(1/623) Placebo medication use in patient care: a survey of medical interns.
The use of placebo medication, long recognized by clinicians, often has serious practical implications, such as patient deception. Past evidence has suggested that resident physicians tend to misuse placebo medication. Interns from two consecutive years of a residency program were surveyed anonymously to assess their knowledge and use of placebos. Of the 74 interns surveyed, 44 (59%) were familiar with placebo use in patient care. Fifty percent of these interns familiar with placebo use had learned about placebos from another physician. All interns who had learned about placebos during their internships had learned from another physician, whereas interns who had gained their knowledge of placebos as medical students were as likely to have learned from the medical literature as they were to have learned from a physician (P = 0.027). Interns aware of placebo use were more likely to consider placebo administration for suspected, factitious pain (P = 0.022). The present study uncovered no relationship between interns' estimations of placebo efficacy and the utility they attributed to placebos in assessing a complaint of pain. This suggests that conceptual inconsistencies underlie their use of placebos. Interns often learn of placebos as medical students and are influenced by physician-mentors. Placebo use in patient care is an area of attention for medical educators. (+info)
(2/623) General practice registration networks in the Netherlands: a brief report.
In the Netherlands, several general practice registrations exist. Groups of general practitioners register elements of patient care according to agreed-upon criteria, and these data are collected in a central database. By means of a questionnaire the authors interviewed the managers of all nine computerized registration networks extensively about the possibilities and limitations of their registration. In addition, respondents answered some questions with data from the central database of their network. Various items are collected by nearly all the registration networks, while other items are collected by only one network. Answering questions with data from the central database turned out to be difficult. Organization and manpower are the main obstacles. (+info)
(3/623) 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)
(4/623) Contrasting views of physicians and nurses about an inpatient computer-based provider order-entry system.
OBJECTIVE: Many hospitals are investing in computer-based provider order-entry (POE) systems, and providers' evaluations have proved important for the success of the systems. The authors assessed how physicians and nurses viewed the effects of one modified commercial POE system on time spent patients, resource utilization, errors with orders, and overall quality of care. DESIGN: Survey. MEASUREMENTS: Opinions of 271 POE users on medicine wards of an urban teaching hospital: 96 medical house officers, 49 attending physicians, 19 clinical fellows with heavy inpatient loads, and 107 nurses. RESULTS: Responses were received from 85 percent of the sample. Most physicians and nurses agreed that orders were executed faster under POE. About 30 percent of house officers and attendings or fellows, compared with 56 percent of nurses, reported improvement in overall quality of care with POE. Forty-four percent of house officers and 34 percent of attendings/fellows reported that their time with patients decreased, whereas 56 percent of nurses indicated that their time with patients increased (P < 0.001). Sixty percent of house officers and 41 percent of attendings/fellows indicated that order errors increased, whereas 69 percent of nurses indicated a decrease or no change in errors. Although most nurses reported no change in the frequency of ordering tests and medications with POE, 61 percent of house officers reported an increased frequency. CONCLUSION: Physicians and nurses had markedly different views about effects of a POE system on patient care, highlighting the need to consider both perspectives when assessing the impact of POE. With this POE system, most nurses saw beneficial effects, whereas many physicians saw negative effects. (+info)
(5/623) Enhancing availability of the electronic image record for patients and caregivers during follow-up care.
PURPOSE: To develop a personal computer (PC)-based software package that allows portability of the electronic imaging record. To create custom software that enhances the transfer of images in two fashions. Firstly, to an end user, whether physician or patient, provide a browser capable of viewing digital images on a conventional personal computer. Second, to provide the ability to transfer the archived Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images to other institutional picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) through a transfer engine. METHOD/MATERIALS: Radiologic studies are provided on a CD-ROM. This CD-ROM contains a copy of the browser to view images, a DICOM-based engine to transfer images to the receiving institutional PACS, and copies of all pertinent imaging studies for the particular patient. The host computer system in an Intel based Pentium 90 MHz PC with Microsoft Windows 95 software (Microsoft Inc, Seattle, WA). The system has 48 MB of random access memory, a 3.0 GB hard disk, and a Smart and Friendly CD-R 2006 CD-ROM recorder (Smart and Friendly Inc, Chatsworth, CA). RESULTS: Each CD-ROM disc can hold 640 MB of data. In our experience, this houses anywhere from, based on Table 1, 12 to 30 computed tomography (CT) examinations, 24 to 80 magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, 60 to 128 ultrasound examinations, 32 to 64 computed radiographic examinations, 80 digitized x-rays, or five digitized mammography examinations. We have been able to successfully transfer DICOM images from one DICOM-based PACS to another DICOM-based PACS. This is accomplished by inserting the created CD-ROM onto a CD drive attached to the receiving PACS and running the transfer engine application. CONCLUSIONS: Providing copies of radiologic studies performed to the patient is a necessity in every radiology department. Conventionally, film libraries have provided copies to the patient generating issues of cost of loss of film, as well as mailing costs. This software package saves costs and loss of studies, as well as improving patient care by enabling the patient to maintain an archive of their electronic imaging record. (+info)
(6/623) Branching out with filmless radiology.
