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1.  Implementing nursing best practice guidelines: Impact on patient referrals 
BMC Nursing  2007;6:4.
Background
Although referring patients to community services is important for optimum continuity of care, referrals between hospital and community sectors are often problematic. Nurses are well positioned to inform patients about referral resources. The objective of this study is to describe the impact of implementing six nursing best practice guidelines (BPGs) on nurses' familiarity with patient referral resources and referral practices.
Methods
A prospective before and after design was used. For each BPG topic, referral resources were identified. Information about these resources was presented at education sessions for nurses. Pre- and post-questionnaires were completed by a random sample of 257 nurses at 7 hospitals, 2 home visiting nursing services and 1 public health unit. Average response rates for pre- and post-implementation questionnaires were 71% and 54.2%, respectively. Chart audits were completed for three BPGs (n = 421 pre- and 332 post-implementation). Post-hospital discharge patient interviews were conducted for four BPGs (n = 152 pre- and 124 post-implementation).
Results
There were statistically significant increases in nurses' familiarity with resources for all BPGs, and self-reported referrals to specific services for three guidelines. Higher rates of referrals were observed for services that were part of the organization where the nurses worked. There was almost a complete lack of referrals to Internet sources. No significant differences between pre- and post-implementation referrals rates were observed in the chart documentation or in patients' reports of referrals.
Conclusion
Implementing nursing BPGs, which included recommendations on patient referrals produced mixed results. Nurses' familiarity with referral resources does not necessarily change their referral practices. Nurses can play a vital role in initiating and supporting appropriate patient referrals. BPGs should include specific recommendations on effective referral processes and this information should be tailored to the community setting where implementation is taking place.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-6-4
PMCID: PMC1947981  PMID: 17598917
2.  Clustered randomised trial of an intervention to improve the management of asthma: Greenwich asthma study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;318(7193):1251-1255.
Objectives
To evaluate the effectiveness of an asthma resource centre in improving treatment and quality of life for asthmatic patients.
Design
Community based randomised controlled trial.
Setting
41 general practices in Greenwich with a practice nurse.
Subjects
All registered patients aged 15-50 years.
Intervention
Nurse specialists in asthma who educated and supported practice nurses, who in turn educated patients in the management of asthma according to the British Thoracic Society's guidelines.
Main outcome measures
Quality of life of asthmatic patients, attendance at accident and emergency departments, admissions to local hospitals, and steroid prescribing by general practitioners.
Results
Of 24 400 patients randomly selected and surveyed in 1993, 12 238 replied; 1621 were asthmatic of whom 1291 were sent a repeat questionnaire in 1996 and 780 replied. Of 24 400 patients newly surveyed in 1996, 10 783 (1616 asthmatic) replied. No evidence was found for an improvement in asthma related quality of life among newly surveyed patients in intervention practices compared with control practices. Neither was there evidence of an improvement in other measures of the quality of asthma care. Weak evidence was found for an improvement in quality of life in intervention practices among asthmatics registered with study practices in 1993 and followed up in 1996. Neither attendances at accident and emergency departments nor admissions for asthma showed any tendency to diverge in intervention and control practices over the study period. Steroid prescribing rates rose steadily during the study period. The average annual increase in steroid prescribing was 3% per year higher in intervention than control practices (95% confidence interval −1% to 6%, P=0.10).
Conclusions
This model of service delivery is not effective in improving the outcome of asthma in the community. Further development is required if cost effective management of asthma is to be introduced.
Key messagesSmall randomised trials suggest that implementation of management guidelines can improve outcomes for asthmatic patients treated in specialist unitsRandomised trials also suggest that guidelines can improve the process of care in general practiceAn intervention in which specialist nurses trained and supported practice nurses in running asthma clinics on the basis of British Thoracic Society guidelines failed to improve asthma outcomes for patients over a 3 year periodFactors that may have reduced the potential impact of the measures include the large number of asthmatic patients that need to be cared for in primary care, and the high turnover of practice nurses in inner city areasFurther research is required on how best to implement good practice in inner city areas if cost effective interventions are to be devised
PMCID: PMC27864  PMID: 10231256
3.  Implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the emergency department: a qualitative study of staff perceptions 
Background
The US Public Health Service smoking cessation practice guideline specifically recommends that physicians and nurses strongly advise their patients who use tobacco to quit, but the best approach for attaining this goal in the emergency department (ED) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize emergency physicians’ (EPs) and nurses’ (ENs) perceptions of cessation counseling and to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of the 5 A’s framework (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) in the ED.
Methods
We conducted semi-structured, face-to-face interviews of 11 EPs and 19 ENs following a pre-post implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in two study EDs. We used purposeful sampling to target EPs and ENs with different attitudes toward cessation counseling, based on their responses to a written survey (Decisional Balance Questionnaire). Conventional content analysis was used to inductively characterize the issues raised by study participants and to construct a coding structure, which was then applied to study transcripts.
Results
The main findings of this study converged upon three overarching domains: 1) reactions to the intervention; 2) perceptions of patients’ receptivity to cessation counseling; and 3) perspectives on ED cessation counseling and preventive care. ED staff expressed ambivalence toward the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines. Both ENs and EPs agreed that the delivery of smoking cessation counseling is important, but that it is not always practical in the ED on account of time constraints, the competing demands of acute care, and resistance from patients. Participants also called attention to the need for improved role clarity and teamwork when implementing the 5 A’s in the ED.
Conclusions
There are numerous challenges to the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the ED. ENs are generally willing to take the lead in offering brief cessation counseling, but their efforts need to be reinforced by EPs. ED systems need to address workflow, teamwork, and practice policies that facilitate prescription of smoking cessation medication, referral for cessation counseling, and follow-up in primary care. The results of this qualitative evaluation can be used to guide the design of future ED intervention studies.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT00756704
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-1
PMCID: PMC3902188  PMID: 24460974
Emergency medical services; Smoking cessation; Attitude of health personnel; Qualitative research; Content analysis
4.  A before-after implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in hospitalized veterans 
Background
Although most hospitalized smokers receive some form of cessation counseling during hospitalization, few receive outpatient cessation counseling and/or pharmacotherapy following discharge, which are key factors associated with long-term cessation. US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are challenged to find resources to implement and maintain the kind of high intensity cessation programs that have been shown to be effective in research studies. Few studies have applied the Chronic Care Model (CCM) to improve inpatient smoking cessation.
Specific objectives
The primary objective of this protocol is to determine the effect of a nurse-initiated intervention, which couples low-intensity inpatient counseling with sustained proactive telephone counseling, on smoking abstinence in hospitalized patients. Key secondary aims are to determine the impact of the intervention on staff nurses' attitudes toward providing smoking cessation counseling; to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in VA hospitals; and to determine the short-term cost-effectiveness of implementing the intervention.
Design
Pre-post study design in four VA hospitals
Participants
Hospitalized patients, aged 18 or older, who smoke at least one cigarette per day.
Intervention
The intervention will include: nurse training in delivery of bedside cessation counseling, electronic medical record tools (to streamline nursing assessment and documentation, to facilitate prescription of pharmacotherapy), computerized referral of motivated inpatients for proactive telephone counseling, and use of internal nursing facilitators to provide coaching to staff nurses practicing in non-critical care inpatient units.
Outcomes
The primary endpoint is seven-day point prevalence abstinence at six months following hospital admission and prolonged abstinence after a one-month grace period. To compare abstinence rates during the intervention and baseline periods, we will use random effects logistic regression models, which take the clustered nature of the data within nurses and hospitals into account. We will assess attitudes of staff nurses toward cessation counseling by questionnaire and will identify barriers and facilitators to implementation by using clinician focus groups. To determine the short-term incremental cost per quitter from the perspective of the VA health care system, we will calculate cessation-related costs incurred during the initial hospitalization and six-month follow-up period.
Trial number
NCT00816036
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-4-58
PMCID: PMC2753631  PMID: 19744339
5.  Factors influencing the implementation of a lifestyle counseling program in patients with venous leg ulcers: a multiple case study 
Background
Implementation of lifestyle interventions in patient care is a major challenge. Understanding factors that influence implementation is a first step in programs to enhance uptake of these interventions. A lifestyle-counseling intervention, Lively Legs, delivered by trained nurses, can effectively improve the lifestyle in patients with venous leg ulcers. The aim of this study was to identify factors that hindered or facilitated implementation of this intervention in outpatient dermatology clinics and in home care.
