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Technological advances have led to better patient outcomes and the expansion of clinical services in paediatric cardiology. This expansion creates an ever-growing workload for clinicians, which has led to workflow and staffing issues that need to be addressed. The objective of this study was the development of a novel tool to measure the clinical workload of a paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa: The patient encounter index is a tool designed to quantify clinical workload. It is defined as a ratio of the measured duration of clinical work to the total time available for such work. This index was implemented as part of a prospective cross-sectional study design. Clinical workload data were collected over a 10-day period using time-and-motion sampling. Clinicians were contractually expected to spend 50% of their daily workload on patient care. The median patient encounter index for the Western Cape Paediatric Cardiac Service was 0.81 (range 0.19–1.09), reflecting that 81% of total contractual working time was spent on clinical activities. This study describes the development and implementation of a novel tool for clinical workload quantification and describes its application to a busy paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa. This tool prospectively quantifies clinical workload which may directly influence patient outcomes. Implementation of this novel tool in the described setting clearly demonstrated the excessive workload of the clinical service and facilitated effective motivation for improved allocation of resources.
New cryogenic characterization techniques for exploring the nanoscale structure and chemistry of intact solid–liquid interfaces have recently been developed. These techniques provide high-resolution information about buried interfaces from large samples or devices that cannot be obtained by other means. These advancements were enabled by the development of instrumentation for cryogenic focused ion beam liftout, which allows intact solid–liquid interfaces to be extracted from large samples and thinned to electron-transparent thicknesses for characterization by cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy or atom probe tomography. Future implementation of these techniques will complement current strides in imaging of materials in fluid environments by in situ liquid-phase electron microscopy, providing a more complete understanding of the morphology, surface chemistry, and dynamic processes that occur at solid–liquid interfaces.
In Northern Iroquoian languages, a nominalizer (nlzr) is typically required to transform a verb into a noun, either for noun incorporation or to create a full DP. In some cases, the nominalizer is required only for noun incorporation and not for the formation of a DP. Interestingly, the converse is never found. That is, there are no lexical roots that require the nominalizer for the formation of a DP, but not for noun incorporation. With this asymmetry in mind, we examine the categorial properties of roots in Northern Iroquoian. We discuss three common theories of the categorization of roots: (i) the traditional theory, in which all roots are specified as nouns or verbs (or adjectives for languages that have this category), (ii) the Bare Root Hypothesis, in which all roots are acategorial, and (iii), the Roots as Nouns Hypothesis, in which all roots are nouns. We show that the Northern Iroquoian facts are not amenable to any of these theories. We propose instead that some roots in Northern Iroquoian are categorially specified (some as nouns, some as verbs), while others are truly bare.
We investigated the impact of discontinuation of contact precautions for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus infected or colonized patients on central-line associated bloodstream infection rates at an academic children’s hospital. Discontinuation of contact precautions with a bundled horizontal infection prevention platform resulted in no adverse impact on CLABSI rates.
There is ongoing debate as to whether conventional pharmacoeconomic evaluation (PE) methods are appropriate for orphan medicinal products (OMPs). The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) in Ireland has a well-defined process for conducting pharmacoeconomic evaluations of pharmaceuticals, which is the same for OMPs and non-OMPs. The objective of this study was to identify whether supplementary criteria considered in the pharmacoeconomic evaluation of OMPs would affect final reimbursement recommendations.
A literature search was conducted to identify criteria. Orphan drug pharmacoeconomic evaluations completed by the NCPE between January 2015 and December 2017 were identified and supplementary criteria, where feasible, were applied.
Fourteen pharmacoeconomic evaluations were included in the study. Three criteria that could feasibly be applied to the NCPE evaluation process were identified, all three of which essentially broadened the economic perspective of the pharmacoeconomic evaluation. Higher cost-effectiveness threshold: Despite being arbitrarily raised from EUR 45,000/QALY to EUR 100,000/QALY, only one orphan drug demonstrated cost-effectiveness at this higher threshold. Weighted QALY gain: here, a weighted gain of between one and three is applied to drugs demonstrating QALY gains between 10 and 30, respectively. No OMPs included in the study showed a QALY gain of more than 10. Thirteen demonstrated QALY gains less than 10 and one could not be evaluated. Societal perspective: six submissions incorporated societal perspective as a scenario analysis. Despite incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) being reduced between 4 percent and 58 percent, only two OMPs demonstrated cost-effectiveness at the higher threshold (EUR 100,000/QALY).
Application of supplementary criteria to the pharmacoeconomic evaluation of OMPs had a minor effect on three products assessed. However, for the majority, the final cost-effectiveness outcomes remained the same. The study highlights that other criteria are being considered in the decision to reimburse.
The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) assesses the cost-effectiveness of new drugs for which reimbursement by the healthcare payer, the Health Service Executive (HSE), is sought in Ireland. This research aims to create a systematic approach for the NCPE review group (RG) to assess each of the cost-effectiveness models submitted by the applicant by creating cost-effectiveness model appraisal guidelines.
