Experiences from the deployment of non-hospitalist physician volunteers during the 2020 covid pandemic [Meeting Abstract]
BACKGROUND: New York City was the epicenter of the COVID pandemic in the US during early 2020. NYU Langone Medical Center was one of many New York medical centers that experienced an unprecedented influx of patients. During the onset of the pandemic, clinic leadership identified, oriented, and rapidly deployed a COVID Army, consisting of non-hospitalist physicians, to meet the needs of this patient influx. Orientation and training included an hour-long session with an emphasis on the inpatient electronic medical record system and a plan for at the elbow assistance from senior hospitalists. Here, we share feedback from our providers on our capacity building process and use information gathered to offer specific lessons learned in planning for workforce mobilization.
METHOD(S): A 32-item survey was distributed from March-June of 2020 in order to assess the experiences of these ancillary physicians, all of which were NYU Langone providers. Items included a mix of Likert and open-ended questions on demographics and attitudes toward experiences on the COVID team.
RESULT(S): All 272 volunteers received a survey. 67% (n=183) responded. 84 (46%) were from the Department of Medicine, the remainder were primarily from surgical, pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology. Respondents worked in combination ambulatory/inpatient practices (n=94; 52%) or outpatient only (n=85; 47%) (Mean years in practice: 7.18). 76% felt that the number of patients they were in charge of felt Just Right (average: 7). 10% rated the experience as challenging (n=17). On their perception of support and training, 94% and 63% rated the support and training they received as somewhat or very effective, respectively. 89% (n=99) and 96% (n=107) of supplemental attendings felt valued and valuable to their team, respectively. 87% of respondents identified as being willing to volunteer again. In review of open-ended feedback, we identified a series of themes surrounding areas for improvement. These include the need to 1) invest time into orientations, including training on EHR use, (2) clarify roles and workflow within each team up front, (3) balance team workload if possible, (4) keep teams updated on evolving policies and recommendations, (5) make team members feel valued and supported, and (6) ensure they have the right tools available.
CONCLUSION(S): Given what we have learned from our survey, the continued waxing and waning of community infection, and the unknown length and extent of the COVID pandemic, we recommend providing transparent leadership, frequent communication, and an educational series to ensure everyone is learning together. In addition, clarity is essential, and it is important to be specific in defining the exact roles of ancillary physicians. It is our hope that the lessons learned from our needs assessment can be applied to other hospitals currently in the throes of a surge of COVID inpatients. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #1: Identify best practices for preparing an ancillary workforce for patient surge. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #2: Understand tools for quality patient care
Hemorrhagic stroke and anticoagulation in COVID-19
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Patients with the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) are at increased risk for thrombotic events and mortality. Various anticoagulation regimens are now being considered for these patients. Anticoagulation is known to increase the risk for adverse bleeding events, of which intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is one of the most feared. We present a retrospective study of 33 patients positive for COVID-19 with neuroimaging-documented ICH and examine anticoagulation use in this population. METHODS:Patients over the age of 18 with confirmed COVID-19 and radiographic evidence of ICH were included in this study. Evidence of hemorrhage was confirmed and categorized by a fellowship trained neuroradiologist. Electronic health records were analyzed for patient information including demographic data, medical history, hospital course, laboratory values, and medications. RESULTS:We identified 33 COVID-19 positive patients with ICH, mean age 61.6 years (range 37-83 years), 21.2% of whom were female. Parenchymal hemorrhages with mass effect and herniation occurred in 5 (15.2%) patients, with a 100% mortality rate. Of the remaining 28 patients with ICH, 7 (25%) had punctate hemorrhages, 17 (60.7%) had small- moderate size hemorrhages, and 4 (14.3%) had a large single site of hemorrhage without evidence of herniation. Almost all patients received either therapeutic dose anticoagulation (in 22 [66.7%] patients) or prophylactic dose (in 3 [9.1] patients) prior to ICH discovery. CONCLUSIONS:Anticoagulation therapy may be considered in patients with COVID-19 though the risk of ICH should be taken into account when developing a treatment regimen.
