Publications by authors named "Tadzio R Roche"

3 Publications

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Voice alerting as a medical alarm modality for next-generation patient monitoring: a randomised international multicentre trial.

Br J Anaesth 2021 Aug 25. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Institute of Anaesthesiology, University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Acoustic alarms in medical devices are vital for patient safety. State-of-the-art patient monitoring alarms are indistinguishable and contribute to alarm fatigue. There are two promising new sound modalities for vital sign alarms. Auditory icons convey alarms as brief metaphorical sounds, and voice alerts transmit information using a clear-spoken language. We compared how reliably healthcare professionals identified alarms using these two modalities.

Methods: This investigator-initiated computer-based multicentre simulation study included 28 anaesthesia providers who were asked to identify vital sign alarms in randomised order, once with voice alerts and once with auditory icons. We further assessed time to decision, diagnostic confidence, and perceived helpfulness. We analysed the results using mixed models, adjusted for possible confounders.

Results: We assessed 14 alarms for each modality, resulting in 392 comparisons across all participants. Compared with auditory icons, healthcare providers had 58 times higher odds of correctly identifying alarms using voice alerts (odds ratio 58.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 25.1-133.6; P<0.001), made their decisions about 14 s faster (coefficient -13.9; 95% CI: -15.8 to -12.1 s; P<0.001), perceived higher diagnostic confidence (100% [392 of 392] vs 43% [169 of 392; P<0.001]), and rated voice alerts as more helpful (odds ratio 138.2; 95% CI: 64.9-294.1; P<0.001). The participants were able to identify significantly higher proportions of alarms with voice alerts (98.5%; P<0.001) and auditory icons (54.1%; P<0.001) compared with state-of-the-art alarms (17.9%).

Conclusions: Voice alerts were superior to auditory icons, and both were superior to current state-of-the-art auditory alarms. These findings demonstrate the potential that voice alerts hold for patient monitoring.
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August 2021

Avatar-based patient monitoring in critical anaesthesia events: a randomised high-fidelity simulation study.

Br J Anaesth 2021 May 8;126(5):1046-1054. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Institute of Anaesthesiology, University and University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Failures in situation awareness cause two-thirds of anaesthesia complications. Avatar-based patient monitoring may promote situation awareness in critical situations.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, randomised, high-fidelity simulation study powered for non-inferiority. We used video analysis to grade anaesthesia teams managing three 10 min emergency scenarios using three randomly assigned monitoring modalities: only conventional, only avatar, and split-screen showing both modalities side by side. The primary outcome was time to performance of critical tasks. Secondary outcomes were time to verbalisation of vital sign deviations and the correct cause of the emergency, perceived workload, and usability. We used mixed Cox and linear regression models adjusted for various potential confounders. The non-inferiority margin was 10%, or hazard ratio (HR) 0.9.

Results: We analysed 52 teams performing 154 simulations. For performance of critical tasks during a scenario, split-screen was non-inferior to conventional (HR=1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96-1.33; not significant in test for superiority); the result for avatar was inconclusive (HR=0.98; 95% CI, 0.83-1.15). Avatar was associated with a higher probability for verbalisation of the cause of the emergency (HR=1.78; 95% CI, 1.13-2.81; P=0.012). We found no evidence for a monitor effect on perceived workload. Perceived usability was lower for avatar (coefficient=-23.0; 95% CI, -27.2 to -18.8; P<0.0001) and split-screen (-6.7; 95% CI, -10.9 to -2.4; P=0.002) compared with conventional.

Conclusions: This study showed non-inferiority of split-screen compared with conventional monitoring for performance of critical tasks during anaesthesia crisis situations. The patient avatar improved verbalisation of the correct cause of the emergency. These results should be interpreted considering participants' minimal avatar but extensive conventional monitoring experience.
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May 2021

Physicians' perceptions regarding acute bleeding management: an international mixed qualitative quantitative study.

BMC Anesthesiol 2021 02 10;21(1):43. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Institute of Anesthesiology, University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, 8091, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Acute bleeding is an omnipresent challenge for all physicians. Uncontrolled hemorrhage is the most common preventable cause of death after trauma worldwide. In different surgical disciplines, hemorrhage represents an independent risk factor for increased postoperative morbimortality, directly affecting patients' outcomes. This study asked anesthesiologists about their personal perceived challenges when treating bleeding patients.

Methods: This investigator-initiated, prospective, international, dual-center, mixed qualitative and quantitative study interrogated anesthesiologists about what they found easy and what difficult in treating acutely bleeding patients. Following the template approach for qualitative research, we identified major and minor topics through free inductive coding and word count. In a second step, we derived ten statements from the participants' answers. Using a field survey, we then asked the participants to rate their level of agreement with the derived statements. We analyzed the answers using one sample Wilcoxon test and the Mann-Whitney test.

Results: We included a total of 84 physicians in the qualitative interrogations and a different group of 42 anesthesiologists in the quantitative part. We identified 11 major topics and 19 associated subtopics. The main topics and the degree of agreement (here as agree or strongly agree) were as follows: "Complexity of the topic" (52.4% agreed to find the topic complex), "Cognitive aids" (92.9% agreed to find them helpful), "Time management" (64.3% agreed to feeling time pressure), "Human factors" (95.2% agreed that human factors are essential), "Resources" (95.2% agreed that resources are essential), "Experience" and "Low frequency of cases" (57.1% agreed to lack practice), "Diagnostic methods" (31.0% agreed that the interpretation of test results is difficult), "Anticoagulation" (85.7% agreed to it being difficult), "Treatment" (81.0% agreed to knowing the first therapeutic steps), and "Nothing".

Conclusions: Anesthesiologists in two large tertiary care facilities in different parts of the world found coagulation management, especially in anticoagulated patients, complex. We identified the delayed diagnostic test results and their interpretation as challenges. Resources, treatment protocols and human factors such as team communication were perceived to facilitate management. Future studies should explore the challenges in smaller hospitals and other parts of the world and test new technologies addressing the identified difficulties.
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February 2021