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Showing posts from May, 2013

More deaths from surgery closer to the weekend

Patients undergoing planned surgery appear more likely to die if they have their operation at the end of the week, a study published by Paul Aylin and colleagues in the British Medical Journal has found.

Researchers at Imperial College London looked at over four million elective procedures conducted in NHS hospitals in England between 2008 and 2011. They found that 27,582 patients died within 30 days of surgery. The mortality rate was lowest for patients having operations on Monday, and increased for each subsequent day of the week. The odds of death were 44 per cent higher for operations on a Friday than a Monday.

The risk of dying was higher still for planned procedures carried out at the weekend - 82 per cent greater odds than Monday - but the number of weekend operations was small and may represent a different mix of patients. The authors suggest the findings could reflect differences in the quality of care at the weekend.

"The first 48 hours after an operation are often the…

Update from the Dr Foster Unit

Alex Bottle’s collaborative work as part of a panel evaluating Canada’s acute care hospitals has been published via the website Rate My Hospital and was produced by “the fifth estate” for CBC. Additionally, Alex held a dozen radio slots and a live web chat. Clips from his radio interview can be found on the CBC Player.

Paul Aylin and Alex Bottle attended a Dr Foster Intelligence biannual conference in New York in April for its Global Comparators project. Now in its third year, the project includes over 40 hospitals in seven countries in a data sharing and mutual learning initiative, with current focus on stroke, colorectal surgery, heart failure and orthopaedics. Alex presented outcome analyses for the stroke group.

SiKL - A Smartphone-Held Record for People with Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in England. Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, it can be a serious source of morbidity and mortality. As part of a programme of work to improve the care of people with Sickle Cell Disease  the Global eHealth Unit in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London has developed SiKL.

SiKL is a replacement for paper-based patient-held records for Sickle Cell Disease. The purpose of SiKL is to give patients a way of organising and communicating their health information during routine healthcare encounters and in emergencies. SiKL was developed with input from clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare Trust in the UK and based on existing paper-based records and emergency information letters given to people with Sickle Cell Disease.

SiKL has a number of potential advantages over paper-based record. Firstly, it won't run out of space. Secondly it's more likely to be available…

Update from Under-Graduate Primary Care Teaching Team

We are delighted to welcome Dr Jo Harris as a Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow in the department for 2 sessions a week from April. She also now has a role as Deputy Head of Year 6 in the medical school. Jo has been very active in teaching our students for some years, so it’s great to formalise her link with the department. Dr James Stratford-Martin is going on a year’s secondment to the London Office of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCSM) in Singapore. LKCSM is a joint school between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and James has been heavily involved in developing the new curriculum. The school offers a 5-year MBBS degree jointly awarded by both institutions. The first cohort of 50 medical students will be starting in August 2013, with a gradual increase to 150 students or more annually. We will be appointing someone to take on James’ role as co-course Lead for Year 5 (with Dr Aisha Newth) for the year he is away.