Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 152 items for

  • Refine by Access: all x
  • By Author: Jea, Andrew x
Clear All
Restricted access

Pediatric neurosurgery through the lens of time-driven activity-based costing: a pilot study

Kiana Y. Prather, Burak Ozaydin, Mikayla Peters, Emily Tally, Kristin Zieles, Michael E. Omini, Joanna E. Gernsback, Virendra R. Desai, Karl E. Balsara, and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) is a method used in cost accounting that has gained traction in health economics to identify value optimization initiatives. It measures time, assigns value to time increments spent on a patient, and integrates the cost of material and human resources utilized in each episode of care. In this study, the authors report the first use of TDABC to evaluate costs in a pediatric neurosurgical practice.

METHODS

A clinical pathway was developed with a multifunction team. A time survey among each care team member, including surgeons, medical assistants (MAs), and patient service representatives (PSRs), was carried out prospectively over a 10-week period at a pediatric neurosurgery clinic. Consecutive patient encounters for Chiari malformation (CM), hydrocephalus, or tethered cord syndrome (TCS) were included. Encounters were categorized as new or established. Relative annual personnel costs, using the salary of a PSR as a reference (i.e., 1.0-unit cost), were calculated for all members using departmental financial data after adjustments. The relative capacity cost rates (minute−1) for each personnel, a representation of per capita cost per minute, were then derived, and the relative costs per visit were calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 110 visits (24 new, 86 established) were captured, including 40% CM, 41% hydrocephalus, and 19% TCS encounters. Surgeons had the highest relative capacity cost rate (118.4 × 10−6), more than 10-fold higher than that of an MA or PSR (10.65 × 10−6 and 9.259 × 10−6, respectively). Surgeons also logged more time with patients compared with the rest of the care team in nearly all visits (p ≤ 0.002); consequently, the total visit costs were primarily driven by the surgeon cost (p < 0.0001). Overall, surgeon cost constituted the vast majority of the total visit cost (92%–93%), regardless of whether the visits were new or established. Visit costs did not differ by diagnosis. On average, new visits took longer than established visits (p < 0.001). This difference was largely driven by new CM visits (44.3 ± 13.7 minutes), which were significantly longer than established CM visits (29.8 ± 9.2 minutes; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

TDABC may reveal opportunities to maximize value by highlighting instances of variability and high cost in each module of care delivery. Physician leaders in pediatric neurosurgery may be able to use this information to allocate costs and streamline value care pathways.

Restricted access

The evolution of stereoelectroencephalography: symbiotic progress in medical imaging and procedural technologies

Aaron Parrott, Sherwin A. Tavakol, Kristin Zieles, Andrew Jea, and Virendra R. Desai

Stereoelectroencephalography (sEEG) was pioneered in France, at a time when cerebral anatomy was invisible to contemporaneous imaging modalities. Epilepsy surgeons relied on indirect targeting techniques to identify epileptogenic tissue. Since then, alongside the rapid rise of medical imaging technology, sEEG has experienced dramatic stepwise progress. A flurry of advancements has pushed this technique to its current-day standards, enabling neurosurgeons to access any intracranial location in a safe, highly precise, and expeditious manner. Presently, epilepsy surgeons throughout the world apply robot-assisted sEEG. Herein, the authors chronicle this incredible evolution.

Restricted access

Exploration of clinical predictors of the degree of ventricular catheter obstruction: a multicenter retrospective study

Prashant Hariharan, Jacob Gluski, Jeffrey Sondheimer, Alexandra Petroj, Andrew Jea, William E. Whitehead, Marc R. Del Bigio, Neena I. Marupudi, James P. McAllister II, David D. Limbrick Jr., Brandon G. Rocque, and Carolyn A. Harris

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to explore how clinical factors, including the number of lifetime revision surgeries and the duration of implantation, affect the degree of obstruction and failure rates of ventricular catheters (VCs) used to manage hydrocephalus.

METHODS

A total of 343 VCs and their associated clinical data, including patient demographics, medical history, and surgical details, were collected from 5 centers and used for this analysis. Each VC was classified by the degree of obstruction after macroscopic analysis. Univariate, multivariate, and binned analyses were conducted to test for associations between clinical data and degree of VC obstruction.

