Local Department (local + department)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Thromboprophylaxis in ENT patients: a national survey

Summary The aim of this survey was to establish whether ENT departments in England follow British Medical Journal guidelines on thromboprophylaxis. A telephone survey of doctors in 80 ENT departments was used to present six clinical scenarios. The participants were asked what their local department routinely did. They were also asked whether they were aware of a local or national thromboprophylaxis policy. For patients undergoing procedures other than major head and neck procedures, compliance was poor and ranged between 7.5% and 37.5%. For laryngectomy, the rate was 82.6%. There was no statistical difference in answers given by doctors of different levels of seniority. Where local thromboprophylaxis guidelines exist, compliance is found to be statistically better. These results suggest that most ENT departments do not follow national or local guidelines on thromboprophylaxis. Greater awareness of existing guidelines is required. [source]

Pre-audit survey of documentation of invasive procedures in paediatric anaesthesia

A. Patil
Introduction Consent of patients for any medical procedure is an essential part of good practice (1). Verbal consent is increasingly sought for invasive anaesthetic procedures and documentation of this is an important feature of risk management. Paediatric consent is a complex issue and although it is common practice to explain things to the child, written consent is generally still sought from the parent (2). Recent guidelines from the Royal College (3) are quite specific about having a ,child centred approach'. They clearly state that ,where special techniques (e.g. epidurals, other regional blocks including caudal, and invasive monitoring or blood transfusion) are used there should generally be written evidence that these have been discussed with the child (when appropriate) and the parents'. Our aim was to discover the current amount of documentation on invasive procedures in our paediatric anaesthetic notes and to subsequently agree on a local standard. Method We looked retrospectively at anaesthetic records of children aged 10, 11 and 12 years undergoing general anaesthesia for elective surgery over a 2-month period. We specifically looked for documentation of who was present at the pre-operative discussion and where an invasive anaesthetic technique was planned. written evidence that it had been discussed. Results 73 anaesthetic records were examined. The case mix was as follows: 37% ENT, 28% Plastic Surgery, 24% General Surgery, 11 % Orthopaedic and Oral Surgery. A Consultant was present for 98% of the anaesthetics and was accompanied by a trainee in half of those cases. In 82% (60 patients) there was no documentation of who was present at the pre-operative discussion. In 2 cases (3%) the child was seen alone, in 8 cases (11 %) both a parent and child were documented to have been involved in the discussion and in 3 cases (4%) only the parents appeared to have been involved. Of the 73 anaesthetic records, 11 did not have invasive procedures planned or performed and the following data is from the remaining 62 anaesthetic records ,,83.5% of invasive procedures were documented pre-operatively ,,12 patients (19%) had more than one procedure. ,,Only 7 notes (11 %) had a record of the procedure being specifically discussed with the child. ,,2 out of the 4 caudal (50%) were done without documentatior, of discussion about the procedure ,,7 out of 48 suppositories (14%) were given without record of verbal consent ,,5 out of 16 (31 %) of the local anaesthetic techniques were performed without documentation of discussion. Discussion This pre-audit survey demonstrates that in 82% of cases there was no record of exactly who was present at the preoperative discussion and that some invasive procedures were carried out without any record of a discussion having taken place. We feel that this level of documentation is insufficient. We looked at the age range 10,12 years as this might be regarded as approximately the age at which agreement should be sought for relatively simple procedures such as those chosen in this survey. This is not to imply that children below this age should not be involved in a plan of management or that all children of this age will be fully competent to participate in decisions. We deliberately chose to look at elective surgery, as there should be better documentation in these cases. One reason for such poor results may be that most anaesthetists do not realise the importance of documentation. Our current chart provides no means of prompting the anaesthetist to record who was present at pre-operative discussions. There is also a lack of a clear standard as to an age when invasive procedures should generally be discussed. We feel that this is probably a common problem and hope this surveys increases awareness on this important topic. Conclusions The results of this survey are to be brought to the attention of the local department. Having identified the problem we hope to agree on a local standard and audit against these standards. [source]

The Cost-Effectiveness of Independent Housing for the Chronically Mentally Ill: Do Housing and Neighborhood Features Matter?

Joseph Harkness
Objective. To determine the effects of housing and neighborhood features on residential instability and the costs of mental health services for individuals with chronic mental illness (CMI). Data Sources. Medicaid and service provider data on the mental health service utilization of 670 individuals with CMI between 1988 and 1993 were combined with primary data on housing attributes and costs, as well as census data on neighborhood characteristics. Study participants were living in independent housing units developed under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program on Chronic Mental Illness in four of nine demonstration cities between 1988 and 1993. Study Design. Participants were assigned on a first-come, first-served basis to housing units as they became available for occupancy after renovation by the housing providers. Multivariate statistical models are used to examine the relationship between features of the residential environment and three outcomes that were measured during the participant's occupancy in a study property: residential instability, community-based service costs, and hospital-based service costs. To assess cost-effectiveness, the mental health care cost savings associated with some residential features are compared with the cost of providing housing with these features. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. Health service utilization data were obtained from Medicaid and from state and local departments of mental health. Non-mental-health services, substance abuse services, and pharmaceuticals were screened out. Principal Findings. Study participants living in newer and properly maintained buildings had lower mental health care costs and residential instability. Buildings with a richer set of amenity features, neighborhoods with no outward signs of physical deterioration, and neighborhoods with newer housing stock were also associated with reduced mental health care costs. Study participants were more residentially stable in buildings with fewer units and where a greater proportion of tenants were other individuals with CMI. Mental health care costs and residential instability tend to be reduced in neighborhoods with many nonresidential land uses and a higher proportion of renters. Mixed-race neighborhoods are associated with reduced probability of mental health hospitalization, but they also are associated with much higher hospitalization costs if hospitalized. The degree of income mixing in the neighborhood has no effect. Conclusions. Several of the key findings are consistent with theoretical expectations that higher-quality housing and neighborhoods lead to better mental health outcomes among individuals with CMI. The mental health care cost savings associated with these favorable features far outweigh the costs of developing and operating properties with them. Support for the hypothesis that "diverse-disorganized" neighborhoods are more accepting of individuals with CMI and, hence, associated with better mental health outcomes, is mixed. [source]

Evaluation of Needle Exchange Programs

Cheryl Delgado M.S.N.
Abstract Needle exchange programs exist in every major population area in the United States and in many other countries. Some operate legally under emergency health decrees issued by local departments of health, with the stated intention of risk reduction through the removal of used injection equipment from use by injection drug users. It is theorized that this results in a reduced transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis, and, possibly, other blood-borne diseases. Needle exchange programs also offer access to drug treatment programs for the participants. It is a difficult but necessary task to evaluate these programs. This article examines examples of evaluations attempted in the past and discusses the challenges of such evaluations. Experimental evaluations, economic program analysis, legal aspects, and risk,benefit assessment along with ethical aspects are considered. An outline of program evaluation is proposed. Needle exchange programs offer an opportunity to encourage risk reduction and to offer counseling and access to health care for individuals at high risk. It is essential that such programs demonstrate their effectiveness. Assumptions of efficacy are insufficient for health care in the twenty-first century. [source]