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1 December 2021 In the run up to Christmas we are holding three festive levitra low cost competitions Xmas photos In our main competition, which we'll be posting as a gallery on our Facebook page throughout December, we want to see your staff Christmas snaps. So get out those Christmas jumpers!. May the team with the most festive cheer win!. Figgy levitra low cost pudding!. Everybody loves it when the Christmas treats start rolling into the staff room so we want you to snap the best of the homemade bakes.

If you've got your eye on the prize, we want to see the best Christmassy or science-based bakes!. Fa-la-la-la-la.. levitra low cost. La-la-la-la!. There's nothing quite like getting the gang together for a Christmas singalong - and if you manage to film it on your phone you can enter our Christmas Carol competition. What could be more fun than levitra low cost showing the rest of your profession what GREAT singers you have in your lab!.

?. To enter any of these competitions, just send your snaps or videos to communications@ibms.org or use the #IBMSCompetition hashtag on Twitter before Monday 20th December.Winners will be announced on Wednesday 22nd December.There will be some (yummy) prizes going out to the winning entries in the New Year!. 18 November 2021 A look at how some of our members marked National Pathology Week from levitra low cost 1-7 November, 2021. Swansea Bay University Health Board Pathology staff at Morriston Hospital, Singleton Hospital, Neath Porth Talbot Hospital and Princess of Wales Hospital promoted pathology services and biomedical science at their respected hospitals throughout the week with a series of engagement events – all under the week’s theme, #AllTogetherNow. #NationalPathologyWeek @princess of Wales Hospital.

@IBMScience @RCPath @SBUPathology pic.twitter.com/YzTugwZ3Pw — Kim levitra low cost Lewis (@KimChrisLewis) November 2, 2021 Display stands were put up in front of pathology services, where staff were able to answer any questions from other Hospital staff as well as patients. The stands were visited by lots of different groups, including- medical students studying at Cardiff University, parents who were curious about career journeys in pathology on behalf of their children, and visitors wanting to understand what we do with their bloods after collection. Day 4 of #nationalpathologyweek2021. Some of our Pathology staff came out to support Harvey's Gang and Blood bike Wales levitra low cost @Princess of Wales Hospital. @IBMScience @GangHarveys @SBUPathology @RCPath pic.twitter.com/qst5T9VTgz — Kim Lewis (@KimChrisLewis) November 4, 2021 today our staff went on a walk round our hospital sites to raise funds for @Laird_Admiral and @BloodBikesWales pic.twitter.com/5NlZLi2f1r — Swansea Bay UHB Pathology (@SBUPathology) November 4, 2021 Pathology staff also held a Harvey’s Gang tour, where a young boy was taken around the laboratory and shown his blood films and other laboratory tests.

After the tour, Pathology staff across all sites wore plastic aprons and marched around the Hospital in support of Harvey’s Gang and Blood Bike. With this hospital march, the department was able to raise money to support and promote Harvey’s levitra low cost Gang and Blood Bike Wales. “After the event there was a huge boost of morale in each department. Staff particularly liked the walk around the hospital and the departmental Kahoot!. quiz levitra low cost.

In effort to promote staff well-being, the management have agreed to routine departmental engagement such as these to further support staff well-being. Overall, this was a successful event with positive outcomes.” Kimberly Lewis, Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Clinical Biochemistry at Princess of Wales Hospital To finish off the week, Swansea Bay UHB held a departmental quiz. Staff formed levitra low cost teams within their department (i.e. Biochemistry, haematology, microbiology and cellular pathology). Biochemistry took the win!.

And the winners levitra low cost are …. Biochemistry at POW!. Trophy and prizes to be delivered next week. Thank you to all who have supported us this week #NationalPathologyWeek2021 #AllTogetherNow @RCPath @IBMScience @Rutharoo15 @RhodDavies1 @ChrissieMoz @maggsheidi pic.twitter.com/GnxXxntGVL — Swansea Bay UHB Pathology (@SBUPathology) November 5, 2021 Christie Pathology Partnership To levitra low cost mark National Pathology Week, IBMS Council Member Tahmina Hussain organised a week of lunchtime pathology featuring staff at The Christie Pathology Partners (Manchester). Each day they delivered a lunchtime session on a different discipline in Pathology - covering Blood Sciences Specimen Reception, a Histology lab tour, Cytogenetics, Mortuary and Bereavement Suite and the Blood Transfusion laboratory.

“These sessions gave a really interesting insight into Pathology and the roles each and every one of us plays in the patient care pathway. Often, we are so busy working in our own departments, we are not aware of what the role of our team members are in different departments so this was a really good way of getting ‘All together now’, meeting other team members and learning something new!. Due to the success of these sessions, many of the staff members who were not able to attend have requested a repeat!. € Tahmina Hussain Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Haematology &. Blood Transfusion at The Christie Pathology Partnership Support from IBMS Chief Executive David Wells As IBMS Chief Executive and former Head of Pathology at NHS England, David Wells shared a message of support for National Pathology Week on social media.

Whatever you have done to celebrate #nationalpathologyweek thank you!. @IBMScience @RCPath pic.twitter.com/uxGEQCfl7e — David Wells (@DavidRWells) November 5, 2021 Thank you to everyone across the profession who came together to raise awareness and celebrate National Pathology Week 2021!. .

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A saying often levitra yorum attributed to George Bernard Shaw is ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’ While it has been debated who originally made this statement, this expression has been used across several industries in different ways.1–4 Communication is an essential aspect of patient safety. One could argue for expanding this proverb levitra yorum to emphasise the importance of recognising that communication at key moments is intrinsically valuable. The biggest problems in communication are the illusion that it has taken place and the assumption that it is not necessary.Over the past 100 years, cognitive aids for crisis events during patient care have been called for, developed, refined and examined.5–12 While much of this literature comes from high-risk industries and medical simulation, there is increasing supporting evidence from healthcare on how these tools can act as cognitive aids in clinical settings.

Regarding terminology, we cite a review article on levitra yorum emergency manuals (EMs). €˜EMs are context-relevant sets of cognitive aids, such as crisis checklists, that are intended to provide professionals with key information for managing rare emergency levitra yorum events. Synonyms and related terms include crisis checklists.