The RG consists of clinical, statistical and health economic expertise. In order to systematically appraise the HTA submission, which includes a cost-effectiveness model, clear guidelines on how each of the members of the RG can work together are required. The current members of the RG in the NCPE were given a draft of the guidelines created by the primary author, and additional feedback and testing was performed using the expert experience of the team. A version of the guidelines was tested for its usefulness.
Three checklists were created. The purpose of the first checklist is to evaluate if the cost-effectiveness model works correctly. The second checklist ensures that each of the assumptions included in the HTA dossier are the same as those included in the cost-effectiveness model. The final checklist validates the assumptions used in the cost-effectiveness model to ensure they are reasonable and appropriate for decision making. The final version of the checklists were validated by choosing cost-effectiveness models with known errors and/or discrepancies and testing that the issues were captured by the checklists.
These guidelines are not an exhaustive list of checks that should be performed, but are presented as the minimum requirements for consideration to be included with each RG assessment of the corresponding HTA submission. The guidelines will be constantly updated as the process evolves over time. The cost-effectiveness models should follow the National Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Guidelines for the Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies in Ireland.
Evidence synthesis (ES) is often required for economic evaluation (EE) of pharmaceuticals. Commonly used methods are based on the assumption of proportional hazards in trial data, using the hazard ratio (HR). Alternative methods for ES are increasingly used in EE, in situations where the pattern of hazards in the trial data indicates that the proportional hazards assumption may be violated. The impact of these methodological choices on model outcomes is explored.
The model outcomes predicted by each method (HR, FP and AFT) are presented and compared. Both deterministic and probabilistic results are presented, alongside a discussion around how the uncertainty in these structural assumptions may be captured in EE.
Structural assumptions in ES may lead to differences in model outcomes. The impact of these differences may be important in situations where decision uncertainty is high. Methods should be chosen and justified based on patterns of hazard present in the trial data.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
Electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) is a technique regularly used to obtain crystallographic information from inorganic samples. When EBSD is acquired simultaneously with emitting diodes data, a sample can be thoroughly characterized both structurally and compositionally. For organic materials, coherent Kikuchi patterns do form when the electron beam interacts with crystalline material. However, such patterns tend to be weak due to the low average atomic number of organic materials. This is compounded by the fact that the patterns fade quickly and disappear completely once a critical electron dose is exceeded, inhibiting successful collection of EBSD maps from them. In this study, a new approach is presented that allows successful collection of EBSD maps from organic materials, here the extreme example of a hydrocarbon organic molecular thin film, and opens new avenues of characterization for crystalline organic materials.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To build a multisite de-identified database of female adolescents, aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012), and their subsequent offspring through 24 months of age from electronic health records (EHRs) provided by participating Community Health. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We created a community-academic partnership that included New York City Community Health Centers (n=4) and Hospitals (n=4), The Rockefeller University, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and Clinical Directors Network (CDN). We used the Community-Engaged Research Navigation model to establish a multisite de-identified database extracted from EHRs of female adolescents aged 12–21 years (January 2011–December 2012) and their offspring through 24 months of age. These patients received their primary care between 2011 and 2015. Clinical data were used to explore possible associations among specific measures. We focused on the preconception, prenatal, postnatal periods, including pediatric visits up to 24 months of age. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The analysis included all female adolescents (n=122,556) and a subset of pregnant adolescents with offspring data available (n=2917). Patients were mostly from the Bronx; 43% of all adolescent females were overweight (22%) or obese (21%) and showed higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, and triglycerides levels compared with normal-weight adolescent females (p<0.05). This analysis was also performed looking at the nonpregnant females and the pregnant females separately. Overall, the pregnant females were older (mean age=18.3) compared with the nonpregnant females (mean age=16.5), there was a higher percentage of Hispanics among the pregnant females (58%) compared with the nonpregnant females (43.9%). There was a statistically significant association between the BMI status of mothers and infants’ birth weight, with underweight/normal-weight mothers having more low birth weight (LBW) babies and overweight/obese mothers having more large babies. The odds of having a LBW baby was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.89) lower in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers. The risk of having a preterm birth before 37 weeks was found to be neutral in obese compared with normal-weight adolescent mothers (OR=0.81, 95% CI: 0.53, 1.25). Preliminary associations are similar to those reported in the published literature. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This EHR database uses available measures from routine clinical care as a “rapid assay” to explore potential associations, and may be more useful to detect the presence and direction of associations than the magnitude of effects. This partnership has engaged community clinicians, laboratory, and clinical investigators, and funders in study design and analysis, as demonstrated by the collaborative development and testing of hypotheses relevant to service delivery. Furthermore, this research and learning collaborative is examining strategies to enhance clinical workflow and data quality as well as underlying biological mechanisms. The feasibility of scaling-up these methods facilitates studying similar populations in different Health Systems, advancing point-of-care studies of natural history and comparative effectiveness research to identify service gaps, evaluate effective interventions, and enhance clinical and data quality improvement.