Publications by authors named "Joseph Sabato"

6 Publications

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A Fast-track Pathway for Emergency General Surgery at an Academic Medical Center.

J Surg Res 2021 Jun 8;267:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Background: Fast Track Pathways (FTP) directed at reducing length of stay (LOS) and overall costs are being increasingly implemented for emergency surgeries. The purpose of this study is to evaluate implementation of a FTP for Emergency General Surgery (EGS) at an academic medical center (AMC).

Methods: The study included 165 patients at an AMC between 2016 and 2018 who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy (LA), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (LI). The FTP group enrolled 89 patients, and 76 controls prior to FTP implementation were evaluated. Time to surgery (TTS), LOS, and post-operative LOS between groups were compared. Direct costs, reimbursements, and patient reported satisfaction (satisfaction 1 = never, 4 = always) were also studied.

Results: The sample was 60.6% female, with a median age of 40 years. Case distribution differed slightly (56.2% versus 42.1% LA, 40.4% versus 57.9% LC, FTP versus control), but TTS was similar between groups (11h39min versus 10h02min, P = 0.633). LOS was significantly shorter in the FTP group (15h17min versus 29h09min, P < 0.001), reflected by shorter post-operative LOS (3h11min versus 20h10min, P< 0.001), fewer patients requiring a hospital bed and overnight stay (P < 0.001). Direct costs were significantly lower in the FTP group, reimbursements were similar (P < 0.001 and P = 0.999 respectively), and average patient reported satisfaction was good (3.3/4).

Conclusion: In an era focused on decreasing cost, optimizing resources, and ensuring patient satisfaction, a FTP can play a significant role in EGS. At an AMC, an EGS FTP significantly decreased LOS, hospital bed utilization while not impacting reimbursement or patient satisfaction.
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June 2021

Preparing Emergency Physicians for Acute Disaster Response: A Review of Current Training Opportunities in the US.

Prehosp Disaster Med 2016 Dec 19;31(6):643-647. Epub 2016 Sep 19.

11Madigan Army Medical Center,Emergency Medicine,Tacoma,WashingtonUSA.

Study Objective This study aimed to review available disaster training options for health care providers, and to provide specific recommendations for developing and delivering a disaster-response-training program for non-disaster-trained emergency physicians, residents, and trainees prior to acute deployment.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature of the existing training options for health care providers was conducted to provide specific recommendations.

Results: A comprehensive search of the Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane databases was performed to identify publications related to courses for disaster preparedness and response training for health care professionals. This search revealed 7,681 unique titles, of which 53 articles were included in the full review. A total of 384 courses were found through the grey literature search, and many of these were available online for no charge and could be completed in less than six hours. The majority of courses focused on management and disaster planning; few focused on clinical care and acute response.

Conclusion: There is need for a course that is targeted toward emergency physicians and trainees without formal disaster training. This course should be available online and should utilize a mix of educational modalities, including lectures, scenarios, and virtual simulations. An ideal course should focus on disaster preparedness, and the clinical and non-clinical aspects of response, with a focus on an all-hazards approach, including both terrorism-related and environmental disasters. Hansoti B , Kellogg DS , Aberle SJ , Broccoli MC , Feden J , French A , Little CM , Moore B , Sabato J Jr. , Sheets T , Weinberg R , Elmes P , Kang C . Preparing emergency physicians for acute disaster response: a review of current training opportunities in the US. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(6):643-647.
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December 2016

Naloxone Triggering the RRT: A Human Antidote?

J Patient Saf 2017 03;13(1):20-24

From the *Department of Emergency Medicine, and †Director of Critical Care Nursing, University of Florida and Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida.

Objectives: At our institution, we observed an increase in opioid-related adverse events after instituting a new pain treatment protocol. To prevent this, we programmed the Omnicell drug dispensing system to page the RRT whenever naloxone was withdrawn on the general wards.

Methods: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database with a before and after design.

Results: When comparing the two 12-month periods, there was a decrease in monthly opioid-related cardiac arrests from 0.75 to 0.25 per month (difference = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.04-0.96, P = 0.03) and a nearly significant decrease in code deaths from 0.25 to 0 per month (difference = -0.25; 95% CI, -0.02-0.52, P = 0.07) without a significant decrease in pain satisfaction scores (difference = -2.3; 95% CI, -4.4 to 9.0, P = 0.48) over the study period. There were also decreased RRT interventions from 7.3 to 5.6 per month (difference = -1.7; 95% CI, -0.31 to -3.03, P = 0.02) and decreased inpatient transfers from 2.9 to 1.8 transfers per month (difference = -1.2; 95% CI, -0.38 to -1.96, P = 0.005). When adjusting for inpatient admissions and inpatient days, there was a decrease in opioid-related cardiac arrests from 2.9 to 0.1 per 10,000 admissions (difference = -2.0; 95% CI, -0.2 to -3.8, P = 0.03) and a decrease in cardiac arrests from 0.5 to 0.2 per 10,000 patients (difference = -0.34; 95% CI, -.02 to -0.65, P = 0.04).

Conclusion: Naloxone-triggered activation of the RRT resulted in reduced opioid-related inpatient cardiac arrests without adversely affecting pain satisfaction scores.
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March 2017

Proactive rounding by the rapid response team reduces inpatient cardiac arrests.

