and safety alerts to physicians more rationally and effectively are rapidly developing, and telemedicine to improve rural access to specialty services is undergoing substantial growth. However, even technologies demonstrated to yield beneficial effects have not yet achieved widespread adoption, though the pace of change appears to be increasing as the Internet takes hold. Scientific evaluation of many technologies is also lacking, and the dangers of some of these technologies may be underappreciated. Research on the effects of specific technologies should be a priority. Policies should be developed to press information technology companies, such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, to recognize the importance of clinical evaluation. Research could also analyze the characteristics of effective technologies and of physicians and organizations who implement these technologies effectively. PMID:11104459

  8. A sustained quality improvement program reduces nephrotoxic medication-associated acute kidney injury.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Stuart L; Mottes, Theresa; Simpson, Kendria; Barclay, Cynthia; Muething, Stephen; Haslam, David B; Kirkendall, Eric S

    2016-07-01

    Exposure to nephrotoxic medication is among the most common causes of acute kidney injury (AKI) in hospitalized patients. Here we conducted a prospective quality improvement project implementing a systematic Electronic Health Record screening and decision support process (trigger) in our quaternary pediatric inpatient hospital. Eligible patients were noncritically ill hospitalized children receiving an intravenous aminoglycoside for more than 3 days or more than 3 nephrotoxins simultaneously (exposure) from September 2011 through March 2015. Pharmacists recommended daily serum creatinine monitoring in exposed patients after appearance on the trigger report and AKI was defined by the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes AKI criteria. A total of 1749 patients accounted for 2358 separate hospital admissions during which a total of 3243 episodes of nephrotoxin exposure were identified with 170 patients (9.7%) experiencing 2 or more exposures. A total of 575 individual AKI episodes occurred over the 43-month study period. Overall, the exposure rate decreased by 38% (11.63-7.24 exposures/1000 patient days), and the AKI rate decreased by 64% (2.96-1.06 episodes/1000 patient days). Assuming initial baseline exposure rates would have persisted without our project implementation, we estimate 633 exposures and 398 AKI episodes were avoided. Thus, systematic surveillance for nephrotoxic medication exposure and near real-time AKI risk can lead to sustained reductions in avoidable harm. These interventions and outcomes are translatable to other pediatric and nonpediatric hospitalized settings. PMID:27217196

  9. [New options in adjuvant endocrine therapy in breast cancer].

    PubMed

    Saltel-Fulero, Aurélien; Donnadieu, Anne; Leman-Detours, Solenne; Cottu, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Endocrine therapy is a compulsory step in the adjuvant management of early breast cancer expressing the estrogen receptor, by reducing as much as possible serum and tissue levels of estrogens. Tamoxifen is the standard therapy for non-menopausal women. Ovarian function suppression, in addition to exemestane or tamoxifen, could be an alternative option for young women at high risk of recurrence and non menopausal after adjuvant or neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Recent studies show a trend for improvement of overall survival and disease-free-survival with aromatase inhibitors among postmenopausal women. However, safety of aromatase inhibitors is controversial and adverse events may lead to switch for tamoxifen with no loss of efficacy. Extension therapy by tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor after five years of tamoxifen and for a total duration of ten years significantly improves overall survival. There is to date no data supporting the extension therapy after five years of aromatase inhibitor. PMID:26675809

  10. Classification of Laser Vaccine Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Kashiwagi, Satoshi; Brauns, Timothy; Poznansky, Mark C

    2016-01-01

    An immunologic adjuvant, which enhances the magnitude and quality of immune responses to vaccine antigens, has become an essential part of modern vaccine practice. Chemicals and biologicals have been typically used for this purpose, but there are an increasing number of studies that are being conducted on the vaccine adjuvant effect of laser light on the skin. Currently, four different types or classes of laser devices have been shown to systemically enhance immune responses to intradermal vaccination: ultra-short pulsed lasers, non-pulsed lasers, non-ablative fractional lasers and ablative fractional lasers. Aside from involving the application of laser light to the skin in a manner that minimizes discomfort and damage, each type of laser vaccine adjuvant involves emission parameters, modes of action and immunologic adjuvant effects that are quite distinct from each other. This review provides a summary of the four major classes of “laser vaccine adjuvant” and clarifies and resolves their characteristics as immunologic adjuvants. These aspects of each adjuvant’s properties will ultimately help define which laser would be most efficacious in delivering a specific clinical benefit with a specific vaccine. PMID:27104047

  11. Who benefits most from adjuvant interferon treatment for melanoma?

    PubMed

    Gogas, Helen; Abali, Huseyin; Ascierto, Paolo A; Demidov, Lev; Pehamberger, Hubert; Robert, Caroline; Schachter, Jacob; Eggermont, Alexander M M; Hauschild, Axel; Espinosa, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    Metastatic melanoma has a poor prognosis; the median survival for patients with stage IV melanoma ranges from 8 to 18 months after diagnosis. Interferon-α provides significant improvement in disease-free survival at the cost of poor tolerability. Identifying patients who benefit the most may improve the cost:benefit ratio. In addition, no data exist for the role of adjuvant therapy in noncutaneous melanoma. Molecular profiles may help to identify patients who benefit the most from adjuvant interferon therapy. In this review, the American Joint Commission on Cancer 2009 staging criteria and emerging biomarker data to guide adjuvant treatment decisions will be discussed. Several criteria to guide selection of patients are discussed in detail. These include Breslow thickness, number of positive lymph nodes, whether or not the primary lesion has ulcerated, immunologic markers, and cytokine profiles. Substantial progress has been made in deciding which patients benefit from interferon-α adjuvant therapy. Interferon-α is the only agent currently approved for the adjuvant treatment of this deadly disease, despite its side effect profile. More effective drugs with better tolerability are needed. PMID:24176884

  12. Adjuvant chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma.

    PubMed

    Casali, Paolo G

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is not standard treatment in soft tissue sarcoma (STS). However, when the risk of relapse is high, it is an option for shared decision making with the patient in conditions of uncertainty. This is because available evidence is conflicting, even if several randomized clinical trials have been performed for 4 decades and also have been pooled into meta-analyses. Indeed, available meta-analyses point to a benefit in the 5% to 10% range in terms of survival and distant relapse rate. Some local benefit also was suggested by some trials. Placing chemotherapy in the preoperative setting may help gain a local advantage in terms of the quality of surgical margins or decreased sequelae. This may be done within a personalized approach according to the clinical presentation. Attempts to personalize treatment on the basis of the variegated pathology and molecular biology of STS subgroups are ongoing as well, according to what is done in the medical treatment of advanced STS. Thus, decision making for adjuvant and neoadjuvant indications deserves personalization in clinical research and in clinical practice, taking profit from all multidisciplinary clinical skills available at a sarcoma reference center, though with a degree of subjectivity because of the limitations of available evidence. PMID:25993233

  13. [Improvement of medical processes with Six Sigma - practicable zero-defect quality in preparation for surgery].

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Physicians’ use of computerized clinical decision supports to improve medication management in the elderly – the Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technology intervention

    PubMed Central

    Alagiakrishnan, Kannayiram; Wilson, Patricia; Sadowski, Cheryl A; Rolfson, Darryl; Ballermann, Mark; Ausford, Allen; Vermeer, Karla; Mohindra, Kunal; Romney, Jacques; Hayward, Robert S

    2016-01-01

    Background Elderly people (aged 65 years or more) are at increased risk of polypharmacy (five or more medications), inappropriate medication use, and associated increased health care costs. The use of clinical decision support (CDS) within an electronic medical record (EMR) could improve medication safety. Methods Participatory action research methods were applied to preproduction design and development and postproduction optimization of an EMR-embedded CDS implementation of the Beers’ Criteria for medication management and the Cockcroft–Gault formula for estimating glomerular filtration rates (GFR). The “Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technologies” (SMART) intervention was used in primary care and geriatrics specialty clinics. Passive (chart messages) and active (order-entry alerts) prompts exposed potentially inappropriate medications, decreased GFR, and the possible need for medication adjustments. Physician reactions were assessed using surveys, EMR simulations, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. EMR audit data were used to identify eligible patient encounters, the frequency of CDS events, how alerts were managed, and when evidence links were followed. Results Analysis of subjective data revealed that most clinicians agreed that CDS appeared at appropriate times during patient care. Although managing alerts incurred a modest time burden, most also agreed that workflow was not disrupted. Prevalent concerns related to clinician accountability and potential liability. Approximately 36% of eligible encounters triggered at least one SMART alert, with GFR alert, and most frequent medication warnings were with hypnotics and anticholinergics. Approximately 25% of alerts were overridden and ~15% elicited an evidence check. Conclusion While most SMART alerts validated clinician choices, they were received as valuable reminders for evidence-informed care and education. Data from this study may aid other attempts to implement Beers’ Criteria in

  15. [The current situation and issues of medical English education and suggestions toward improvement--reports from the 5th meeting of the Japan Society for Medical English Education].

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Hiroshi

    2002-12-01

    This is a report from the 5th academic meeting of the Japan Society for Medical English Education held at Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare on August 3rd and 4th of 2002. It also includes a course description of our English courses, their problems and some suggestions for improvement. First, I report several papers presented at the meeting that are useful and suggestive for the English education at our university in order to bring them to everyone's attention and to improve our English program. The topics of the papers include; what "Medical English" is; reports of English courses taught by medical doctors; reports of English courses for developing specific proficiencies such as listening, writing summaries and delivering oral presentations. Next, I give a course description of our present English program and point out some problems that should be dealt with. In this connection, I make several suggestions for future improvement. Lastly, I refer to the "strategies to educate the Japanese who can use English", which were proposed recently by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and suggest our improvement be in line with these strategies. PMID:12506860

  16. Improving the Safety of Oral Chemotherapy at an Academic Medical Center

    PubMed Central

    Casella, Erica; Capozzi, Donna; McGettigan, Suzanne; Gangadhar, Tara C.; Schuchter, Lynn; Myers, Jennifer S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Over the last decade, the use of oral chemotherapy (OC) for the treatment of cancer has dramatically increased. Despite their route of administration, OCs pose many of the same risks as intravenous agents. In this quality improvement project, we sought to examine our current process for the prescription of OC at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and to improve on its safety. Methods: A multidisciplinary team that included oncologists, advanced-practice providers, and pharmacists was formed to analyze the current state of our OC practice. Using Lean Six Sigma quality improvement tools, we identified a lack of pharmacist review of the OC prescription as an area for improvement. To address these deficiencies, we used our electronic medical system to route OC orders placed by treating providers to an oncology-specific outpatient pharmacist at the Abramson Cancer Center for review. Results: Over 7 months, 63 orders for OC were placed for 45 individual patients. Of the 63 orders, all were reviewed by pharmacists, and, as a result, 22 interventions were made (35%). Types of interventions included dosage adjustment (one of 22), identification of an interacting drug (nine of 22), and recommendations for additional drug monitoring (12 of 22). Conclusion: OC poses many of the same risks as intravenous chemotherapy and should be prescribed and reviewed with the same oversight. At our institution, involvement of an oncology-trained pharmacist in the review of OC led to meaningful interventions in one third of the orders. PMID:26733627

  17. Teaching search patterns to medical trainees in an educational laboratory to improve perception of pulmonary nodules.

    PubMed

    Auffermann, William F; Little, Brent P; Tridandapani, Srini

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this research is to demonstrate that teaching healthcare trainees a formal search or scan pattern for evaluation of the lungs improves their ability to identify pulmonary nodules on chest radiographs (CXRs). A group of physician assistant trainees were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. Each group was shown two sets of CXRs, each set with a nodule prevalence of approximately 50%. The experimental group received search pattern training between case sets, whereas the control group did not. Both groups were asked to mark nodules when present and indicate their diagnostic confidence. Subject performance at nodule detection was quantified using changes in area under the localization receiver operating characteristic curve ([Formula: see text]). There was no significant improvement in performance between case sets for the control group. There was a significant improvement in subject performance after training for the experimental group, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]. These results demonstrate that teaching a search pattern to trainees improves their ability to identify nodules and decreases the number of perceptual errors in nodule identification, and suggest that our knowledge of medical image perception may be used to develop rational tools for the education of healthcare trainees. PMID:26870749

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

    The discrepancy between the surgical technique and the type of adjuvant chemotherapy used in clinical trials and patient outcomes in terms of overall survival rates has led to the generation of different adjuvant treatment protocols in distinct parts of the world. The adjuvant treatment recommendation is generally chemoradiotherapy in the United States, perioperative chemotherapy in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and chemotherapy in Asia. These options mainly rely on the United States Intergroup-0116, United Kingdom British Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy, and the Asian Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of S-1 for Gastric Cancer and Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin Adjuvant Study in Stomach Cancer trials. However, the benefits were evident for only certain patients, which were not very homogeneous regarding the type of surgery, chemotherapy regimens, and stage of disease. Whether the dissimilarities in survival are attributable to surgical technique or intrinsic biological differences is a subject of debate. Regardless of the extent of surgery, multimodal therapy may offer modest survival advantage at least for diseases with lymph node involvement. Moreover, in the era of individualized treatment for most of the other cancer types, identification of special subgroups comprising those who will derive more or no benefit from adjuvant therapy merits further investigation. The aim of this review is to reveal the historical evolution and future reflections of adjuvant treatment modalities for resected gastric cancer patients. PMID:27190583

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The discrepancy between the surgical technique and the type of adjuvant chemotherapy used in clinical trials and patient outcomes in terms of overall survival rates has led to the generation of different adjuvant treatment protocols in distinct parts of the world. The adjuvant treatment recommendation is generally chemoradiotherapy in the United States, perioperative chemotherapy in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and chemotherapy in Asia. These options mainly rely on the United States Intergroup-0116, United Kingdom British Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy, and the Asian Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of S-1 for Gastric Cancer and Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin Adjuvant Study in Stomach Cancer trials. However, the benefits were evident for only certain patients, which were not very homogeneous regarding the type of surgery, chemotherapy regimens, and stage of disease. Whether the dissimilarities in survival are attributable to surgical technique or intrinsic biological differences is a subject of debate. Regardless of the extent of surgery, multimodal therapy may offer modest survival advantage at least for diseases with lymph node involvement. Moreover, in the era of individualized treatment for most of the other cancer types, identification of special subgroups comprising those who will derive more or no benefit from adjuvant therapy merits further investigation. The aim of this review is to reveal the historical evolution and future reflections of adjuvant treatment modalities for resected gastric cancer patients. PMID:27190583

  20. Choice and Design of Adjuvants for Parenteral and Mucosal Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Savelkoul, Huub F. J.; Ferro, Valerie A.; Strioga, Marius M.; Schijns, Virgil E. J. C.

    2015-01-01

    The existence of pathogens that escape recognition by specific vaccines, the need to improve existing vaccines and the increased availability of therapeutic (non-infectious disease) vaccines necessitate the rational development of novel vaccine concepts based on the induction of protective cell-mediated immune responses. For naive T-cell activation, several signals resulting from innate and adaptive interactions need to be integrated, and adjuvants may interfere with some or all of these signals. Adjuvants, for example, are used to promote the immunogenicity of antigens in vaccines, by inducing a pro-inflammatory environment that enables the recruitment and promotion of the infiltration of phagocytic cells, particularly antigen-presenting cells (APC), to the injection site. Adjuvants can enhance antigen presentation, induce cytokine expression, activate APC and modulate more downstream adaptive immune reactions (vaccine delivery systems, facilitating immune Signal 1). In addition, adjuvants can act as immunopotentiators (facilitating Signals 2 and 3) exhibiting immune stimulatory effects during antigen presentation by inducing the expression of co-stimulatory molecules on APC. Together, these signals determine the strength of activation of specific T-cells, thereby also influencing the quality of the downstream T helper cytokine profiles and the differentiation of antigen-specific T helper populations (Signal 3). New adjuvants should also target specific (innate) immune cells in order to facilitate proper activation of downstream adaptive immune responses and homing (Signal 4). It is desirable that these adjuvants should be able to exert such responses in the context of mucosal administered vaccines. This review focuses on the understanding of the potential working mechanisms of the most well-known classes of adjuvants to be used effectively in vaccines. PMID:26344951

  1. Choice and Design of Adjuvants for Parenteral and Mucosal Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Savelkoul, Huub F J; Ferro, Valerie A; Strioga, Marius M; Schijns, Virgil E J C

    2015-01-01

    The existence of pathogens that escape recognition by specific vaccines, the need to improve existing vaccines and the increased availability of therapeutic (non-infectious disease) vaccines necessitate the rational development of novel vaccine concepts based on the induction of protective cell-mediated immune responses. For naive T-cell activation, several signals resulting from innate and adaptive interactions need to be integrated, and adjuvants may interfere with some or all of these signals. Adjuvants, for example, are used to promote the immunogenicity of antigens in vaccines, by inducing a pro-inflammatory environment that enables the recruitment and promotion of the infiltration of phagocytic cells, particularly antigen-presenting cells (APC), to the injection site. Adjuvants can enhance antigen presentation, induce cytokine expression, activate APC and modulate more downstream adaptive immune reactions (vaccine delivery systems, facilitating immune Signal 1). In addition, adjuvants can act as immunopotentiators (facilitating Signals 2 and 3) exhibiting immune stimulatory effects during antigen presentation by inducing the expression of co-stimulatory molecules on APC. Together, these signals determine the strength of activation of specific T-cells, thereby also influencing the quality of the downstream T helper cytokine profiles and the differentiation of antigen-specific T helper populations (Signal 3). New adjuvants should also target specific (innate) immune cells in order to facilitate proper activation of downstream adaptive immune responses and homing (Signal 4). It is desirable that these adjuvants should be able to exert such responses in the context of mucosal administered vaccines. This review focuses on the understanding of the potential working mechanisms of the most well-known classes of adjuvants to be used effectively in vaccines. PMID:26344951

  2. Cognitive and Performance Enhancing Medication Use to Improve Performance in Poker.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Joshua; Ownby, Raymond L; Rey, Jose A; Clauson, Kevin A

    2016-09-01

    Use of neuroenhancers has been studied in groups ranging from students to surgeons; however, use of cognitive and performance enhancing medications (CPEMs) to improve performance in poker has remained largely overlooked. To assess the use of CPEMs to improve poker performance, a survey of poker players was conducted. Participants were recruited via Internet poker forums; 198 completed the online survey. Approximately 28 % of respondents used prescription CPEMs, with the most commonly used including: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (62 %), benzodiazepines (20 %), and methylphenidate (20 %). CPEMs were used in poker to focus (73 %), calm nerves (11 %), and stay awake (11 %). Caffeine (71 %), as well as conventionally counter-intuitive substances like marijuana (35 %) and alcohol (30 %) were also reported to enhance poker performance. Non-users of CPEMs were dissuaded from use due to not knowing where to get them (29 %), apprehension about trying them (26 %), and legal or ethical concerns (16 %). Respondents most frequently acquired CPEMs via friends/fellow poker players (52 %), or prescription from physician (38 %). Additionally, greater use of CPEMs was associated with living outside the United States (p = 0.042), prior use of prescription medications for improving non-poker related performance (p < 0.001), and amateur and semi-professional player status (p = 0.035). Unmonitored use of pharmacologically active agents and their methods of acquisition highlight safety concerns in this cohort of poker players, especially among non-professional players. The current state of guidance from national organizations on CPEM use in healthy individuals could impact prescribing patterns. PMID:26450125

  3. Chemokines as Cancer Vaccine Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Bobanga, Iuliana D.; Petrosiute, Agne; Huang, Alex Y.

    2013-01-01

    We are witnessing a new era of immune-mediated cancer therapies and vaccine development. As the field of cancer vaccines advances into clinical trials, overcoming low immunogenicity is a limiting step in achieving full success of this therapeutic approach. Recent discoveries in the many biological roles of chemokines in tumor immunology allow their exploitation in enhancing recruitment of antigen presenting cells (APCs) and effector cells to appropriate anatomical sites. This knowledge, combined with advances in gene therapy and virology, allows researchers to employ chemokines as potential vaccine adjuvants. This review will focus on recent murine and human studies that use chemokines as therapeutic anti-cancer vaccine adjuvants. PMID:24967094

  4. Pathological complete response after neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer and the role of adjuvant therapy.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Valerie M; Benson, Al B

    2013-04-01

    Both the addition of neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy and improvements in surgical techniques have improved local control and overall survival for locally advanced rectal cancer patients over the past few decades. The addition of adjuvant chemotherapy has likely improved outcomes as well, though the contribution has been more difficult to quantify. At present, the majority of resected locally advanced rectal cancer patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy, though there is great variability in this practice based on both patient and institution characteristics. Recently, questions have been raised regarding which sub-groups of patients benefit most from adjuvant chemotherapy. As pathologic complete response (pCR) is increasingly found to be a reasonable surrogate for long-term favorable outcomes, some have questioned the need for adjuvant therapy in this select group of patients. Multiple retrospective analyses have shown minimal to no benefit for adjuvant chemotherapy in this group. Indeed, the patients most consistently shown to benefit from adjuvant therapy both in terms of disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) are those who achieve an intermediate pathologic response to neoadjuvant treatment. Tumors that have high expression of thymidylate synthetase have also shown to benefit from adjuvant therapy. More study is needed into clinical and molecular features that predict patient benefit from adjuvant therapy. PMID:23381584

  5. Is Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Overtreatment in Cervical Cancer Patients With Intermediate Risk Factors?

    SciTech Connect

    Ryu, Sang-Young; Park, Sang-Il; Nam, Byung-Ho; Cho, Chul-Koo; Kim, Kidong; Kim, Beob-Jong; Kim, Moon-Hong; Choi, Seok-Cheol; Lee, Eui-Don; Lee, Kyoung-Hee

    2011-03-01

    Purpose: To determine whether adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) improves the outcome of cervical cancer patients with intermediate risk factors. Methods and Materials: Between January 2000 and June 2006, the medical records of 735 patients who had undergone radical surgery for Stage IB-IIA cervical cancer were reviewed retrospectively. Of the 735 patients, 172 with two or more intermediate risk factors (i.e., lymphovascular space involvement, deep stromal invasion, and tumor size {>=}2 cm) were grouped as follows according to the adjuvant treatment received: 34 patients, no further treatment; 49 patients, RT; and 89 patients, CRT. The significance of the clinical parameters and recurrence-free survival of each group were analyzed. Results: Of the 172 patients with any of the intermediate risk factors, 137 (79.6%) had two or more intermediate risk factors. Of the 172 patients, 12 developed recurrences (6.4%)->(7.0%), with 6 in the pelvis and 6 in distant sites. All 12 recurrences occurred in those who had two or more intermediate risk factors (sensitivity, 100%); however, only six recurrences were detected in patients who met the Gynecologic Oncology Group criteria for the intermediate-risk group (sensitivity, 50%; Z test, p < .05). A statistically significant difference was found in the 3-year recurrence-free survival rate among the no further treatment, RT, and CRT groups (67.5%, 90.5%, and 97.5%, respectively; p < .05). The incidence of Grade 3-4 hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicities was not significantly different statistically between the RT and CRT groups (6.1% and 13.4%, respectively; p > .05). Conclusion: Postoperative adjuvant CRT can improve the outcome of cervical cancer patients with intermediate risk factors, with low increase in toxicity.

  6. Effect of particulate adjuvant on the anthrax protective antigen dose required for effective nasal vaccination.

    PubMed

    Bento, Dulce; Staats, Herman F; Borges, Olga

    2015-07-17

    Successful vaccine development is dependent on the development of effective adjuvants since the poor immunogenicity of modern subunit vaccines typically requires the use of potent adjuvants and high antigen doses. In recent years, adjuvant formulations combining both immunopotentiators and delivery systems have emerged as a promising strategy to develop effective and improved vaccines. In this study we investigate if the association of the mast cell activating adjuvant compound 48/80 (C48/80) with chitosan nanoparticles would promote an antigen dose sparing effect when administered intranasally. Even though the induction of strong mucosal immunity required higher antigen doses, incorporation of C48/80 into nanoparticles provided significant dose sparing when compared to antigen and C48/80 in solution with no significant effect on serum neutralizing antibodies titers. These results suggest the potential of this novel adjuvant combination to improve the immunogenicity of a vaccine and decrease the antigen dose required for vaccination. PMID:26087299

  7. Needs and opportunities for improving the health, safety, and productivity of medical research facilities.

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, M; Brodt, W; Henderson, D; Loftness, V; Rosenfeld, A; Woods, J; Wright, R

    2000-01-01

    Medical research facilities, indeed all the nation's constructed facilities, must be designed, operated, and maintained in a manner that supports the health, safety, and productivity of the occupants. The National Construction Goals, established by the National Science and Technology Council, envision substantial improvements in occupant health and worker productivity. The existing research and best practices case studies support this conclusion, but too frequently building industry professionals lack the knowledge to design, construct, operate, and maintain facilities at these optimum levels. There is a need for more research and more collaborative efforts between medical and facilities engineering researchers and practitioners in order to attain the National Construction Goals. Such collaborative efforts will simultaneously support attainment of the National Health Goals. This article is the summary report of the Healthy Buildings Committee for the Leadership Conference: Biomedical Facilities and the Environment sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Association of Physicians for the Environment, and the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers on 1--2 November 1999 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. PMID:11124125

  8. [Internationalized medical care services increase need of health care providers to improve English communication skills].

    PubMed

    Yang, Chia-Ling

    2011-02-01

    English is the most important language used in international communication. Nurses today have significantly more opportunities to come into contact with clients of different nationalities. Therefore, English communication abilities are a critical to the effective care of foreign clients. Miscommunication due to language barriers can endanger the health and safety of foreign clients and hinder their access to healthcare resources. Basic English communicate skills allow nurses to better understand the feelings of foreign clients and to affect their satisfaction with healthcare services provided. The majority of clinical nurses in Taiwan are inadequately prepared to communicate with foreign clients or use English when delivering nursing care services. Although English is not an official language in Taiwan, strengthening English communication skills is necessary for Taiwan's healthcare service system. Faced with increasing numbers of foreign clients in their daily work, first-line nursing staffs need more training to improve English proficiency. In order to do so, support from the hospital director is the first priority. The second priority is to motivate nursing staffs to learn English; the third is to incorporate different English classes into the medical system and schedule class times to meet nurse scheduling needs; and the fourth is to establish international medical wards, with appropriate incentives in pay designed to attract and retain nursing staff proficient in English communication. PMID:21328212

  9. Mpeg2 codec HD improvements with medical and robotic imaging benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picard, Wayne F. J.

    2010-02-01

    In this report, we propose an efficient scheme to use High Definition Television (HDTV) in a console or notebook format as a computer terminal in addition to their role as TV display unit. In the proposed scheme, we assume that the main computer is situated at a remote location. The computer raster in the remote server is compressed using an HD E- >Mpeg2 encoder and transmitted to the terminal at home. The built-in E->Mpeg2 decoder in the terminal decompresses the compressed bit stream, and displays the raster. The terminal will be fitted with a mouse and keyboard, through which the interaction with the remote computer server can be performed via a communications back channel. The terminal in a notebook format can thus be used as a high resolution computer and multimedia device. We will consider developments such as the required HD enhanced Mpeg2 resolution (E->Mpeg2) and its medical ramifications due to improvements on compressed image quality with 2D to 3D conversion (Mpeg3) and using the compressed Discrete Cosine Transform coefficients in the reality compression of vision and control of medical robotic surgeons.

