Julius Cuong Pham

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (70)410.96 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Subglottic secretion drainage endotracheal tubes (SSD ETTs) have been shown to decrease ventilator-associated pneumonia and are recommended for patients intubated > 48 h or 72 h. However, it is difficult to determine which patients will be intubated > 48 h or 72 h at the time of intubation. Objective: We attempted to determine which patient characteristics were associated with intubations ≥ 48 h or 72 h in order to guide proper placement of SSD ETTs. Methods: The medical records of 2,159 ventilated patients at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed for intubation duration, age, sex, race, body mass index, weight, intubation reason, whether the intubation was emergent, operative status, intensive care unit (ICU) diagnosis, intubation location, ICU location, comorbidities (e.g., congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, coronary artery disease, dementia, and liver disease), acute kidney injury (AKI), and chronic renal injury. A multivariate regression analysis was then performed with all reliable data. Results: The following were associated with intubation ≥ 48 h: neuroscience critical care unit (NCCU) admission (risk ratio [RR] = 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-2.56), emergent intubation (RR = 1.97; 95% 1.28-3.03), comorbid dementia (RR = 2.31; 95% 1.28-4.18), nonoperative intubation (RR = 1.77; 95% 1.28-4.18), and AKI (RR = 3.32; 95% 2.56-4.3). The following were independently associated with intubation ≥ 72 h: NCCU admission (RR = 2.2; 95 CI 1.57-3.08), nonoperative intubation (RR = 3.38; 95% CI 2.63-4.35), comorbid dementia (RR = 3.03; 95% CI 1.67-5.48), and AKI (RR = 3.11; 95% CI 2.38-4.07). Conclusion: Nonoperative intubation, emergent intubation, history of dementia, admission to NCCU and AKI all appear to be independently associated with increased RRs for either ≥ 48 h or 72 h of ventilation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the rate of surgical site infection (SSI) using surgeon versus patient report.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The severity of patient illnesses and medication complexity in post-operative critically ill patients increase the risk for a prolonged QT interval. We determined the prevalence of prolonged QTc in surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients. We performed a prospective cross-sectional study over a 15-month period at a major academic center. SICU pre-admission and admission EKGs, patient demographics, and laboratory values were analyzed. QTc was evaluated as both a continuous and dichotomous outcome (prolonged QTc > 440 ms). 281 patients were included in the study: 92 % (n = 257) post-operative and 8 % (n = 24) non-operative. On pre-admission EKGs, 32 % of the post-operative group and 42 % of the non-operative group had prolonged QTc (p = 0.25); on post-admission EKGs, 67 % of the post-operative group but only 33 % of the non-operative group had prolonged QTc (p < 0.01). The average change in QTc in the post-operative group was +30.7 ms, as compared to +2 ms in the non-operative group (p < 0.01). On multivariable adjustment for long QTc as a dichotomous outcome, pre-admission prolonged QTc (OR 3.93, CI 1.93-8.00) and having had an operative procedure (OR 4.04, CI 1.67-9.83) were associated with developing prolonged QTc. For QTc as a continuous outcome, intra-operative beta-blocker use was associated with a statistically-significant decrease in QTc duration. None of the patients developed a lethal arrhythmia in the ICU. Prolonged QTc is common among post-operative SICU patients (67 %), however lethal arrhythmias are uncommon. The operative experience increases the risk for long QTc.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · International Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
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    ABSTRACT: Medical alarm signals are important for alerting clinicians to life-threatening conditions, but the high rate of false alarms can be problematic. Reduction in alarm signals may lead to increased staff responsiveness to alarms and create a quieter environment for patients. The effect of these changes on patient outcomes is uncertain. We conducted a pilot, prospective, randomized, controlled trial in the cardiac care unit (CCU) to test a study protocol and data collection instruments and to examine the differences in alarms between usual care and altered settings. Subjects were randomized daily to either standard or altered CCU alarm settings. Secondary outcomes included the number of clinically significant events (CSEs) detected, event-triggered interventions (ETIs), frequency of alarms per monitored bed, and patient complications. Over the two-week study time frame, 22 unique patients were enrolled. There were 1,710 alarms over 163 hours of monitoring in the standard group and 1,165 alarms over 169 hours in the study group (P < 0.001). There were more CSEs detected (14 vs. 3) and ETIs (12 vs. 2) in the study group, but sample size was too small to determine efficacy. No cardiac arrests or adverse patient outcomes were observed in either group. All patients were discharged from the hospital. Study protocol and outcomes were feasible and lessons were learned. This study demonstrated feasibility of a study protocol for conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate CSEs, ETIs, frequency of alarms, and adverse patient outcomes when altering default alarm settings. A longer study can be performed using a similar study design.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology
  • Gregory E Skipper · Julius Cuong Pham · Peter J Pronovost

    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Annals of internal medicine
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    Julius Cuong Pham · Peter J. Pronovost · Gregory E. Skipper

