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Using Latent Profile Analysis to Describe and Understand Medical Student Paths to Communication Skills Expertise

Altshuler, Lisa; Ark, Tavinder; Wilhite, Jeffrey; Hardowar, Khemraj; Crowe, Ruth; Hanley, Kathleen; L Kalet, Adina; Zabar, Sondra; Gillespie, Colleen
PMID: 36287681
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 5358002

Does it get better? An ongoing exploration of physician experiences with and acceptance of telehealth utilization

Wilhite, Jeffrey A; Phillips, Zoe; Altshuler, Lisa; Fisher, Harriet; Gillespie, Colleen; Goldberg, Eric; Wallach, Andrew; Hanley, Kathleen; Zabar, Sondra
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:COVID-19 forced health systems to rapidly implement telehealth for routine practice, often without sufficient training or standards. We conducted a longitudinal survey of physicians to explore changes in their perceptions of the challenges and benefits of telehealth and identify recommendations for future practice. METHODS:An anonymous online survey was distributed to a cohort of internal medicine physicians in May to June 2020 and March to June 2021. Changes in responses between 2020 and 2021 and by site (private vs. public) were described. These findings, along with those of a thematic analysis of open-ended responses to questions on telehealth experiences, informed a set of recommendations. RESULTS: = 0.027). Physicians' open-ended responses identified recommendations for further improving the design and use of telehealth. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Results suggest that physician experience with telehealth improved but opportunities for training and improved integration remain. Longitudinal assessment can deepen understanding of the evolution of telehealth care.
PMID: 36221982
ISSN: 1758-1109
CID: 5360972

A novel simulation-based approach to training for recruitment of older adults to clinical trials

Fisher, Harriet; Zabar, Sondra; Chodosh, Joshua; Langford, Aisha; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau; Sherman, Scott; Altshuler, Lisa
BACKGROUND:The need to engage adults, age 65 and older, in clinical trials of conditions typical in older populations, (e.g. hypertension, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia) is exponentially increasing. Older adults have been markedly underrepresented in clinical trials, often exacerbated by exclusionary study criteria as well as functional dependencies that preclude participation. Such dependencies may further exacerbate communication challenges. Consequently, the evidence of what works in subject recruitment is less generalizable to older populations, even more so for those from racial and ethnic minority and low-income communities. METHODS:To support capacity of research staff, we developed a virtual, three station simulation (Group Objective Structured Clinical Experience-GOSCE) to teach research staff communication skills. This 2-h course included a discussion of challenges in recruiting older adults; skills practice with Standardized Participants (SPs) and faculty observer who provided immediate feedback; and debrief to highlight best practices. Each learner had opportunities for active learning and observational learning. Learners completed a retrospective pre-post survey about the experience. SP completed an 11-item communication checklist evaluating the learner on a series of established behaviorally anchored communication skills (29). RESULTS:In the research staff survey, 92% reported the overall activity taught them something new; 98% reported it provided valuable feedback; 100% said they would like to participate again. In the SP evaluation there was significant variation: the percent well-done of items by case ranged from 25-85%. CONCLUSIONS:Results from this pilot suggest that GOSCEs are a (1) acceptable; (2) low cost; and (3) differentiating mechanism for training and assessing research staff in communication skills and structural competency necessary for participant research recruitment.
PMCID:9238219
PMID: 35764920
ISSN: 1471-2288
CID: 5278202

Addressing social determinants of health in primary care: a quasi-experimental study using unannounced standardised patients to evaluate the impact of audit/feedback on physicians' rates of identifying and responding to social needs