Texas Children's Hospital, a 456 bed pediatric hospital located in the Texas Medical Center, has been constructing a large-scale picture archiving and communications system (PACS), including ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), and computed radiography (CR). Until recently, filmless radiology operations have been confined to the imaging department, the outpatient treatment center, and the emergency center. As filmless services expand to other clinical services, the PACS staff must engage each service in a dialog to determine the appropriate level of support required. The number and type of image examinations, the use of multiple modalities and comparison examinations, and the relationship between viewing and direct patient care activities have a bearing on the number and type of display stations provided. Some of the information about customer services is contained in documentation already maintained by the imaging department. For example, by a custom report from the radiology information system (RIS), we were able to determine the number and type of examinations ordered by each referring physician for the previous 6 months. By compiling these by clinical service, we were able to determine our biggest customers by examination type and volume. Another custom report was used to determine who was requesting old examinations from the film library. More information about imaging usage was gathered by means of a questionnaire. Some customers view images only where patients are also seen, while some services view images independently from the patient. Some services use their conference rooms for critical image viewing such as treatment planning. Additional information was gained from geographical surveys of where films are currently produced, delivered by the film library, and viewed. In some areas, available space dictates the type and configuration of display station that can be used. Active participation in the decision process by the clinical service is a key element to successful filmless operations. (+info)
(7/623) Impact of electronic imaging on clinician behavior in the urgent care setting.
Although it is intuitively valuable that more expedient delivery of radiographic images and reports to clinicians would improve patient care, it is important to document these outcomes to validate further advances in these areas. We evaluated the care of 215 patients seen at a walk-in clinic to determine what benefit digital imaging is to the patient. Cohorts consisted of all patients for whom specified radiology examinations were ordered during a 7-day period. The first cohort was recruited when analog films were used. The second cohort received examinations performed with computed radiography (CR) acquisition and computer display, which had been in use for 2 years. Patients were categorized as to the type of study they received, as well as whether a staff radiologist was immediately available to read the study. Clinical behavior was characterized by outcome measures of time to final diagnosis, time to final treatment, and need for follow-up. Our analysis demonstrated a reduction in time to final diagnosis that was better appreciated during the times when a staff radiologist was not immediately available. It also suggested that greater time reductions were seen for patients who received extremity examinations than those who received chest, sinus, or rib films. These data suggest that digital imaging is a useful tool to improve clinical outcome of patients seen in the acute care setting. (+info)
(8/623) Meta-manager: a requirements analysis.
The digital imaging network-picture-archiving and communications system (DIN-PACS) will be implemented in ten sites within the Great Plains Regional Medical Command (GPRMC). This network of PACS and teleradiology technology over a shared T1 network has opened the door for round the clock radiology coverage of all sites. However, the concept of a virtual radiology environment poses new issues for military medicine. A new workflow management system must be developed. This workflow management system will allow us to efficiently resolve these issues including quality of care, availability, severe capitation, and quality of the workforce. The design process of this management system must employ existing technology, operate over various telecommunication networks and protocols, be independent of platform operating systems, be flexible and scaleable, and involve the end user at the outset in the design process for which it is developed. Using the unified modeling language (UML), the specifications for this new business management system were created in concert between the University of Arizona and the GPRMC. These specifications detail a management system operating through a common object request brokered architecture (CORBA) environment. In this presentation, we characterize the Meta-Manager management system including aspects of intelligence, interfacility routing, fail-safe operations, and expected improvements in patient care and efficiency. (+info)