COVID-19 related neuroimaging findings: A signal of thromboembolic complications and a strong prognostic marker of poor patient outcome
OBJECTIVE:To investigate the incidence and spectrum of neuroimaging findings and their prognostic role in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City. METHODS:This is a retrospective cohort study of 3218 COVID-19 confirmed patients admitted to a major healthcare system (three hospitals) in New York City between March 1, 2020 and April 13, 2020. Clinical data were extracted from electronic medical records, and particularly data of all neurological symptoms were extracted from the imaging reports. Four neuroradiologists evaluated all neuroimaging studies for acute neuroimaging findings related to COVID-19. RESULTS:14.1% of admitted COVID-19 patients had neuroimaging and this accounted for only 5.5% of the total imaging studies. Acute stroke was the most common finding on neuro-imaging, seen in 92.5% of patients with positive neuro-imaging studies, and present in 1.1% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients with acute large ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke had much higher mortality risk adjusted for age, BMI and hypertension compared to those COVID-19 patients without neuroimaging. (Odds Ratio 6.02 by LR; Hazard Ratio 2.28 by CRR). CONCLUSIONS:Our study demonstrates acute stroke is the most common neuroimaging finding among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Detection of an acute stroke is a strong prognostic marker of poor outcome. Our study also highlights the fact there is limited use of neuroimaging in these patients due to multiple logistical constraints.
Using a patient-engaged approach to identify cross-cutting disease factors impacting mental health in youth with rheumatologic disease [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose: Mental health problems are common and often untreated in youth with rheumatologic disease, yet their relationship with disease features is poorly understood. We engaged patients and parents on the research team to identify cross-cutting disease factors impacting mental health in this population.
Method(s): An anonymous cross-sectional online survey examined mental health experiences of patients with juvenile arthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis, or systemic lupus erythematosus. Youth ages 14-24 years and parents of youth 8-24 years were eligible. The survey was developed with patient and parent advisors, the Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), and the Patients, Advocates, and Rheumatology Teams Network for Research and Service (PARTNERS). Participants were recruited through the Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Foundation of America, and Cure JM Foundation. Primary outcome was the presence of any clinician or self-diagnosed mental health problem. Exposures of interest included several cross-cutting disease factors: disease duration, active disease status, current steroid medication, history of disease flare following remission, and appearance-altering comorbidities (psoriasis, stretch marks, alopecia, skin ulceration, visible scarring). We used logistic regression models to examine the association between any clinician or self-diagnosed mental health problems and disease factors for the combined youth/parent sample, and for youth and parents separately. Secondarily, we examined results by mental health problem (depression, anxiety, self-harm/ suicidal ideation). Alpha values < .05 were considered significant.
Result(s): See Table 1 for sample characteristics. 447 respondents included 123 youth and 324 parents; they were not required to be dyads. Combining youth and parent responses, 210 had juvenile arthritis, 173 had juvenile dermatomyositis, and 64 had systemic lupus erythematosus. Those with and without mental health problems were comparable on many demographic and disease factors, although patients with appearance altering comorbidities were more likely to report mental health problems. Rates of clinician and self-diagnosed depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm are shown in Figure 1. Adjusted logistic regression models (Table 2) indicate that having appearance altering comorbidities predicted the presence of a mental health problem in the combined youth/parent sample and in the parent-only sample. In the combined sample, appearance altering comorbidities also predicted depression and anxiety problems, whereas history of flare following remission predicted reported suicidal ideation or self-harm. Within the youth responses, there was a trend for depression to be more likely among those taking steroids (p=.053).