    Preview · Article · Mar 2015
  • Julius Cuong Pham · Greg Skipper · Peter J Pronovost

    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Biocontrol Science and Technology
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    ABSTRACT: Background Central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) remains one of the most common and deadly hospital acquired infections in the United States. Creating a culture of safety is an important part of healthcare–associated infection improvement efforts; however, few studies have robustly examined the role of safety climate in patient safety outcomes. We applied a pattern-based approach to measuring safety climate to investigate the relationship between intensive care unit (ICU) patient safety climate profiles and CLABSI rates. Methods Secondary analyses of data collected from 237 adult ICUs participating in the On the CUSP: Stop BSI project. Unit-level baseline scores on the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety, a survey designed to assess patient safety climate, and CLABSI rates, were investigated. Three climate profile characteristics were examined: profile elevation, variability, and shape. Results Zero-inflated Poisson analyses suggested an association between the relative incidence of CLABSI and safety climate profile shape. K-means cluster analysis revealed 5 climate profile shapes. ICUs with conflicting climates and nonpunitive climates had a significantly higher CLABSI risk compared with ICUs with generative leadership climates. Conclusions Relative CLABSI risk was related to safety climate profile shape. None of the climate profile shapes was related to the odds of reporting zero CLABSI. Our findings support using pattern-based methods for examining safety climate rather than examining the relationships between each narrow dimension of safety climate and broader safety outcomes like CLABSI.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · American Journal of Infection Control
  • Julius Cuong Pham · Peter J Pronovost

    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Annals of internal medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Several studies demonstrating that central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are preventable prompted a national initiative to reduce the incidence of these infections. Methods: We conducted a collaborative cohort study to evaluate the impact of the national "On the CUSP: Stop BSI" program on CLABSI rates among participating adult intensive care units (ICUs). The program goal was to achieve a unit-level mean CLABSI rate of less than 1 case per 1,000 catheter-days using standardized definitions from the National Healthcare Safety Network. Multilevel Poisson regression modeling compared infection rates before, during, and up to 18 months after the intervention was implemented. Results: A total of 1,071 ICUs from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, reporting 27,153 ICU-months and 4,454,324 catheter-days of data, were included in the analysis. The overall mean CLABSI rate significantly decreased from 1.96 cases per 1,000 catheter-days at baseline to 1.15 at 16-18 months after implementation. CLABSI rates decreased during all observation periods compared with baseline, with adjusted incidence rate ratios steadily decreasing to 0.57 (95% confidence intervals, 0.50-0.65) at 16-18 months after implementation. Conclusion: Coincident with the implementation of the national "On the CUSP: Stop BSI" program was a significant and sustained decrease in CLABSIs among a large and diverse cohort of ICUs, demonstrating an overall 43% decrease and suggesting the majority of ICUs in the United States can achieve additional reductions in CLABSI rates.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
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    Julius Cuong Pham · Thierry Girard · Peter J Pronovost
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    ABSTRACT: Incident Reporting Systems (IRS) are and will continue to be an important influence on improving patient safety. They can provide valuable insights into how and why patients can be harmed at the organizational level. However, they are not the panacea that many believe them to be. They have several limitations that should be considered. Most of these limitations stem from inherent biases of voluntary reporting systems. These limitations include: i) IRS can’t be used to measure safety (error rates); ii) IRS can’t be used to compare organizations; iii) IRS can’t be used to measure changes over time; iv) IRS generate too many reports; v) IRS often don’t generate in-depth analyses or result in strong interventions to reduce risk; vi) IRS are associated with costs. IRS do offer significant value; their value is found in the following: i) IRS can be used to identify local system hazards; ii) IRS can be used to aggregate experiences for uncommon conditions; iii) IRS can be used to share lessons within and across organizations; iv) IRS can be used to increase patient safety culture. Moving forward, several strategies are suggested to maximize their value: i) make reporting easier; ii) make reporting meaningful to the reporter; iii) make the measure of success system changes, rather than events reported; iv) prioritize which events to report and investigate, report and investigate them well; v) convene with diverse stakeholders to enhance the value of IRS. Significance for public health Incident Reporting Systems (IRS) are and will continue to be an important influence on improving patient safety. However, they are not the panacea that many believe them to be. They have several limitations that should be considered when utilizing them or interpreting their output: i) IRS can’t be used to measure safety (error rates); ii) IRS can’t be used to compare organizations; iii) IRS can’t be used to measure changes over time; iv) IRS generate too many reports; v) IRS often don’t generate in-depth analyses or result in strong interventions to reduce risk; vi) IRS are associated with costs. Moving forward, several strategies are suggested to maximize their value: i) make reporting easier; ii) make reporting meaningful to the reporter; iii) make the measure of success system changes, rather than events reported; iv) prioritize which events to report and investigate, do it well; v) convene with diverse stakeholders to enhance their value.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013
  • Julius Cuong Pham · Peter J Pronovost · Gregory E Skipper

