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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

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December 2017
Jad Khatib MD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Naiel Bisharat MD PhD

Background: In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Health distributed guidelines for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge among hospital staff. The impact of these guidelines on survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unclear.

Objectives: To compare rates of incidence and survival to discharge after IHCA, preceding and subsequent to issuance of the guidelines: 1995–2005 and 2006–2015.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the computerized records of patients who had an IHCA and underwent CPR. In addition, we retrieved data available from the hospital's resuscitation committee that included number, type, methods of training in CPR refresher courses, type and number of audits carried out during the past 10 years, and type of CPR quality assessments.

Results: From 1995 to 2015, IHCA incidence increased from 0.7 to 1.7 per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001), while survival rate did not increase (P = 0.37). Survival for shockable rhythms increased from 15.4 to 30.2% (P = 0.05) between the two time periods. The ratio of non-shockable to shockable rhythms increased from 2.4 to 4.6 (P = 0.01) between the two time periods.

Conclusions: Overall IHCA survival did not improve following the issuance of guidelines requiring CPR refresher courses, although survival improved for patients with initial shockable dysrhythmia. A decrease of events with initial shockable dysrhythmia, an increase with acute renal failure, and a decrease occurring in intensive care units contributed to understanding the findings. We found that CPR refresher courses were helpful, although an objective measure of their effectiveness is lacking.


December 2016
Peter Gilbey MD, Mary C.J. Rudolf MD, Sivan Spitzer-Shohat MA and Anthony Luder MD

The unique characteristics of the next generation of medical professionals in Israel and the current model of physician employment in the country may pose a real threat to the high quality of both public clinical care and medical education in the near future, and to the continued flourishing of clinical research. According to the Israel Medical Association’s general obligations for Israeli physicians, the doctor should place the patient's interests foremost in his or her mind, before any other issue. This has led many to believe that selflessness or altruism should be among a physician’s core values. Is the application and realization of these obligations compatible with the realities of 21st century medicine? Is altruism still a legitimate part of the modern medical world? The Y generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, now comprise the majority of the population of residents and young specialists. They have been characterized as ambitious, self-focused, entrepreneurial, lacking loyalty to their employer, and seeking immediate gratification. Under these circumstances, is it possible to encourage or even teach altruism in medical school? Demands on physicians' time are increasing. The shortage of doctors, the growth of the population, the way in which health care is consumed, and the increasing administrative burden have all gnawed away at the time available for individual patient care. This time needs to be protected. The altruism of physicians could become the guarantee of first-rate care in the public sector. The continued existence of clinical research and high level clinical teaching also depends on the allocation of protected time. In light of the emerging generation gap and the expected dominance of Y generation physicians in the medical workforce in the near future, for whom altruism may not be such an obvious value, solutions to these predicaments are discussed.

August 2016
Shimon A. Goldberg MD, Diana Neykin MD, Ruth Henshke-Bar-Meir MD, Amos M. Yinnon MD and Gabriel Munter MD

Background: Medical history-taking is an essential component of medical care. 

Objectives: To assess and improve history taking, physical examination and management plan for hospitalized patients. 

Methods: The study consisted of two phases, pre- and post- intervention. During phase I, 10 histories were evaluated for each of 10 residents, a total of 100 histories. The assessment was done with a validated tool, evaluating history-taking (maximum 23 points), physical examination (23 points), assessment and plan (14 points) (total 60 points). Subsequently, half of these residents were informed that they were assessed; they received their scores and were advised regarding areas needing improvement. Phase II was identical to phase I. The primary endpoint was a statistically significant increase in score. 