  10. Quality and safety of medication use in primary care: consensus validation of a new set of explicit medication assessment criteria and prioritisation of topics for improvement

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Addressing the problem of preventable drug related morbidity (PDRM) in primary care is a challenge for health care systems internationally. The increasing implementation of clinical information systems in the UK and internationally provide new opportunities to systematically identify patients at risk of PDRM for targeted medication review. The objectives of this study were (1) to develop a set of explicit medication assessment criteria to identify patients with sub-optimally effective or high-risk medication use from electronic medical records and (2) to identify medication use topics that are perceived by UK primary care clinicians to be priorities for quality and safety improvement initiatives. Methods For objective (1), a 2-round consensus process based on the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method (RAM) was conducted, in which candidate criteria were identified from the literature and scored by a panel of 10 experts for 'appropriateness' and 'necessity'. A set of final criteria was generated from candidates accepted at each level. For objective (2), thematically related final criteria were clustered into 'topics', from which a panel of 26 UK primary care clinicians identified priorities for quality improvement in a 2-round Delphi exercise. Results (1) The RAM process yielded a final set of 176 medication assessment criteria organised under the domains 'quality' and 'safety', each classified as targeting 'appropriate/necessary to do' (quality) or 'inappropriate/necessary to avoid' (safety) medication use. Fifty-two final 'quality' assessment criteria target patients with unmet indications, sub-optimal selection or intensity of beneficial drug treatments. A total of 124 'safety' assessment criteria target patients with unmet needs for risk-mitigating agents, high-risk drug selection, excessive dose or duration, inconsistent monitoring or dosing instructions. (2) The UK Delphi panel identified 11 (23%) of 47 scored topics as 'high priority' for quality

  11. Medical knowledge and the improvement of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy: a case study from Transylvania (1770-1830).

    PubMed

    Sechel, Teodora Daniela

    2012-09-01

    In all European countries, the eighteenth century was characterised by efforts to improve the vernaculars. The Transylvanian case study shows how both codified medical language and ordinary language were constructed and enriched by a large number of medical books and brochures. The publication of medical literature in Central European vernacular languages in order to popularise new medical knowledge was a comprehensive programme, designed on the one hand by intellectual, political and religious elites who urged the improvement of the fatherland and the promotion of the common good by perfecting the arts and sciences. On the other hand, the imperial administration's initiatives affected local forms of medical knowledge and the construction of vernacular languages. In the eighteenth century, the construction of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy took on a significant political character. However, in the process of building of the scientific and medical vocabulary, the main preoccupation was precision, clarity and accessibility of the neologisms being invented to encompass the medical phenomena being described. In spite of political conflicts among the 'nations' living in Transylvania, physicians borrowed words from German, Hungarian and Romanian. Thus they elevated several words used in everyday language to the upper social stratum of language use, leading to the invention of new terms to describe particular medical practices or phenomena. PMID:22595134

  12. Medical knowledge and the improvement of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy: A case study from Transylvania (1770–1830)

    PubMed Central

    Sechel, Teodora Daniela

    2012-01-01

    In all European countries, the eighteenth century was characterised by efforts to improve the vernaculars. The Transylvanian case study shows how both codified medical language and ordinary language were constructed and enriched by a large number of medical books and brochures. The publication of medical literature in Central European vernacular languages in order to popularise new medical knowledge was a comprehensive programme, designed on the one hand by intellectual, political and religious elites who urged the improvement of the fatherland and the promotion of the common good by perfecting the arts and sciences. On the other hand, the imperial administration’s initiatives affected local forms of medical knowledge and the construction of vernacular languages. In the eighteenth century, the construction of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy took on a significant political character. However, in the process of building of the scientific and medical vocabulary, the main preoccupation was precision, clarity and accessibility of the neologisms being invented to encompass the medical phenomena being described. In spite of political conflicts among the ‘nations’ living in Transylvania, physicians borrowed words from German, Hungarian and Romanian. Thus they elevated several words used in everyday language to the upper social stratum of language use, leading to the invention of new terms to describe particular medical practices or phenomena. PMID:22595134

  13. Implementation of unit-based interventions to improve teamwork and patient safety on a medical service.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Kevin J; Creden, Amanda J; Slade, Maureen E; Landler, Matthew P; Kulkarni, Nita; Lee, Jungwha; Vozenilek, John A; Pfeifer, Pamela; Eller, Susan; Wayne, Diane B; Williams, Mark V

    2015-01-01

    In a prior study involving 2 medical units, Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds (SIDRs) improved teamwork and reduced adverse events (AEs). SIDR was implemented on 5 additional units, and a pre- versus postintervention comparison was performed. SIDR combined a structured format for communication with daily interprofessional meetings. Teamwork was assessed using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (score range = 0-100), and AEs were identified using queries of information systems confirmed by 2 physician researchers. Paired analyses for 82 professionals completing surveys both pre and post implementation revealed improved teamwork (mean 76.8 ± 14.3 vs 80.5 ± 11.6; P = .02), which was driven mainly by nurses (76.4 ± 14.1 vs 80.8 ± 10.4; P = .009). The AE rate was similar across study periods (3.90 vs 4.07 per 100 patient days; adjusted IRR = 1.08; P = .60). SIDR improved teamwork yet did not reduce AEs. Higher baseline teamwork scores and lower AE rates than the prior study may reflect a positive cultural shift that began prior to the current study. PMID:24919598

  14. Improving the quality of care for medical inpatients by placing a higher priority on ward rounds.

    PubMed

    Soliman, Ash; Riyaz, Shahzad; Said, Elmhutady; Hale, Melissa; Mills, Andy; Kapur, Kapil

    2013-12-01

    Models suggested for managing acute, non-elective, medical admissions include expanding geriatric services, extending the role of the acute physician and rejuvenating the role of the general physician. We investigated improving inpatient care by changing consultants' work patterns and placing a higher priority on the ward rounds. A focus group and a questionnaire were used to study the impact on several ward round parameters. All respondents reported an overall satisfaction: 93% rated the quality of care as good or excellent, 75% reported increased safe patient discharges and 68% observed improved teamwork. Length of stay reduced to 4 days from 5.3 days without an increase in readmission. The main themes showed improved quality of care, better assured patients and relatives, and better consultant job satisfaction, but also showed reduced junior doctors' independent decision-making and a slight reduction in specialty-related activity. The study concluded that placing a higher priority on ward rounds by altering consultants' work patterns has a positive impact on inpatient care. PMID:24298094

  15. The 'Alternative Quality Contract,' based on a global budget, lowered medical spending and improved quality.

    PubMed

    Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana Gelb; Landon, Bruce E; Landrum, Mary Beth; He, Yulei; Mechanic, Robert E; Day, Matthew P; Chernew, Michael E

    2012-08-01

    Seven provider organizations in Massachusetts entered the Blue Cross Blue Shield Alternative Quality Contract in 2009, followed by four more organizations in 2010. This contract, based on a global budget and pay-for-performance for achieving certain quality benchmarks, places providers at risk for excessive spending and rewards them for quality, similar to the new Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare. We analyzed changes in spending and quality associated with the Alternative Quality Contract and found that the rate of increase in spending slowed compared to control groups, more so in the second year than in the first. Overall, participation in the contract over two years led to savings of 2.8 percent (1.9 percent in year 1 and 3.3 percent in year 2) compared to spending in nonparticipating groups. Savings were accounted for by lower prices achieved through shifting procedures, imaging, and tests to facilities with lower fees, as well as reduced utilization among some groups. Quality of care also improved compared to control organizations, with chronic care management, adult preventive care, and pediatric care within the contracting groups improving more in year 2 than in year 1. These results suggest that global budgets with pay-for-performance can begin to slow underlying growth in medical spending while improving quality of care. PMID:22786651

  16. Shared medical appointments: improving access, outcomes, and satisfaction for patients with chronic cardiac diseases.

    PubMed

    Bartley, Kelly Bauer; Haney, Rebecca

    2010-01-01

    Improving access to care, health outcomes, and patient satisfaction are primary objectives for healthcare practices. This article outlines benefits, concerns, and possible challenges of shared medical appointments (SMAs) for patients and providers. The SMA model was designed to support providers' demanding schedules by allowing patients with the same chronic condition to be seen in a group setting. By concentrating on patient education and disease management, interactive meetings provide an opportunity for patients to share both successes and struggles with others experiencing similar challenges. Studies demonstrated that SMAs improved patient access, enhanced outcomes, and promoted patient satisfaction. This article describes the potential benefits of SMAs for patients with chronic heart disease, which consumes a large number of healthcare dollars related to hospital admissions, acute exacerbations, and symptom management. Education for self-management of chronic disease can become repetitive and time consuming. The SMA model introduces a fresh and unique style of healthcare visits, allowing providers to devote more time and attention to patients and improve productivity. The SMA model provides an outstanding method for nurse practitioners to demonstrate their role as a primary care provider, by leading patients in group discussions and evaluating their current health status. Patient selection, preparation, and facilitation of an SMA are discussed to demonstrate the complementary nature of an SMA approach in a healthcare practice. PMID:20134280

  17. Three-dimensional medical image reconstruction based on improved live wire segmentation algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yanfang; Jiang, Zhengang; He, Wei; Zhang, Yongsheng; Yang, Huamin

    2008-03-01

    Three-dimensional image reconstruction by volume rendering has two problems: time-consuming and low precision. During the diagnosis procedure, some detailed organ tissue is the interest to doctors, so the reconstructed two-dimensional images are pre-processed before three-dimensional reconstruction including disturbance removing and precise segmentation, to obtain Region-Of-Interest (ROI) based on which three-dimensional reconstruction carries through, that can decrease the complexity of time and space. By this, Live Wire segmentation algorithm model for medical image is improved to gain exact edge coordinate for the image segmentation with interior details by improved filling algorithm. Segmented images with object details only are regarded as input to realize volume rendering by ray casting tracking algorithm. Because the needless organs have been filtered, the disturbance on interested objects for doctors is reduced. Meanwhile, generally speaking, these needed organs left are less proportion in images. So it reduces data amount of volume rendering, and improves the speed of three-dimensional reconstruction.

  18. Private medical services in the Italian public hospitals: the case for improving HRM.

    PubMed

    De Pietro, Carlo

    2006-08-22

    This study explores how Italian public hospitals can use private medical activities run by their employed physicians as a human resources management (HRM) tool. It is based on field research in two acute-care hospitals and a review of Italian literature and laws. The Italian National Health Service (NHS) allows employed physicians to run private, patient-funded activities ("private beds", surgical operations, hospital outpatient clinics, etc.). Basic regulation is set at the national level, but it can be greatly improved at the hospital level. Private activities, if poorly managed, can damage efficiency, equity, quality of care, and public trust in the NHS. On the other hand, hospitals can also use them as leverage to improve HRM, with special attention to three issues: (1) professional evaluation, development, and training; (2) compensation policies; (3) competition for, and retention of, professionals in short supply. The two case studies presented here show great differences between the two hospitals in terms of regulation and organizational solutions that have been adopted to deal with such activities. However, in both hospitals, private activities do not seem to benefit HRM. Private activities are not systematically considered in compensation policies. Moreover, private revenues are strongly concentrated in a few physicians. Hospitals use very little of the information provided by the private activities to improve knowledge management, career development, or training planning. Finally, hospitals do not use private activities management as a tool for competing in the labor market for health professionals who are in short supply. PMID:16253384

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ohri, Nitin; Garg, Madhur K.; Aparo, Santiago; Kaubisch, Andreas; Tome, Wolfgang; Kennedy, Timothy J.; Kalnicki, Shalom; Guha, Chandan

    2013-06-01

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

  20. Role of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Resected Extrahepatic Biliary Tract Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Tae Hyun; Han, Sung-Sik; Park, Sang-Jae Lee, Woo Jin; Woo, Sang Myung; Moon, Sung Ho; Yoo, Tae; Kim, Sang Soo; Kim, Seong Hoon; Hong, Eun Kyung; Kim, Dae Yong; Park, Joong-Won

    2011-12-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the effect of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on locoregional control (LRC), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) for patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer treated with curative resection. Methods and Materials: The study involved 168 patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer undergoing curative resection between August 2001 and April 2009. Of the 168 patients, 115 received adjuvant CRT (CRT group) and 53 did not (no-CRT group). Gender, age, tumor size, histologic differentiation, pre- and postoperative carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level, resection margin, vascular invasion, perineural invasion, T stage, N stage, overall stage, and the use of adjuvant CRT were analyzed to identify the prognostic factors associated with LRC, DFS, and OS. Results: For all patients, the 5-year LRC, DFS, and OS rate was 54.8%, 30.6%, and 33.9%, respectively. On univariate analysis, the 5-year LRC, DFS, and OS rates in the CRT group were significantly better than those in the no-CRT group (58.5% vs. 44.4%, p = .007; 32.1% vs. 26.1%, p = .041; 36.5% vs. 28.2%, p = .049, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that adjuvant CRT was a significant independent prognostic factor for LRC, DFS, and OS (p < .05). Conclusion: Our results have suggested that adjuvant CRT helps achieve LRC and, consequently, improves DFS and OS in patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer.

  1. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: A road ahead

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines. PMID:24434331

  2. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: a road ahead.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines. PMID:24434331

  3. Knowns and Known Unknowns of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Adjuvant Therapy.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Marín, Virginia; Maki, Robert G

    2016-09-01

    The first 15 years of management of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) have led to 3 lines of therapy for metastatic disease: imatinib, sunitinib, and regorafenib. In the adjuvant setting, imatinib is usually given for 3 years postoperatively to patients with higher-risk primary tumors that are completely resected. In this review, issues regarding GIST adjuvant therapy are discussed. It is hoped this review will help the reader understand the present standard of care to improve upon it in years to come. PMID:27546844

  4. Drift reduction with drift control adjuvants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous drift reduction adjuvants and spray deposition aids are available to applicators of crop production and protection chemicals. Performance of many of the newly introduced drift control adjuvants has not been well documented for aerial application. Five new drift control adjuvants were sele...

  5. Spray drift mitigation with spray mix adjuvants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous drift reduction adjuvants and spray deposition aids are available to applicators of crop production and protection chemicals. Performance of many of the newly introduced drift control adjuvants has not been well documented for aerial application. Four new drift control adjuvants were sele...

  6. Drift reduction with drift control adjuvants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous drift reduction adjuvants and spray deposition aids are available to applicators of crop production and protection chemicals. Performance of many of the newly introduced drift control adjuvants has not been well documented for aerial application. Four new drift control adjuvants were sele...

  7. QS-21: a potent vaccine adjuvant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    QS-21 is an potent adjuvant derived from the bark of a Chilean tree, Quillaja saponaria. One of the advantages of this adjuvant is that it promotes a balanced humoral and cell-mediaed immune response and can be widely applicable to a variety of vaccines. This adjuvant has used for some veterinary va...

  8. Improving the power of genetic association tests with imperfect phenotype derived from electronic medical records.

    PubMed

    Sinnott, Jennifer A; Dai, Wei; Liao, Katherine P; Shaw, Stanley Y; Ananthakrishnan, Ashwin N; Gainer, Vivian S; Karlson, Elizabeth W; Churchill, Susanne; Szolovits, Peter; Murphy, Shawn; Kohane, Isaac; Plenge, Robert; Cai, Tianxi

    2014-11-01

    To reduce costs and improve clinical relevance of genetic studies, there has been increasing interest in performing such studies in hospital-based cohorts by linking phenotypes extracted from electronic medical records (EMRs) to genotypes assessed in routinely collected medical samples. A fundamental difficulty in implementing such studies is extracting accurate information about disease outcomes and important clinical covariates from large numbers of EMRs. Recently, numerous algorithms have been developed to infer phenotypes by combining information from multiple structured and unstructured variables extracted from EMRs. Although these algorithms are quite accurate, they typically do not provide perfect classification due to the difficulty in inferring meaning from the text. Some algorithms can produce for each patient a probability that the patient is a disease case. This probability can be thresholded to define case-control status, and this estimated case-control status has been used to replicate known genetic associations in EMR-based studies. However, using the estimated disease status in place of true disease status results in outcome misclassification, which can diminish test power and bias odds ratio estimates. We propose to instead directly model the algorithm-derived probability of being a case. We demonstrate how our approach improves test power and effect estimation in simulation studies, and we describe its performance in a study of rheumatoid arthritis. Our work provides an easily implemented solution to a major practical challenge that arises in the use of EMR data, which can facilitate the use of EMR infrastructure for more powerful, cost-effective, and diverse genetic studies. PMID:25062868

  9. Old and new adjuvants for hepatitis B vaccines.

    PubMed

    Leroux-Roels, Geert

    2015-02-01

    The safety and immunogenicity profiles of currently available recombinant hepatitis B vaccines are excellent. However, it remains a real challenge to induce protective immunity in the target groups that respond poorly or not at all to conventional vaccines. Ideally, a hepatitis B vaccine can be developed that conveys lifelong protection against infection rapidly after the injection of a single dose. Although this goal is far from being reached, important improvements have been made. Novel vaccine adjuvants have been developed that enhance the immunogenicity of recombinant hepatitis B vaccines while maintaining a good safety profile. The different adjuvants and adjuvant systems that are discussed herein have all been thoroughly evaluated in clinical trials and some have reached or are close to reach the market. PMID:25523196

  10. Cost effectiveness of a computer-delivered intervention to improve HIV medication adherence

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background High levels of adherence to medications for HIV infection are essential for optimal clinical outcomes and to reduce viral transmission, but many patients do not achieve required levels. Clinician-delivered interventions can improve patients’ adherence, but usually require substantial effort by trained individuals and may not be widely available. Computer-delivered interventions can address this problem by reducing required staff time for delivery and by making the interventions widely available via the Internet. We previously developed a computer-delivered intervention designed to improve patients’ level of health literacy as a strategy to improve their HIV medication adherence. The intervention was shown to increase patients’ adherence, but it was not clear that the benefits resulting from the increase in adherence could justify the costs of developing and deploying the intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relation of development and deployment costs to the effectiveness of the intervention. Methods Costs of intervention development were drawn from accounting reports for the grant under which its development was supported, adjusted for costs primarily resulting from the project’s research purpose. Effectiveness of the intervention was drawn from results of the parent study. The relation of the intervention’s effects to changes in health status, expressed as utilities, was also evaluated in order to assess the net cost of the intervention in terms of quality adjusted life years (QALYs). Sensitivity analyses evaluated ranges of possible intervention effectiveness and durations of its effects, and costs were evaluated over several deployment scenarios. Results The intervention’s cost effectiveness depends largely on the number of persons using it and the duration of its effectiveness. Even with modest effects for a small number of patients the intervention was associated with net cost savings in some scenarios and for

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

    SciTech Connect

    Agbahiwe, Harold C.; Wharam, Moody; Batra, Sachin; Cohen, Kenneth; Terezakis, Stephanie A.

    2013-02-01

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

  12. Improvement of debate competence: an outcome of an introductory course for medical humanities

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Kyung Hee; Lee, Young Hwan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Academic debate is an effective method to enhance the competences of critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills and cooperation skills. The present study examined the improvement of debate competence which is an outcome of debate-based flipped learning. Methods: A questionnaire was administrated to second-year premedical school students at Yeungnam University. In total 45 students participated in the survey. The survey questionnaire was composed of 60 items of eight subfactors on debate competence. To investigate the homogeneous of low and high achievement groups, 18 items on empathy and 75 items on critical thinking scales were used. To compare the pretest with posttest scores, data was analyzed using paired sample t-test. Results: There were no significant differences between low and high achievement groups by average grade at the beginning of the semester. There was a significant improvement in high achievers on the logical argumentation (p<0.001), proficiency in inquiry (p<0.01), active participation (p<0.001), ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.001), observance of debate rules (p<0.05), and acceptability (p<0.05). Even in low achievers, active participation (p<0.05) and ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.01) were significantly improved. Conclusion: Results showed that students could improve their debate competence by the debate-based flipped learning. A prospective and comparative study on the communication and teamwork competences needs to be conducted in the future. It is suggested that in-depth discussion for the curriculum design and teaching will be needed in terms of the effectiveness and the outcomes of the medical humanities. PMID:26838572

  13. The impact of tort reform and quality improvements on medical liability claims: a tale of 2 States.

    PubMed

    Illingworth, Kenneth D; Shaha, Steven H; Tzeng, Tony H; Sinha, Michael S; Saleh, Khaled J

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of tort reform and quality improvement measures on medical liability claims in 2 groups of hospitals within the same multihospital organization: one in Texas, which implemented medical liability tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in 2003, and one in Louisiana, which did not undergo significant tort reform during the same time period. Significant reduction in medical liability claims per quarter in Texas was found after tort reform implementation (7.27 to 1.4; P<.05). A significant correlation was found between the increase in mean Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services performance score and the decrease in the frequency of claims observed in Louisiana (P<.05). Although tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in Texas caused the largest initial decrease, increasing quality improvement measures without increasing financial burden also decreased liability claims in Louisiana. Uniquely, this study showed that increasing patient quality resulted in decreased medical liability claims. PMID:24829153

  14. Under-prescribing and non-adherence to medications after coronary bypass surgery in older adults: strategies to improve adherence.

    PubMed

    Sengstock, David; Vaitkevicius, Peter; Salama, Ahmed; Mentzer, Robert M

    2012-02-01

    The focus for this clinical review is under-prescribing and non-adherence to medication guidelines in older adults after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. Non-adherence occurs in all age groups, but older adults have a unique set of challenges including difficulty hearing, comprehending, and remembering instructions; acquiring and managing multiple medications; and tolerating drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Still, non-adherence leads to increased morbidity, mortality, and costs to the healthcare system. Factors contributing to non-adherence include failure to initiate therapy before hospital discharge; poor education about the importance of each medication by hospital staff; poor education about medication side effects; polypharmacy; multiple daily dosing; excessive cost; and the physician's lack of knowledge of clinical indicators for use of medications. To improve adherence, healthcare systems must ensure that (i) all patients are prescribed the appropriate medications at discharge; (ii) patients fill and take these medications post-operatively; and (iii) patients continue long-term use of these medications. Interventions must target central administrative policies within healthcare institutions, the difficulties facing providers, as well as the concerns of patients. Corrective efforts need to be started early during the hospitalization and involve practitioners who can follow patients after the date on which surgical care is no longer needed. A solid, ongoing relationship between patients and their primary-care physicians and cardiologists is essential. This review summarizes the post-operative medication guidelines for CABG surgery, describes barriers that limit the adherence to these guidelines, and suggests possible avenues to improve medication adherence in older cardiac surgery patients. PMID:22239673

  15. Epidemic Surveillance Using an Electronic Medical Record: An Empiric Approach to Performance Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Hongzhang; Gaff, Holly; Smith, Gary; DeLisle, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Backgrounds Electronic medical records (EMR) form a rich repository of information that could benefit public health. We asked how structured and free-text narrative EMR data should be combined to improve epidemic surveillance for acute respiratory infections (ARI). Methods Eight previously characterized ARI case detection algorithms (CDA) were applied to historical EMR entries to create authentic time series of daily ARI case counts (background). An epidemic model simulated influenza cases (injection). From the time of the injection, cluster-detection statistics were applied daily on paired background+injection (combined) and background-only time series. This cycle was then repeated with the injection shifted to each week of the evaluation year. We computed: a) the time from injection to the first statistical alarm uniquely found in the combined dataset (Detection Delay); b) how often alarms originated in the background-only dataset (false-alarm rate, or FAR); and c) the number of cases found within these false alarms (Caseload). For each CDA, we plotted the Detection Delay as a function of FAR or Caseload, over a broad range of alarm thresholds. Results CDAs that combined text analyses seeking ARI symptoms in clinical notes with provider-assigned diagnostic codes in order to maximize the precision rather than the sensitivity of case-detection lowered Detection Delay at any given FAR or Caseload. Conclusion An empiric approach can guide the integration of EMR data into case-detection methods that improve both the timeliness and efficiency of epidemic detection. PMID:25006878

  16. Sulfur Mustard Research—Strategies for the Development of Improved Medical Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kehe, Kai; Balszuweit, Frank; Emmler, Judith; Kreppel, Helmut; Jochum, Marianne; Thiermann, Horst

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Sulfur mustard (SM) is a bifunctional alkylating substance being used as chemical warfare agent (vesicant). It is still regarded as a significant threat in chemical warfare and terrorism. Exposure to SM produces cutaneous blisters, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract injury, eye lesions, and bone marrow depression. Victims of World War I as well as those of the Iran-Iraq war have suffered from devastating chronic health impairment. Even decades after exposure, severe long-term effects like chronic obstructive lung disease, lung fibrosis, recurrent corneal ulcer disease, chronic conjunctivitis, abnormal pigmentation of the skin, and different forms of cancer have been diagnosed. Methods: This review briefly summarizes the scientific literature and own results concerning detection, organ toxicity of SM, its proposed toxicodynamic actions, and strategies for the development of improved medical therapy. Results: Despite extensive research efforts during the last century, efficient antidotes against SM have not yet been generated because its mechanism of action is not fully understood. However, deeper insights into these mechanisms gained in the last decade and promising developments of new drugs now offer new chances to minimize SM-induced organ damage and late effects. Conclusion: Polymerase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory drugs, antioxidants, matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors, and probably regulators of DNA damage repair are identified as promising approaches to improve treatment. PMID:18615149

  17. Analysis of improved neutron activation technique using thick foils for application on medical LINAC environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagena, E.; Stoulos, S.; Manolopoulou, M.

    2016-01-01

    An improved neutron activation technique is analyzed that can be used for the characterization of the neutron field in low neutron flux environments, such as medical Linacs. Due to the much lower neutron fluence rates, thick materials instead of thin have been used. The study is focused on the calculations of basic components of the neutron activation analysis that are required for accurate results, such as the efficiency of the gamma detector used for γ-spectrometry as well as crucial correction factors that are required when dealing with thick samples in different geometries and forms. A Monte Carlo detector model, implemented by Geant4 MC Code was adjusted in accordance to results from various measurements performed. Moreover, regarding to estimate the self-shielding correction factors a new approach using both Monte Carlo and analytical approach was presented. This improvement gives more accurate results, which are important for both activation and shielding studies that take place in many facilities. A quite good agreement between the neutron fluxes is achieved; according to the data obtained a mean value of (2.13±0.34)×105 ncm-2 s-1 is representative for the isocenter of the specific Linac that corresponds to fluence of (5.53±0.94)×106 ncm-2 Gy-1. Comparable fluencies reported in the literature for similar Linacs operating with photon beams at 15 MeV.

  18. Medical image visual appearance improvement using bihistogram Bezier curve contrast enhancement: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.

