An audit of the care of diabetics in a group practice.
The diabetics in a general practice of 20,175 patients were identified during one year and 119 were found-a prevalence of 5.9 per thousand.The age and sex distribution, method of treatment, criteria of diabetic control, complications, and present method of care were analysed from the medical records to examine the process of medical care of a chronic disease in general practice. (+info)
Prevalence of true vein graft aneurysms: implications for aneurysm pathogenesis.
BACKGROUND: Circumstantial evidence suggests that arterial aneurysms have a different cause than atherosclerosis and may form part of a generalized dilating diathesis. The aim of this study was to compare the rates of spontaneous aneurysm formation in vein grafts performed either for popliteal aneurysms or for occlusive disease. The hypothesis was that if arterial aneurysms form a part of a systemic process, then the rates of vein graft aneurysms should be higher for patients with popliteal aneurysms than for patients with lower limb ischemia caused by atherosclerosis. METHODS: Infrainguinal vein grafting procedures performed from 1990 to 1995 were entered into a prospective audit and graft surveillance program. Aneurysmal change was defined as a focal increase in the graft diameter of 1.5 cm or greater, excluding false aneurysms and dilatations after graft angioplasty. RESULTS: During the study period, 221 grafting procedures were performed in 200 patients with occlusive disease and 24 grafting procedures were performed in 21 patients with popliteal aneurysms. Graft surveillance revealed spontaneous aneurysm formation in 10 of the 24 bypass grafts (42%) for popliteal aneurysms but in only 4 of the 221 grafting procedures (2%) that were performed for chronic lower limb ischemia. CONCLUSION: This study provides further evidence that aneurysmal disease is a systemic process, and this finding has clinical implications for the treatment of popliteal aneurysms. (+info)
The one-stop dyspepsia clinic--an alternative to open-access endoscopy for patients with dyspepsia.
The most sensitive investigative tool for the upper gastrointestinal tract is endoscopy, and many gastroenterologists offer an open-access endoscopy service to general practitioners. However, for patients with dyspepsia, endoscopy is not always the most appropriate initial investigation, and the one-stop dyspepsia clinic allows for different approaches. We have audited, over one year, the management and outcomes of patients attending a one-stop dyspepsia clinic. All patients seen in the clinic were included, and for those not endoscoped the notes were reviewed one year after the end of the study to check for reattendances and diagnoses originally missed. Patients' and general practitioners' views of the service were assessed by questionnaire. 485 patients were seen, of whom 301 (62%) were endoscoped at first attendance. In 66 patients (14%), endoscopy was deemed inappropriate and only one of these returned subsequently for endoscopy. 118 patients (24%) were symptom-free when seen in the clinic and were asked to telephone for an appointment if and when symptoms recurred; half of these returned and were endoscoped. Oesophagitis and duodenal ulcer were significantly more common in this 'telephone endoscopy' group than in those endoscoped straight from the clinic. Overall, 25% of patients referred were not endoscoped. Important additional diagnoses were made from the clinic consultation. General practitioners and patients valued the system, in particular the telephone endoscopy service. 84% of general practitioners said they would prefer the one-stop dyspepsia clinic to open-access endoscopy. (+info)
Physician management in primary care.
Minimal explicit consensus criteria in the management of patients with four indicator conditions were established by an ad hoc committee of primary care physicians practicing in different locations. These criteria were then applied to the practices of primary care physicians located in a single community by abstracting medical records and obtaining questionnaire data about patients with the indicator conditions. A standardized management score for each physician was used as the dependent variable in stepwise regression analysis with physician/practice and patient/disease characteristics as the candidate independent variables. For all physicians combined, the mean management scores were high, ranging from .78 to .93 for the four conditions. For two of the conditions, care of the normal infant and pregnant woman, the management scores were better for pediatricians and obstetricians respectively than for family physicians. For the other two conditions, adult onset diabetes and congestive heart failure, there were no differences between the management scores of family physicians and internists. Patient/disease characteristics did not contribute significantly to explaining the variation in the standardized management scores. (+info)
Adjunctive therapy in epilepsy: a cost-effectiveness comparison of two AEDs.
