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.
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).
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.
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.
The clinical pathway is a tool that operationalizes best evidence recommendations and clinical practice guidelines in an accessible format for ‘point of care’ management by multidisciplinary health teams in hospital settings. While high-quality, expert-developed clinical pathways have many potential benefits, their impact has been limited by variable implementation strategies and suboptimal research designs. Best strategies for implementing pathways into hospital settings remain unknown. This study will seek to develop and comprehensively evaluate best strategies for effective local implementation of externally developed expert clinical pathways.
We will develop a theory-based and knowledge user-informed intervention strategy to implement two pediatric clinical pathways: asthma and gastroenteritis. Using a balanced incomplete block design, we will randomize 16 community emergency departments to receive the intervention for one clinical pathway and serve as control for the alternate clinical pathway, thus conducting two cluster randomized controlled trials to evaluate this implementation intervention. A minimization procedure will be used to randomize sites. Intervention sites will receive a tailored strategy to support full clinical pathway implementation. We will evaluate implementation strategy effectiveness through measurement of relevant process and clinical outcomes. The primary process outcome will be the presence of an appropriately completed clinical pathway on the chart for relevant patients. Primary clinical outcomes for each clinical pathway include the following: Asthma—the proportion of asthmatic patients treated appropriately with corticosteroids in the emergency department and at discharge; and Gastroenteritis—the proportion of relevant patients appropriately treated with oral rehydration therapy. Data sources include chart audits, administrative databases, environmental scans, and qualitative interviews. We will also conduct an overall process evaluation to assess the implementation strategy and an economic analysis to evaluate implementation costs and benefits.
This study will contribute to the body of evidence supporting effective strategies for clinical pathway implementation, and ultimately reducing the research to practice gaps by operationalizing best evidence care recommendations through effective use of clinical pathways.
Clinical pathways; Key interventions; Intervention strategy; Pediatric emergency care; Theory-based strategy; Process outcomes; Clinical outcomes
Background—The need for quality improvement and increasing concern about the costs and appropriateness of health care has led to the implementation of quality systems in healthcare organisations. In addition, nursing homes have made significant investments in their development. The effects of the implementation of quality systems on health related outcomes are not yet clear.
Objective—To examine evidence in the literature on whether quality systems have an impact on the care process and the satisfaction and health outcomes of long term care residents.
Methods—Review of the literature.
Results—The 21 empirical studies identified concerned quality system activities such as the implementation of guidelines; providing feedback on outcomes; assessment of the needs of residents by means of care planning, internal audits and tuition; and an ombudsman for residents. Only four articles described controlled studies. The selected articles were grouped according to five focal areas of quality. The opinion of residents was seldom used to evaluate the effectiveness of quality systems. The effects on care processes and the health outcomes of long term care residents were inconsistent, but there was some evidence from the controlled studies that specific training and guidelines can influence the outcomes at the patient level.
Conclusions—The design of most of the studies meant that it was not possible to attribute the results entirely to the newly implemented quality system. As it is difficult in practice to design a randomised controlled study, future research into the effectiveness of quality systems should not only focus on selected correlates of quality, but should also include a qualitative and quantitative (multivariate and multilevel) approach. The methods used to measure quality need to be improved.
Key Words: quality measurement; long term care; nursing homes; effectiveness
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.
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: ClinicalTrials.gov ID [NCT00365430]
Sepsis, an inflammatory response to an infection that may lead to severe organ dysfunction and death, is the leading cause of death in medical intensive care units. The Society of Critical Care Medicine has issued guidelines and promoted protocols to improve the management of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Generally, the medical community has been slow to adopt these guidelines because of the system challenges associated with protocol implementation. We describe an interdisciplinary team approach to the development and implementation of management protocols for treating patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
To determine the effectiveness of the bundled emergency department and critical care order sets developed by the Sepsis Steering Committee, we performed a case review of 1,105 sequential patients admitted to a large academic tertiary referral hospital with a diagnosis of severe sepsis or septic shock between July 2008 and January 2012.
Implementation of the protocol led to improved order set use over time, a significant decrease in the median time to antibiotics of 140 (range 1-820) minutes in 2008 to 72 (range 1-1,020) minutes in 2011 (P≤0.001), and a decrease in median length of stay from 8 days (range 1-54) in 2008 to 7 days (range 1-33) in 2011 (P=0.036).
