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Trowbridge R.L.,Maine Medical Center | Trowbridge R.L.,Tufts University | Dhaliwal G.,San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center | Dhaliwal G.,University of California at San Francisco | And 2 more authors.
BMJ Quality and Safety | Year: 2013

Diagnostic errors are a major patient safety concern. Although the majority of diagnostic errors are partially attributable to cognitive mistakes, the most effective means of improving clinician cognition in order to achieve gains in diagnostic reliability are unclear. We propose a tripartite educational agenda for improving diagnostic performance among students, residents and practising physicians. This agenda includes strengthening the metacognitive abilities of clinicians, fostering intuitive reasoning and increasing awareness of the role of systems in the diagnostic process. The evidence supporting initiatives in each of these realms is reviewed and a course of future implementation and study is proposed. The barriers to designing and implementing this agenda are substantial and include limited evidence supporting these initiatives and the challenges of changing the practice patterns of practising physicians. Implementation will need to be accompanied by rigorous evaluation.

Romo R.D.,University of California at San Francisco | Wallhagen M.I.,University of California at San Francisco | Yourman L.,University of California at San Francisco | Yeung C.C.,University of California at San Francisco | And 5 more authors.
Gerontologist | Year: 2013

Purpose: Researchers often use the term "successful aging" to mean freedom from disability, yet the perspectives of elders living with late-life disability have not been well described. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of successful aging among a diverse sample of communitydwelling elders with late-life disability. Design and Methods: Using qualitative grounded theory methodology, we interviewed 56 African American, White, Cantonese-speaking Chinese, and Spanishspeaking Latino disabled elders who participate in On Lok Lifeways, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. Through semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions, we explored the elders' perceptions of what successful aging and being old meant to them. Results: Despite experiencing late-life disability, most participants felt they had aged successfully. An overarching theme was that aging results in Living in a New Reality, with two subthemes: Acknowledging the New Reality and Rejecting the New Reality. Participants achieved successful aging by using adaptation and coping strategies to align their perception of successful aging with their experiences. Themes were common across race/ethnic groups but certain strategies were more prominent among different groups. Implications: Across race and ethnic groups, most of these participants with late-life disability felt they had aged successfully. Thus, successful aging involves subjective criteria and has a cultural context that is not captured in objective measurements. Understanding elders' perception will help establish common ground for communication between clinicians and elders and identify the most appropriate interventions to help elders achieve and maintain the experience of successful aging. © The Author 2013. All rights reserved.

Wang L.M.,San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center | Wong M.,University of California at San Francisco | Lightwood J.M.,University of California at San Francisco | Cheng C.M.,University of California at San Francisco
Annals of Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Black box warnings represent the strongest safety warning that the Food and Drug Administration can issue for a marketed prescription drug. Some black box warnings recommend against coadministration of specific medications due to an increased risk for serious, perhaps life-threatening, effects. OBJECTIVE: To determine the level of agreement in presence, clinical severity scores level of documentation ratings, and alert content among 3 leading drug interaction screening programs with regard to contraindicated comedications that are mentioned in black box warnings. METHODS: We reviewed the prescribing information for currently marketed prescription drugs with a black box warning that mentioned a contraindicated drug combination. We selected the drug interaction databases Facts & Comparisons 4.0, MICROMEDEX DRUG-REAX, and Lexi-Comp Lexi-Interact to evaluate the interactions. Discrepancies in the inclusion of interactions and level of agreement in clinical severity scores and level of documentation ratings for each interaction were assessed, using descriptive statistics, Spearman's correlation coefficient, Kendall-Stuart τ-c, and Cronbach's α. RESULTS: We identified 11 drugs with black box warnings that contained information on 59 unique contraindicated drug combinations, only 68% of which were covered by any source. Lexi-Comp detected the most interactions (n = 29) and DRUG-REAX the least (n = 18). Only 3 drug combinations were detected and rated as contraindicated or potentially life-threatening in all 3 databases. The severity scores and level of documentation ratings varied widely. CONCLUSIONS: There are discrepancies among major drug interaction screening programs in the inclusion, severity, and level of documentation of contraindicated drug combinations mentioned in black box warnings. Further studies could explore the implications of these inconsistencies, particularly with regard to the integration of black box warning information in clinical practice. Clinicians should consult multiple drug resources to maximize the potential for detecting a potentially severe drug interaction.

Evangelista L.S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Rasmusson K.D.,Intermountain Medical Center | Laramee A.S.,Fletcher Allen Health Care | Barr J.,Methodist Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cardiac Failure | Year: 2010

Background: Low health literacy compromises patient safety, quality health care, and desired health outcomes. Specifically, low health literacy is associated with decreased knowledge of one's medical condition, poor medication recall, nonadherence to treatment plans, poor self-care behaviors, compromised physical and mental health, greater risk of hospitalization, and increased mortality. Methods: The health literacy literature was reviewed for: definitions, scope, risk factors, assessment, impact on health outcomes (cardiovascular disease and heart failure), and interventions. Implications for future research and for clinical practice to address health literacy in heart failure patients were summarized. Results: General health literacy principles should be applied to patients with heart failure, similar to others with chronic conditions. Clinicians treating patients with heart failure should address health literacy using five steps: recognize the consequences of low health literacy, screen patients at risk, document literacy levels and learning preferences, and integrate effective strategies to enhance patients' understanding into practice. Conclusion: Although the literature specifically addressing low health literacy in patients with heart failure is limited, it is consistent with the larger body of health literacy evidence. Timely recognition of low health literacy combined with tailored interventions should be integrated into clinical practice. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Fintelmann R.E.,University of California at San Francisco | Naseri A.,University of California at San Francisco | Naseri A.,San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center
Drugs | Year: 2010

Endophthalmitis is an uncommon but potentially devastating intraocular infection that can occur after routine cataract surgery. Although a broad spectrum of organisms have been shown to cause acute postoperative endophthalmitis, most cases are caused by Gram-positive bacteria, which may be introduced at the time of surgery from colonization of adjacent conjunctiva or eyelid skin. Risk factors for the development of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery include patient age, intraoperative surgical complications and poor wound construction. There are several antibacterial strategies employed to prevent postoperative endophthalmitis, with topical, intracameral and subconjunctival delivery being the most common. Worldwide, there seems to be significant regional variance in the type and method of prophylactic antibacterial regimens; for example, topical fluoroquinolones are commonly used in the US, while intracameral cephalosporins are employed widely in Europe. The optimal antibacterial strategy for the prevention of endophthalmitis should be safe, inexpensive and broad in microbiological activity spectrum, while not requiring patient compliance for its effectiveness. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.

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