Identifying the fundamental structures and processes of care contributing to emergency general surgery quality using a mixed-methods Donabedian approach
ABSTRACT: Background Acute Care Surgery (ACS) was developed as a structured, team-based approach to providing round-the-clock emergency general surgery (EGS) care for adult patients needing treatment for diseases such as cholecystitis, gastrointestinal perforation, and necrotizing fasciitis. Lacking any prior evidence on optimizing outcomes for EGS patients, current implementation of ACS models has been idiosyncratic. We sought to use a Donabedian approach to elucidate potential EGS structures and processes that might be associated with improved outcomes as an initial step in designing the optimal model of ACS care for EGS patients. Methods We developed and implemented a national survey of hospital-level EGS structures and processes by surveying surgeons or chief medical officers regarding hospital-level structures and processes that directly or indirectly impacted EGS care delivery in 2015. These responses were then anonymously linked to 2015 data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) annual survey, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review claims (MedPAR), 17 State Inpatient Databases (SIDs) using AHA unique identifiers (AHAID). This allowed us to combine hospital-level data, as reported in our survey or to the AHA, to patient-level data in an effort to further examine the role of EGS structures and processes on EGS outcomes. We describe the multi-step, iterative process utilizing the Donabedian framework for quality measurement that serves as a foundation for later work in this project. Results Hospitals that responded to the survey were primarily non-governmental and located in urban settings. A plurality of respondent hospitals had fewer than 100 inpatient beds. A minority of the hospitals had medical school affiliations. Discussion Our results will enable us to develop a measure of preparedness for delivering EGS care in the US, provide guidance for regionalized care models for EGS care, tiering of ACS programs based on the robustness of their EGS structures and processes and the quality of their outcomes, and formulate triage guidelines based on patient risk factors and severity of EGS disease. Conclusions Our work provides a template for team science applicable to research efforts combining primary data collection (i.e., that derived from our survey) with existing national data sources (i.e., SIDs and MedPAR).
Project description:To date, no studies have reported nationwide adoption of acute care surgery (ACS) or identified structural and/or process variations for the care of emergency general surgery (EGS) patients within such models.We surveyed surgeons responsible for EGS coverage at University Health Systems Consortium hospitals using an eight-page postal/e-mail questionnaire querying respondents on hospital and EGS structure/process measures. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, univariate comparisons, and multivariable regression models.Of 319 potential respondents, 258 (81%) completed the surveys. A total of 81 hospitals (31%) had implemented ACS, while 134 (52%) had a traditional general surgeon on-call (GSOC) model. Thirty-eight hospitals (15%) had another model (hybrid). Larger-bed, university-based, teaching hospitals with Level 1 trauma center verification status located in urban areas were more likely to have adopted ACS. In multivariable modeling, hospital type, setting, and trauma center verification predicted ACS implementation. EGS processes of care varied, with 28% of the GSOC hospitals having block time versus 67% of the ACS hospitals (p < 0.0001), 45% of the GSOC hospitals providing ICU [intensive care unit] care to EGS patients in a surgical/trauma ICU versus 93% of the ACS hospitals (p < 0.0001), 5.7 ± 3.2 surgeons sharing call at GSOC hospitals versus 7.9 ± 2.3 surgeons at ACS hospitals (p < 0.0001), and 13% of the GSOC hospitals requiring in-house EGS call versus 75% of the ACS hospitals (p < 0.0001). Among ACS hospitals, there were variations in patient cohorting (EGS patients alone, 25%; EGS + trauma, 21%; EGS + elective, 17%; and EGS + trauma + elective, 30%), data collection (26% had prospective EGS registries), patient hand-offs (56% had attending surgeon presence), and call responsibilities (averaging 4.8 ± 1.3 calls per month, with 60% providing extra call stipend and 40% with no postcall clinical duties).The potential of the ACS on the national crisis in access to EGS care is not fully met. Variations in EGS processes of care among adopters of ACS suggest that standardized criteria for ACS implementation, much like trauma center verification criteria, may be beneficial.