RESULTS

VCs from patients with 0 to 2 lifetime revisions had a larger proportion of VC holes obstructed than VCs from patients with 10 or more revisions (p = 0.0484). VCs implanted for less than 3 months had fewer obstructed holes with protruding tissue aggregates than VCs implanted for 13 months or longer (p = 0.0225). Neither duration of implantation nor the number of lifetime revisions was a significant predictor of the degree of VC obstruction in the regression models. In the multinomial regression model, contact of the VCs with the ventricular wall robustly predicted the overall obstruction status of a VC (p = 0.005). In the mixed-effects model, the age of the patient at their first surgery emerged as a significant predictor of obstruction by protruding tissue aggregates (p = 0.002). VCs implanted through the parietal entry site were associated with more holes with nonobstructive growth and fewer empty holes than VCs implanted via other approaches (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The number of lifetime revisions and duration of implantation are correlated with the degree of VC obstruction but do not predict it. Contact of the VC with the ventricular wall and the age of the patient at their first surgery are predictors of the degree of VC obstruction, while the entry site of the VC correlates with it.

Restricted access

Building consensus for the medical management of children with moderate and severe acute spinal cord injury: a modified Delphi study

Travis S. CreveCoeur, Nikita G. Alexiades, Christopher M. Bonfield, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Jason Chu, Anthony A. Figaji, Mari L. Groves, Todd C. Hankinson, David H. Harter, Steven W. Hwang, Andrew Jea, Steven G. Kernie, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Jonathan E. Martin, Matthew E. Oetgen, Alexander K. Powers, Curtis J. Rozzelle, David L. Skaggs, Jennifer M. Strahle, John C. Wellons III, Michael G. Vitale, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

The focus of this modified Delphi study was to investigate and build consensus regarding the medical management of children with moderate and severe acute spinal cord injury (SCI) during their initial inpatient hospitalization. This impetus for the study was based on the AANS/CNS guidelines for pediatric SCI published in 2013, which indicated that there was no consensus provided in the literature describing the medical management of pediatric patients with SCIs.

METHODS

An international, multidisciplinary group of 19 physicians, including pediatric neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and intensivists, were asked to participate. The authors chose to include both complete and incomplete injuries with traumatic as well as iatrogenic etiologies (e.g., spinal deformity surgery, spinal traction, intradural spinal surgery, etc.) due to the overall low incidence of pediatric SCI, potentially similar pathophysiology, and scarce literature exploring whether different etiologies of SCI should be managed differently. An initial survey of current practices was administered, and based on the responses, a follow-up survey of potential consensus statements was distributed. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% of participants reaching agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). A final meeting was held virtually to generate final consensus statements.

RESULTS

Following the final Delphi round, 35 statements reached consensus after modification and consolidation of previous statements. Statements were categorized into the following eight sections: inpatient care unit, spinal immobilization, pharmacological management, cardiopulmonary management, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, genitourinary management, gastrointestinal/nutritional management, and pressure ulcer prophylaxis. All participants stated that they would be willing or somewhat willing to change their practices based on consensus guidelines.

CONCLUSIONS

General management strategies were similar for both iatrogenic (e.g., spinal deformity, traction, etc.) and traumatic SCIs. Steroids were recommended only for injury after intradural surgery, not after acute traumatic or iatrogenic extradural surgery. Consensus was reached that mean arterial pressure ranges are preferred for blood pressure targets following SCI, with goals between 80 and 90 mm Hg for children at least 6 years of age. Further multicenter study of steroid use following acute neuromonitoring changes was recommended.

