Determining Chronic Disease Prevalence in Local Populations Using Emergency Department Surveillance
OBJECTIVES: We sought to improve public health surveillance by using a geographic analysis of emergency department (ED) visits to determine local chronic disease prevalence. METHODS: Using an all-payer administrative database, we determined the proportion of unique ED patients with diabetes, hypertension, or asthma. We compared these rates to those determined by the New York City Community Health Survey. For diabetes prevalence, we also analyzed the fidelity of longitudinal estimates using logistic regression and determined disease burden within census tracts using geocoded addresses. RESULTS: We identified 4.4 million unique New York City adults visiting an ED between 2009 and 2012. When we compared our emergency sample to survey data, rates of neighborhood diabetes, hypertension, and asthma prevalence were similar (correlation coefficient = 0.86, 0.88, and 0.77, respectively). In addition, our method demonstrated less year-to-year scatter and identified significant variation of disease burden within neighborhoods among census tracts. CONCLUSIONS: Our method for determining chronic disease prevalence correlates with a validated health survey and may have higher reliability over time and greater granularity at a local level. Our findings can improve public health surveillance by identifying local variation of disease prevalence. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print July 16, 2015: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302679).
The local geographic distribution of diabetic complications in New York City: Associated population characteristics and differences by type of complication
AIMS: To identify population characteristics associated with local variation in the prevalence of diabetic complications and compare the geographic distribution of different types of complications in New York City. METHODS: Using an all-payer database of emergency visits, we identified the proportion of unique adults with diabetes who also had cardiac, neurologic, renal and lower extremity complications. We performed multivariable regression to identify associations of demographic and socioeconomic factors, and diabetes-specific emergency department use with the prevalence of diabetic complications by Census tract. We also used geospatial analysis to compare local hotspots of diabetic complications. RESULTS: We identified 4.6million unique New York City adults, of which 10.5% had diabetes. Adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors, diabetes-specific emergency department use was associated with severe microvascular renal and lower extremity complications (p-values<0.001), but not with severe macrovascular cardiac or neurologic complications (p-values of 0.39 and 0.29). Our hotspot analysis demonstrated significant geographic heterogeneity in the prevalence of diabetic complications depending on the type of complication. Notably, the geographic distribution of hotspots of myocardial infarction were inversely correlated with hotspots of end-stage renal disease and lower extremity amputations (coefficients: -0.28 and -0.28). CONCLUSIONS: We found differences in the local geographic distribution of diabetic complications, which highlight the contrasting risk factors for developing macrovascular versus microvascular diabetic complications. Based on our analysis, we also found that high diabetes-specific emergency department use was correlated with poor diabetic outcomes. Emergency department utilization data can help identify the location of specific populations with poor glycemic control.
Unexpected ICU Transfer and Mortality in COVID-19 Related to Hospital Volume
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) illness continues to affect national and global hospital systems, with a particularly high burden to intensive care unit (ICU) beds and resources. It is critical to identify patients who initially do not require ICU resources but subsequently rapidly deteriorate. We investigated patient populations during COVID-19 at times of full or near-full (surge) and non-full (non-surge) hospital capacity to determine the effect on those who may need a higher level of care or deteriorate quickly, defined as requiring a transfer to ICU within 24 hours of admission to a non-ICU level of care, and to provide further knowledge on this high-risk group of patients. METHODS:This was a retrospective cohort study of a single health system comprising four emergency departments and three tertiary hospitals in New York, NY, across two different time periods (during surge and non-surge inpatient volume times during the COVID-19 pandemic). We queried the electronic health record for all patients admitted to a non-ICU setting with unexpected ICU transfer (UIT) within 24 hours of admission. We then made a comparison between adult patients with confirmed coronavirus 2019 and without during surge and non-surge time periods. RESULTS:During the surge period, there was a total of 86 UITs in a one-month period. Of those, 60 were COVID-19 positive patients who had a mortality rate of 63.3%, and 26 were COVID-19 negative with a 30.8 % mortality rate. During the non-surge period, there was a total of 112 UITs; of those, 24 were COVID-19 positive with a 37.5% mortality rate, and 90 were COVID-19 negative with a 11.1% mortality rate. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:During the surge, the mortality rate for both COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients experiencing an unexpected ICU transfer was significantly higher.