The objective of this study was to compare the relative cost-effectiveness of two AEDs by a prospective clinical audit. Patients starting on the adjunctive therapies lamotrigine and topiramate were recruited from the out-patient epilepsy clinics at Queen Square. Three interview were scheduled: baseline; three months follow-up and six months from baseline. Of the 81 patients recruited, a total of 73 patients completed all three interviews. An intention to treat analysis was performed on the data. Seizure severity and frequency were assessed using the National Hospital Seizure Severity Scale. Side-effects, adverse events and reasons for stopping medication were also recorded. At the third interview, a total of 47/73 (64%) were still on the prescribed adjunctive drug. Outcome was assessed by two methods: the > 50% seizure reduction cited in the literature and a more stringent assessment of patient 'satisfaction' which we defined operationally on clinical criteria. Using this definition, a total of 10/73 (14%) patients were 'satisfied'. The relative costs of starting patients on each of the two AEDs were calculated, both drug costs and the costs of adverse events (the latter were defined as events requiring urgent medical attention). The costs of the two drugs were compared. A number of methodological issues relating to cost comparison are discussed. Outcome and pharmaco-economic studies need to assess more than reduction in number of seizures. They should take into account variables important for quality of life including side-effects and adverse events. (+info)
Readability of patient information leaflets on antiepileptic drugs in the UK.
The Audit Commission in the UK recommends that patient information leaflets (PILs) should be audited by health professionals using a formal readability test. However, no such study on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) has been identified in a Medline search. The aim of this study was to audit the readability of PILs prepared for marketed proprietary AEDs in the UK. Twelve PILs were compared with six antiepileptic drug articles from medical journals and six headline articles from UK newspapers. The Gunning Fog index and the Flesch Reading Ease index were calculated for each PIL and article. The results of the Gunning Fog index and the Flesch Reading Ease score were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test. PILs were shown to have a statistically significant lower mean reading age than the medical articles and newspapers (P < 0.001). The Gunning Fog index and Flesch Reading Ease score showed that PILs had a mean reading age of 8.8 and mean readability score of 69, respectively. In conclusion, the PILs prepared for proprietary antiepileptic drugs in the UK are suitable for the reading age of the general adult population. (+info)
Agreeing criteria for audit of the management of induced abortion: an approach by national consensus survey.
OBJECTIVE: To obtain a national consensus view of suggested criteria for good quality care in induced abortion to serve as a basis for standards for audit to assess current clinical practice. DESIGN: Postal, questionnaire survey assessing consensus agreement with criteria identified from a literature review and refined by an invited panel of four gynaecologists and the gynaecology audit project in Scotland (GAPS) committee. SETTING: Scotland. SUBJECTS: All 132 practising consultant gynaecologists. MAIN MEASURES: Overall level of agreement with each of 20 suggested audit criteria. RESULTS: 121 completed questionnaires were received (response rate 92%), of which 119 were returned in time for analysis; 107 came from consultants who practised abortion routinely and were included in the analysis. Nineteen of 20 suggested criteria were validated by an overall balance of agreement. The most strongly supported criterion (agreement score +93) was for ascertaining rhesus status of the woman and prophylaxis after abortion, if indicated. The only criterion to elicit a negative agreement score (-27) was that dilatation and evacuation is the best method of abortion at 12-15 weeks' gestation. The ranked and prioritised criteria resulting from this exercise are being used within a national audit project. CONCLUSIONS: A postal questionnaire survey among interested clinicians resulted in a good response rate and enabled the audit criteria to be validated and ranked more objectively and among more clinicians, than would have been possible by group discussion. (+info)
Incompleteness and retrieval of case notes in a case note audit of colorectal cancer.
Hospital case notes are a crucial source of data but are subject to two major biases: incompleteness of data and non-retrieval. To assess these biases in relation to colorectal cancer a study was performed of all cases of colorectal cancer listed in the Thames cancer registry in patients resident in one of four districts in South Thames regions with a diagnosis in 1988. Five medical record sites were involved. Retrieval rate for all case notes for districts combined was 80%. In two districts the rates were too high for further investigation; in the other two respectively patient survival and whether treatment was given were positively associated with retrieval. Among the four districts incompleteness of notes ranged from 38% to 62% for staging, 8% to 40% for treatment, and 70% to 25% for diagnostic tests. Information about treatment was missing in 3% to 20%; survival data were omitted in less than 5%. In all districts completeness of case notes was inadequate and in some non-retrieval compounded the problem. Missing data reduce the quality of cancer registry data and potentially undermine interpretation of epidemiological studies and evaluation of care. Further research is warranted into the standards and resourcing of medical records departments and their effects on retrieval and data quality. Structured proformas could be applied across specialties to identify missing items in case notes, to identify areas where standards are required, or to audit notes where standards have already been agreed. A staging protocol to set standards for colorectal cancer has been adopted in one district, and a prospective audit is being established. (+info)