Creating a Learning Health System through Rapid-Cycle, Randomized Testing
Cheap and Dirty: The Effect of Contracting Out Cleaning on Efficiency and Effectiveness
Contracting out of public services, especially ancillary services, has been a key feature of New Public Management since the 1980s. By 2014, more than 100 pound billion of U.K. public services were being contracted out annually to the private sector. A number of high-profile cases have prompted a debate about the value for money that these contracts provide. Value for money comprises both the cost and the quality of the services. This article empirically tests the contestability and quality shading hypotheses of contracting out in the context of cleaning services in the English National Health Service. Additionally, a new hypothesis of coupling is presented and tested: the effect of contracting of ancillary services on patient health outcomes, using the hospital-acquired infection rate as our measure. Using data from 2010-11 to 2013-14 for 130 National Health Service trusts, the study finds that private providers are cheaper but dirtier than their in-house counterparts.
Bending the cost curve: time series analysis of a value transformation programme at an academic medical centre
BACKGROUND:Reducing costs while increasing or maintaining quality is crucial to delivering high value care. OBJECTIVE:To assess the impact of a hospital value-based management programme on cost and quality. DESIGN/METHODS:Time series analysis of non-psychiatric, non-rehabilitation, non-newborn patients discharged between 1 September 2011 and 31 December 2017 from a US urban, academic medical centre. INTERVENTION/METHODS:NYU Langone Health instituted an institution-wide programme in April 2014 to increase value of healthcare, defined as health outcomes achieved per dollar spent. Key features included joint clinical and operational leadership; granular and transparent cost accounting; dedicated project support staff; information technology support; and a departmental shared savings programme. MEASUREMENTS/METHODS:Change in variable direct costs; secondary outcomes included changes in length of stay, readmission and in-hospital mortality. RESULTS:The programme chartered 74 projects targeting opportunities in supply chain management (eg, surgical trays), operational efficiency (eg, discharge optimisation), care of outlier patients (eg, those at end of life) and resource utilisation (eg, blood management). The study cohort included 160â€‰434 hospitalisations. Adjusted variable costs decreased 7.7% over the study period. Admissions with medical diagnosis related groups (DRG) declined an average 0.20% per month relative to baseline. Admissions with surgical DRGs had an early increase in costs of 2.7% followed by 0.37% decrease in costs per month. Mean expense per hospitalisation improved from 13% above median for teaching hospitals to 2% above median. Length of stay decreased by 0.25% per month relative to prior trends (95%â€‰CI -0.34 to 0.17): approximately half a day by the end of the study period. There were no significant changes in 30-day same-hospital readmission or in-hospital mortality. Estimated institutional savings after intervention costs were approximately $53.9â€‰million. LIMITATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:Observational analysis. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:A systematic programme to increase healthcare value by lowering the cost of care without compromising quality is achievable and sustainable over several years.
Incidence of infective endocarditis in England, 2000-13: a secular trend, interrupted time-series analysis
BACKGROUND: Antibiotic prophylaxis given before invasive dental procedures in patients at risk of developing infective endocarditis has historically been the focus of infective endocarditis prevention. Recent changes in antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines in the USA and Europe have substantially reduced the number of patients for whom antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended. In the UK, guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended complete cessation of antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of infective endocarditis in March, 2008. We aimed to investigate changes in the prescribing of antibiotic prophylaxis and the incidence of infective endocarditis since the introduction of these guidelines. METHODS: We did a retrospective secular trend study, analysed as an interrupted time series, to investigate the effect of antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis on the incidence of infective endocarditis in England. We analysed data for the prescription of antibiotic prophylaxis from Jan 1, 2004, to March 31, 2013, and hospital discharge episode statistics for patients with a primary diagnosis of infective endocarditis from Jan 1, 2000, to March 31, 2013. We compared the incidence of infective endocarditis before and after the introduction of the NICE guidelines using segmented regression analysis of the interrupted time series. FINDINGS: Prescriptions of antibiotic prophylaxis for the prevention of infective endocarditis fell substantially after introduction of the NICE guidance (mean 10,900 prescriptions per month [Jan 1, 2004, to March 31, 2008] vs 2236 prescriptions per month [April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2013], p<0.0001). Starting in March, 2008, the number of cases of infective endocarditis increased significantly above the projected historical trend, by 0.11 cases per 10 million people per month (95% CI 0.05-0.16, p<0.0001). By March, 2013, 35 more cases per month were reported than would have been expected had the previous trend continued. This increase in the incidence of infective endocarditis was significant for both individuals at high risk of infective endocarditis and those at lower risk. INTERPRETATION: Although our data do not establish a causal association, prescriptions of antibiotic prophylaxis have fallen substantially and the incidence of infective endocarditis has increased significantly in England since introduction of the 2008 NICE guidelines. FUNDING: Heart Research UK, Simplyhealth, and US National Institutes of Health.
