Surgery (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Management and outcomes of gastrointestinal congenital anomalies in low, middle and high income countries: protocol for a multicentre, international, prospective cohort study.
    Wright, NJ ; Global PaedSurg Research Collaboration, (BMJ, 2019-09-03)
    INTRODUCTION: Congenital anomalies are the fifth leading cause of death in children <5 years of age globally, contributing an estimated half a million deaths per year. Very limited literature exists from low and middle income countries (LMICs) where most of these deaths occur. The Global PaedSurg Research Collaboration aims to undertake the first multicentre, international, prospective cohort study of a selection of common congenital anomalies comparing management and outcomes between low, middle and high income countries (HICs) globally. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Global PaedSurg Research Collaboration consists of surgeons, paediatricians, anaesthetists and allied healthcare professionals involved in the surgical care of children globally. Collaborators will prospectively collect observational data on consecutive patients presenting for the first time, with one of seven common congenital anomalies (oesophageal atresia, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, intestinal atresia, gastroschisis, exomphalos, anorectal malformation and Hirschsprung's disease).Patient recruitment will be for a minimum of 1 month from October 2018 to April 2019 with a 30-day post-primary intervention follow-up period. Anonymous data will be collected on patient demographics, clinical status, interventions and outcomes using REDCap. Collaborators will complete a survey regarding the resources and facilities for neonatal and paediatric surgery at their centre.The primary outcome is all-cause in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes include the occurrence of post-operative complications. Chi-squared analysis will be used to compare mortality between LMICs and HICs. Multilevel, multivariate logistic regression analysis will be undertaken to identify patient-level and hospital-level factors affecting outcomes with adjustment for confounding factors. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: At the host centre, this study is classified as an audit not requiring ethical approval. All participating collaborators have gained local approval in accordance with their institutional ethical regulations. Collaborators will be encouraged to present the results locally, nationally and internationally. The results will be submitted for open access publication in a peer reviewed journal. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03666767.
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    The endoscopy safety checklist: A longitudinal study of factors affecting compliance in a tertiary referral centre within the United Kingdom.
    Matharoo, M ; Sevdalis, N ; Thillai, M ; Bouri, S ; Marjot, T ; Haycock, A ; Thomas-Gibson, S (BMJ, 2015)
    Gastrointestinal endoscopy is a widely used diagnostic and therapeutic procedure both within the United Kingdom and worldwide. With an increasingly older population the potential for complications is increased. The Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy at St. Mark's Hospital in London is a tertiary referral centre, which conducts over 14,000 endoscopic procedures annually. However, despite this high throughput, our baseline observations were that the procedure for safety checks was highly variable. Over a seven-day period we conducted a questionnaire-based survey to all staff members involved with endoscopy within our unit. We found that there was little consensus between team members, both in terms of essential safety checks and designating responsibility for the checks. A panel of experts was convened in order to devise a safety checklist and a strategy for increasing compliance with the checklist among all staff members. Using a combination of electronic and physical reminders and incentives, we found that there was a significant increase in completed checklist (53% to 66%, p = 0.021) and decrease in the number of checklists left blank post intervention (10% to 2%, p=0.03). We believe that post implementation validation of safety checklists is an important method to ensure their proper use.
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    Understanding the determinants of antimicrobial prescribing within hospitals: the role of "prescribing etiquette".
    Charani, E ; Castro-Sanchez, E ; Sevdalis, N ; Kyratsis, Y ; Drumright, L ; Shah, N ; Holmes, A (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2013-07)
    BACKGROUND: There is limited knowledge of the key determinants of antimicrobial prescribing behavior (APB) in hospitals. An understanding of these determinants is required for the successful design, adoption, and implementation of quality improvement interventions in antimicrobial stewardship programs. METHODS: Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted with doctors (n = 10), pharmacists (n = 10), and nurses and midwives (n = 19) in 4 hospitals in London. Interviews were conducted until thematic saturation was reached. Thematic analysis was applied to the data to identify the key determinants of antimicrobial prescribing behaviors. RESULTS: The APB of healthcare professionals is governed by a set of cultural rules. Antimicrobial prescribing is performed in an environment where the behavior of clinical leaders or seniors influences practice of junior doctors. Senior doctors consider themselves exempt from following policy and practice within a culture of perceived autonomous decision making that relies more on personal knowledge and experience than formal policy. Prescribers identify with the clinical groups in which they work and adjust their APB according to the prevailing practice within these groups. A culture of "noninterference" in the antimicrobial prescribing practice of peers prevents intervention into prescribing of colleagues. These sets of cultural rules demonstrate the existence of a "prescribing etiquette," which dominates the APB of healthcare professionals. Prescribing etiquette creates an environment in which professional hierarchy and clinical groups act as key determinants of APB. CONCLUSIONS: To influence the antimicrobial prescribing of individual healthcare professionals, interventions need to address prescribing etiquette and use clinical leadership within existing clinical groups to influence practice.