Project description:Importance:Owing to lack of adequate emergency care infrastructure and decline in general surgery workforce, the United States faces a crisis in access to emergency general surgery (EGS) care. Acute care surgery (ACS), an organized system of trauma, general surgery, and critical care, is a proposed solution; however, ACS diffusion remains poorly understood. Objective:To investigate geographic diffusion of ACS models of care and characterize the communities in which ACS implementation is lagging. Design, Setting, and Participants:A national survey on EGS practices was developed, tested, and administered at all 2811 US acute care hospitals providing EGS to adults between August 2015 and October 2015. Surgeons responsible for EGS coverage at these hospitals were approached. If these surgeons failed to respond to the initial survey implementation, secondary surgeons or chief medical officers at hospitals with only 1 general surgeon were approached. Interventions:Survey responses on ACS implementation were linked with geocoded hospital data and national census data to determine geographic diffusion of and access to ACS. Main Outcomes and Measures:We measured the distribution of hospitals with ACS models of care vs those without over time (diffusion) and by US counties characterized by sociodemographic characteristics of county residents (access). Results:Survey response rate was 60% (n?=?1690); 272 responding hospitals had implemented ACS by 2015, steadily increasing from 34 in 2001 to 125 in 2010. Acute care surgery implementation has not been uniform. Rural regions have limited ACS access, with hospitals in counties with greater than the 75th percentile population having 5.4 times higher odds (95% CI, 1.66-7.35) of implementing ACS than hospitals in counties with less than 25th percentile population. Communities with greater percentages of adults without a college degree also have limited ACS access (OR, 3.43; 95% CI, 1.81-6.48). However, incorporating EGS into ACS models may be a potential equalizer for poor, black, and Hispanic communities. Conclusions and Relevance:Understanding and addressing gaps in ACS implementation across communities will be crucial to ensuring health equity for US residents experiencing general surgery emergencies.
Project description:Patterns of adoption of acute care surgery (ACS) as a strategy for emergency general surgery (EGS) care are unknown.We conducted a qualitative study comprising face-to-face interviews with senior surgeons responsible for ACS at 18 teaching hospitals chosen to ensure diversity of opinions and practice environment (three practice types [community, public or charity, and university] in each of six geographic regions [Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, Northeast, South, and West]). Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using NVivo (QSR International, Melbourne, Australia). We applied the methods of investigator triangulation using an inductive approach to develop a final taxonomy of codes organized by themes related to respondents' views on the future of ACS as a strategy for EGS. We applied our findings to a conceptual model on diffusion of innovation.We found a paradox between ACS viewed as a health care delivery innovation versus a rebranding of comprehensive general surgery. Optimism for the future of ACS because of increased desirability for trauma and critical care careers as well as improved EGS outcomes was tempered by fear over lack of continuity, poor institutional resources, and uncertainty regarding financial viability. Our analysis suggests that the implementation of ACS, whether a true health care delivery innovation or an innovative rebranding, fits into the Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory.Despite concerns over resource allocation and the definition of the specialty, from the perspective of senior surgeons deeply entrenched in executing this care delivery model, ACS represents the new face of general surgery that will likely continue to diffuse from these early adopters.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients managed nonoperatively have been excluded from risk-adjusted benchmarking programs, including the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). Consequently, optimal performance evaluation is not possible for specialties like emergency general surgery (EGS) where nonoperative management is common. We developed a multi-institutional EGS clinical data registry within ACS NSQIP that includes patients managed nonoperatively to evaluate variability in nonoperative care across hospitals and identify gaps in performance assessment that occur when only operative cases are considered. METHODS:Using ACS NSQIP infrastructure and methodology, surgical consultations for acute appendicitis, acute cholecystitis, and small bowel obstruction (SBO) were sampled at 13 hospitals that volunteered to participate in the EGS clinical data registry. Standard NSQIP variables and 16 EGS-specific variables were abstracted with 30-day follow-up. To determine the influence of complications in nonoperative patients, rates of adverse outcomes were