Conclusion(s): Certain cross-cutting rheumatologic disease factors such as appearance-altering comorbidities are predictive of mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. These findings are helpful for identifying targets for mental health screening in youth with rheumatologic disease, and should be addressed in screening recommendations.(Figure Presented)
Baseline clinical and serological findings in pediatric-onset discoid lupus erythematosus: Analysis of a multicenter retrospective cohort study [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose : DLE is a rare, disfiguring disorder in children. Small retrospective studies suggest 20-25% of patients progress to SLE. Progression risk factors are poorly understood, but DLE has been associated with delay in SLE diagnosis and reduced access to care. This multicenter retrospective cohort study aimed to describe baseline characteristics and clinical phenotypes of pediatric DLE patients at diagnosis. Methods : Medical records at eighteen sites were reviewed for pediatric dermatology and rheumatology patients with DLE. For inclusion, patients required clinical and/or histopathologic findings consistent with DLE. Baseline data were collected at the first documented visit including sociodemographic data, ACR/SLICC SLE criteria (i.e. DLE+SLE), date of DLE onset/diagnosis, DLE distribution, family history, comorbidities, and treatment. Outcome variables included ACR (primary outcome) /SLICC SLE criteria. Rates of progression from skin-limited DLE (DLE) to SLE (DLE+SLE) were evaluated. Analysis included descriptive statistics, chi-square and Wilcoxon tests. Results : Out of >1,000 patients reviewed, 441 met inclusion criteria. The cohort was predominantly female (72%) and racially/ethnically diverse (Table 1). A minority presented at baseline with SLE based on ACR and SLICC criteria, respectively (n=165, 37%; n=183, 42%). DLE+SLE patients were older (median 13.7y vs 10.2y) with shorter time from DLE onset to diagnosis (median 2 mo vs 7 mo), compared to DLE patients (p< 0.001). DLE patients presented with low incidence of renal involvement, serositis, seizures or psychosis (p< 0.001, Table 2). DLE+SLE patients had more positive serologies and higher-titer ANAs (p< 0.001, Table 3), although 5% were ANA negative. Among 231 DLE patients with31 follow up visit, median follow-up was 2.7 y (range 0-13.9y) with 747 total subject-years. Progression to SLE occurred in 20% and 25% of patients based on ACR and SLICC criteria, respectively. Conclusion : To date, this is the largest investigation of pediatric DLE. Patients with DLE+SLE were most likely to present in adolescence with abnormal serologies and end-organ disease. Progression of DLE to SLE occurred at rates consistent with previous literature. All patients with DLE require SLE surveillance at diagnosis and regular follow-up, particularly during adolescence. Limitations include the retrospective study design with potential for misclassification, and analysis restricted to the baseline visit. Further analysis of follow up visits will evaluate for baseline risk factors and biomarkers of evolving SLE, as well as timing of progression, identifying DLE patients at highest risk for systemic disease
Optimize Your Electronic Medical Record to Increase Value: Reducing Laboratory Overutilization
PURPOSE: To decrease overutilization of laboratory testing by eliminating a feature of the electronic ordering system that allowed providers to order laboratory tests to occur daily without review. METHODS: We collected rates of utilization of a group of commonly ordered laboratory tests (number of tests per patient per day) throughout the entire hospital from June 10th, 2013 through June 10th, 2015. Our intervention which eliminated the ability to order daily recurring tests was implemented on June 11th, 2014. We compared pre and post-intervention rates in order to assess the impact and surveyed providers about their experience with the intervention. RESULTS: We examined 1,296,742 laboratory tests performed on 92,799 unique patients over 434,059 patient days. Prior to the intervention, the target tests were ordered using this daily recurring mechanism 33% of the time. After the intervention we observed between an 8.5% (p <0.001) to 20.9% (p <0.001) reduction in tests per patient per day. The reduction in rate for some of the target tests persisted during the study period but not for the two most commonly ordered tests. We estimated an approximate reduction in hospital costs of $300,000 due to the intervention. CONCLUSION: A simple modification to the order entry system significantly and immediately altered provider practices throughout a large tertiary care academic center. This strategy is replicable by the many hospitals that use the same electronic health record system and possibly by users of other systems. Future areas of study include evaluating the additive effects of education and real-time decision support.
Fibrosing mediastinitis: a rare complication of histoplasmosis
We report a case of a 29-year-old man who presented with intermittent haemoptysis for about 18 months. Previously, his symptoms had been diagnosed as musculoskeletal pain and later as pneumonia. CT found a venous infarct in the right lung in addition to extensive lymphadenopathy in the mediastinum and pulmonary hila, with associated calcifications almost completely occluding the superior vena cava and azygos vein. Further questioning revealed that the patient had once worked on an organic farm in Colorado. Subsequent work up was positive for histoplasmosis yeast antibodies. The patient was diagnosed with fibrosing mediastinitis (FM) and started on itraconazole for 3 months. We note that FM is a rare complication of histoplasmosis and can present as chronic haemoptysis. Travel history is an important aspect of the clinical evaluation. Antifungal agents have shown some efficacy in treating histoplasmosis-related FM.
