Current Issue: Volume 18 Issue 6

Impact Factor for WestJEM

Langdorf, MD.

I want to take this opportunity to update our readers, reviewers, and supporters regarding the growth and stature of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health (WestJEM). We continue to grow and thrive, extending our scope and reach throughout the nation and the world.

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Emergency Department Operations

Decreasing Emergency Department Walkout Rate and Boarding Hours by Improving Inpatient Length of Stay

Artenstein, MD, et al.

Patient progress, the movement of patients through a hospital system from admission to discharge, is a foundational component of operational effectiveness in healthcare institutions. Optimal patient progress is a key to delivering safe, high-quality and high-value clinical care. The Baystate Patient Progress Initiative (BPPI), a cross-disciplinary, multifaceted quality and process improvement project, was launched on March 1, 2014, with the primary goal of optimizing patient progress for adult patients.

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Endemic Infections

Hepatitis A Virus: Essential Knowledge and a Novel Identify-Isolate-Inform Tool for Frontline Healthcare Providers

Koenig, MD, et al.

Infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes a highly contagious illness that can lead to serious morbidity and occasional mortality. Although the overall incidence of HAV has been declining since the introduction of the HAV vaccine, there have been an increasing number of outbreaks within the United States and elsewhere between 2016 and 2017.

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Societal Impact on Emergency Care

Why Emergency Physicians Should Care About the Salton Sea

Marshall, MD.

Currently, emergency departments in Imperial County treat three times more pediatric asthma visits than elsewhere in California.5,6 Recently, there has been new governmental, academic, and community interest in this issue, and as emergency physicians we have a unique opportunity to become involved in the health of the Salton Sea as well as the surrounding community.

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Trends in Regionalization of Care for ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Hsia, MD, et al.

California has led successful regionalized efforts for several time-critical medical conditions, including ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), but no specific mandated protocols exist to define regionalization of care. We aimed to study the trends in regionalization of care for STEMI patients in the state of California and to examine the differences in patient demographic, hospital, and county trends.

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Poor Access for African Researchers to African Emergency Care Publications: A Cross-sectional Study

Bruijns, MBChB, et al.

Based on relative population size and burden of disease, emergency care publication outputs from low- and middle-income regions are disproportionately lower than those of high-income regions. The aim of this study was to describe access to African emergency care publications in terms of publisher-based access (open access or subscription) and alternate access (self-archived or author provided), as well as the cost of access.

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Critical Care

Team Size and Stretching-Exercise Effects on Simulated Chest Compression Performance and Exertion

Schoen, MD, et al.

Investigators conducted a prospective experimental study to evaluate the effect of team size and recovery exercises on individual providers’ compression quality and exertion. Investigators hypothesized that 1) larger teams would perform higher quality compressions with less exertion per provider when compared to smaller teams; and 2) brief stretching and breathing exercises during rest periods would sustain compressor performance and mitigate fatigue.

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Emergency Department Access

Impact of Superstorm Sandy on Medicare Patients’ Utilization of Hospitals and Emergency Departments

Stryckman, MA, et al.

National health security requires that healthcare facilities be prepared to provide rapid, effective emergency and trauma care to all patients affected by a catastrophic event. We sought to quantify changes in healthcare utilization patterns for an at-risk Medicare population before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy’s 2012 landfall in New Jersey (NJ). This study is a retrospective cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

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Emergency Department Utilization by Children in the USA, 2010–2011

Goto, MD, et al.

Epidemiological surveillance data for emergency department (ED) visits by children are imperative to guide resource allocation and to develop health policies that advance pediatric emergency care. However, there are sparse population-based data on patient-level information (e.g., the number of children who present to the emergency department [ED]). In this context, we aimed to investigate both the patient- and visit-level rates of ED utilization by children.

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Characterizing New England Emergency Departments by Telemedicine Use

Zachrison, MD, et al.

Telemedicine connects emergency departments (ED) with resources necessary for patient care; its use has not been characterized nationally, or even regionally. Our primary objective was to describe the prevalence of telemedicine use in New England EDs and the clinical applications of use. Secondarily, we aimed to determine if telemedicine use was associated with consultant availability and to identify ED characteristics associated with telemedicine use.

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Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Intravenous Line Placement: A Narrative Review of Evidence-based Best Practices

Gottlieb, MD, et al.

Peripheral intravenous line placement is a common procedure in emergency medicine. Ultrasound guidance has been demonstrated to improve success rates, as well as decrease complications and pain. This paper provides a narrative review of the literature focusing on best practices and techniques to improve performance with this procedure. We provide an evidence-based discussion of preparation for the procedure, vein and catheter selection, multiple techniques for placement, and line confirmation.

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The Impact of an Emergency Department Front-End Redesign on Patient-Reported Satisfaction Survey Results

Repplinger, MD, et al.

For emergency department (ED) patients, delays in care are associated with decreased satisfaction. Our department focused on implementing a front-end vertical patient flow model aimed to decrease delays in care, especially care initiation. The physical space for this new model was termed the Flexible Care Area (FCA). The purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of this intervention on patient satisfaction.

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Population Health Research Design

Understanding the Intention-to-treat Principle in Randomized Controlled Trials

McCoy, MD.

If an intervention is truly effective (truth), an intention-to-treat analysis will provide an unbiased estimate of the efficacy of the intervention at the level of adherence in the study. This article will review the “intention-to-treat” principle and its converse, “per-protocol” analysis, and illustrate how using the wrong method of analysis can lead to a significantly biased assessment of the effectiveness of an intervention.