Gillespie, Colleen; Wilhite, Jeffrey A; Hanley, Kathleen; Hardowar, Khemraj; Altshuler, Lisa; Fisher, Harriet; Porter, Barbara; Wallach, Andrew; Zabar, Sondra
BACKGROUND:Although efforts are underway to address social determinants of health (SDOH), little is known about physicians' SDOH practices despite evidence that failing to fully elicit and respond to social needs can compromise patient safety and undermine both the quality and effectiveness of treatment. In particular, interventions designed to enhance response to social needs have not been assessed using actual practice behaviour. In this study, we evaluate the degree to which providing primary care physicians with feedback on their SDOH practice behaviours is associated with increased rates of eliciting and responding to housing and social isolation needs. METHODS:Unannounced standardised patients (USPs), actors trained to consistently portray clinical scenarios, were sent, incognito, to all five primary care teams in an urban, safety-net healthcare system. Scenarios involved common primary care conditions and each included an underlying housing (eg, mould in the apartment, crowding) and social isolation issue and USPs assessed whether the physician fully elicited these needs and if so, whether or not they addressed them. The intervention consisted of providing physicians with audit/feedback reports of their SDOH practices, along with brief written educational material. A prepost comparison group design was used to evaluate the intervention; four teams received the intervention and one team served as a 'proxy' comparison (no intervention). Preintervention (February 2017 to December 2017) rates of screening for and response to the scripted housing and social needs were compared with intervention period (January 2018 to March 2019) rates for both intervention and comparison teams. RESULTS:108 visits were completed preintervention and 183 during the intervention period. Overall, social needs were not elicited half of the time and fully addressed even less frequently. Rates of identifying the housing issue increased for teams that received audit/feedback reports (46%-60%; p=0.045) and declined for the proxy comparison (61%-42%; p=0.174). Rates of responding to housing needs increased significantly for intervention teams (15%-41%; p=0.004) but not for the comparison team (21%-29%; p=0.663). Social isolation was identified more frequently postintervention (53%) compared with baseline (39%; p=0.041) among the intervention teams but remained unchanged for the comparison team (39% vs 32%; p=0.601). Full exploration of social isolation remained low for both intervention and comparison teams. CONCLUSIONS:Results suggest that physicians may not be consistently screening for or responding to social needs but that receiving feedback on those practices, along with brief targeted education, can improve rates of SDOH screening and response.
PMID: 35623722
ISSN: 2044-5423
CID: 5284022

The Telemedicine Takeover: Lessons Learned During an Emerging Pandemic

Wilhite, Jeffrey A; Altshuler, Lisa; Fisher, Harriet; Gillespie, Colleen; Hanley, Kathleen; Goldberg, Eric; Wallach, Andrew; Zabar, Sondra
PMID: 34115538
ISSN: 1556-3669
CID: 5183192

Teaching and Assessing Communication Skills in Pediatric Residents: How Do Parents Think We Are Doing?

Howell, Heather B; Desai, Purnahamsi V; Altshuler, Lisa; McGrath, Meaghan; Ramsey, Rachel; Vrablik, Lauren; Levy, Fiona H; Zabar, Sondra
OBJECTIVE:Curricula designed to teach and assess the communication skills of pediatric residents variably integrates the parent perspective. We compared pediatric residents' communication skills in an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) case as assessed by Family Faculty (FF), parents of pediatric patients, versus standardized patients (SP). METHODS:Residents participated in an OSCE case with a SP acting as a patient's parent. We compared resident performance as assessed by FF and SP with a behaviorally-anchored checklist. Items were rated as not done, partly done or well done, with well-done indicating mastery. The residents evaluated the experience. RESULTS:42 residents consented to study participation. FF assessed a lower percentage of residents as demonstrating skill mastery as compared to SP in 19 of the 23 behaviors. There was a significant difference between FF and SP for Total Mastery Score and Mastery of the Competency Scores in three domains (Respect and Value, Information Sharing and Participation in Care and Decision Making). The majority of residents evaluated the experience favorably. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Involving parents of pediatric patients in the instructive and assessment components of a communication curriculum for pediatric residents adds a unique perspective and integrates the true stakeholders in parent-physician communication.
PMID: 34186252
ISSN: 1876-2867
CID: 5003712

Fasting Serum IGFBP-1 as a Marker of Insulin Resistance in Diverse School Age Groups

Bhangoo, Amrit; Gupta, Rishi; Shelov, Steve P; Carey, Dennis E; Accacha, Siham; Fennoy, Ilene; Altshuler, Lisa; Lowell, Barbara; Rapaport, Robert; Rosenfeld, Warren; Speiser, Phyllis W; Ten, Svetlana; Rosenbaum, Michael
Introduction:The known markers of insulin resistance in obese children are well studied. However, they require serial measurements and complicated calculations. The objective is to study IGFBP-1 and its relation with other known risk measures. Materials and Methods:The study included 98 New York City school students of diverse ethnic/racial backgrounds (57 males and 41 females), 11-15 years of age. Subjects were enrolled in a cross-sectional study, and anthropometric measures were collected. They underwent fasting intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTT), and glucose, insulin, lipids, IGFBP-1, adiponectin and inflammatory markers were collected. Results:The subjects were stratified into 3 groups based upon the BMI Z-score. Out of all the subjects, 65.3% were in the group with a BMI Z-score <1 SDS, 16.3% subjects were in the group with a BMI Z-score of 1 to 2 SDS, and 18.4% of the subjects were in the group with a BMI Z-score of more than 2 SDS. The group with a BMI Z-score of more than 2 SDS had increased waist circumference (WC), body fat, increased fasting insulin, and triglycerides (TG). This group had decreased levels of adiponectin and HDL and low IGFBP-1 as compared to the group with BMI <1 SDS. The group with a BMI Z-score of 1 to 2 SDS had a decreased level of IGFBP-1 as compared to the group with a BMI Z-score less than 1 SDS. IGFBP-1 inversely correlated with age, WC, BMI, body fat, TG, and insulin levels. IGFBP-1 positively correlated with adiponectin and HDL levels. Conclusion:IGFBP-1 in children can identify the presence of insulin resistance in the group with BMI 1 to 2 SDS, even before the known markers of insulin resistance such as elevated triglycerides and even before decreased HDL and adiponectin levels are identified.
PMCID:9108162
PMID: 35586622
ISSN: 1664-2392
CID: 5277472