    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Asad Latif · Peter J Pronovost · Julius C Pham

    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Critical care medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Our retrospective analysis of the Michigan Keystone intensive care unit (ICU) collaborative demonstrated that adult ICUs could achieve and sustain a zero rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) for a considerable number of ventilator and calendar months. Moreover, the results highlight the importance of adjustment for ventilator-days before comparing VAP-free time among ICUs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: As a safety net for the health care system, quality and safety performance in emergency medicine (EM) is important for policy makers, insurers, researchers, health care providers, and patients. Developing performance indicators that are relevant, valid, feasible, and easy to measure has proven difficult. To monitor progress, patient safety should be measured objectively. Although conceptual frameworks and error taxonomies have been proposed, a practical scorecard for measuring patient safety over time in EM has been lacking. This article proposes a framework that measures safety through 4 major domains: (1) how often patients are harmed, (2) how often appropriate interventions are delivered, (3) how well errors in the system are identified and corrected, and (4) emergency department (ED) safety culture. Examples of specific measures for each of these domains are provided, but the EM community should reach consensus on what measures are important for the ED environment and patients.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · American Journal of Medical Quality
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    ABSTRACT: The objective was to compare the characteristics of medication errors reported to 2 national error reporting systems by conducting a cross-sectional analysis of errors reported from adult intensive care units to the UK National Reporting and Learning System and the US MedMarx system. Outcome measures were error types, severity of patient harm, stage of medication process, and involved medications. The authors analyzed 2837 UK error reports and 56 368 US reports. Differences were observed between UK and US errors for wrong dose (44% vs 29%), omitted dose (8.6% vs 27%), and stage of medication process (prescribing: 14% vs 49%; administration: 71% vs 42%). Moderate/severe harm or death was reported in 4.9% of UK versus 3.4% of US errors. Gentamicin was cited in 7.4% of the UK versus 0.7% of the US reports (odds ratio = 9.25). There were differences in the types of errors reported and the medications most often involved. These differences warrant further examination.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · American Journal of Medical Quality
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    ABSTRACT: A complete understanding of the financial impact of patient safety interventions must consider the economic incentives of both payers and providers within the current fee-for-service payment model. This study evaluated the impact of a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) initiative on costs, reimbursements, and margins for 1 Hawaii hospital and its payers. Intensive care unit patients (January 2009-December 2011) who developed a CLABSI were compared to matched controls. Mean hospital cost, reimbursement, and margin was $222 692 versus $80 144 (P = .01), $259 433 versus $72 543 (P < .01), and $54 906 versus $6506 (P < .01), respectively. Although hospitals and payers reduce costs by preventing CLABSIs, hospitals also would decrease their margins, which creates a perverse incentive to have more line infections. An optimal reimbursement system must reward hospitals and payers for preventing harm rather than treating illness. This study highlights the critical role that health care payers have as patient safety advocates, financial sponsors, and facilitators.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · American Journal of Medical Quality
  • Julius Cuong Pham · Peter J Pronovost · Gregory E Skipper

    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Julius Cuong Pham · Kevin D Frick · Peter J Pronovost
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    ABSTRACT: Reliable data are essential to ensuring that health care is delivered safely and appropriately. Yet the availability of reliable data on safety remains surprisingly poor, as does our knowledge of what it costs (and should cost) to generate such data. The authors suggest the following as priorities: (1) develop valid and reliable measures of the common causes of preventable deaths; (2) evaluate whether a global measure of safety is valid, feasible, and useful; (3) explore the incremental value of collecting data for each patient safety measure; (4) evaluate if/how patient safety reporting systems can be used to influence outcomes at all levels; (5) explore the value-and the unintended consequences-of creating a list of reportable events; (6) evaluate the infrastructure required to monitor patient safety; and (7) explore the validity and usefulness of measurements of patient safety climate.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · American Journal of Medical Quality
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid-response systems (RRSs) are a popular intervention in U.S. hospitals and are supported by accreditors and quality improvement organizations. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of these systems in acute care settings. A literature search was performed between 1 January 2000 through 30 October 2012 using PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Studies published in any language evaluating outcome changes that occurred after implementing an RRS and differences between groups using and not using an RRS (effectiveness) or describing methods used by RRSs (implementation) were reviewed.A single reviewer (checked by a second reviewer) abstracted data and rated study quality and strength of evidence. Moderate-strength evidence from a high-quality meta-analysis of 18 studies and 26 lower-quality before-and-after studies published after that meta-analysis showed that RRSs are associated with reduced rates of cardiorespiratory arrest outside of the intensive care unit and reduced mortality. Eighteen studies examining facilitators of and barriers to implementation suggested that the rate of use of RRSs could be improved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Annals of internal medicine

Publication Stats

1k Citations
410.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007-2016
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2006-2015
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Emergency Medicine
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Iowa
      Iowa City, Iowa, United States
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Health Policy and Management
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2009
    • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
      Maryland, United States