identified, and hospitals were ranked by performance with and then without including nonoperative cases. RESULTS:Two thousand ninety-one patients with EGS diagnoses were included, 46.6% with appendicitis, 24.3% with cholecystitis, and 29.1% with SBO. The overall rate of nonoperative management was 27.4%, 6.6% for appendicitis, 16.5% for cholecystitis, and 69.9% for SBO. Despite comprising only 27.4% of patients in the EGS pilot, nonoperative management accounted for 67.7% of deaths, 34.3% of serious morbidities, and 41.8% of hospital readmissions. After adjusting for patient characteristics and hospital diagnosis mix, addition of nonoperative management to hospital performance assessment resulted in 12 of 13 hospitals changing performance rank, with four hospitals changing by three or more positions. CONCLUSION:This study identifies a gap in performance evaluation when nonoperative patients are excluded from surgical quality assessment and demonstrates the feasibility of incorporating nonoperative care into existing surgical quality initiatives. Broadening the scope of hospital performance assessment to include nonoperative management creates an opportunity to improve the care of all surgical patients, not just those who have an operation. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Care management, level IV; Epidemiologic, level III.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sex-based differences in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) mortality may attenuate with age due to better symptom recognition and prompt care. HYPOTHESIS:Age is a modifier of temporal trends in sex-based differences in ACS care. METHODS:Among 104 817 eligible patients with ACS enrolled in the AHA Get With the Guidelines-Coronary Artery Disease registry between 2003 and 2008, care and in-hospital mortality were evaluated stratified by sex and age. Temporal trends within sex and age groups were assessed for 2 care processes: percentage of STEMI patients presenting to PCI-capable hospitals with a DTB time ≤ 90 minutes (DTB90) and proportion of eligible ACS patients receiving aspirin within 24 hours. RESULTS:After adjustment for clinical risk factors and sociodemographic and hospital characteristics, 2276 (51.7%) women and 6276 (56.9%) men with STEMI were treated with DTB90 (adjusted OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.80-0.91, P < 0.0001 for women vs men). Time trend analysis showed an absolute increase ranging from 24% to 35% in DTB90 rates among both men and women (P for trend <0.0001 for each group), with consistent differences over time across the 4 age/sex groups (3-way P-interaction = 0.93). Despite high rate of baseline aspirin use (87%-91%), there was a 9% to 11% absolute increase in aspirin use over time, also with consistent differences across the 4 age/sex groups (all 3-way P-interaction ≥0.15). CONCLUSIONS:Substantial gains of generally similar magnitude existed in ACS performance measures over 6 years of study across sex and age groups; areas for improvement remain, particularly among younger women.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patient-centred quality indicators allow health care systems to monitor and evaluate patient-centred care practices and identify gaps in health care quality. Our objective was to determine whether Canadian provinces and territories measure patient-centred care, identify patient-centred quality indicators currently being used and compare patient-centred care practices and measurement in Canada to those of health care systems in other countries. METHODS:An online survey was developed to collect data on demographic characteristics, patient-centred care practices, and indicators used at quality improvement organizations and health care authorities. The survey was conducted with quality improvement leads in Canada and 4 other countries. Content analysis methods were used to analyze and report the data. Patient-centred quality indicators were identified and categorized according to the Donabedian framework (structure, process, outcome). RESULTS:The survey had a response rate of 47/67 (70%) and a completion rate of 58/60 (97%). We obtained completed surveys from 12 of the 13 provinces and territories in Canada. Respondents from most provinces indicated their organization used patient-centred care measures to inform practices. Respondents in only 4 provinces/territories reported using patient-centred quality indicators, for a total of 61 unique indicators. Most indicators used across Canada assessed aspects of care related to the Donabedian components of process and outcome. Findings for Canada were comparable to those for Sweden, England, Australia and New Zealand, where many measures are still in development. INTERPRETATION:This study provided greater insight into patient-centred care measurement across Canada, Sweden, England, Australia and New Zealand and helped us to identify patient-centred quality indicators currently in use. These results will inform the development of a standard set of patient-centred quality indicators for implementation by health care organizations to improve the quality of health care.