Emergency checklists and cognitive aids, a levitra yorum much broader term, although often also used to describe tools for use during emergency events specifically.’13 Published accounts from healthcare professionals who experienced real-life events have described the power of these tools to prevent errors of omission, commission and lapses in communication.14–18 These events can be both common in large health systems and rare at the level of the individual clinician.10 It is also hard to predict when they will occur. These attributes create a meaningful role to study crisis checklists, EMs and other cognitive aids using medical simulation, particularly in healthcare settings (such as the emergency department (ED)) where they have been understudied.In this issue of BMJ Quality and Safety, Dryver et al make a major contribution to the expanding scope of these evidence-based tools into the realm of emergency medicine.19 In a simulation-based multi-institutional, multidisciplinary randomised controlled trial on the use of medical crisis checklists in the ED, the authors evaluated resuscitation teams in performing indicated emergency interventions during simulated medical crisis events (eg, anaphylactic shock, status epilepticus), with or without access to a crisis checklist for that scenario. Emergency medicine resuscitation teams, levitra yorum comprised of physicians (mainly residents), nurses, nursing assistants and medical secretaries, participated in these simulations.

They took place during the teams’ clinical shift in the ED levitra yorum setting, with access to their usual equipment, medications and cognitive aids. The checklist for each scenario was displayed on large wall-mounted or television screens and outlined possible interventions to consider during the management of that particular crisis, including for instance medications with their indication, contraindication and risks as well as dose and route of administration. The authors found, among other findings, a notable and significant difference in the median percentage of indicated emergency interventions when the checklists were available levitra yorum.

38.8% without checklist access and 85.7% with checklist access (p<0.001). They also found that the vast majority of participants (94%) agreed that they would use the checklists if faced with a similar case during levitra yorum actual patient care. Consistent with findings from prior studies in the New England Journal of Medicine (studying operating room teams) and the Journal of Critical Care (studying intensive care unit teams), Dryver et al have demonstrated yet another setting (the ED) where crisis checklists, EMs and other critical event cognitive aids may be beneficial.10 20The study should be interpreted in the context of its study design, strengths and levitra yorum limitations.

The study was conducted using in situ simulation, that is, the performance of medical simulation in a clinical care area pertaining to the events being studied. When done safely, this method provides opportunities for levitra yorum participants to practise the management of critical events in the actual location where they may encounter them during actual patient care situations.21–23 It is also a multi-institutional study that involved two EDs from an academic centre. One from a rural community hospital, and one from a large community hospital.

The checklists were tailored to the medications levitra yorum available at each institution’s ED location as opposed to a generic pocket-card cognitive aid. The value of such local customisation has been noted across several publications on crisis checklists and EMs, also highlighting the broader factors to consider (in addition to medication details) such as the medium used (eg, paper vs digital, tablet vs computer), device models and settings (eg, transcutaneous pacemakers settings, defibrillator settings), and methods to levitra yorum call for help (eg, local emergency phone numbers).10 12 24This study focused on the presence or absence of a readily displayed checklist with a medical crisis made readily apparent from the simulated scenario’s introduction. It was not aimed to evaluate the ability of teams to correctly diagnose the critical event of interest.

While the authors note that this allowed the simulations to focus on treatment, other studies on crisis checklists/EMs have intentionally included scenarios where the diagnosis was unclear or not within the EM available.10 25 levitra yorum One simulation-based study that included scenarios not within the EM available showed variable usage of the EMs (‘with some teams not using the [emergency manual] at all’) and variable impact on team performance.25 Future studies on the use of ED crisis checklists by resuscitation teams may want to factor in the complexity of an undifferentiated medical scenario, where a patient may present with an unknown diagnosis, or where a clinical presentation may be confounded by comorbidities.Not only the range of care settings expands where cognitive aids are considered beneficial when dealing with crisis situations, ongoing work also extends the use of such tools temporally. (1) preventing the crisis and/or its manifestations from levitra yorum occurring in the first place, and (2) dealing with the aftermath of the crisis event. The WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives Surgical Safety Checklist is a well-known example of the first category, containing a set of evidence-based processes of care meant to be carried out at key pause points during surgery.

This tool includes a pause-point to allow anticipated critical events to be reviewed, as well as processes that could lead to a critical event if missed (eg, reviewing allergies, confirming counts are correct towards the end of a procedure).26 A systematic review of articles describing the actual use of surgical safety checklists found that they were associated with increased detection of potential safety hazards, decreased surgical complications and improved staff communication.27 Regarding the second category, dealing with the aftermath of a crisis, critical event debriefing is a long-standing practice that has been noted for its potential benefits to healthcare professionals at the individual, team and systems level.28–33 It can help mitigate the negative impact of crisis events on healthcare providers, offer opportunities for education and learning, and serve as a vehicle to identify systems gaps in overall quality and safety.33 34 Something as simple as a well-timed drop of WATER (Welfare check, Acute/short-term corrections, Team reactions and reflection, Education, and Resource awareness/longer term needs), the beginnings of a cognitive aid in itself, can have a meaningful ripple effect if used when indicated levitra yorum (figure 1). Several cognitive aids for various forms of debriefing have been described. The Promoting Excellence And Reflective Learning in Simulation (PEARLS) debriefing tool was developed based on experiences in medical simulation.35 Versions of PEARLS have been adapted for healthcare debriefing and systems-focused debriefing.32 36 The Debriefing In-Situ Conversation after Emergent Resuscitation Now tool was developed in the study of resuscitations at a paediatric ED.37 An adapted version was created during the erectile dysfunction treatment levitra for end-of-shift debriefing in EDs (Debriefing In Situ erectile dysfunction treatment to Encourage Reflection and Plus-Delta in Healthcare After Shifts End).38 There is a large body of literature from medical simulation and other disciplines supporting critical event debriefing.33 34 Considerations to avoid psychological iatrogenic effects from debriefing (such as customisation to local levitra yorum culture and available resources/debriefing training) have been noted.33 34 39 Future research, both via simulation and after real events, can help inform ways to improve the quality and frequency of debriefing after the very events that have been studied with crisis checklists and EMs.40Elements to consider for debriefing just after a perioperative critical event.

These elements levitra yorum are not meant to be comprehensive. Customisation to local culture and available resources is essential.33 34 The responsibility for interpretation/application lies with the reader. Image.

Restivo D. Water Drop impact on water surface. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface_-_(5).jpg.

Accessed 13 Feb 2021. With permission via Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode). QI, quality improvement." data-icon-position data-hide-link-title="0">When translating these interventions from medical simulation to the point of care, there are many lessons to be learnt from the implementation sciences.

Editorials and perspective pieces have called for checklists to be viewed within a broader sociocultural or sociotechnical context, including factors such as team training and thoughtful implementation.41 42 Original research on team training initiatives that include surgical safety checklists has been associated with improved patient outcomes.43 Crisis checklists and EMs are substantially less effective if they are sitting in a drawer collecting dust during an emergency. To minimise the likelihood of this happening, it is important that their implementation is approached with the same rigour as all good quality improvement work. Including conducting a needs assessment, customising the cognitive aids, obtaining key stakeholder buy-in, establishing implementation champions, developing training programmes, evaluation and ongoing measurement and iterative improvement, which all have been well described.11 44 45 As another example of an implementation framework, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research is composed of five major domains.

Intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, characteristics of the individuals involved and the process of implementation.46 Another popular example is the plan–do–study–act model.47 48 Specific to crisis checklists and EMs, Goldhaber-Fiebert and Howard proposed four vital elements for widespread and successful implementation. Create, familiarise, use and integrate.11 12 Agarwala et al reported an institutional case study of perioperative EM implementation that centred around three goals. (1) place EMs in every anaesthetising location, (2) create interprofessional engagement and (3) demonstrate that a majority of anaesthesia clinicians would use the EMs in some way within the first year.49 Factors such as leadership support and dedicated time to train staff can be essential.45 50 51 More successful implementation of crisis checklists and EMs has been reported when institutions used these tools to assist both during the management of the critical events and in debriefing after critical events.45 An association between the quality of implementation and improved outcomes has similarly been seen with routine surgical safety checklists.52 53 There is also value in research that considers not only whether the tool is used, but also how implementation and training strategies can be leveraged to improve thoughtful adherence to the items on the checklist and avoid issues from going unnoticed.54–56 For critical event debriefing, there is potentially a wide gap between principle and practice.

Studies across different medical disciplines have reported that debriefing after critical events takes place only a fraction of the time.34 57 58 Barriers mentioned in studies and other publications include competing clinical priorities, lack of debriefing training, interpersonal dynamics and leadership buy-in.33 34 37 58–61 Several of these barriers potentially overlap with the goals of implementing crisis checklists, and there may be synergy in viewing prevention, crisis events and their aftermath within a continuum.At a fundamental level, many of the cognitive aids discussed in this editorial are designed to both improve cognition and foster interdisciplinary communication about essential best practices at key moments in time. There should not be an illusion that this communication is already taking place or an assumption that it is not necessary. There also should not be a fallacy that these critical event cognitive aids are simply ‘memory aids’.

Growing evidence of EMs during real-time use has described providers reporting the use of these tools associated with decreased stress, improved teamwork, a calmer atmosphere and better care.14 16 There is active work, including collaboration with expertise from the Human Systems Integration Division from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, exploring how to optimise critical event cognitive aid design relative to the high cognitive load and other factors intrinsic to a crisis.62–66 Emerging research has explored whether it is beneficial to have a crisis checklist reader role, separate from the crisis event leader, when resources allow.13 67Future work on cognitive aids for medical crises should not only address whether they are present, but also how they are designed, used, simulated and implemented towards the most successful outcomes, and its effect on communication. As the scope of patient safety efforts surrounding crisis management continues to expand, there is value in thinking both spatially and temporally via both medical simulation and real events.Ethics statementsPatient consent for publicationNot required.The haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level has become the standard of care for monitoring type 2 diabetes as it reflects a person’s average blood glucose level over the previous 2–3 months, is correlated with risk of long-term complications and can be measured cheaply and easily. International guidelines recommend testing HbA1c every 6–12 months for those with stable type 2 diabetes, and every 3–6 months in adults with unstable type 2 diabetes until HbA1c is controlled on unchanging therapy.1–3 However, these guidelines are based on expert consensus rather than robust evidence on whether the frequency of HbA1c measurement impacts patient outcomes.

To date, most studies have focused on the association between testing frequency and glycaemic control.4–6In this issue of BMJ Quality &. Safety Imai and colleagues go further, demonstrating an association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and health outcomes.7 Using data from electronic health records (EHRs), they examined adherence to guideline-recommended HbA1c testing frequency over a 5-year period in 6424 people with type 2 diabetes across 250 general practices in Australia. An adherence rate was calculated for each person with type 2 diabetes, dividing the number of tests performed within the recommended intervals by the total number of conducted tests (minus 1).

Patients were categorised into low-adherence (<33%), moderate-adherence (34%–66%) and high-adherence groups (>66%). Where there was high adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency, HbA1c values remained stable or improved over time. In contrast, with low adherence, HbA1c values remained unstable or deteriorated over the 5-year period.

The risk of developing chronic kidney disease was lower among those with high adherence compared to those with low adherence (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.99). There was no evidence of an association between the rate of adherence and the development of ischaemic heart disease. This study provides support for the importance of frequent HbA1c testing as recommended in current clinical guidelines for prevention of complications of diabetes.The study exploits an abundance of observational data on processes and outcomes of care readily available in EHRs in a real-life setting and among a general population with type two diabetes over a 5 year period.

However, the authors highlight methodological challenges. Using EHRs to explore the association between adherence to testing frequency and HbA1c is susceptible to selection bias, given that patients need to have HbA1c measurements recorded to be included in the study. Imai and colleagues include ‘active patients’ defined as individuals who attended the practices three or more times in the past 2 years at the time of the visit and had two or more HbA1c tests over the study period.7 While this restriction was necessary to avoid duplication of patients across primary care practices and to study the development of complications over time, it may introduce selection bias and also reduce the generalisability of the findings.

The authors suggest their findings are conservative estimates of the association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and outcomes, given the positive association between practice visits and glycaemic control. However, those who do not attend general practice regularly differ in many other ways, which may also affect the association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and health outcomes. A recent systematic review of non-attendance at outpatient diabetes appointments, including those with a general practitioner or nurse, found that younger adults, smokers and those with financial pressures were less likely to attend.8 In addition, even among those who attend general practice regularly, differences in other aspects of care such as self-management behaviour are likely to exist between those with high-adherence versus low-adherence rates.9 In the study by Imai and colleagues, data were not available on potentially important factors, such as patients’ body mass index, smoking status and adherence to medication,7 making it difficult to attribute unstable or deteriorating HbA1c to low-adherence rates.

Furthermore, the adherence rate was estimated based on average test numbers over 5 years, so adherence may vary over time. Future research could build on the work of Imai and colleagues to examine the causal relationships between a range of care processes (including testing frequency), HbA1c and health outcomes by assessing the temporality of relationships, accounting for selection bias and confounding, and exploring potential causal mechanisms such as treatment intensification.9Imai and colleagues also found that the median testing frequency in people with type 2 diabetes was less than the recommended two tests per year in Australia (median 1.6 tests per year).7 Poor adherence to recommended testing frequency is documented in several countries with similar guidelines, including countries in Europe10 11 and Asia12 as well as in the USA,13 thus raising questions about how best to improve this process of care. Diabetes care is the subject of extensive quality improvement and implementation research,14 and a variety of interventions have been shown to improve processes and outcomes of care for people with diabetes.15 How and why these interventions work is unclear because of the range of intervention components operating at the patient, professional and system levels.