Methods
A mixed-methods multiple case study in five purposefully selected healthcare settings in the Netherlands was conducted. Measurements to identify influencing factors before and after implementation of Lively Legs included interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and nurses’ registration. Analyses focused on qualitative data as the main data source. All data were compared across multiple cases to draw conclusions from the study as a whole.
Results
A total of 53 patients enrolled in the Lively Legs program, which was delivered by 12 trained nurses. Barriers for implementation were mainly organizational. It was difficult to effectively organize reaching and recruiting patients for the program, especially in home care. Main barriers were a lack of a standardized healthcare delivery process, insufficient nursing time, and a lack of motivated nurses to deliver the program. Facilitating factors were nurse-driven coordination of care and a standardized care process to tie Lively Legs into, as this resulted in better patient recruitment and better program implementation.
Conclusions
This study identified a range of factors influencing the implementation of a lifestyle-counseling program, mainly related to the organization of healthcare. Using a case study method proved valuable in obtaining insight into influencing factors for implementation. This study also shed light on a more general issue, which is that leg ulcer care is often fragmented, indicating that quality improvement is needed.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-104
PMCID: PMC3520793  PMID: 23101504
Lifestyle; Varicose ulcer; Venous leg ulcers; Implementation; Case study
6.  Community-Based Care for Chronic Wound Management 
Executive Summary
In August 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) presented a vignette to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) on a proposed targeted health care delivery model for chronic care. The proposed model was defined as multidisciplinary, ambulatory, community-based care that bridged the gap between primary and tertiary care, and was intended for individuals with a chronic disease who were at risk of a hospital admission or emergency department visit. The goals of this care model were thought to include: the prevention of emergency department visits, a reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, facilitation of earlier hospital discharge, a reduction or delay in long-term care admissions, and an improvement in mortality and other disease-specific patient outcomes.
OHTAC approved the development of an evidence-based assessment to determine the effectiveness of specialized community based care for the management of heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and chronic wounds.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site at: www.health.gov.on.ca/ohtas to review the following reports associated with the Specialized Multidisciplinary Community-Based care series.
Specialized multidisciplinary community-based care series: a summary of evidence-based analyses
Community-based care for the specialized management of heart failure: an evidence-based analysis
Community-based care for chronic wound management: an evidence-based analysis
Please note that the evidence-based analysis of specialized community-based care for the management of diabetes titled: “Community-based care for the management of type 2 diabetes: an evidence-based analysis” has been published as part of the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform at this URL: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/ohtas/tech_diabetes_20091020.html
Please visit the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative Web site at: http://theta.utoronto.ca/papers/MAS_CHF_Clinics_Report.pdf to review the following economic project associated with this series:
Community-based Care for the specialized management of heart failure: a cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based review is to determine the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary wound care team for the management of chronic wounds.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Chronic wounds develop from various aetiologies including pressure, diabetes, venous pathology, and surgery. A pressure ulcer is defined as a localized injury to the skin/and or underlying tissue occurring most often over a bony prominence and caused, alone or in combination, by pressure, shear, or friction. Up to three fifths of venous leg ulcers are due to venous aetiology.
Approximately 1.5 million Ontarians will sustain a pressure ulcer, 111,000 will develop a diabetic foot ulcer, and between 80,000 and 130,000 will develop a venous leg ulcer. Up to 65% of those afflicted by chronic leg ulcers report experiencing decreased quality of life, restricted mobility, anxiety, depression, and/or severe or continuous pain.
Multidisciplinary Wound Care Teams
The term ‘multidisciplinary’ refers to multiple disciplines on a team and ‘interdisciplinary’ to such a team functioning in a coordinated and collaborative manner. There is general consensus that a group of multidisciplinary professionals is necessary for optimum specialist management of chronic wounds stemming from all aetiologies. However, there is little evidence to guide the decision of which professionals might be needed form an optimal wound care team.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on July 7, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, Wiley Cochrane, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment, and on July 13, 2009 using the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies pertaining to leg and foot ulcers. A similar literature search was conducted on July 29’ 2009 for studies pertaining to pressure ulcers. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trials and Controlled clinical Trials (CCT)
Systematic review with meta analysis
Population includes persons with pressure ulcers (anywhere) and/or leg and foot ulcers
The intervention includes a multidisciplinary (two or more disciplines) wound care team.
The control group does not receive care by a wound care team
Studies published in the English language between 2004 and 2009
Exclusion Criteria
Single centre retrospective observational studies
Outcomes of Interest
Proportion of persons and/or wounds completely healed
Time to complete healing
Quality of Life
Pain assessment
Summary of Findings
Two studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, one a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the other a CCT using a before and after study design. There was variation in the setting, composition of the wound care team, outcome measures, and follow up periods between the studies. In both studies, however, the wound care team members received training in wound care management and followed a wound care management protocol.
In the RCT, Vu et al. reported a non-significant difference between the proportion of wounds healed in 6 months using a univariate analysis (61.7% for treatment vs. 52.5% for control; p=0.074, RR=1.19) There was also a non-significant difference in the mean time to healing in days (82 for treatment vs. 101 for control; p=0.095). More persons in the intervention group had a Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) score equal to zero (better pain control) at 6 months when compared with the control group (38.6% for intervention vs. 24.4% for control; p=0.017, RR=1.58). By multivariate analysis a statistically significant hazard ratio was reported in the intervention group (1.73, 95% CI 1.20-1.50; p=0.003).
In the CCT, Harrison et al. reported a statistically significant difference in healing rates between the pre (control) and post (intervention) phases of the study. Of patients in the pre phase, 23% had healed ulcers 3 months after study enrolment, whereas 56% were healed in the post phase (P<0.001, OR=4.17) (Figure 3). Furthermore, 27% of patients were treated daily or more often in the pre phase whereas only 6% were treated at this frequency in the post phase (P<0.001), equal to a 34% relative risk reduction in frequency of daily treatments. The authors did not report the results of pain relief assessment.
The body of evidence was assessed using the GRADE methodology for 4 outcomes: proportion of wounds healed, proportion of persons with healed wounds, wound associated pain relief, and proportion of persons needing daily wound treatments. In general, the evidence was found to be low to very low quality.
Conclusion
The evidence supports that managing chronic wounds with a multidisciplinary wound care team significantly increases wound healing and reduces the severity of wound-associated pain and the required daily wound treatments compared to persons not managed by a wound care team. The quality of evidence supporting these outcomes is low to very low meaning that further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.
PMCID: PMC3377537  PMID: 23074522
7.  Multiple Intravenous Infusions Phase 1b 
Background
Minimal research has been conducted into the potential patient safety issues related to administering multiple intravenous (IV) infusions to a single patient. Previous research has highlighted that there are a number of related safety risks. In Phase 1a of this study, an analysis of 2 national incident-reporting databases (Institute for Safe Medical Practices Canada and United States Food and Drug Administration MAUDE) found that a high percentage of incidents associated with the administration of multiple IV infusions resulted in patient harm.
Objectives
The primary objectives of Phase 1b of this study were to identify safety issues with the potential to cause patient harm stemming from the administration of multiple IV infusions; and to identify how nurses are being educated on key principles required to safely administer multiple IV infusions.
Data Sources and Review Methods
A field study was conducted at 12 hospital clinical units (sites) across Ontario, and telephone interviews were conducted with program coordinators or instructors from both the Ontario baccalaureate nursing degree programs and the Ontario postgraduate Critical Care Nursing Certificate programs. Data were analyzed using Rasmussen’s 1997 Risk Management Framework and a Health Care Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.
Results
Twenty-two primary patient safety issues were identified with the potential to directly cause patient harm. Seventeen of these (critical issues) were categorized into 6 themes. A cause-consequence tree was established to outline all possible contributing factors for each critical issue. Clinical recommendations were identified for immediate distribution to, and implementation by, Ontario hospitals. Future investigation efforts were planned for Phase 2 of the study.
Limitations
This exploratory field study identifies the potential for errors, but does not describe the direct observation of such errors, except in a few cases where errors were observed. Not all issues are known in advance, and the frequency of errors is too low to be observed in the time allotted and with the limited sample of observations.
Conclusions
The administration of multiple IV infusions to a single patient is a complex task with many potential associated patient safety risks. Improvements to infusion and infusion-related technology, education standards, clinical best practice guidelines, hospital policies, and unit work practices are required to reduce the risk potential. This report makes several recommendations to Ontario hospitals so that they can develop an awareness of the issues highlighted in this report and minimize some of the risks. Further investigation of mitigating strategies is required and will be undertaken in Phase 2 of this research.