    PubMed

    Gan, Hong-Seng; Swee, Tan Tian; Abdul Karim, Ahmad Helmy; Sayuti, Khairil Amir; Abdul Kadir, Mohammed Rafiq; Tham, Weng-Kit; Wong, Liang-Xuan; Chaudhary, Kashif T; Ali, Jalil; Yupapin, Preecha P

    2014-01-01

    Well-defined image can assist user to identify region of interest during segmentation. However, complex medical image is usually characterized by poor tissue contrast and low background luminance. The contrast improvement can lift image visual quality, but the fundamental contrast enhancement methods often overlook the sudden jump problem. In this work, the proposed bihistogram Bezier curve contrast enhancement introduces the concept of "adequate contrast enhancement" to overcome sudden jump problem in knee magnetic resonance image. Since every image produces its own intensity distribution, the adequate contrast enhancement checks on the image's maximum intensity distortion and uses intensity discrepancy reduction to generate Bezier transform curve. The proposed method improves tissue contrast and preserves pertinent knee features without compromising natural image appearance. Besides, statistical results from Fisher's Least Significant Difference test and the Duncan test have consistently indicated that the proposed method outperforms fundamental contrast enhancement methods to exalt image visual quality. As the study is limited to relatively small image database, future works will include a larger dataset with osteoarthritic images to assess the clinical effectiveness of the proposed method to facilitate the image inspection. PMID:24977191

  19. Dimensionality Reduction in Complex Medical Data: Improved Self-Adaptive Niche Genetic Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Min; Xia, Jing; Yan, Molei; Cai, Guolong; Yan, Jing; Ning, Gangmin

    2015-01-01

    With the development of medical technology, more and more parameters are produced to describe the human physiological condition, forming high-dimensional clinical datasets. In clinical analysis, data are commonly utilized to establish mathematical models and carry out classification. High-dimensional clinical data will increase the complexity of classification, which is often utilized in the models, and thus reduce efficiency. The Niche Genetic Algorithm (NGA) is an excellent algorithm for dimensionality reduction. However, in the conventional NGA, the niche distance parameter is set in advance, which prevents it from adjusting to the environment. In this paper, an Improved Niche Genetic Algorithm (INGA) is introduced. It employs a self-adaptive niche-culling operation in the construction of the niche environment to improve the population diversity and prevent local optimal solutions. The INGA was verified in a stratification model for sepsis patients. The results show that, by applying INGA, the feature dimensionality of datasets was reduced from 77 to 10 and that the model achieved an accuracy of 92% in predicting 28-day death in sepsis patients, which is significantly higher than other methods. PMID:26649071

  20. Making a difference for children: the medical community's role in improving child care.

    PubMed

    Reisman, B

    1995-01-01

    The quality of child care for the majority of children in the United States is poor to mediocre. The lack of good quality child care has serious consequences for family stability, work force productivity, and child health and development. The medical community, especially pediatricians, family practitioners, nurses, and nurse practitioners, can play five key roles in helping to ensure that every child has a solid early foundation: 1) they can become trusted sources of support for parents, who are often isolated from their extended families and unsure about their new roles as parents; 2) they can give child care providers in the community information about health and safety practices; 3) they can provide preventive and diagnostic services to children in child care programs; 4) they can act as advocates for improved services to children and families; and 5) they can refer parents and siblings for care. This paper describes some of these efforts and calls for their replication in communities throughout the country. It also describes policies in other countries that have improved children's health and development and reduced child poverty and its related impact on health. PMID:7499707

  1. Improving information retrieval using Medical Subject Headings Concepts: a test case on rare and chronic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Darmoni, Stéfan J.; Letord, Catherine; Jaulent, Marie-Christine; Griffon, Nicolas; Thirion, Benoît; Névéol, Aurélie

    2012-01-01

    Background: As more scientific work is published, it is important to improve access to the biomedical literature. Since 2000, when Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Concepts were introduced, the MeSH Thesaurus has been concept based. Nevertheless, information retrieval is still performed at the MeSH Descriptor or Supplementary Concept level. Objective: The study assesses the benefit of using MeSH Concepts for indexing and information retrieval. Methods: Three sets of queries were built for thirty-two rare diseases and twenty-two chronic diseases: (1) using PubMed Automatic Term Mapping (ATM), (2) using Catalog and Index of French-language Health Internet (CISMeF) ATM, and (3) extrapolating the MEDLINE citations that should be indexed with a MeSH Concept. Results: Type 3 queries retrieve significantly fewer results than type 1 or type 2 queries (about 18,000 citations versus 200,000 for rare diseases; about 300,000 citations versus 2,000,000 for chronic diseases). CISMeF ATM also provides better precision than PubMed ATM for both disease categories. Discussion: Using MeSH Concept indexing instead of ATM is theoretically possible to improve retrieval performance with the current indexing policy. However, using MeSH Concept information retrieval and indexing rules would be a fundamentally better approach. These modifications have already been implemented in the CISMeF search engine. PMID:22879806

  2. Improving healthcare services using web based platform for management of medical case studies.

    PubMed

    Ogescu, Cristina; Plaisanu, Claudiu; Udrescu, Florian; Dumitru, Silviu

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents a web based platform for management of medical cases, support for healthcare specialists in taking the best clinical decision. Research has been oriented mostly on multimedia data management, classification algorithms for querying, retrieving and processing different medical data types (text and images). The medical case studies can be accessed by healthcare specialists and by students as anonymous case studies providing trust and confidentiality in Internet virtual environment. The MIDAS platform develops an intelligent framework to manage sets of medical data (text, static or dynamic images), in order to optimize the diagnosis and the decision process, which will reduce the medical errors and will increase the quality of medical act. MIDAS is an integrated project working on medical information retrieval from heterogeneous, distributed medical multimedia database. PMID:18560078

  3. Opioid and adjuvant analgesics: compared and contrasted.

    PubMed

    Khan, Mohammed Ilyas Ahmed; Walsh, Declan; Brito-Dellan, Norman

    2011-08-01

    AAs (1-2 days). Rotation among opioids is a useful therapeutic strategy to improve analgesic response or minimize toxicity. Most AAs are unsuitable for rescue dosing because of their pharmacological characteristics. The mu agonist side effect profile is similar among the different opioid agents, regardless of the route of administration. The appropriate use of AAs will reduce opioid-related side effects. No apparent tolerance to analgesia develops with AAs. Abrupt discontinuation of an opioid after chronic repeated use for more than a few days will cause a withdrawal syndrome of variable severity. Adjuvant analgesics are an essential tool in cancer pain. PMID:21622486

  4. The Effectiveness of Mobile Phone Text Messaging in Improving Medication Adherence for Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Ershad Sarabi, Roghayeh; Sadoughi, Farahnaz; Jamshidi Orak, Roohangiz; Bahaadinbeigy, Kambiz

    2016-01-01

    Context Medication non-adherence is a commonly observed problem in the self-administration of treatment, regardless of the disease type. Text messaging reminders, as electronic reminders, provide an opportunity to improve medication adherence. In this study, we aimed to provide evidence addressing the question of whether text message reminders were effective in improving patients’ adherence to medication. Evidence Acquisition We carried out a systematic literature search, using the five electronic bibliographic databases: PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials. Studies were included on the basis of whether they examined the benefits and effects of short-message service (SMS) interventions on medication adherence. Results The results of this systematic review indicated that text messaging interventions have improved patients’ medication adherence rate (85%, 29.34). Included in the review, those who had problems with adherence, or those whom text messaging was most helpful had HIV, asthma, diabetes, schizophrenia and heart disease (73.5%). The period of intervention varied from 1 week to 14 months. The most common study design was randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (66%) carried out in the developed countries. Conclusions This study demonstrated the potential of mobile phone text messaging for medication non-adherence problem solving. PMID:27437126

  5. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics—A scoping review

    PubMed Central

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L

    2016-01-01

    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization’s culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence. PMID:26835016

  6. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics-A scoping review.

    PubMed

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L

    2016-01-01

    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization's culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence. PMID:26835016

  7. Improving Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education for Medical Students: An Inter-Organizational Collaborative Action Plan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Geraldine S.; Stock, Saundra; Briscoe, Gregory W.; Beck, Gary L.; Horton, Rita; Hunt, Jeffrey I.; Liu, Howard Y.; Rutter, Ashley Partner; Sexson, Sandra; Schlozman, Steven C.; Stubbe, Dorothy E.; Stuber, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: A new Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Medical Education (CAPME) Task Force, sponsored by the Association for Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP), has created an inter-organizational partnership between child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) educators and medical student educators in psychiatry. This paper…

  8. Vaccine adjuvants as potential cancer immunotherapeutics.

    PubMed

    Temizoz, Burcu; Kuroda, Etsushi; Ishii, Ken J

    2016-07-01

    Accumulated evidence obtained from various clinical trials and animal studies suggested that cancer vaccines need better adjuvants than those that are currently licensed, which include the most commonly used alum and incomplete Freund's adjuvant, because of either a lack of potent anti-tumor immunity or the induction of undesired immunity. Several clinical trials using immunostimulatory adjuvants, particularly agonistic as well as non-agonistic ligands for TLRs, C-type lectin receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and stimulator of interferon genes, have revealed their therapeutic potential not only as vaccine adjuvants but also as anti-tumor agents. Recently, combinations of such immunostimulatory or immunomodulatory adjuvants have shown superior efficacy over their singular use, suggesting that seeking optimal combinations of the currently available or well-characterized adjuvants may provide a better chance for the development of novel adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. PMID:27006304

  9. Vaccine adjuvants as potential cancer immunotherapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Temizoz, Burcu; Kuroda, Etsushi

    2016-01-01

    Accumulated evidence obtained from various clinical trials and animal studies suggested that cancer vaccines need better adjuvants than those that are currently licensed, which include the most commonly used alum and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant, because of either a lack of potent anti-tumor immunity or the induction of undesired immunity. Several clinical trials using immunostimulatory adjuvants, particularly agonistic as well as non-agonistic ligands for TLRs, C-type lectin receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and stimulator of interferon genes, have revealed their therapeutic potential not only as vaccine adjuvants but also as anti-tumor agents. Recently, combinations of such immunostimulatory or immunomodulatory adjuvants have shown superior efficacy over their singular use, suggesting that seeking optimal combinations of the currently available or well-characterized adjuvants may provide a better chance for the development of novel adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. PMID:27006304

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

    PubMed Central

    Toussi, Deana N.; Massari, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Vaccine efficacy is optimized by addition of immune adjuvants. However, although adjuvants have been used for over a century, to date, only few adjuvants are approved for human use, mostly aimed at improving vaccine efficacy and antigen-specific protective antibody production. The mechanism of action of immune adjuvants is diverse, depending on their chemical and molecular nature, ranging from non-specific effects (i.e., antigen depot at the immunization site) to specific activation of immune cells leading to improved host innate and adaptive responses. Although the detailed molecular mechanism of action of many adjuvants is still elusive, the discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) has provided new critical information on immunostimulatory effect of numerous bacterial components that engage TLRs. These ligands have been shown to improve both the quality and the quantity of host adaptive immune responses when used in vaccine formulations targeted to infectious diseases and cancer that require both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The potential of such TLR adjuvants in improving the design and the outcomes of several vaccines is continuously evolving, as new agonists are discovered and tested in experimental and clinical models of vaccination. In this review, a summary of the recent progress in development of TLR adjuvants is presented. PMID:26344622

  11. Improving preparedness of medical students and junior doctors to manage patients with diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Narcie A A; Brandom, Kevin G; Mattick, Karen L

    2015-01-01

    Objective New medical graduates are the front-line staff in many hospital settings and manage patients with diabetes frequently. Prescribing is an area of concern for junior doctors, however, with insulin prescribing reported as a particular weakness. This study aimed to produce an educational intervention which aimed to improve preparedness to manage patients with diabetes and evaluate it using a mixed methods approach. Research design and methods An e-resource (http://www.diabetesscenariosforjuniordoctors.co.uk) was created to contain commonplace and authentic diabetes decision-making scenarios. –32 junior doctors (n=20) and year 5 students (n=12) in South West England worked through the scenarios while ‘thinking aloud’ and then undertook a semistructured interview. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Participant confidence to manage patients with diabetes before, immediately after, and 6 weeks after the educational intervention was also measured using a self-rating scale. Results Participants reported that patients with diabetes were daunting to manage because of the wide array of insulin products, their lack of confidence with chronic disease management and the difficulty of applying theory to practice. The e-resource was described as authentic, practical, and appropriate for the target audience. Junior doctors’ self-rated confidence to manage patients with diabetes increased from 4.7 (of 10) before using the e-resource, to 6.4 immediately afterwards, and 6.8 6 weeks later. Medical students’ confidence increased from 5.1 before, to 6.4 immediately afterwards, and 6.4 6 weeks later. Conclusions Providing opportunities to work with authentic scenarios in a safe environment can help to ameliorate junior doctors’ lack of confidence to manage patients with diabetes. PMID:26435838

  12. Limited Advantages of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Over 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy in the Adjuvant Management of Gastric Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Alani, Shlomo; Soyfer, Viacheslav; Strauss, Natan; Schifter, Dan; Corn, Benjamin W.

    2009-06-01

    Purpose: Although chemoradiotherapy was considered the standard adjuvant treatment for gastric cancer, a recent Phase III trial (Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy [MAGIC]) did not include radiotherapy in the randomization scheme because it was considered expendable. Given radiotherapy's potential, efforts needed to be made to optimize its use for treating gastric cancer. We assessed whether intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) could improve upon our published results in patients treated with three-dimensional (3D) conformal therapy. Methods and Materials: Fourteen patients with adenocarcinoma of the stomach were treated with adjuvant chemoradiotherapy using a noncoplanar four-field arrangement. Subsequently, a nine-field IMRT plan was designed using a CMS Xio IMRT version 4.3.3 module. Two IMRT beam arrangements were evaluated: beam arrangement 1 consisted of gantry angles of 0 deg., 53 deg., 107 deg., 158 deg., 204 deg., 255 deg., and 306 deg.. Beam arrangement 2 consisted of gantry angles of 30 deg., 90 deg., 315 deg., and 345 deg.; a gantry angle of 320 deg./couch, 30 deg.; and a gantry angle of 35{sup o}/couch, 312{sup o}. Both the target volume coverage and the dose deposition in adjacent critical organs were assessed in the plans. Dose-volume histograms were generated for the clinical target volume, kidneys, spine, and liver. Results: Comparison of the clinical target volumes revealed satisfactory coverage by the 95% isodose envelope using either IMRT or 3D conformal therapy. However, IMRT was only marginally better than 3D conformal therapy at protecting the spine and kidneys from radiation. Conclusions: IMRT confers only a marginal benefit in the adjuvant treatment of gastric cancer and should be used only in the small subset of patients with risk factors for kidney disease or those with a preexisting nephropathy.

  13. Successful Resident Engagement in Quality Improvement: The Detroit Medical Center Story.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Syed Ahmed; Arsene, Camelia; Hamstra, Corinne; Woehrlen, Tess H; Wiese-Rometsch, Wilhelmine; White, Suzanne R

    2016-05-01

    Background In 2014, the Detroit Medical Center launched a new program to engage residents and fellows in a strategy to deliver optimal care within 1 year, focusing on quality at an earlier stage of their careers and preparing them for working posttraining. Methods Residents from clinically relevant residency and fellowships programs were selected to be Resident Quality Directors. The project involved development of an interactive electronic health record (EHR) checklist to visually depict real time gaps in 40 process measures, while focusing on 14 areas related to stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis. We also implemented an incentive approach, using a pay-for-performance (P4P) model. Results The project included 800 residents led by 14 resident quality directors. We were able to achieve 100% resident participation. Prior compliance with VTE quality measures 6 months was 88.5%, with performance increasing to 94.2% (P < .006) at 6 months and 100% at 12 months (P < .005) after the intervention. The VTE prophylaxis score improved from the 89.7% to 92.9% range at inception to 100% by 12 months. A similar steady improvement of stroke process measures was observed, with a 100% compliance within 12 months. The institution made 4 incentive payments to trainees (ranging from $300 to $4,000 per year). The remaining 26 process measures remained at goal with above 95% compliance. Conclusions This quality improvement initiative was associated with system-wide quality performance on VTE prevention and stroke care process measures, which was facilitated by a interactive EHR-based checklist and linkage to P4P incentive payments. PMID:27168890

  14. Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Cervical Cancer.

    PubMed

    Mallmann, Peter; Mallmann, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is indicated in patients who can tolerate the side effects of a chemotherapy and with preoperative presentation of one of the following clinical risk situations: bulky disease with a maximal tumor diameter of > 4 cm, suspicious lymph nodes in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan or endosonography, histopathologically confirmed lymph node metastasis, or histopathologically documented risk factors such as G3 and L1V1. A neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery should be performed with cisplatin at a dosage of > 25 mg/m2 per week and an application interval of < 14 days. The previously published data suggests an improved rate of complete resection and reduced incidences of positive lymph nodes and parametric infiltration. Accordingly, the percentage of patients in need for adjuvant radiochemotherapy after operation can be significantly reduced. Some studies demonstrated a prolongation of progression-free and overall survival. Following the previously published studies, adjuvant chemotherapy after operation or after radiochemotherapy has no significant effect on the overall survival and, following the current guidelines, should be avoided. PMID:27614740

  15. The efficiency of adjuvants combined with flupyrsulfuron-methyl plus metsulfuron-methyl (Lexus XPE) on weed control.

    PubMed

    Heremans, B; Isebaert, S; Verhoeven, R; Haesaert, G

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of laboratory tests on a selection of weeds (Viola arvensis, Polygonum persicaria, Chamomilla recutita, Chenopodium album, Veronica persicaria, Alopecurus myosusroides) to investigate the efficiency of flupyrsulfuron-methyl plus metsutfuronmethyl (Lexus XPE) in combination with different adjuvants. The efficiency of the herbicide improved in combination of adjuvants. The level of phytotoxicity of the adjuvants-herbicide treatments appllied varied among the different weed species. PMID:18399424

  16. The adjuvant MF59 induces ATP release from muscle that potentiates response to vaccination.

    PubMed

    Vono, Maria; Taccone, Marianna; Caccin, Paola; Gallotta, Marilena; Donvito, Giovanna; Falzoni, Simonetta; Palmieri, Emiliano; Pallaoro, Michele; Rappuoli, Rino; Di Virgilio, Francesco; De Gregorio, Ennio; Montecucco, Cesare; Seubert, Anja

    2013-12-24

    Vaccines are the most effective agents to control infections. In addition to the pathogen antigens, vaccines contain adjuvants that are used to enhance protective immune responses. However, the molecular mechanism of action of most adjuvants is ill-known, and a better understanding of adjuvanticity is needed to develop improved adjuvants based on molecular targets that further enhance vaccine efficacy. This is particularly important for tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and other diseases for which protective vaccines do not exist. Release of endogenous danger signals has been linked to adjuvanticity; however, the role of extracellular ATP during vaccination has never been explored. Here, we tested whether ATP release is involved in the immune boosting effect of four common adjuvants: aluminum hydroxide, calcium phosphate, incomplete Freund's adjuvant, and the oil-in-water emulsion MF59. We found that intramuscular injection is always associated with a weak transient release of ATP, which was greatly enhanced by the presence of MF59 but not by all other adjuvants tested. Local injection of apyrase, an ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme, inhibited cell recruitment in the muscle induced by MF59 but not by alum or incomplete Freund's adjuvant. In addition, apyrase strongly inhibited influenza-specific T-cell responses and hemagglutination inhibition titers in response to an MF59-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. These data demonstrate that a transient ATP release is required for innate and adaptive immune responses induced by MF59 and link extracellular ATP with an enhanced response to vaccination. PMID:24324152

  17. Dynamics of antigen delivery and the functional roles of L121-adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shan-Shan; Yang, Ya-Wun

    2015-08-20

    This study investigates the intracellular transport of protein antigens facilitated by L121-adjuvants and examines the associated cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) effect. EL4 mouse thymoma cells were treated with L121-adjuvant and stained with AnnexinV-propidium iodide (PI) followed by flow cytometric analysis. The intracellular trafficking dynamics of bovine serum albumin (BSA)-FITC in the J774.A.1 macrophages, influenced by the L121-adjuvant, was visualized by confocal microscopy. The antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) effect induced by the L121-adjuvant was determined by the cleavage-specific fluorogenic caspase substrate. The trafficking of BSA-FITC in the J774A.1 cells by confocal microscopy illustrated that the L121-adjuvant facilitated the intracellular transport of proteins to the subcellular compartments, including the lysosome, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and the cis-Golgi apparatus. The L121-adjuvant also facilitated antigen delivery to the dendritic cells in the lymph nodes. Immunization of mice with the L121-adjuvant resulted in cell-mediated cytotoxic responses in the target cells, as detected by PhiPhiLux, a fluorogenic caspase substrate. Taken together, the L121-adjuvant improved the dynamics of protein delivery to antigen presenting cells, and also induced caspase activation, thereby illustrating the mechanism of antigen-specific CTL effects. PMID:25917678

  18. Missing signposts on the roadmap to quality: a call to improve medication adherence indicators in data collection for population research

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Bradi B.; Rusincovitch, Shelley A.; Avery, Suzanne; Batch, Bryan C.; Dunham, Ashley A.; Feinglos, Mark N.; Kelly, Katherine; Pierre-Louis, Marjorie; Spratt, Susan E.; Califf, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Poor adherence to prescribed medicines is associated with increased rates of poor outcomes, including hospitalization, serious adverse events, and death, and is also associated with increased healthcare costs. However, current approaches to evaluation of medication adherence using real-world electronic health records (EHRs) or claims data may miss critical opportunities for data capture and fall short in modeling and representing the full complexity of the healthcare environment. We sought to explore a framework for understanding and improving data capture for medication adherence in a population-based intervention in four U.S. counties. Approach: We posited that application of a data model and a process matrix when designing data collection for medication adherence would improve identification of variables and data accessibility, and could support future research on medication-taking behaviors. We then constructed a use case in which data related to medication adherence would be leveraged to support improved healthcare quality, clinical outcomes, and efficiency of healthcare delivery in a population-based intervention for persons with diabetes. Because EHRs in use at participating sites were deemed incapable of supplying the needed data, we applied a taxonomic approach to identify and define variables of interest. We then applied a process matrix methodology, in which we identified key research goals and chose optimal data domains and their respective data elements, to instantiate the resulting data model. Conclusions: Combining a taxonomic approach with a process matrix methodology may afford significant benefits when designing data collection for clinical and population-based research in the arena of medication adherence. Such an approach can effectively depict complex real-world concepts and domains by “mapping” the relationships between disparate contributors to medication adherence and describing their relative contributions to the shared goals

  19. Adjuvant therapy for endometrial cancer

    PubMed Central

    DeLeon, Maria C.; Ammakkanavar, Natraj R.

    2014-01-01

    Endometrial cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy typically diagnosed at early stage and cured with surgery alone. Adjuvant therapy is tailored according to the risk of recurrence, estimated based on the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage and other histological factors. The objective of this manuscript is to review the evidence guiding adjuvant therapy for early stage and locally advanced uterine cancer. For patients with early stage disease, minimizing toxicity, while preserving outstanding cure rates remains the major goal. For patients with locally advanced endometrial cancer optimal combined regimens are being defined. Risk stratification based on molecular traits is under development and may aid refine the current risk prediction model and permit personalized approaches for women with endometrial cancer. PMID:24761218

  20. Which medications are safe and effective for improving sleep at high altitude?

    PubMed

    Luks, Andrew M

    2008-01-01

    Given the well-established problems with sleep at high altitude, it is not uncommon for people planning trips to the mountains to seek advice from clinicians regarding pharmacologic options for improving sleep during their trip. This review article considers the various medications that have been studied for this purpose at high altitude with an emphasis on both their efficacy and safety. The available data support the use of either acetazolamide, temazepam, zolpidem or zaleplon in this environment. Other agents commonly used at sea-level such as eszopiclone and diphenhydramine have not been studied at high altitude but are likely safe to use given their mechanism of action and known side effects. Limited evidence suggests diazepam may cause hypoventilation at high altitude and its use in this environment should be discouraged. Insufficient data exist to determine which agent is most effective at altitude nor do we know whether combination therapy with acetazolamide and a hypnotic agent offers any benefits over monotherapy. PMID:18800955

  1. Improved medical image modality classification using a combination of visual and textual features.

    PubMed

    Dimitrovski, Ivica; Kocev, Dragi; Kitanovski, Ivan; Loskovska, Suzana; Džeroski, Sašo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present the approach that we applied to the medical modality classification tasks at the ImageCLEF evaluation forum. More specifically, we used the modality classification databases from the ImageCLEF competitions in 2011, 2012 and 2013, described by four visual and one textual types of features, and combinations thereof. We used local binary patterns, color and edge directivity descriptors, fuzzy color and texture histogram and scale-invariant feature transform (and its variant opponentSIFT) as visual features and the standard bag-of-words textual representation coupled with TF-IDF weighting. The results from the extensive experimental evaluation identify the SIFT and opponentSIFT features as the best performing features for modality classification. Next, the low-level fusion of the visual features improves the predictive performance of the classifiers. This is because the different features are able to capture different aspects of an image, their combination offering a more complete representation of the visual content in an image. Moreover, adding textual features further increases the predictive performance. Finally, the results obtained with our approach are the best results reported on these databases so far. PMID:24997992

  2. Improving medical diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound Doppler signals by combining neural network models.

    PubMed

    Ubeyli, Elif Derya; Güler, Inan

    2005-07-01

    There are a number of different quantitative models that can be used in a medical diagnostic decision support system including parametric methods (linear discriminant analysis or logistic regression), nonparametric models (k nearest neighbor or kernel density) and several neural network models. The complexity of the diagnostic task is thought to be one of the prime determinants of model selection. Unfortunately, there is no theory available to guide model selection. This paper illustrates the use of combined neural network models to guide model selection for diagnosis of ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial disorders. The ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial Doppler signals were decomposed into time-frequency representations using discrete wavelet transform and statistical features were calculated to depict their distribution. The first-level networks were implemented for the diagnosis of ophthalmic and internal carotid arterial disorders using the statistical features as inputs. To improve diagnostic accuracy, the second-level networks were trained using the outputs of the first-level networks as input data. The combined neural network models achieved accuracy rates which were higher than that of the stand-alone neural network models. PMID:15780863

  3. Recent improvements in tensor scale computation and its applications to medical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ziyue; Sonka, Milan; Saha, Punam K.

    2009-02-01

    Tensor scale (t-scale) is a local morphometric parameter describing local structure shape, orientation and scale. At any image location, t-scale is the parametric representation of the largest ellipse (an ellipsoid in 3D) centered at that location and contained in the same homogeneous region. Recently, we have improved the t-scale computation algorithm by: (1) optimizing digital representations for LoG and DoG kernels for edge detection and (2) ellipse fitting by using minimization of both algebraic and geometric distance errors. Also, t-scale has been applied to computing the deformation vector field with applications to medical image registration. Currently, the method is implemented in twodimension (2D) and the deformation vector field is directly computed from t-scale-derived normal vectors at matching locations in two images to be registered. Also, the method has been used to develop a simple algorithm for computing 2D warping from one shape onto another. Normal vector yields local structure orientation pointing to the closest edge. However, this information is less reliable along the medial axis of a shape as it may be associated with either of the two opposite edges of the local shape. This problem is overcome using a shape-linearity measure estimating relative changes in scale along the orthogonal direction. Preliminary results demonstrate the method's potential in estimating deformation between two images.

  4. Desktop microsimulation: a tool to improve efficiency in the medical office practice.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, James B; Linville, Beth A; Slonim, Anthony D

    2013-01-01

    Because the economic crisis in the United States continues to have an impact on healthcare organizations, industry leaders must optimize their decision making. Discrete-event computer simulation is a quality tool with a demonstrated track record of improving the precision of analysis for process redesign. However, the use of simulation to consolidate practices and design efficiencies into an unfinished medical office building was a unique task. A discrete-event computer simulation package was used to model the operations and forecast future results for four orthopedic surgery practices. The scenarios were created to allow an evaluation of the impact of process change on the output variables of exam room utilization, patient queue size, and staff utilization. The model helped with decisions regarding space allocation and efficient exam room use by demonstrating the impact of process changes in patient queues at check-in/out, x-ray, and cast room locations when compared to the status quo model. The analysis impacted decisions on facility layout, patient flow, and staff functions in this newly consolidated practice. Simulation was found to be a useful tool for process redesign and decision making even prior to building occupancy. PMID:22093102

  5. Shared medical appointments to screen for geriatric syndromes: preliminary data from a quality improvement initiative.

    PubMed

    May, Suepattra G; Cheng, Peter H; Tietbohl, Caroline K; Trujillo, Laurel; Reilly, Kelly; Frosch, Dominick L; Lin, Grace A

    2014-12-01

    Older adults are at greater risk of developing conditions that affect health outcomes, quality of life, and costs of care. Screening for geriatric conditions such as memory loss, fall risk, and depression may contribute to the prevention of adverse physical and mental comorbidities, unnecessary hospitalizations, and premature nursing home admissions. Because screening is not consistently performed in primary care settings, a shared medical appointment (SMA) program was developed to fill this gap in care. The goals of the program were to improve early identification of at-risk individuals and ensure appropriate follow-up for memory loss, fall risk, and depression; facilitate discussion about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions; implement strategies to reduce risks for these conditions; and increase access to screening and expand preventive health services for older adults. Between August 2011 and May 2013, 136 individuals aged 60 and older participated in the program. Three case studies highlighting the psychosocial and physiological findings of participation in the program are presented. Preliminary data suggest that SMAs are an effective model of regularly screening at-risk older adults that augments primary care practice by facilitating early detection and referral for syndromes that may otherwise be missed or delayed. PMID:25440111

  6. The emergency physician and knowledge transfer: continuing medical education, continuing professional development, and self-improvement.