Free access

Influence of the living Pareto chart and data transparency on patient outcomes in neurosurgery

Helen H. Shi, Sixia Chen, Laura Propester, Jami Valenzuela, Joanna Gernsback, Virendra R. Desai, Karl Balsara, Kristin Zieles, and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

Quality improvement (QI) tools are increasingly being used to calibrate healthcare quality. Achieving healthcare quality is essential, as there is a movement toward value-based healthcare delivery. Visual management, such as a living Pareto chart, is a strategy for improvement within the QI framework. The authors herein hypothesized that transparency of data through a living Pareto chart is a powerful way to improve patient outcomes and gain clinical efficiency.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed patient outcomes and complications; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks; shunt, baclofen, and other surgical site infections; readmission rates; and same- or next-day appointments in a cohort of patients at the Riley Hospital for Children from November 1, 2016, to May 31, 2020. Similarly, they reviewed neurosurgical outcomes and complications at a second institution, the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, where a living Pareto chart was utilized from February 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. The discrete frequency and rates per month of outcomes and complications were graphed on scatterplots, Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to measure the strength of the relationship between event frequency and time, and best-fit lines illustrated the relationship between those points through the least-squares method.

RESULTS

At both the Riley Hospital for Children and Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, the use of a living Pareto chart to display data transparently was associated with decreasing infections, and it was associated with decreasing readmissions at Riley. On the other hand, it encouraged same- or next-day clinic appointments to be offered to patients and families. Interestingly, CSF leaks were not mitigated with data transparency alone.

CONCLUSIONS

Transparency is a driver of change in patient, provider, and institutional behaviors. It is an essential element of QI and patient safety, as well as building a culture of trust. Readmissions, infections, and same- or next-day appointments were influenced by the living Pareto chart; however, CSF leaks remained recalcitrant to data transparency. Other QI strategies may be necessary to positively affect the occurrence of CSF leaks in neurosurgery.

Open access

Torcular pseudomass in a 14-month-old child: illustrative case

Lance M. Villeneuve, Murali Nagarajan, Benjamin O. Cornwell, Laura Propester, Xiaochun Zhao, Jami Valenzuela, Joanna Gernsback, Virendra Desai, and Andrew Jea

BACKGROUND

“Torcular pseudomass,” or redundant soft tissue in the torcular region, is not an infrequent incidental finding on advanced imaging of the brain in infants and young children. It was recently codified among pediatric neuroradiologists; however, its report in the pediatric neurosurgical community has not previously been elucidated.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 14-month-old child who presented with fever and a first-time seizure. Computed tomography of the head suggested an epidural abscess; however, magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of the lesion were consistent with torcular pseudomass, a normal variant. At the 3-month follow-up, the child was continuing to do well and had not had another seizure. There have been no indications for surgical intervention or additional radiographic surveillance.

LESSONS

The differential diagnosis for torcular pseudomass includes dural venous sinus thrombosis, dermoid cysts, occipital encephalocele, eosinophilic granuloma, and primary and metastatic tumors, such as neuroblastoma. The management of each of these disorders in the differential diagnosis may be much more invasive than continued observation in the case of torcular pseudomass. Therefore, it is important for pediatric neurosurgeons to become familiar with this developmental anomaly of the dura and occipital skull.

Free access

Developing consensus for the management of pediatric cervical spine disorders and stabilization: a modified Delphi study

*Yosef M. Dastagirzada, Nikita G. Alexiades, David B. Kurland, Sebastián N. Anderson, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, David B. Bumpass, Sandip Chatterjee, Mari L. Groves, Todd C. Hankinson, David Harter, Daniel Hedequist, Andrew Jea, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Jonathan E. Martin, Matthew E. Oetgen, Joshua Pahys, Curtis Rozzelle, Jennifer M. Strahle, Dominic Thompson, Burt Yaszay, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Cervical spine disorders in children are relatively uncommon; therefore, paradigms for surgical and nonsurgical clinical management are not well established. The purpose of this study was to bring together an international, multidisciplinary group of pediatric cervical spine experts to build consensus via a modified Delphi approach regarding the clinical management of children with cervical spine disorders and those undergoing cervical spine stabilization surgery.