Plain Language Summary
Patients, particularly in critical care environments, often require multiple intravenous (IV) medications via large volumetric or syringe infusion pumps. The infusion of multiple IV medications is not without risk; unintended errors during these complex procedures have resulted in patient harm. However, the range of associated risks and the factors contributing to these risks are not well understood.
Health Quality Ontario’s Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee commissioned the Health Technology Safety Research Team at the University Health Network to conduct a multi-phase study to identify and mitigate the risks associated with multiple IV infusions. Some of the questions addressed by the team were as follows: What is needed to reduce the risk of errors for individuals who are receiving a lot of medications? What strategies work best?
The initial report, Multiple Intravenous Infusions Phase 1a: Situation Scan Summary Report, summarizes the interim findings based on a literature review, an incident database review, and a technology scan.
The Health Technology Safety Research Team worked in close collaboration with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada on an exploratory study to understand the risks associated with multiple IV infusions and the degree to which nurses are educated to help mitigate them. The current report, Multiple Intravenous Infusions Phase 1b: Practice and Training Scan, presents the findings of a field study of 12 hospital clinical units across Ontario, as well as 13 interviews with educators from baccalaureate-level nursing degree programs and postgraduate Critical Care Nursing Certificate programs. It makes 9 recommendations that emphasize best practices for the administration of multiple IV infusions and pertain to secondary infusions, line identification, line set-up and removal, and administering IV bolus medications.
The Health Technology Safety Research Team has also produced an associated report for hospitals entitled Mitigating the Risks Associated With Multiple IV Infusions: Recommendations Based on a Field Study of Twelve Ontario Hospitals, which highlights the 9 interim recommendations and provides a brief rationale for each one.
PMCID: PMC3377572  PMID: 23074426
8.  International partnerships in telehealth: healthcare, industry and education 
Project background
In 2010 an internationally renowned American healthcare organisation partnered with Irish industry and higher education in Waterford with the goal to expand their telehealth services. Combining the skills and expertise of Nurse Consultants, Nurse Educators, IT Specialists and Healthcare Executives, these collaborative partnerships led to the delivery of telehealth services to North America from an Irish base, and to the development of new European telehealth programmes and telehealth training in Ireland. The telehealth service includes the provision of telephone triage, health information and advice, disease management and hospital discharge programmes to clients in Ireland, the UK and the USA. Telehealth nursing is an evolving specialty that requires the development of competence in key areas of information and communication technologies, assessment, triage and critical thinking in clinical decision-making within an environment where distance separates the nurse from the client.
Aims and objectives
The aim of this paper is to report on the development, implementation and evaluation of the telehealth service with a focus on the telephone triage and advice service and the hospital discharge programmes. Objectives of this paper include describing this telehealth initiative with reference to the changing nature of global healthcare provision; discuss the educational strategy and accredited programme for training competent telehealth nurses; report the results of the evaluation of nurse performance in telephone triage and present the data relating to the impact of hospital discharge programmes on patient satisfaction and readmission rates.
Methods and results
The evaluation of the telehealth training programme was undertaken six months post initial training and service commencement. One hundred triage and health information calls were reviewed, against best practice standards and programme learning outcomes, during a four-month period. Quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrates evidence of learning transfer from training to practice and the development of nurse competence from advanced beginner to levels of proficiency will be presented. The hospital discharge programmes have undergone continuous monitoring and reporting since commencement. This has enabled the collection of evidence that supports this brief telephone intervention as a method of reducing hopsital re-admissions and increasing patient satisfcation. Quantitative results will be presented and analysed in relation to the impact on patient satisfaction and readmission rates for patients discharged from cardiovascular, renal and digestive disease services.
Conclusions
This project has demonstrated the effectiveness of partnerships in healthcare, industry and education in achieving the development, implementation and evaluation of international telehealth services. Initial education, training and ongoing support and development of nurses is essential for quality telehealth provision. Weekly call review, constructive feedback and reflection on practice are effective strategies for performance assurance and improvement. As a growing element of integrated healthcare, telehealth modules should be included in pre and post-registration nursing education curricula. Further collaboration between industry, healthcare and education are necessary in moving the telehealth agenda forward for the benefit of integrating services that impact positively on service users.
PMCID: PMC3571125
telephone triage; hospital discharge programmes; partnerships
9.  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Non-Healing Ulcers in Diabetes Mellitus 
Executive Summary
Objective
To examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat people with diabetes mellitus (DM) and non-healing ulcers. This policy appraisal systematically reviews the published literature in the above patient population, and applies the results and conclusions of the review to current health care practices in Ontario, Canada.
Although HBOT is an insured service in Ontario, the costs for the technical provision of this technology are not covered publicly outside the hospital setting. Moreover, access to this treatment is limited, because many hospitals do not offer it, or are not expanding capacity to meet the demand.
Clinical Need
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by an increase in blood sugar that can lead to many severe conditions such as vision, cardiac, and vascular disorders. The prevalence of DM is difficult to estimate, because some people who have the condition are undiagnosed or may not be captured through data that reflect access to the health care system. The Canadian Diabetic Association estimates there are about 2 million people in Canada with diabetes (almost 7% of the population). According to recent data, the prevalence of DM increased from 4.72% of the population aged 20 years and over in 1995, to 6.19% of the population aged 20 years and over in 1999, or about 680,900 people in 1999. Prevalence estimates expanded to 700,000 in 2003.
About 10% to 15% of people with DM develop a foot wound in their lifetimes because of underlying peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. This equals between 70,000 and 105,000 people in Ontario, based on the DM prevalence estimate of 700,000 people. Without early treatment, a foot ulcer may fester until it becomes infected and chronic. Chronic wounds are difficult to heal, despite medical and nursing care, and may lead to impaired quality of life and functioning, amputation, or even death.
The Technology
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been in use for about 40 years. It is thought to aid wound healing by supplying oxygen to the wound. According to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Association, HBOT acts as a bactericidal, stops toxin production, and promotes tissue growth to heal difficult wounds.
During the procedure, a patient is placed in a compression chamber with increased pressure between 2.0 and 2.5 atmospheres absolute for 60 to 120 minutes, once or twice daily. In the chamber, the patient inhales 100% oxygen. Treatment usually runs for 15 to 20 sessions.
Noted complications are rare but may include claustrophobia; ear, sinus, or lung damage due to pressure; temporary worsening of short sightedness; and oxygen poisoning. Careful monitoring during the treatment sessions and follow-up by a trained health care provider is recommended.
Review Strategy
The aims of this health technology policy appraisal were to assess the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of HBOT, either alone, or as an adjunct, compared with the standard treatments for non-healing foot or leg ulcers in patients with DM. The following questions were asked:
Alone or as an adjunct therapy, is HBOT more effective than other therapies for non-healing foot or leg ulcers in patients with DM?
If HBOT is effective, what is the incremental benefit over and above currently used strategies?
When is the best time in a wound treatment strategy to use HBOT?
What is the best treatment algorithm with HBOT?
The Medical Advisory Secretariat searched for health technology assessments in the published and grey literature. The search yielded 4 reports, which were published from 2000 to 2005. The most recent from the Cochrane Collaboration had a literature review and analysis of randomized control trials to 2003.
As an update to this review, as per the standard Medical Advisory Secretariat systematic review strategy, the abstracts of peer-reviewed publications were identified using Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, MEDLINE in-process and not-yet-indexed citations, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane CENTRAL, and INAHTA using key words and searching from January 1, 2003 to 2004.
The criteria for inclusion were as follows:
Patients with diabetes
Live human study
English-language study
HBOT as adjunctive therapy or alone
Randomized control trial
The number of excluded studies included the following:
2 animal studies
13 focus on condition other than DM
8 review/protocol for HBOT use
3 HBOT not focus of report
2 health technology assessments (2)
1 non-RCT
Outcomes of interest were wound healing and prevention of amputation.
The search yielded 29 articles published between 2003 and 2004. All 29 of these were excluded, as shown beside the exclusion criteria above. Therefore, this health technology policy assessment focused exclusively on the most recently published health technology assessments and systematic reviews.
