Current Issue: Volume 21 Issue 4

Conference Didactic Planning and Structure: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors

Wood, DB.

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.

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Clinical Teaching: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors

Natesan, S.

Clinical teaching is the primary educational tool use to train learners from day one of medical school all the way to the completion of fellowship. However, concerns over time constraints and patient census have led to a decline in bedside teaching. This paper provides a critical review of the literature on clinical teaching with a focus on instructor teaching strategies, clinical teaching models, and suggestions for incorporating technology. Recommendations for instructor-related teaching factors include adequate preparation, awareness of effective teacher attributes, using evidence-based-knowledge dissemination strategies, ensuring good communication, and consideration of environmental factors. Proposed recommendations for potential teaching strategies include the Socratic method, the One-Minute Preceptor model, SNAPPS, ED STAT, teaching scripts, and bedside presentation rounds. Additionally, this article will suggest approaches to incorporating technology into clinical teaching, including just-in-time training, simulation, and telemedical teaching. This paper provides readers with strategies and techniques for improving clinical teaching effectiveness.

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Assessment of Emergency Medicine Residents’ Clinical Reasoning: Validation of a Script Concordance Test

Steinberg, E.

A primary aim of residency training is to develop competence in clinical reasoning. However, there are few instruments that can accurately, reliably, and efficiently assess residents’ clinical decision-making ability. This study aimed to externally validate the script concordance test in emergency medicine (SCT-EM), an assessment tool designed for this purpose.

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Documentation Displaces Teaching in an Academic Emergency Department

Baugh, JJ.

Adverse effects of administrative burden on emergency physicians have been described previously, but the impact of electronic health record documentation by academic emergency attendings on resident education is not known. In this observational study of a quaternary care, academic emergency department, we sought to assess whether the amount of time attending physicians spent on documentation affected the amount of time they spent teaching.

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Patient and Community Organization Perspectives on Accessing Social Resources from the Emergency Department: A Qualitative Study

Samuels-Kalow, ME.

Social risks adversely affect health and are associated with increased healthcare utilization and costs. Emergency department (ED) patients have high rates of social risk; however, little is known about best practices for ED-based screening or linkage to community resources. We examined the perspectives of patients and community organizations regarding social risk screening and linkage from the ED.

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Social Determinants of Hallway Bed Use

Kim, DA.

Hallway beds in the emergency department (ED) produce lower patient satisfaction and inferior care. We sought to determine whether socioeconomic factors influence which visits are assigned to hallway beds, independent of clinical characteristics at triage.

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Necrotizing Fasciitis Within 72 hours After Presentation with Skin and Skin Structure Infection

Rappo, U.

A small percentage of patients with skin infections later develop necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Diagnostic testing is needed to identify patients with skin infections at low risk of NF who could be discharged from the emergency department (ED) after antibiotic initiation. Elevated lactate has been associated with NF; existing estimates of the frequency of NF are based on retrospective reviews, and cases often lack testing for lactate. We present the incidence of patients with skin infections who developed NF and their baseline lactates.

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Risky Behavior: Hospital Transfers Associated with Early Mortality and Rates of Goals of Care Discussions

Brooten, JK.

Inter-hospital transfer (IHT) patients have higher in-hospital mortality, higher healthcare costs, and worse outcomes compared to non-transferred patients. Goals of care (GoC) discussions prior to transfer are necessary in patients at high risk for decline to ensure that the intended outcome of transfer is goal concordant. However, the frequency of these discussions is not well understood. This study was intended to assess the prevalence of GoC discussions in IHT patients with early mortality, defined as death within 72 hours of transfer, and prevalence of primary diagnoses associated with in-hospital mortality.

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Practice Gap in Atrial Fibrillation Oral Anticoagulation Prescribing at Emergency Department Home Discharge

Kea, B.

Current U.S. cardiology guidelines recommend oral anticoagulation (OAC) to reduce stroke risk in selected patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but no formal AF OAC recommendations exist to guide emergency medicine clinicians in the acute care setting. We sought to characterize emergency department (ED) OAC prescribing practices after an ED AF diagnosis.

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Endemic Infections

Rabies Vaccination Compliance and Reasons for Incompletion

Shi, T.

Rabies is a fatal disease with a 91% mortality rate in the United States. Current treatment of rabies consists of post-exposure prophylaxis treatment involving a complicated vaccination regimen. Studies conducted in other countries have found that patients do not complete their rabies vaccination treatment due to forgetting about their treatment, lack of time for visits, and the financial burden of treatment. However, little is known about why patients do not complete the rabies series in the US. The objective of this study was to determine the reasons why patients in the US do not complete rabies treatment.

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Endemic Infections

Fever Incidence Is Much Lower in the Morning than the Evening: Boston and US National Triage Data

Harding, C.

In this observational study, we evaluated time-of-day variation in the incidence of fever that is seen at triage. The observed incidence of fever could change greatly over the day because body temperatures generally rise and fall in a daily cycle, yet fever is identified using a temperature threshold that is unchanging, such as ≥38.0° Celsius (C) (≥100.4° Fahrenheit [F]).

