Author Interviews, Education, Johns Hopkins, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 08.07.2015

Judy Huang, M.D. Professor of Neurosurgery Program Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program Fellowship Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy Huang, M.D. Professor of Neurosurgery Program Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program Fellowship Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Huang: Residents are medical school graduates who are in training programs working alongside and under supervision of more senior physicians, known as attendings. Patients are sometimes wary of having residents assist in their operations, but an analysis of 16,098 brain and spine surgeries performed across the United States finds that resident participation does not raise patient risks for postoperative complications or death.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Outcomes & Safety / 17.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen W. Waldo, MD Research Fellow in Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Waldo: Public reporting is intended to improve outcomes for our patients.  Proponents of public reporting applaud the increased transparency that it offers, allowing both patients and physicians to objectively evaluate health care outcomes for a given institution or individual provider.  Previous research has demonstrated, however, that public reporting of procedural outcomes may create disincentives to provide percutaneous coronary intervention for critically ill patients.  The present study sought to evaluate the association between public reporting of outcomes with procedural management and clinical outcomes among patients with acute myocardial infarction.  As the data demonstrate, public reporting of outcomes is associated with a lower rate of percutaneous revascularization and increased overall in-hospital mortality among patients with an acute myocardial infarction, particularly among those that do not receive percutaneous intervention.  This may reflect risk aversion among physicians in states that participate in public reporting, an unintended consequence of this policy.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Mayo Clinic, Outcomes & Safety / 11.03.2015

Dr. Leslie CurryMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leslie Curry PhD, MPH Senior Research Scientist in and Lecturer in Public Health (Health Policy) Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Yale School of Public Health Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Curry: Quality of care for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has improved substantially in recent years due to important investments by clinicians and policymakers; however, survival rates across U.S. Hospitals still differ greatly. Evidence suggests links between hospital organizational culture and hospital performance in care of patients with AMI. Yet few studies have attempted to shift organizational culture in order to improve performance, fewer have focused on patient outcomes, and none have addressed mortality for patients with acute myocardial infarction.  We sought to address this gap through a novel longitudinal intervention study, Leadership Saves Lives (LSL). We have a large team of people with backgrounds in nursing, medicine, health care administration and research working in 10 very diverse hospitals across the country in 10 states. All hospitals are members of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and are fully committed to saving lives of patients with heart attacks. Teams of 10-12 clinicians and administrators are devoting substantial energy, expertise and good will to this project.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Outcomes & Safety / 25.01.2015

Herbert Aronow, MDMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Herbert D. Aronow, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, FSVM Governor, American College of Cardiology (ACC) – Michigan Chapter Chair, ACC Peripheral Vascular Disease Section Trustee, Society for Vascular Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Aronow: Psychomotor and cognitive performance may be impaired by sleep deprivation.  Interventional cardiologists perform emergent, middle-of-the-night procedures, and may be sleep-deprived as a consequence.  Whether performance of middle-of-the-night percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures impacts outcomes associated with PCI procedures performed the following day is not known. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Surgical Research / 21.01.2015

Thomas C. Tsai, MD, MPH Departments of Surgery and Health Policy and Management Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas C. Tsai, MD, MPH Departments of Surgery and Health Policy and Management Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tsai: Emerging evidence is suggesting that fragmented care is associated with higher costs and lower quality. For elderly patients undergoing major surgical procedures, fragmentation of care in the post-discharge period may be especially problematic. We therefore hypothesized that elderly patients receiving fragmented post-discharge care would have worse outcomes. We found that among Medicare patients who are readmitted after a major surgical operation, one in four are readmitted to a different hospital than the one where the original operation was performed. Even taking distance traveled into account, we find that this type of postsurgical care fragmentation is associated with a substantially higher risk of death.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Outcomes & Safety / 20.01.2014

Allan J. Walkey, M.D., M.Sc Boston University School of Medicine Pulmonary Center Boston, MassachusettsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allan J. Walkey, M.D., M.Sc Boston University School of Medicine Pulmonary Center Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Walkey: Thank you for the interest in our study.  Current evidence-based treatments for severe sepsis (ie, infection+systemic inflammatory response+ end organ dysfunction) include specific processes of care rather specific therapeutics.  These processes include early administration of antibiotics, early fluid resuscitation, and lung protective ventilation strategies.  We hypothesized that hospitals with more ‘practice’ at treating patients with severe sepsis may have more effective care processes leading to improved patient outcomes.  We examined more than 15,000 severe sepsis admissions from 124 US academic medical centers. Our findings supported our hypothesis. After adjustment for patient severity of illness and hospital characteristics, mortality in the highest quartile severe sepsis case volume hospitals was 22% and  mortality in lowest severe sepsis case volume hospitals was 29%.  The 7% absolute mortality difference would result in an estimated number needed to treat in high severe sepsis volume hospitals to prevent one death in low case volume hospitals of 14 (though we advise caution in interpretation of a number needed to treat in an observational study). Costs and length of stay were not different across levels of severe sepsis case volume.  Results were robust to multiple subgroup and sensitivity analyses.
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 05.09.2013

Marco D. Huesch, MBBS, Ph.D., Assistant professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Adjunct professor with Duke’s School of Medicine and Fuqua School of Business.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marco D. Huesch, MBBS, Ph.D. Assistant professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Adjunct professor with Duke’s School of Medicine and Fuqua School of Business. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: This study asked whether ‘learning by doing’ works backwards too, as ‘forgetting by not doing’. In an nutshell, the answer is ‘no’ among the Californian cardiac surgeons I examined with short breaks of around a month.