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1.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 119: 106834, 2022 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966416

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The CDC estimates that over 40% of Urgent Care visits are for acute respiratory infections (ARI), more than half involving inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions. Previous randomized trials in primary care clinics resulted in reductions in inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, but antibiotic stewardship interventions in telehealth have not been systematically assessed. To better understand how best to decrease inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for ARIs in telehealth, we are conducting a large randomized quality improvement trial testing both patient- and physician-facing feedback and behavioral nudges embedded in the electronic health record. METHODS: Teladoc® clinicians are assigned to one of 9 arms in a 3 × 3 randomized trial. Each clinician is assigned to one of 3 Commitment groups (Public, Private, Control) and one of 3 Performance Feedback groups (Benchmark Peer Comparison, Trending, Control). After randomly selecting ⅓ of states and associated clinicians required for patient-facing components of the Public Commitment intervention, remaining clinicians are randomized to the Control and Private Commitment arms. Clinicians are randomized to the Performance Feedback conditions. The primary outcome is change from baseline in antibiotic prescribing rate for qualifying ARI visits. Secondary outcomes include changes in inappropriate prescribing and revisit rates. Secondary analyses include investigation of heterogeneity of treatment effects. With 1530 clinicians and an intra-clinician correlation in antibiotic prescribing rate of 0.5, we have >80% power to detect 1-7% absolute differences in antibiotic prescribing among groups. DISCUSSION: Findings from this trial may help inform telehealth stewardship strategies, determine whether significant differences exist between Commitment and Feedback interventions, and provide guidance for clinicians and patients to encourage safe and effective antibiotic use. CLINICALTRIALS: gov: NCT05138874.

2.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(6): 1400-1407, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401076

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the advent of COVID-19, accelerated adoption of systems that reduce face-to-face encounters has outpaced training and best practices. Electronic consultations (eConsults), structured communications between PCPs and specialists regarding a case, have been effective in reducing face-to-face specialist encounters. As the health system rapidly adapts to multiple new practices and communication tools, new mechanisms to measure and improve performance in this context are needed. OBJECTIVE: To test whether feedback comparing physicians to top performing peers using co-specialists' ratings improves performance. DESIGN: Cluster-randomized controlled trial PARTICIPANTS: Eighty facility-specialty clusters and 214 clinicians INTERVENTION: Providers in the feedback arms were sent messages that announced their membership in an elite group of "Top Performers" or provided actionable recommendations with feedback for providers that were "Not Top Performers." MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcomes were changes in peer ratings in the following performance dimensions after feedback was received: (1) elicitation of information from primary care practitioners; (2) adherence to institutional clinical guidelines; (3) agreement with peer's medical decision-making; (4) educational value; (5) relationship building. KEY RESULTS: Specialists showed significant improvements on 3 of the 5 consultation performance dimensions: medical decision-making (odds ratio 1.52, 95% confidence interval 1.08-2.14, p<.05), educational value (1.86, 1.17-2.96) and relationship building (1.63, 1.13-2.35) (both p<.01). CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has shed light on clinicians' commitment to professionalism and service as we rapidly adapt to changing paradigms. Interventions that appeal to professional norms can help improve the efficacy of new systems of practice. We show that specialists' performance can be measured and improved with feedback using aspirational norms. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov NCT03784950.


Subject(s)
Benchmarking , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Electronics , Humans , Los Angeles , Referral and Consultation
3.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 228: 109028, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385420

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid-related morbidity and mortality has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet specific information about the communities most affected remains unknown. Our objective is to evaluate decedent-level associations with an opioid-related death following the implementation of stay-at-home orders in Los Angeles County. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used data from the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner to identify opioid-related deaths in 2019 and 2020. We used logistic regression to analyze the change in opioid-related deaths following a 30-day washout period after the start of stay-at-home orders. Independent variables included decedent age, gender, race and ethnicity, heroin or fentanyl present at the time of death, census tract-level education, and a scheduled drug prescription in the year before death. RESULTS: Opioid-related deaths in L.A. County are most common in census tracts where a small percentage of the population has a Bachelor's degree. Following stay-at-home orders, Non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals had significantly more opioid-related deaths than Hispanic individuals (risk ratio (RR): 1.82 [95 % CI, 1.10-3.02]; P < 0.05) after adjusting for age, gender, and heroin or fentanyl use. Racial and ethnic differences in mortality were not explained by census tract-level education or recent scheduled drug prescriptions. DISCUSSION: There has been an alarming rise in opioid-related deaths in L.A. County during 2020. The increase in opioid-related overdose deaths following the onset of COVID-19 and related policies occurred most often among Non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. Further research on this trend's underlying cause is needed to inform policy recommendations during these simultaneous public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(8): 1765-1776, 2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246728