The Cost-Effectiveness of Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Patients at Risk of Infective Endocarditis
BACKGROUND: -In March 2008, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended stopping antibiotic prophylaxis (AP) for those at risk of infective endocarditis (IE) undergoing dental procedures in the United Kingdom, citing a lack of evidence of efficacy and cost-effectiveness. We have performed a new economic evaluation of AP on the basis of contemporary estimates of efficacy, adverse events, and resource implications. METHODS: -A decision analytic cost-effectiveness model was used. Health service costs and benefits (measured as quality-adjusted life-years) were estimated. Rates of IE before and after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance were available to estimate prophylactic efficacy. AP adverse event rates were derived from recent UK data, and resource implications were based on English Hospital Episode Statistics. RESULTS: -AP was less costly and more effective than no AP for all patients at risk of IE. The results are sensitive to AP efficacy, but efficacy would have to be substantially lower for AP not to be cost-effective. AP was even more cost-effective in patients at high risk of IE. Only a marginal reduction in annual IE rates (1.44 cases in high-risk and 33 cases in all at-risk patients) would be required for AP to be considered cost-effective at pound20 000 ($26 600) per quality-adjusted life-year. Annual cost savings of pound5.5 to pound8.2 million ($7.3-$10.9 million) and health gains >2600 quality-adjusted life-years could be achieved from reinstating AP in England. CONCLUSIONS: -AP is cost-effective for preventing IE, particularly in those at high risk. These findings support the cost-effectiveness of guidelines recommending AP use in high-risk individuals.
Quantifying infective endocarditis risk in patients with predisposing cardiac conditions
Aims: There are scant comparative data quantifying the risk of infective endocarditis (IE) and associated mortality in individuals with predisposing cardiac conditions. Methods and results: English hospital admissions for conditions associated with increased IE risk were followed for 5 years to quantify subsequent IE admissions. The 5-year risk of IE or dying during an IE admission was calculated for each condition and compared with the entire English population as a control. Infective endocarditis incidence in the English population was 36.2/million/year. In comparison, patients with a previous history of IE had the highest risk of recurrence or dying during an IE admission [odds ratio (OR) 266 and 215, respectively]. These risks were also high in patients with prosthetic valves (OR 70 and 62) and previous valve repair (OR 77 and 60). Patients with congenital valve anomalies (currently considered 'moderate risk') had similar levels of risk (OR 66 and 57) and risks in other 'moderate-risk' conditions were not much lower. Congenital heart conditions (CHCs) repaired with prosthetic material (currently considered 'high risk' for 6 months following surgery) had lower risk than all 'moderate-risk' conditions-even in the first 6 months. Infective endocarditis risk was also significant in patients with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices. Conclusion: These data confirm the high IE risk of patients with a history of previous IE, valve replacement, or repair. However, IE risk in some 'moderate-risk' patients was similar to that of several 'high-risk' conditions and higher than repaired CHC. Guidelines for the risk stratification of conditions predisposing to IE may require re-evaluation.
Factors associated with hospital admission and critical illness among 5279 people with coronavirus disease 2019 in New York City: prospective cohort study
OBJECTIVE:To describe outcomes of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) in the United States, and the clinical and laboratory characteristics associated with severity of illness. DESIGN/METHODS:Prospective cohort study. SETTING/METHODS:Single academic medical center in New York City and Long Island. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:5279 patients with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) infection between 1 March 2020 and 8 April 2020. The final date of follow up was 5 May 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Outcomes were admission to hospital, critical illness (intensive care, mechanical ventilation, discharge to hospice care, or death), and discharge to hospice care or death. Predictors included patient characteristics, medical history, vital signs, and laboratory results. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify risk factors for adverse outcomes, and competing risk survival analysis for mortality. RESULTS:Of 11â€‰544 people tested for SARS-Cov-2, 5566 (48.2%) were positive. After exclusions, 5279 were included. 2741 of these 5279 (51.9%) were admitted to hospital, of whom 1904 (69.5%) were discharged alive without hospice care and 665 (24.3%) were discharged to hospice care or died. Of 647 (23.6%) patients requiring mechanical ventilation, 391 (60.4%) died and 170 (26.2%) were extubated or discharged. The strongest risk for hospital admission was associated with age, with an odds ratio of >2 for all age groups older than 44 years and 37.9 (95% confidence interval 26.1 to 56.0) for ages 75 years and older. Other risks were heart failure (4.4, 2.6 to 8.0), male sex (2.8, 2.4 to 3.2), chronic kidney disease (2.6, 1.9 to 3.6), and any increase in body mass index (BMI) (eg, for BMI >40: 2.5, 1.8 to 3.4). The strongest risks for critical illness besides age were associated with heart failure (1.9, 1.4 to 2.5), BMI >40 (1.5, 1.0 to 2.2), and male sex (1.5, 1.3 to 1.8). Admission oxygen saturation of <88% (3.7, 2.8 to 4.8), troponin level >1 (4.8, 2.1 to 10.9), C reactive protein level >200 (5.1, 2.8 to 9.2), and D-dimer level >2500 (3.9, 2.6 to 6.0) were, however, more strongly associated with critical illness than age or comorbidities. Risk of critical illness decreased significantly over the study period. Similar associations were found for mortality alone. CONCLUSIONS:Age and comorbidities were found to be strong predictors of hospital admission and to a lesser extent of critical illness and mortality in people with covid-19; however, impairment of oxygen on admission and markers of inflammation were most strongly associated with critical illness and mortality. Outcomes seem to be improving over time, potentially suggesting improvements in care.