Results: In the study group (receiving feedback after phase I) the physical examination improved from 9.3 ± 2.4 in phase I to 10.8 ± 2.2 in phase II (P < 0.001), while in the control group there was no change (11.3 ± 1.9 to 11.5 ± 1.8 respectively, P = 0.59). The assessment and plan component improved in the study group from 6.4 ± 2.7 in phase I to 7.4 ± 2.6 in phase II (P = 0.05), while no change was observed in the control group (8.2 ± 2.7 and 7.8 ± 2.3, P = 0.43). Overall performance improved in the study group from 30.4 ± 5.1 in phase I to 32.9 ± 4.5 in phase II (P = 0.01), a 10% improvement, while no change was observed in the control group (35.5 ± 6.0 to 34.6 ± 4.1, P = 0.4). 

Conclusions: A review of medical histories obtained by residents, assessed against a validated score and accompanied by structured feedback may lead to significant improvement. 


Daniel Hardoff MD, Assaf Gefen MA, Doron Sagi MA and Amitai Ziv MD

Background: Human dignity has a pivotal role within the health care system. There is little experience using simulation-based medical education (SBME) programs that focus on human dignity issues in doctor-patient relationships.

Objectives: To describe and assess a SBME program aimed at improving physicians’ competence in a dignifying approach when encountering adolescents and their parents.

Methods: A total of 97 physicians participated in 8 one-day SMBE workshops that included 7 scenarios of typical adolescent health care dilemmas. These issues could be resolved if the physician used an appropriate dignifying approach toward the patient and the parents. Debriefing discussions were based on video recordings of the scenarios. The effect of the workshops on participants’ approach to adolescent health care was assessed by a feedback questionnaire and on 5-point Likert score questionnaires administered before the workshop and 3 months after. 

Results: All participants completed both the pre-workshop and the feedback questionnaires and 41 (42%) completed the post-workshop questionnaire 3 months later. Practice and competence topics received significantly higher scores in post-workshop questionnaires (P < 0.001). A score of high to very high was given by 90% of physicians to the contribution of the workshop to participants understanding the dignifying approach, and by 70% to its influence on their communicative skills.

Conclusions: A one-day simulation-based workshop may improve physicians’ communication skills and sense of competence in addressing adolescents’ health care issues which require a dignifying approach toward both the adolescent patients and their parents. This dignity-focused methodology may be expanded to improve communication skills of physicians from various disciplines. 


June 2016
Sandro Vento MD and Francesca Cainelli MD
June 2015
Jochanan Benbassat MD

This paper summarizes the difficulties that may emerge when the same care-provider attends to private and public patients within the same or different clinical settings. First, I argue that blurring the boundaries between public and private care may start a slippery slope leading to “black” under-the-table payments for preferential patient care. Second, I question whether public hospitals that allow their doctors to attend to private patients provide an appropriate learning environment for medical students and residents. Finally, I propose a way to both maintain the advantages of private care and avoid its negative consequences: complete separation between the public and the private health care systems.


November 2014
Ran Stein MD, David Neufeld MD, Ivan Shwartz MD, Ilan Erez MD, Ilana Haas MD, Ada Magen MD, Elon Glassberg MD, Pavel Shmulevsky MD and Haim Paran MD FACS

Background: Discharge summaries after hospitalization provide the most reliable description and implications of the hospitalization. A concise discharge summary is crucial for maintaining continuity of care through the transition from inpatient to ambulatory care. Discharge summaries often lack information and are imprecise. Errors and insufficient recommendations regarding changes in the medical regimen may harm the patient’s health and may result in readmission.

Objectives: To evaluate a quality improvement model and training program for writing postoperative discharge summaries for three surgical procedures.

Methods: Medical records and surgical discharge summaries were reviewed and scored. Essential points for communication between surgeons and family physicians were included in automated forms. Staff was briefed twice regarding required summary contents with an interim evaluation. Changes in quality were evaluated.

Results: Summaries from 61 cholecystectomies, 42 hernioplasties and 45 colectomies were reviewed. The average quality score of all discharge summaries increased from 72.1 to 78.3 after the first intervention (P < 0.0005) to 81.0 following the second intervention. As the discharge summary’s quality improved, its length decreased significantly.