A multidisciplinary team approach to sepsis management using protocols and early goal-directed therapy is feasible in a large academic medical center to improve the process of care and outcomes.
Quality improvement; sepsis; shock–septic
Rationale and Aim:
There is a lack of evidence about how to successfully implement standardized nursing care plans (SNCP) in various settings. The aim of this study was to use the “Promotion Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework” (PARIHS) to explore important factors and conditions at hospital wards that had implemented SNCPs.
We employed a retrospective, cross-sectional design and recruited nurses from four units at a rural hospital and seven units at a university hospital in the western and southern region of Sweden where SNCPs had been implemented. Outcome was measured by means of a questionnaire based on the PARIHS-model.
In total, 137 nurses participated in the study. The main factors that had motivated the nurses to implement SNCPs were that they were easy to understand and follow as well as corresponding to organisational norms. The SNCPs were normally based on clinical experience, although research more frequently formed the basis of the SNCPs at the university hospital. Internal facilitators acted as important educators, who provided reminders to use the SNCP and feedback to the SNCP users. The patient experience was not considered valuable. Those who claimed that the implementation was successful were generally more positive in all measurable aspects. The use of SNCPs was rarely evaluated.
Clinical experience was considered important by the nurses, while they attributed little value to the patient experiences. Successful implementation of research based SNCPs requires internal facilitators with knowledge of evidence-based nursing.
Implementation; standardized nursing care plans; PARIHS; questionnaire.
Pay-for-performance (P4P) initiatives attempt to drive quality of care by aligning desired care processes and outcomes with reimbursement. P4P schemes have emerged at a time of great concern about safety and quality in health care and in the face of a growing nurse shortage. This article discusses the state of the literature linking structures for providing nursing care, measures of process heavily favored in P4P initiatives, and patient outcomes and outlines how P4P is expected to affect nursing practice. It also presents directions for managing practice settings to cope with P4P and for steering nursing’s involvement in this area of health policy. As implementation broadens, it remains to be seen whether unintended consequences emerge or whether nurses are successful in using the programs and the data sets that result from them to justify investments in nursing services and solidify the profession’s position.
pay for performance; P4P; nurse staffing; nurse practice environments; quality improvement
Translating guidelines into nursing practice remains a considerable challenge. Until now, little attention has been paid to which interventions are used in practice to implement guidelines on changing clinical nursing practice. This cross-sectional study determined the current ranges and rates of implementation-related interventions in Austria, Germany, and The Netherlands and explored possible differences between these countries. An online questionnaire based on the conceptual framework of implementation interventions (professional, organizational, financial, and regulatory) from the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care (EPOC) data collection checklist was used to gather data from nursing homes and hospitals. Provision of written materials is the most frequently used professional implementation intervention (85%), whereas changes in the patient record system rank foremost among organisational interventions (78%). Financial incentives for nurses are rarely used. More interventions were used in Austria and Germany than in The Netherlands (20.3/20.2/17.3). Professional interventions are used more frequently in Germany and financial interventions more frequently in The Netherlands. Implementation efforts focus mainly on professional and organisational interventions. Nurse managers and other responsible personnel should direct their focus to a broader array of implementation interventions using the four different categories of EPOC's conceptual framework.
Practice guidelines suggest that all patients hospitalised with community‐acquired pneumonia (CAP) should receive antibiotics within 4 h of admission. An audit at our hospital during 1999–2000 showed that this target was achieved in less than two thirds of patients with severe CAP.
An experienced multidisciplinary steering group designed a management pathway to improve the early delivery of appropriate antibiotics to patients with CAP. This was implemented using a multifaceted strategy. The effect of implementation was evaluated using a controlled before‐and‐after study design over two winter seasons (November–April 2001–2 and 2002–3). Cost‐effectiveness analyses were performed from the hospital's perspective.
The proportion of patients receiving appropriate antibiotics within 4 h of admission to hospital increased from 33% to 56% at the intervention site, and from 32% to 36% at the control site (absolute change adjusted for differences in severity of illness 17%, p = 0.035). The cost per additional patient receiving appropriate antibiotics within 4 h was £132 with no post‐implementation evaluation, and £456 for a limited post‐implementation evaluation. Simple modelling from the results of a large observational study suggests that the cost per death prevented could be £3003 with no post‐implementation evaluation, or £16 632 with a limited post‐implementation evaluation.