Summary of Findings
Four health technology assessments and reviews were found. Cochrane Collaboration researchers published the most recent review in 2005. They included only randomized controlled trials and conducted a meta-analysis to examine wound healing and amputation outcomes. They found that, based on findings from 118 patients in 3 studies, HBOT may help to prevent major amputation (relative risk, 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13–0.71) with a number needed to treat (NNT) of 4 (95% CI, 3–11). They noted, however, that the point estimates derived from trials were not well reported, and had varying populations with respect to wound severity, HBOT regimens, and outcome measures. These noted limitations rendered the comparison of results from the trials difficult. Further, they suggested that the evidence was not strong enough to suggest a benefit for wound healing in general or for prevention of minor amputations.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat also evaluated the studies that the Cochrane Collaboration used in their analysis, and agreed with their evaluation that the quality of the evidence was low for major and minor amputations, but low to moderate for wound healing, suggesting that the results from new and well-conducted studies would likely change the estimates calculated by Cochrane and others.
Conclusions
In 2003, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommended a more coordinated strategy for wound care in Ontario to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. This strategy has begun at the community care and long-term care institution levels, but is pending in other areas of the health care system.
There are about 700,000 people in Ontario with diabetes; of these, 10% to 15% may have a foot ulcer sometime in their lifetimes. Foot ulcers are treatable, however, when they are identified, diagnosed and treated early according to best practice guidelines. Routine follow-up for people with diabetes who may be at risk for neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease may prevent subsequent foot ulcers. There are 4 chambers that provide HBOT in Ontario. Fewer than 20 people with DM received HBOT in 2003.
The quality of the evidence assessing the effectiveness of HBOT as an adjunct to standard therapy for people with non-healing diabetic foot ulcers is low, and the results are inconsistent. The results of a recent meta-analysis that found benefit of HBOT to prevent amputation are therefore uncertain. Future well-conducted studies may change the currently published estimates of effectiveness for wound healing and prevention of amputation using HBOT in the treatment of non-healing diabetic foot ulcers.
Although HBOT is an insured service in Ontario, a well conducted, randomized controlled trial that has wound healing and amputation as the primary end-points is needed before this technology is used widely among patients with foot wounds due to diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3382405  PMID: 23074462
10.  A mixed methods pilot study with a cluster randomized control trial to evaluate the impact of a leadership intervention on guideline implementation in home care nursing 
Background
Foot ulcers are a significant problem for people with diabetes. Comprehensive assessments of risk factors associated with diabetic foot ulcer are recommended in clinical guidelines to decrease complications such as prolonged healing, gangrene and amputations, and to promote effective management. However, the translation of clinical guidelines into nursing practice remains fragmented and inconsistent, and a recent homecare chart audit showed less than half the recommended risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers were assessed, and peripheral neuropathy (the most significant predictor of complications) was not assessed at all.
Strong leadership is consistently described as significant to successfully transfer guidelines into practice. Limited research exists however regarding which leadership behaviours facilitate and support implementation in nursing.
The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate the impact of a leadership intervention in community nursing on implementing recommendations from a clinical guideline on the nursing assessment and management of diabetic foot ulcers.
Methods
Two phase mixed methods design is proposed (ISRCTN 12345678). Phase I: Descriptive qualitative to understand barriers to implementing the guideline recommendations, and to inform the intervention. Phase II: Matched pair cluster randomized controlled trial (n = 4 centers) will evaluate differences in outcomes between two implementation strategies. Primary outcome: Nursing assessments of client risk factors, a composite score of 8 items based on Diabetes/Foot Ulcer guideline recommendations.
Intervention: In addition to the organization's 'usual' implementation strategy, a 12 week leadership strategy will be offered to managerial and clinical leaders consisting of: a) printed materials, b) one day interactive workshop to develop a leadership action plan tailored to barriers to support implementation; c) three post-workshop teleconferences.
Discussion
This study will provide vital information on which leadership strategies are well received to facilitate and support guideline implementation. The anticipated outcomes will provide information to assist with effective management of foot ulcers for people with diabetes.
By tracking clinical outcomes associated with guideline implementation, health care administrators will be better informed to influence organizational and policy decision-making to support evidence-based quality care. Findings will be useful to inform the design of future multi-centered trials on various clinical topics to enhance knowledge translation for positive outcomes.
Trial Registration
Current Control Trials ISRCTN06910890
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-51
PMCID: PMC2631597  PMID: 19077199
11.  Evaluation of Magnet Journey to Nursing Excellence Program in Russia and Armenia 
Objective
To provide an outcomes-evaluation of an intervention to strengthen professional nursing practice in Russian and Armenian hospitals.
Design
The Nursing Quality Improvement Initiative using Forces of Magnetism to develop professional nurse practice was implemented in four hospitals in Russia and Armenia. Cross-sectional survey data were collected at two time points from 840 nurses in wave 1 and 859 nurses in wave 2. Comparisons were undertaken between targeted units in each hospital compared to non-targeted units, and each hospital served as its own control in surveys that took place in year one and three of the demonstration.
Methods
Descriptive information on the nurse samples were derived from survey items. Changes in characteristics of nurse practice environments, nurse-reported patient care quality, and nurse burnout in Russia and Armenia, overall and separately for targeted and non targeted units, were tested using chi-square statistics and difference of means tests.
Findings
Practice environment features, such as nurses’ involvement in hospital affairs, better collegial relationships with physicians, more support for nursing care from administration, and continuity of nursing care improved after the intervention. Resource adequacy indicators did not change over the demonstration period. There were favorable changes in indicators of patient care quality, though differences in changes in targeted and non-targeted units were equivocal.
Conclusions
Changes consistent with evolving professional nursing practice were associated with program implementation. Forces of Magnetism appear to have the same potential for transforming nursing practice in countries with fewer resources as in wealthier Western countries.
Clinical Relevance
Magnet Recognition, an evidence-based best practice for improving the nursing care environment developed in Western countries was feasible to implement in countries with transitioning economies, limited resources, and truncated professional nursing education.
doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01268.x
PMCID: PMC2700955  PMID: 19538701
Magnet; Nursing Quality Improvement; Nurse Practice Environment
12.  A Multifaceted Intervention to Implement Guidelines and Improve Admission Paediatric Care in Kenyan District Hospitals: A Cluster Randomised Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001018.
Philip Ayieko and colleagues report the outcomes of a cluster-randomized trial carried out in eight Kenyan district hospitals evaluating the effects of a complex intervention involving improved training and supervision for clinicians. They found a higher performance of hospitals assigned to the complex intervention on a variety of process of care measures, as compared to those receiving the control intervention.
Background
In developing countries referral of severely ill children from primary care to district hospitals is common, but hospital care is often of poor quality. However, strategies to change multiple paediatric care practices in rural hospitals have rarely been evaluated.
Methods and Findings
This cluster randomized trial was conducted in eight rural Kenyan district hospitals, four of which were randomly assigned to a full intervention aimed at improving quality of clinical care (evidence-based guidelines, training, job aides, local facilitation, supervision, and face-to-face feedback; n = 4) and the remaining four to control intervention (guidelines, didactic training, job aides, and written feedback; n = 4). Prespecified structure, process, and outcome indicators were measured at baseline and during three and five 6-monthly surveys in control and intervention hospitals, respectively. Primary outcomes were process of care measures, assessed at 18 months postbaseline.
In both groups performance improved from baseline. Completion of admission assessment tasks was higher in intervention sites at 18 months (mean = 0.94 versus 0.65, adjusted difference 0.54 [95% confidence interval 0.05–0.29]). Uptake of guideline recommended therapeutic practices was also higher within intervention hospitals: adoption of once daily gentamicin (89.2% versus 74.4%; 17.1% [8.04%–26.1%]); loading dose quinine (91.9% versus 66.7%, 26.3% [−3.66% to 56.3%]); and adequate prescriptions of intravenous fluids for severe dehydration (67.2% versus 40.6%; 29.9% [10.9%–48.9%]). The proportion of children receiving inappropriate doses of drugs in intervention hospitals was lower (quinine dose >40 mg/kg/day; 1.0% versus 7.5%; −6.5% [−12.9% to 0.20%]), and inadequate gentamicin dose (2.2% versus 9.0%; −6.8% [−11.9% to −1.6%]).
Conclusions
Specific efforts are needed to improve hospital care in developing countries. A full, multifaceted intervention was associated with greater changes in practice spanning multiple, high mortality conditions in rural Kenyan hospitals than a partial intervention, providing one model for bridging the evidence to practice gap and improving admission care in similar settings.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN42996612
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2008, nearly 10 million children died in early childhood. Nearly all these deaths were in low- and middle-income countries—half were in Africa. In Kenya, for example, 74 out every 1,000 children born died before they reached their fifth birthday. About half of all childhood (pediatric) deaths in developing countries are caused by pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. Deaths from these common diseases could be prevented if all sick children had access to quality health care in the community (“primary” health care provided by health centers, pharmacists, family doctors, and traditional healers) and in district hospitals (“secondary” health care). Unfortunately, primary health care facilities in developing countries often lack essential diagnostic capabilities and drugs, and pediatric hospital care is frequently inadequate with many deaths occurring soon after admission. Consequently, in 1996, as part of global efforts to reduce childhood illnesses and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) introduced the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy. This approach to child health focuses on the well-being of the whole child and aims to improve the case management skills of health care staff at all levels, health systems, and family and community health practices.
