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עמוד בית
Mon, 17.06.24

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May 2023
Hagit Hemi RN, Olga Morelli MD, Mordehay Vaturi MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Alexander Sagie MD, Yaron Shapira MD, Shmuel Schwartzenberg MD

Background: Cancellation of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) tests leads to inefficient use of echocardiography laboratory (echo lab) time and wastes resources.

Objectives: To identify the causes of same-day TEE cancellations in hospitalized patients, to formulate a TEE order screening protocol, and to evaluate its efficacy at implementation.

Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of inpatients referred to a single tertiary hospital echo lab for TEE study by inpatient wards. A comprehensive screening protocol emphasizing active participation of all links directly involved in the chain of inpatient TEE referral was developed and implemented. Comparison of pre- and post-implementation of the new screening protocol on two consecutive periods of 6 months on TEE cancellation rates out of total ordered TEEs stratified by cause categories was performed.

Results: In total, 304 inpatient TEE procedures were ordered during the initial observation period; 54(17.8%) were canceled on the same day. The most common cancellation reasons were equally respiratory distress and patient not in fasted state (20.4% of total cancellations and 3.6% of all scheduled TEEs for each cause). Following implementation of the new screening process, total TEEs ordered (192) and cancelled (16) dropped significantly. A decrease in the rate of each cancellation category was observed, with statistical significance achieved for the overall cancellation rate (8.3% vs. 17.8%, P = 0.003), but not for the individual cancellation categories in split analysis.

Conclusions: A concerted effort to implement a comprehensive screening questionnaire significantly reduced same-day cancellations of scheduled TEEs.

February 2023
Nizar Horrany MD, Wadie Abu Dahoud MD, Yara Moallem MD, Taleb Hajouj MD, Merna Zreik MD, Arnon Blum MD

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Metformin is an old, relatively safe, first line therapy for T2DM; however, it has been associated with stroke.

Objectives: To study the effects of metformin use and vitamin B12 deficiency on stroke rate among patients with T2DM.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients admitted with ischemic stroke within 12 months (starting March 2020). We studied the clinical impact of metformin on vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke evolution. Student's t-test and ANOVA were used to compare the groups of patients and to determine whether there was any direct or indirect effect of metformin use on vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke.

Results: In total, 80 patients were admitted with ischemic stroke. Clinical status and biochemical data were collected and compared with healthy volunteers. There were 39 diabetic patients, 16 took metformin for at least 1 year. Among those who took metformin for at least 1 year, 9 had vitamin B12 level < 240 pg/ml (56.2%); 23 diabetic patients did not get metformin and only 4 had vitamin B12 level < 240 pg/ml (17.4%) (P = 0.014).

Conclusions: T2DM is a significant risk factor to the development of ischemic stroke. We found an association between metformin use and vitamin B12 deficiency and an association between vitamin B12 deficiency and stroke risk in patients with T2DM. Diabetic patients who are taking metformin should monitor their vitamin B12 level.

November 2016
Guy Hidas MD, Jacob Ben Chaim MD, Refael Udassin MD, Merry Graeb MD, Ofer N. Gofrit MD, Rachel Yaffa Zisk-Rony PhD, Dov Pode MD, Mordechai Duvdevani M2, Vladimir Yutkin MD, Amos Neheman MD, Amos Fruman MD, Dan Arbel MD, Vadim Kopuler MD, Yaron Armon MD and Ezekiel H. Landau MD

Background: Strong evidence suggests that in order to prevent irreversible testicular damage surgical correction (orchidopexy) for undescended testis (UDT) should be performed before the age of 1 year. 

Objectives: To evaluate whether orchidopexy is delayed in our medical system, and if so, to explore the pattern of referral for orchidopexy as a possible contributing factor in such delays. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all children who underwent orchidopexy for UDT between 2003 and 2013 in our institution. We collected data on the age at surgery and the child's health insurance plan. We also surveyed pediatricians from around the country regarding their pattern of UDT patient referral to a pediatric urologist or surgeon for surgical correction.