The intervention markedly improved door‐to‐antibiotic time, albeit at considerable cost. It might still be a cost‐effective strategy, however, to reduce mortality in CAP. Uncertainty about the cost effectiveness of such interventions is likely to be resolved only by a well‐designed, cluster randomised trial.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Acid suppressive therapy; Drug therapy; Endoscopy; Gastric; Peptic; Proton pump inhibitors; Stomach
Although teamwork is known to optimise good health care, organisational arrangements and funding models can foster, discourage, or preclude functional teamworking. Despite a new, enhanced population-based funding system for primary care in New Zealand, bringing new opportunities for more collaborative practice, fully implemented healthcare teamwork remains elusive.
To explore perceptions of interprofessional relationships, teamwork, and collaborative patient care in New Zealand primary care practice.
Design of study
Eighteen nurses and doctors working in primary care, Wellington, New Zealand.
Data were collected using in-depth interviews with individual nurses and doctors working in primary care settings. Perceptions of, and attitudes about, interprofessional relationships, teamwork, and collaborative patient care were explored, using an interactive process of content analysis and principles of naturalistic enquiry.
Nurses and doctors working in New Zealand primary care perceive funding models that include fee-for-service, task-based components as strongly discouraging collaborative patient care. In contrast, teamwork was seen to be promoted when health services, not individual practitioners, were bulk-funded for capitated healthcare provision. In well-organised practices, where priority was placed on uninterrupted time for meetings, open communication, and interprofessional respect, good teamwork was more often observed. Salaried practices, where doctors and nurses alike were employees, were considered by some interviewees to be particularly supportive of good teamwork. Few interviewees had received, or knew of, any training to work in teams.
Health system, funding, and organisational factors still act as significant barriers to the successful implementation of, and training for, effective teamwork in New Zealand primary care settings, despite new opportunities for more collaborative ways of working.
primary health care; New Zealand; teamwork
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.
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.
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.
Current Control Trials ISRCTN06910890
Theories of behavior change indicate that an analysis of barriers to change is helpful when trying to influence professional practice. The aim of this study was to assess the perceived barriers to practice change by eliciting nurses' opinions with regard to barriers to, and facilitators of, implementation of a Fall Prevention clinical practice guideline in five acute care hospitals in Singapore.
Nurses were surveyed to identify their perceptions regarding barriers to implementation of clinical practice guidelines in their practice setting. The validated questionnaire, 'Barriers and facilitators assessment instrument', was administered to nurses (n = 1830) working in the medical, surgical, geriatric units, at five acute care hospitals in Singapore.
An 80.2% response rate was achieved. The greatest barriers to implementation of clinical practice guidelines reported included: knowledge and motivation, availability of support staff, access to facilities, health status of patients, and, education of staff and patients.
Numerous barriers to the use of the Fall Prevention Clinical Practice Guideline have been identified. This study has laid the foundation for further research into implementation of clinical practice guidelines in Singapore by identifying barriers to change in acute care settings.
Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of discussion about goals of care and a means of setting on record preferences for care of patients who may lose capacity or communication ability in the future. Implementation of ACP is widely promoted by policy makers. This study examined how community palliative care nurses in England understand ACP and their roles within ACP. It sought to identify factors surrounding community nurses' implementation of ACP and nurses' educational needs.
An action research strategy was employed. 23 community nurses from two cancer networks in England were recruited to 6 focus group discussions and three follow up workshops. Data were analysed using a constant comparison approach.
Nurses understood ACP to be an important part of practice and to have the potential to be a celebration of good nursing care. Nurses saw their roles in ACP as engaging with patients to elicit care preferences, facilitate family communication and enable a shift of care focus towards palliative care. They perceived challenges to ACP including: timing, how to effect team working in ACP, the policy focus on instructional directives which related poorly to patients' concerns; managing differences in patients' and families' views. Perceived barriers included: lack of resources; lack of public awareness about ACP; difficulties in talking about death. Nurses recommended the following to be included in education programmes: design of realistic scenarios; design of a flow chart; practical advice about communication and documentation; insights into the need for clinical supervision for ACP practice.