    PubMed

    Kilian, Barbara J; Binder, Louis S; Marsden, Julian

    2007-11-01

    A workshop session from the 2007 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference, Knowledge Translation in Emergency Medicine: Establishing a Research Agenda and Guide Map for Evidence Uptake, focused on developing a research agenda for continuing medical education (CME) in knowledge transfer. Based on quasi-Delphi methodology at the conference session, and subsequent electronic discussion and refinement, the following recommendations are made: 1) Adaptable tools should be developed, validated, and psychometrically tested for needs assessment. 2) "Point of care" learning within a clinical context should be evaluated as a tool for practice changes and improved knowledge transfer. 3) The addition of a CME component to technological platforms, such as search engines and databases, simulation technology, and clinical decision-support systems, may help knowledge transfer for clinicians or increase utilization of these tools and should, therefore, be evaluated. 4) Further research should focus on identifying the appropriate outcomes for physician CME. Emergency medicine researchers should transition from previous media-comparison research agendas to a more rigorous qualitative focus that takes into account needs assessment, instructional design, implementation, provider change, and care change. 5) In the setting of continued physician learning, barriers to the subsequent implementation of knowledge transfer and behavioral changes of physicians should be elicited through research. PMID:17967962

  7. Polysaccharides: Candidates of promising vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Li, Pingli; Wang, Fengshan

    2015-04-01

    Aluminium-based adjuvants remain the only adjuvants approved for human use in the USA for over 80 years because of alum's simplicity, tolerability, safety and cost-efficiency. Recent development of vaccines, especially the increasing applications of recombinant subunit and synthetic vaccines, makes aluminium adjuvants cannot stimulate enough immunity to the antigens, since aluminium adjuvants can only induce Th2 type immune responses. So, novel adjuvants are urgent to make up the disadvantages of aluminium adjuvants. However, some major hurdles need to be overcome, not only the scientific knowledge of adjuvants but also unacceptable side-effects and toxicity. A number of carbohydrate-based polysaccharides from plant, bacterial, yeast and synthetic sources can act as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and recognize pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on immune cells, followed by triggering innate immunity and regulating adaptive immunity. What is more, polysaccharides are safe and biodegradable without tissue deposits as observed in aluminium adjuvants. Therefore, polysaccharide-based compounds and formulations are potential vaccine adjuvant candidates. Here, we mainly review polysaccharide-based adjuvants investigated in recent years. PMID:25994059

  8. An informatics approach to medication adherence assessment and improvement using clinical, billing, and patient-entered data.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Brian E; Jabour, Abdulrahman M; Phillips, Erin O'Kelly; Marrero, David G

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe an integrated informatics approach to aggregating and displaying clinically relevant data that can identify problems with medication adherence and facilitate patient-provider communication about strategies to improve medication use. We developed a clinical dashboard within an electronic health record (EHR) system that uses data from three sources: the medical record, pharmacy claims, and a personal health record. The data are integrated to inform clinician-patient discussions about medication adherence. Whereas prior research on assessing patterns of medication adherence focused on a single approach using the EHR, pharmacy data, or patient-entered data, we present an approach that integrates multiple electronic data sources increasingly found in practice. Medication adherence is a complex challenge that requires patient and provider team input, necessitating an integrated approach using advanced EHR, clinical decision support, and patient-controlled technologies. Future research should focus on integrated strategies to provide patients and providers with the right combination of informatics tools to help them adequately address the challenge of adherence to complex medication therapies. PMID:24076751

  9. Evaluation of use of electronic patient controlled analgesia pumps to improve patient safety in an academic medical center.

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Kumiko; Dykes, Patricia; Mcintosh, Kathleen; Buckley, Elizabeth; Yoon, Catherine; Luppi, Carol; Bane, Anne; Bates, David W

    2014-01-01

    Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) pumps are methods of pain control with complex smart infusion devices and are widely used in hospitals. Smart PCA/PCEA pumps can be programmed with the dose and rate of medications within pre-set ranges. However, adverse effects have been reported associated with these pumps' use. In this paper, we describe a prevalence observational study where observers used an electronic data collection tool to record pump settings and medications with PCA pumps, corresponding medication orders to identify errors. The results showed that there were many labeling and tubing change tag errors, which were a violation of hospital policy. A few potential harmful medication errors were identified but no critical errors. Study results suggest the importance of a standard process of PCA pump use. Next steps include implementing a safety bundle for improving PCA practice to support safe and effective pain management. PMID:24943538

  10. Impact of Adjuvant Radiotherapy on Survival after Pancreatic Cancer Resection: An Appraisal of Data from the National Cancer Data Base

    PubMed Central

    Kooby, David A.; Gillespie, Theresa W.; Liu, Yuan; Byrd-Sellers, Johnita; Landry, Jerome; Bian, John; Lipscomb, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The impact of adjuvant radiotherapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) remains controversial. We examined effects of adjuvant therapy on overall survival (OS) in PAC, using the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Methods Patients with resected PAC from 1998 to 2002 were queried from the NCDB. Factors associated with receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy (ChemoOnly) versus adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (ChemoRad) versus no adjuvant treatment (NoAdjuvant) were assessed. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to examine effect of adjuvant therapy type on OS. Propensity scores (PS) were developed for each treatment arm and used to produce matched samples for analysis to minimize selection bias. Results From 1998 to 2002, a total of 11,526 patients underwent resection of PAC. Of these, 1,029 (8.9 %) received ChemoOnly, 5,292 (45.9 %) received ChemoRad, and 5,205 (45.2 %) received NoAdjuvant. On univariate analysis, factors associated with improved OS included: younger age, higher income, higher facility volume, lower tumor stage and grade, negative margins and nodes, and absence of adjuvant therapy. On multivariate analysis with matched PS, factors independently associated with improved OS included: younger age, higher income, higher facility volume, later year of diagnosis, smaller tumor size, lower tumor stage, and negative tumor margins and nodes. ChemoRad had the best OS (hazard ratio 0.70, 95 % confidence interval 0.61–0.80) in a PS matched comparison with ChemoOnly (hazard ratio 1.04, 95 % confidence interval 0.93–1.18) and NoAdjuvant (index). Conclusions Adjuvant chemotherapy with radiotherapy is associated with improved OS after PAC resection in a large population from the NCDB. On the basis of these analyses, radiotherapy should be a part of adjuvant therapy for PAC. PMID:23771249

  11. The Effect of a Summer MCAT Performance Improvement Program on Minority Medical Student Acceptance

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Miguel A.

    1987-01-01

    The effect of a commercial Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) review course on MCAT retake scores and acceptance into medical school for a group of minority students is reported. The review course enhanced MCAT performance in all of the subgroups. The increase in total MCAT score was more pronounced in students with an initial MCAT score below 36 or a high undergraduate total or science grade point average. Results suggest a relationship between MCAT performance and medical school admission. PMID:3625795

  12. "The less-than-perfect medication system": a systems approach to improvement.

    PubMed

    Hronek, Carla; Bleich, Michael R

    2002-07-01

    The 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report increased the focus by health care providers, regulators, and the public on the cause and effect of medical errors. The IOM report recognizes the complexity of the problem of medical errors and advocates a systematic approach to error reduction. Medication delivery systems in health care facilities are an excellent example of the complexity that exists. General Systems Theory (GST) provides a framework to evaluate system design and effectiveness. This article presents an example of the use of GST in the design and evaluation of medication systems with a focus on error reduction. PMID:12125900

  13. Clinical simulation training improves the clinical performance of Chinese medical students

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ming-ya; Cheng, Xin; Xu, An-ding; Luo, Liang-ping; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    Background Modern medical education promotes medical students’ clinical operating capacity rather than the mastery of theoretical knowledge. To accomplish this objective, clinical skill training using various simulations was introduced into medical education to cultivate creativity and develop the practical ability of students. However, quantitative analysis of the efficiency of clinical skill training with simulations is lacking. Methods In the present study, we compared the mean scores of medical students (Jinan University) who graduated in 2013 and 2014 on 16 stations between traditional training (control) and simulative training groups. In addition, in a clinical skill competition, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) scores of participating medical students trained using traditional and simulative training were compared. The data were statistically analyzed and qualitatively described. Results The results revealed that simulative training could significantly enhance the graduate score of medical students compared with the control. The OSCE scores of participating medical students in the clinical skill competition, trained using simulations, were dramatically higher than those of students trained through traditional methods, and we also observed that the OSCE marks were significantly increased for the same participant after simulative training for the clinical skill competition. Conclusions Taken together, these data indicate that clinical skill training with a variety of simulations could substantially promote the clinical performance of medical students and optimize the resources used for medical education, although a precise analysis of each specialization is needed in the future. PMID:26478142

  14. Improvement of a Privacy Authentication Scheme Based on Cloud for Medical Environment.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Shin-Yan; Ying, Zhaoqin; Liu, Junqiang

    2016-04-01

    Medical systems allow patients to receive care at different hospitals. However, this entails considerable inconvenience through the need to transport patients and their medical records between hospitals. The development of Telecare Medicine Information Systems (TMIS) makes it easier for patients to seek medical treatment and to store and access medical records. However, medical data stored in TMIS is not encrypted, leaving patients' private data vulnerable to external leaks. In 2014, scholars proposed a new cloud-based medical information model and authentication scheme which would not only allow patients to remotely access medical services but also protects patient privacy. However, this scheme still fails to provide patient anonymity and message authentication. Furthermore, this scheme only stores patient medical data, without allowing patients to directly access medical advice. Therefore, we propose a new authentication scheme, which provides anonymity, unlinkability, and message authentication, and allows patients to directly and remotely consult with doctors. In addition, our proposed scheme is more efficient in terms of computation cost. The proposed system was implemented in Android system to demonstrate its workability. PMID:26875078

  15. Adjuvant progestagens for endometrial cancer

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Hirsch, Pierre PL; Bryant, Andrew; Keep, Sarah L; Kitchener, Henry C; Lilford, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Background Endometrial cancer is the most common genital tract carcinoma among women in developed countries, with most women presenting with stage 1 disease. Adjuvant progestagen therapy has been advocated following primary surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence of disease. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adjuvant progestagen therapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group Trials Specilaised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) Issue 2, 2009. MEDLINE and EMBASE up to April 2009. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of progestagen therapy in women who have had surgery for endometrial cancer. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently abstracted data and assessed risk of bias. Risk ratios (RRs) comparing survival in women who did and did not receive progestagen were pooled in random effects meta-analyses.. Main results Seven trials assessing 4556 women were identified. Three trials included women with stage one disease only, whereas four included women with more advanced disease. Meta-analysis of four trials showed that there was no significant difference in the risk of death at five years between adjuvant progestagen therapy and no further treatment (RR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.18). This conclusion is also robust to single trial analyses at 4 and 7 years and in one trial across all points in time using a hazard ratio (HR). There was also no significant difference between progestagen therapy and control in terms of the risk of death from endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease and intercurrent disease. Relapse of disease appeared to be reduced by progestagen therapy in one trial (HR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.97 and 5 year RR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.96), but there was no evidence of a difference in disease recurrence in another trial at 7 years (RR = 1.34, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.27). Authors’ conclusions There

  16. Plant Viruses as Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines and Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Lebel, Marie-Ève; Chartrand, Karine; Leclerc, Denis; Lamarre, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Vaccines are considered one of the greatest medical achievements in the battle against infectious diseases. However, the intractability of various diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and cancer poses persistent hurdles given that traditional vaccine-development methods have proven to be ineffective; as such, these challenges have driven the emergence of novel vaccine design approaches. In this regard, much effort has been put into the development of new safe adjuvants and vaccine platforms. Of particular interest, the utilization of plant virus-like nanoparticles and recombinant plant viruses has gained increasing significance as an effective tool in the development of novel vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer. The present review summarizes recent advances in the use of plant viruses as nanoparticle-based vaccines and adjuvants and their mechanism of action. Harnessing plant-virus immunogenic properties will enable the design of novel, safe, and efficacious prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against disease. PMID:26350598

  17. Tackling Communication Barriers Between Long-Term Care Facility and Emergency Department Transfers to Improve Medication Safety in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Callinan, Stephanie M; Brandt, Nicole J

    2015-07-01

    In 2013, the American College of Emergency Physicians, American Geriatrics Society, Emergency Nurses Association, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine created geriatric emergency department guidelines, making recommendations for staffing/administration, follow up and transitions of care, education, quality improvement, equipment/supplies, and other policies, procedures, and protocols to be implemented. Awareness of these guidelines, as well as communication barriers, can help improve the delivery of care for older adults during transitions in care, particularly regarding medication safety. PMID:26126025

  18. Empirical research in medical ethics: How conceptual accounts on normative-empirical collaboration may improve research practice

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The methodology of medical ethics during the last few decades has shifted from a predominant use of normative-philosophical analyses to an increasing involvement of empirical methods. The articles which have been published in the course of this so-called 'empirical turn' can be divided into conceptual accounts of empirical-normative collaboration and studies which use socio-empirical methods to investigate ethically relevant issues in concrete social contexts. Discussion A considered reference to normative research questions can be expected from good quality empirical research in medical ethics. However, a significant proportion of empirical studies currently published in medical ethics lacks such linkage between the empirical research and the normative analysis. In the first part of this paper, we will outline two typical shortcomings of empirical studies in medical ethics with regard to a link between normative questions and empirical data: (1) The complete lack of normative analysis, and (2) cryptonormativity and a missing account with regard to the relationship between 'is' and 'ought' statements. Subsequently, two selected concepts of empirical-normative collaboration will be presented and how these concepts may contribute to improve the linkage between normative and empirical aspects of empirical research in medical ethics will be demonstrated. Based on our analysis, as well as our own practical experience with empirical research in medical ethics, we conclude with a sketch of concrete suggestions for the conduct of empirical research in medical ethics. Summary High quality empirical research in medical ethics is in need of a considered reference to normative analysis. In this paper, we demonstrate how conceptual approaches of empirical-normative collaboration can enhance empirical research in medical ethics with regard to the link between empirical research and normative analysis. PMID:22500496

  19. Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence among Older Adults: Meta-Analysis of Adherence Outcomes among Randomized Controlled Trials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conn, Vicki S.; Hafdahl, Adam R.; Cooper, Pamela S.; Ruppar, Todd M.; Mehr, David R.; Russell, Cynthia L.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness of interventions to improve medication adherence (MA) in older adults. Design and Methods: Meta-analysis was used to synthesize results of 33 published and unpublished randomized controlled trials. Random-effects models were used to estimate overall mean effect sizes (ESs) for MA, knowledge,…

  20. Adjuvant chemotherapy for endometrial cancer after hysterectomy

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Nick; Bryant, Andrew; Miles, Tracie; Hogberg, Thomas; Cornes, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Background Endometrial adenocarcinoma (womb cancer) is a malignant growth of the lining (endometrium) of the womb (uterus). It is distinct from sarcomas (tumours of the uterine muscle). Survival depends the risk of microscopic metastases after surgery. Adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy improves survival from some other adenocarcinomas, and there is evidence that endometrial cancer is sensitive to cytotoxic therapy. This systematic review examines the effect of chemotherapy on survival after hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. Objectives To assess efficacy of adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy for endometrial cancer. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 3), MEDLINE and EMBASE up to August 2010, registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings, reference lists of included studies and contacted experts in the field. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing adjuvant chemotherapy with any other adjuvant treatment or no other treatment. Data collection and analysis We used a random-effects meta-analysis to assess hazard ratios (HR) for overall and progression-free survival and risk ratios (RR) to compare death rates and site of initial relapse. Main results Five RCTs compared no additional treatment with additional chemotherapy after hysterectomy and radiotherapy. Four trials compared platinum based combination chemotherapy directly with radiotherapy. Indiscriminate pooling of survival data from 2197 women shows a significant overall survival advantage from adjuvant chemotherapy (RR (95% CI) = 0.88 (0.79 to 0.99)). Sensitivity analysis focused on trials of modern platinum based chemotherapy regimens and found the relative risk of death to be 0.85 ((0.76 to 0.96); number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNT) = 25; absolute risk reduction = 4% (1% to 8%)). The HR for overall survival is 0.74 (0.64 to 0.89), significantly

  1. Neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for resectable gastric cancer? A practice guideline

    PubMed Central

    Earle, Craig C.; Maroun, Jean; Zuraw, Lisa

    2002-01-01

    Objective To make recommendations on the use of neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy in addition to surgery in patients with resectable gastric cancer (T1–4, N1–2, M0). Options Neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatments compared with “curative” surgery alone. Outcomes Overall survival, disease-free survival, and adverse effects. Evidence The MEDLINE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases and relevant conference proceedings were searched to identify randomized trials. Values Evidence was selected and reviewed by one member of the Cancer Care Ontario Practice Guidelines Initiative (CCOPGI) Gastrointestinal Cancer Disease Site Group and methodologists. A systematic review of the published literature was combined with a consensus process around the interpretation of the evidence in the context of conventional practice, to develop an evidence-based practice guideline. This report has been reviewed and approved by the Gastrointestinal Cancer Disease Site Group, comprising medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, a pathologist and 2 community representatives. Benefits, harms and costs When compared with surgery alone, at 3 years adjuvant chemoradiotherapy has been shown to increase overall survival by 9% (50% v. 41%, p = 0.005) and to improve relapse-free survival from 31% to 48% (p = 0.001). At 5 years, it has been shown to increase overall survival by 11.6% (40% v. 28.4%) and to improve relapse-free survival from 25% to 38% (p < 0.001). Treatment has been associated with toxic deaths in 1% of patients. The most frequent adverse effects (> grade 3 [Southwest Oncology Group toxicity scale] are hematologic (54%), gastrointestinal (33%), influenza-like (9%), infectious (6%) and neurologic (4%). The radiation fields used can possibly damage the left kidney, resulting in hypertension and other renal problems. Furthermore, this therapy could increase the demand on radiation resources. Physicians and patients should understand the tradeoffs between survival benefit

  2. Rx for Success. Improving the Climate for Women in Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrhart, Julie Kuhn; Sandler, Bernice R.

    The report focuses attention on those areas of medical school education that may have a negative effect on women students' confidence and competence. It examines the different ways that male and female medical students experience their training and the particular stresses that women may face, including: role conflicts; questions about commitment;…

  3. Does Adding Medication to Psychotherapy for Depression Improve or Worsen Outcome?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karon, Bertram P.

    2007-01-01

    That two-thirds of depressed adults are resistant to medication has led to the addition of psychotherapy to treatment, but is medication necessary? Results are at least as good with psychotherapy alone, and the relapse rate is less. Handling of suicidal danger, sleep disorders, and common depressing issues in college students are discussed along…

  4. CpG Oligonucleotides as Cancer Vaccine Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Shirota, Hidekazu; Tross, Debra; Klinman, Dennis M.

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvants improve host responsiveness to co-delivered vaccines through a variety of mechanisms. Agents that trigger cells expressing Toll-like receptors (TLR) activate an innate immune response that enhances the induction of vaccine-specific immunity. When administered in combination with vaccines designed to prevent or slow tumor growth, TLR agonists have significantly improved the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Unfortunately, vaccines containing TLR agonists have rarely been able to eliminate large established tumors when administered systemically. To improve efficacy, attention has focused on delivering TLR agonists intra-tumorally with the intent of altering the tumor microenvironment. Agonists targeting TLRs 7/8 or 9 can reduce the frequency of Tregs while causing immunosuppressive MDSC in the tumor bed to differentiate into tumoricidal macrophages thereby enhancing tumor elimination. This work reviews pre-clinical and clinical studies concerning the utility of TLR 7/8/9 agonists as adjuvants for tumor vaccines. PMID:26343193

  5. [Recent Status of Postoperative Adjuvant Chemotherapy after Completely Resected Lung Cancer].

    PubMed

    Naito, Masahito; Tsuboi, Masahiro

    2016-02-01

    Several landmark study elucidated that adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy for stage II-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)patients after appropriate surgical resection can significantly improve 5-year survival rate. Meta-analysis of modern cisplatin based adjuvant chemotherapy trial confirmed this benefit. Furthermore, in Japan, large randomized trial and metaanalysis assessing the efficacy of uracil-tegafur(UFT)for stage I patients with completely resected NSCLC reported that UFT can significantly improve 5-year survival rate. Meta-analysis of subgroup assessed that effectiveness of UFT for stage I NSCLC patients with a tumor lager than 2 cm. According to these evidence, cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II-III A NSCLC and UFT for stage I NSCLC patients with a tumor lager than 2 cm are used standard postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in Japan. In recent year, it is presumed that personalized care will be necessary to re-evaluate strategies for postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy of lung cancer. Considering histological subtype of lung cancer, several randomize trial for postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy with non-squamous NSCLC or high neuroendocrine tumor of lung are ongoing. In addition, recent studies of biological research indicate that some tumor marker such as ERCC1 may had a predictive value for selecting patients who will derive the benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. PMID:27067681

  6. Adjuvant Pelvic Radiotherapy vs. Sequential Chemoradiotherapy for High-Risk Stage I-II Endometrial Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    El-Hadaad, Hend Ahmed; Wahba, Hanan Ahmed; Gamal, Anas Mohamed; Dawod, Tamer

    2012-01-01

    Objective To explore if the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin to radiotherapy confers an advantage for overall survival (OAS), and progression free survival (PFS); to assess the incidence of relapses over standard pelvic radiotherapy; and to evaluate the related toxicity in high-risk stage I-II endometrial carcinoma Methods Medical records were reviewed to identify high-risk stage I-II endometrial carcinoma cases treated in the Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine department between 2002 and 2008 with adjuvant radiotherapy alone (arm I) (57 patients) or with sequential carboplatin (AUC5-6) and paclitaxel (135−175 mg/m2) with radiotherapy (arm II) (51 patients). Radiotherapy was performed through the four-field box technique at doses of 45−50 Gy (1.8 Gy/day × 5 days/week). Results The toxicity was manageable and predominantly hematologic with a grade 3 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in 9.8% and 6% of the patients in arm I and arm II, respectively, without febrile neutropenia. All patients experienced hair loss. Chemoradiotherapy arm was associated with a lower incidence rate of relapse (9.8% vs. 22.7%). After a median follow-up period of 48 months, the 5-year OAS and PFS rates for chemoradiotherapy-treated patients were significantly more favorable than those who did not receive chemotherapy (P=0.02 and 0.03, respectively). In arm I, the OAS and PFS rates were 73.7% and 66.7% compared with those in arm II, whose rates were 90.2% and 84.3%. Conclusions Adjuvant chemoradiation with paclitaxel and carboplatin improved the survival rates and decreased the recurrence rates in patients with high-risk stage I-II endometrial carcinoma. Chemotherapy was associated with an acceptable rate of toxicity. However, a prospective study with a larger number of patients is needed to define a standard adjuvant treatment for high-risk stage I-II endometrial carcinoma. PMID:23691474

  7. National Clinical Skills Competition: an effective simulation-based method to improve undergraduate medical education in China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guanchao; Chen, Hong; Wang, Qiming; Chi, Baorong; He, Qingnan; Xiao, Haipeng; Zhou, Qinghuan; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Background The National Clinical Skills Competition has been held in China for 5 consecutive years since 2010 to promote undergraduate education reform and improve the teaching quality. The effects of the simulation-based competition will be analyzed in this study. Methods Participation in the competitions and the compilation of the questions used in the competition finals are summarized, and the influence and guidance quality are further analyzed. Through the nationwide distribution of questionnaires in medical colleges, the effects of the simulation-based competition on promoting undergraduate medical education reform were evaluated. Results The results show that approximately 450 students from more than 110 colleges (accounting for 81% of colleges providing undergraduate clinical medical education in China) participated in the competition each year. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes were comprehensively evaluated by simulation-based assessment. Eight hundred and eighty copies of the questionnaires were distributed to 110 participating medical schools in 2015. In total, 752 valid responses were received across 95 schools. The majority of the interviewees agreed or strongly agreed that competition promoted the adoption of advanced educational principles (76.8%), updated the curriculum model and instructional methods (79.8%), strengthened faculty development (84.0%), improved educational resources (82.1%), and benefited all students (53.4%). Conclusions The National Clinical Skills Competition is widely accepted in China. It has effectively promoted the reform and development of undergraduate medical education in China. PMID:26894586

  8. Improving pediatric liquid medication labeling of the hospital information system in Malaysia: qualitative analysis of pharmacists’ perceptions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background: Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS) is used. Objective: To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications. Methods: This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group discussions (FGDs), face-to-face interviews (FTFIs), and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy) of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach. Results: Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions. Conclusion: This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications. PMID:27382422

  9. Improving the work efficiency of healthcare-associated infection surveillance using electronic medical records.

    PubMed

    Lo, Yu-Sheng; Lee, Wen-Sen; Chen, Guo-Bin; Liu, Chien-Tsai

    2014-11-01

    In this study, we developed an integrated hospital-associated urinary tract infection (HAUTI) surveillance information system (called iHAUTISIS) based on existing electronic medical records (EMR) systems for improving the work efficiency of infection control professionals (ICPs) in a 730-bed, tertiary-care teaching hospital in Taiwan. The iHAUTISIS can automatically collect data relevant to HAUTI surveillance from the different EMR systems, and provides a visualization dashboard that helps ICPs make better surveillance plans and facilitates their surveillance work. In order to measure the system performance, we also created a generic model for comparing the ICPs' work efficiency when using existing electronic culture-based surveillance information system (eCBSIS) and iHAUTISIS, respectively. This model can demonstrate a patient's state (unsuspected, suspected, and confirmed) and corresponding time spent on surveillance tasks performed by ICPs for the patient in that state. The study results showed that the iHAUTISIS performed better than the eCBSIS in terms of ICPs' time cost. It reduced the time by 73.27 s, when using iHAUTISIS (114.26 s) and eCBSIS (187.53 s), for each patient on average. With increased adoption of EMR systems, the development of the integrated HAI surveillance information systems would be more and more cost-effective. Moreover, the iHAUTISIS adopted web-based technology that enables ICPs to online access patient's surveillance information using laptops or mobile devices. Therefore, our system can further facilitate the HAI surveillance and reduce ICPs' surveillance workloads. PMID:25154644

  10. Induced lexico-syntactic patterns improve information extraction from online medical forums

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Sonal; MacLean, Diana L; Heer, Jeffrey; Manning, Christopher D

    2014-01-01

    Objective To reliably extract two entity types, symptoms and conditions (SCs), and drugs and treatments (DTs), from patient-authored text (PAT) by learning lexico-syntactic patterns from data annotated with seed dictionaries. Background and significance Despite the increasing quantity of PAT (eg, online discussion threads), tools for identifying medical entities in PAT are limited. When applied to PAT, existing tools either fail to identify specific entity types or perform poorly. Identification of SC and DT terms in PAT would enable exploration of efficacy and side effects for not only pharmaceutical drugs, but also for home remedies and components of daily care. Materials and methods We use SC and DT term dictionaries compiled from online sources to label several discussion forums from MedHelp (http://www.medhelp.org). We then iteratively induce lexico-syntactic patterns corresponding strongly to each entity type to extract new SC and DT terms. Results Our system is able to extract symptom descriptions and treatments absent from our original dictionaries, such as ‘LADA’, ‘stabbing pain’, and ‘cinnamon pills’. Our system extracts DT terms with 58–70% F1 score and SC terms with 66–76% F1 score on two forums from MedHelp. We show improvements over MetaMap, OBA, a conditional random field-based classifier, and a previous pattern learning approach. Conclusions Our entity extractor based on lexico-syntactic patterns is a successful and preferable technique for identifying specific entity types in PAT. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to extract SC and DT entities from PAT. We exhibit learning of informal terms often used in PAT but missing from typical dictionaries. PMID:24970840

  11. Have adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitors lost their shine?

    PubMed Central

    Sabari, Joshua K.