Most interventions focus on a range of guideline-recommended behaviours in both health professionals and patients and are often described more broadly than changing or targeting one specific behaviour.16 For instance, adherence to HbA1c testing frequency itself is not one specific behaviour. It includes a series of behaviours by the person with diabetes, and potentially their support network, as well as behaviours by health professionals. The person with diabetes must initiate an appointment.

The health professional may prompt the person to attend for regular testing. On deciding and making the effort to attend, the person with diabetes must agree to the blood test. And the health professional must carry out the blood test and send it to a lab for analysis.

To improve adherence to HbA1c testing frequency, we may have to intervene in multiple places, but first we need to identify where the process breaks down.There also needs to be a clearer understanding of why the process breaks down. To date, there has been no systematic review of the factors associated with adherence to the frequency of HbA1c testing recommended in guidelines. Individual studies, conducted in different health systems, have identified a range of patient-level factors including age, rurality, disease duration, receipt of specialist care, glycaemic control, cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes-related complications.10–13 Few studies have examined the professional, organisational and system-level determinants of adherence.

Yet we have reason to believe that factors at these levels are also important. In a qualitative synthesis of barriers to optimal diabetes management in primary care, perceived professional barriers included limited time and resources, changing professional boundaries leading to uncertainty about clinical responsibility, and a lack of confidence in knowledge of guidelines and skills.17 A meta-analysis of professional and practice-level factors associated with the quality of diabetes management in primary care identified doctor gender and age, doctor-level diabetes volume, practice deprivation and use of EHRs as significant determinants of quality, typically measured by a collection of individual indicators or a composite measure.18 Furthermore, evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis of quality improvement interventions for diabetes suggests that strategies that intervene on the entire system of chronic disease management are associated with the largest effects irrespective of baseline HbA1c.15 Thus, to improve adherence to the frequency of HbA1c testing frequency, the problem needs to be understood in context, and solutions should incorporate professional and system-facing interventions as well as patient-facing interventions.Based on their analysis of the content of implementation interventions to support diabetes care, Presseau and colleagues call for better reporting of who needs to do what differently at all levels, including the system level, which is often underspecified.16 This, they propose, would contribute to the development of an underlying programme theory for improvement interventions linking activities to intended outcomes.19 Such an approach is relevant to many chronic conditions where disease management involves multiple actors, actions and settings. The development of testable theories and integration of causal reasoning are increasingly advocated in improvement and implementation science as a way to enhance the generalisability of interventions.20 21 Causal diagram modelling,20 the action–effect method19 and the implementation research logic model,22 facilitate the development and communication of intervention programme theory.

The action effect method in particular is intended as a facilitated collaborative process to enhance the practicality of programme theory and to provide an actionable guide for quality improvement teams.19The current study by Imai and colleagues underscores the importance of the link between regular HbA1c testing, better glycaemic control and reduced risk of complications.7 While the causal mechanisms require further investigation, this study provides an important piece of the puzzle. Few interventions target Hba1c testing frequency alone, and this is unlikely to be the sole priority for people with diabetes or their health professionals, given the multiple processes recommended for optimal clinical and self-management. However, given its centrality and profile in diabetes management, targeting HbA1c could be a lever for wider improvement.

The foundation for such an intervention should be a better understanding and more precise articulation of who needs to do what differently, as well as how and why this intervention is expected to change specific processes of care and ultimately improve patient outcomes.Ethics statementsPatient consent for publicationNot required..

A saying often attributed to George Bernard Shaw is ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the levitra low cost illusion that it has taken place.’ While it has been debated who originally made this statement, this expression has been used across several industries in different ways.1–4 Communication is an essential aspect of patient safety. One could argue for expanding this proverb to emphasise the importance of levitra low cost recognising that communication at key moments is intrinsically valuable. The biggest problems in communication are the illusion that it has taken place and the assumption that it is not necessary.Over the past 100 years, cognitive aids for crisis events during patient care have been called for, developed, refined and examined.5–12 While much of this literature comes from high-risk industries and medical simulation, there is increasing supporting evidence from healthcare on how these tools can act as cognitive aids in clinical settings.

Regarding terminology, levitra low cost we cite a review article on emergency manuals (EMs). €˜EMs are context-relevant sets levitra low cost of cognitive aids, such as crisis checklists, that are intended to provide professionals with key information for managing rare emergency events. Synonyms and related terms include crisis checklists.

Emergency checklists and cognitive aids, a much broader term, although often also used to describe levitra low cost tools for use during emergency events specifically.’13 Published accounts from healthcare professionals who experienced real-life events have described the power of these tools to prevent errors of omission, commission and lapses in communication.14–18 These events can be both common in large health systems and rare at the level of the individual clinician.10 It is also hard to predict when they will occur. These attributes create a meaningful role to study crisis checklists, EMs and other cognitive aids using medical simulation, particularly in healthcare settings (such as the emergency department (ED)) where they have been understudied.In this issue of BMJ Quality and Safety, Dryver et al make a major contribution to the expanding scope of these evidence-based tools into the realm of emergency medicine.19 In a simulation-based multi-institutional, multidisciplinary randomised controlled trial on the use of medical crisis checklists in the ED, the authors evaluated resuscitation teams in performing indicated emergency interventions during simulated medical crisis events (eg, anaphylactic shock, status epilepticus), with or without access to a crisis checklist for that scenario. Emergency medicine resuscitation teams, comprised of physicians (mainly residents), nurses, nursing assistants levitra low cost and medical secretaries, participated in these simulations.

They took place during the teams’ clinical shift in the ED setting, with access to their usual equipment, medications levitra low cost and cognitive aids. The checklist for each scenario was displayed on large wall-mounted or television screens and outlined possible interventions to consider during the management of that particular crisis, including for instance medications with their indication, contraindication and risks as well as dose and route of administration. The authors found, among other findings, a notable and significant levitra low cost difference in the median percentage of indicated emergency interventions when the checklists were available.

38.8% without checklist access and 85.7% with checklist access (p<0.001). They also found that the vast majority of levitra low cost participants (94%) agreed that they would use the checklists if faced with a similar case during actual patient care. Consistent with findings from prior studies in the New England Journal of Medicine (studying operating room teams) and the Journal of Critical Care (studying intensive care unit teams), Dryver et al have demonstrated yet another setting (the ED) where crisis checklists, EMs and other critical event cognitive aids may be beneficial.10 20The study should be interpreted in levitra low cost the context of its study design, strengths and limitations.