Nurses working in the community are centrally involved with patients with palliative care needs who may wish to set on record their views about future care and treatment. This study reveals some important areas for practice and educational development to enhance nurses' use and understanding of ACP.
The diffusion of national evidence-based practice guidelines and their impact on patient outcomes often go unmeasured.
Our objectives were to (1) evaluate implementation and compliance with clinical practices recommended in the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hand Hygiene Guideline, (2) compare rates of health care-associated infections (HAI) before and after implementation of the Guideline recommendations, and (3) examine the patterns and correlates of changes in rates of HAI. We used pre- and post-Guideline implementation site visits and surveys in the setting of 40 US hospitals—members of the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System—and measured HAI rates 1 year before and after publication of the CDC Guideline and used direct observation of hand hygiene compliance and Guideline implementation scores.
All study hospitals had changed their policies and procedures and provided products in compliance with Guideline recommendations; 89.8% of 1359 staff members surveyed anonymously reported that they were familiar with the Guideline. However, in 44.2% of the hospitals (19/40), there was no evidence of a multidisciplinary program to improve compliance. Hand hygiene rates remained low (mean, 56.6%). Rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections were significantly lower in hospitals with higher rates of hand hygiene (P < .001). No impact of Guideline implementation or hand hygiene compliance on other HAI rates was identified. Other factors occurring over time could affect rates of HAI. Observed hand hygiene compliance rates were likely to overestimate rates in actual practice. The study may have been of too short duration to detect the impact of a practice guideline.
Wide dissemination of this Guideline was not sufficient to change practice. Only some hospitals had initiated multidisciplinary programs; practice change is unlikely without such multidisciplinary efforts and explicit administrative support.
Although systems strategies are effective in improving health care delivery, little is known about their use for cancer screening in U.S. primary care practice.
We assessed primary care physicians’ (n=2475) use of systems strategies for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in a national survey conducted in 2007. Systems strategies included patient and physician screening reminders, performance reports of screening rates, electronic medical records, implementation of in-practice guidelines, and use of nurse practitioners/physician assistants. We evaluated use of both patient and physician screening reminders with other strategies in separate models by screening type, adjusted for the effects of physician and practice characteristics with multivariate logistic regression.
Fewer than 10% of physicians used a comprehensive set of systems strategies to support cancer screening; use was greater for mammography and Pap testing than for CRC screening. In adjusted analyses, performance reports of cancer screening rates, medical record type, and in-practice guidelines were associated with use of both patient and physician screening reminders for mammography, Pap testing, and CRC screening (p<0.05).
Despite evidence supporting use of systems strategies in primary care, few physicians report using a comprehensive set of strategies to support cancer screening.
Current health policy initiatives underscore the importance of increased implementation of systems strategies in primary care to improve the use and quality of cancer screening in the U.S.
The National Institute for Health and clinical Excellence (NICE) depression guideline (2004) and the updated Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) ( 2006) in general practice have introduced the concepts of screening severity assessment, for example using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), and ‘stepped care’ for depression.
To explore primary care practitioner perspectives on the clinical utility of the NICE guideline and the impact of the QOF on diagnosis and management of depression in routine practice.
Design and setting
Qualitative study using focus groups from four multidisciplinary practice teams with diverse populations in south Yorkshire.
Four focus groups were conducted, using a topic guide and audiotaping. There were 38 participants: GPs, nurses, doctors in training, mental health workers, and a manager. Data analysis was iterative and thematic.
The NICE guideline, with its embedded principles of holism and evidence-based practice, was viewed positively but its impact was compromised by resource and practitioner barriers to implementation. The perceived imposition of the screening questions and severity assessments (PHQ-9) with no responsive training had required practitioners to work hard to minimise negative impacts on their work, for example: constantly adapting consultations to tick boxes; avoiding triggering open displays of distress without the time to offer appropriate care; positively managing how their patients were labelled. Further confusion was experienced around the evolving content of psychological interventions for depression.