Conclusions: Discharge summaries lack important information and are too long. Developing a model for discharge summaries and instructing surgical staff regarding their contents resulted in measurable improvement. Frequent interventions and supervision are needed to maintain the quality of the surgical discharge summary.  

August 2014
Reuben Baumal MD, Jochanan Benbassat MD and Julie A.D. Van
"Clinician-scientists" is an all-inclusive term for board-certified specialists who engage in patient care and laboratory-based (biomedical) research, patient-based (clinical) research, or population-based (epidemiological) research. In recent years, the number of medical graduates who choose to combine patient care and research has declined, generating concerns about the future of medical research. This paper reviews: a) the various current categories of clinician-scientists, b) the reasons proposed for the declining number of medical graduates who opt for a career as clinician-scientists, c) the various interventions aimed at reversing this trend, and d) the projections for the future role of clinician-scientists. Efforts to encourage students to combine patient care and research include providing financial and institutional support, and reducing the duration of the training of clinician-scientists. However, recent advances in clinical and biomedical knowledge have increased the difficulties in maintaining the dual role of care-providers and scientists. It was therefore suggested that rather than expecting clinician-scientists to compete with full-time clinicians in providing patient care, and with full-time investigators in performing research, clinician-scientists will increasingly assume the role of leading/coordinating interdisciplinary teams. Such teams would focus either on patient-based research or on the clinical, biomedical and epidemiological aspects of specific clinical disorders, such as hypertension and diabetes.
March 2014
Firas Abu Akar, Revital Arbel, Zvi Benninga, Mushira Aboo Dia and Bettina Steiner-Birmanns
All victims of violence encountered in our emergency rooms and clinics need to be recognized and documented as such. Although there has been progress in the implementation of rules concerning (domestic) violence against women, children and the elderly, the management of cases where patients have been subjected to violence while under the custody of legal enforcement agencies, or patients who have been victims of torture, is still not sufficiently standardized. We describe the Istanbul Protocol of the United Nations, an excellent tool that can help physicians and health professionals recognize and treat cases of torture or institutional violence.

September 2013
S. Harnof, M. Hadani, A. Ziv and H. Berkenstadt
 Background: Communication skills are an important component of the neurosurgery residency training program. We developed a simulation-based training module for neurosurgery residents in which medical, communication and ethical dilemmas are presented by role-playing actors.

Objectives: To assess the first national simulation-based communication skills training for neurosurgical residents.

Methods: Eight scenarios covering different aspects of neurosurgery were developed by our team: 1) obtaining informed consent for an elective surgery, 2) discharge of a patient following elective surgery, 3) dealing with an unsatisfied patient, 4) delivering news of intraoperative complications, 5) delivering news of a brain tumor to parents of a 5 year old boy, 6) delivering news of brain death to a family member, 7) obtaining informed consent for urgent surgery from the grandfather of a 7 year old boy with an epidural hematoma, and 8) dealing with a case of child abuse. Fifteen neurosurgery residents from all major medical centers in Israel participated in the training. The session was recorded on video and was followed by videotaped debriefing by a senior neurosurgeon and communication expert and by feedback questionnaires.

Results: All trainees participated in two scenarios and observed another two. Participants largely agreed that the actors simulating patients represented real patients and family members and that the videotaped debriefing contributed to the teaching of professional skills.

Conclusions: Simulation-based communication skill training is effective, and together with thorough debriefing is an excellent learning and practical method for imparting communication skills to neurosurgery residents. Such simulation-based training will ultimately be part of the national residency program.

March 2013
A.M. Madsen, R. Pope, A. Samuels and C.Z. Margolis
 Background: Due to the war in Gaza in 2009, Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health with a student body of 165 international multicultural students canceled a week of classes. Third-year students continued clerkships voluntarily and fourth-year students returned to Israel before departing for clerkship in a developing country. A debriefing session was held for the entire school.

Objectives: To assess the academic and psychological effects of political conflict on students.

