Bioinformatics, Sequencing Accuracy, and the Credibility of Clinical Genomics

“The adoption of clinical exome and whole-genome sequencing based on next-generation sequencing technologies has increased rapidly over the last decade; this has been accelerated by increasing coverage of these services by private and public insurers. Examples of use include tumor and germline sequencing in patients with cancer, rapid turn-around sequencing of the genomes of critically ill neonates to diagnose mendelian conditions, and noninvasive prenatal testing for reproductive decision-making. The accuracy of sequencing results is of paramount importance to patients, clinicians, and those paying for testing services; inaccuracy can affect not only the tested individual, but their extended biological family. Understanding … Read More

Association Between Surgical Technical Skill and Long-term Survival for Colon Cancer

“Surgeons were recruited from the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative in 2016 for a video-based technical skills assessment program.4 Each surgeon submitted 1 representative video of a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy that they performed. Videos were reviewed by 12 or more surgeons, including 2 colorectal surgeons with video evaluation experience. Skill scores were assigned using the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons Video Assessment Tool, and the mean score from all raters was used. Skill score was analyzed separately by terciles and as a continuous variable. Patients who underwent any minimally invasive colectomy for stage I to III epithelial-origin colon … Read More

Evaluation of Risk-Adjusted Home Time After Hospitalization for Heart Failure as a Potential Hospital Performance Metric

“Although the implementation of HRRP [Hospital Readmission Reduction Program] has been associated with significant reductions in readmission rates for HF [heart failure], it remains unclear whether current health policies have contributed to improvement in patients’ overall experience or quality of life. Although there has been an increasing emphasis on use of patient-oriented outcomes in evaluation of therapeutic benefits of newer HF therapies in clinical trials, the role of patient-oriented outcomes in defining hospital-level care quality for patients with HF is limited. [..] we assessed home time after hospitalization for HF through Medicare administrative claims data and its association with currently … Read More

Age and environment-related differences in gait in healthy adults using wearables

“[Abstract] Many traditional assessments of physical function utilized in clinical trials are limited because they are episodic, therefore, cannot capture the day-to-day temporal fluctuations and longitudinal changes in activity that individuals experience. In order to understand the sensitivity of gait speed as a potential endpoint for clinical trials, we investigated the use of digital devices during traditional clinical assessments and in real-world environments in a group of healthy younger (n = 33, 18–40 years) and older (n = 32, 65–85 years) adults. We observed good agreement between gait speed estimated using a lumbar-mounted accelerometer and gold standard system during the performance of traditional gait … Read More

Net Adverse Clinical Events With Antiplatelet Therapy in Acute Coronary Syndromes

“Clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor are oral platelet P2Y12 receptor inhibitors that decrease the risk of platelet-mediated coronary artery thrombosis. [..] A 1-year composite end point of death, MI [myocardial infarction], and stroke is often used to evaluate efficacy in ACS [acute coronary syndrome] trials. However, death can be defined as all-cause death, cardiovascular death, or death from vascular causes (cardiovascular plus cerebrovascular deaths). Although ticagrelor was associated with a reduction in death in the PLATO trial, no subsequent trial with ticagrelor and no trials with clopidogrel or prasugrel have shown a mortality benefit with DAPT [dual antiplatelet therapy] compared with … Read More

Assessment of Value of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status in Models That Use Electronic Health Record Data to Predict Health Care Use Rates and Mortality

“Neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES) variables have been reported to improve predictions in some cases but not others. For instance, Molshatzki et al found that nSES variables improved the prediction of long-term mortality after myocardial infarction but Bhavsar et al found that an nSES index did not improve prediction of a variety of health care use measures within a 3-year window. Another study suggests that neighborhood-level indicators are not predictive above and beyond individual-level indicators. Whether these predictors are useful for risk stratification, and, if so, in what contexts remains unclear. [..] We assess the addition of diverse nSES predictors to … Read More

Misclassification of Hospital Performance Under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program: Implications for Value-Based Programs

“In the United States, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have implemented value-based programs that compare the performance of hospitals using risk-standardized outcome measures (eg, readmission, mortality). A critically important characteristic of these measures is that they are point estimates with a margin of error. The CMS use the point estimates to compare hospitals, but the margin of error around each estimate may affect the CMS’s ability to accurately evaluate and distinguish performance. [..] The hospital-level 30-day RSRR [risk-standardized readmission rate] measure used by the CMS is a point estimate based on a finite number of discharges and, … Read More

Evaluation of Hospital Performance Using the Excess Days in Acute Care Measure in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program

[From the article’s Abstract] “Clinicians and policy experts have raised concerns that the 30-day readmission measure used in this program [Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program] provides an incomplete picture of performance because it does not capture all hospital encounters that may occur after discharge. In contrast, the excess days in acute care (EDAC) measure, which currently is not used in the HRRP, captures the full spectrum of hospital encounters (emergency department, observation stay, inpatient readmission) and their associated lengths of stay within 30 days of discharge. [..] Overall, only moderate agreement was found on hospital performance rankings by using the readmission … Read More

Implication of Trends in Timing of Dialysis Initiation for Incidence of End-stage Kidney Disease

“Because ESKD [end-stage kidney disease] is operationally defined as receiving long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant, we hypothesized that the number of patients with incident ESKD can vary considerably depending on decisions between patients and physicians about the choice and timing of kidney replacement therapy, and particularly of initiating dialysis. Consistent with this, after publication of the Initiating Dialysis Early and Late (IDEAL) trial—a randomized clinical trial showing no significant difference in death or other outcomes with earlier (eGFR of 9.0 mL/min/1.73 m2) vs later (eGFR of 7.2 mL/min/1.73 m2) initiation of dialysis—a rapid drop in early dialysis initiation was … Read More

A global review of publicly available datasets for ophthalmological imaging: barriers to access, usability, and generalisability

“High-quality health data research and the development of ML [machine learning] models requires meaningful data at a sufficient scale. Such data undoubtedly exist. Most health institutions hold clinical imaging data at a scale ranging from tens of thousands to tens of millions of scans. However, these data are often inaccessible to researchers, even where there is an intention to make them available for research, because of barriers of access and usability. Barriers of access can include: governance barriers (difficulties in understanding and working through governance frameworks regulating data usage); cost barriers (there can be considerable overhead costs to datasets and … Read More