Organisational barriers to the implementation of the NICE guideline and the limited scope of the QOF highlight the need for policy makers to work more effectively with the complex realities of general practice in order to systematically improve the quality and delivery of ‘managed’ care for depression.
depression; primary health care; qualitative
Although the BTS-SIGN asthma guideline is one of the most well known and widely respected guidelines in the world, implementation in UK primary care remains patchy. Building on extensive earlier descriptive work, we sought to explore the way teamwork and inter-professional relationships impact on the implementation of the BTS-SIGN guideline on asthma in general practice.
Qualitative comparative case study using nine in-depth interviews and 2 focus groups with general practitioners and practice nurses, involved in delivering asthma care. Participants were purposively recruited from practices in a Scottish health board with high and low compliance with the BTS-SIGN asthma guideline.
There was a marked difference in the way respondents from practices with high compliance and respondents from practices with low compliance spoke about the value of guidelines and the challenges of implementing them. On both accounts, the former were more positive than the latter and were able to be more specific about the strategies they used to overcome barriers to implementation. We explored the reason for this difference in response and identified practice organisation, centring on delegation of work to nurses, as a factor mediating the practice's level of compliance. Effective delegation was underpinned by organisation of asthma work among practice members who have the appropriate level of skills and knowledge, know and understand each others' work and responsibilities, communicate well among themselves and trust each others' skills. It was the combination of these factors which made for successful delegation and guideline implementation, not any one factor in isolation.
In our sample of practices, teamwork and organisation of care within practices appeared to impact on guideline implementation and further larger studies are needed to explore this issue further. Isolated interventions such as measures to improve staff's knowledge or increased clinical resource and time, which are currently being considered, are unlikely to be effective unless practices are supported in developing their teams in a way which supports the deployment of these resources.
Although evidence-based guidelines are important for improving the quality of patient care, implementation in practice is below expectations. With the recent focus on team care, guidelines are intended to promote the integration of care across multiple disciplines. We conducted an exploratory study to understand oncology nurses' perceptions of guideline implementation and to learn their views on how their experiences affected the implementation.
A qualitative study was used with focus group interviews. We collected data from 11 nurses with more than 5 years of oncology nursing experience in Japan. The data were analyzed using grounded theory.
Results of the analysis identified "preconditions for successful guideline implementation" as a core category. There were 4 categories (goal congruence, equal partnership, professional self-development and user-friendliness) and 11 subcategories related to organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels.
Although the guidelines were viewed as important, they were not fully implemented in practice. There are preconditions at the organizational, multidisciplinary, individual, and guideline levels that must be met if an organization is to successfully implement the guideline in clinical settings. Prioritizing strategies by focusing on these preconditions will help to facilitate successful guideline implementation.
High quality end-of-life care in the community is achieved with effective multidisciplinary teamwork, interprofessional communication between GPs and district nurses, and early referral of patients to district nurses. These aspects of palliative care are highlighted in the Gold Standards Framework, a programme recently established in UK primary care.
To investigate the extent to which the framework influences interprofessional relationships and communication, and to compare GPs' and nurses' experiences.
Design of study
Qualitative interview case study.
Fifteen participating practices from three primary care trusts in England.
Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were undertaken with GPs, district nurses, Macmillan nurses, and framework facilitators.
Adoption of the framework often resulted in earlier referral of palliative care patients to district nurses. Multidisciplinary team meetings enabled communication for sharing knowledge, discussing management problems, and keeping colleagues informed; however, arranging and maintaining such meetings was often problematic. Nurses particularly valued formal meetings while GPs generally preferred informal ad hoc dialogue. GPs largely maintained control of the mode of multidisciplinary working. The best functioning teams used a mixture of formal and informal meetings with a relatively non-hierarchical working style.
Implementing the framework enabled processes of communication associated with high quality palliative care in general practice, but there was marked variation in how this worked in individual teams. In general, hierarchical doctor–nurse relationships persisted.
communication; interdisciplinary health care team; interprofessional relationships; primary care; palliative care
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quality improvement; quality of care; nursing homes; decubitus ulcers
The development and implementation of an evidence-based approach to health workforce planning is a necessary step to achieve access to best practice chronic disease management. In its absence, the widely reported failure in implementation of clinical best practice guidelines is almost certain to continue. This paper describes a demand model to estimate the community-based primary care health workforce consistent with the delivery of best practice chronic disease management and prevention. The model takes a geographic region as the planning frame and combines data about the health status of the regional population by disease category and stage, with best practice guidelines to estimate the clinical skill requirement or competencies for the region. The translation of the skill requirement into a service requirement can then be modelled, incorporating various assumptions about the occupation group to deliver nominated competencies. The service requirement, when compared with current service delivery, defines the gap or surplus in services. The results of the model could be used to inform service delivery as well as a workforce supply strategy.