The study was conducted using in situ simulation, that is, the performance of medical simulation in a clinical care area pertaining to the events being studied. When done safely, this method provides opportunities for participants to practise the management of critical events in the actual location where they may encounter them during actual patient care situations.21–23 It is also a multi-institutional study that involved two EDs from an levitra low cost academic centre. One from a rural community hospital, and one from a large community hospital.

The checklists levitra low cost were tailored to the medications available at each institution’s ED location as opposed to a generic pocket-card cognitive aid. The value of such local customisation has been noted across levitra low cost several publications on crisis checklists and EMs, also highlighting the broader factors to consider (in addition to medication details) such as the medium used (eg, paper vs digital, tablet vs computer), device models and settings (eg, transcutaneous pacemakers settings, defibrillator settings), and methods to call for help (eg, local emergency phone numbers).10 12 24This study focused on the presence or absence of a readily displayed checklist with a medical crisis made readily apparent from the simulated scenario’s introduction. It was not aimed to evaluate the ability of teams to correctly diagnose the critical event of interest.

While the authors note that this allowed the simulations to focus on treatment, other studies on crisis checklists/EMs have intentionally included scenarios where the diagnosis was unclear or not within the EM available.10 25 One simulation-based study that included scenarios not within the EM available showed variable usage of the EMs (‘with some teams not using levitra low cost the [emergency manual] at all’) and variable impact on team performance.25 Future studies on the use of ED crisis checklists by resuscitation teams may want to factor in the complexity of an undifferentiated medical scenario, where a patient may present with an unknown diagnosis, or where a clinical presentation may be confounded by comorbidities.Not only the range of care settings expands where cognitive aids are considered beneficial when dealing with crisis situations, ongoing work also extends the use of such tools temporally. (1) preventing levitra low cost the crisis and/or its manifestations from occurring in the first place, and (2) dealing with the aftermath of the crisis event. The WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives Surgical Safety Checklist is a well-known example of the first category, containing a set of evidence-based processes of care meant to be carried out at key pause points during surgery.

This tool includes a pause-point to allow anticipated critical events to be reviewed, as well as processes that could lead to a critical event if missed (eg, reviewing allergies, confirming counts are correct towards the end of a procedure).26 A systematic review of articles describing the actual use of surgical safety checklists found that they were associated with increased detection of potential safety hazards, decreased surgical complications and improved staff communication.27 Regarding the second category, dealing with the aftermath of a crisis, critical event debriefing is a long-standing practice that has been noted for its potential benefits to levitra low cost healthcare professionals at the individual, team and systems level.28–33 It can help mitigate the negative impact of crisis events on healthcare providers, offer opportunities for education and learning, and serve as a vehicle to identify systems gaps in overall quality and safety.33 34 Something as simple as a well-timed drop of WATER (Welfare check, Acute/short-term corrections, Team reactions and reflection, Education, and Resource awareness/longer term needs), the beginnings of a cognitive aid in itself, can have a meaningful ripple effect if used when indicated (figure 1). Several cognitive aids for various forms of debriefing have been described. The Promoting Excellence And Reflective Learning in Simulation (PEARLS) debriefing tool was developed based on experiences in medical simulation.35 Versions of PEARLS have been adapted for healthcare debriefing and systems-focused debriefing.32 36 The Debriefing In-Situ Conversation after Emergent Resuscitation Now tool was developed in the study of resuscitations at a paediatric ED.37 An adapted version was created during the erectile dysfunction treatment levitra for end-of-shift debriefing in EDs (Debriefing In Situ erectile dysfunction treatment to Encourage Reflection and Plus-Delta in Healthcare After Shifts End).38 There is a large body of literature from medical simulation and other disciplines supporting critical event debriefing.33 34 Considerations to avoid psychological iatrogenic effects from debriefing levitra low cost (such as customisation to local culture and available resources/debriefing training) have been noted.33 34 39 Future research, both via simulation and after real events, can help inform ways to improve the quality and frequency of debriefing after the very events that have been studied with crisis checklists and EMs.40Elements to consider for debriefing just after a perioperative critical event.

These elements are not levitra low cost meant to be comprehensive. Customisation to local culture and available resources is essential.33 34 The responsibility for interpretation/application lies with the reader. Image.

Restivo D. Water Drop impact on water surface. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface_-_(5).jpg.

Accessed 13 Feb 2021. With permission via Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode). QI, quality improvement." data-icon-position data-hide-link-title="0">When translating these interventions from medical simulation to the point of care, there are many lessons to be learnt from the implementation sciences.

Editorials and perspective pieces have called for checklists to be viewed within a broader sociocultural or sociotechnical context, including factors such as team training and thoughtful implementation.41 42 Original research on team training initiatives that include surgical safety checklists has been associated with improved patient outcomes.43 Crisis checklists and EMs are substantially less effective if they are sitting in a drawer collecting dust during an emergency. To minimise the likelihood of this happening, it is important that their implementation is approached with the same rigour as all good quality improvement work. Including conducting a needs assessment, customising the cognitive aids, obtaining key stakeholder buy-in, establishing implementation champions, developing training programmes, evaluation and ongoing measurement and iterative improvement, which all have been well described.11 44 45 As another example of an implementation framework, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research is composed of five major domains.

Intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, characteristics of the individuals involved and the process of implementation.46 Another popular example is the plan–do–study–act model.47 48 Specific to crisis checklists and EMs, Goldhaber-Fiebert and Howard proposed four vital elements for widespread and successful implementation. Create, familiarise, use and integrate.11 12 Agarwala et al reported an institutional case study of perioperative EM implementation that centred around three goals. (1) place EMs in every anaesthetising location, (2) create interprofessional engagement and (3) demonstrate that a majority of anaesthesia clinicians would use the EMs in some way within the first year.49 Factors such as leadership support and dedicated time to train staff can be essential.45 50 51 More successful implementation of crisis checklists and EMs has been reported when institutions used these tools to assist both during the management of the critical events and in debriefing after critical events.45 An association between the quality of implementation and improved outcomes has similarly been seen with routine surgical safety checklists.52 53 There is also value in research that considers not only whether the tool is used, but also how implementation and training strategies can be leveraged to improve thoughtful adherence to the items on the checklist and avoid issues from going unnoticed.54–56 For critical event debriefing, there is potentially a wide gap between principle and practice.

