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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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December 2000
Howard A. Schwid, MD
 Anesthesia simulators are rapidly becoming more preva­lent worldwide. Several types of anesthesia simulators utilizing a variety of technologies are available. High fidelity mannequin-based simulators, low fidelity screen-based simulators, and relatively inexpensive intermediate fidelity simulators have found applications in training, assessment of clinical competence, and research. A number of recent studies support the use of anesthesia simulators and may lead to widespread adoption of simulation in other fields of medicine.
July 2000
Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Avi A. Weinbroum MD, Yoram Kluger MD, Michael Stein MD, Zohar Barzilay MD FCCM and Gideon Paret MD

Background: General pediatricians in Israel are actively involved in the initial evaluation, resuscitation and management of traumatized children. However, pediatric trauma care is not a part of pediatric specialty training in Israel, and the few Advanced Trauma Life SupportR courses per year are insufficient for most pediatricians working in accident and emergency care.

Objective: To examine the value of the course in relation to the limited resources available for such training.

Methods: A telephone survey of 115 pediatricians who had taken the course between 1990 and 1994 was conducted. The responding physicians (67%) were asked to complete a specially designed questionnaire on life-saving procedures that were taught in the course. In addition, they were asked to subjectively assess the practical utility of the course.

Results: Forty-three (56%) pediatricians reported that they routinely treated both adult and pediatric trauma cases. Of these, 81% performed 27 life-saving ATLSR procedures. Pediatric trauma was treated by only 22 (28%), of whom 72.3% performed 18 life-saving ATLSR procedures. These pediatricians ranked the courses as being "very high" to "high" in impact.

Conclusions: These figures indicate that an ATLSR course designed specifically for pediatricians can markedly improve pediatric trauma care. To ensure standard education and patient care, such a course should be developed and made a mandatory component of residency training. Further studies to examine the objective impact of the courses on pediatric trauma care should be carried out.

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ATLS= Advanced Trauma Life Support

Roni Peleg MD, Meron Froimovici MD, Aya Peleg PhD, Vered Milrad BA, Georgette Ohana BA, Shimon Fitoussi, Eli Dryfuss MA, Michael Sharf MD MPH and Pesach Shvartzman MD

Background: Israeli physicians are very familiar with the problem of interruptions during encounters with patients. However, a thorough search of the medical literature revealed only one report of this problem from Israel, and none from other countries.

Objectives: To characterize the phenomenon of interruptions to the patient-physician encounter in a clinic in Dimona and to assess the effect of an intervention program designed to reduce the magnitude of this problem.

Methods: During an 8 day work period in March 1997 all patient-physician encounters were recorded and characterized. An intervention program was then designed and implemented to reduce the number of interruptions. Data were again collected a year after the initial data collection.

Results: During the 8 day study period prior to the intervention program there were 528 interruptions to 379 encounters (mean of 1.39 per encounter). The main causes of interruptions were entrance of uninvited patients to the examination room (31%) and telephone calls (27%). Most of the interruptions occurred during the morning hours between 8 and 10 a.m. (45%) and at the beginning of the week (Sunday 30%). After the intervention program there were 402 interruptions to 355 encounters (mean of 1.13 per appointment, P=0.21).

Conclusions: There was no statistically significant improvement in the number of interruptions following the intervention program. This finding is either the result of a local cultural phenomenon, or it indicates a national primary care health system problem that may require a long-term educational program to resolve it. Further research is needed on the magnitude, causes and consequences of interruptions in family practice and, if warranted, methods will have to devised to cope with this serious problem.

May 2000
Ziona Haklai MSc, Shimon Glick MD and Jochanan Benbassat MD

Background: The increasing utilization of general internal medicine hospital wards in Israel during the last decade is a source of concern for health policy makers.

Objectives: To report on the distribution of selected main and secondary diagnoses among GIM inpatients, and to estimate the proportion of disorders for which appropriate care in the community will reduce the need for hospital admissions and re-admissions.

Methods: Data from the Health Information and Computer Services of the Israel Ministry of Health (national hospitalization database) for a one year period were analyzed by distribution of diagnostic entities (ICD-9-CM) in GIM and in medical subspecialty wards.

