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Prospective implementation of algorithmic patient selection for gastrostomy tube placement consultations: a pre- and post-intervention analysis

Authors Cano JJ, Thrift AP, El-Serag HB

Received 5 December 2018

Accepted for publication 13 April 2019

Published 30 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 231—237

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S197122

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Koulaouzidis


Joseph J Cano,1 Aaron P Thrift,2,3 Hashem B El-Serag1,4

1Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 2Section of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 3Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 4Department of Medicine, Houston VA HSR&D Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA

Background: Studies have shown high but variable mortality following gastrostomy tube (GT) placement. There are no standard practice guidelines for GT placement.
Aim: To evaluate if implementation of patient selection and prognosis algorithms for GT insertion has favorable effects on patient outcomes.
Methods: This was a pre-, post-cohort analysis in a Veterans Affairs hospital. We implemented a patient selection algorithm aided by the Sheffield Gastrostomy Scoring System (SGSS) in July 2015. We reviewed all referrals to the inpatient service for a GT between July 2014 and June 2016 (pre-, post- implementation), and collected albumin and SGSS at time of consultation, date of GT insertion, and outcomes including vital status and albumin 30 days post-consultation. Patients were followed until 30 October 2016. We compared outcomes pre- and post-implementation.
Results: A total of 126 referrals were reviewed, 68 pre- and 58 post-algorithm implementation. Seventy-seven GTs were placed; 58 (75.3%) fulfilled the algorithm-appropriate indications. The mean SGSS was significantly lower among patients in whom GT was placed for algorithm-appropriate indications 2.03 (SD =0.86) vs inappropriate indications (2.59, SD =0.63; p<0.001). Sixty-five (51.6%) patients died by conclusion of study. Thirty day mortality after GT placement was 26.2% (post- (22.4%) vs pre- (29.4%)). Changes in serum albumin at day 30 was non-significant.
Conclusion The use of algorithm guidance by the prospective use of the SGSS was associated with a higher likelihood of GT placement both overall and for algorithm-appropriate indications.

Keywords: quality, improvement, feeding tube, PEG tube, nutrition, ethics, outcomes

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