Research capacity of Australian and New Zealand emergency medicine departments.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Large, multicentre studies are required in emergency medicine to advance clinical care and improve patient outcomes. The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine clinical trials network is available to researchers to assist with facilitating large, multicentre research. However, there is no current information about the research capacity of emergency departments (EDs) in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS:All EDs accredited for emergency medicine training in Australia and New Zealand were eligible to participate. Research leads or ED directors were invited via email and telephone to complete a survey. Data were collected regarding the presence of a research lead; their research experience; available research resources including colleagues, funding, departmental paid research time; publications; and research culture. RESULTS:One hundred and twelve responses were received on behalf of 122 (84%) sites (10 satellite plus main) from a possible 143 sites with all types of hospitals and regions represented. Research leads were identified at 66 (59%) sites; 32 (29%) had a director of emergency medicine research. A wide range of research was underway. Ninety-six sites (66%) contributed data to multicentre projects. Twenty-one centres (17%) were highly productive with multiple resources (skilled colleagues, funding, staffing), a positive research culture and high-volume output. Sixty to seventy centres (50-58%) had limited resources, experienced an unsupportive research culture and authored manuscripts infrequently. Paid time for research directors was associated with increased research outputs. DISCUSSION:ACEM sites have the capacity to undertake large multicentre studies with a varied network of sites and researchers. While some sites are well equipped for research, the majority of EDs had minimal research output.
Project description:We describe emergency physician staffing, capabilities, and academic practices in US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) emergency departments (EDs).As part of an ongoing process improvement effort for the VHA emergency care system, VHA-wide surveys are conducted among ED medical directors every 3 years. Web-based surveys of VHA ED directors were conducted in 2013 on clinical operations and academic program development. We describe the results from the 2013 survey. When available, we compare responses with the previously administered survey from 2010.A total of 118 of 118 ED directors filled out the survey in 2013 (100% response rate). Respondents reported that 45.5% of VHA emergency physicians are board certified in emergency medicine, and 95% spend most their time in direct patient care. Clinical care is also provided by part-time (<0.5 full-time employee equivalent) emergency physicians in 59.3% of EDs. More than half of EDs (57%) provide on-site tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke patients, and only 39% can administer tissue plasminogen activator 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Less than half (48.3%) of EDs have emergency Obstetrics and Gynecology consultation availability. Most VHA EDs (78.8%) have a university affiliation, but only 21.5% participated in the respective academic emergency medicine program.Veterans Health Administration emergency physicians have primarily clinical responsibilities, and less than half have formal emergency medicine board certification. Despite most VHA EDs having university affiliations, traditional academic activities (eg, teaching and research) are performed in only 1 in 3 VHA EDs. Less than half of VHA EDs have availability of consulting services, including advanced stroke care and women's health.
Project description:BACKGROUND: More women are using Veterans' Health Administration (VHA) Emergency Departments (EDs), yet VHA ED capacities to meet the needs of women are unknown. OBJECTIVE: We assessed VHA ED resources and processes for conditions specific to, or more common in, women Veterans. DESIGN/SUBJECTS: Cross-sectional questionnaire of the census of VHA ED directors MAIN MEASURES: Resources and processes in place for gynecologic, obstetric, sexual assault and mental health care, as well as patient privacy features, stratified by ED characteristics. KEY RESULTS: All 120 VHA EDs completed the questionnaire. Approximately nine out of ten EDs reported having gynecologic examination tables within their EDs, 24/7 access to specula, and Gonorrhea/Chlamydia DNA probes. All EDs reported 24/7 access to pregnancy testing. Fewer than two-fifths of EDs reported having radiologist review of pelvic ultrasound images available 24/7; one-third reported having emergent consultations from gynecologists available 24/7. Written transfer policies specific to gynecologic and obstetric emergencies were reported as available in fewer than half of EDs. Most EDs reported having emergency contraception 24/7; however, only approximately half reported having Rho(D) Immunoglobulin available 24/7. Templated triage notes and standing orders relevant to gynecologic conditions were reported as uncommon. Consistent with VHA policy, most EDs reported obtaining care for victims of sexual assault by transferring them to another institution. Most EDs reported having some access to private medical and mental health rooms. Resources and processes were found to be more available in EDs with more encounters by women, more ED staffed beds, and that were located in more complex facilities in metropolitan areas. CONCLUSIONS: Although most VHA EDs have resources and processes needed for delivering emergency care to women Veterans, some gaps exist. Studies in non-VA EDs are required for comparison. Creative solutions are needed to ensure that women presenting to VHA EDs receive efficient, timely, and consistently high-quality care.
