Nationwide Clinical Practice Patterns of Anesthesiology Critical Care Physicians-A Survey to Members of the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists
BACKGROUND:Despite the growing contributions of critical care anesthesiologists to clinical practice, research, and administrative leadership of intensive care units (ICUs), relatively little is known about the subspecialty-specific clinical practice environment. An understanding of contemporary clinical practice is essential to recognize the opportunities and challenges facing critical care anesthesia, optimize staffing patterns, assess sustainability and satisfaction, and strategically plan for future activity, scope, and training. This study surveyed intensivists who are members of the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA) to evaluate practice patterns of critical care anesthesiologists, including compensation, types of ICUs covered, models of overnight ICU coverage, and relationships between these factors. We hypothesized that variability in compensation and practice patterns would be observed between individuals. METHODS:Board-certified critical care anesthesiologists practicing in the United States were identified using the SOCCA membership distribution list and invited to take a voluntary online survey between May and June 2021. Multiple-choice questions with both single- and multiple-select options were used for answers with categorical data, and adaptive questioning was used to clarify stem-based responses. Respondents were asked to describe practice patterns at their respective institutions and provide information about their demographics, salaries, effort in ICUs, as well as other activities. RESULTS:A total of 490 participants were invited to take this survey, and 157 (response rate 32%) surveys were completed and analyzed. The majority of respondents were White (73%), male (69%), and younger than 50 years of age (82%). The cardiothoracic/cardiovascular ICU was the most common practice setting, with 69.5% of respondents reporting time working in this unit. Significant variability was observed in ICU practice patterns. Respondents reported spending an equal proportion of their time in clinical practice in the operating rooms and ICUs (median, 40%; interquartile range [IQR], 20%-50%), whereas a smaller proportion-primarily those who completed their training before 2009-reported administrative or research activities. Female respondents reported salaries that were $36,739 less than male respondents; however, this difference was not statistically different, and after adjusting for age and practice type, these differences were less pronounced (-$27,479.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], -$57,232.61 to $2273.03; P = .07). CONCLUSIONS:These survey data provide a current snapshot of anesthesiology critical care clinical practice patterns in the United States. Our findings may inform decision-making around the initiation and expansion of critical care services and optimal staffing patterns, as well as provide a basis for further work that focuses on intensivist satisfaction and burnout.
How Common SOFA and Ventilator Time Trial Criteria would have Performed during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Observational Simulated Cohort Study
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To evaluate how key aspects of New York State Ventilator Allocation Guidelines (NYSVAG)-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score criteria and ventilator time trials -might perform with respect to the frequency of ventilator reallocation and survival to hospital discharge in a simulated cohort of COVID-19 patients. METHODS:Single center retrospective observational and simulation cohort study of 884 critically-ill COVID-19 patients undergoing ventilator allocation per NYSVAG. RESULTS:742 patients (83.9%) would have had their ventilator reallocated during the 11-day observation period, 280 (37.7%) of whom would have otherwise survived to hospital discharge if provided a ventilator. Only 65 (18.1%) of the observed surviving patients would have survived by NYSVAG. Extending ventilator time trials from 2 to 5 days resulted in a 49.2% increase in simulated survival to discharge. CONCLUSIONS:In the setting of a protracted respiratory pandemic, implementation of NYSVAG or similar protocols could lead to a high degree of ventilator reallocation, including withdrawal from patients who might otherwise survive. Longer ventilator time trials might lead to improved survival for COVID-19 patients given their protracted respiratory failure. Further studies are needed to understand the survival of patients receiving reallocated ventilators to determine whether implementation of NYSVAG would improve overall survival.
Automated interpretable discovery of heterogeneous treatment effectiveness: A COVID-19 case study
Testing multiple treatments for heterogeneous (varying) effectiveness with respect to many underlying risk factors requires many pairwise tests; we would like to instead automatically discover and visualize patient archetypes and predictors of treatment effectiveness using multitask machine learning. In this paper, we present a method to estimate these heterogeneous treatment effects with an interpretable hierarchical framework that uses additive models to visualize expected treatment benefits as a function of patient factors (identifying personalized treatment benefits) and concurrent treatments (identifying combinatorial treatment benefits). This method achieves state-of-the-art predictive power for COVID-19 in-hospital mortality and interpretable identification of heterogeneous treatment benefits. We first validate this method on the large public MIMIC-IV dataset of ICU patients to test recovery of heterogeneous treatment effects. Next we apply this method to a proprietary dataset of over 3000 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, and find evidence of heterogeneous treatment effectiveness predicted largely by indicators of inflammation and thrombosis risk: patients with few indicators of thrombosis risk benefit most from treatments against inflammation, while patients with few indicators of inflammation risk benefit most from treatments against thrombosis. This approach provides an automated methodology to discover heterogeneous and individualized effectiveness of treatments.
An Interprofessional Approach to Preventing Tracheostomy-Related Pressure Injuries
OBJECTIVE:An interprofessional team, also known as the tracheostomy steering committee (TSC) was established to prevent tracheotomy-related pressure injuries (TRPI) and standardize practice for tracheostomy insertion and care of patients with tracheostomies. In addition to reducing the number TRPIs, the TSC sought establish an escalation process for all clinicians to raise concerns about the care and management of patients with tracheostomies. METHODS:This quality improvement initiative used the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) framework with a pre- and post-intervention design. The patient population included all adult patients requiring a tracheostomy. The TSC created a TRPI-prevention bundle, which included recommendations for protective foam dressing and skin barrier film, suture tension, timing of suture removal, stoma care, offloading and positioning, escalation, documentation, and dual skin assessment. An electronic tracheostomy report was developed to track patients with a tracheostomy across the enterprise. RESULTS:A total of 289 patients had a tracheostomy during their inpatient hospital stay from January 2018 through December 2019. There was an observed a reduction in the daily rate of TRPIs by 50% with the use of the standardized TRPI-prevention bundle. CONCLUSIONS:Use of the TRPI-prevention bundle at our institution resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of TRPI. Timely escalation of possible tracheostomy injuries or tracheostomies at risk enabled rapid intervention, likely preventing many injuries, and real-time feedback to clinicians reinforced best practices. The use of an interprofessional team is necessary in providing optimal tracheostomy care to ensure the best outcomes.