Studies across different medical disciplines have reported that debriefing after critical events takes place only a fraction of the time.34 57 58 Barriers mentioned in studies and other publications include competing clinical priorities, lack of debriefing training, interpersonal dynamics and leadership buy-in.33 34 37 58–61 Several of these barriers potentially overlap with the goals of implementing crisis checklists, and there may be synergy in viewing prevention, crisis events and their aftermath within a continuum.At a fundamental level, many of the cognitive aids discussed in this editorial are designed to both improve cognition and foster interdisciplinary communication about essential best practices at key moments in time. There should not be an illusion that this communication is already taking place or an assumption that it is not necessary. There also should not be a fallacy that these critical event cognitive aids are simply ‘memory aids’.

Growing evidence of EMs during real-time use has described providers reporting the use of these tools associated with decreased stress, improved teamwork, a calmer atmosphere and better care.14 16 There is active work, including collaboration with expertise from the Human Systems Integration Division from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, exploring how to optimise critical event cognitive aid design relative to the high cognitive load and other factors intrinsic to a crisis.62–66 Emerging research has explored whether it is beneficial to have a crisis checklist reader role, separate from the crisis event leader, when resources allow.13 67Future work on cognitive aids for medical crises should not only address whether they are present, but also how they are designed, used, simulated and implemented towards the most successful outcomes, and its effect on communication. As the scope of patient safety efforts surrounding crisis management continues to expand, there is value in thinking both spatially and temporally via both medical simulation and real events.Ethics statementsPatient consent for publicationNot required.The haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level has become the standard of care for monitoring type 2 diabetes as it reflects a person’s average blood glucose level over the previous 2–3 months, is correlated with risk of long-term complications and can be measured cheaply and easily. International guidelines recommend testing HbA1c every 6–12 months for those with stable type 2 diabetes, and every 3–6 months in adults with unstable type 2 diabetes until HbA1c is controlled on unchanging therapy.1–3 However, these guidelines are based on expert consensus rather than robust evidence on whether the frequency of HbA1c measurement impacts patient outcomes.

To date, most studies have focused on the association between testing frequency and glycaemic control.4–6In this issue of BMJ Quality &. Safety Imai and colleagues go further, demonstrating an association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and health outcomes.7 Using data from electronic health records (EHRs), they examined adherence to guideline-recommended HbA1c testing frequency over a 5-year period in 6424 people with type 2 diabetes across 250 general practices in Australia. An adherence rate was calculated for each person with type 2 diabetes, dividing the number of tests performed within the recommended intervals by the total number of conducted tests (minus 1).

Patients were categorised into low-adherence (<33%), moderate-adherence (34%–66%) and high-adherence groups (>66%). Where there was high adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency, HbA1c values remained stable or improved over time. In contrast, with low adherence, HbA1c values remained unstable or deteriorated over the 5-year period.

The risk of developing chronic kidney disease was lower among those with high adherence compared to those with low adherence (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.99). There was no evidence of an association between the rate of adherence and the development of ischaemic heart disease. This study provides support for the importance of frequent HbA1c testing as recommended in current clinical guidelines for prevention of complications of diabetes.The study exploits an abundance of observational data on processes and outcomes of care readily available in EHRs in a real-life setting and among a general population with type two diabetes over a 5 year period.

However, the authors highlight methodological challenges. Using EHRs to explore the association between adherence to testing frequency and HbA1c is susceptible to selection bias, given that patients need to have HbA1c measurements recorded to be included in the study. Imai and colleagues include ‘active patients’ defined as individuals who attended the practices three or more times in the past 2 years at the time of the visit and had two or more HbA1c tests over the study period.7 While this restriction was necessary to avoid duplication of patients across primary care practices and to study the development of complications over time, it may introduce selection bias and also reduce the generalisability of the findings.

The authors suggest their findings are conservative estimates of the association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and outcomes, given the positive association between practice visits and glycaemic control. However, those who do not attend general practice regularly differ in many other ways, which may also affect the association between adherence to guideline-recommended testing frequency and health outcomes. A recent systematic review of non-attendance at outpatient diabetes appointments, including those with a general practitioner or nurse, found that younger adults, smokers and those with financial pressures were less likely to attend.8 In addition, even among those who attend general practice regularly, differences in other aspects of care such as self-management behaviour are likely to exist between those with high-adherence versus low-adherence rates.9 In the study by Imai and colleagues, data were not available on potentially important factors, such as patients’ body mass index, smoking status and adherence to medication,7 making it difficult to attribute unstable or deteriorating HbA1c to low-adherence rates.

Furthermore, the adherence rate was estimated based on average test numbers over 5 years, so adherence may vary over time. Future research could build on the work of Imai and colleagues to examine the causal relationships between a range of care processes (including testing frequency), HbA1c and health outcomes by assessing the temporality of relationships, accounting for selection bias and confounding, and exploring potential causal mechanisms such as treatment intensification.9Imai and colleagues also found that the median testing frequency in people with type 2 diabetes was less than the recommended two tests per year in Australia (median 1.6 tests per year).7 Poor adherence to recommended testing frequency is documented in several countries with similar guidelines, including countries in Europe10 11 and Asia12 as well as in the USA,13 thus raising questions about how best to improve this process of care. Diabetes care is the subject of extensive quality improvement and implementation research,14 and a variety of interventions have been shown to improve processes and outcomes of care for people with diabetes.15 How and why these interventions work is unclear because of the range of intervention components operating at the patient, professional and system levels.

Most interventions focus on a range of guideline-recommended behaviours in both health professionals and patients and are often described more broadly than changing or targeting one specific behaviour.16 For instance, adherence to HbA1c testing frequency itself is not one specific behaviour. It includes a series of behaviours by the person with diabetes, and potentially their support network, as well as behaviours by health professionals. The person with diabetes must initiate an appointment.

The health professional may prompt the person to attend for regular testing. On deciding and making the effort to attend, the person with diabetes must agree to the blood test. And the health professional must carry out the blood test and send it to a lab for analysis.

To improve adherence to HbA1c testing frequency, we may have to intervene in multiple places, but first we need to identify where the process breaks down.There also needs to be a clearer understanding of why the process breaks down. To date, there has been no systematic review of the factors associated with adherence to the frequency of HbA1c testing recommended in guidelines. Individual studies, conducted in different health systems, have identified a range of patient-level factors including age, rurality, disease duration, receipt of specialist care, glycaemic control, cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes-related complications.10–13 Few studies have examined the professional, organisational and system-level determinants of adherence.