Project description:Residents and faculty in emergency medicine (EM) residency programs might be unaware of the professional and legal risks associated with the use of social media (SM). The objective of this study was to identify and characterize the types and reported incidence of unprofessional SM behavior by EM residents, faculty, and nurses and the concomitant personal and institutional risks.This multi-site study used an 18-question survey tool that was distributed electronically to the leaders of multiple EM residency programs, members of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD), and the residents of 14 EM programs during the study period May to June 2013.We received 1,314 responses: 772 from residents and 542 from faculty. Both groups reported encountering high-risk-to-professionalism events (HRTPE) related to SM use by residents and non-resident providers (NRPs), i.e., faculty members and nurses. Residents reported posting of one of the following by a resident peer or nursing colleague: identifiable patient information (26%); or a radiograph, clinical picture or other image (52%). Residents reported posting of images of intoxicated colleagues (84%), inappropriate photographs (66%), and inappropriate posts (73%). Program directors (PDs) reported posting one of the following by NRPs and residents respectively: identifiable patient information (46% and 45%); a radiograph, clinical picture or other image (63% and 58%). PDs reported that NRPs and residents posted images of intoxicated colleagues (64% and 57%), inappropriate photographs (63% and 57%), or inappropriate posts (76% and 67%). The directors also reported that they were aware of or issued reprimands or terminations at least once a year (30% NRPs and 22% residents). Residents were more likely to post photos of their resident peers or nursing colleagues in an intoxicated state than were NRPs (p=0.0004). NRPs were more likely to post inappropriate content (p=0.04) and identifiable patient information (p=0.0004) than were residents.EM residents and faculty members cause and encounter HRTPE frequently while using SM; these events present significant risks to the individuals responsible and their associated institution. Awareness of these risks should prompt responsible SM use and consideration of CORD's Social Media Task Force recommendations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Academic and non-academic emergency departments (EDs) are regularly compared in clinical operations benchmarking despite suggestion that the two groups may differ in their clinical operations characteristics. and outcomes. We sought to describe and compare clinical operations characteristics of academic versus non-academic EDs. METHODS:We performed a descriptive, comparative analysis of academic and non-academic adult and general EDs with 40,000+ annual encounters, using the Academy of Academic Administrators of Emergency Medicine (AAAEM)/Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine (AACEM) and Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance (EDBA) survey results. We defined academic EDs as primary teaching sites for emergency medicine (EM) residencies and non-academic EDs as sites with minimal resident involvement. We constructed the academic and non-academic cohorts from the AAAEM/AACEM and EDBA surveys, respectively, and analyzed metrics common to both surveys. RESULTS:Eighty and 454 EDs met inclusion criteria for academic and non-academic EDs, respectively. Academic EDs had more median annual patient encounters (73,001 vs 54,393), lower median proportion of pediatric patients (6.3% vs 14.5%), higher median proportion of EMS patients (27% vs 19%), and were more commonly designated as Level I or II Trauma Centers (94% vs 24%). Median patient arrival-to-provider times did not differ (26 vs 25?min). Median length-of-stay was longer (277 vs 190?min) for academic EDs, and left-before-treatment-complete was higher (5.7% vs 2.9%). MRI utilization was higher for academic EDs (2.2% patients with at least one MRI vs 1.0 MRIs performed per 100 patients). Patients-per-hour of provider coverage was lower for academic EDs with and without consideration for advanced practice providers and residents. CONCLUSIONS:Demographic and operational performance measures differ between academic and non-academic EDs, suggesting that the two groups may be inappropriate operational performance comparators. Causes for the differences remain unclear but the differences appear not to be attributed solely to the academic mission.