METHODS

A modified Delphi method was used to identify consensus statements for the management of children with cervical spine disorders requiring stabilization. A survey of current practices, supplemented by a literature review, was electronically distributed to 17 neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons experienced with the clinical management of pediatric cervical spine disorders. Subsequently, 52 summary statements were formulated and distributed to the group. Statements that reached near consensus or that were of particular interest were then discussed during an in-person meeting to attain further consensus. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

Forty-five consensus-driven statements were identified, with all participants willing to incorporate them into their practice. For children with cervical spine disorders and/or stabilization, consensus statements were divided into the following categories: A) preoperative planning (12 statements); B) radiographic thresholds of instability (4); C) intraoperative/perioperative management (15); D) postoperative care (11); and E) nonoperative management (3). Several important statements reaching consensus included the following recommendations: 1) to obtain pre-positioning baseline signals with intraoperative neuromonitoring; 2) to use rigid instrumentation when technically feasible; 3) to provide postoperative external immobilization for 6–12 weeks with a rigid cervical collar rather than halo vest immobilization; and 4) to continue clinical postoperative follow-up at least until anatomical cervical spine maturity was reached. In addition, preoperative radiographic thresholds for instability that reached consensus included the following: 1) translational motion ≥ 5 mm at C1–2 (excluding patients with Down syndrome) or ≥ 4 mm in the subaxial spine; 2) dynamic angulation in the subaxial spine ≥ 10°; and 3) abnormal motion and T2 signal change on MRI seen at the same level.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors have demonstrated that a multidisciplinary, international group of pediatric cervical spine experts was able to reach consensus on 45 statements regarding the management of pediatric cervical spine disorders and stabilization. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices can lead to reduced complications and improved outcomes for children.

Free access

Academic productivity in pediatric neurosurgery in relation to elective surgery slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic

Virendra R. Desai, Audrey Grossen, Huy Gia Vuong, Nicholas Hopkins, Mikayla Peters, and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

COVID-19 has not only impacted healthcare systems directly via hospitalizations and resource utilization, but also indirectly via adaptations in healthcare practice, such as the evolution of the academic environment and the rise of telemedicine and virtual education. This void in clinical responsibilities has been filled with academic productivity in various fields. In this study the authors investigate the influence of COVID-19 on the academic focus within pediatric neurosurgery.

METHODS

All data were obtained from the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics (JNS Peds). The number of submissions for each month from January 2017 to December 2021 was collected. Data including number of publications, publication level of evidence (LOE), and COVID-19–related articles were collected and verified. Each publication was categorized by manuscript and LOE according to adaptations from the Canadian Task Force on Periodic Health Examination. Publication groups were categorized as pre–COVID-19 (January 2017–February 2020), peri–COVID-19 (March 2020–July 2020), and post–COVID-19 (August 2020–December 2021). Statistical analysis was performed to compare pre–COVID-19, peri–COVID-19, and post–COVID-19 academic volume and quality.

RESULTS

During the study time period, a total of 3116 submissions and 997 publications were identified for JNS Peds. Only 2 articles specifically related to COVID-19 and its impact on pediatric neurosurgery were identified, both published in 2021. When analyzing submission volume, a statistically significant increase was seen during the shutdown relative to pre–COVID-19 and post-shutdown time periods, and a significant decrease was seen post-shutdown relative to pre–COVID-19. LOE changed significantly as well. When comparing pre–COVID-19 versus post–COVID-19 articles, a statistically significant increase was identified only in level 4 publications. When analyzing pre–COVID-19 versus post–COVID-19 (2020) and post–COVID-19 (2021), a statistically significant decrease in level 3 and increases in levels 4 and 5 were identified during post–COVID-19 (2020), with a rebound increase in level 3 and a decrease in level 5 during post–COVID-19 (2021).

CONCLUSIONS

There was a significant increase in manuscript submission during the initial pandemic period. However, there was no change during subsequent spikes in COVID-19–related hospitalizations. Coincident with the initial surge in academic productivity, despite steady publication volume, was an inverse decline in quality as assessed by LOE.

