Comparative hospital databases: value for management and quality.
OBJECTIVES: To establish an accurate and reliable comparative database of discharge abstracts and to appraise its value for assessments of quality of care. DESIGN: Retrospective review of case notes by trained research abstractors and comparison with matched information as routinely collected by the hospitals' own information systems. SETTING: Three district general hospitals and two major London teaching hospitals. PATIENTS: The database included 3905 medical and surgical cases and 2082 obstetric cases from 1990 and 1991. MAIN MEASURES: Accessibility of case notes; measures of reliability between reviewers and of validity of case note content; application of high level quality indicators. RESULTS: The existing hospital systems extracted insufficient detail from case notes to conduct clinical comparative analyses for medical and surgical cases. The research abstractors at least doubled the diagnostic codes extracted. Interabstractor agreement of about 70% was obtained for primary diagnosis and assignment to diagnosis related group. These data were sufficient to create a comparative database and apply high level quality indicators designed to flag topics for further study. For obstetric-specific indicators the rates were comparable for abstractors and the hospital information systems, which in each case was a departmentally based system (SMMIS) producing more detailed and accessible data. CONCLUSIONS: Current methods of extracting and coding diagnostic and procedural data from case notes in this sample of hospitals is unsatisfactory: notes were difficult to access and recording is unacceptably incomplete. IMPLICATIONS: Improvements as piloted in this project, are readily available should the NHS, hospital managers, and clinicians see the value of these data in their clinical and managerial activities. (+info)
Using a multidisciplinary automated discharge summary process to improve information management across the system.
We developed and implemented an automated discharge summary process in a regional integrated managed health system. This multidisciplinary effort was initiated to correct deficits in patients' medical record documentation involving discharge instructions, follow-up care, discharge medications, and patient education. The results of our team effort included an automated summary that compiles data entered via computer pathways during a patient's hospitalization. All information regarding admission medications, patient education, follow-up care, referral at discharge activities, diagnosis, and other pertinent medical events are formulated into the discharge summary, discharge orders, patient discharge instructions, and transfer information as applicable. This communication process has tremendously enhanced information management across the system and helps us maintain complete and thorough documentation in patient records. (+info)
Continuous quality improvement decreases length of stay and adverse events: a case study in an interventional cardiology program.
A study was performed to assess the effectiveness of continuous quality improvement in achieving a better quality of care for patients undergoing coronary interventions. Increasing utilization of new coronary interventional devices has incurred a higher incidence of complications, prolonged hospital stay, and related costs. Using a clinical information system, we adopted continuous quality improvement to control the incidence of complications and postprocedural length of stay. Multiple regression analysis and a matched case-control study were performed to detect complications related to postprocedural length of stay and their causes among 342 patients. The results led to the modification of the postprocedural heparin anticoagulation protocol, which was followed by the introduction of a ticlopidine-based poststent anticoagulation regimen. Two sequential groups of patients (n = 261, n = 266) were selected to compare postprocedural length of stay and frequency of complications with those for the first group. Adjustments were made for patients and procedural characteristics through stratification and multiple regression methods. Blood transfusion was the most important predictor of prolonged hospital stay (partial R2 = 0.26, P < 0.01). A high level of postprocedural anticoagulation and intracoronary stent use were significantly associated with blood transfusion (P = 0.01, P = 0.02, respectively). The comparison among the three groups showed that heparin protocol change reduced only postprocedural length of stay (P < 0.001) for patients without stents, whereas the stent change in anticoagulation protocol significantly reduced both transfusion and hospital stay for patients with stents (P < 0.001, P < 0.05, respectively). Continuous quality improvement based on clinical information is promising to control both complications and hospital costs. Physician involvement is necessary throughout the process. (+info)
The determination of relevant goals and criteria used to select an automated patient care information system: a Delphi approach.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the relevant weighted goals and criteria for use in the selection of an automated patient care information system (PCIS) using a modified Delphi technique to achieve consensus. DESIGN: A three-phase, six-round modified Delphi process was implemented by a ten-member PCIS selection task force. The first phase consisted of an exploratory round. It was followed by the second phase, of two rounds, to determine the selection goals and finally the third phase, of three rounds, to finalize the selection criteria. RESULTS: Consensus on the goals and criteria for selecting a PCIS was measured during the Delphi process by reviewing the mean and standard deviation of the previous round's responses. After the study was completed, the results were analyzed using a limits-of-agreement indicator that showed strong agreement of each individual's responses between each of the goal determination rounds. Further analysis for variability in the group's response showed a significant movement to consensus after the first goal-determination iteration, with consensus reached on all goals by the end of the second iteration. CONCLUSION: The results indicated that the relevant weighted goals and criteria used to make the final decision for an automated PCIS were developed as a result of strong agreement among members of the PCIS selection task force. It is therefore recognized that the use of the Delphi process was beneficial in achieving consensus among clinical and nonclinical members in a relatively short time while avoiding a decision based on political biases and the "groupthink" of traditional committee meetings. The results suggest that improvements could be made in lessening the number of rounds by having information available through side conversations, by having other statistical indicators besides the mean and standard deviation available between rounds, and by having a content expert address questions between rounds. (+info)
Great earthquakes and medical information systems, with special reference to telecommunications.
The Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in January 1995 caused the greatest number of deaths and injuries in Japan since World War II. Various weaknesses of modern information systems were exposed during and after the earthquake. The authors carried out a questionnaire survey to investigate the current state of hospital information and to examine the kinds of information needed immediately after an earthquake. The survey results show that information about the ability to admit new patients and the availability of medical supplies is necessary immediately after such a disaster. These results will be useful for planning countermeasures against this kind of disaster. (+info)
Bacterial resistance to ciprofloxacin in Greece: results from the National Electronic Surveillance System. Greek Network for the Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance.
According to 1997 susceptibility data from the National Electronic System for the Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance, Greece has high rates of ciprofloxacin resistance. For most species, the frequency of ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates (from highest to lowest, by patient setting) was as follows: intensive care unit > surgical > medical > outpatient. Most ciprofloxacin-resistant strains were multidrug resistant. (+info)
Challenges associated with the incorporation of digital radiography into a picture archival and communication system.
Digital radiography (DR) has recently emerged as an attractive alternative to computed radiography (CR) for the acquisition of general radiographic studies in a digital environment. It offers the possibility of improved spatial and contrast resolution, decreased radiation dose due to improved efficiency of detection of x-ray photons, and perhaps most importantly, holds out the promise of increased technologist productivity. To achieve maximum efficiency, DR must be completely integrated into existing information systems, including the hospital and radiology information systems (HIS/RIS) and, when present, the picture archival and communication system (PACS). The early experience with the integration of DR at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has identified several challenges that exist to the successful integration of DR. DR has only recently been defined as a separate Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) modality and images obtained will, at first, be listed under the category of CR. Matrix sizes with some DR products on the market exceed the current size limitations of some PACS. The patient throughput may be substantially greater with DR than with CR, and this in combination with the larger size of image files may result in greater demands for network and computer performance in the process of communication with the HIS/RIS and PACS. Additionally, in a hybrid department using both CR and DR, new rules must be defined for prefetching and display of general radiographic studies to permit these examinations to be retrieved and compared together. Advanced features that are planned for DR systems, such as dual-energy subtraction, tomosynthesis, and temporal subtraction, will likely require additional workstation tools beyond those currently available for CR. (+info)
Process reengineering: the role of a planning methodology and picture archiving and communications system team building.
The acquisition of a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) is an opportunity to reengineer business practices and should optimally consider the entire process from image acquisition to communication of results. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the PACS planning methodology used by the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Imaging Technology Project Office (JITPO), outline the critical procedures for each phase, and review the military experience using this model. The methodology is segmented into four phases: strategic planning, clinical scenario planning, installation planning, and implementation planning. Each is further subdivided based on the specific tasks that need to be accomplished within that phase. By using this method, an institution will have clearly defined program goals, objectives, and PACS requirements before vendors are contacted. The development of an institution-specific PACS requirement should direct the process of proposal comparisons to be based on functionality and exclude unnecessary equipment. This PACS planning methodology is being used at more than eight DOD medical treatment facilities. When properly executed, this methodology facilitates a seamless transition to the electronic environment and contributes to the successful integration of the healthcare enterprise. A crucial component of this methodology is the development of a local PACS planning team to manage all aspects of the process. A plan formulated by the local team is based on input from each department that will be integrating with the PACS. Involving all users in the planning process is paramount for successful implementation. (+info)