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Erratum (Staff Only)
This Article Corrects: "Conference Didactic Planning and Structure: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors"
Emergency medicine residency programs around the country develop didactic conferences to prepare residents for board exams and independent practice. To our knowledge, there is not currently an evidence-based set of guidelines for programs to follow to ensure maximal benefit of didactics for learners. This paper offers expert guidelines for didactic instruction from members of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors Best Practices Subcommittee, based on best available evidence. Programs can use these recommendations to further optimize their resident conference structure and content. Recommendations in this manuscript include best practices in formatting didactics, selection of facilitators and instructors, and duration of individual sessions. Authors also recommend following the Model of Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine when developing content, while incorporating sessions dedicated to morbidity and mortality, research methodology, journal article review, administration, wellness, and professionalism.
Table of Contents
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Original Research (Limit 4000 words)
Brief Research Report (Limit 1500 words)
Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has seriously impacted clinical research operations in academic medical centers due to social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders. The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of a program to continue clinical research based out of an emergency department (ED) using remote research associates (RA).
Methods: Remote RAs were trained and granted remote access to the electronic health record (EHR) by the health system’s core information technology team. Upon gaining access, remote RAs used a dual-authentication process to gain access to a host-based, firewall-protected virtual network where the EHR could be accessed to continue screening and enrollment for ongoing studies. Study training for screening and enrollment was also provided to ensure study continuity.
Results: With constant support and guidance available to establish this EHR access pathway, the remote RAs were able to gain access relatively independently and without major technical troubleshooting. Each remote RA was granted access and trained on studies within one week and self-reported a high degree of program satisfaction, EHR access ease, and study protocol comfort through informal evaluation surveys.
Conclusions: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we virtualized a clinical research program to continue important ED-based studies.
- 9 supplemental files
Editorials (Limit 2000 words)
While current research efforts focus primarily on identifying patient level interventions that mitigate the direct impact of COVID-19, it is important to consider the collateral effects of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance. Early reports suggest high rates of antibiotic utilization in COVID-19 patients despite their lack of direct activity against viral pathogens. The ongoing pandemic is exacerbating known barriers to optimal antibiotic stewardship in the ED, representing an additional direct threat to patient safety and public health. There is an urgent need for research analyzing overall and COVID-19 specific antibiotic prescribing trends in the ED. Optimizing ED stewardship during COVID-19 will likely require a combination of traditional stewardship approaches (e.g. academic detailing, provider education, care pathways) and effective implementation of host response biomarkers and rapid COVID-19 diagnostics. Antibiotic stewardship interventions with demonstrated efficacy in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on ED prescribing should be widely disseminated and inform the ongoing pandemic response.
Commentary (Limit 2000 words)
- 2 supplemental files
Review Article (Limit 4000 words)
Educational Advances (Limit 4000 words)
Mastery Learning Ensures Correct Personal Protective Equipment Use in Simulated Clinical Encounters of COVID-19
Introduction: The correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) limits transmission of serious communicable diseases to healthcare workers, which is critically important in the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, prior studies illustrated that healthcare workers frequently err during application and removal of PPE. The goal of this study was to determine whether a simulation-based, mastery learning intervention with deliberate practice improves correct use of PPE by physicians during a simulated clinical encounter with a COVID-19 patient.
Methods: This was a pretest-posttest study performed in the emergency department at a large, academic tertiary care hospital between March 31–April 8, 2020. A total of 117 subjects participated, including 56 faculty members and 61 resident physicians. Prior to the intervention, all participants received institution-mandated education on PPE use via an online video and supplemental materials. Participants completed a pretest skills assessment using a 21-item checklist of steps to correctly don and doff PPE. Participants were expected to meet a minimum passing score (MPS) of 100%, determined by an expert panel using the Mastery Angoff and Patient Safety standard-setting techniques. Participants that met the MPS on pretest were exempt from the educational intervention. Testing occurred before and after an in-person demonstration of proper donning and doffing techniques and 20 minutes of deliberate practice. The primary outcome was a change in assessment scores of correct PPE use following our educational intervention. Secondary outcomes included differences in performance scores between faculty members and resident physicians, and differences in performance during donning vs doffing sequences.
Results: All participants had a mean pretest score of 73.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 70.9-75.3%). Faculty member and resident pretest scores were similar (75.1% vs 71.3%, p = 0.082). Mean pretest doffing scores were lower than donning scores across all participants (65.8% vs 82.8%, p<0.001). Participant scores increased 26.9% (95% CI of the difference 24.7-29.1%, p<0.001) following our educational intervention resulting in all participants meeting the MPS of 100%.
Conclusion: A mastery learning intervention with deliberate practice ensured the correct use of PPE by physician subjects in a simulated clinical encounter of a COVID-19 patient. Further study of translational outcomes is needed.
- 2 supplemental files