A comparison of analgesic management for emergency department patients with sickle cell disease and renal colic.

Departments of Emergency Medicine parallelDepartment of Emergency Medicine, The Institute for Healthcare Studies daggerFeinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
The Clinical journal of pain (Impact Factor: 2.7). 01/2010; 26(3):199-205. DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181bed10c
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine whether there is a difference in time to initial analgesic for patients with acute pain from sickle cell disease (SCD) versus renal colic (RC) and to identify factors contributing to variance in time to analgesic.
A retrospective cohort study of the adult emergency department (ED) patients with acute pain from SCD and RC in an urban ED (final ED discharge ICD-9 diagnosis codes were included). A structured medical record review abstracted the demographics, arrival shift, triage level, initial pain score, triage time, and time of initial analgesic dose. Data were compared with Kaplan-Meier plots of time to initial analgesic for both RC and SCD with the log-rank test to test for differences by disease category. A multivariable Cox regression model estimated differences in time to initial analgesic by disease category while controlling for other possible confounders.
Median time to initial analgesic was 80 minutes for patients with SCD (interquartile range, 48 to 145) versus 50 minutes for patients with RC (interquartile range: 30 to 96). Patients with SCD reported a higher pain score on arrival when compared with RC patients and were more frequently assigned a higher triage priority level (P=0.05). Covariates that contributed the most delays to the model were afternoon arrival [hazard ratio (HR): 0.35, P<0.01], low acuity triage level (HR: 0.42, P<0.01), SCD diagnosis (HR: 0.61, P<0.01), and inability to obtain intravenous access (HR: 0.71, P=0.01).
ED patients with SCD experienced longer delays in the administration of the initial analgesic compared with RC patients, despite higher arrival pain scores and triage acuity levels.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) often seek care in emergency departments (EDs) for severe pain. However, there is evidence that they experience inaccurate assessment, suboptimal care, and inadequate follow-up referrals. The aim of this project was to 1) explore the feasibility of applying a failure modes, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) in two EDs examining four processes of care (triage, analgesic management, high risk/high users, and referrals made) for patients with SCD, and 2) report the failures of these care processes in each ED. Methods A FMECA was conducted of ED SCD patient care at two hospitals. A multidisciplinary group examined each step of four processes. Providers identified failures in each step, and then characterized the frequency, impact, and safeguards, resulting in risk categorization. Results Many “high risk” failures existed in both institutions, including a lack of recognition of high-risk or high-user patients and a lack of emphasis on psychosocial referrals. Specific to SCD analgesic management, one setting inconsistently used existing analgesic policies, while the other setting did not have such policies. Conclusion FMECA facilitated the identification of failures of ED SCD care and has guided quality improvement activities. Interventions can focus on improvements in these specific areas targeting improvements in the delivery and organization of ED SCD care. Improvements should correspond with the forthcoming National Heart, Lung and Blood-sponsored guidelines for treatment of patients with sickle cell disease.
    The western journal of emergency medicine 07/2014; 15(4):446-58. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2014.4.20489
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This qualitative study focused on the experiences of adults living with sickle cell disease (SCD) in the New York City area. Twenty-three individuals participated in one of three focus groups. The purpose of this study was to learn if appropriate health care for individuals with sickle cell disease, based on years of research, has been implemented. The findings indicate that best practices in the treatment of SCD are often not followed by medical personnel. Critical race theory provides a framework to understand the 10 emergent themes. The participants' responses illustrate resilience in facing adversity. Implications for social work practice are presented.
    Social Work in Public Health 11/2014; 30(1):1-18. DOI:10.1080/19371918.2014.938396 · 0.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose There is limited application and evaluation of health information systems in the management of vaso-occlusive pain crises in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. This study evaluates the impact of digitization of paper-based individualized pain plans on process efficiency and care quality by examining both objective patient data and subjective clinician insights. Methods Retrospective, before and after, mixed methods evaluation of digitization of paper documents in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Subjective perceptions are analyzed using surveys completed by 115 clinicians in emergency department (ED) and inpatient units (IP). Objective effects are evaluated using mixed models with data on 1089 ED visits collected via electronic chart review 28 months before and 22 months after the digitization. Results Surveys indicate that all clinicians perceived the digitization to improve the efficiency and quality of pain management. Physicians overwhelmingly preferred using the digitized plans, but only 44% of the nurses had the same response. Analysis of patient records indicates that adjusted time from analgesic order to administration was significantly reduced from 35.50 to 26.77 min (p < .05). However, time to first dose and some of the objective quality measures (time from administration to relief, relief rate, admission rate, and ED re-visit rate) were not significantly affected. Discussion The relatively simple intervention, high baseline performance, and limited accommodation of nurses’ perspectives may account for the marginal improvements in process efficiency and quality outcomes. Additional efforts, particularly improved communication between physicians and nurses, are needed to further enhance quality of pain management. Conclusion This study highlights the important role of health information technology (HIT) on vaso-occlusive pain management for pediatric patients with sickle cell disease and the critical challenges in accommodating human factor considerations in implementing and evaluating HIT effects.
    International Journal of Medical Informatics 11/2014; 83(11). DOI:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2014.08.003 · 2.72 Impact Factor