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Population Health Research Design

Sex as a Biological Variable in Emergency Medicine Research and Clinical Practice: A Brief Narrative Review

McGregor, MD, et al.

The National Institutes of Health recently highlighted the significant role of sex as a biological variable (SABV) in research design, outcome and reproducibility, mandating that this variable be accounted for in all its funded research studies. We use three case-based scenarios in acute myocardial infarction, acute ischemic stroke and important considerations in pharmacologic therapy administration to highlight available data on SABV in evidence-based research to provide the EM community with an important foundation for future integration of patient sex in the delivery of emergency care as gaps in research are filled.

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Knowledge Translation of the PERC Rule for Suspected Pulmonary Embolism: A Blueprint for Reducing the Number of CT Pulmonary Angiograms

Drescher, MD, et al.

Computerized decision support decreases the number of computed tomography pulmonary angiograms (CTPA) for pulmonary embolism (PE) ordered in emergency departments, but it is not always well accepted by emergency physicians. We studied a department-endorsed, evidence-based clinical protocol that included the PE rule-out criteria (PERC) rule, multi-modal education using principles of knowledge translation (KT), and clinical decision support embedded in our order entry system, to decrease the number of unnecessary CTPA ordered.

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A Sepsis-related Diagnosis Impacts Interventions and Predicts Outcomes for Emergency Patients with Severe Sepsis

Kim, MD, et al.

Many patients meeting criteria for severe sepsis are not given a sepsis-related diagnosis by emergency physicians (EP). This study 1) compares emergency department (ED) interventions and in-hospital outcomes among patients with severe sepsis, based on the presence or absence of sepsis-related diagnosis, and 2) assesses how adverse outcomes relate to three-hour sepsis bundle completion among patients fulfilling severe sepsis criteria but not given a sepsis-related diagnosis.

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GLASS Clinical Decision Rule Applied to Thoracolumbar Spinal Fractures in Patients Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes

Althoff, MD, et al.

There are established and validated clinical decision tools for cervical spine clearance. Almost all the rules include spinal tenderness on exam as an indication for imaging. Our goal was to apply GLASS, a previously derived clinical decision tool for cervical spine clearance, to thoracolumbar injuries. GLass intact Assures Safe Spine (GLASS) is a simple, objective method to evaluate those patients involved in motor vehicle collisions and determine which are at low risk for thoracolumbar injuries.

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Education

ALiEM Blog and Podcast Watch: Toxicology

Zaver, MD, et al.

The WestJEM Blog and Podcast Watch presents high-quality open-access educational blogs and podcasts in emergency medicine based on the ongoing Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) and AIR-Professional (Pro) series. Both series critically appraise open-access educational blogs and podcasts in EM using an objective scoring instrument. This installment of the blog and podcast watch series curated and scored relevant posts in the specific topic of toxicology emergencies from the AIR-Pro Series.

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Education

Characteristics of Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in Colombia

Patiño, MD, et al.

Emergency medicine (EM) is in different stages of development around the world. Colombia has made significant strides in EM development in the last two decades and recognized it as a medical specialty in 2005. The country now has seven EM residency programs: three in the capital city of Bogotá, two in Medellin, one in Manizales, and one in Cali. The objective of this study was to characterize these seven residency programs.

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Education

ALiEM Blog and Podcast Watch: Procedures in Emergency Medicine

Joshi, MD, et al.

The WestJEM Blog and Podcast Watch presents high-quality, open-access educational blogs and podcasts in emergency medicine (EM) based on the ongoing Academic Life in EM (ALiEM) Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) and AIR-Professional series. Both series critically appraise resources using an objective scoring rubric. This installment of the Blog and Podcast Watch highlights the topic of procedure emergencies from the AIR Series.

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Emergency Department Attending Physician Variation in Opioid Prescribing in Low Acuity Back Pain

Hoppe, DO, et al.

Despite treatment guidelines suggesting alternatives, as well as evidence of a lack of benefit and evidence of poor long-term outcomes, opioid analgesics are commonly prescribed for back pain from the emergency department (ED). Variability in opioid prescribing suggests a lack of consensus and an opportunity to standardize and improve care. We evaluated the variation in attending emergency physician (EP) opioid prescribing for patients with uncomplicated, low acuity back pain (LABP).

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Effectiveness of SBIRT for Alcohol Use Disorders in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review

Barata, MD, MBA, et al.

Alcohol use disorders (AUD) place a significant burden on individuals and society. The emergency department (ED) offers a unique opportunity to address AUD with brief screening tools and early intervention. We undertook a systematic review of the effectiveness of ED brief interventions for patients identified through screening who are at risk for AUD, and the effectiveness of these interventions at reducing alcohol intake and preventing alcohol-related injuries.

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Involuntary Psychiatric Holds in Preadolescent Children

Santillanes, MD, et al.

Little is known about the use of involuntary psychiatric holds in preadolescent children. The primary objective was to characterize patients under the age of 10 years on involuntary psychiatric holds. We collected demographic data including age, gender, ethnicity and details about living situation, child protective services involvement and prior mental health treatment, as well as ED disposition.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

333 The City Blvd. West, Rt 128-01
Suite 640
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389
Email: westjem@gmail.com

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WestJEM
ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

CPC-EM
ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.