Hand-carried Ultrasound Echocardiography in the Hospital
Adult Inpatients Referred for Standard Echocardiography
Other: HCUE-guided care
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Effects of Hand-carried Ultrasound Echocardiography by Hospitalists Among Inpatients Referred for Standard Echocardiography: a Randomized Trial|
- Length of stay on referring hospitalist's service [ Time Frame: From date of randomization until the date of tranfer off the referring hospitalist's service (including death from any cause), assessed up to 1 month after admission to the hospitalist's service. ]The length of stay begins when the patient arrives on the referring hospitalist's service and end when the patient leaves the referring hospitalist's service.
- Unplanned repeat visit to hospital or emergency department [ Time Frame: 30 days after discharge from hospital ]From date of discharge from the hospital and from the referring hospitalist's service until an unplanned visit back to our hospital or emergency department, assessed up to 30 days after discharge.
- Time to performance of standard echocardiography. [ Time Frame: From time of admission until the time of performance of standard echocardiography, assessed up to 1 week after time of admission. ]
|Study Start Date:||July 2008|
|Study Completion Date:||April 2009|
|Primary Completion Date:||March 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: HCUE-guided care
Hand-carried ultrasound echocardiography
Other: HCUE-guided care
Care directed by hand-carried ultrasound echocardiography
|No Intervention: Standard care|
This was an unblinded, parallel-group, superiority trial that randomized participants in a balanced (1:1) allocation ratio. We made no changes to our protocol after we began enrollment. Nor did we conduct any interim analyses. Each morning of the study period, including weekends and holidays, investigators listed all consecutive patients who were newly referred for SE by participating hospitalists. After hospitalists completed their initial evaluation of each patient, which included a history, physical exam, and review of medical records, investigators asked them to choose their indications for SE from a closed list. Given these indications, investigators then asked if HCUE could help them to assess their patients; if not, investigators excluded such patients. Finally, hospitalists were asked for their current management plans, which included medication regimens, diagnostic tests, specialty consultations, and timing of hospital discharge. If hospitalists remained masked to any preliminary SE results, investigators assigned participants who gave written informed consent to an intervention group. We used a computer-generated list of random numbers for the allocation sequence, and we concealed the sequence in an on-site computer system that only released allocations to investigators after they entered participant identifiers.
Hospitalists either awaited SE results for participants randomized to usual care or they performed HCUE for participants randomized to HCUE-guided care. Hospitalists performed HCUE with a MicroMaxx 3.4 hand-carried ultrasound machine equipped with a cardiology software package and a 1 to 5 MHz P17 cardiac transducer (Sonosite, Inc., Bothell, WA). The details of the HCUE protocol are described elsewhere. In brief, without assistance from nursing staff, hospitalists positioned participants on standard hospital beds and recorded 7 best-quality images up to 6 seconds in duration. Then hospitalists replayed the images for immediate interpretation. They made linear measurements with a caliper held directly to the ultrasound monitor and translated them into qualitative assessments based on simplified standard values.
The primary outcome was the length of stay on the short stay unit or general medicine ward service of the referring hospitalist. The duration began when the patient was admitted to the hospitalist service and ended when the patient was discharged home or transferred to a different service in the hospital. We chose this duration, rather than the length of stay of the entire hospitalization, because we wanted the primary outcome to reflect how HCUE affected hospitalists' management decisions in the hospital, including the transfer of participants to other services.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01231100
|United States, Illinois|
|Stroger Hospital of Cook County|
|Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60612|
|Principal Investigator:||Brian P Lucas, MD MS FHM||Stroger Hospital of Cook County|