Ongoing efforts have been made to improve the efficiency and quality of care available in ICU's at LDS Hospital. ICU's have been computerized, and patient data collection, storage and presentation have been improved. Nurse care plans and charting have been computerized, and effects of these changes have been evaluated.
Work sampling studies showed a decrease in direct patient care (49.1% to 43.2%) and an increase in nurse charting (18.2% to 24.2%) after implementation of computerized nurse charting. These changes were accounted for by a decrease in patient severity of illness.
Implementation of the computerized nurse charting system had no significant impact on daily ICU nursing activities. Time savings are not automatic, but could be realized through management practices designed to maximize benefits of the nurse charting system and to make best use of available nursing resources.
Effective maternal and perinatal audits are associated with improved quality of care and reduction of severe adverse outcome. Although audits at the level of care were formally introduced in Tanzania around 25 years ago, little information is available about their existence, performance, and practical barriers to their implementation. This study assessed the structure, process and impacts of maternal and perinatal death audit systems in clinical practice and presents a detailed account on how they could be improved.
A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in eight major hospitals in Dar es Salaam in January 2009. An in-depth interview guide was used for 29 health managers and members of the audit committees to investigate the existence, structure, process and outcome of such audits in clinical practice. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview 30 health care providers in the maternity wards to assess their awareness, attitude and practice towards audit systems. The 2007 institutional pregnancy outcome records were reviewed.
Overall hospital based maternal mortality ratio was 218/100,000 live births (range: 0 - 385) and perinatal mortality rate was 44/1000 births (range: 17 - 147). Maternal and perinatal audit systems existed only in 4 and 3 hospitals respectively, and key decision makers did not take part in audit committees. Sixty percent of care providers were not aware of even a single action which had ever been implemented in their hospitals because of audit recommendations. There were neither records of the key decision points, action plan, nor regular analysis of the audit reports in any of the facilities where such audit systems existed.
Maternal and perinatal audit systems in these institutions are poorly established in structure and process; and are less effective to improve the quality of care. Fundamental changes are urgently needed for successful audit systems in these institutions.
There is growing awareness of the role of information technology in evidence-based practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of organizational context and nurse characteristics in explaining variation in nurses’ use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile Tablet PCs for accessing evidence-based information. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) model provided the framework for studying the impact of providing nurses with PDA-supported, evidence-based practice resources, and for studying the organizational, technological, and human resource variables that impact nurses’ use patterns.
A survey design was used, involving baseline and follow-up questionnaires. The setting included 24 organizations representing three sectors: hospitals, long-term care (LTC) facilities, and community organizations (home care and public health). The sample consisted of 710 participants (response rate 58%) at Time 1, and 469 for whom both Time 1 and Time 2 follow-up data were obtained (response rate 66%). A hierarchical regression model (HLM) was used to evaluate the effect of predictors from all levels simultaneously.
The Chi square result indicated PDA users reported using their device more frequently than Tablet PC users (p = 0.001). Frequency of device use was explained by ‘breadth of device functions’ and PDA versus Tablet PC. Frequency of Best Practice Guideline use was explained by ‘willingness to implement research,’ ‘structural and electronic resources,’ ‘organizational slack time,’ ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive effects), and ‘slack staff’ (negative effect). Frequency of Nursing Plus database use was explained by ‘culture,’ ‘structural and electronic resources,’ and ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive effects), and ‘slack staff’ (negative). ‘Organizational culture’ (positive), ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive), and ‘slack staff ‘(negative) were associated with frequency of Lexi/PEPID drug dictionary use.
Access to PDAs and Tablet PCs supported nurses’ self-reported use of information resources. Several of the organizational context variables and one individual nurse variable explained variation in the frequency of information resource use.
Health information technologies; Mobile technology; Personal digital assistant; Nursing informatics; Information-seeking; Organizational context; Evidence-based practice; PARIHS model