Urban and rural differences in new onset type 2 diabetes: Comparisons across national and regional samples in the diabetes LEAD network
Introduction/UNASSIGNED:Geographic disparities in diabetes burden exist throughout the United States (US), with many risk factors for diabetes clustering at a community or neighborhood level. We hypothesized that the likelihood of new onset type 2 diabetes (T2D) would differ by community type in three large study samples covering the US. Research design and methods/UNASSIGNED:We evaluated the likelihood of new onset T2D by a census tract-level measure of community type, a modification of RUCA designations (higher density urban, lower density urban, suburban/small town, and rural) in three longitudinal US study samples (REGARDS [REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke] cohort, VADR [Veterans Affairs Diabetes Risk] cohort, Geisinger electronic health records) representing the CDC Diabetes LEAD (Location, Environmental Attributes, and Disparities) Network. Results/UNASSIGNED:In the REGARDS sample, residing in higher density urban community types was associated with the lowest odds of new onset T2D (OR [95% CI]: 0.80 [0.66, 0.97]) compared to rural community types; in the Geisinger sample, residing in higher density urban community types was associated with the highest odds of new onset T2D (OR [95% CI]: 1.20 [1.06, 1.35]) compared to rural community types. In the VADR sample, suburban/small town community types had the lowest hazard ratios of new onset T2D (HR [95% CI]: 0.99 [0.98, 1.00]). However, in a regional stratified analysis of the VADR sample, the likelihood of new onset T2D was consistent with findings in the REGARDS and Geisinger samples, with highest likelihood of T2D in the rural South and in the higher density urban communities of the Northeast and West regions; likelihood of T2D did not differ by community type in the Midwest. Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:The likelihood of new onset T2D by community type varied by region of the US. In the South, the likelihood of new onset T2D was higher among those residing in rural communities.
Hyperbaric oxygen for COVID-19 patients with severe hypoxia prior to vaccine availability
Introduction/UNASSIGNED:Few treatments have demonstrated mortality benefits among hospitalized hypoxic COVID-19 patients. We evaluated the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy as a therapeutic intervention among hospitalized patients with a high oxygen requirement prior to vaccine approval. Methods/UNASSIGNED:We extracted data on patients with COVID-19 hypoxia who required oxygen supplementation ranging from a 6L nasal cannula up to a high-flow nasal cannula at 100% FiO2 at 60L/minute with a 100% non-rebreather mask at 15 L/minute and were eligible for off-label HBO2 therapy from October 2020 to February 2021. We followed the Monitored Emergency use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions or (MEURI) in conjunction with the consistent re-evaluation of the protocol using the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) tool . We compared patient characteristics and used Fisher's exact test and a survival analysis to assess the primary endpoint of inpatient death. Results/UNASSIGNED:HBO2 therapy was offered to 36 patients, of which 24 received treatment and 12 did not receive treatment. Patients who did not receive treatment were significantly older (p â‰º 0.01) and had worse baseline hypoxia (p = 0.06). Three of the 24 (13%) patients who received treatment died compared to six of 12 (50%) patients who did not receive treatment (RR ratio: 0.25, p = 0.04, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.83). In the survival analysis, there was a statistically significant reduction in inpatient mortality in the treatment group (HR: 0.19, p = 0.02, 95% CI: 0.05-0.74). However, after adjusting for age and baseline hypoxia, there was no difference in inpatient mortality (hazard ratio: 0.48, p = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.08-2.86). Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:The survival benefit of HBO2 therapy observed in our unadjusted analysis suggests that there may be therapeutic benefits of HBO2 in treating COVID-19 hypoxia as an adjunct to standard care.
Longitudinal Analysis of Neighborhood Food Environment and Diabetes Risk in the Veterans Administration Diabetes Risk Cohort
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Diabetes causes substantial morbidity and mortality among adults in the US, yet its incidence varies across the country, suggesting that neighborhood factors are associated with geographical disparities in diabetes. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To examine the association between neighborhood food environment and risk of incident type 2 diabetes across different community types (high-density urban, low-density urban, suburban, and rural). Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:This is a national cohort study of 4â€¯100â€¯650 US veterans without type 2 diabetes. Participants entered the cohort between 2008 and 2016 and were followed up through 2018. The median (IQR) duration of follow-up was 5.5 (2.6-9.8) person-years. Data were obtained from Veterans Affairs electronic health records. Incident type 2 diabetes was defined as 2 encounters with type 2 diabetes International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision or Tenth Revision codes, a prescription for diabetes medication other than metformin or acarbose alone, or 1 encounter with type 2 diabetes International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision or Tenth Revision codes and 2 instances of elevated hemoglobin A1c (â‰¥6.5%). Data analysis was performed from October 2020 to March 2021. Exposures/UNASSIGNED:Five-year mean counts of fast-food restaurants and supermarkets relative to other food outlets at baseline were used to generate neighborhood food environment measures. The association between food environment and time to incident diabetes was examined using piecewise exponential models with 2-year interval of person-time and county-level random effects stratifying by community types. Results/UNASSIGNED:The mean (SD) age of cohort participants was 59.4 (17.2) years. Most of the participants were non-Hispanic White (2â€¯783â€¯756 participants [76.3%]) and male (3â€¯779â€¯555 participants [92.2%]). The relative density of fast-food restaurants was positively associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in all community types. The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) was 1.01 (95% CI, 1.00-1.02) in high-density urban communities, 1.01 (95% CI, 1.01-1.01) in low-density urban communities, 1.02 (95% CI, 1.01-1.03) in suburban communities, and 1.01 (95% CI, 1.01-1.02) in rural communities. The relative density of supermarkets was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk only in suburban (aHR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99) and rural (aHR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99) communities. Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:These findings suggest that neighborhood food environment measures are associated with type 2 diabetes among US veterans in multiple community types and that food environments are potential avenues for action to address the burden of diabetes. Tailored interventions targeting the availability of supermarkets may be associated with reduced diabetes risk, particularly in suburban and rural communities, whereas restrictions on fast-food restaurants may help in all community types.