Results: A total of 813 children underwent orchidopexy in our institute during the study period. The median age at surgery was 1.49 years (range 0.5–13). Only 11% of the children underwent surgery under the age of 1 year, and 53% between the ages of 1 and 2 years. These findings were consistent throughout the years, with no difference between the four health insurance plans. Sixty-three pediatricians who participated in the survey reported that they referred children to surgery at a median age of 1 year (range 0.5–3 years).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate delayed orchidopexy in our medical system. There is a need to improve awareness for early specialist consultation in order to facilitate earlier surgery and better care.

 

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


November 2009
A. Neville, Z. Liss, A. Lahad, B. Porter and P. Shvartzman

Background: Low back pain is a common problem managed by primary care physicians and orthopedic specialists.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of new LBP[1] episodes in patients who chose to visit either an orthopedist or a general practitioner.

Methods: All patients visiting the orthopedist or physician during the study period were screened for a new complaint of LBP. After the initial visit the patients were interviewed by phone by means of a structured questionnaire, with a follow-up interview one month later. The study was performed at Clalit Health Services primary care and consultation clinics. A random sample of 125 GPs[2] and 17 orthopedists were chosen. Consecutively recruited were 166 patients who visited the GP and 75 the orthopedist. The main outcome measures evaluated were perceived complaint severity and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning, problem resolution, and health services utilization.

Results: Patients who decided to first visit the orthopedist indicated a higher disturbance to everyday functioning (75% vs. 70%, P < 0.01), were invited for further follow-up visits (6% vs. 51%, P < 0.05) and had more computed tomography and bone scans (20 vs. 3%, P < 0.001 and 9 vs. 2%, P < 0.05, respectively). Health status after one month showed that patients who chose the GP were more likely to have their problem solved (36 vs. 17%, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Symptom resolution for a new LBP complaint was significantly higher in patients who decided on the GP, even when controlling for severity of illness and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning.






[1] LBP = low back pain



[2] GP = general practitioner


November 2006
April 2006
O. Bronshtein, V. Katz, T. Freud and R. Peleg

Background: Physicians in the community work on a tight and often pressured schedule; verbal and non-verbal techniques to terminate the patient-physician encounter are therefore necessary.

Objectives: To characterize ways of terminating the encounter.

Methods: Using a structured questionnaire we observed seven family physicians and nine consultants and recorded patient-physician encounters to assess techniques for terminating the encounter.

Results: In all, 320 encounters were recorded, 179 (55.9%) by consultants and 141 (44.1%) by family physicians. The mean duration of the encounters was 9.02 ± 5.34 minutes. The mean duration of encounters with family physicians was longer than consultants (10.39 vs. 7.93 minutes, P < 0.001). In most cases the encounter ended with the patient receiving printed documentation from the physician (no difference between family physicians and consultants). Consultants were more likely to end the encounter with a positive concluding remark such as “feel good” or “be well” (P < 0.01). There was no single occasion where termination of the encounter was initiated by the patient.

Conclusions: Giving a printed document to the patient appears to be perceived by both patients and physicians as an accepted way to end an encounter. Another good way to end the encounter is a positive greeting such as “feel good” or “be well.”
 

October 2005
S. Vinker, S. Nakar, R. Ram. A. Lustman and E. Kitai.
 Background: Good care of the diabetic patient reduces the incidence of long-term complications. Treatment should be interdisciplinary; in the last decade a debate has raged over how to optimize treatment and how to use the various services efficiently.

Objectives: To evaluate the quality of care of diabetic patients in primary care and diabetes clinics in the community in central Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of a random sample of 209 diabetic patients in a district of the largest health management organization in Israel. Patients were divided into two groups – those treated only by their family physician and those who had attended diabetes clinics. Data included social demographics, medications, risk factors, quality of follow-up, laboratory tests, quality of diabetes control and blood pressure control, and complications of diabetes.

Results: Of the 209 patients 38% were followed by a diabetes clinic and 62% by a family physician. Patients attending the specialist clinic tended to be younger (P = 0.01) and more educated (P = 0.017). The duration of their diabetes was longer (P < 0.01) and they had more diabetic microvascular complications (P = 0.001). The percentage of patients treated with insulin was higher among the diabetes clinic patients (75% vs. 14%, P = 0.0001). More patients with nephropathy received angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in the diabetes clinic (94% vs. 68%, P = 0.02). Follow-up in the specialist clinic as compared to by the family physician was better in the areas of foot examination (P < 0.01), fundus examination (P = 0.0001), and hemoglobin A1c testing (P = 0.01). On a regression model only fundus examination, foot examination and documentation of smoking status were significantly better in the diabetes clinic (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: There is still a large gap between clinical guidelines and clinical practice. Joint treatment of diabetes patients between the family physician and the diabetes specialist may be a proposed model to improve follow-up and diabetes control. This model of treatment should be checked in a prospective study.

