Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for

  • Author or Editor: Sandra Yan x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Faith C. Robertson, Jessica L. Logsdon, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Sandra C. Yan, Siobhan M. Raftery, Timothy R. Smith and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Readmissions increasingly serve as a metric of hospital performance, inviting quality improvement initiatives in both medicine and surgery. However, few readmission reduction programs have targeted surgical patient populations. The objective of this study was to establish a transitional care program (TCP) with the goal of decreasing length of stay (LOS), improving discharge efficiency, and reducing readmissions of neurosurgical patients by optimizing patient education and postdischarge surveillance.

METHODS

Patients undergoing elective cranial or spinal neurosurgery performed by one of 5 participating surgeons at a quaternary care hospital were enrolled into a multifaceted intervention. A preadmission overview and establishment of an anticipated discharge date were both intended to set patient expectations for a shorter hospitalization. At discharge, in-hospital prescription filling was provided to facilitate medication compliance. Extended discharge appointments with a neurosurgery TCP-trained nurse emphasized postoperative activity, medications, incisional care, nutrition, signs that merit return to medical attention, and follow-up appointments. Finally, patients received a surveillance phone call 48 hours after discharge. Eligible patients omitted due to staff limitations were selected as controls. Patients were matched by sex, age, and operation type—key confounding variables—with control patients, who were eligible patients treated at the same time period but not enrolled in the TCP due to staff limitation. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the association of TCP enrollment with discharge time and readmission, and linear regression with LOS. Covariates included matching criteria and Charlson Comorbidity Index scores.

RESULTS

Between 2013 and 2015, 416 patients were enrolled in the program and matched to a control. The median patient age was 55 years (interquartile range 44.5–65 years); 58.4% were male. The majority of enrolled patients underwent spine surgery (59.4%, compared with 40.6% undergoing cranial surgery). Hospitalizations averaged 62.1 hours for TCP patients versus 79.6 hours for controls (a 16.40% reduction, 95% CI 9.30%–23.49%; p < 0.001). The intervention was associated with a higher proportion of morning discharges, which was intended to free beds for afternoon admissions and improve patient flow (OR 3.13, 95% CI 2.27–4.30; p < 0.001), and decreased 30-day readmissions (2.5% vs 5.8%; OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.14–5.27; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

This neurosurgical TCP was associated with a significantly shorter LOS, earlier discharge, and reduced 30-day readmission after elective neurosurgery. These results underscore the importance of patient education and surveillance after hospital discharge.

Full access

Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Sandra C. Yan, Bradley A. Gross, Donovan Guttieres, William B. Gormley, Kai U. Frerichs, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although aspirin usage may be associated with a decreased risk of rupture of cerebral aneurysms, any potential therapeutic benefit from aspirin must be weighed against the theoretical risk of greater hemorrhage volume if subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs. However, few studies have evaluated the association between prehemorrhage aspirin use and outcomes. This is the first nationwide analysis to evaluate the impact of long-term aspirin and anticoagulant use on outcomes after SAH.

METHODS

Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS; 2006–2011) were extracted. Patients with a primary diagnosis of SAH who underwent microsurgical or endovascular aneurysm repair were included; those with a diagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation were excluded. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to calculate the adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality, a nonroutine discharge (any discharge other than to home), or a poor outcome (death, discharge to institutional care, tracheostomy, or gastrostomy) for patients with long-term aspirin or anticoagulant use. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate length of hospital stay. Covariates included patient age, sex, comorbidities, primary payer, NIS-SAH severity scale, intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral edema, herniation, modality of aneurysm repair, hospital bed size, and whether the hospital was a teaching hospital. Subgroup analyses exclusively evaluated patients treated surgically or endovascularly.

RESULTS

The study examined 11,549 hospital admissions. Both aspirin (2.1%, n = 245) and anticoagulant users (0.9%, n = 108) were significantly older and had a greater burden of comorbid disease (p < 0.001); severity of SAH was slightly lower in those with long-term aspirin use (p = 0.03). Neither in-hospital mortality (13.5% vs 12.6%) nor total complication rates (79.6% vs 80.0%) differed significantly by long-term aspirin use. Additionally, aspirin use was associated with decreased odds of a cardiac complication (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.36%–0.91%, p = 0.02) or of venous thromboembolic events (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.30%–0.94%, p = 0.03). Length of stay was significantly shorter (15 days vs 17 days [12.73%], 95% CI 5.22%–20.24%, p = 0.001), and the odds of a nonroutine discharge were lower (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48%–0.83%, p = 0.001) for aspirin users. In subgroup analyses, the benefits of aspirin were primarily noted in patients who underwent coil embolization; likewise, among patients treated endovascularly, the adjusted odds of a poor outcome were lower among long-term aspirin users (31.8% vs 37.4%, OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.42%–0.94%, p = 0.03). Although the crude rates of in-hospital mortality (19.4% vs 12.6%) and poor outcome (53.6% vs 37.6%) were higher for long-term anticoagulant users, in multivariable logistic regression models these variations were not significantly different (mortality: OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.89%–2.07%, p = 0.16; poor outcome: OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.69%–1.73%, p = 0.72).