A Novel Method of Assessing Clinical Preparedness for COVID-19 and Other Disasters

Fisher, Harriet; Re, Cherilyn; Wilhite, Jeffery A; Hanley, Kathleen; Altshuler, Lisa; Schmidtberger, James; Gagliardi, Morris; Zabar, Sondra
QUALITY ISSUE:The emergence of COVID-19 highlights the necessity of rapidly identifying and isolating potentially infected individuals. Evaluating this preparedness requires an assessment of the full clinical system, from intake to isolation. INITIAL ASSESSMENT:Unannounced Standardized Patients (USPs) present a nimble, sensitive methodology for assessing this readiness. CHOICE OF SOLUTION:Pilot the Unannounced Standardized Patient methodology, which employs an actor trained to present as a standardized, incognito potentially infected patient, to assess clinical readiness for potential COVID-19 patients at an urban, community safety-net clinic. IMPLEMENTATION:The Unannounced Standardized Patient was trained to present at each team's front desk with the complaint of feeling unwell (reporting a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 24 hours) and exposure to a roommate recently returned from Beijing. The Unannounced Standardized Patient was trained to complete a behaviorally-anchored assessment of the care she received from the clinical system. EVALUATION:There was clear variation in care Unannounced Standardized Patients received; some frontline clerical staff followed best practices; others did not. Signage and information on disease spread prevention publicly available was inconsistent. Qualitative comments shared by the Unannounced Standardized Patients and those gathered during group debrief reinforced the experiences of the Unannounced Standardized Patients and hospital leadership. LESSONS LEARNED:Unannounced Standardized Patients revealed significant variation in care practices within a clinical system. Utilization of this assessment methodology can provide just-in-time clinical information about readiness and safety practices, particularly during emerging outbreaks. Unannounced Standardized Patients will prove especially powerful as clinicians and systems return to outpatient visits while remaining vigilant about potentially infected individuals.
PMCID:7543447
PMID: 32991675
ISSN: 1464-3677
CID: 4677192

What did you say?: Assessing a virtualgoscetotrain RAS who recruit older adults to clinical trials [Meeting Abstract]

Fisher, H; Altshuler, L; Langford, A; Chodosh, J; Zabar, S
LEARNINGOBJECTIVES 1: Interpersonal /Communication Skill: 1) Identify communication skills needed to recruit older adults LEARNING OBJECTIVES 2: 2) Assess feasibility of GOSCEs to enhance recruitment skills in RAs. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample of 18 (5 male, 13 female) Research Assistants (RAs) at an urban hospital who recruit older adults for clinical trials. DESCRIPTION: Increasing older adults' participation in clinical trials is urgently needed. We developed a remote, three station simulation (Group Objective Structured Clinical Exam - GOSCE) to teach RAs communication skills. This 2-hour course included a discussion of challenges in recruiting older adults; skills practice with Standardized Participants (SPs); and a debrief to review experiences, highlight best practices. After discussion, RAs rotated (3 per group) through the stations, each with SP and faculty observer who provided immediate feedback. Thus, learners had opportunities for active and observational learning.Scenarios were: 1) an older white woman with hearing impairment; 2) an older white woman and family member together; and 3) an older Black man mistrustful due to history of racism in medical research. SPs completed behaviorally anchored checklists (11 communication skills across all cases, and 5-7 case-specific questions). Learners completed a 36- item survey of self-assessed change in skill after the workshop; insights on recruitment practice; and educational value. EVALUATION: The communication checklist across all cases included: relationship development (5 items, mean of 58% well done (range: 50-75%), patient education (3 items, 44% (42-58%)), patient satisfaction (2 items, 54% (50-58%)), and information gathering (1 item, 92%). Seventeen RAs completed the survey, 100% felt the workshop provided valuable feedback and taught relevant material, 88% would participate again and 52%reported that the workshop improved their recruitment skills. All RAs reported encountering situations similar to hearing impairment and family member cases, and the majority rated the cases as high in educational value. Just 45% reported experiencing a case similar to the Black male case, and 100% rate it as high in educational value. Key points identified by RAs included the value of building a trusting relationship with potential subjects, recognizing possible barriers to communication early on and addressing these directly in a supportive and respectful style. DISCUSSION / REFLECTION / LESSONS LEARNED: Remote GOSCEs are a feasible mechanism for training RAs in subject recruitment focused on the unique needs of older adults. Responses to the RA survey suggest that GOSCEs are feasible for training RAs in simulated clinical scenarios with which participants are familiar and unfamiliar. SP assessment of RAs identified areas for further reinforcement to improve recruitment skills. This innovation is a feasible, high yield strategy for training research staff. It is highly adaptable to the specific recruitment needs and skills of a clinical trials and will add to the literature on educating RAs
EMBASE:635797045
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4984862