Thrombosis in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in a New York City Health System
Continuity of Nursing Care in Home Health: Impact on Rehospitalization Among Older Adults With Dementia
BACKGROUND:Home health care (HHC) is a leading form of home and community-based services for persons with dementia (PWD). Nurses are the primary providers of HHC; however, little is known of nursing care delivery and quality. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to examine the association between continuity of nursing care in HHC and rehospitalization among PWD. RESEARCH DESIGN/METHODS:This is a retrospective cohort study using multiple years (2010-2015) of HHC assessment, administrative, and human resources data from a large urban not-for-profit home health agency. SUBJECTS/METHODS:This study included 23,886 PWD receiving HHC following a hospitalization. MEASURES/METHODS:Continuity of nursing care was calculated using the Bice and Boxerman method, which considered the number of total visits, nurses, and visits from each nurse during an HHC episode. The outcome was all-cause rehospitalization during HHC. Risk-adjusted logistic regression was used for analysis. RESULTS:Approximately 24% of PWD were rehospitalized. The mean continuity of nursing care score was 0.56 (SD=0.33). Eight percent of PWD received each nursing visit from a different nurse (no continuity), and 26% received all visits from one nurse during an HHC episode (full continuity). Compared with those receiving high continuity of nursing care (third tertile), PWD receiving low (first tertile) or moderate (second tertile) continuity of nursing care had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.33 (95% confidence interval: 1.25-1.46) and 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 1.22-1.43), respectively, for being rehospitalized. CONCLUSIONS:Wide variations exist in continuity of nursing care to PWD. Consistency in nurse staff when providing HHC visits to PWD is critical for preventing rehospitalizations.
Assessing the influence of patient language preference on 30 day hospital readmission risk from home health care: A retrospective analysis
BACKGROUND:In home health care, language barriers are understudied. Language barriers between patients and providers are known to affect a variety of patient outcomes. How a patient's language preference influences hospital readmission risk from home health care has yet to be determined. OBJECTIVE:To determine if home care patients' language preference is associated with their risk for hospital readmission from home health care within 30 days of hospital discharge. DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cross-sectional study of hospital readmissions from an urban home health care agency's administrative records and the national electronic home health care record for the United States, captured between 2010 and 2015. SETTING/METHODS:New York City, New York, USA. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:The dataset comprised 90,221 post-hospitalization patients and 6.5 million home health care visits. METHODS:First, a Chi-square test was used to determine if there were significant differences in crude readmission rates based on language group. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to adjust for significant differences in known hospital readmission risk factors between to examine all-cause hospital readmission during a home health care stay. The final matched sample included 87,561 patients with a language preference of English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, or Korean. English-speaking patients were considered the comparison group to the non-English speaking patients. A Marginal Structural Model was applied to estimate the impact of non-English language preference against English language preference on rehospitalization. The results of the marginal structural model were expressed as an odds ratio of likelihood of readmission to the hospital from home health care. RESULTS:Home health patients with a non-English language preference had a higher hospital readmission risk than English-speaking patients. Crude readmission rate for the limited English proficiency patients was 20.4% (95% CI, 19.9-21.0%) overall compared to 18.5% (95% CI, 18.7-19.2%) for English speakers (pÂ <Â 0.001). Being a non-English-speaking patient was associated with an odds ratio of 1.011 (95% CI, 1.004-1.018) in increased hospital readmission rates from home health care (pÂ =Â 0.001). There were also statistically significant differences in readmission rate by language group (pÂ <Â 0.001), with Korean speakers having the lowest rate and Spanish speakers having the highest, when compared to English speakers. CONCLUSIONS:People with a non-English language preference have a higher readmission rate from home health care. Hospital and home healthcare agencies may need specialized care coordination services to reduce readmission risk for these patients. Tweetable abstract: A new US-based study finds that home care patients with language barriers are at higher risk for hospital readmission.