    2016-01-01

    Despite broad advances in molecularly targeted therapies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations occur in approximately 17% of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US population. The remarkable efficacy of small-molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in this unique subset of patients has revolutionized the therapeutic approach to lung cancer. The success of these agents in the metastatic setting leads to the logical question of what role these drugs may have in the adjuvant setting for patients with earlier stage disease. RADIANT, an international randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled phase III study in patients with completely resected stage IB to IIIA NSLC whose tumors expressed EGFR by IHC and EGFR amplification by FISH, attempted to answer the question of whether erlotinib would improve disease free survival and overall survival in the adjuvant setting. While RADIANT does not conclude for or against adjuvant use of EGFR-TKIs, all data points towards benefit in a selected population. As clinicians, we must continue to enroll to potentially practice changing therapeutic neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy studies internationally. PMID:27568486

  12. Have adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitors lost their shine?

    PubMed

    Sabari, Joshua K; Chaft, Jamie E

    2016-08-01

    Despite broad advances in molecularly targeted therapies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations occur in approximately 17% of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US population. The remarkable efficacy of small-molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in this unique subset of patients has revolutionized the therapeutic approach to lung cancer. The success of these agents in the metastatic setting leads to the logical question of what role these drugs may have in the adjuvant setting for patients with earlier stage disease. RADIANT, an international randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled phase III study in patients with completely resected stage IB to IIIA NSLC whose tumors expressed EGFR by IHC and EGFR amplification by FISH, attempted to answer the question of whether erlotinib would improve disease free survival and overall survival in the adjuvant setting. While RADIANT does not conclude for or against adjuvant use of EGFR-TKIs, all data points towards benefit in a selected population. As clinicians, we must continue to enroll to potentially practice changing therapeutic neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy studies internationally. PMID:27568486

  13. Vaccine adjuvants - Current status and prospects on controlled release adjuvancity.

    PubMed

    Sivakumar, S M; Safhi, Mohammed M; Kannadasan, M; Sukumaran, N

    2011-10-01

    The strategy of World Health Organization is to develop efficient and inexpensive vaccine against various infectious diseases amongst children's population. Vaccination is considered as the most cost effective health intervention known to public. Since 90 years various substances have been added in vaccine formulation but still alum is considered as the safest adjuvant for human use licensed by United States Food and Drug Administration. MF 59 and ASO4 are the adjuvants were developed recently and approved for human use. Due to poor adjuvancity, conventional vaccines require multiple recall injection at approximately time intervals to attain optimal immune response. For past approximately two decades the vaccine research has been focused towards the alternation of alum type of adjuvant in order to increase the immunogenicity. The development of new vaccines, is more efficacious or easier to deliver, or both have become an area of research that can certainly benefit from controlled release technology. Especially, the conversion of multiple administration vaccine into single administration vaccine may represent an improved advancement towards the betterment of human health care and welfare. Biodegradable polymer microparticles have been evaluated for delivering antigens in native form, sustained release keeping in mind the safety aspects. In this article we review the overall concept of adjuvants in vaccine technology with special focus towards the prospects of controlled release antigens. PMID:23960760

  14. Improving the quality and safety of care on the medical ward: A review and synthesis of the evidence base.

    PubMed

    Pannick, Samuel; Beveridge, Iain; Wachter, Robert M; Sevdalis, Nick

    2014-12-01

    Despite its place at the heart of inpatient medicine, the evidence base underpinning the effective delivery of medical ward care is highly fragmented. Clinicians familiar with the selection of evidence-supported treatments for specific diseases may be less aware of the evolving literature surrounding the organisation of care on the medical ward. This review is the first synthesis of that disparate literature. An iterative search identified relevant publications, using terms pertaining to medical ward environments, and objective and subjective patient outcomes. Articles (including reviews) were selected on the basis of their focus on medical wards, and their relevance to the quality and safety of ward-based care. Responses to medical ward failings are grouped into five common themes: staffing levels and team composition; interdisciplinary communication and collaboration; standardisation of care; early recognition and treatment of the deteriorating patient; and local safety climate. Interventions in these categories are likely to improve the quality and safety of care in medical wards, although the evidence supporting them is constrained by methodological limitations and inadequate investment in multicentre trials. Nonetheless, with infrequent opportunities to redefine their services, institutions are increasingly adopting multifaceted strategies that encompass groups of these themes. As the literature on the quality of inpatient care moves beyond its initial focus on the intensive care unit and operating theatre, physicians should be mindful of opportunities to incorporate evidence-based practice at a ward level. PMID:25457434

  15. Hypokalaemia: Improving the investigation, management and therapeutic monitoring of hypokalaemic medical inpatients at a district general hospital.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Mark; Caesar, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Hypokalaemia is prevalent in 20% of hospitalised patients. Furthermore, inadequate management of hypokalemia was identified in 24% of these patients. Associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality, the identification, investigation, and treatment of hypokalaemia was identified as an area for improvement in the management of medical inpatients. The project aims to measure the assessment, management, and therapeutic monitoring of medical inpatients with hypokalaemia in a district general hospital. All medical inpatients over a one week period who met the criteria for hypokalaemia (serum potassium <3.5 mmol/L on standard biochemical sample) were included in the audit. Patient's notes were located and evaluated to identify if they had mild, moderate, or severe hypokalaemia. Further data on ECG requests, repeat U&Es, serum magnesium analysis, treatment prescribed, and medication review dates was collated. A re-audit was completed after the introduction of a set of interventions which included a hypokalaemia treatment algorithm. Pre-intervention analysis of all medical inpatients, who met our inclusion criteria for hypokalaemia, identified 32 patients. 25 of these patients met the criteria for mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 7 met the criteria for moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). Only 7/32 (22 %) patients were receiving adequate treatment based on trust guidelines. Post intervention results showed marked improvement in the management of patients with hypokalaemia. A total of 30 patients were identified in this post-intervention group. There were 16/30 patients who qualified as mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 14/30 with moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). 19/30 (63%) patients in the post-intervention group were correctly prescribed appropriate medication doses consistent with the treatment algorithm. Following the initial success of the project, analysis at 3 months showed a positive trend for sustained improvement when compared to

  16. Improving Our Nation's Health Care System: Inclusion of Chiropractic in Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations

    PubMed Central

    Meeker, William C.; Watkins, R.W.; Kranz, Karl C.; Munsterman, Scott D.; Johnson, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Objective This report summarizes the closing plenary session of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Educational Conference—Research Agenda Conference 2014. The purpose of this session was to examine patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations from various speakers’ viewpoints and to discuss how chiropractic could possibly work within, and successfully contribute to, the changing health care environment. Discussion The speakers addressed the complex topic of patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations and provided suggestions for what leadership strategies the chiropractic profession may need to enhance chiropractic participation and contribution to improving our nation’s health. Conclusion There are many factors involved in the complex topic of chiropractic inclusion in health care models. Major themes resulting from this panel included the importance of building relationships with other professionals, demonstrating data and evidence for what is done in chiropractic practice, improving quality of care, improving health of populations, and reducing costs of health care. PMID:25431542

  17. [The outlook for improved medical control over the health status of the flight personnel in a military unit].

    PubMed

    Lapa, V V; Frolov, N I; Shalimov, P M

    1992-03-01

    The article studies methodological and methodical questions for improving medical control (MC) over the flight personnel. The authors analyse the main components of MC, i.e. basic control which is built on clinicophysiological methods, and dynamic control which is aimed for estimation of performance characteristics in the process of professional activities. The authors substantiate the structure of the perspective computerized automated system for MC consisting of three functional units: terrain complex of medical operational control, on-board equipment for aircrew health monitoring in flight, expert and diagnosis system for estimation and prognostication of professional health status. PMID:1441248

  18. Improving medication adherence in diabetes type 2 patients through Real Time Medication Monitoring: a Randomised Controlled Trial to evaluate the effect of monitoring patients' medication use combined with short message service (SMS) reminders

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Innovative approaches are needed to support patients' adherence to drug therapy. The Real Time Medication Monitoring (RTMM) system offers real time monitoring of patients' medication use combined with short message service (SMS) reminders if patients forget to take their medication. This combination of monitoring and tailored reminders provides opportunities to improve adherence. This article describes the design of an intervention study aimed at evaluating the effect of RTMM on adherence to oral antidiabetics. Methods/Design Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) with two intervention arms and one control arm involving diabetes type 2 patients with suboptimal levels of adherence to oral antidiabetics (less than 80% based on pharmacy refill data). Patients in the first intervention arm use RTMM including SMS reminders and a personal webpage where they can monitor their medication use. Patients in the second intervention arm use RTMM without SMS reminders or webpage access. Patients in the control arm are not exposed to any intervention. Patients are randomly assigned to one of the three arms. The intervention lasts for six months. Pharmacy refill data of all patients are available from 11 months before, until 11 months after the start of the intervention. Primary outcome measure is adherence to oral antidiabetics calculated from: 1) data collected with RTMM, as a percentage of medication taken as prescribed, and as percentage of medication taken within the correct time interval, 2) refill data, taking the number of days for which oral antidiabetics are dispensed during the study period divided by the total number of days of the study period. Differences in adherence between the intervention groups and control group are studied using refill data. Differences in adherence between the two intervention groups are studied using RTMM data. Discussion The intervention described in this article consists of providing RTMM to patients with suboptimal adherence levels

  19. Strategies to improve medication adherence in patients with schizophrenia: the role of support services

    PubMed Central

    El-Mallakh, Peggy; Findlay, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to describe research over the past 10 years on the role of support services in promoting medication adherence in mental health consumers diagnosed with schizophrenia. A literature search was conducted using the terms “medication adherence,” “schizophrenia,” and “support services,” using Medline, PubMed, and CINAHL. Reference lists from published studies were also reviewed to identify additional research studies. Twenty-two articles focused on support-service intervention studies, and these were selected for review. Available support-service interventions include adherence therapy, electronic reminders via text messages and telephones, cognitive–behavioral and motivational strategies, and financial incentives. Support-service intervention strategies need to be tailored to the specific needs of mental health consumers with schizophrenia. More research is needed to investigate effective support services to enhance long-term adherence and adherence to medications for medical illnesses in this population. PMID:25931823

  20. Improving medication adherence for chronic disease using integrated e-technologies.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Brian E; Jabour, Abdulrahman M; Phillips, Erin O'Kelly; Marrero, David G

    2013-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease affecting more than 285 people worldwide and the fourth leading cause of death. Increasing evidence suggests that many DM patients have poor adherence with prescribed medication therapies, impacting clinical outcomes. Patients' barriers to medication adherence and the extent to which barriers contribute to poor outcomes, however, are not routinely assessed. We designed a dashboard for an electronic health record system to integrate DM disease and medication data, including patient-reported barriers to adherence. Processes to support routine capture of data from patients are also being explored. The dashboard is being evaluated at multiple ambulatory clinics to examine whether integrated electronic tools can support patient-centered decision-making processes involving complex medication regimens for DM and other chronic diseases. PMID:23920703

  1. Improving the Return on Investment of Graduate Medical Education in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Newton, Warren; Wouk, Noah; Spero, Julie C

    2016-01-01

    The National Academy of Medicine has called for fundamental reform in the governance and accountability of graduate medical education, but how to implement this change is unclear. We describe the North Carolina graduate medical education system, and we propose tracking outcomes and aligning residency stipends with outcomes such as specialty choice, practice in North Carolina, and acceptance of new Medicaid and Medicare patients. PMID:26961836

  2. Method for improving the quality of discharge summaries written by a general medical team.

    PubMed

    Russell, P; Hewage, U; Thompson, C

    2014-03-01

    We developed a writing rubric that assessed the quality of four common errors found in the synopsis of a discharge summary: relevance, accuracy, clarity and presentation (R-A-C-P). We assessed the effect of an intervention that taught the essentials of discharge summary preparation. The intervention reduced the number of inadequate discharge summaries written by medical staff on a busy medical service. Writing the clinical synopsis of a discharge summary is a skill that can be taught quickly. PMID:24621287

  3. Scanning for safety: an integrated approach to improved bar-code medication administration.

    PubMed

    Early, Cynde; Riha, Chris; Martin, Jennifer; Lowdon, Karen W; Harvey, Ellen M

    2011-03-01

    This is a review of lessons learned in the postimplementation evaluation of a bar-code medication administration technology implemented at a major tertiary-care hospital in 2001. In 2006, with a bar-code medication administration scan compliance rate of 82%, a near-miss sentinel event prompted review of this technology as part of an institutional recommitment to a "culture of safety." Multifaceted problems with bar-code medication administration created an environment of circumventing safeguards as demonstrated by an increase in manual overrides to ensure timely medication administration. A multiprofessional team composed of nursing, pharmacy, human resources, quality, and technical services formalized. Each step in the bar-code medication administration process was reviewed. Technology, process, and educational solutions were identified and implemented systematically. Overall compliance with bar-code medication administration rose from 82% to 97%, which resulted in a calculated cost avoidance of more than $2.8 million during this time frame of the project. PMID:21099677

  4. Improving medication adherence for severely mentally ill adults by decreasing coercion and increasing cooperation.

    PubMed

    Danzer, Graham; Rieger, Sarah M

    2016-01-01

    Severe mental illnesses, mainly schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, often go untreated until the afflicted persons become dangerous to themselves or others. In such states, they must be hospitalized and medicated, often involuntarily due to the stigma and low insight into need for treatment that can be considered characteristic of severe illnesses. Hospitalization and medications can help the mentally ill stabilize. But these options also can have a demoralizing effect on future engagement with providers. Accordingly, the process of involuntary hospitalization and medication treatment must be maximally dignified and respectful of patient autonomy, within the limits of manifest illnesses. Literature that was reviewed and synthesized suggests best practice strategies for helping involuntary mentally ill patients grow into voluntary consumers of medication. In turn, risk of relapse is lowered and quality of life is enhanced. Best practice strategies included decreasing usage of coercive tactics, helping patients cope with medication side effects, and emphasizing the necessity of family involvement. The authors conclude with a review of the limitations of arguing for involuntary hospitalization and treatment as restoring patient autonomy, along with implications for future practice focusing on increasing the medication adherence of severely mentally ill populations. PMID:27028337

  5. Improving COPD Care in a Medically Underserved Primary Care Clinic: A Qualitative Study of Patient Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Irene; Wang, Fei; Reardon, Jane; Vergara, Cunegundo D; Salvietti, Ralph; Acevedo, Myrtha; Santana, Blanca; Fortunato, Gil

    2016-10-01

    We conducted a focus group study in an urban hospital-based primary care teaching clinic serving an indigent and Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) population in New England in order to learn how patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) perceive their disease, how they experience their medical care, and the barriers they face managing their disease and following medical recommendations. The research team included medical doctors, nurses, a medical anthropologist, a clinical pharmacist, a hospital interpreter, and a systems analyst. Four focus groups were conducted in Spanish and English in April and May 2014. The demographic characteristics of the 25 focus group participants closely reflected the demographics of the total COPD clinic patients. The participants were predominantly female (72%) and Hispanic (72%) and had a median age of 63. The major themes expressed in the focus groups included: problems living with COPD; coping with complexities of comorbid illnesses; challenges of quitting smoking and maintaining cessation; dealing with second-hand smoke; beliefs and myths about quitting smoking; difficulty paying for and obtaining medications; positive experiences obtaining and managing medications; difficulties in using sleep machines at home; expressions of disappointment with the departure of their doctors; and overall satisfaction with the clinic health care providers. The study led to the creation of an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by the focus study participants. The action plan is spearheaded by a designated bilingual and bicultural nurse and is now in operation. PMID:26807853

  6. CpG DNA as a vaccine adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Bode, Christian; Zhao, Gan; Steinhagen, Folkert; Kinjo, Takeshi; Klinman, Dennis M

    2011-04-01

    Synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing unmethylated CpG motifs trigger cells that express Toll-like receptor 9 (including human plasmacytoid dendritic cells and B cells) to mount an innate immune response characterized by the production of Th1 and proinflammatory cytokines. When used as vaccine adjuvants, CpG ODNs improve the function of professional antigen-presenting cells and boost the generation of humoral and cellular vaccine-specific immune responses. These effects are optimized by maintaining ODNs and vaccine in close proximity. The adjuvant properties of CpG ODNs are observed when administered either systemically or mucosally, and persist in immunocompromised hosts. Preclinical studies indicate that CpG ODNs improve the activity of vaccines targeting infectious diseases and cancer. Clinical trials demonstrate that CpG ODNs have a good safety profile and increase the immunogenicity of coadministered vaccines. PMID:21506647

  7. Intranasal hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-adjuvanted influenza vaccine protects against sub-heterologous virus infection.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Takato; Ozasa, Koji; Kobari, Shingo; Momota, Masatoshi; Kishishita, Natsuko; Kobiyama, Kouji; Kuroda, Etsushi; Ishii, Ken J

    2016-06-01

    Intranasal vaccination with inactivated influenza viral antigens is an attractive and valid alternative to currently available influenza (flu) vaccines; many of which seem to need efficient and safe adjuvant, however. In this study, we examined whether hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), a widely used pharmaceutical excipient to improve solubility and drug delivery, can act as a mucosal adjuvant for intranasal flu vaccines. We found that intranasal immunization of mice with hemagglutinin split- as well as inactivated whole-virion influenza vaccine with HP-β-CD resulted in secretion of antigen-specific IgA and IgGs in the airway mucosa and the serum as well. As a result, both HP-β-CD adjuvanted-flu intranasal vaccine protected mice against lethal challenge with influenza virus, equivalent to those induced by experimental cholera toxin-adjuvanted ones. Of note, intranasal use of HP-β-CD as an adjuvant induced significantly lower antigen-specific IgE responses than that induced by aluminum salt adjuvant. These results suggest that HP-β-CD may be a potent mucosal adjuvant for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine. PMID:27160037

  8. GLA-AF, an emulsion-free vaccine adjuvant for pandemic influenza.

    PubMed

    Clegg, Christopher H; Roque, Richard; Perrone, Lucy A; Rininger, Joseph A; Bowen, Richard; Reed, Steven G

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing threat from Influenza necessitates the development of new vaccine and adjuvant technologies that can maximize vaccine immunogenicity, shorten production cycles, and increase global vaccine supply. Currently, the most successful adjuvants for Influenza vaccines are squalene-based oil-in-water emulsions. These adjuvants enhance seroprotective antibody titers to homologous and heterologous strains of virus, and augment a significant dose sparing activity that could improve vaccine manufacturing capacity. As an alternative to an emulsion, we tested a simple lipid-based aqueous formulation containing a synthetic TLR4 ligand (GLA-AF) for its ability to enhance protection against H5N1 infection. GLA-AF was very effective in adjuvanting recombinant H5 hemagglutinin antigen (rH5) in mice and was as potent as the stable emulsion, SE. Both adjuvants induced similar antibody titers using a sub-microgram dose of rH5, and both conferred complete protection against a highly pathogenic H5N1 challenge. However, GLA-AF was the superior adjuvant in ferrets. GLA-AF stimulated a broader antibody response than SE after both the prime and boost immunization with rH5, and ferrets were better protected against homologous and heterologous strains of H5N1 virus. Thus, GLA-AF is a potent emulsion-free adjuvant that warrants consideration for pandemic influenza vaccine development. PMID:24551202

  9. Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Gastric Cancer-Rapid, Yet Incomplete Adoption Following Results of Intergroup 0116 Trial

    SciTech Connect

    Coburn, Natalie G. Guller, Ulrich; Baxter, Nancy N.; Kiss, Alex; Ringash, Jolie; Swallow, Carol J.; Law, Calvin H.L.

    2008-03-15

    Purpose: The Southwest Oncology Group/Intergroup 0116 (INT-0116) trial showed that adjuvant chemoradiotherapy improves survival in high-risk gastric adenocarcinoma patients. This study examined the adoption of adjuvant treatment following the trial results and the factors associated with its use. Methods and Materials: Between 1996 and 2003, patients aged 18-85 years with resected gastric adenocarcinoma were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database and classified as diagnosed before (January 1996 to April 2000) or after (May 2000 to December 2003) presentation of the INT-0116 trial findings. Univariate and multivariable models were used to determine the factors associated with use of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT). Results: Of 10,230 patients studied, 14.6% were given adjuvant RT before the INT-0116 trial, increasing to 30.4% afterward (p < 0.001). Significant increases in adjuvant RT from before to after INT-0116 were seen in all demographic categories. Younger patients were significantly more likely to receive adjuvant RT (44.5%, 18-59 years; 31.0%, 60-74 years; and 12.6%, 75-85 years, p < 0.0001). Married patients were significantly more likely to receive adjuvant RT (30.9%) than were unmarried patients (23.6%, p < 0.001). A greater depth of tumor invasion, worse nodal status, and more lymph nodes assessed were associated with adjuvant RT (p < 0.0001). The rate of adjuvant RT varied from 22.9-44.2% across SEER regions. On multiple logistic regression analysis, age, SEER region, marital status, assessed lymph nodes, tumor depth, and nodal status were all significant independent predictors of the use of adjuvant RT. Conclusion: Use of adjuvant RT doubled after the INT-0116 trial results became public; however, the fraction of patients receiving adjuvant RT is still low. Additional examination of the statistically significant and clinically relevant variability between different SEER regions, tumor characteristics, and patient

  10. Assessing the effectiveness of pharmacist- directed medication therapy management in improving diabetes outcomes in patients with poorly controlled diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Jeannine S.; Poe, Brett; Hopper, Rebecca; Boyer, Alaina; Wilkins, Consuelo H.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare medication adherence rates and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) health outcomes in a sample of underserved patients with suboptimally controlled T2DM (HbA1C>7%) who had received pharmacist-directed medication therapy management (MTM) to those who had not received MTM. Methods A retrospective review of 100 patient records was conducted. For the MTM group, a pharmacist engaged patients in patient-centered services to optimize therapeutic outcomes. Non-MTM patients received usual care. Outcomes were HbA1C, medication adherence, blood pressure, lipids and creatinine. Group comparisons on clinical outcomes were analyzed before and after matching MTM and non-MTM patients on demographic characteristics. Results Before matching, the MTM group had a higher rate of medication adherence than the non-MTM group. Hemoglobin A1C levels were lower in the MTM group compared to the non-MTM group. Similarly, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were lower in the MTM group compared to the non-MTM group. After matching, medication adherence rate remained higher in the MTM group than the non-MTM group. Similarly, HbA1C levels remained lower in the MTM group than the non-MTM group. Conclusions There is a paucity of research focused on behavioral interventions for improving health outcomes in underserved communities. Our results advance the existing literature by demonstrating a positive association between pharmacist-directed MTM, medication adherence, and glycemic control in a sample of underserved patients with suboptimally controlled T2DM. A prospective pharmacy intervention and examination of long-term effects of MTM on medication adherence and T2DM health outcomes in this population is warranted. PMID:26009557

  11. Improving the safety and efficiency of nurse medication rounds through the introduction of an automated dispensing cabinet

    PubMed Central

    Cottney, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Information technology (IT) systems are being utilised with increasing frequency at the prescribing and dispensing stage of the medicines-use process in UK hospitals. However, much less development has taken place with regard to the implementation of IT systems at the administration stage of medicines-use. A technology that has been implemented widely at the administration stage in North American hospitals is the automated dispensing cabinet (ADC), which has been shown to reduce nurse medication administration errors and reduce the time that nurses spend administering medication. The current project was undertaken to assess whether these benefits would be realised with the introduction of an ADC on an inpatient ward in a UK mental health hospital. Nurses were observed administering medication before and after the implementation of an ADC on a ward at East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). The findings from these observations showed that the use of the ADC led to a reduction in the medication administration error rate from 8.9% to 7.2%; however, this reduction was solely accounted for by a reduction in errors of negligible clinical severity. The types of administration errors noted after implementation of the ADC remained largely unchanged from beforehand. The ADC was found to reduce the amount of time that nurses spent administering medication from 2.94 min per dose to 2.37 min per dose. It is estimated that this reduction could generate around 66 min of additional free nursing time per ward per day. As a standalone device, the ADC was found to improve the efficiency of the medicines-use process, but had little meaningful effect on medication administration error rate at ELFT. However, it could be anticipated that additional benefit with regard to reducing medication administration errors may be demonstrated if the ADC was used in combination with other IT systems, such as electronic prescribing. PMID:26734256

  12. Improving undergraduate medical education about pain assessment and management: A qualitative descriptive study of stakeholders’ perceptions

    PubMed Central

    Tellier, Pierre-Paul; Bélanger, Emmanuelle; Rodríguez, Charo; Ware, Mark A; Posel, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Pain is one of the most common reasons for individuals to seek medical advice, yet it remains poorly managed. One of the main reasons that poor pain management persists is the lack of adequate knowledge and skills of practicing clinicians, which stems from a perceived lack of pain education during the training of undergraduate medical students. OBJECTIVE: To identify gaps in knowledge with respect to pain management as perceived by students, patients and educators. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. Data were generated through six focus groups with second- and fourth-year medical students, four focus groups with patients and individual semistructured interviews with nine educators. All interviews were audiotaped and an inductive thematic analysis was performed. RESULTS: A total of 70 individuals participated in the present study. Five main themes were identified: assessment of physical and psychosocial aspects of pain; clinical management of pain with pharmacology and alternative therapies; communication and the development of a good therapeutic relationship; ethical considerations surrounding pain; and institutional context of medical education about pain. CONCLUSION: Participating patients, students and pain experts recognized a need for additional medical education about pain assessment and management. Educational approaches need to teach students to gather appropriate information about pain, to acquire knowledge of a broad spectrum of therapeutic options, to develop a mutual, trusting relationship with patients and to become aware of their own biases and prejudice toward patients with pain. The results of the present study should be used to develop and enhance existing pain curricula content. PMID:23985579

  13. How Well Establishment of Research Plans Can Improve Scientific Ranking of Medical Universities

    PubMed Central

    Saadat, Seyed Hassan; Izadi, Morteza; Aslani, Jafar; Ghanei, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Background: As a developing country, Iran has not had a substantial share in global science production activities; however, this country has recently been the forth country in the world regarding research output publications, and biomedical research has played a crucial role in achieving this honorable position. Objectives: In this paper, we aimed to introduce the strategies employed at Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences of Iran, to enhance scientific research output of this university. Patients and Methods: The present study used the qualitative content analysis technique. The Research deputies and the head of research centers of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences were the research subjects. The main researcher conducted all the interviews. The participants were all authorities of the university. Sampling continued until data saturation. After speaking with 16 participants, the interviews yielded no new information, and no new categories or subcategories were added to the previous ones. Deep and semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used to collect data. Results: Diplomacies employed to promote research, organizing educational classes, and foundation of infrastructural organizations for research and true surveillance of research programs were the main characteristics of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences research strategies. Conclusions: Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences is a military university of limited resources that has won several awards in the recent years, and has been categorized as one of the leading first ranked medical universities in Iran; a position quite higher than several other larger universities of the country. We recommend more enhanced strategies for other universities. PMID:25793114

  14. How complete are our clerkings? A project aimed at improving the quality of medical records by using a standardised proforma.