Supporting a learning healthcare system-using an ongoing unannounced standardized patient program to continuously improve primary care resident education, team training, and healthcare quality [Meeting Abstract]

Gillespie, C; Wilhite, J; Hardowar, K; Fisher, H; Hanley, K; Altshuler, L; Wallach, A; Porter, B; Zabar, S
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM OR QUESTION (ONE SENTENCE): In order to describe quality improvement (QI) methods for health systems, we report on 10-years of using Unannounced Standardized Patient (USP) visits as the core of a program of education, training, and improvement in a system serving vulnerable patients in partnership with an academic medical center. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1: Consider methods for supporting learning healthcare systems LEARNING OBJECTIVES 2: Identify performance data to improve care DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM/INTERVENTION, INCLUDING ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT (E.G. INPATIENT VS. OUTPATIENT, PRACTICE OR COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS): The IOM defines a Learning Healthcare System (LHCS) as one in which science, informatics, incentives and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation and where best practices are seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge is captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience. As essential as electronic health records are to LHCS, such data fail to capture all actionable information needed to sustain learning within complex systems. USPs are trained actors who present to clinics, incognito, to portray standardized chief complaints, histories, and characteristics. We designed and delivered USP visits to two urban, safety net clinics, focusing on assessing physician, team, and clinical micro system functioning. MEASURES OF SUCCESS (DISCUSS QUALITATIVE AND/OR QUANTITATIVEMETRICSWHICHWILL BE USEDTOEVALUATE PROGRAM/INTERVENTION): Behaviorally anchored assessments are used to assess core clinical skills (e.g., communication, information gathering, patient education, adherence to guidelines, patient centeredness, and patient activation). Team functioning assessments include professionalism and coordination. Micro system assessment focuses on safety issues like identity confirmation, hand washing, and navigation. Data from these visits has been provided to the residency, primary care teams, and to leadership and have been used to drive education, team training, and QI. FINDINGS TO DATE (IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO STATE FINDINGS WILL BE DISCUSSED): 1111 visits have been sent to internal medicine and primary care residents and their teams/clinics. At the resident level, needs for additional education and training in depression management, opioid prescribing, smoking cessation, and patient activation were identified and informed education. Chart reviews found substantial variation in ordering of labs and tests. At the team level, USPs uncovered needs for staff training, enhanced communication, and better processes for eliciting and documenting Social Determinants of Health (SDoH). Audit/feedback reports on provider responses to embedded SDoH combined with targeted education/resources, were associated with increased rates of eliciting and effectively responding to SDoH. In the early COVID wave, USPs tested clinic response to a potentially infectious patient. Currently, USPs are being deployed to understand variability in patients' experience of telemedicine given the rapid transformation to this modality. Finally, generalizable questions about underlying principles of medical education and quality improvement are being asked & answered using USP data to foster deeper understanding of levers for change. KEY LESSONS FOR DISSEMINATION (WHAT CAN OTHERS TAKE AWAY FOR IMPLEMENTATION TO THEIR PRACTICE OR COMMUNITY): A comprehensive USP program can provide unique insights for driving QI and innovation and help sustain a LHCS
EMBASE:635796917
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4984892