Free access

Multidisciplinary neurocutaneous syndrome clinics: a systematic review and institutional experience

Audrey Grossen, Theresa Gavula, Deepti Chrusciel, Alexander Evans, Rene McNall-Knapp, Ashley Taylor, Benay Fossey, Margaret Brakefield, Carrick Carter, Nadine Schwartz, Naina Gross, Andrew Jea, and Virendra Desai

OBJECTIVE

Neurocutaneous syndromes have variable multisystem involvement. The multiorgan involvement, potential pathologies, and various treatment options necessitate collaboration and open discussion to ensure optimal treatment in any given patient. These disorders provide quintessential examples of chronic medical conditions that require a lifelong, multidisciplinary approach. The objectives of this study were to 1) perform a systematic review, thoroughly assessing different multidisciplinary clinic layouts utilized in centers worldwide; and 2) characterize an institutional experience with the management of these conditions, focusing on the patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies seen in a patient population.

METHODS

A systematic review of studies involving multidisciplinary clinics and their reported structure was performed according to PRISMA guidelines using the PubMed database. Then a retrospective chart review of patients enrolled in the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic was conducted.

RESULTS

A search of the PubMed database yielded 251 unique results. Of these, 15 papers were included in the analysis, which identified 16 clinics that treated more than 2000 patients worldwide. The majority of these clinics treated patients with neurofibromatosis (13/16). The remaining clinics treated patients with von Hippel–Lindau syndrome (n = 1), tuberous sclerosis complex (n = 1), and multiple neurocutaneous syndromes (n = 1). The most commonly represented subspecialties in these clinics were genetics (15/16) and neurology (13/16). Five clinics (31%) solely saw pediatric patients, 10 clinics saw a combination of children and adults, and the final clinic had separate pediatric and adult clinics. The retrospective chart review of the Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic demonstrated that 164 patients were enrolled and seen in the clinic from April 2013 to December 2021. Diagnoses were made based on clinical findings or results of genetic testing; 115 (70%) had neurofibromatosis type 1, 9 (5.5%) had neurofibromatosis type 2, 35 (21%) had tuberous sclerosis complex, 2 (1%) had von Hippel–Lindau syndrome, 2 (1%) had Gorlin syndrome, and the remaining patient (0.6%) had Aarskog-Scott syndrome. Patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies are also discussed.

CONCLUSIONS

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first detailed description of a comprehensive pediatric neurocutaneous clinic in the US that serves patients with multiple syndromes. There is currently heterogeneity between described multidisciplinary clinic structures and practices. More detailed accounts of clinic compositions and practices along with patient data and outcomes are needed in order to establish the most comprehensive and efficient multidisciplinary approach for neurocutaneous syndromes.

Free access

Risk stratification of H3 K27M–mutant diffuse midline gliomas based on anatomical locations: an integrated systematic review of individual participant data

Huy Gia Vuong, Hieu Trong Le, Andrew Jea, Rene McNall-Knapp, and Ian F. Dunn

OBJECTIVE

The prognostic significance and genetic characteristics of H3 K27M–mutant diffuse midline gliomas (DMGs) in different anatomical locations requires further clarification. In this study, the authors integrated published data to investigate the differences between brainstem, thalamic, and spinal cord tumors.

METHODS

PubMed and Web of Science databases were used to search for eligible articles. Studies were included if they provided individual patient data of H3 K27M–mutant DMGs with available tumor locations. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed to investigate the survival of each subgroup.

RESULTS

Eight hundred four tumors were identified, including 467, 228, and 109 in the brainstem, thalamus, and spine, respectively. Brainstem tumors were primarily observed in young children, while patients with thalamic and spinal cord tumors afflicted older patients. The Ki-67 labeling index was highest in brainstem tumors. Compared to patients with brainstem tumors, those with thalamic (HR 0.573, 95% CI 0.463–0.709; p < 0.001) and spinal cord lesions (HR 0.460, 95% CI 0.341–0.621; p < 0.001) had a significantly better survival. When patients were stratified by age groups, superior overall survival (OS) of thalamic tumors was observed in comparison to brainstem tumors in young children and adolescents, whereas adult tumors had uniform OS regardless of anatomical sites. Genetically, mutations in HIST1H3B/C (H3.1) and ACVR1 genes were mostly detected in brainstem tumors, whereas spinal cord tumors were characterized by a higher incidence of mutations in the TERT promoter.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that H3 K27M–mutant DMGs have distinct clinical characteristics, prognoses, and molecular profiles in different anatomical locations.