Why Was This Study Done?
The implementation of IMCI has been evaluated at the primary health care level, but its implementation in district hospitals has not been evaluated. So, for example, interventions designed to encourage the routine use of WHO disease-specific guidelines in rural pediatric hospitals have not been tested. In this cluster randomized trial, the researchers develop and test a multifaceted intervention designed to improve the implementation of treatment guidelines and admission pediatric care in district hospitals in Kenya. In a cluster randomized trial, groups of patients rather than individual patients are randomly assigned to receive alternative interventions and the outcomes in different “clusters” of patients are compared. In this trial, each cluster is a district hospital.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned eight Kenyan district hospitals to the “full” or “control” intervention, interventions that differed in intensity but that both included more strategies to promote implementation of best practice than are usually applied in Kenyan rural hospitals. The full intervention included provision of clinical practice guidelines and training in their use, six-monthly survey-based hospital assessments followed by face-to-face feedback of survey findings, 5.5 days training for health care workers, provision of job aids such as structured pediatric admission records, external supervision, and the identification of a local facilitator to promote guideline use and to provide on-site problem solving. The control intervention included the provision of clinical practice guidelines (without training in their use) and job aids, six-monthly surveys with written feedback, and a 1.5-day lecture-based seminar to explain the guidelines. The researchers compared the implementation of various processes of care (activities of patients and doctors undertaken to ensure delivery of care) in the intervention and control hospitals at baseline and 18 months later. The performance of both groups of hospitals improved during the trial but more markedly in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals. At 18 months, the completion of admission assessment tasks and the uptake of guideline-recommended clinical practices were both higher in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals. Moreover, a lower proportion of children received inappropriate doses of drugs such as quinine for malaria in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific efforts are needed to improve pediatric care in rural Kenya and suggest that interventions that include more approaches to changing clinical practice may be more effective than interventions that include fewer approaches. These findings are limited by certain aspects of the trial design, such as the small number of participating hospitals, and may not be generalizable to other hospitals in Kenya or to hospitals in other developing countries. Thus, although these findings seem to suggest that efforts to implement and scale up improved secondary pediatric health care will need to include more than the production and dissemination of printed materials, further research including trials or evaluation of test programs are necessary before widespread adoption of any multifaceted approach (which will need to be tailored to local conditions and available resources) can be contemplated.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001018.
WHO provides information on efforts to reduce global child mortality and on Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI); the WHO pocket book “Hospital care for children contains guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources (available in several languages)
UNICEF also provides information on efforts to reduce child mortality and detailed statistics on child mortality
The iDOC Africa Web site, which is dedicated to improving the delivery of hospital care for children and newborns in Africa, provides links to the clinical guidelines and other resources used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001018
PMCID: PMC3071366  PMID: 21483712
13.  The design of the SAFE or SORRY? study: a cluster randomised trial on the development and testing of an evidence based inpatient safety program for the prevention of adverse events 
Background
Patients in hospitals and nursing homes are at risk of the development of, often preventable, adverse events (AEs), which threaten patient safety. Guidelines for prevention of many types of AEs are available, however, compliance with these guidelines appears to be lacking. Besides general barriers that inhibit implementation, this non-compliance is associated with the large number of guidelines competing for attention. As implementation of a guideline is time-consuming, it is difficult for organisations to implement all available guidelines. Another problem is lack of feedback about performance using quality indicators of guideline based care and lack of a recognisable, unambiguous system for implementation. A program that allows organisations to implement multiple guidelines simultaneously may facilitate guideline use and thus improve patient safety.
The aim of this study is to develop and test such an integral patient safety program that addresses several AEs simultaneously in hospitals and nursing homes. This paper reports the design of this study.
Methods and design
The patient safety program addresses three AEs: pressure ulcers, falls and urinary tract infections. It consists of bundles and outcome and process indicators based on the existing evidence based guidelines. In addition it includes a multifaceted tailored implementation strategy: education, patient involvement, and a computerized registration and feedback system. The patient safety program was tested in a cluster randomised trial on ten hospital wards and ten nursing home wards. The baseline period was three months followed by the implementation of the patient safety program for fourteen months. Subsequently the follow-up period was nine months. Primary outcome measure was the incidence of AEs on every ward. Secondary outcome measures were the utilization of preventive interventions and the knowledge of nurses regarding the three topics. Randomisation took place on ward level. The results will be analysed separately for hospitals and nursing homes.
Discussion
Major challenges were the development of the patient safety program including a digital registration and feedback system and the implementation of the patient safety program.
Trial registration
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ID [NCT00365430]
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-58
PMCID: PMC2675519  PMID: 19338655
14.  Effect of a Community-Based Nursing Intervention on Mortality in Chronically Ill Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001265.
Kenneth Coburn and colleagues report findings from a randomized trial evaluating the effects of a complex nursing intervention on mortality risk among older individuals diagnosed with chronic health conditions.
Background
Improving the health of chronically ill older adults is a major challenge facing modern health care systems. A community-based nursing intervention developed by Health Quality Partners (HQP) was one of 15 different models of care coordination tested in randomized controlled trials within the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD), a national US study. Evaluation of the HQP program began in 2002. The study reported here was designed to evaluate the survival impact of the HQP program versus usual care up to five years post-enrollment.
Methods and Findings
HQP enrolled 1,736 adults aged 65 and over, with one or more eligible chronic conditions (coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia) during the first six years of the study. The intervention group (n = 873) was offered a comprehensive, integrated, and tightly managed system of care coordination, disease management, and preventive services provided by community-based nurse care managers working collaboratively with primary care providers. The control group (n = 863) received usual care. Overall, a 25% lower relative risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.75 [95% CI 0.57–1.00], p = 0.047) was observed among intervention participants with 86 (9.9%) deaths in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) deaths in the control group during a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. When covariates for sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use were included, the adjusted HR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.55–0.98, p = 0.033). Subgroup analyses did not demonstrate statistically significant interaction effects for any subgroup. No suspected program-related adverse events were identified.
Conclusions
The HQP model of community-based nurse care management appeared to reduce all-cause mortality in chronically ill older adults. Limitations of the study are that few low-income and non-white individuals were enrolled and implementation was in a single geographic region of the US. Additional research to confirm these findings and determine the model's scalability and generalizability is warranted.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01071967
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In almost every country in the world, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group because of increased life expectancy. This demographic change has several implications for public health, especially as older age is a risk factor for many chronic diseases—diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing almost two-thirds of all deaths. Therefore in most countries, the challenge of managing increasingly ageing populations who have chronic illnesses demands an urgent response and countries such as the United States are actively researching possible solutions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies suggest that innovations in chronic disease management that are led by nurses may help address the epidemic of chronic diseases by increasing the quality and reducing the cost of care. However, to date, reports of the evaluation of such interventions lack rigor and do not provide evidence of improved long-term health outcomes or reduced health care costs. So in this study, the researchers used the gold standard of research, a randomized controlled trial, to examine the impact of a community-based nurse care management model for older adults with chronic illnesses in the United States as part of a series of studies supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited eligible patients aged 65 years and over with heart failure, coronary heart disease, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia who received traditional Medicare—a fee for service insurance scheme in which beneficiaries can choose to receive their care from any Medicare provider—from participating primary care practices in Pennsylvania. The researchers then categorized patients according to their risk on the basis of several factors including the number of chronic diseases each individual had before randomizing patients to receive usual care or the nurse-led intervention. The intervention included an individualized plan comprising education, symptom monitoring, medication, counseling for adherence, help identifying, arranging, and monitoring community health and social service referrals in addition to group interventions such as weight loss maintenance and exercise classes. The researchers checked whether any participating patients had died by using the online Social Security Death Master File. Then the researchers used a statistical model to calculate the risk of death in both groups.