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    A stepped wedge, cluster controlled trial of an intervention to improve safety and quality on medical wards: the HEADS-UP study protocol.
    Pannick, S ; Beveridge, I ; Ashrafian, H ; Long, SJ ; Athanasiou, T ; Sevdalis, N (BMJ, 2015-06-22)
    INTRODUCTION: The majority of preventable deaths in healthcare are due to errors on general wards. Staff perceptions of safety correlate with patient survival, but effectively translating ward teams' concerns into tangibly improved care remains problematic. The Hospital Event Analysis Describing Significant Unanticipated Problems (HEADS-UP) trial evaluates a structured, multidisciplinary team briefing, capturing safety threats and adverse events, with rapid feedback to clinicians and service managers. This is the first study to rigorously assess a simpler intervention for general medical units, alongside an implementation model applicable to routine clinical practice. METHODS/ANALYSIS: 7 wards from 2 hospitals will progressively incorporate the intervention into daily practice over 14 months. Wards will adopt HEADS-UP in a pragmatic sequence, guided by local clinical enthusiasm. Initial implementation will be facilitated by a research lead, but rapidly delegated to clinical teams. The primary outcome is excess length of stay (a surplus stay of 24 h or more, compared to peer institutions' Healthcare Resource Groups-predicted length of stay). Secondary outcomes are 30-day readmission or excess length of stay; in-hospital death or death/readmission within 30 days; healthcare-acquired infections; processes of escalation of care; use of traditional incident-reporting systems; and patient safety and teamwork climates. HEADS-UP will be analysed as a stepped wedge cluster controlled trial. With 7840 patients, using best and worst case predictions, the study would achieve between 75% and 100% power to detect a 2-14% absolute risk reduction in excess length of stay (two-sided p<0.05). Regression analysis will use generalised linear mixed models or generalised estimating equations, and a time-to-event regression model. A qualitative analysis will evaluate facilitators and barriers to HEADS-UP implementation and impact. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Participating institutions' Research and Governance departments approved the study. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and at conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN34806867.
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    The influence of time pressure on adherence to guidelines in primary care: an experimental study.
    Tsiga, E ; Panagopoulou, E ; Sevdalis, N ; Montgomery, A ; Benos, A (BMJ, 2013)
    OBJECTIVES: Evidence from cognitive sciences has systematically shown that time pressure influences decision-making processes. However, very few studies have examined the role of time pressure on adherence to guidelines in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of time pressure on adherence to guidelines in primary care concerning: history taking, clinical examination and advice giving. DESIGN: A within-subjects experimental design was used. SETTING: Academic. PARTICIPANTS: 34 general practitioners (GPs) were assigned to two experimental conditions (time pressure vs no time pressure) consecutively, and presented with two scenarios involving virus respiratory tract infections. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures included adherence to guidelines on history taking, clinical examination and advice giving. RESULTS: Under time pressure, GPs asked significantly less questions concerning presenting symptoms, than the ones indicated by the guidelines, (p=0.019), conducted a less-thorough clinical examination (p=0.028), while they gave less advice on lifestyle (p=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: As time pressure increases as a result of high workload, there is a need to examine how adherence to guidelines is affected to safeguard patient's safety.
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    Implementation of an endoscopy safety checklist.
    Matharoo, M ; Thomas-Gibson, S ; Haycock, A ; Sevdalis, N (BMJ, 2014-10)
    Patient safety and quality improvement are increasingly prioritised across all areas of healthcare. Errors in endoscopy are common but often inconsequential and therefore go uncorrected. A series of minor errors, however, may culminate in a significant adverse event. This is unsurprising given the rising volume and complexity of cases coupled with shift working patterns. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that surgical safety checklists can prevent errors and thus positively impact on patient morbidity and mortality. Consequently, surgical checklists are mandatory for all procedures. Many UK hospitals are mandating the use of similar checklists for endoscopy. There is no guidance on how best to implement endoscopy checklists nor any measure of their usefulness in endoscopy. This article outlines lessons learnt from innovating service delivery in our unit.
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    The outcomes of recent patient safety education interventions for trainee physicians and medical students: a systematic review.