Project description:Study objective:We aimed to describe the variability and identify gaps in preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic in European EDs caring for children. Methods:A cross-sectional point prevalence survey, was developed and disseminated through the pediatric emergency medicine research networks for Europe (REPEM) and the United Kingdom and Ireland (PERUKI). We aimed to include ten EDs for countries with > 20 million inhabitants and five EDs for less populated countries, unless the number of eligible EDs was below five. ED directors or their delegates completed the survey between March 20th and 21st to report practice at that time. We used descriptive statistics to analyse data. Results:Overall 102 centers from 18 countries (86% response rate) completed the survey: 34% did not have an ED contingency plan for pandemics and 36% had never had simulations for such events. Wide variation on PPE items was shown for recommended PPE use at pre-triage and for patient assessment, with 62% of centers experiencing shortage in one or more PPE items, most frequently FFP2/N95 masks. Only 17% of EDs had negative pressure isolation rooms. COVID-19 positive ED staff was reported in 25% of centers. Conclusion:We found variation and identified gaps in preparedness and response to the COVID-19 epidemic across European referral EDs for children. A lack in early availability of a documented contingency plan, provision of simulation training, appropriate use of PPE, and appropriate isolation facilities emerged as gaps that should be optimized to improve preparedness and inform responses to future pandemics.
Project description:Introduction:Attempts to reduce low-value hospital care often focus on emergency department (ED) hospitalizations. We compared rural and urban EDs in Michigan on resources designed to reduce avoidable admissions. Methods:A cross-sectional, web-based survey was emailed to medical directors and/or nurse managers of the 135 hospital-based EDs in Michigan. Questions included presence of clinical pathways, services to reduce admissions, and barriers to connecting patients to outpatient services. We performed chi-squared comparisons, regression modeling, and predictive margins. Results:Of 135 EDs, 64 (47%) responded with 33 in urban and 31 in rural counties. Clinical pathways were equally present in urban and rural EDs (67% vs 74%, p=0.5). Compared with urban EDs, rural EDs reported greater access to extended care facilities (21% vs 52%, p=0.02) but less access to observation units (52% vs 35%, p=0.04). Common barriers to connecting ED patients to outpatient services exist in both settings, including lack of social support (88% and 76%, p=0.20), and patient/family preference (68% and 68%, p=1.0). However, rural EDs were more likely to report time required for care coordination (88% vs 66%, p=0.05) and less likely to report limitations to home care (21% vs 48%, p=0.05) as barriers. In regression modeling, ED volume was predictive of the presence of clinical pathways rather than rurality. Conclusion:While rural-urban differences in resources and barriers exist, ED size rather than rurality may be a more important indicator of ability to reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
Project description:Telemedicine connects emergency departments (ED) with resources necessary for patient care; its use has not been characterized nationally, or even regionally. Our primary objective was to describe the prevalence of telemedicine use in New England EDs and the clinical applications of use. Secondarily, we aimed to determine if telemedicine use was associated with consultant availability and to identify ED characteristics associated with telemedicine use.We analyzed data from the National Emergency Department Inventory-New England survey, which assessed basic ED characteristics in 2014. The survey queried directors of every ED (n=195) in the six New England states (excluding federal hospitals and college infirmaries). Descriptive statistics characterized ED telemedicine use; multivariable logistic regression identified independent predictors of use.Of the 169 responding EDs (87% response rate), 82 (49%) reported using telemedicine. Telemedicine EDs were more likely to be rural (18% of users vs. 7% of non-users, p=0.03); less likely to be academic (1% of users vs. 11% of non-users, p=0.01); and less likely to have 24/7 access to neurology (p<0.001), neurosurgery (p<0.001), orthopedics (p=0.01), plastic surgery (p=0.01), psychiatry (p<0.001), and hand surgery (p<0.001) consultants. Neuro/stroke (68%), pediatrics (11%), psychiatry (11%), and trauma (10%) were the most commonly reported applications. On multivariable analysis, telemedicine was more likely in rural EDs (odds ratio [OR] 4.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-14.86), and less likely in EDs with 24/7 neurologist availability (OR 0.21, 95% CI [0.09-0.49]), and annual volume <20,000 (OR 0.24, 95% CI [0.08-0.68]).Telemedicine is commonly used in New England EDs. In 2014, use was more common among rural EDs and EDs with limited neurology consultant availability. In contrast, telemedicine use was less common among very low-volume EDs.