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Jij; Yvon, Camille; Stanger, Tim

    2014-01-01

    Clerking a patient is the first and most important contact that any medical team has with the patient. It provides information that may not be available later in the admission if recorded improperly, such as referral letters, collateral history, dosette boxes or prescription sheets. The quality of data recorded from this encounter was examined at a busy district general hospital surgical department. Initial measurement demonstrated that less than half of certain key parameters like dosages of medication were being recorded by clerking doctors. A clerking proforma was therefore designed to combat this problem. Over three audit cycles (n = 170, 150, 174) the proforma showed statistically significant improvements in the proportion of data that was captured at initial contact with the patient. We conclude that the introduction of proformas for clerking significantly improves the collection of data that impacts patient care during their hospital stay. PMID:26734242

  15. Novel adjuvant Alum-TLR7 significantly potentiates immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Buonsanti, Cecilia; Balocchi, Cristiana; Harfouche, Carole; Corrente, Federica; Galli Stampino, Luisa; Mancini, Francesca; Tontini, Marta; Malyala, Padma; Bufali, Simone; Baudner, Barbara; De Gregorio, Ennio; Valiante, Nicholas M.; O’Hagan, Derek T.; Rappuoli, Rino; D’Oro, Ugo

    2016-01-01

    Although glycoconjugate vaccines are generally very efficacious, there is still a need to improve their efficacy, especially in eliciting a strong primary antibody response. We have recently described a new type of vaccine adjuvant based on a TLR7 agonist adsorbed to alum (Alum-TLR7), which is highly efficacious at enhancing immunogenicity of protein based vaccines. Since no adjuvant has been shown to potentiate the immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines in humans, we investigated if Alum-TLR7 is able to improve immunogenicity of this class of vaccines. We found that in a mouse model Alum-TLR7 greatly improved potency of a CRM197-MenC vaccine increasing anti-MenC antibody titers and serum bactericidal activity (SBA) against MenC compared to alum adjuvanted vaccine, especially with a low dose of antigen and already after a single immunization. Alum-TLR7 also drives antibody response towards Th1 isotypes. This adjuvant was also able to increase immunogenicity of all polysaccharides of a multicomponent glycoconjugate vaccine CRM197-MenACWY. Furthermore, we found that Alum-TLR7 increases anti-polysaccharide immune response even in the presence of a prior immune response against the carrier protein. Finally, we demonstrate that Alum-TLR7 adjuvant effect requires a functional TLR7. Taken together, our data support the use of Alum-TLR7 as adjuvant for glycoconjugate vaccines. PMID:27439378

  16. An improved biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dianli; Wen, Qiaoyan; Li, Wenmin; Zhang, Hua; Jin, Zhengping

    2015-03-01

    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) offers healthcare delivery services and patients can acquire their desired medical services conveniently through public networks. The protection of patients' privacy and data confidentiality are significant. Very recently, Mishra et al. proposed a biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information system. Their scheme can protect user privacy and is believed to resist a range of network attacks. In this paper, we analyze Mishra et al.'s scheme and identify that their scheme is insecure to against known session key attack and impersonation attack. Thereby, we present a modified biometrics-based authentication scheme for TMIS to eliminate the aforementioned faults. Besides, we demonstrate the completeness of the proposed scheme through BAN-logic. Compared to the related schemes, our protocol can provide stronger security and it is more practical. PMID:25663481

  17. [The perspectives of improvement of the postgraduation education of specialists working in military forensic-and-medical organizations].

    PubMed

    Kolkutin, V V; Tolmachev, I A

    2006-06-01

    The problem of work organization improvement of military forensic examination concerning the system of preparing specialists for forensic-and-medical organizations of the Russian Ministry of Defense is investigated in the article. The directions of development of the postgraduation education system for specialists in military forensic examination organizations as well as the main targets of the forensic medicine faculty in this sphere are reflected. PMID:16898285

  18. Depression in primary TKA and higher medical comorbidities in revision TKA are associated with suboptimal subjective improvement in knee function

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background To characterize whether medical comorbidities, depression and anxiety predict patient-reported functional improvement after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Methods We analyzed the prospectively collected data from the Mayo Clinic Total Joint Registry for patients who underwent primary or revision TKA between 1993–2005. Using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analyses, we examined whether medical comorbidities, depression and anxiety were associated with patient-reported subjective improvement in knee function 2- or 5-years after primary or revision TKA. Odds ratios (OR), along with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and p-value are presented. Results We studied 7,139 primary TKAs at 2- and 4,234 at 5-years; and, 1,533 revision TKAs at 2-years and 881 at 5-years. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, we found that depression was associated with significantly lower odds of 0.5 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.3 to 0.9; p = 0.02) of ‘much better’ knee functional status (relative to same or worse status) 2 years after primary TKA. Higher Deyo-Charlson index was significantly associated with lower odds of 0.5 (95% CI: 0.2 to 1.0; p = 0.05) of ‘much better’ knee functional status after revision TKA for every 5-point increase in score. Conclusions Depression in primary TKA and higher medical comorbidity in revision TKA cohorts were associated with suboptimal improvement in index knee function. It remains to be seen whether strategies focused at optimization of medical comorbidities and depression pre- and peri-operatively may help to improve TKA outcomes. Study limitations include non-response bias and the use of diagnostic codes, which may be associated with under-diagnosis of conditions. PMID:24725511

  19. Outreach to Improve Patient Education at South Carolina Free Medical Clinics

    PubMed Central

    McMullen, Karen D.; McConnaughy, Rozalynd P.; Riley, Ruth A.

    2011-01-01

    The University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine (SOM) librarians have partnered with eight free medical clinics in South Carolina to enhance patient education efforts. During these outreach projects, project librarians purchased and installed computers, projectors, screens, LCD monitors, and touch-screen information kiosks equipment in each clinic, conducted MedlinePlus training sessions with clinic staff, and added links to MedlinePlus on the patient education area of the clinics’ websites. As a result, the free medical clinics incorporated MedlinePlus into their patient education classes or use the self-playing tutorials in patient waiting rooms. PMID:22084623

  20. Primary care program improves reimbursement. The Federally Qualified Health Center program helps hospitals improve services to the medically indigent.

    PubMed

    Fahey, T M; Gallitano, D G

    1993-03-01

    Under a program created by Congress in 1989, certain primary care treatment centers serving the medically and economically indigent can become Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Recently enacted rules and regulations allow participants in the FQHC program to receive 100 percent reasonable cost reimbursement for Medicaid services and 80 percent for Medicare services. An all-inclusive annual cost report is the basis for determining reimbursement rates. The report factors in such expenses as physician and other healthcare and professional salaries and benefits, medical supplies, certain equipment depreciation, and overhead for facility and administrative costs. Both Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement is based on an encounter rate, and states employ various methodologies to determine the reimbursement level. In Illinois, for example, typical reimbursement for a qualified encounter ranges from $70 to $88. To obtain FQHC status, an organization must demonstrate community need, deliver the appropriate range of healthcare services, satisfy management and finance requirements, and function under a community-based governing board. In addition, an FQHC must provide primary healthcare by physicians and (where appropriate) midlevel practitioners; it must also offer its community diagnostic laboratory and x-ray services, preventive healthcare and dental care, case management, pharmacy services, and arrangements for emergency services. Because FQHCs must be freestanding facilities, establishing them can trigger a number of ancillary legal issues, such as those involved in forming a new corporation, complying with not-for-profit corporation regulations, applying for tax-exempt status, and applying for various property and sales tax exemptions. Hospitals that establish FQHCs must also be prepared to relinquish direct control over the delivery of primary care services. PMID:10124301

  1. A Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial of Motivational Interviewing to Improve Adherence with Osteoporosis Medications: Design of the OPTIMA Trial

    PubMed Central

    Solomon, Daniel H.; Gleeson, Timothy; Iversen, Maura; Avorn, Jerome; Brookhart, M. Alan; Lii, Joyce; Losina, Elena; May, Frank; Patrick, Amanda; Shrank, William H.; Katz, Jeffrey N.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose While many effective treatments exist for osteoporosis, most people do not adhere to such treatments long-term. No proven interventions exist to improve osteoporosis medication adherence. We report here on the design and initial enrollment in an innovative randomized controlled trial aimed at improving adherence to osteoporosis treatments. Methods The trial represents a collaboration between academic researchers and a state-run pharmacy benefits program for low-income older adults. Beneficiaries beginning treatment with a medication for osteoporosis are targeted for recruitment. We randomize consenting individuals to receive 12-months of mailed education (control arm) or an intervention consisting of one-on-one telephone-based counseling and the mailed education. Motivational Interviewing forms the basis for the counseling program which is delivered by seven trained and supervised health counselors over ten telephone calls. The counseling sessions include scripted dialogue, open-ended questions about medication adherence and its barriers, as well as structured questions. The primary endpoint of the trial is medication adherence measured over the 12-month intervention period. Secondary endpoints include fractures, nursing home admissions, health care resource utilization, and mortality. Results During the first 7 months of recruitment, we have screened 3,638 potentially eligible subjects. After an initial mailing, 1,115 (30.6%) opted out of telephone recruitment and 1,019 (28.0%) could not be successfully contacted. Of the remaining, 879 (24.2%) consented to participate and were randomized. Women comprise over 90% of all groups, mean ages range from 77–80 years old, and the majority in all groups was white. The distribution of osteoporosis medications was comparable across groups and the median number of different prescription drugs used in the prior year was 8–10. Conclusions We have developed a novel intervention for improving osteoporosis medication

  2. Using a Geriatric Mentoring Narrative Program to Improve Medical Student Attitudes towards the Elderly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Pamela; Cohen, Diane; Novack, Dennis

    2009-01-01

    This study examined first-year medical student attitudes concerning the elderly before and after instituting a geriatric mentoring program. The program began and ended with a survey designed to assess students' attitudes toward the elderly. During the mentoring program, students visited the same senior for four visits throughout the academic year.…

  3. Atypical Antipsychotic Medication Improves Aggression, but Not Self-Injurious Behaviour, in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruedrich, S. L.; Swales, T. P.; Rossvanes, C.; Diana, L.; Arkadiev, V.; Lim, K.

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Atypical antipsychotic medications have largely supplanted their typical counterparts, both for psychosis and for the treatment of aggression and/or self-injurious behaviour (SIB), in persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). However, with the exception of risperidone, little systematic research supports their use in such persons.…

  4. Improving medical students’ knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices

    PubMed Central

    Wolyniak, Michael J; Bemis, Lynne T; Prunuske, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student’s critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. PMID:26604852

  5. Improving medical students' knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices.

    PubMed

    Wolyniak, Michael J; Bemis, Lynne T; Prunuske, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student's critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. PMID:26604852

  6. New French Coverage with Evidence Development for Innovative Medical Devices: Improvements and Unresolved Issues.

    PubMed

    Martelli, Nicolas; van den Brink, Hélène; Borget, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    We describe here recent modifications to the French Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) scheme for innovative medical devices. CED can be defined as temporary coverage for a novel health product during collection of the additional evidence required to determine whether definitive coverage is possible. The principle refinements to the scheme include a more precise definition of what may be considered an innovative product, the possibility for device manufacturers to request CED either independently or in partnership with hospitals, and the establishment of processing deadlines for health authorities. In the long term, these modifications may increase the number of applications to the CED scheme, which could lead to unsustainable funding for future projects. It will also be necessary to ensure that the study conditions required by national health authorities are suitable for medical devices and that processing deadlines are met for the scheme to be fully operational. Overall, the modifications recently applied to the French CED scheme for innovative medical devices should increase the transparency of the process, and therefore be more appealing to medical device manufacturers. PMID:26797231

  7. Medical Audit as an Educational Tool to Improve Intravenous Nutritional Support.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kudsk, Kenneth A.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    An audit of medical records at San Francisco General Hospital was undertaken to assess compliance with the procedural policies in the hyperalimentation (TPN) protocol of the Department of Surgery of the University of California, San Francisco, and to evaluate the appropriateness of TPN therapy. (MLW)

  8. “Chase CRP”, “Review patient”: Improving the Quality of Weekend Medical Handover at a London Teaching Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Saifuddin, Aamir; Magee, Lucia; Barrett, Rachael

    2015-01-01

    Clinical handover has been identified as a “major preventable cause of harm” by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). Whilst working at a London teaching hospital from August 2013, we noted substandard weekend handover of medical patients. The existing pro forma was filled incompletely by day doctors so it was difficult for weekend colleagues to identify unwell patients, with inherent safety implications. Furthermore, on-call medical staff noted that poor accessibility of vital information in patients' files was affecting acute clinical management. We audited the pro formas over a six week period (n=83) and the Friday ward round (WR) entries for medical inpatients over two weekends (n=84) against the RCP's handover guidance. The results showed poor documentation of several important details on the pro formas, for example, ceiling of care (4%) and past medical history (PMH) (23%). Problem lists were specified on 62% of the WR entries. We designed new handover pro formas and ‘Friday WR sheets’ to provide prompts for this information and used Medical Meetings and emails to explain the project's aims. Re-audit demonstrated significant improvement in all parameters; for instance, PMH increased to 52% on the pro formas. Only 10% of Friday WR entries used our sheet. However, when used, outcomes were much better, for example, problem list documentation increased to 100%. In conclusion, our interventions improved the provision of crucial information needed to prioritise and manage patients over the weekend. Future work should further highlight the importance of safe handover to all doctors to induce a shift in culture and optimise patient care. PMID:26732516

  9. The Skylab Medical Operations Project: Recommendations to Improve Crew Health and Performance for Future Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polk, James D.; Duncan, James M.; Davis, Jeffrey R.; Williams, Richard S.; Lindgren, Kjell N.; Mathes, Karen L.; Gillis, David B.; Scheuring, Richard A.

    2009-01-01

    From May of 1973 to February of 1974, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted a series of three manned missions to the Skylab space station, a voluminous vehicle largely descendant of Apollo hardware, and America s first space station. The crewmembers of these three manned missions spent record breaking durations of time in microgravity (28 days, 59 days and 84 days, respectively) and gave the U.S. space program its first experiences with long-duration space flight. The program overcame a number of obstacles (including a significant crippling of the Skylab vehicle) to conduct a lauded scientific program that encompassed life sciences, astronomy, solar physics, materials sciences and Earth observation. Skylab has more to offer than the results of its scientific efforts. The operations conducted by the Skylab crews and ground personnel represent a rich legacy of operational experience. As we plan for our return to the moon and the subsequent manned exploration of Mars, it is essential to utilize the experiences and insights of those involved in previous programs. Skylab and SMEAT (Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test) personnel have unique insight into operations being planned for the Constellation Program, such as umbilical extra-vehicular activity and water landing/recovery of long-duration crewmembers. Skylab was also well known for its habitability and extensive medical suite; topics which deserve further reflection as we prepare for lunar habitation and missions beyond Earth s immediate sphere of influence. The Skylab Medical Operations Summit was held in January 2008. Crewmembers and medical personnel from the Skylab missions and SMEAT were invited to participate in a two day summit with representatives from the Constellation Program medical operations community. The purpose of the summit was to discuss issues pertinent to future Constellation operations. The purpose of this document is to formally present the recommendations of the

  10. Adjuvant-induced Human Monocyte Secretome Profiles Reveal Adjuvant- and Age-specific Protein Signatures.

    PubMed

    Oh, Djin-Ye; Dowling, David J; Ahmed, Saima; Choi, Hyungwon; Brightman, Spencer; Bergelson, Ilana; Berger, Sebastian T; Sauld, John F; Pettengill, Matthew; Kho, Alvin T; Pollack, Henry J; Steen, Hanno; Levy, Ofer

    2016-06-01

    Adjuvants boost vaccine responses, enhancing protective immunity against infections that are most common among the very young. Many adjuvants activate innate immunity, some via Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), whose activities varies with age. Accordingly, characterization of age-specific adjuvant-induced immune responses may inform rational adjuvant design targeting vulnerable populations. In this study, we employed proteomics to characterize the adjuvant-induced changes of secretomes from human newborn and adult monocytes in response to Alum, the most commonly used adjuvant in licensed vaccines; Monophosphoryl Lipid A (MPLA), a TLR4-activating adjuvant component of a licensed Human Papilloma Virus vaccine; and R848 an imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist that is a candidate adjuvant for early life vaccines. Monocytes were incubated in vitro for 24 h with vehicle, Alum, MPLA, or R848 and supernatants collected for proteomic analysis employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) (data available via ProteomeXchange, ID PXD003534). 1894 non-redundant proteins were identified, of which ∼30 - 40% were common to all treatment conditions and ∼5% were treatment-specific. Adjuvant-stimulated secretome profiles, as identified by cluster analyses of over-represented proteins, varied with age and adjuvant type. Adjuvants, especially Alum, activated multiple innate immune pathways as assessed by functional enrichment analyses. Release of lactoferrin, pentraxin 3, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was confirmed in newborn and adult whole blood and blood monocytes stimulated with adjuvants alone or adjuvanted licensed vaccines with distinct clinical reactogenicity profiles. MPLA-induced adult monocyte secretome profiles correlated in silico with transcriptome profiles induced in adults immunized with the MPLA-adjuvanted RTS,S malaria vaccine (Mosquirix™). Overall, adjuvants such as Alum, MPLA and R848 give rise to distinct and age-specific monocyte secretome profiles

  11. Improving Adherence to Medication Regimens for Children with Asthma and Its Effect on Clinical Outcome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Costa, Irene G.; Rapoff, Michael A.; Lemanek, Kathleen; Goldstein, Gerald L.

    1997-01-01

    A study examined the effects of a combined education and token system intervention to improve adherence to inhaled corticosteroids for an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy with asthma. A withdrawal design demonstrated improved adherence and, for one child, an associated improvement in pulmonary function occurred. (Author/CR)

  12. Encouraging research and development of pediatric medical devices through legislative and regulatory action: the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act of 2007 in context.

    PubMed

    Bleicher, Ester W B

    2009-01-01

    In September 2007, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). Title III of the FDAAA, the Pediatric Medical Safety and Improvement Act (Title III), created new incentives, mandates, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority and funding with the aim of increasing the availability of devices for pediatric populations while assuring the safety and effectiveness of those devices. This article describes the complex problem Title III addresses and situates Title III within the context of the regulatory scheme previously in place, particularly in relation to the one in place to address the parallel problem for pediatric drugs, and the concerns and policy recommendations of diverse stakeholders voiced leading up to Title III. PMID:19999642

  13. Novel adjuvant formulations for delivery of anti-tuberculosis vaccine candidates.

    PubMed

    Agger, Else Marie

    2016-07-01

    There is an urgent need for a new and improved vaccine against tuberculosis for controlling this disease that continues to pose a global health threat. The current research strategy is to replace the present BCG vaccine or boost BCG-immunity with subunit vaccines such as viral vectored- or protein-based vaccines. The use of recombinant proteins holds a number of production advantages including ease of scalability, but requires an adjuvant inducing cell-mediated immune responses. A number of promising novel adjuvant formulations have recently been designed and show evidence of induction of cellular immune responses in humans. A common trait of effective TB adjuvants including those already in current clinical testing is a two-component approach combining a delivery system with an appropriate immunomodulator. This review summarizes the status of current TB adjuvant research with a focus on the division of labor between delivery systems and immunomodulators. PMID:26596558

  14. Can a Web-Based Curriculum Improve Students' Knowledge of, and Attitudes About, the Interpreted Medical Interview?

    PubMed Central

    Kalet, Adina L; Mukherjee, Debjani; Felix, Karla; Steinberg, Sarah E; Nachbar, Martin; Lee, Amy; Changrani, Joytsna; Gany, Francesca

    2005-01-01

    Objectives To develop and evaluate a web-based curriculum to introduce first year medical students to the knowledge and attitudes necessary for working with limited English proficient (LEP) patients through interpreters. Method Six hundred and forty first year medical students over 4 consecutive years took this curriculum as part of their Patient Physician and Society course. They viewed 6 patient-physician-interpreter video vignettes, gave open text analyses of each vignette, and compared their responses to those generated by experts, thereby receiving immediate formative feedback. They listened to video commentaries by a cultural expert, lawyer, and ethicist about working with LEP patients, completed pre- and postmodule questionnaires, which tested relevant knowledge and attitudes, and were provided a summative assessment at the end of the module. Students completed an optional survey assessing the educational value of, and providing open text commentary about, the module. Results Seventy-one percent (n=456) of first year students who completed the module consented to have their data included in this evaluation. Mean knowledge (19 items) scores improved (46% pre- to 62% postmodule, P<.001), reflecting improvements in knowledge about best interpreter practices and immigration demographics and legal issues. Mean scores on 4 of 5 attitude items improved, reflecting attitudes more consistent with culturally sensitive care of LEP patients. Mean satisfaction with the educational value of the module for 155 students who completed the postmodule survey was 2.9 on a scale of 1 to 4. Conclusion Our web-curriculum resulted in short-term improvement in the knowledge and attitudes necessary to interact with LEP patients and interpreters. The interactive format allowed students to receive immediate formative feedback and be cognizant of the challenges and effective strategies in language discordant medical encounters. This is important because studies suggest that the use of

  15. Design of the Physical exercise during Adjuvant Chemotherapy Effectiveness Study (PACES):A randomized controlled trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of physical exercise in improving physical fitness and reducing fatigue

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cancer chemotherapy is frequently associated with a decline in general physical condition, exercise tolerance, and muscle strength and with an increase in fatigue. While accumulating evidence suggests that physical activity and exercise interventions during chemotherapy treatment may contribute to maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness and strength, the results of studies conducted to date have not been consistent. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal intensity of exercise training programs in general and in particular the relative effectiveness of supervised, outpatient (hospital- or physical therapy practice-based) versus home-based programs. Methods This multicenter, prospective, randomized trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a low to moderate intensity, home-based, self-management physical activity program, and a high intensity, structured, supervised exercise program, in maintaining or enhancing physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength), in minimizing fatigue and in enhancing the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast or colon cancer (n = 360) are being recruited from twelve hospitals in the Netherlands, and randomly allocated to one of the two treatment groups or to a 'usual care' control group. Performance-based and self-reported outcomes are assessed at baseline, at the end of chemotherapy and at six month follow-up. Discussion This large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial will provide additional empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical exercise during adjuvant chemotherapy in enhancing physical fitness, minimizing fatigue, and maintaining or enhancing patients' quality of life. If demonstrated to be effective, exercise intervention programs will be a welcome addition to the standard program of care offered to patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Trial registration This study is registered at the Netherlands Trial

  16. Obesity Outweighs Protection Conferred by Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Erik A.; Hertz, Tomer; Johnson, Cydney; Mehle, Andrew; Krammer, Florian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Obesity is a risk factor for developing severe influenza virus infection, making vaccination of utmost importance for this high-risk population. However, vaccinated obese animals and adults have decreased neutralizing antibody responses. In these studies, we tested the hypothesis that the addition of either alum or a squalene-based adjuvant (AS03) to an influenza vaccine would improve neutralizing antibody responses and protect obese mice from challenge. Our studies demonstrate that adjuvanted vaccine does increase both neutralizing and nonneutralizing antibody levels compared to vaccine alone. Although obese mice mount significantly decreased virus-specific antibody responses, both the breadth and the magnitude of the responses against hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) are decreased compared to the responses in lean mice. Importantly, even with a greater than fourfold increase in neutralizing antibody levels, obese mice are not protected against influenza virus challenge and viral loads remain elevated in the respiratory tract. Increasing the antigen dose affords no added protection, and a decreasing viral dose did not fully mitigate the increased mortality seen in obese mice. Overall, these studies highlight that, while the use of an adjuvant does improve seroconversion, vaccination does not fully protect obese mice from influenza virus challenge, possibly due to the increased sensitivity of obese animals to infection. Given the continued increase in the global obesity epidemic, our findings have important implications for public health. PMID:27486196

  17. Utilizing the Wikidata System to Improve the Quality of Medical Content in Wikipedia in Diverse Languages: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Pfundner, Alexander; Schönberg, Tobias; Horn, John; Boyce, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Background Wikipedia is an important source of medical information for both patients and medical professionals. Given its wide reach, improving the quality, completeness, and accessibility of medical information on Wikipedia could have a positive impact on global health. Objective We created a prototypical implementation of an automated system for keeping drug-drug interaction (DDI) information in Wikipedia up to date with current evidence about clinically significant drug interactions. Our work is based on Wikidata, a novel, graph-based database backend of Wikipedia currently in development. Methods We set up an automated process for integrating data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) high priority DDI list into Wikidata. We set up exemplary implementations demonstrating how the DDI data we introduced into Wikidata could be displayed in Wikipedia articles in diverse languages. Finally, we conducted a pilot analysis to explore if adding the ONC high priority data would substantially enhance the information currently available on Wikipedia. Results We derived 1150 unique interactions from the ONC high priority list. Integration of the potential DDI data from Wikidata into Wikipedia articles proved to be straightforward and yielded useful results. We found that even though the majority of current English Wikipedia articles about pharmaceuticals contained sections detailing contraindications, only a small fraction of articles explicitly mentioned interaction partners from the ONC high priority list. For 91.30% (1050/1150) of the interaction pairs we tested, none of the 2 articles corresponding to the interacting substances explicitly mentioned the interaction partner. For 7.21% (83/1150) of the pairs, only 1 of the 2 associated Wikipedia articles mentioned the interaction partner; for only 1.48% (17/1150) of the pairs, both articles contained explicit mentions of the interaction partner. Conclusions Our prototype

  18. Improving the quality of cancer pain management in an academic medical center emergency department.

    PubMed

    Won, Young Hwa; Choi, Yun Jung; Ahn, Shin; Lee, Jae-Lyun; Park, Jeong Yun; Kim, Sulhwa; Kim, Tae Won; Kim, Yeon Hee

    2014-12-01

    The impact and outcomes of the implementation of a pain management guideline and pain assessment standard operating procedure (SOP) in a cancer-specific emergency department are evaluated in this article. After implementation of the SOP, the number of pain assessments conducted per patient during hospitalization increased, as did the percentage of patients who underwent a pain assessment at admission, within one hour after analgesic medication was administered, and at regular intervals. PMID:25427696

  19. Improving Patient Safety by Identifying Side Effects from Introducing Bar Coding in Medication Administration

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Emily S.; Cook, Richard I.; Render, Marta L.

    2002-01-01

    Objective. In addition to providing new capabilities, the introduction of technology in complex, sociotechnical systems, such as health care and aviation, can have unanticipated side effects on technical, social, and organizational dimensions. To identify potential accidents in the making, the authors looked for side effects from a natural experiment, the implementation of bar code medication administration (BCMA), a technology designed to reduce adverse drug events (ADEs). Design. Cross-sectional observational study of medication passes before (21 hours of observation of 7 nurses at 1 hospital) and after (60 hours of observation of 26 nurses at 3 hospitals) BCMA implementation. Measurements. Detailed, handwritten field notes of targeted ethnographic observations of in situ nurse–BCMA interactions were iteratively analyzed using process tracing and five conceptual frameworks. Results. Ethnographic observations distilled into 67 nurse–BCMA interactions were classified into 12 categories. We identified five negative side effects after BCMA implementation: (1) nurses confused by automated removal of medications by BCMA, (2) degraded coordination between nurses and physicians, (3) nurses dropping activities to reduce workload during busy periods, (4) increased prioritization of monitored activities during goal conflicts, and (5) decreased ability to deviate from routine sequences. Conclusion. These side effects might create new paths to ADEs. We recommend design revisions, modification of organizational policies, and “best practices” training that could potentially minimize or eliminate these side effects before they contribute to adverse outcomes. PMID:12223506

  20. The effect of short-term workshop on improving clinical reasoning skill of medical students

    PubMed Central

    Yousefichaijan, Parsa; Jafari, Farshad; Kahbazi, Manijeh; Rafiei, Mohammad; Pakniyat, AbdolGhader

    2016-01-01

    Background: Clinical reasoning process leads clinician to get purposeful steps from signs and symptoms toward diagnosis and treatment. This research intends to investigate the effect of teaching clinical reasoning on problem-solving skills of medical students. Methods: This research is a semi-experimental study. Nineteen Medical student of the pediatric ward as case group participated in a two-day workshop for training clinical reasoning. Before the workshop, they filled out Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (DTI) questionnaires. Fifteen days after the workshop the DTI questionnaire completed and "key feature" (KF) test and "clinical reasoning problem" (CRP) test was held. 23 Medical student as the control group, without passing the clinical reasoning workshop DTI questionnaire completed, and KF test and CRP test was held. Results: The average score of the DTI questionnaire in the control group was 162.04 and in the case group before the workshop was 153.26 and after the workshop was 181.68. Compare the average score of the DTI questionnaire before and after the workshop there is a significant difference. The difference between average KF test scores in the control and the case group was not significant but between average CRP test scores was significant. Conclusion: Clinical reasoning workshop is effectiveness in promoting problem-solving skills of students. PMID:27579286

  1. Preparing medical students for the continual improvement of health and health care: Abraham Flexner and the new "public interest".