Resuscitation 2013 Dec 29;84(12):1668-73. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Department of Emergency Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, United States. Electronic address:

Objective: Rapid response teams (RRTs) are frequently employed to respond to deteriorating inpatients. Proactive rounding (PR) consists of the RRT nurse rounding through the inpatient wards identifying high risk patients and intervening preemptively. At our institution, PR began in July of 2007. Our objective was to determine the effect of PR by the RRT at our institution on non-ICU cardiac arrests, code deaths, RRT interventions, and transfers to a higher level of care. Also, to report ICU transfer survival and survival to discharge rates after the start of PR.

Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database.

Setting: A tertiary, academic, level 1 trauma center with 696 beds and a rapid response system.

Patients: 1253 Non-ICU cardiac arrests from 2005 through June of 2012.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: The total study period included 223,267 inpatient admissions (70,129 pre-PR and 153,138 post-PR) and 1,250,814 patient days (391,088 pre-PR and 859,726 post-PR). The quarterly code rate before PR was 66 and the code rate after the institution of PR was 30 (difference=36.8, 95% CI 25.6-48.0, p<.001). Quarterly code deaths decreased from 29 to 7 (difference=21.95, 95% CI 16.3-27.6, p<.001). This decrease in floor codes and code deaths was still present after adjusting for inpatient admission and inpatient days. Average quarterly RRT interventions increased from 141 in the pre-PR period to 690 in the post-PR period (difference=549, 95% CI 360-738, p<.001). Average quarterly transfers to HLC went up from 38 pre-PR to 164 post-PR (difference=126, 95% CI 79-172, p<.001).

Conclusions: The institution of proactive rounding at a tertiary care, academic, level 1 trauma center results in reduced floor codes and code deaths as well as increased RRT interventions and transfers to a higher level of care.
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December 2013

An algorithm for identification of ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients by emergency medicine services.

Am J Emerg Med 2013 Jul 22;31(7):1098-102. Epub 2013 May 22.

Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA.

Objective: ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) identification by emergency medicine services (EMS) leading to pre-hospital catheterization laboratory (CL) activation shortens ischemic time and improves outcomes. We examined the incremental value of addition of a screening clinical tool (CT), containing clinical information and a Zoll electrocardiogram (ECG)-resident STEMI identification program (ZI) to ZI alone.

Methods: All EMS-performed and ZI-analyzed ECGs transmitted to a percutaneous coronary intervention hospital from October 2009 to January 2011 were reviewed for diagnostic accuracy. ZI performance was also compared to ECG interpretations by 2 experienced readers The CT was then retrospectively applied to determine the incremental benefit above the ZI alone.

Results: ST-elevation myocardial infarction was confirmed in 23 (7.5%) of 305 patients. ZI was positive in 37 (12.1%): sensitivity: 95.6% and specificity: 94.6%, positive predictive value (PPV), 59.5%, negative predictive value (NPV), 99.6%, and accuracy of 93.8%. Moderate agreement was observed among the readers and ZI. CT criteria for CL activation were met in 24 (7.8%): 20 (83.3%) were confirmed STEMIs: sensitivity: 86.9%, specificity: 98.5%, a PPV: 83.3%, and NPV: 98.6%, accuracy of 97.7%. CT + ZI increased PPV (P<0.05) and specificity (P<0.003) by reducing false positive STEMI identifications from 15 (4.9%) to 4 (1.3%).

Conclusions: In an urban cohort of all EMS transmitted ECGs, ZI has high sensitivity and specificity for STEMI identification. Whereas the PPV was low, reflecting both low STEMI prevalence and presence of STEMI-mimics, the NPV was very high. These findings suggest that a simplified CT combined with computer STEMI interpretation can identify patients for pre-hospital CL activation. Confirmation of these results could improve the design of STEMI care systems.
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July 2013

Evaluation of a heat vulnerability index on abnormally hot days: an environmental public health tracking study.

Environ Health Perspect 2012 May 31;120(5):715-20. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-7360, USA.

Background: Extreme hot weather conditions have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality, but risks are not evenly distributed throughout the population. Previously, a heat vulnerability index (HVI) was created to geographically locate populations with increased vulnerability to heat in metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

Objectives: We sought to determine whether areas with higher heat vulnerability, as characterized by the HVI, experienced higher rates of morbidity and mortality on abnormally hot days.

Methods: We used Poisson regression to model the interaction of HVI and deviant days (days whose deviation of maximum temperature from the 30-year normal maximum temperature is at or above the 95th percentile) on hospitalization and mortality counts in five states participating in the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network for the years 2000 through 2007.

Results: The HVI was associated with higher hospitalization and mortality rates in all states on both normal days and deviant days. However, associations were significantly stronger (interaction p-value < 0.05) on deviant days for heat-related illness, acute renal failure, electrolyte imbalance, and nephritis in California, heat-related illness in Washington, all-cause mortality in New Mexico, and respiratory hospitalizations in Massachusetts.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the HVI may be a marker of health vulnerability in general, although it may indicate greater vulnerability to heat in some cases.
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May 2012