Of the 1,736 patients the researchers recruited into the trial, 873 were randomized to receive the intervention and 863 were in the control group (usual care). The researchers found that 86 (9.9%) participants in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) participants in the control group died during the study period, representing a 25% lower relative risk of death among the intervention group. However, when the researchers considered other factors, such as sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use in their statistical model, this risk was slightly altered—0.73 risk of death in the intervention group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that that community-based nurse care management is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality among older adults with chronic illnesses who are beneficiaries of the fee for service Medicare scheme in the United States. These findings also support the important role of nurses in improving health outcomes in this group of patients and show the feasibility of implementing this program in collaboration with primary care practices. Future research is needed to test the adaptability, scalability, and generalizability of this model of care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001265.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Arlene Bierman
Information about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is available
The World Health Organization provides statistics on the prevalence of both chronic illness and ageing
Heath Quality Partners provide information about the study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001265
PMCID: PMC3398966  PMID: 22815653
15.  Effect of an Educational Toolkit on Quality of Care: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001588.
In a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial, Baiju Shah and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of printed educational materials for clinician education focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Printed educational materials for clinician education are one of the most commonly used approaches for quality improvement. The objective of this pragmatic cluster randomized trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational toolkit focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Methods and Findings
All 933,789 people aged ≥40 years with diagnosed diabetes in Ontario, Canada were studied using population-level administrative databases, with additional clinical outcome data collected from a random sample of 1,592 high risk patients. Family practices were randomly assigned to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or May 2010 (control group). The primary outcome in the administrative data study, death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, occurred in 11,736 (2.5%) patients in the intervention group and 11,536 (2.5%) in the control group (p = 0.77). The primary outcome in the clinical data study, use of a statin, occurred in 700 (88.1%) patients in the intervention group and 725 (90.1%) in the control group (p = 0.26). Pre-specified secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control, were also not improved by the intervention. A limitation is the high baseline rate of statin prescribing in this population.
Conclusions
The educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Despite being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, printed educational materials were not effective. The study highlights the need for a rigorous and scientifically based approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Trial Registration
http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01411865 and NCT01026688
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Clinical practice guidelines help health care providers deliver the best care to patients by combining all the evidence on disease management into specific recommendations for care. However, the implementation of evidence-based guidelines is often far from perfect. Take the example of diabetes. This common chronic disease, which is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood, impairs the quality of life of patients and shortens life expectancy by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (conditions that affect the heart and circulation) and other life-threatening conditions. Patients need complex care to manage the multiple risk factors (high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high levels of fat in the blood) that are associated with the long-term complications of diabetes, and they need to be regularly screened and treated for these complications. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes provide recommendations on screening and diagnosis, drug treatment, and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, and on helping patients self-manage their disease. Unfortunately, the care delivered to patients with diabetes frequently fails to meet the standards laid down in these guidelines.
Why Was This Study Done?
How can guideline adherence and the quality of care provided to patients be improved? A common approach is to send printed educational materials to clinicians. For example, when the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) updated its clinical practice guidelines in 2008, it mailed educational toolkits that contained brochures and other printed materials targeting key themes from the guidelines to family physicians. In this pragmatic cluster randomized trial, the researchers investigate the effect of the CDA educational toolkit that targeted cardiovascular disease screening and treatment on the quality of care of people with diabetes. A pragmatic trial asks whether an intervention works under real-life conditions and whether it works in terms that matter to the patient; a cluster randomized trial randomly assigns groups of people to receive alternative interventions and compares outcomes in the differently treated “clusters.”
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned family practices in Ontario, Canada to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or in May 2010 (control group). They examined outcomes between July 2009 and April 2010 in all patients with diabetes in Ontario aged over 40 years (933,789 people) using population-level administrative data. In Canada, administrative databases record the personal details of people registered with provincial health plans, information on hospital visits and prescriptions, and physician service claims for consultations, assessments, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. They also examined clinical outcome data from a random sample of 1,592 patients at high risk of cardiovascular complications. In the administrative data study, death or non-fatal heart attack (the primary outcome) occurred in about 11,500 patients in both the intervention and control group. In the clinical data study, the primary outcome―use of a statin to lower blood fat levels―occurred in about 700 patients in both study groups. Secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control were also not improved by the intervention. Indeed, in the administrative data study, some processes of care outcomes related to screening for heart disease were statistically significantly worse in the intervention group than in the control group, and in the clinical data study, fewer patients in the intervention group reached blood pressure targets than in the control group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the CDA cardiovascular diseases educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Indeed, the toolkit may have led to worsening in some secondary outcomes although, because numerous secondary outcomes were examined, this may be a chance finding. Limitations of the study include its length, which may have been too short to see an effect of the intervention on clinical outcomes, and the possibility of a ceiling effect—the control group in the clinical data study generally had good care, which left little room for improvement of the quality of care in the intervention group. Overall, however, these findings suggest that printed educational materials may not be an effective way to improve the quality of care for patients with diabetes and other complex conditions and highlight the need for a rigorous, scientific approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including some personal stories) for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes, the commonest form of diabetes
The Canadian Diabetes Association also provides information about diabetes for patients (including some personal stories about living with diabetes) and health care professionals; its latest clinical practice guidelines are available on its website
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides general information about clinical guidelines and about health care quality standards in the UK
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aims to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans (information in English and Spanish); the US National Guideline Clearinghouse is a searchable database of clinical practice guidelines
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about diabetes for patients and health care professionals, along with international statistics on the burden of diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588
PMCID: PMC3913553  PMID: 24505216
16.  Education and implementing evidence-based nursing practice for diabetic patients 
Background:
Foot ulceration is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes that needs to be managed. In Iran, prevalence of diabetes foot ulcer is 3%. According to studies, evidence-based nursing (EBN) is an effective alternative to facilitate clinical decision making in patient care and may lead to quality improvement in nursing practice. The aims of this study are to assess the effects of EBN education on the knowledge, attitude, and practice of nurses who take care of patient with diabetes foot ulcer.
Materials and Methods:
A quasi-experimental study (based on IOWA model as a framework to improve nursing practice) was conducted using a before-and-after design. All of nurses (consisted of 19 baccalaureate nurses) who are working in an endocrinology ward were chosen and taught using EBN approach through different workshops. Before and after educational intervention, the data about nurses’ knowledge, attitude, and practice were gathered by questionnaire and then compared. The nurses’ performance in patient care was evaluated in 3 months by one checklist. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results:
There were statistically significant differences in knowledge, attitude, and practice of nurses before and after intervention (P = 0.001). The nurses’ performance in caring for patient with diabetes foot ulcer, based on clinical guideline, showed the improvement in clinical practice.
Conclusion:
Education of EBN can improve the nurse's knowledge and attitude to EBN, and be used as a basis on which to influence the professional practice of nursing.
PMCID: PMC3748547  PMID: 23983764
Clinical nursing; diabetes foot ulcer; evidence-based nursing practice; IOWA model of evidence based practice; Iran
17.  Knowledge of thromboprophylaxis guidelines pre- and post-didactic lectures during a venous thromboembolism awareness day at a tertiary-care hospital 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(3):165-169.
BACKGROUND:
Didactic lectures are frequently used to improve compliance with practice guidelines. This study assessed the knowledge of health-care providers (HCPs) at a tertiary-care hospital of its evidence-based thromboprophylaxis guidelines and the impact of didactic lectures on their knowledge.
METHODS:
The hospital launched a multifaceted approach to improve thromboprophylaxis practices, which included posters, a pocket-size guidelines summary and didactic lectures during the annual thromboprophylaxis awareness days. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to HCPs before and after lectures on thromboprophylaxis guidelines (June 2010). The questionnaire, formulated and validated by two physicians, two nurses and a clinical pharmacist, covered various subjects such as risk stratification, anticoagulant dosing and the choice of anticoagulants in specific clinical situations.
RESULTS:
Seventy-two and 63 HCPs submitted the pre- and post-test, respectively (62% physicians, 28% nurses, from different clinical disciplines). The mean scores were 7.8 ± 2.1 (median = 8.0, range = 2-12, maximum possible score = 15) for the pre-test and 8.4 ± 1.8 for the post-test, P = 0.053. There was no significant difference in the pre-test scores of nurses and physicians (7.9 ± 1.7 and 8.2 ± 2.4, respectively, P = 0.67). For the 35 HCPs who completed the pre- and post-tests, their scores were 7.7 ± 1.7 and 8.8 ± 1.6, respectively, P = 0.003. Knowledge of appropriate anticoagulant administration in specific clinical situations was frequently inadequate, with approximately two-thirds of participants failing to adjust low-molecular-weight heparin doses in patients with renal failure.