Pulmonary thromboembolism in COVID-19: Evaluating the role of D-dimer and computed tomography pulmonary angiography results [Letter]
Cross-sectional Analysis of Food Insecurity and Frequent Emergency Department Use
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Emergency department (ED) patients have higher than average levels of food insecurity. We examined the association between multiple measures of food insecurity and frequent ED use in a random sample of ED patients. METHODS:We completed survey questionnaires with randomly sampled adult patients from an urban public hospital ED (n = 2,312). We assessed food insecurity using four questions from the United States Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Survey. The primary independent variable was any food insecurity, defined as an affirmative response to any of the four items. Frequent ED use was defined as self-report of â‰¥4 ED visits in the past year. We examined the relationship between patient food insecurity and frequent ED use using bivariate and multivariable analyses and examined possible mediation by anxiety/depression and overall health status. RESULTS:One-third (30.9%) of study participants reported frequent ED use, and half (50.8%) reported any food insecurity. Prevalence of food insecurity was higher among frequent vs. non-frequent ED users, 62.8% vs 45.4% (P <0.001). After controlling for potential confounders, food insecurity remained significantly associated with frequent ED use (adjusted odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval, 1.20-1.83). This observed association was partially attenuated when anxiety/depression and overall health status were added to models. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The high observed prevalence of food insecurity suggests that efforts to improve care of ED patients should assess and address this need. Further research is needed to assess whether addressing food insecurity may play an important role in efforts to reduce frequent ED use for some patients.
Virtual Urgent Care Quality and Safety in the Time of Coronavirus
BACKGROUND:Telemedicine use rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study assessed quality aspects of rapid expansion of a virtual urgent care (VUC) telehealth system and the effects of a secondary telephonic screening initiative during the pandemic. METHODS:A retrospective cohort analysis was performed in a single health care network of VUC patients from March 1, 2020, through April 20, 2020. Researchers abstracted demographic data, comorbidities, VUC return visits, emergency department (ED) referrals and ED visits, dispositions, intubations, and deaths. The team also reviewed incomplete visits. For comparison, the study evaluated outcomes of non-admission dispositions from the ED: return visits with and without admission and deaths. We separately analyzed the effects of enhanced callback system targeting higher-risk patients with COVID-like illness during the last two weeks of the study period. RESULTS:A total of 18,278 unique adult patients completed 22,413 VUC visits. Separately, 718 patient-scheduled visits were incomplete; the majority were no-shows. The study found that 50.9% of all patients and 74.1% of patients aged 60 years or older had comorbidities. Of VUC visits, 6.8% had a subsequent VUC encounter within 72 hours; 1.8% had a subsequent ED visit. Of patients with enhanced follow-up, 4.3% were referred for ED evaluation. Mortality was 0.20% overall; 0.21% initially and 0.16% with enhanced follow-up (pâ€¯=â€¯0.59). Males and black patients were significantly overrepresented in decedents. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Appropriately deployed VUC services can provide a pragmatic strategy to care for large numbers of patients. Ongoing surveillance of operational, technical, and clinical factors is critical for patient quality and safety with this modality.
Assessing the Impact of a Rapidly Scaled Virtual Urgent Care in New York City During the COVID-19 Pandemic
BACKGROUND:The coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic quickly challenged New York City health care systems. Telemedicine has been suggested to manage acute complaints and divert patients from in-person care. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to describe and assess the impact of a rapidly scaled virtual urgent care platform during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS:This was a retrospective cohort study of all patients who presented to a virtual urgent care platform over 1Â month during the COVID-19 pandemic surge. We described scaling our telemedicine urgent care capacity, described patient clinical characteristics, assessed for emergency department (ED) referrals, and analyzed postvisit surveys. RESULTS:During the study period, a total of 17,730 patients were seen via virtual urgent care; 454 (2.56%) were referred to an ED. The most frequent diagnoses were COVID-19 related or upper respiratory symptoms. Geospatial analysis indicated a wide catchment area. There were 251 providers onboarded to the platform; at peak, 62 providers supplied 364Â h of coverage in 1Â day. The average patient satisfaction score was 4.4/5. There were 2668 patients (15.05%) who responded to the postvisit survey; 1236 (49.35%) would have sought care in an ED (11.86%) or in-person urgent care (37.49%). CONCLUSIONS:A virtual urgent care platform was scaled to manage a volume of more than 800 patients a day across a large catchment area during the pandemic surge. About half of the patients would otherwise have presented to an ED or urgent care in person. Virtual urgent care is an option for appropriate patients while minimizing in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.