May 2003
N. Bentur and S. Resnizky

Background: An important question on the health agenda concerns the most appropriate place to hospitalize stroke patients and its effect on acute stroke care.

Objectives: To examine how the existing hospital system treats these patients, specifically: a) the departments to which stroke patients are admitted; b) differences in the admission, diagnosis and rehabilitative care of stroke patients, by department; c) patient characteristics, by department; and d) mortality rates during hospitalization.

Methods: We surveyed 616 people with acute stroke (ICD-CM9 430-433, 436) admitted consecutively to one of seven large general hospitals in Israel between October 1998 and January 1999. Data were collected from medical records at admission and at discharge.

Results: Forty-two percent of the patients were admitted to an internal medicine department, 56% to a neurology department, and only 2% to a geriatric department. The majority (95%) underwent a computed tomography scan of the brain, but other imaging tests were performed on fewer patients, with significant differences among hospitals and between internal medicine and neurology departments. Patients admitted to neurology departments were younger and had milder stroke symptoms than did patients admitted to internal medicine departments. Fifty-three percent of patients received at least one type of rehabilitative care during their hospital stay – usually physiotherapy, and least often occupational therapy. Seventeen percent of stroke patients died during hospitalization. Mortality was not found to be related to the admitting department.

Conclusions: Uniform realistic policies and work procedures should be formulated for all hospitals in Israel regarding the admitting department and processes as well as the performance of diagnostic imaging. Standards of medical and rehabilitative care and discharge destination should be developed to promote quality of care while containing utilization and costs.
 

January 2003
J. Shemer, N. L. Friedman, E. Kokia

This paper describes "Health Value Added" – an innovative model that links performance measurement to strategy in health maintanance organizations. The HVA[1] model was developed by Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel’s second largest HMO[2], with the aim of focusing all its activities on providing high quality care within budgetary and regulatory constraints. HVA draws upon theory and practice from strategic management and performance measurement in order to assesses an HMO’s ability to improve the health of its members. The model consists of four interrelated levels – mission, goals, systems, and resources – and builds on the existence of advanced computerized information systems that make comprehensive measurements available to decision makers in real time. HVA enables management to evaluate overall organizational performance as well as the performance of semi-autonomous units. In simple terms, the sophisticated use of performance measures can help healthcare organizations obtain more health for the same money.






[1] HVA = Health Value Added



[2] HMO = health maintenance organization


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.

December 1999
Aya Peleg PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Avi Porath MD and Yael Horowitz BSc

Background: Hallway medicine is an integral part of physicians' medical culture, but little is known about it.

Objective: To characterize the practice of hallway medicine among hospital physicians, both as providers and consumers.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 112 randomly chosen hospital physicians at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel between November 1997 and May 1998. A self-administered 39-item questionnaire was used that included sociodemographic data, the extent to which hallway medicine is practiced, and satisfaction from and attitudes to it.

Results: Of the 112 selected physicians, 111 responded (99.1%). Of these, 91 (82%) had been asked by their colleagues to provide hallway medicine. Most of them (91%) agreed because of "willingness to help," because "it's unpleasant to refuse," or "it's the acceptable thing to do." Most of the requests (72%) were unscheduled and time consuming (41% up to 10 minutes and 21% more than 20 minutes). Records were kept in only 36% of the cases and follow-up in 62%. Physicians who provided hallway medicine were also consumers of it (P<0.001), based on personal acquaintance, time saved and easy accessibility. In general, the attitude to hallway medicine was negative (54%) or ambiguous (37%). Most requests for hallway medicine were made to Israeli-trained physicians, surgeons or gynecologists, and senior physicians.

Conclusions: Hallway medicine is practiced frequently among hospital physicians. A formal organization of health care service within medical centers might provide physicians with better medical care and reduce potential ethical, medical, legal, psychosocial and economic problems.

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