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Endemic Infections

Emergency Department-based Hepatitis A Vaccination Program in Response to an Outbreak

Kaigh, C.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) declared a public health emergency due to hepatitis A in August 2019.1 Our emergency department (ED) serves a population with many of the identified risk factors for hepatitis A transmission. This study examines the impact of an ED-based hepatitis A vaccination program, developed in partnership with the PDPH, on incidence of hepatitis A infection and hospital admission.

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Patient Safety Event Reporting and Opportunities for Emergency Medicine Resident Education

Feeser, VR.

Healthcare systems often expose patients to significant, preventable harm causing an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths or more annually. This has propelled patient safety to the forefront, with reporting systems allowing for the review of local events to determine their root causes. As residents engage in a substantial amount of patient care in academic emergency departments, it is critical to use these safety event reports for resident-focused interventions and educational initiatives. This study analyzes reports from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System to understand how the reports are categorized and how it relates to opportunities for resident education.

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Impact of Emergency Department Crowding on Delays in Acute Stroke Care

Jaffe, TA.

Delays in identification and treatment of acute stroke contribute to significant morbidity and mortality. Multiple clinical factors have been associated with delays in acute stroke care. We aimed to determine the relationship between emergency department (ED) crowding and the delivery of timely emergency stroke care.

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Consensus Guidelines for Digital Scholarship in Academic Promotion

Husain, A.

As scholarship moves into the digital sphere, applicant and promotion and tenure (P&T) committee members lack formal guidance on evaluating the impact of digital scholarly work. The P&T process requires the appraisal of individual scholarly impact in comparison to scholars across institutions and disciplines. As dissemination methods evolve in the digital era, we must adapt traditional P&T processes to include emerging forms of digital scholarship.

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A Review of Journal Impact Metrics and Characteristics to Assist Emergency Medicine Investigators with Manuscript Submission Decisions

Rodriguez, RM.

A crucial, yet subjective and non-evidence-based, decision for researchers is where to submit their original research manuscripts. The approach of submitting to journals in descending order of impact factor (IF) is a common but imperfect strategy. The validity of the IF as a measure of journal quality and significance is suspect, and a number of other journal impact scores have emerged, such that no one scale is universally accepted. Furthermore, practical considerations, such as likelihood of manuscript acceptance rates and times for decisions, may influence how authors prioritize journals. In this report, we sought to 1) review emergency medicine (EM) journal impact metrics, and 2) provide a comprehensive list of pertinent journal characteristics that may influence researchers’ choice of submission.

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Critical Care

The Utility of Color Doppler to Confirm Endotracheal Tube Placement: A Pilot Study

Gildea, TH.

Grayscale ultrasound (US) imaging has been used as an adjunct for confirming endotracheal tube (ETT) placement in recent years. The addition of color Doppler imaging (CDI) has been proposed to improve identification but has not been well studied. The aim of this study was to assess whether CDI improves correct localization of ETT placement.

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Critical Care

Emergency Department-based Intensive Care Unit Use Peaks Near Emergency Department Shift Turnover

Haas, NL.

The Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3) is an emergency department-based intensive care unit (ED-ICU) designed to improve timely access to critical care for ED patients. ED patients requiring intensive care are initially evaluated and managed in the main ED prior to transfer to a separate group of ED-ICU clinicians. The timing of patient transfers to the ED-ICU may decrease the number of handoffs between main ED teams and have an impact on both patient outcomes and optimal provider staffing models, but has not previously been studied. We aimed to analyze patterns of transfer to the ED-ICU and the relationship with shift turnover times in the main ED. We hypothesized that the number of transfers to the ED-ICU increases near main ED shift turnover times.

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Current Understanding of the Neurobiology of Agitation

Miller, CWT.

Managing agitation in the clinical setting is a challenge that many practitioners face regularly. Our evolving understanding of the etiological factors involved in aggressive acts has better informed our interventions through pharmacologic and behavioral strategies. This paper reviews the literature on the neurobiological underpinnings of aggressive behaviors, linking psychopathology with proposed mechanisms of action of psychiatric medications shown to be effective in mitigating agitation.

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Fall Prevention Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors: A Survey of Emergency Providers

Davenport, K.

Falls are a frequent reason geriatric patients visit the emergency department (ED). To help providers, the Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines were created to establish a standard of care for geriatric patients in the ED. We conducted a survey of emergency providers to assess 1) their knowledge of fall epidemiology and the geriatric ED guidelines; 2) their current ED practice for geriatric fall patients; and 3) their willingness to conduct fall-prevention interventions.

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Mobilization of a Simulation Platform to Facilitate a System-wide Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Carlberg, DJ.

While simulation plays a prominent role in healthcare education at every level,1 the ability to perform traditional, in-person simulation has been practically eliminated by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV), or COVID-19, pandemic. Simultaneously, COVID-19-related education has become vital, as providers work to expand their knowledge base and learn new skills. Were it not for social distancing, simulation would play a major role in addressing the pandemic’s challenges. Simulation-based education could help providers optimize patient care while minimizing viral aerosolization. Simulation could even teach strategies for coping with the emotional consequences of working during a pandemic.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


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

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.