Yet we have reason to believe that factors at these levels are also important. In a qualitative synthesis of barriers to optimal diabetes management in primary care, perceived professional barriers included limited time and resources, changing professional boundaries leading to uncertainty about clinical responsibility, and a lack of confidence in knowledge of guidelines and skills.17 A meta-analysis of professional and practice-level factors associated with the quality of diabetes management in primary care identified doctor gender and age, doctor-level diabetes volume, practice deprivation and use of EHRs as significant determinants of quality, typically measured by a collection of individual indicators or a composite measure.18 Furthermore, evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis of quality improvement interventions for diabetes suggests that strategies that intervene on the entire system of chronic disease management are associated with the largest effects irrespective of baseline HbA1c.15 Thus, to improve adherence to the frequency of HbA1c testing frequency, the problem needs to be understood in context, and solutions should incorporate professional and system-facing interventions as well as patient-facing interventions.Based on their analysis of the content of implementation interventions to support diabetes care, Presseau and colleagues call for better reporting of who needs to do what differently at all levels, including the system level, which is often underspecified.16 This, they propose, would contribute to the development of an underlying programme theory for improvement interventions linking activities to intended outcomes.19 Such an approach is relevant to many chronic conditions where disease management involves multiple actors, actions and settings. The development of testable theories and integration of causal reasoning are increasingly advocated in improvement and implementation science as a way to enhance the generalisability of interventions.20 21 Causal diagram modelling,20 the action–effect method19 and the implementation research logic model,22 facilitate the development and communication of intervention programme theory.

The action effect method in particular is intended as a facilitated collaborative process to enhance the practicality of programme theory and to provide an actionable guide for quality improvement teams.19The current study by Imai and colleagues underscores the importance of the link between regular HbA1c testing, better glycaemic control and reduced risk of complications.7 While the causal mechanisms require further investigation, this study provides an important piece of the puzzle. Few interventions target Hba1c testing frequency alone, and this is unlikely to be the sole priority for people with diabetes or their health professionals, given the multiple processes recommended for optimal clinical and self-management. However, given its centrality and profile in diabetes management, targeting HbA1c could be a lever for wider improvement.

The foundation for such an intervention should be a better understanding and more precise articulation of who needs to do what differently, as well as how and why this intervention is expected to change specific processes of care and ultimately improve patient outcomes.Ethics statementsPatient consent for publicationNot required..

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Department of Radiology Chair Elizabeth Morris at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded online levitra prescription a $600,000 Susan G. Komen® grant. She’ll use online levitra prescription the funds to develop artificial intelligence (AI) models to predict breast cancer risk at a personalized level.

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The funds online levitra prescription support the organization’s mission to end breast cancer through funding two key focus areas. Research to better detect and treat stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and research to eliminate disparities in breast cancer outcomes. €œWe are extremely proud to be able to continue our legacy of leading investments in breast cancer research, especially in light of online levitra prescription the challenges all nonprofits faced raising funds during this levitra year,” said Paula Schneider, president and CEO of Susan G.

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Visit komen.org for a full list of this year’s online levitra prescription research grants. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer CenterUC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 15,000 adults and children every year and access to more than online levitra prescription 150 active clinical trials at any given time.

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Department of levitra low cost Radiology Chair Elizabeth Morris at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded a $600,000 Susan G. Komen® grant. She’ll use levitra low cost the funds to develop artificial intelligence (AI) models to predict breast cancer risk at a personalized level.

Elizabeth Morris was awarded a Susan G. Komen® grant to develop artificial levitra low cost intelligence models to predict breast cancer risk.“I’m honored to receive this important grant to advance our artificial intelligence research at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center so that we can better predict breast cancer risk,” said Morris, who is also a Komen Scholar. €œWe will develop a database of patient molecular and genomic data as well as imaging and clinical outcomes that will ultimately create personalized breast cancer risk prediction models.” The grant is included in $14 million that Komen recently awarded.

The funds levitra low cost support the organization’s mission to end breast cancer through funding two key focus areas. Research to better detect and treat stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and research to eliminate disparities in breast cancer outcomes. €œWe are extremely proud to be able to continue our legacy of leading investments in breast cancer research, especially in light of the challenges all nonprofits faced raising funds during this levitra year,” said Paula Schneider, president and CEO of Susan levitra low cost G.

Komen and a breast cancer survivor. “This investment reinforces our commitment levitra low cost to funding innovative science from some of the leading minds in breast cancer research while also developing the next generation of scientists at a time when we have never needed them more.” Komen has now invested about $1.1 billion in research in the nearly 40 years since its founding, the largest collective investment of any breast cancer nonprofit, and second only to the U.S. Government.

Visit komen.org for a full levitra low cost list of this year’s research grants. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer CenterUC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists levitra low cost provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 15,000 adults and children every year and access to more than 150 active clinical trials at any given time.

Its innovative research program engages more than 225 scientists at UC Davis who work collaboratively to advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to leading-edge care, including levitra low cost immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists.

For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu..

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We seek an experienced, enthusiastic and highly motivated UK HCPC-registered Radiographer to join the progressive Therapeutic Radiography course team in the Department jason levitre of Allied Health Sciences at London South Bank University. The successful candidate will be an experienced radiographer and/or academic, committed to providing a high-quality experience for students on contemporary suite of pre, post-registration and CPPD programmes. Teaching experience is desirable but not essential for the lecturer role.As part of jason levitre the vibrant and inter-professional School of Health and Social Care and from our base in central London, the successful candidate will be expected to contribute to our developing programme of research and enterprise activities with our prestigious network of partners in London, across the UK and Internationally.The Department of Allied Health Sciences is committed to supporting its staff in pursuing scholarship and research in teaching and discipline-based areas.

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World explanation Health Organization South-East Asia super levitra Office, Delhi, India 2. Research Institute of Tuberculosis/Japan Anti-TB Association, Tokyo, Japan 3. Global Infectious Diseases Consulting Ltd, London, UKPublication date:01 July 2021More about this publication?. The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as erectile dysfunction treatment, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution.

Individuals and institutes can super levitra subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details. The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.Editorial BoardInformation for AuthorsSubscribe to this TitleInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung DiseasePublic Health ActionIngenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites.

World Health cheap levitra 20mg Organization South-East Asia levitra low cost Office, Delhi, India 2. Research Institute of Tuberculosis/Japan Anti-TB Association, Tokyo, Japan 3. Global Infectious Diseases Consulting Ltd, London, UKPublication date:01 July 2021More about this publication?.

The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as erectile dysfunction treatment, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] levitra low cost for details. The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health.

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Credit. The New England Journal of Medicine Share Fast Facts This study clears up how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types. - Click to Tweet The number of mutations in a tumor’s DNA is a good predictor of whether it will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors.