Impact of an Intervention to Improve Weekend Hospital Care at an Academic Medical Center: An Observational Study
BACKGROUND: Hospital care on weekends has been associated with delays in care, reduced quality, and poor clinical outcomes. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a weekend hospital intervention on processes of care and clinical outcomes. The multifaceted intervention included expanded weekend diagnostic services, improved weekend discharge processes, and increased physician and care management services on weekends. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: This was an interrupted time series observational study of adult non-obstetric patients hospitalized at a single academic medical center between January 2011 and January 2014. The study included 18 months prior to and 19 months following the implementation of the intervention. Data were analyzed using segmented regression analysis with adjustment for confounders. MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcome was average length of stay. Secondary outcomes included percent of patients discharged on weekends, 30-day readmission rate, and in-hospital mortality rate. KEY RESULTS: The study included 57,163 hospitalizations. Following implementation of the intervention, average length of stay decreased by 13 % (95 % CI 10-15 %) and continued to decrease by 1 % (95 % CI 1-2 %) per month as compared to the underlying time trend. The proportion of weekend discharges increased by 12 % (95 % CI 2-22 %) at the time of the intervention and continued to increase by 2 % (95 % CI 1-3 %) per month thereafter. The intervention had no impact on readmissions or mortality. During the post-implementation period, the hospital was evacuated and closed for 2 months due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, and a new hospital-wide electronic health record was introduced. The contributions of these events to our findings are not known. We observed a lower inpatient census and found differences in patient characteristics, including higher rates of Medicaid insurance and comorbidities, in the post-Hurricane Sandy period as compared to the pre-Sandy period. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention was associated with a reduction in length of stay and an increase in weekend discharges. Our longitudinal study also illuminated the challenges of evaluating the effectiveness of a large-scale intervention in a real-world hospital setting.
Discharge before noon: Effect on throughput and sustainability
BACKGROUND: Late afternoon hospital discharges are thought to contribute to admission bottlenecks. We previously described an intervention that resulted in a statistically significant increase in the discharge before noon (DBN) rate on 2 inpatient medicine units. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate (1) the effect of an increased DBN rate on the admission arrival time and the number of admissions per hour and (2) the sustainability of our DBN initiative. DESIGN: Pre-/postintervention retrospective analysis. SETTING: Two acute-care inpatient medicine units in a tertiary care, urban, academic medical center. PATIENTS: For the admission arrival time and admissions per hour analysis, all inpatients admitted to the medical units from June 1, 2011 to June 31, 2013. For the sustainability analysis, all patients discharged from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014. INTERVENTION: A multidisciplinary intervention to increase the DBN rate. MEASUREMENTS: Date and time of arrival to all inpatient sites, and discharge date and time of all patients from 2 inpatient medicine units. RESULTS: Concurrent with our increase in DBN rate, we found a statistically significant change in the median arrival time of emergency department (ED) admissions and transfers from 5 pm to 4 pm. High-frequency admission peaks were statistically significantly reduced for ED admissions. The statistically significant increase in DBN rate is sustained at 35%. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing the DBN rate correlates with admissions arriving earlier in the day and reductions in high-frequency peaks of ED admissions. Statistically significant improvements in DBN rates are sustainable. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015. (c) 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.
Treatment of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis in a Patient With Metastatic Cholangiocarcinoma
A 49-year-old woman with cholangiocarcinoma metastatic to the lungs presented with new-onset unrelenting headaches. A lumbar puncture revealed malignant cells consistent with leptomeningeal metastasis from her cholangiocarcinoma. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain revealed leptomeningeal enhancement. An intrathecal (IT) catheter was placed and IT chemotherapy was initiated with methotrexate. Her case is notable for the rarity of cholangiocarcinoma spread to the leptomeninges, the use of IT chemotherapy with cytologic and potentially symptomatic response, and a possible survival benefit in comparison to previously reported cases of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis secondary to cholangiocarcinoma.