    PubMed

    Berwick, Donald M; Finkelstein, Jonathan A

    2010-09-01

    In 1910, in his recommendations for reforming medical education, Abraham Flexner responded to what he deemed to be the "public interest." Now, 100 years later, to respond to the current needs of society, the education of physicians must once again change. In addition to understanding the biological basis of health and disease, and mastering technical skills for treating individual patients, physicians will need to learn to navigate in and continually improve complex systems in order to improve the health of the patients and communities they serve. Physicians should not be mere participants in, much less victims of, such systems. Instead, they ought to be prepared to help lead those systems toward ever-higher-quality care for all. A number of innovative programs already exist for students and residents to help integrate improvement skills into professional preparation, and that goal is enjoying increasing support from major professional organizations and accrediting bodies. These experiences have shown that medical schools and residency programs will need to both teach the scientific foundations of system performance and provide opportunities for trainees to participate in team-based improvement of the real-world health systems in which they work. This significant curricular change, to meet the social need of the 21st century, will require educators and learners to embrace new core values, in addition to those held by the profession for generations. These include patient-centeredness, transparency, and stewardship of limited societal resources for health care. PMID:20736631

  2. Adjuvant chemotherapy in early breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Ejlertsen, Bent

    2016-05-01

    of epirubicin and the presence of TOP2A, but not the presence of HER2 aberrations. The results obtained in the 89D trial regarding TOP2A have been reproduced by others, but not consistently. However, a recent individual-patient pooled analysis of five adjuvant trials demonstrated that patients with either TOP2A or centromere 17 aberrations, but not with HER2 amplification, benefit from anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy. Anthracyclins have additional distinct biological mechanisms; and results from the DBCG 89D suggested that tumours with normal TOP2A were only non-responsive to anthracyclines if they were TIMP1 immunoreactive. The DBCG READ trial (N = 2,015) prospectively included patients without TOP2A-aberrated breast cancers, and its results are awaited for prospective confirmation of the results from the DBCG 89D and the individual-patient pooled analysis. Adjuvant chemotherapy substantially reduces the risk of recurrence and mortality of breast cancer, but is also associated with significant toxicity. However, according to a large cohort study from DBCG, chemotherapy can safely be withheld in one fourth of postmenopausal patients who will be without excess mortality following sufficient adjuvant endocrine therapy for ER positive breast cancer. A prognostic standard mortality rate index (PSI) was constructed using regression coefficients obtained in a multivariate fractional polynomials model, and most accurately identified those who could be spared chemotherapy. In addition to age, tumour size, nodal status, histological type and malignancy grade, the PSI also includes ER level addressed as a continuous variable in the MFP model. In the MFP model, absence of LVI was sufficient to counteract the impact of other risk factors, while that could not be achieved with a categorical multivariate model in a prior study. An evaluation of whether the addition of results from a molecular assay may improve the clinical utility of the PSI is on-going, but when

  3. Improved self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of medical students through structured improvement measures in an internal medicine bedside course

    PubMed Central

    Fünger, S. M.; Lesevic, H.; Rosner, S.; Ott, I.; Berberat, P.; Nikendei, C.; Sonne, C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Bedside courses are of outstanding importance when training medical students. The fact that less and less teaching is taking place nowadays at the patient's bedside makes it all the more important that the available time be put to effective use. The aim of this study was to check whether structured improvement measures in the course (scripts, lecturer briefing, e-learning cases) would improve the abilities of the students on the basis of a subjective self-assessment as well as an external assessment by the lecturers with respect to clinical abilities. Methods: Bedside teaching takes place in the fourth study year in the Medical Clinics of the TU Munich. Both students and lecturers had the chance to hand in an anonymous, quantitative self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of the students (German grading system) after every course date. This assessment took place online in the three categories "Medical history & examination", "Diagnosis" and "Therapy". An overall period of four semesters, each with 6 course dates, was investigated. After two of the total of four semesters in the study, the course was changed by introducing scripts, lecturer briefing as well as interactive e-learning cases. The self- and external assessment was compared both within the semester (date 1-3: A; date 4-6: B), during the course as well as before and after introducing the improvement measures ("before" (T0): SS 2012, SS 2013, "after" (T1): WS 2013/2014, SS 2014). Results: There was a significant improvement in one's own abilities on the basis of the self-assessment within each semester when comparing the first (A) and the last (B) course dates. Moreover, there was a significant improvement in the performances in all three categories when T0 was compared with T1, from both the point of view of the students ("Medical history & examination": T0 =2.5±0.9, T1=2.2±0.7, pp<0.001; "Diagnosis" T0=3.1±1.0, T1=2.8 ±0.9, pp<0.001; "Therapy": T0=3.8±1.3, T1=3.5±1.2, pp

  4. Implementation pearls from a new guidebook on improving medication use and outcomes with clinical decision support. Effective CDS is essential for addressing healthcare performance improvement imperatives.

    PubMed

    Sirajuddin, Anwar M; Osheroff, Jerome A; Sittig, Dean F; Chuo, John; Velasco, Ferdinand; Collins, David A

    2009-01-01

    Effective clinical decision support (CDS) is essential for addressing healthcare performance improvement imperatives, but care delivery organizations (CDO) typically struggle with CDS deployment. Ensuring safe and effective medication delivery to patients is a central focus of CDO performance improvement efforts, and this article provides an overview of best-practice strategies for applying CDS to these goals. The strategies discussed are drawn from a new guidebook, co-published and co-sponsored by more than a dozen leading organizations. Developed by scores of CDS implementers and experts, the guidebook outlines key steps and success factors for applying CDS to medication management. A central thesis is that improving outcomes with CDS interventions requires that the CDS five rights be addressed successfully. That is, the interventions must deliver the right information, to the right person, in the right format, through the right channel, at the right point in workflow. This paper provides further details about these CDS five rights, and highlights other important strategies for successful CDS programs. PMID:19894486

  5. Acceptability of Medical Male Circumcision and Improved Instrument Sanitation Among a Traditionally Circumcising Group in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mbwambo, Jessie K.; DiClemente, Ralph J.

    2012-01-01

    By removing the foreskin, medical male circumcision (MMC) reduces female to male heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 60 %. Traditional circumcision has higher rates of complications than MMC, and reports indicate unsanitized instruments are sometimes shared across groups of circumcision initiates. A geographically stratified, cluster survey of acceptability of MMC and improved instrument sanitation was conducted among 368 eligible Maasai participants in two Northern Districts of Tanzania. Most respondents had been circumcised in groups, with 56 % circumcised with a shared knife rinsed in water between initiates and 16 % circumcised with a knife not cleaned between initiates. Contrasting practice, 88 % preferred use of medical supplies for their sons’ circumcisions. Willingness to provide MMC to sons was 28 %; however, provided the contingency of traditional leadership support for MMC, this rose to 84 %. Future interventions to address circumcision safety, including traditional circumciser training and expansion of access to MMC, are discussed. PMID:22797931

  6. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors at the Forefront of Improving the Quality and Indexing Chances of its Member Journals

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Chang-Ok; Oh, Se Jeong

    2013-01-01

    The article overviews some achievements and problems of Korean medical journals published in the highly competitive journal environment. Activities of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) are viewed as instrumental for improving the quality of Korean articles, indexing large number of local journals in prestigious bibliographic databases and launching new abstract and citation tracking databases or platforms (eg KoreaMed, KoreaMed Synapse, the Western Pacific Regional Index Medicus [WPRIM]). KAMJE encourages its member journals to upgrade science editing standards and to legitimately increase citation rates, primarily by publishing more great articles with global influence. Experience gained by KAMJE and problems faced by Korean editors may have global implications. PMID:23678253

  7. Acceptability of medical male circumcision and improved instrument sanitation among a traditionally circumcising group in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Siegler, Aaron J; Mbwambo, Jessie K; DiClemente, Ralph J

    2012-10-01

    By removing the foreskin, medical male circumcision (MMC) reduces female to male heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 60 %. Traditional circumcision has higher rates of complications than MMC, and reports indicate unsanitized instruments are sometimes shared across groups of circumcision initiates. A geographically stratified, cluster survey of acceptability of MMC and improved instrument sanitation was conducted among 368 eligible Maasai participants in two Northern Districts of Tanzania. Most respondents had been circumcised in groups, with 56 % circumcised with a shared knife rinsed in water between initiates and 16 % circumcised with a knife not cleaned between initiates. Contrasting practice, 88 % preferred use of medical supplies for their sons' circumcisions. Willingness to provide MMC to sons was 28 %; however, provided the contingency of traditional leadership support for MMC, this rose to 84 %. Future interventions to address circumcision safety, including traditional circumciser training and expansion of access to MMC, are discussed. PMID:22797931

  8. Big Data, Miniregistries: A Rapid-Turnaround Solution to Get Quality Improvement Data into the Hands of Medical Specialists

    PubMed Central

    Herrinton, Lisa J; Liu, Liyan; Altschuler, Andrea; Dell, Richard; Rabrenovich, Violeta; Compton-Phillips, Amy L

    2015-01-01

    Context: Disease registries enable priority setting and batching of clinical tasks, such as reaching out to patients who have missed a routine laboratory test. Building disease registries requires collaboration among professionals in medicine, population science, and information technology. Specialty care addresses many complex, uncommon conditions, and these conditions are diverse. The cost to build and maintain traditional registries for many diverse, complex, low-frequency conditions is prohibitive. Objective: To develop and to test the Specialty Miniregistries platform, a collaborative interface designed to streamline the medical specialist’s contributions to the science and management of population health. Design: We used accessible technology to develop a platform that would generate miniregistries (small, routinely updated datasets) for surveillance, to identify patients who were missing expected utilization, and to influence clinicians and others to change practices to improve care. The platform was composed of staff, technology, and structured collaborations, organized into a workflow. The platform was tested in five medical specialty departments. Main Outcome Measure: Proof of concept. Results: The platform enabled medical specialists to rapidly and effectively communicate clinical questions, knowledge of disease, clinical workflows, and improvement opportunities. Their knowledge was used to build and to deploy the miniregistries. Each miniregistry required 1 to 2 hours of collaboration by a medical specialist. Turnaround was 1 to 14 days. Conclusions: The Specialty Miniregistries platform is useful for low-volume questions that often occur in specialty care, and it requires low levels of investment. The efficient organization of information workers to support accountable care is an emerging question. PMID:25785640

  9. Improving the economic and humanistic outcomes for diabetic patients: making a case for employer-sponsored medication therapy management

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Sharrel L; Kumar, Jinender; Partha, Gautam; Bechtol, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to determine the cost savings of a pharmacist-led, employer-sponsored medication therapy management (MTM) program for diabetic patients and to assess for any changes in patient satisfaction and self-reported medication adherence for enrollees. Methods Participants in this study were enrollees of an employer-sponsored MTM program. They were included if their primary medical insurance and prescription coverage was from the City of Toledo, they had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and whether or not they had been on medication or had been given a new prescription for diabetes treatment. The data were analyzed on a prospective, pre-post longitudinal basis, and tracked for one year following enrollment. Outcomes included economic costs, patient satisfaction, and self-reported patient adherence. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the population, calculate the number of visits, and determine the mean costs for each visit. Friedman’s test was used to determine changes in outcomes due to the nonparametric nature of the data. Results The mean number of visits to a physician’s office decreased from 10.22 to 7.07. The mean cost of these visits for patients increased from $47.70 to $66.41, but use of the emergency room and inpatient visits decreased by at least 50%. Employer spending on emergency room visits decreased by $24,214.17 and inpatient visit costs decreased by $166,610.84. Office visit spending increased by $11,776.41. A total cost savings of $179,047.80 was realized by the employer at the end of the program. Significant improvements in patient satisfaction and adherence were observed. Conclusion Pharmacist interventions provided through the employer-sponsored MTM program led to substantial cost savings to the employer with improved patient satisfaction and adherence on the part of employees at the conclusion of the program. PMID:23610526

  10. Guidelines in the Register of the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany – A Quality Improvement Campaign

    PubMed Central

    Nothacker, M. J.; Muche-Borowski, C.; Kopp, I. B.

    2014-01-01

    The Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) is the umbrella organization of medical scientific societies in Germany. The development of guidelines goes back to an initiative of the medical scientific societies and is coordinated by the AWMF. Rules for the inclusion of guidelines in the AWMF Guideline Register have been defined including how guidelines are classified. S1 guidelines are based only on recommendations by experts, whereas S2 guidelines require a structured consensus process or a systematic literature review. S3 guidelines include both elements. In addition to compulsory disclosure of any potential conflict of interest, transparent handling of potential conflicts of interest is an important confidence-building measure. For years, the trend has been to develop higher order (S2/S3) guidelines, and the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG) has been no exception to the trend. In addition to its responsibility for specific S2 and S3 guidelines, the DGGG is also involved in numerous other interdisciplinary guidelines. When developing a guideline, it is essential to define the guidelineʼs scope, identify aspects which require improvement and agree on the goals. Target groups affected by the guidelines should be involved if they are interested. Different formats (long and short versions, practical instructions, conventional or electronic decision aids, patient versions) are useful to disseminate the guideline. The guideline can be adapted to local circumstances to encourage implementation of its recommendations. Implementation can be measured using quality indicators. Feedback from practitioners is important as this highlights areas which require improvement. The medical scientific societies in Germany can look back on almost two decades of work spent on developing guidelines, most of it done by unpaid voluntary contributors, making this a very successful quality initiative. PMID:25061235

  11. Effectiveness of a focused, brief psychoeducation program for parents of ADHD children: improvement of medication adherence and symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Guan-nan; Wang, Yu-feng; Yang, Li; Niu, Wen-yi

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the efficacy of a psychoeducation program for parents of children with ADHD in enhancing adherence to pharmacological treatment and improving clinical symptoms. Methods We developed a psychoeducation program based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Eighty-nine children with ADHD were cluster randomly assigned for their families to receive 3 months of well-structured psychoeducation (intervention group, n=44) or only general clinical counseling (control group, n=45). Parents in the intervention group were given an expert lecture (with slides and a parent manual), attended two expert-guided parent group sessions, and were invited to join a professional-guided online community. Measurement of parents’ knowledge about ADHD, components of the TPB model, and child ADHD symptoms were taken before and after intervention. Medication adherence was assessed thoroughly at the end of the first and third months. Satisfaction with the psychoeducation program was assessed only in the intervention group. Two-independent-samples t-test, ANOVA, and chi-square test were employed to compare differences between groups. Results Compared to the control group, medication adherence in the intervention group was significantly higher after 1 and 3 months (97.7% intervention vs 75.6% control, P=0.002, and 86.4% intervention vs 53.3% control, P=0.001, respectively). Accordingly, the ADHD rating scale scores were lower in the intervention group than the control group after intervention (33.7±5.4 vs 45.1±7.9, P=0.008). Greater improvements in parents’ knowledge about ADHD and many components of the TPB model were observed in the intervention group, especially increased intention to adhere to medication, compared to the control group (P<0.001). Conclusion This psychoeducation program had a positive impact on both medication adherence and clinical symptoms of ADHD children. It could be considered as a potential beneficial supplement to clinical practice. PMID

  12. Enhancing Practice Improvement by Facilitating Practitioner Interactivity: New Roles for Providers of Continuing Medical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parboosingh, I. John; Reed, Virginia A.; Palmer, James Caldwell; Bernstein, Henry H.

    2011-01-01

    Research into networking and interactivity among practitioners is providing new information that has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of practice improvement initiatives. This commentary reviews the evidence that practitioner interactivity can facilitate emergent learning and behavior change that lead to practice improvements. Insights…

  13. Eliminating health disparities: innovative methods to improve cervical cancer screening in a medically underserved population.

    PubMed

    Bharel, Monica; Santiago, Emely R; Forgione, Sanju Nembang; León, Casey K; Weinreb, Linda

    2015-07-01

    Homeless women have disproportionately lower rates of cervical cancer screening and higher rates of cervical cancer. In 2008, only 19% of the homeless women seen by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) were screened for cervical cancer. To improve screening, BHCHP implemented a 6-part intervention that incorporates point-of-care service, multidisciplinary screening, improved health maintenance forms, population management, process improvement, and increased provider and patient education. This resulted in a significant increase in cervical cancer screening, from 19% in 2008 to 50% in 2013. When compared with national and local cervical cancer screening trends, BHCHP surpassed improvement rates seen in other vulnerable populations. Simple and innovative interventions proved to be the most effective and practical methods of improving screening. PMID:25905832

  14. Eliminating Health Disparities: Innovative Methods to Improve Cervical Cancer Screening in a Medically Underserved Population

    PubMed Central

    Bharel, Monica; Santiago, Emely R.; Forgione, Sanju Nembang; Weinreb, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Homeless women have disproportionately lower rates of cervical cancer screening and higher rates of cervical cancer. In 2008, only 19% of the homeless women seen by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) were screened for cervical cancer. To improve screening, BHCHP implemented a 6-part intervention that incorporates point-of-care service, multidisciplinary screening, improved health maintenance forms, population management, process improvement, and increased provider and patient education. This resulted in a significant increase in cervical cancer screening, from 19% in 2008 to 50% in 2013. When compared with national and local cervical cancer screening trends, BHCHP surpassed improvement rates seen in other vulnerable populations. Simple and innovative interventions proved to be the most effective and practical methods of improving screening. PMID:25905832

  15. Chronotherapy with conventional blood pressure medications improves management of hypertension and reduces cardiovascular and stroke risks.

    PubMed

    Hermida, Ramón C; Ayala, Diana E; Smolensky, Michael H; Fernández, José R; Mojón, Artemio; Portaluppi, Francesco

    2016-05-01

    Correlation between blood pressure (BP) and target organ damage, vascular risk and long-term patient prognosis is greater for measurements derived from around-the-clock ambulatory BP monitoring than in-clinic daytime ones. Numerous studies consistently substantiate the asleep BP mean is both an independent and a much better predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than either the awake or 24 h means. Sleep-time hypertension is much more prevalent than suspected, not only in patients with sleep disorders, but also among those who are elderly or have type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease or resistant hypertension. Hence, cost-effective adequate control of sleep-time BP is of marked clinical relevance. Ingestion time, according to circadian rhythms, of hypertension medications of six different classes and their combinations significantly affects BP control, particularly sleep-time BP, and adverse effects. For example, because the high-amplitude circadian rhythm of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activates during nighttime sleep, bedtime vs. morning ingestion of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers better reduces the asleep BP mean, with additional benefit, independent of medication terminal half-life, of converting the 24 h BP profile into more normal dipper patterning. The MAPEC (Monitorización Ambulatoria para Predicción de Eventos Cardiovasculares) study, first prospective randomized treatment-time investigation designed to test the worthiness of bedtime chronotherapy with ⩾1 conventional hypertension medications so as to specifically target attenuation of asleep BP, demonstrated, relative to conventional morning therapy, 61% reduction of total CVD events and 67% decrease of major CVD events, that is, CVD death, myocardial infarction, and ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. The MAPEC study, along with other earlier conducted less refined trials, documents the asleep BP mean is the most significant

  16. Does Spanish instruction for emergency medicine resident physicians improve patient satisfaction in the emergency department and adherence to medical recommendations?

    PubMed Central

    Stoneking, LR; Waterbrook, AL; Garst Orozco, J; Johnston, D; Bellafiore, A; Davies, C; Nuño, T; Fatás-Cabeza, J; Beita, O; Ng, V; Grall, KH; Adamas-Rappaport, W

    2016-01-01

    Background After emergency department (ED) discharge, Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency are less likely than English-proficient patients to be adherent to medical recommendations and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their visit. Objectives To determine if integrating a longitudinal medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into emergency medicine residency didactics improves patient satisfaction and adherence to medical recommendations in Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency. Methods Our ED has two Emergency Medicine Residency Programs, University Campus (UC) and South Campus (SC). SC program incorporates a medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into their didactics. Real-time Spanish surveys were collected at SC ED on patients who self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking during registration and who were treated by resident physicians from both residency programs. Surveys assessed whether the treating resident physician communicated in the patient’s native Spanish language. Follow-up phone calls assessed patient satisfaction and adherence to discharge instructions. Results Sixty-three patients self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking from August 2014 to July 2015 and were initially included in this pilot study. Complete outcome data were available for 55 patients. Overall, resident physicians spoke Spanish 58% of the time. SC resident physicians spoke Spanish with 66% of the patients versus 45% for UC resident physicians. Patients rated resident physician Spanish ability as very good in 13% of encounters – 17% for SC versus 5% for UC. Patient satisfaction with their ED visit was rated as very good in 35% of encounters – 40% for SC resident physicians versus 25% for UC resident physicians. Of the 13 patients for whom Spanish was the language used during the medical encounter who followed medical recommendations, ten (77%) of these encounters were with SC resident physicians

  17. Enhancing practice improvement by facilitating practitioner interactivity: new roles for providers of continuing medical education.

    PubMed

    Parboosingh, I John; Reed, Virginia A; Caldwell Palmer, James; Bernstein, Henry H

    2011-01-01

    Research into networking and interactivity among practitioners is providing new information that has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of practice improvement initiatives. This commentary reviews the evidence that practitioner interactivity can facilitate emergent learning and behavior change that lead to practice improvements. Insights from learning theories provide a framework for understanding emergent learning as the product of interactions between individuals in trusted relationships, such as occurs in communities of practice. This framework helps explain why some groups respond more favorably to improvement initiatives than others. Failure to take advantage of practitioner interactivity may explain in part the disappointingly low mean rates of practice improvement reported in studies of the effectiveness of practice improvement projects. Examples of improvement models in primary care settings that explicitly use relationship building and facilitation techniques to enhance practitioner interactivity are provided. Ingredients of a curriculum to teach relationship building in communities of practice and facilitation skills to enhance learning in small group education sessions are explored. Sufficient evidence exists to support the roles of relationships and interactivity in practice improvement initiatives such that we recommend the development of training programs to teach these skills to CME providers. PMID:21671279

  18. Extended Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer

    Cancer.gov

    An NCI Cancer Currents blog on findings from a recent clinical trial which showed that extending adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor can have important benefits for some women with early-stage cancer.

  19. Adjuvant Bisphosphonates for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

    Cancer.gov

    A summary of a meta-analysis of randomized trials of bisphosphonates as adjuvant therapy for women with early-stage breast cancer that shows the drugs can reduce the rate of disease recurrence in bone.

  20. Micelle-Based Adjuvants for Subunit Vaccine Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Trimaille, Thomas; Verrier, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In the development of subunit vaccines with purified or recombinant antigens for cancer and infectious diseases, the design of improved and safe adjuvants able to efficiently target the antigen presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, represents a crucial challenge. Nanoparticle-based antigen delivery systems have been identified as an innovative strategy to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines. Among them, self-assembled micellar nanoparticles from amphiphilic (macro)molecules have recently emerged as promising candidates. In this short review, we report on the recent research findings highlighting the versatility and potential of such systems in vaccine delivery. PMID:26426060

  1. US Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Medical Devices and Radiation Oncology: Can Reform Improve Safety?