Methods: We asked all students to fill out an anonymous Google electronic survey describing their experience during the war and evaluating the debriefing. A team of students and administrators reviewed the responses.

Results: Sixty-six students (40% of the school) responded (first year 26%, second year 39%, third year 24%, fourth year 8%, taking time off 3%, age 23–40 years old). Eighty-three percent were in Israel for some portion of the war and 34% attended the debriefing. Factors that influenced individuals’ decision to return/stay in the war zone were primarily of an academic and financial nature. Other factors included family pressure, information from peers and information from the administration. Many reported psychological difficulties during the war rather than physical danger, describing it as “draining” and that it was difficult to concentrate while studying. As foreigners, many felt their role was undefined. Although there is wide variation in the war’s effect on daily activities and emotional well-being during that time, the majority (73%) reported minimal residual effects.

Conclusions: This study lends insight to the way students cope during conflict and highlights academic issues during a war. Open and frequent communication and emphasis on the school as a community were most important to students.


December 2010
O. Baron-Epel, L. Keinan-Boker, R. Weinstein and T. Shohat

Background: During the last few decades much effort has been invested into lowering smoking rates due to its heavy burden on the population's health and on costs for the health care services.

Objectives: To compare trends in smoking rates between adult Arab men and Jewish men and women during 2000–2008.

Methods: Six random telephone surveys were conducted by the Israel Center for Disease Control in 2000–2008 to investigate smoking rates. The number of respondents was 24,976 Jews men and women and 2564 Arab men. The percent of respondents reporting being current smokers was calculated for each population group (Jews and Arabs) by age, gender and education, and were studied in relation to time.

Results: Among Jewish men aged 21–64 smoking declined during 2000–2008 by about 3.5%. In the 21–44 age group this decline occurred only among respondents with an academic education. Among Jewish women this decline also occurred at ages 21–64, and in the 45–64 age group this decline was due only to a decline in smoking among those with an academic education. Among Arab men aged 21–64 an increase in smoking rates of about 6.5% was observed among both educated and less educated respondents.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is declining in Israel among Jews, but not among Arab men. The larger decrease in smoking rates among academics will, in the future, add to the inequalities in health between the lower and higher socioeconomic status groups and between Arabs and Jews. This calls for tailored interventions among the less educated Jews and all Arab men.

September 2010
G. Twig, A. Lahad, I. Kochba, V. Ezra, D. Mandel, A. Shina, Y. Kreiss and E. Zimlichman

Background: A survey conducted among Israel Defense Force primary care physicians in 2001 revealed that they consider patients' needs more than they do organizational needs and that the education PCPs[1] currently receive is inadequate. In 2003 the medical corps initiated a multi-format continuous medical education program aimed at improving skills in primary care medicine.

Objectives: To measure and analyze the effect of the tailored-made CME[2] program on PCPs’ self-perception 3 years after its implementation and correlate it to clinical performance.

Methods: In 2006 a questionnaire was delivered to a representative sample of PCPs in the IDF[3]. The questionnaire included items on demographic and professional background, statements on self-perception issues, and ranking of roles. We compared the follow-up survey (2006) to the results of the original study (2001) and correlated the survey results with clinical performance as measured through objective indicators.

Results: In the 2006 follow-up survey PCPs scored higher on questions dealing with their perception of themselves as case managers (3.8 compared to 4.0 on the 2001 survey on a 5 point scale, P = 0.046), perceived quality of care and education (3.5 vs. 3.8, P = 0.06), and on questions dealing with organizational commitment (3.5 vs. 3.8, P=0.01). PCPs received higher scores on clinical indicators in the later study (odds ratio 2.05, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: PCPs in the IDF perceive themselves more as case managers as compared to the 2001 survey. A tailor-made CME program may have contributed to the improvement in skills and quality of care.

[1] PCP = primary care physician

[2] CME = continuous medical education

[3] IDF = Israel Defense Forces

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