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To utilize, in an individual and institutional privacy-preserving manner, electronic health record (EHR) data from 202 hospitals by analyzing answers to COVID-19-related questions and posting these answers online. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We developed a distributed, federated network of 12 health systems that harmonized their EHRs and submitted aggregate answers to consortia questions posted at https://www.covid19questions.org. Our consortium developed processes and implemented distributed algorithms to produce answers to a variety of questions. We were able to generate counts, descriptive statistics, and build a multivariate, iterative regression model without centralizing individual-level data. RESULTS: Our public website contains answers to various clinical questions, a web form for users to ask questions in natural language, and a list of items that are currently pending responses. The results show, for example, that patients who were taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, within the year before admission, had lower unadjusted in-hospital mortality rates. We also showed that, when adjusted for, age, sex, and ethnicity were not significantly associated with mortality. We demonstrated that it is possible to answer questions about COVID-19 using EHR data from systems that have different policies and must follow various regulations, without moving data out of their health systems. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: We present an alternative or a complement to centralized COVID-19 registries of EHR data. We can use multivariate distributed logistic regression on observations recorded in the process of care to generate results without transferring individual-level data outside the health systems.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , COVID-19 , Computer Communication Networks , Confidentiality , Electronic Health Records , Information Storage and Retrieval/methods , Natural Language Processing , Common Data Elements , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Registries
5.
Am J Cardiol ; 146: 22-28, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060536

ABSTRACT

There are limited data regarding direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for stroke prevention in patients with bioprosthetic heart valves (BHVs) and atrial fibrillation (AF). The objectives of this study were to evaluate the ambulatory utilization of DOACs and to compare the effectiveness and safety of DOACs versus warfarin in patients with AF and BHVs. We conducted a retrospective cohort study at a large integrated health care delivery system in California. Patients with BHVs and AF treated with warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, or apixaban between September 12, 2011 and June 18, 2020 were identified. Inverse probability of treatment-weighted comparative effectiveness and safety of DOACs compared with warfarin were determined. Use of DOACs gradually increased since 2011, with a significant upward in trend after a stay-at-home order related to COVID-19. Among 2,672 adults with BHVs and AF who met the inclusion criteria, 439 were exposed to a DOAC and 2233 were exposed to warfarin. For the primary effectiveness outcome of ischemic stroke, systemic embolism and transient ischemic attack, no significant association was observed between use of DOACs compared with warfarin (HR 1.19, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.48, p = 0.11). Use of DOACs was associated with lower risk of the primary safety outcome of intracranial hemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleeding, and other bleed (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.85, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across multiple subgroups in the sensitivity analyses. These findings support the use of DOACs for AF in patients with BHVs.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Atrial Fibrillation/drug therapy , Bioprosthesis , Heart Valve Diseases/complications , Heart Valves , Stroke/prevention & control , Warfarin/administration & dosage , Administration, Oral , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Atrial Fibrillation/complications , Female , Heart Valve Diseases/surgery , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/etiology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
6.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808753

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to answer questions related to COVID-19's clinical course and associations with underlying conditions and health outcomes. Multi-center data are necessary to generate reliable answers, but centralizing data in a single repository is not always possible. Using a privacy-protecting strategy, we launched a public Questions & Answers web portal (https://covid19questions.org) with analyses of comorbidities, medications and laboratory tests using data from 202 hospitals (59,074 COVID-19 patients) in the USA and Germany. We find, for example, that 8.6% of hospitalizations in which the patient was not admitted to the ICU resulted in the patient returning to the hospital within seven days from discharge and that, when adjusted for age, mortality for hospitalized patients was not significantly different by gender or ethnicity.

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