CONCLUSIONS:
Education via didactic lectures resulted in a modest improvement of HCPs′ knowledge of thromboprophylaxis guidelines. This supports the need for a multifaceted approach to improve the awareness and implementation of thromboprophylaxis guidelines.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.114298
PMCID: PMC3731859  PMID: 23922612
Clinical practice guidelines; continuing medical education; health knowledge; practice guidelines; questionnaires; venous thromboembolism
18.  Tobacco cessation Clinical Practice Guideline use by rural and urban hospital nurses: a pre-implementation needs assessment 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:6.
Background
This study was a pre-program evaluation of hospital-based nurses' tobacco intervention beliefs, confidence, training, practice, and perceived intervention barriers and facilitators. It was designed to identify relevant information prior to implementing tobacco cessation guidelines across a large northern rural region, home to 1 urban and 12 rural hospitals.
Methods
This cross-sectional survey was distributed by nurse managers to nurses in the 13 hospitals and returned by nurses (N = 269) via mail to the researchers.
Results
Nurses were somewhat confident providing cessation interventions, agreed they should educate patients about tobacco, and 94% perceived tobacco counselling as part of their role. Although only 11% had received cessation training, the majority reported intervening, even if seldom--91% asked about tobacco-use, 96% advised quitting, 89% assessed readiness to quit, 88% assisted with quitting, and 61% arranged post-discharge follow-up. Few performed any of these steps frequently, and among those who intervened, the majority spent < 10 minutes. The most frequently performed activities tended to take the least amount of time, while the more complex activities (e.g., teaching coping skills and pharmacotherapy education) were seldom performed. Patient-related factors (quitting benefits and motivation) encouraged nurses to intervene and work-related factors discouraged them (time and workloads). There were significant rural-urban differences--more rural nurses perceived intervening as part of their role, reported having more systems in place to support cessation, reported higher confidence for intervening, and more frequently assisted patients with quitting and arranged follow-up.
Conclusions
The findings showed nurses' willingness to engage in tobacco interventions. What the majority were doing maps onto the recommended minimum of 1-3 minutes but intervention frequency and follow-up were suboptimal. The rural-urban differences suggest a need for more research to explore the strengths of rural practice which could potentially inform approaches to smoking cessation in urban hospitals.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-11-6
PMCID: PMC3384473  PMID: 22545579
19.  Development and implementation of a performance improvement project in adult intensive care units: overview of the Improving Medicine Through Pathway Assessment of Critical Therapy in Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (IMPACT-HAP) study 
Critical Care  2011;15(1):R38.
Introduction
In 2005 the American Thoracic Society and Infectious Diseases Society of America (ATS/IDSA) published guidelines for managing hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and healthcare-associated pneumonia (HCAP). Although recommendations were evidence based, collective guidelines had not been validated in clinical practice and did not provide specific tools for local implementation. We initiated a performance improvement project designated Improving Medicine Through Pathway Assessment of Critical Therapy in Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (IMPACT-HAP) at four academic centers in the United States. Our objectives were to develop and implement the project, and to assess compliance with quality indicators in adults admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) with HAP, VAP, or HCAP.
Methods
The project was conducted in three phases over 18 consecutive months beginning 1 February 2006: 1) a three-month planning period for literature review to create the consensus pathway for managing nosocomial pneumonia in these ICUs, a data collection form, quality performance indicators, and internet-based repository; 2) a six-month implementation period for customizing ATS/IDSA guidelines into center-specific guidelines via educational forums; and 3) a nine-month post-implementation period for continuing education and data collection. Data from the first two phases were combined (pre-implementation period) and compared with data from the post-implementation period.
Results
We developed a consensus pathway based on ATS/IDSA guidelines and customized it at the local level to accommodate formulary and microbiologic considerations. We implemented multimodal educational activities to teach ICU staff about the guidelines and continued education throughout post-implementation. We registered 432 patients (pre- vs post-implementation, 274 vs 158). Diagnostic criteria for nosocomial pneumonia were more likely to be met during post-implementation (247/257 (96.1%) vs 150/151 (99.3%); P = 0.06). Similarly, empiric antibiotics were more likely to be compliant with ATS/IDSA guidelines during post-implementation (79/257 (30.7%) vs 66/151 (43.7%); P = 0.01), an effect that was sustained over quarterly intervals (P = 0.0008). Between-period differences in compliance with obtaining cultures and use of de-escalation were not statistically significant.
Conclusions
Developing a multi-center performance improvement project to operationalize ATS/IDSA guidelines for HAP, VAP, and HCAP is feasible with local consensus pathway directives for implementation and with quality indicators for monitoring compliance with guidelines.
doi:10.1186/cc9988
PMCID: PMC3222076  PMID: 21266065
20.  Implementing nurse-initiated and managed antiretroviral treatment (NIMART) in South Africa: a qualitative process evaluation of the STRETCH trial 
Background
Task-shifting is promoted widely as a mechanism for expanding antiretroviral treatment (ART) access. However, the evidence for nurse-initiated and managed ART (NIMART) in Africa is limited, and little is known about the key barriers and enablers to implementing NIMART programmes on a large scale. The STRETCH (Streamlining Tasks and Roles to Expand Treatment and Care for HIV) programme was a complex educational and organisational intervention implemented in the Free State Province of South Africa to enable nurses providing primary HIV/AIDS care to expand their roles and include aspects of care and treatment usually provided by physicians. STRETCH used a phased implementation approach and ART treatment guidelines tailored specifically to nurses. The effects of STRETCH on pre-ART mortality, ART provision, and the quality of HIV/ART care were evaluated through a randomised controlled trial. This study was conducted alongside the trial to develop a contextualised understanding of factors affecting the implementation of the programme.
Methods
This study was a qualitative process evaluation using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with patients, health workers, health managers, and other key informants as well as observation in clinics. Research questions focused on perceptions of STRETCH, changes in health provider roles, attitudes and patient relationships, and impact of the implementation context on trial outcomes. Data were analysed collaboratively by the research team using thematic analysis.
Results
NIMART appears to be highly acceptable among nurses, patients, and physicians. Managers and nurses expressed confidence in their ability to deliver ART successfully. This confidence developed slowly and unevenly, through a phased and well-supported approach that guided nurses through training, re-prescription, and initiation. The research also shows that NIMART changes the working and referral relationships between health staff, demands significant training and support, and faces workload and capacity constraints, and logistical and infrastructural challenges.
Conclusions
Large-scale NIMART appears to be feasible and acceptable in the primary level public sector health services in South Africa. Successful implementation requires a comprehensive approach with: an incremental and well supported approach to implementation; clinical guidelines tailored to nurses; and significant health services reorganisation to accommodate the knock-on effects of shifts in practice.
Trial registration
ISRCTN46836853
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-66
PMCID: PMC3464669  PMID: 22800379
Antiretroviral treatment; NIMART; South Africa; Primary healthcare; Nurse training; Process evaluation; PALSA PLUS
21.  Barriers to the implementation of practice guidelines in managing patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding: A qualitative approach 
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE:
Guidelines for the management of patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB) are inconsistently applied by health care providers, potentially resulting in suboptimal care and patient outcomes. A needs assessment was performed to assess health care providers’ barriers to the implementation of these guidelines in Canada.
METHODS:
Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted by trained research personnel with 22 selectively sampled health care professionals actively treating and managing NVUGIB patients, including emergency room physicians (ER), intensivists (ICU), gastroenterologists (GI), gastroenterology nurses and hospital administrators. Participants were chosen from a representative sample of six Canadian community- and academic-based hospitals that participated in a national Canadian audit on the management of NVUGIB.
RESULTS:
Participants reported substantive gaps in the implementation of NVUGIB guidelines that included the following: lack of knowledge of the specifics of the NVUGIB guidelines (ER, ICU, nurses); limited belief in the value of guidelines, especially in areas where evidence is lacking (ER, ICU); limited belief in the value of available tools to support implementation of guidelines (GI); lack of knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of health care professions and disciplines, and lack of effective collaboration skills (ER, ICU and GI); variability of knowledge and skills of health care professionals within professions (eg, variability of nurses’ knowledge and skills in endoscopic procedures); and perceived overuse of intravenous proton pump inhibitor treatment, with limited concern regarding cost or side effect implications (all participants).
CONCLUSIONS:
In the present study population, ER, ICU and nurses did not adhere to NVUGIB guidelines because they were neither aware of nor familiar with them, whereas the GI lack of adherence to NVUGIB guidelines was influenced more by attitudinal and contextual barriers. These findings can guide the design of multifaceted educational and behavioural interventions when attempting to effectively disseminate existing guidelines, and for guideline implementation into practice.