    Kirkman, MA ; Sevdalis, N ; Arora, S ; Baker, P ; Vincent, C ; Ahmed, M (BMJ, 2015-05-20)
    OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the latest evidence for patient safety education for physicians in training and medical students, updating, extending and improving on a previous systematic review on this topic. DESIGN: A systematic review. DATA SOURCES: Embase, Ovid Medline and PsycINFO databases. STUDY SELECTION: Studies including an evaluation of patient safety training interventions delivered to trainees/residents and medical students published between January 2009 and May 2014. DATA EXTRACTION: The review was performed using a structured data capture tool. Thematic analysis also identified factors influencing successful implementation of interventions. RESULTS: We identified 26 studies reporting patient safety interventions: 11 involving students and 15 involving trainees/residents. Common educational content included a general overview of patient safety, root cause/systems-based analysis, communication and teamwork skills, and quality improvement principles and methodologies. The majority of courses were well received by learners, and improved patient safety knowledge, skills and attitudes. Moreover, some interventions were shown to result in positive behaviours, notably subsequent engagement in quality improvement projects. No studies demonstrated patient benefit. Availability of expert faculty, competing curricular/service demands and institutional culture were important factors affecting implementation. CONCLUSIONS: There is an increasing trend for developing educational interventions in patient safety delivered to trainees/residents and medical students. However, significant methodological shortcomings remain and additional evidence of impact on patient outcomes is needed. While there is some evidence of enhanced efforts to promote sustainability of such interventions, further work is needed to encourage their wider adoption and spread.
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    The role of non-technical skills in surgery.
    Agha, RA ; Fowler, AJ ; Sevdalis, N (Elsevier BV, 2015-12)
    Non-technical skills are of increasing importance in surgery and surgical training. A traditional focus on technical skills acquisition and competence is no longer enough for the delivery of a modern, safe surgical practice. This review discusses the importance of non-technical skills and the values that underpin successful modern surgical practice. This narrative review used a number of sources including written and online, there was no specific search strategy of defined databases. Modern surgical practice requires; technical and non-technical skills, evidence-based practice, an emphasis on lifelong learning, monitoring of outcomes and a supportive institutional and health service framework. Finally these requirements need to be combined with a number of personal and professional values including integrity, professionalism and compassionate, patient-centred care.
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    Implementation science: a reappraisal of our journal mission and scope.
    Foy, R ; Sales, A ; Wensing, M ; Aarons, GA ; Flottorp, S ; Kent, B ; Michie, S ; O'Connor, D ; Rogers, A ; Sevdalis, N ; Straus, S ; Wilson, P (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2015-04-17)
    The implementation of research findings into healthcare practice has become increasingly recognised as a major priority for researchers, service providers, research funders and policymakers over the past decade. Nine years after its establishment, Implementation Science, an international online open access journal, currently publishes over 150 articles each year. This is fewer than 30% of those submitted for publication. The majority of manuscript rejections occur at the point of initial editorial screening, frequently because we judge them to fall outside of journal scope. There are a number of common reasons as to why manuscripts are rejected on grounds of scope. Furthermore, as the field of implementation research has evolved and our journal submissions have risen, we have, out of necessity, had to become more selective in what we publish. We have also expanded our scope, particularly around patient-mediated and population health interventions, and will monitor the impact of such changes. We hope this editorial on our evolving priorities and common reasons for rejection without peer review will help authors to better judge the relevance of their papers to Implementation Science.
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    Impact of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist on safety culture in the operating theatre: a controlled intervention study.
    Haugen, AS ; Søfteland, E ; Eide, GE ; Sevdalis, N ; Vincent, CA ; Nortvedt, MW ; Harthug, S (Elsevier BV, 2013-05)
    BACKGROUND: Positive changes in safety culture have been hypothesized to be one of the mechanisms behind the reduction in mortality and morbidity after the introduction of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC). We aimed to study the checklist effects on safety culture perceptions in operating theatre personnel using a prospective controlled intervention design at a single Norwegian university hospital. METHODS: We conducted a study with pre- and post-intervention surveys using the intervention and control groups. The primary outcome was the effects of the Norwegian version of the SSC on safety culture perceptions. Safety culture was measured using the validated Norwegian version of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Descriptive characteristics of operating theatre personnel and checklist compliance data were also recorded. A mixed linear regression model was used to assess changes in safety culture. RESULTS: The response rate was 61% (349/575) at baseline and 51% (292/569) post-intervention. Checklist compliance ranged from 77% to 85%. We found significant positive changes in the checklist intervention group for the culture factors 'frequency of events reported' and 'adequate staffing' with regression coefficients at -0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI), -0.47 to -0.07] and 0.21 (95% CI, 0.07-0.35), respectively. Overall, the intervention group reported significantly more positive culture scores-including at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of the SSC had rather limited impact on the safety culture within this hospital.