- Click to Tweet The “mutational burden,” or the number of mutations present in a tumor’s DNA, is a good predictor of whether that cancer type will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers shows. The finding, published in the Dec. 21 New England Journal of Medicine, could be used to guide future clinical trials for these drugs.

Checkpoint inhibitors are a relatively new class of drug that helps the immune system recognize cancer by interfering with mechanisms cancer cells use to hide from immune cells. As a result, the drugs cause the immune system to fight cancer in the same way that it would fight an . These medicines have had remarkable success in treating some types of cancers that historically have had poor prognoses, such as advanced melanoma and lung cancer.

However, these therapies have had little effect on other deadly cancer types, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma. The mutational burden of certain tumor types has previously been proposed as an explanation for why certain cancers respond better than others to immune checkpoint inhibitors says study leader Mark Yarchoan, M.D., chief medical oncology fellow. Work by Dung Le, M.D., associate professor of oncology, and other researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Cancer Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy showed that colon cancers that carry a high number of mutations are more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitors than those that have fewer mutations.

However, exactly how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types was unclear. To investigate this question, Yarchoan and colleagues Alexander Hopkins, Ph.D., research fellow, and Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care and associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute, combed the medical literature for the results of clinical trials using checkpoint inhibitors on various different types of cancer. They combined these findings with data on the mutational burden of thousands of tumor samples from patients with different tumor types.

Analyzing 27 different cancer types for which both pieces of information were available, the researchers found a strong correlation. The higher a cancer type’s mutational burden tends to be, the more likely it is to respond to checkpoint inhibitors. More than half of the differences in how well cancers responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors could be explained by the mutational burden of that cancer.

€œThe idea that a tumor type with more mutations might be easier to treat than one with fewer sounds a little counterintuitive. It’s one of those things that doesn’t sound right when you hear it,” says Hopkins. €œBut with immunotherapy, the more mutations you have, the more chances the immune system has to recognize the tumor.” Although this finding held true for the vast majority of cancer types they studied, there were some outliers in their analysis, says Yarchoan.

For example, Merkel cell cancer, a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer, tends to have a moderate number of mutations yet responds extremely well to checkpoint inhibitors. However, he explains, this cancer type is often caused by a levitra, which seems to encourage a strong immune response despite the cancer’s lower mutational burden. In contrast, the most common type of colorectal cancer has moderate mutational burden, yet responds poorly to checkpoint inhibitors for reasons that are still unclear.

Yarchoan notes that these findings could help guide clinical trials to test checkpoint inhibitors on cancer types for which these drugs haven’t yet been tried. Future studies might also focus on finding ways to prompt cancers with low mutational burdens to behave like those with higher mutational burdens so that they will respond better to these therapies. He and his colleagues plan to extend this line of research by investigating whether mutational burden might be a good predictor of whether cancers in individual patients might respond well to this class of immunotherapy drugs.

€œThe end goal is precision medicine—moving beyond what’s true for big groups of patients to see whether we can use this information to help any given patient,” he says. Yarchoan receives funding from the Norman &. Ruth Rales Foundation and the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Through a licensing agreement with Aduro Biotech, Jaffee has the potential to receive royalties in the future..

Credit. The New England Journal of Medicine Share Fast Facts This study clears up how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types. - Click to Tweet The number of mutations in a tumor’s DNA is a good predictor of whether it will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors.

- Click to Tweet The “mutational burden,” or the number of mutations present in a tumor’s DNA, is a good predictor of whether that cancer type will respond to a class of cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers shows. The finding, published in the Dec. 21 New England Journal of Medicine, could be used to guide future clinical trials for these drugs.

Checkpoint inhibitors are a relatively new class of drug that helps the immune system recognize cancer by interfering with mechanisms cancer cells use to hide from immune cells. As a result, the drugs cause the immune system to fight cancer in the same way that it would fight an . These medicines have had remarkable success in treating some types of cancers that historically have had poor prognoses, such as advanced melanoma and lung cancer.

However, these therapies have had little effect on other deadly cancer types, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma. The mutational burden of certain tumor types has previously been proposed as an explanation for why certain cancers respond better than others to immune checkpoint inhibitors says study leader Mark Yarchoan, M.D., chief medical oncology fellow. Work by Dung Le, M.D., associate professor of oncology, and other researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Cancer Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy showed that colon cancers that carry a high number of mutations are more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitors than those that have fewer mutations.

However, exactly how big an effect the mutational burden has on outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors across many different cancer types was unclear. To investigate this question, Yarchoan and colleagues Alexander Hopkins, Ph.D., research fellow, and Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care and associate director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute, combed the medical literature for the results of clinical trials using checkpoint inhibitors on various different types of cancer. They combined these findings with data on the mutational burden of thousands of tumor samples from patients with different tumor types.

Analyzing 27 different cancer types for which both pieces of information were available, the researchers found a strong correlation. The higher a cancer type’s mutational burden tends to be, the more likely it is to respond to checkpoint inhibitors. More than half of the differences in how well cancers responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors could be explained by the mutational burden of that cancer.

€œThe idea that a tumor type with more mutations might be easier to treat than one with fewer sounds a little counterintuitive. It’s one of those things that doesn’t sound right when you hear it,” says Hopkins. €œBut with immunotherapy, the more mutations you have, the more chances the immune system has to recognize the tumor.” Although this finding held true for the vast majority of cancer types they studied, there were some outliers in their analysis, says Yarchoan.

For example, Merkel cell cancer, a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer, tends to have a moderate number of mutations yet responds extremely well to checkpoint inhibitors. However, he explains, this cancer type is often caused by a levitra, which seems to encourage a strong immune response despite the cancer’s lower mutational burden. In contrast, the most common type of colorectal cancer has moderate mutational burden, yet responds poorly to checkpoint inhibitors for reasons that are still unclear.

Yarchoan notes that these findings could help guide clinical trials to test checkpoint inhibitors on cancer types for which these drugs haven’t yet been tried. Future studies might also focus on finding ways to prompt cancers with low mutational burdens to behave like those with higher mutational burdens so that they will respond better to these therapies. He and his colleagues plan to extend this line of research by investigating whether mutational burden might be a good predictor of whether cancers in individual patients might respond well to this class of immunotherapy drugs.

€œThe end goal is precision medicine—moving beyond what’s true for big groups of patients to see whether we can use this information to help any given patient,” he says. Yarchoan receives funding from the Norman &. Ruth Rales Foundation and the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Through a licensing agreement with Aduro Biotech, Jaffee has the potential to receive royalties in the future..