PMCID: PMC2886569  PMID: 20485702
Acid suppressive therapy; Drug therapy; Endoscopy; Gastric; Peptic; Proton pump inhibitors; Stomach
22.  Quality Improvement Implementation in the Nursing Home 
Health Services Research  2003;38(1 Pt 1):65-83.
Objective
To examine quality improvement (QI) implementation in nursing homes, its association with organizational culture, and its effects on pressure ulcer care.
Data Sources/Study Settings
Primary data were collected from staff at 35 nursing homes maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on measures related to QI implementation and organizational culture. These data were combined with information obtained from abstractions of medical records and analyses of an existing database.
Study Design
A cross-sectional analysis of the association among the different measures was performed.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Completed surveys containing information on QI implementation, organizational culture, employee satisfaction, and perceived adoption of guidelines were obtained from 1,065 nursing home staff. Adherence to best practices related to pressure ulcer prevention was abstracted from medical records. Risk-adjusted rates of pressure ulcer development were calculated from an administrative database.
Principal Findings
Nursing homes differed significantly (p<.001) in their extent of QI implementation with scores on this 1 to 5 scale ranging from 2.98 to 4.08. Quality improvement implementation was greater in those nursing homes with an organizational culture that emphasizes innovation and teamwork. Employees of nursing homes with a greater degree of QI implementation were more satisfied with their jobs (a 1-point increase in QI score was associated with a 0.83 increase on the 5-point satisfaction scale, p<.001) and were more likely to report adoption of pressure ulcer clinical guidelines (a 1-point increase in QI score was associated with a 28 percent increase in number of staff reporting adoption, p<.001). No significant association was found, though, between QI implementation and either adherence to guideline recommendations as abstracted from records or the rate of pressure ulcer development.
Conclusions
Quality improvement implementation is most likely to be successful in those VA nursing homes with an underlying culture that promotes innovation. While QI implementation may result in staff who are more satisfied with their jobs and who believe they are providing better care, associations with improved care are uncertain.
doi:10.1111/1475-6773.00105
PMCID: PMC1360874  PMID: 12650381
Quality improvement; quality of care; nursing homes; decubitus ulcers
23.  Nurse-led motivational interviewing to change the lifestyle of patients with type 2 diabetes (MILD-project): protocol for a cluster, randomized, controlled trial on implementing lifestyle recommendations 
Background
The diabetes of many patients is managed in general practice; healthcare providers aim to promote healthful behaviors, such as healthful diet, adequate physical activity, and smoking cessation. These measures may decrease insulin resistance, improve glycemic control, lipid abnormalities, and hypertension. They may also prevent cardiovascular disease and complications of diabetes. However, professionals do not adhere optimally to guidelines for lifestyle counseling. Motivational interviewing to change the lifestyle of patients with type 2 diabetes is intended to improve diabetes care in accordance with the national guidelines for lifestyle counseling. Primary care nurses will be trained in motivational interviewing embedded in structured care in general practice. The aim of this paper is to describe the design and methods of a study evaluating the effects of the nurses' training on patient outcomes.
Methods/Design
A cluster, randomized, controlled trial involving 70 general practices (35 practices in the intervention arm and 35 in the control arm) starting in March 2007. A total of 700 patients with type 2 diabetes will be recruited. The patients in the intervention arm will receive care from the primary care nurse, who will receive training in an implementation strategy with motivational interviewing as the core component. Other components of this strategy will be adaptation of the diabetes protocol to local circumstances, introduction of a social map for lifestyle support, and educational and supportive tools for sustaining motivational interviewing. The control arm will be encouraged to maintain usual care. The effect measures will be the care process, metabolic parameters (glycosylated hemoglobin, blood pressure and lipids), lifestyle (diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol), health-related quality of life, and patients' willingness to change behaviors. The measurements will take place at baseline and after 14 months.
Discussion
Applying motivational interviewing for patients with diabetes in primary care has been studied, but to our knowledge, no other study has yet evaluated the implementation and sustainability of motivating and involving patients in day-to-day diabetes care in general practice. If this intervention proves to be effective and cost-effective, large-scale implementation of this nurse-oriented intervention will be considered and anticipated.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN68707773.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-19
PMCID: PMC2646713  PMID: 19183462
24.  Building capacity for antiretroviral delivery in South Africa: A qualitative evaluation of the PALSA PLUS nurse training programme 
Background
South Africa recently launched a national antiretroviral treatment programme. This has created an urgent need for nurse-training in antiretroviral treatment (ART) delivery. The PALSA PLUS programme provides guidelines and training for primary health care (PHC) nurses in the management of adult lung diseases and HIV/AIDS, including ART. A process evaluation was undertaken to document the training, explore perceptions regarding the value of the training, and compare the PALSA PLUS training approach (used at intervention sites) with the provincial training model. The evaluation was conducted alongside a randomized controlled trial measuring the effects of the PALSA PLUS nurse-training (Trial reference number ISRCTN24820584).
Methods
Qualitative methods were utilized, including participant observation of training sessions, focus group discussions and interviews. Data were analyzed thematically.
Results
Nurse uptake of PALSA PLUS training, with regard not only to ART specific components but also lung health, was high. The ongoing on-site training of all PHC nurses, as opposed to the once-off centralized training provided for ART nurses only at non-intervention clinics, enhanced nurses' experience of support for their work by allowing, not only for ongoing experiential learning, supervision and emotional support, but also for the ongoing managerial review of all those infrastructural and system-level changes required to facilitate health provider behaviour change and guideline implementation. The training of all PHC nurses in PALSA PLUS guideline use, as opposed to ART nurses only, was also perceived to better facilitate the integration of AIDS care within the clinic context.
Conclusion
PALSA PLUS training successfully engaged all PHC nurses in a comprehensive approach to a range of illnesses affecting both HIV positive and negative patients. PHC nurse-training for integrated systems-based interventions should be prioritized on the ART funding agenda. Training for individual provider behaviour change is nonetheless only one aspect of the ongoing system-wide interventions required to effect lasting improvements in patient care in the context of an over-burdened and under-resourced PHC system.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-240
PMCID: PMC2613903  PMID: 19017394
25.  Pressure ulcer prevention knowledge among Jordanian nurses: a cross- sectional study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13:6.
Background
Pressure ulcer remains a significant problem in the healthcare system. In addition to the suffering it causes patients, it bears a growing financial burden. Although pressure ulcer prevention and care have improved in recent years, pressure ulcer still exists and occurs in both hospital and community settings. In Jordan, there are a handful of studies on pressure ulcer. This study aims to explore levels of knowledge and knowledge sources about pressure ulcer prevention, as well as barriers to implementing pressure ulcer prevention guidelines among Jordanian nurses.
Methods
Using a cross-sectional study design and a self-administered questionnaire, data was collected from 194 baccalaureate and master’s level staff nurses working in eight Jordanian hospitals. From September to October of 2011, their knowledge levels about pressure ulcer prevention and the sources of this knowledge were assessed, along with the barriers which reduce successful pressure ulcer care and prevention.
ANOVA and t-test analysis were used to test the differences in nurses’ knowledge according to participants’ characteristics. Means, standard deviation, and frequencies were used to describe nurses’ knowledge levels, knowledge sources, and barriers to pressure ulcer prevention.
Results
The majority (73%, n = 141) of nurses had inadequate knowledge about pressure ulcer prevention. The mean scores of the test for all participants was 10.84 out of 26 (SD = 2.3, range = 5–17), with the lowest score in themes related to PU etiology, preventive measures to reduce amount of pressure/shear, and risk assessment. In-service training was the second source of education on pressure ulcer, coming after university training. Shortage of staff and lack of time were the most frequently cited barriers to carrying out pressure ulcer risk assessment, documentation, and prevention.
Conclusions
This study highlights concerns about Jordanian nurses’ knowledge of pressure ulcer prevention. The results of the current study showed inadequate knowledge among Jordanian nurses about pressure ulcer prevention based on National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel guidelines. Also, the low level of nurses’ pressure ulcer knowledge suggests poor dissemination of pressure ulcer knowledge in Jordan, a suggestion supported by the lack of relationship between years of experience and pressure ulcer knowledge.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-13-6
PMCID: PMC3946597  PMID: 24565372
Pressure ulcer; Knowledge; Sources; Barriers; Nurses; Jordan

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