Results: Of the 313,824 discharges from hospital divisions of medicine in 1995, 256,956 (81.9%) were from GIM and 56,868 (18.1%) from specialty wards. Main and secondary discharge diagnoses were available for 188,807 GIM and 35,992 specialty patients. Of all main diagnoses in GIM wards, 27% were coded as "general or systemic symptoms and signs" or as "abnormal laboratory or ill defined manifestations" (ICD-9-CM codes 780-799, 276,277), and heart diseases comprised another 27%. The remaining main diagnoses covered almost all medical conditions. The combined proportion of "ambulatory care sensitive hospital admissions" (bronchial asthma, hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes) constituted 12% of all main diagnoses in GIM, and respiratory symptoms or signs comprised another 11%. A by-product of this analysis was an insight into the experience of undergraduate medical students in GIM.

Conclusions: Assuming that 12-75% of admissions for "ambulatory care sensitive disorders" are preventable, an improved review before hospital discharge and a closer outpatient follow-up may reduce the load on GIM wards by 1-17%. This wide range justifies controlled trials to determine the effect of improved community care on hospital utilization. GIM wards offer valuable learning opportunities, but they cannot be a substitute for primary care clinics. The unexplained high proportion of GIM inpatients who were discharged with an unspecified main diagnosis could be detrimental for the accuracy of hospitalization statistics, and justifies investigation by chart audits into physicians' habits of documentation.

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GIM= general internal medicine

March 2000
Amos M. Yinnon MD, Yitzhack Skorohod MD, Yechiel Schlesinger MD and Alan Greenberg BPharm MRPharmS

Background: Cefuroxime is a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic used widely for the treatment of various infections.

Objectives: To assess the appropriateness of cefuroxime usage as well as the long-term impact of re-feeding the results to prescribing physicians.

Methods: Drug utilization evaluation involved three data-collecting periods, each comprising 6 weeks, during which all patients receiving cefuroxime were evaluated. Results of phase I were distributed to all physicians in a newsletter and departmental lectures; phase II was announced and conducted 6 months later. An identical phase III was unannounced and conducted one year after phase II. The study included all patients receiving cefuroxime during the three phases. The main outcome measure was appropriateness of initiation, and continuation beyond 3 days, of empirical treatment. Appropriateness was determined according to a prepared list of indications based on the literature and the hospital's protocols.

Results: Cefuroxime was initiated appropriately in 104 of 134 patients (78%) in phase I, in 85 of 100 (85%) in phase II, and in 93 of 100 (93%) in phase III (P<0.001). Cefuroxime was continued appropriately after 3 days in 58/134 (43%), 57/100 (57%) and 70/100 (70%) respectively (P<0.001). The total number of appropriate treatment days out of all treatment days increased from 516 of 635 (81%) in phase I, to 450 of 510 (88%) in phase II, to 485 of 509 (95%) in phase III (P<0.001). The principal reason for cefuroxime usage was community-acquired respiratory tract infection.

Conclusion: Drug utilization evaluation may provide valuable data on the usage of a particular drug. This information, once re-fed to physicians, may improve utilization of the particular drug. This positive effect may be prolonged beyond the immediate period of observation.

November 1999
Ron Ben-Abraham MD, Michael Stein MD, Gideon Paret MD, Robert Cohen MD, Joshua Shemer MD, Avraham Rivkind MD and Yoram Kluger MD
Background: Since its introduction in Israel, more than 4,000 physicians from various specialties and diverse medical backgrounds have participated in the Advanced Trauma Life Support course.

Objectives: To analyze the factors that influence the success of physicians in the ATLS®1 written tests.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of 4,475 physicians participating in the Israeli ATLS® training program between 1990 and 1996. Several variables in the records of these physicians were related to their success or failure in the final written examination of the course.

Results: Age, the region of medical schooling, and the medical specialty were found to significantly influence the successful completion of the ATLS® course.

Conclusions: Physicians younger than 45 years of age or with a surgical specialty are more likely to graduate the ATLS® course. The success rate could be improved if the program’s text and questionnaires were translated into Hebrew. 

1ATLS® = Advanced Trauma Life Support

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