Project description:Background:Few studies have identified and compared profiles of mental health service networks (MHSN) in terms of structures, processes, and outcomes, based on cluster analyses and perceptions of team managers, MH professionals and service users. This study assessed these associations in Quebec metropolitan, urban and semi-urban MHSN. Methods:A framework adapted from the Donabedian model guided data management, and cluster analyses were used to identify categories. Study participants included team managers (n = 45), MH professionals (n = 311) and service users (n = 327). Results:For all three MHSN, a common outcome category emerged: service users with complex MH problems and negative outcomes. The Metropolitan network reported two categories for structures (specialized MH teams, primary care MH teams) and processes (senior medical professional, psychosocial professionals), and outcomes (middle-age men with positive outcomes, older women with few MH problems). The Urban and Semi-urban networks revealed one category for structures (all teams) and service user (young service users with drug disorders), but two for processes (psychosocial professionals: urban, all professionals: semi-urban). Conclusion:The Metropolitan MHSN showed greater heterogeneity regarding structures and team processes than the other two MHSN. Service user outcomes were largely associated with clinical characteristics, regardless of network configurations for structures and team processes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Few diseases truly require emergency surgery today. We investigated the relationship between access to operating room (OR) and outcomes for patients with life-threatening emergency general surgery (LT-EGS) diseases at US hospitals. METHODS:In 2015, we surveyed 2,811 US hospitals on EGS practices, including how OR access is assured (e.g., OR staffing, block time). There were 1,690 (60%) hospitals that responded. We anonymously linked survey data to 2015 Statewide Inpatient Sample data (17 states) using American Hospital Association identifiers. Adults admitted with life-threatening diagnoses (e.g., necrotizing fasciitis, perforated viscus) who underwent operative intervention the same calendar day as hospital admission were included. Primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses, clustered by treating hospital and adjusted for patient factors, were performed to examine hospital-level OR access variables. RESULTS:Overall, 3,620 patients were admitted with LT-EGS diseases. The median age was 63 years (interquartile range, 51-75), with half having three or more comorbidities (50%). Thirty-four percent had one or more major systemic complication, and 5% died. The majority got care at hospitals with less than 1 day of EGS block time but with policies to ensure emergency access to the OR. After adjusting for age, sex, race, insurance status, comorbidities, systemic complications, and surgical complications, we found that less presence of an in-house EGS surgeon, compared with around the clock, was associated with increased mortality (rarely/never in-house surgeon: odds ratio, 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.1-5.3; sometimes in-house surgeon: odds ratio, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.3). In addition, after controlling for other factors, on-call overnight recovery room nurse, compared with in-house, was associated with an increased mortality (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.5-3.1). CONCLUSION:Round-the-clock availability of personnel, specifically emergency general surgeons and recovery room nurses, is associated with decreased mortality. These findings have implications for the creation of EGS patient triage criteria and Acute Care Surgery Centers of Excellence. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapeutic, level III.
Project description:The availability of hospital cardiac services may vary between hospitals and influence care processes and outcomes. However, data on available cardiac services are restricted to a limited number of services collected by the American Hospital Association (AHA) annual survey. We developed an alternative method to identify hospital services using individual patient discharge data for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the Premier Healthcare Database.Thirty-five inpatient cardiac services relevant for AMI care were identified using American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. Thirty-one of these services could be defined using patient-level administrative data codes, such as International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification and Current Procedural Terminology codes. A hospital was classified as providing a service if it had ?5 instances for the service in the Premier database from 2009 to 2011. Using this system, the availability of these services among 432 Premier hospitals ranged from 100% (services such as chest X-ray) to 1.2% (heart transplant service). To measure the accuracy of this method using administrative data, we calculated agreement between the AHA survey and Premier for a subset of 16 services defined by both sources. There was a high percentage of agreement (?80%) for 11 of 16 (68.8%) services, moderate agreement for 3 of 16 (18.8%) services, and low agreement (?50%) for 2 of 16 services (12.5%).The availability of cardiac services for AMI care varies widely among hospitals. Using individual patient discharge data is a feasible method to identify these cardiac services, particularly for those services pertaining to inpatient care.
Project description:Recent studies have shown that many essential genes (EGs) change their essentiality across various contexts. Finding contextual EGs in pathogenic conditions may facilitate the identification of therapeutic targets. We propose link clustering as an indicator of contextual EGs that are non-central in protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. In various human and yeast PPI networks, we found that 29-47% of EGs were better characterized by link clustering than by centrality. Importantly, non-central EGs were prone to change their essentiality across different human cell lines and between species. Compared with central EGs and non-EGs, non-central EGs had intermediate levels of expression and evolutionary conservation. In addition, non-central EGs exhibited a significant impact on communities at lower hierarchical levels, suggesting that link clustering is associated with contextual essentiality, as it depicts locally important nodes in network structures.