Project description:STUDY OBJECTIVE:Nearly 20 million adolescents receive emergency department (ED) care each year, many of whom have untreated reproductive health issues. ED visits represent an opportunity to provide appropriate care, however, ED physician reproductive health care practices and capabilities in the United States have not been described. We sought to characterize pediatric ED director's individual practice and ED system resources for providing adolescent reproductive health care. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, AND INTERVENTIONS:We invited pediatric ED division and/or medical directors nationally to participate in an anonymous, online survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Outcomes included ED directors' personal practice regarding providing adolescent patients reproductive health care, and their ED's resources and standard practice regarding screening adolescents for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other reproductive health concerns. RESULTS:One hundred thirty-five of 442 (30.5%) ED directors responded. Respondents were 73% (90/124) male, with a median of 18 (interquartile range, 13-23) years of experience and 63% (84/134) working in urban EDs. Seventy-one percent (90/130) preferred face-to-face interviews for obtaining a sexual history, but only 59% (77/130) of participants "always ask parents to leave the room for sensitive questions." Eighty-four percent (106/127) were receptive to pregnancy prevention interventions being initiated in the ED, with 75% (80/106) of those willing to provide an intervention. Only 16% (21/128) indicated their ED has a universal STI screening program, and only 18% (23/126) "always" successfully notify patients of a positive STI test. CONCLUSION:ED directors are comfortable providing adolescent reproductive health care, and many individual- and ED-level opportunities exist to provide improved reproductive health care for adolescents in the ED.
Project description:As emergency medicine (EM) has become a more prominent feature in the clinical years of medical school training, national EM clerkship curricula have been published to address the need to standardize students' experiences in the field. However, current national student curricula in EM do not include core pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) concepts.A workgroup was formed by the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine and the Pediatric Interest Group of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine to develop a consensus on the content to be covered in EM and PEM student courses.The consensus is presented with the goal of outlining principles of pediatric emergency care and prioritizing students' exposure to the most common and life-threatening illnesses and injuries.This consensus curriculum can serve as a guide to directors of PEM and EM courses to optimize PEM knowledge and skills education.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Children account for nearly 20% of all US emergency department (ED) visits, yet previous national surveys found that many EDs lack specialized pediatric care. In response, a 2001 joint policy statement recommended resources needed by EDs for effective pediatric emergency care delivery. We sought to update and enhance previous estimates of pediatric services available in US EDs. METHODS: We administered a telephone survey to a 5% random sample (n = 279) of all US EDs from the 2007 National Emergency Department Inventory-USA. The survey collected data on local capabilities (including typical management of three clinical scenarios) and prevalence of a coordinator for pediatric emergency care. We used descriptive statistics to summarize data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between survey respondent and ED characteristics as well as the presence of a coordinator for pediatric emergency medicine. RESULTS: Data were collected from 238 hospitals (85% response rate). A minority of hospitals had pediatric departments (36%) or intensive care units (12%). The median annual number of ED visits by children was 3,870 (interquartile range 1,500-8,800). Ten percent of hospitals had a separate pediatric ED; only 17% had a designated pediatric emergency care coordinator. Significant positive predictors of a coordinator were an ED pediatric visit volume of ?1 patient per hour and urban location. Most EDs treated only mild-to-moderate cases of childhood bronchiolitis and asthma exacerbation (77% and 65%, respectively). Less than half (48%) of the hospitals reported the ability to surgically manage a child with acute appendicitis. CONCLUSION: We found little change in pediatric emergency services compared to earlier estimates. Our study results suggest a continued need for improvements to ensure access to emergency care for children.