CONCLUSIONS

In this nationwide study, neither long-term aspirin nor anticoagulant use were associated with differential mortality or complication rates after SAH. Aspirin use was associated with a shorter hospital stay and lower rates of nonroutine discharge, with these benefits primarily observed in patients treated endovascularly.

Full access

Timothy R. Smith, M. Maher Hulou, Sandra C. Yan, David J. Cote, Brian V. Nahed, Maya A. Babu, Sunit Das, William B. Gormley, James T. Rutka, Edward R. Laws Jr. and Robert F. Heary

OBJECT

Recent studies have examined the impact of perceived medicolegal risk and compared how this perception impacts defensive practices within the US. To date, there have been no published data on the practice of defensive medicine among neurosurgeons in Canada.

METHODS

An online survey containing 44 questions was sent to 170 Canadian neurosurgeons and used to measure Canadian neurosurgeons’ perception of liability risk and their practice of defensive medicine. The survey included questions on the following domains: surgeon demographics, patient characteristics, type of physician practice, surgeon liability profile, policy coverage, defensive behaviors, and perception of the liability environment. Survey responses were analyzed and summarized using counts and percentages.

RESULTS

A total of 75 neurosurgeons completed the survey, achieving an overall response rate of 44.1%. Over one-third (36.5%) of Canadian neurosurgeons paid less than $5000 for insurance annually. The majority (87%) of Canadian neurosurgeons felt confident with their insurance coverage, and 60% reported that they rarely felt the need to practice defensive medicine. The majority of the respondents reported that the perceived medicolegal risk environment has no bearing on their preferred practice location. Only 1 in 5 respondent Canadian neurosurgeons (21.8%) reported viewing patients as a potential lawsuit. Only 4.9% of respondents would have selected a different career based on current medicolegal risk factors, and only 4.1% view the cost of annual malpractice insurance as a major burden.

CONCLUSIONS

Canadian neurosurgeons perceive their medicolegal risk environment as more favorable and their patients as less likely to sue than their counterparts in the US do. Overall, Canadian neurosurgeons engage in fewer defensive medical behaviors than previously reported in the US.

Restricted access

Alexander F. C. Hulsbergen, Sandra C. Yan, Brittany M. Stopa, Aislyn DiRisio, Joeky T. Senders, Max J. van Essen, Stéphanie M. E. van der Burgt, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley and Marike L. D. Broekman

OBJECTIVE

The value of CT scanning after burr hole surgery in chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) patients is unclear, and practice differs between countries. At the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts, neurosurgeons frequently order routine postoperative CT scans, while the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) in the Netherlands does not have this policy. The aim of this study was to compare the use of postoperative CT scans in CSDH patients between these hospitals and to evaluate whether there are differences in clinical outcomes.

METHODS

The authors collected data from both centers for 391 age- and sex-matched CSDH patients treated with burr hole surgery between January 1, 2002, and July 1, 2016, and compared the number of postoperative scans up to 6 weeks after surgery, the need for re-intervention, and postoperative neurological condition.

RESULTS

BWH patients were postoperatively scanned a median of 4 times (interquartile range [IQR] 2–5), whereas UMCU patients underwent a median of 0 scans (IQR 0–1, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the number of re-operations (20 in the BWH vs 27 in the UMCU, p = 0.34). All re-interventions were preceded by clinical decline and no recurrences were detected on scans performed on asymptomatic patients. Patients’ neurological condition was not worse in the UMCU than in the BWH (p = 0.43).

CONCLUSIONS

While BWH patients underwent more scans than UMCU patients, there were no differences in clinical outcomes. The results of this study suggest that there is little benefit to routine scanning in asymptomatic patients who have undergone surgical treatment of uncomplicated CSDH and highlight opportunities to make practice more efficient.