    PubMed Central

    Hattangadi, Jona A.; O'Reilly, James T.; Recht, Abram

    2012-01-01

    Although radiation therapy is highly safe and effective in treating cancer, recent reports of dangerous radiation-related errors have focused a national spotlight on the field of radiation oncology and, more specifically, on the rapidly evolving and complex nature of radiation devices and how they are regulated. The purpose of this review is to explore the issues involved in medical device regulation in radiation oncology. We start with a general review of federal medical device regulation, including explanations of the legal and regulatory framework, and then discuss issues specific to radiation oncology with real-world examples. We also provide our thoughts on potential solutions and reforms to the current system, including better reporting of radiation-related errors in a centralized database, well-defined criteria for establishing substantial equivalence of a new device, and standard postmarket surveillance of radiation devices. Modern radiation therapy is a powerful tool that can help cure many patients' cancers and alleviate others' suffering with limited adverse effects. We must ensure that this promise is never compromised by avoidable mistakes. PMID:22548012

  2. A pilot study to improve adherence among MS patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Jared; Bruce, Amanda; Lynch, Sharon; Strober, Lauren; O'Bryan, Sean; Sobotka, Deborah; Thelen, Joan; Ness, Abigail; Glusman, Morgan; Goggin, Kathy; Bradley-Ewing, Andrea; Catley, Delwyn

    2016-04-01

    Between 30 and 50% of MS patients may prematurely discontinue disease modifying therapies. Little research has examined how to best talk with patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether telephone counseling increases disease modifying therapy (DMT) re-initiation among nonadherent patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Participants were eligible if they had relapsing-remitting disease, had stopped taking a DMT, and had no plan to re-initiate treatment despite a provider recommendation. Following a baseline assessment, 81 patients were randomly assigned to either five 20 min, weekly sessions of Motivational Interviewing/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MI-CBT) or Treatment as Usual (TAU) with brief education. At 10 weeks, patients initially assigned to TAU switched over to MI-CBT. Compared to patients in the TAU group, patients undergoing MI-CBT were significantly more likely to indicate they were re-initiating DMT (41.7 vs. 14.3%). These significant results were replicated among patients crossing over from TAU to MI-CBT. Treatment satisfaction was high, with 97% of participants reporting that they would recommend MI-CBT to other patients with MS. Results of this pilot study provide initial support for the use of MI-CBT among MS patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice.Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01925690. PMID:26563147

  3. Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence in Hypertensive Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Conn, Vicki S; Ruppar, Todd M; Chase, Jo-Ana D; Enriquez, Maithe; Cooper, Pamela S

    2015-12-01

    This systematic review applied meta-analytic procedures to synthesize medication adherence interventions that focus on adults with hypertension. Comprehensive searching located trials with medication adherence behavior outcomes. Study sample, design, intervention characteristics, and outcomes were coded. Random-effects models were used in calculating standardized mean difference effect sizes. Moderator analyses were conducted using meta-analytic analogues of ANOVA and regression to explore associations between effect sizes and sample, design, and intervention characteristics. Effect sizes were calculated for 112 eligible treatment-vs.-control group outcome comparisons of 34,272 subjects. The overall standardized mean difference effect size between treatment and control subjects was 0.300. Exploratory moderator analyses revealed interventions were most effective among female, older, and moderate- or high-income participants. The most promising intervention components were those linking adherence behavior with habits, giving adherence feedback to patients, self-monitoring of blood pressure, using pill boxes and other special packaging, and motivational interviewing. The most effective interventions employed multiple components and were delivered over many days. Future research should strive for minimizing risks of bias common in this literature, especially avoiding self-report adherence measures. PMID:26560139

  4. Combination of Two Targeted Medications (Bevacizumab Plus Cetuximab) Improve the Therapeutic Response of Pancreatic Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Tai, Cheng-Jeng; Huang, Ming-Te; Wu, Chih-Hsiung; Wang, Chien-Kai; Tai, Chen-Jei; Chang, Chun-Chao; Hsieh, Cheng-I.; Chang, Yu-Jia; Wu, Chang-Jer; Kuo, Li-Jen; Wei, Po-Lei; Chen, Ray-Jade; Chiou, Hung-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of the targeted medications, bevacizumab and cetuximab, in combination with cytostatic drugs in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. In this retrospective phase 2 study, a total of 59 patients with pancreatic cancer were recruited and received conventional (gemcitabine, cisplatin, and fluorouracil) or targeted regimen (conventional plus bevacizumab and cetuximab for the first cycle) in 2-week intervals for four cycles. The primary end-point for this study was the overall response rate. Secondary end-points were progression-free survival and the safety profiles of the combined therapy. The median time-to-progression and overall survival were 3 and 7 months, respectively, in the conventional treatment group as well as 11 and 13 months, respectively, in the targeted medications treatment group. The most common adverse events in both treatment groups were nausea and vomiting. Moderate (Grade 2) nausea and vomiting were more common in the conventional group than the targeted group but severe (Grade 3) nausea and vomiting were more common in the targeted group. Bevacizumab and cetuximab in combination with gemcitabine, cisplatin, and fluorouracil may help lengthen overall survival up to six months for patients with pancreatic cancer. PMID:27082562

  5. Random walker with improved weighting function for interactive medical image segmentation.

    PubMed

    Yin, Lim Khai; Rajeswari, Mandava

    2014-01-01

    To segment an image using the random walks algorithm; users are often required to initialize the approximate locations of the objects and background in the image. Due to its segmenting model that is mainly reflected by the relationship among the neighborhood pixels and its boundary conditions, random walks algorithm has made itself sensitive to the inputs of the seeds. Instead of considering the relationship between the neighborhood pixels solely, an attempt has been made to modify the weighting function that accounts for the intensity changes between the neighborhood nodes. Local affiliation within the defined neighborhood region of the two nodes is taken into consideration by incorporating an extra penalty term into the weighting function. Besides that, to better segment images, particularly medical images with texture features, GLCM variance is incorporated into the weighting function through kernel density estimation (KDE). The probability density of each pixel belonging to the initialized seeds is estimated and integrated into the weighting function. To test the performance of the proposed weighting model, several medical images that mainly made up of 174-brain tumor images are experimented. These experiments establish that the proposed method produces better segmentation results than the original random walks. PMID:25227043

  6. Business process improvement: an electronic system to monitor compliance with medical resident work hours.

    PubMed

    Landesman, Linda Young; Markowitz, Forest; Conde, Nelson

    2010-01-01

    The limitation of medical intern and resident work hours, known as the Bell 405 regulations, was initiated in New York State in 1989 with a modification to the state hospital code. The Bell 405 regulations were strengthened in 2000, and facilities would now be fined for noncompliance. Monitoring systems in place at that time were insufficient to provide an adequate level of review for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) with more than 7,000 medical residents whose training is based at or who rotate through these public hospitals. A "simple to use," yet comprehensive, method of monitoring compliance needed to be developed to ensure that residents and interns complied with laws regulating working hours. The subsequent development of national accreditation standards increased the stakes for reliable scrutiny. HHC developed and implemented a Web-based Structured Query Language (SQL) application that facilitated easy access to work hour surveys captured through electronic time sheets. The time sheet data automatically entered a database that provided instant analysis of conformance to state law. The development of an electronic on-line application accessible from anywhere allowed HHC to efficiently identify nonconformance and pinpoint corrective action. Since the inception of the application and its expansion allowing access through the intranet, 26,000 individual time sheets have been submitted for evaluation. With the national movement regulating work hours, other hospitals still at the pencil and manual computation stage would greatly benefit by developing a similar application. PMID:20150790

  7. Finding the Why, Changing the How: Improving the Mental Health of Medical Students, Residents, and Physicians.

    PubMed

    Slavin, Stuart J; Chibnall, John T

    2016-09-01

    The poor mental health of residents, characterized by high rates of burnout, depression, and suicidal ideation, is a growing concern in graduate medical education. Research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the sources of distress as well as the sources of sustenance in residency training. The study by Mata and colleagues contributes significantly to this understanding. In addition to this line of research, however, studies are needed that assess the impact of interventions to help residents deal more effectively with the stress of training and find meaning in their work. Given the stresses of residency training, this approach may not make a dramatic difference in mental health outcomes. Efforts directed at changing the educational and clinical environments are also needed to reduce unnecessary stressors and create more positive settings for learning and clinical care. Since 2011, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has been pursuing a multipronged strategy to address these issues in the preclinical years. These efforts have led to dramatic decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms in students. An essential component of these interventions is the ongoing measurement of mental health outcomes across all four years of the curriculum. Leaders of residency programs, medical schools, and hospitals need to have the courage to measure these kinds of outcomes to spur change and track the efficacy of programs. PMID:27166866

  8. A framework for improving access and customer service times in health care: application and analysis at the UCLA Medical Center.

    PubMed

    Duda, Catherine; Rajaram, Kumar; Barz, Christiane; Rosenthal, J Thomas

    2013-01-01

    There has been an increasing emphasis on health care efficiency and costs and on improving quality in health care settings such as hospitals or clinics. However, there has not been sufficient work on methods of improving access and customer service times in health care settings. The study develops a framework for improving access and customer service time for health care settings. In the framework, the operational concept of the bottleneck is synthesized with queuing theory to improve access and reduce customer service times without reduction in clinical quality. The framework is applied at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to determine the drivers for access and customer service times and then provides guidelines on how to improve these drivers. Validation using simulation techniques shows significant potential for reducing customer service times and increasing access at this institution. Finally, the study provides several practice implications that could be used to improve access and customer service times without reduction in clinical quality across a range of health care settings from large hospitals to small community clinics. PMID:23903937

  9. Using performance tasks employing IOM patient safety competencies to introduce quality improvement processes in medical laboratory science education.

    PubMed

    Golemboski, Karen; Otto, Catherine N; Morris, Susan

    2013-01-01

    In order to contribute to improved healthcare quality through patient-centered care, laboratory professionals at all levels of practice must be able to recognize the connection between non-analytical factors and laboratory analysis, in the context of patient outcomes and quality improvement. These practices require qualities such as critical thinking (CT), teamwork skills, and familiarity with the quality improvement process, which will be essential for the development of evidence-based laboratory science practice. Performance tasks (PT) are an educational strategy which can be used to teach and assess CT and teamwork, while introducing Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) students at both baccalaureate and advanced-practice levels to the concepts of quality improvement processes and patient outcomes research. PT presents students with complex, realistic scenarios which require the incorporation of subject-specific knowledge with competencies such as effective team communication, patient-centered care, and successful use of information technology. A PT with assessment rubric was designed for use in a baccalaureate-level MLS program to teach and assess CT and teamwork competency. The results indicated that, even when students were able to integrate subject-specific knowledge in creative ways, their understanding of teamwork and quality improvement was limited. This indicates the need to intentionally teach skills such as collaboration and quality system design. PT represent one of many strategies that may be used in MLS education to develop essential professional competencies, encourage expert practice, and facilitate quality improvement. PMID:24432515

  10. Teaching Quality Improvement in Graduate Medical Education: An Experiential and Team-Based Approach to the Acquisition of Quality Improvement Competencies

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Karen; Scott, Abigail; Pollock, Emily; Kotecha, Jyoti; Martin, Danyal

    2015-01-01

    Problem An emerging priority in medical education is the need to facilitate learners’ acquisition of quality improvement (QI) competencies. Accreditation bodies in both Canada and the United States have included QI and patient safety in their core competencies. Approach In 2010, the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University designed a graduate medical education curriculum to engage residents in a clinical QI program that would meet accreditation requirements. Monthly didactic sessions were combined with an experiential, team-based QI project that aligned with existing clinic priorities. The curriculum spans the first year of residency and is divided into three stages: (1) Engaging, (2) Understanding, and (3) Improving and translating. In Stage 1, teams of residents select a clinical QI topic, engage stakeholders, and collect baseline data related to their topic. In Stage 2, they focus on understanding their problem, interpreting their results, and applying QI tools. In Stage 3, they develop change ideas, translate their knowledge, and prepare to hand over their project. Outcomes This QI curriculum aided residents in effectively acquiring QI competencies and allowed them to experience real-world challenges, such as securing project buy-in, negotiating with peers, and developing solutions to problems. Unlike in many QI programs, residents learned how to improve quality rather than about QI; thus, they formed the necessary foundation to carry out QI work in the future. Next Steps The curriculum will be evaluated using a knowledge assessment and satisfaction tool and postproject resident interviews. Facilitators will focus more on improving faculty develop ment in QI. PMID:26200583

  11. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as antigen carriers and adjuvants for vaccine delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mody, Karishma T.; Popat, Amirali; Mahony, Donna; Cavallaro, Antonino S.; Yu, Chengzhong; Mitter, Neena

    2013-05-01

    Vaccines have been at the forefront of improving human health for over two centuries. The challenges faced in developing effective vaccines flow from complexities associated with the immune system and requirement of an efficient and safe adjuvant to induce a strong adaptive immune response. Development of an efficient vaccine formulation requires careful selection of a potent antigen, efficient adjuvant and route of delivery. Adjuvants are immunological agents that activate the antigen presenting cells (APCs) and elicit a strong immune response. In the past decade, the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) has gained significant attention as potential delivery vehicles for various biomolecules. In this review, we aim to highlight the potential of MSNs as vaccine delivery vehicles and their ability to act as adjuvants. We have provided an overview on the latest progress on synthesis, adsorption and release kinetics and biocompatibility of MSNs as next generation antigen carriers and adjuvants. A comprehensive summary on the ability of MSNs to deliver antigens and elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses is provided. Finally, we give insight on fundamental challenges and some future prospects of these nanoparticles as adjuvants.

  12. Toward understanding the mechanism underlying the strong adjuvant activity of aluminum salt nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Ruwona, Tinashe B; Xu, Haiyue; Li, Xu; Taylor, Amber N; Shi, Yan-Chun; Cui, Zhengrong

    2016-06-01

    Aluminum salts such as aluminum oxyhydroxide and aluminum hydroxyphosphate are commonly used human vaccine adjuvants. In an effort to improve the adjuvant activity of aluminum salts, we previously showed that the adjuvant activity of aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles is significantly more potent than that of aluminum oxyhydroxide microparticles. The present study was designed to (i) understand the mechanism underlying the potent adjuvant activity of aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles, relative to microparticles, and (ii) to test whether aluminum hydroxyphosphate nanoparticles have a more potent adjuvant activity than aluminum hydroxyphosphate microparticles as well. In human THP-1 myeloid cells, wild-type and NLRP3-deficient, both aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles and microparticles stimulate the secretion of proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β by activating NLRP3 inflammasome, although aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles are more potent than microparticles, likely related to the higher uptake of the nanoparticles by the THP-1 cells than the microparticles. Aluminum hydroxyphosphate nanoparticles also have a more potent adjuvant activity than microparticles in helping a model antigen lysozyme to stimulate specific antibody response, again likely related to their stronger ability to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. PMID:27155490

  13. Role of Fused Mycobacterium tuberculosis Immunogens and Adjuvants in Modern Tuberculosis Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Marques Neto, Lázaro Moreira; Kipnis, André

    2014-01-01

    Several approaches have been developed to improve or replace the only available vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), BCG (Bacille Calmette Guerin). The development of subunit protein vaccines is a promising strategy because it combines specificity and safety. In addition, subunit protein vaccines can be designed to have selected immune epitopes associated with immunomodulating components to drive the appropriate immune response. However, the limited antigens present in subunit vaccines reduce their capacity to stimulate a complete immune response compared with vaccines composed of live attenuated or killed microorganisms. This deficiency can be compensated by the incorporation of adjuvants in the vaccine formulation. The fusion of adjuvants with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins or immune epitopes has the potential to become the new frontier in the TB vaccine development field. Researchers have addressed this approach by fusing the immune epitopes of their vaccines with molecules such as interleukins, lipids, lipoproteins, and immune stimulatory peptides, which have the potential to enhance the immune response. The fused molecules are being tested as subunit vaccines alone or within live attenuated vector contexts. Therefore, the objectives of this review are to discuss the association of Mtb fusion proteins with adjuvants; Mtb immunogens fused with adjuvants; and cytokine fusion with Mtb proteins and live recombinant vectors expressing cytokines. The incorporation of adjuvant molecules in a vaccine can be complex, and developing a stable fusion with proteins is a challenging task. Overall, the fusion of adjuvants with Mtb epitopes, despite the limited number of studies, is a promising field in vaccine development. PMID:24795730

  14. Aluminium adjuvants and adverse events in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Sub-cutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergy. It works by helping to modify or re-balance an individual’s immune response to allergens and its efficacy is greatly improved by the use of adjuvants, most commonly, aluminium hydroxide. Aluminium salts have been used in allergy therapy for many decades and are assumed to be safe with few established side-effects. This assumption belies their potency as adjuvants and their potential for biological reactivity both at injection sites and elsewhere in the body. There are very few data purporting to the safety of aluminium adjuvants in allergy immunotherapy and particularly so in relation to longer term health effects. There are, if only few, published reports of adverse events following allergy immunotherapy and aluminium adjuvants are the prime suspects in the majority of such incidents. Aluminium adjuvants are clearly capable of initiating unwanted side effects in recipients of immunotherapy and while there is as yet no evidence that such are commonplace it is complacent to consider aluminium salts as harmless constituents of allergy therapies. Future research should establish the safety of the use of aluminium adjuvants in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy. PMID:24444186

  15. Adjuvant therapy for gastric cancer: What have we learned since INT0116?

    PubMed Central

    Jácome, Alexandre A; Sankarankutty, Ajith K; dos Santos, José Sebastião

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer is one of the main cancer-related causes of death worldwide. The curative treatment of gastric cancer consists of tumor resection and lymphadenectomy. However, surgical treatment alone is associated with high recurrence rates. Adjuvant treatment strategies have been studied over the last decades, but there have been controversial results from the initial studies. The pivotal INT0116 study demonstrated that the use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy with 5-fluorouracil increases relapse-free and overall survival, and it has been adopted across the Western world. The high toxicity of radiochemotherapy and suboptimal surgical treatment employed, with fewer than 10% of the patients submitted to D2 lymphadenectomy, were the main study limitations. Since its publication, other adjuvant treatment modalities have been studied, and radiochemotherapy is being refined to improve its efficacy and safety. A multimodal approach has been demonstrated to significantly increase relapse-free and overall survival, and it can be offered in the form of perioperative chemotherapy, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy or adjuvant chemotherapy, regardless of the extent of lymphadenectomy. The objective of the present review is to report the major advances obtained in the last decades in the adjuvant treatment of gastric cancer as well as the perspectives of treatment based on recent knowledge of the molecular biology of the disease. PMID:25852269

  16. Effect of a low-tryptophan diet as an adjuvant to conventional neuroleptic therapy in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Rosse, R B; Schwartz, B L; Zlotolow, S; Banay-Schwartz, M; Trinidad, A C; Peace, T D; Deutsch, S I

    1992-04-01

    Eleven patients with DSM-III-R schizophrenia were entered into a 4-day tryptophan (TRP)-deficient diet. The diet lowered total plasma TRP levels in all patients; during the diet phase, there was a greater than 50% reduction in mean total plasma TRP levels from the pre-diet phase. The low-TRP diet improved performance on the Stroop Color and Word Test. These data are especially intriguing in view of the suggestion that a deficit in color-word naming is related to frontal lobe dysfunction and the possible occurrence of frontal lobe abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia. Interestingly, depressive symptomatology did not emerge on the TRP-deficient diet, despite the lowering of total plasma TRP levels. There were statistically significant improvements noted on objective ratings of the severity of psychotic symptomatology; however, these statistical improvements were without obvious clinical significance, as the magnitude of the changes on the behavioral ratings were minimal. The results of this study suggest that there might be some adjuvant potential for a low-TRP diet in the treatment of schizophrenia, and that schizophrenia or antipsychotic medications might offer some protection against the depressive effects of a TRP-deficient diet. PMID:1350512

  17. Intravenous Lidocaine as an Adjuvant for Pain Associated with Sickle Cell Disease.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Natalie L; Kome, Anne M; Lowe, Denise K; Coyne, Patrick; Hawks, Kelly G

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjuvant intravenous (IV) lidocaine in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). This was a retrospective review. Adults with SCD receiving at least one IV lidocaine infusion from 2004 to 2014 were included. Patient demographics, lidocaine treatment parameters, pain scores, pain medications, and adverse effects were recorded. Eleven patients were identified, yielding 15 IV lidocaine trials. Clinical improvement in pain scores from pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge, defined by ≥ 20% reduction in pain scores, was achieved in 53.3% (8 of 15) of IV lidocaine challenges. Of the 8 clinically successful trials, the mean reduction in morphine dose equivalents (MDE) from 24 hours pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge was 32.2%. Additionally, clinically successful trials had a mean initial and a maximum dose of 1 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-2.7 mg/kg/h) and 1.3 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-1.9 mg/kg/h), respectively. On average, these patients underwent 3 dose titrations (range: 1-8) and received lidocaine infusions for 4.4 days (range: 2-8 days). Two patients experienced disorientation and dizziness. The authors conclude that adjuvant IV lidocaine provided pain relief and a mean reduction in MDE during sickle cell pain crisis. These results provide preliminary insight into the use of IV lidocaine for treating pain in patients with SCD, although prospective studies are needed to determine efficacy, dosing, and tolerability of IV lidocaine in this patient population. PMID:26654408

  18. [Adjuvant treatment of colon cancer MOSAIC study's main results].

    PubMed

    André, Thierry; Tournigand, Christophe; Achille, Emmanuel; Tubiana-Mathieu, Nicole; Lledo, Gérard; Raoul, Yves; Carola, Elisabeth; Flesch, Michel; Muron, Thierry; Boutan-Laroze, Arnaud; Guérin Meyer, Véronique; Boaziz, Catherine; Maigre, Michel; Ganem, Gérard; Mousseau, Mireille; Mounedji-Boudiaf, Lamia; de Gramont, Aimery

    2006-02-01

    Oxaliplatin in combination with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (LV5FU) improves the response rate and survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The objective of the Mosaic study was to evaluate the efficacy of this association in the adjuvant treatment of stage II and III colon cancer. This international study, including 2,246 patients, compared the efficacy of standard treatment with LV5FU2 alone to that of oxaliplatin-LV5FU (Folfox4 regimen) following R0 resection of the primary tumour. Both treatments were administered every two weeks for six months. At 3-year follow-up, the risk of relapse was decreased by 23% in the Folfox4 group (p = 0.002). The protocol was well tolerated, with an identical overall mortality during treatment (0.5%) in both groups. The main specific complication, peripheral sensory neuropathy was reversible in the great majority of cases. A new analysis at 4-year follow-up (median 48.6 months) confirmed the superior efficacy of the Folfox4 regimen compared to the standard treatment, the reduction in relapse risk being 24% (p = 0.0008). On the strength of these results, oxaliplatin was granted a marketing authorization for the indication adjuvant treatment of stage III colon cancer. Based on the data currently available, physicians should consider adjuvant treatment for stage II patients, making each individual decision for treatment on a case-by-case basis. PMID:16483940

  19. Physician Beliefs and Practices for Adjuvant and Salvage Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy

    SciTech Connect

    Showalter, Timothy N.; Ohri, Nitin; Teti, Kristopher G.; Foley, Kathleen A.; Keith, Scott W.; Trabulsi, Edouard J.; Lallas, Costas D.; Dicker, Adam P.; Hoffman-Censits, Jean; Pizzi, Laura T.; Gomella, Leonard G.

    2012-02-01

    Purpose: Despite results of randomized trials that support adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer with adverse pathologic features (APF), many clinicians favor selective use of salvage RT. This survey was conducted to evaluate the beliefs and practices of radiation oncologists (RO) and urologists (U) regarding RT after RP. Methods and Materials: We designed a Web-based survey of post-RP RT beliefs and policies. Survey invitations were e-mailed to a list of 926 RO and 591 U. APF were defined as extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, or positive surgical margin. Differences between U and RO in adjuvant RT recommendations were evaluated by comparative statistics. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate factors predictive of adjuvant RT recommendation. Results: Analyzable surveys were completed by 218 RO and 92 U (overallresponse rate, 20%). Adjuvant RT was recommended based on APF by 68% of respondents (78% RO, 44% U, p <0.001). U were less likely than RO to agree that adjuvant RT improves survival and/or biochemical control (p < 0.0001). PSA thresholds for salvage RT were higher among U than RO (p < 0.001). Predicted rates of erectile dysfunction due to RT were higher among U than RO (p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, respondent specialty was the only predictor of adjuvant RT recommendations. Conclusions: U are less likely than RO to recommend adjuvant RT. Future research efforts should focus on defining the toxicities of post-RP RT and on identifying the subgroups of patients who will benefit from adjuvant vs. selective salvage RT.

  20. Ultrafest: A Novel Approach to Ultrasound in Medical Education Leads to Improvement in Written and Clinical Examinations

    PubMed Central

    Connolly, Kiah; Beier, Lancelot; Langdorf, Mark I.; Anderson, Craig L.; Fox, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of hands-on training at a bedside ultrasound (US) symposium (“Ultrafest”) to improve both clinical knowledge and image acquisition skills of medical students. Primary outcome measure was improvement in multiple choice questions on pulmonary or Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) US knowledge. Secondary outcome was improvement in image acquisition for either pulmonary or FAST. Methods Prospective cohort study of 48 volunteers at “Ultrafest,” a free symposium where students received five contact training hours. Students were evaluated before and after training for proficiency in either pulmonary US or FAST. Proficiency was assessed by clinical knowledge through written multiple-choice exam, and clinical skills through accuracy of image acquisition. We used paired sample t-tests with students as their own controls. Results Pulmonary knowledge scores increased by a mean of 10.1 points (95% CI [8.9–11.3], p<0.00005), from 8.4 to a posttest average of 18.5/21 possible points. The FAST knowledge scores increased by a mean of 7.5 points (95% CI [6.3–8.7] p<0.00005), from 8.1 to a posttest average of 15.6/21. We analyzed clinical skills data on 32 students. The mean score was 1.7 pretest and 4.7 posttest of 12 possible points. Mean improvement was 3.0 points (p<0.00005) overall, 3.3 (p=0.0001) for FAST, and 2.6 (p=0.003) for the pulmonary US exam. Conclusion This study suggests that a symposium on US can improve clinical knowledge, but is limited in achieving image acquisition for pulmonary and FAST US assessments. US training external to official medical school curriculum may augment students’ education. PMID:25671024

  1. Renal Toxicity of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy With Cisplatin in Gastric Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Welz, Stefan Hehr, Thomas; Kollmannsberger, Christian; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Belka, Claus; Budach, Wilfried

    2007-12-01

    Purpose: Adjuvant, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemoradiotherapy for completely resected high-risk gastric adenocarcinoma has been shown to improve survival in a randomized Intergroup trial. However, the results still showed an unsatisfactory outcome. On the basis of previously reported results of a Phase II trial using a more aggressive, cisplatin-containing chemoradiotherapy schedule, we investigated the effects of this approach on long-term renal function. Patients and Methods: Between December 2000 and September 2003, 27 patients were treated at Tuebingen University in a Phase II multicenter trial investigating adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The adjuvant chemoradiotherapy consisted of two cycles of adjuvant 5-FU, folinic acid, cisplatin (200 mg/m{sup 2}), and paclitaxel before and after radiotherapy (45 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions) with daily concomitant 5-FU (225 mg/m{sup 2}/24 h). A dose constraint of {<=}12 Gy for 37.5% of the functional volume of both kidneys was used. Renal function was assessed by the changes in creatinine and creatinine clearance during follow-up. Results: The prescribed 45 Gy was administered to 100% of the patients, and the cumulative cisplatin dose was 200 mg/m{sup 2} in 74% of all patients. In 89%, the constraints concerning the renal absorbed doses were met. The median follow-up for the creatinine and clearance values was 30 and 26 months, respectively. The creatinine values tended to worsen over time without reaching critical levels. We were unable to demonstrate a significant dose-response relationship for renal damage in the tested dose range. Conclusions: Using a dose constraint of {<=}12 Gy for 37.5% of the functional volume of both kidneys appears to be safe at a median follow-up of 2 years for a cumulative cisplatin dose of 200 mg/m{sup 2} administered before and after simultaneous 5-FU and radiotherapy.

  2. Optimizing adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Perez, Edith; Muss, Hyman B

    2005-12-01

    Mortality in breast cancer has declined in the past decade, owing to advances in diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy, and systemic treatments. Adjuvant chemotherapy has had a major effect on increasing survival in women with locoregional breast cancer. Like all treatments, adjuvant chemotherapy is a work in progress, and it has evolved from single oral agents to complex multidrug regimens. The choice of regimens is not without controversy, however, and several have been shown to be more effective than others, especially in patients who are at high risk for recurrence. The taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel (Taxotere) have been shown to be effective in the adjuvant setting, and they have also been shown to improve the outcomes in node-positive disease. Both disease-free and overall survival are greater with doxorubicin, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide given in a dose-dense, every-2-week schedule with growth factor support than with the same agents given in an every-3-week schedule. Disease-free and overall survival in patients with node-positive disease are greater with docetaxel, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and cyclophosphamide (TAC) than with fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC). Febrile neutropenia is common with the TAC regimen, but it can be minimized with growth factor support. Based on these findings, dose-dense therapy and TAC are the current adjuvant treatments of choice in patients with node-positive disease; other, less-intense regimens may be appropriate in patients with lower-risk disease. Ongoing trials are investigating the efficacy of commonly used regimens, new chemotherapeutic and biologic agents, and novel doses and schedules of currently available agents. PMID:16506631

  3. Applications of nanomaterials as vaccine adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Motao; Wang, Rongfu; Nie, Guangjun

    2014-01-01

    Vaccine adjuvants are applied to amplify the recipient's specific immune responses against pathogen infection or malignancy. A new generation of adjuvants is being developed to meet the demands for more potent antigen-specific responses, specific types of immune responses, and a high margin of safety. Nanotechnology provides a multifunctional stage for the integration of desired adjuvant activities performed by the building blocks of tailor-designed nanoparticles. Using nanomaterials for antigen delivery can provide high bioavailability, sustained and controlled release profiles, and targeting and imaging properties resulting from manipulation of the nanomaterials’ physicochemical properties. Moreover, the inherent immune-regulating activity of particular nanomaterials can further promote and shape the cellular and humoral immune responses toward desired types. The combination of both the delivery function and immunomodulatory effect of nanomaterials as adjuvants is thought to largely benefit the immune outcomes of vaccination. In this review, we will address the current achievements of nanotechnology in the development of novel adjuvants. The potential mechanisms by which nanomaterials impact the immune responses to a vaccine and how physicochemical properties, including size, surface charge and surface modification, impact their resulting immunological outcomes will be discussed. This review aims to provide concentrated information to promote new insights for the development of novel vaccine adjuvants. PMID:25483497

  4. Improving Teamwork: Impact of Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds on a Medical Teaching Unit

    PubMed Central

    Wayne, Diane B.; Haviley, Corinne; Slade, Maureen E.; Lee, Jungwha; Williams, Mark V.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND Effective collaboration and teamwork is essential in providing safe and effective hospital care. Prior research reveals deficiencies in collaboration on medical teaching units. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to assess the impact of an intervention, structured inter-disciplinary rounds (SIDR), on hospital care providers’ ratings of collaboration and teamwork. METHODS The study was a controlled trial compari