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1.  Spreading and sustaining best practices for home care of older adults: a grounded theory study 
Improving health care quality requires effective and timely spread of innovations that support evidence-based practices. However, there is limited rigorous research on the process of spread, factors influencing spread, and models of spread. It is particularly important to study spread within the home care sector given the aging of the population, expansion of home care services internationally, the high proportion of older adult users of home care services, and the vulnerability of this group who are frail and live with multiple chronic conditions. The purpose of this study was to understand how best practices related to older adults are spread within home care organizations.
Four home care organizations in Ontario, Canada that had implemented best practices related to older adults (falls prevention, pain management, management of venous leg ulcers) participated. Using a qualitative grounded theory design, interviews were conducted with frontline providers, managers, and directors at baseline (n =44) and 1 year later (n =40). Open, axial, and selective coding and constant comparison analysis were used.
A model of the process of spread of best practices within home care organizations was developed. The phases of spread included (1) committing to change, (2) implementing on a small scale, (3) adapting locally, (4) spreading internally to multiple users and sites, and (5) disseminating externally. Factors that facilitated progression through these phases were (1) leading with passion and commitment, (2) sustaining strategies, and (3) seeing the benefits. Project leads, champions, managers, and steering committees played vital roles in leading the spread process. Strategies such as educating/coaching and evaluating and feedback were key to sustaining the change. Spread occurred within the home care context of high staff and manager turnover and time and resource constraints.
Spread of best practices is optimized through the application of the phases of spread, allocation of resources to support spread, and implementing strategies for ongoing sustainability that address potential barriers. Further research will help to understand how best practices are spread externally to other organizations.
PMCID: PMC4225037  PMID: 25377627
Spread; Practice guidelines; Home care; Older adults; Grounded theory
2.  Multicentre prospective validation of use of the Canadian C-Spine Rule by triage nurses in the emergency department 
The Canadian C-Spine Rule for imaging of the cervical spine was developed for use by physicians. We believe that nurses in the emergency department could use this rule to clinically clear the cervical spine. We prospectively evaluated the accuracy, reliability and acceptability of the Canadian C-Spine Rule when used by nurses.
We conducted this three-year prospective cohort study in six Canadian emergency departments. The study involved adult trauma patients who were alert and whose condition was stable. We provided two hours of training to 191 triage nurses. The nurses then assessed patients using the Canadian C-Spine Rule, including determination of neck tenderness and range of motion, reapplied immobilization and completed a data form.
Of the 3633 study patients, 42 (1.2%) had clinically important injuries of the cervical spine. The kappa value for interobserver assessments of 498 patients with the Canadian C-Spine Rule was 0.78. We calculated sensitivity of 100.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 91.0%–100.0%) and specificity of 43.4% (95% CI 42.0%–45.0%) for the Canadian C-Spine Rule as interpreted by the investigators. The nurses classified patients with a sensitivity of 90.2% (95% CI 76.0%–95.0%) and a specificity of 43.9% (95% CI 42.0%–46.0%). Early in the study, nurses failed to identify four cases of injury, despite the presence of clear high-risk factors. None of these patients suffered sequelae, and after retraining there were no further missed cases. We estimated that for 40.7% of patients, the cervical spine could be cleared clinically by nurses. Nurses reported discomfort in applying the Canadian C-Spine Rule in only 4.8% of cases.
Use of the Canadian C-Spine Rule by nurses was accurate, reliable and clinically acceptable. Widespread implementation by nurses throughout Canada and elsewhere would diminish patient discomfort and improve patient flow in overcrowded emergency departments.
PMCID: PMC2917929  PMID: 20457772
3.  Knowledge to Action: The Development of Training Strategies 
Healthcare Policy  2008;3(Special Issue):68-79.
This paper presents an overview of curriculum and program development activities at the four Canadian Regional Training Centres directed towards the goal of achieving increased knowledge to action. The RTCs have initiated learning opportunities to increase the skills of graduate students in conducting knowledge translation and exchange (KTE). The authors describe similar as well as unique approaches used at each centre to hone understanding and skills. RTC activities include the development of a new four-year residency program for doctoral students, new Web-based and real-time interactive theory courses and new linkages with departments of journalism. While formal evaluation is yet to be completed, interim feedback from participating graduate students has been encouraging.
PMCID: PMC2645183  PMID: 19377312
4.  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 
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.
Trial Registration
Current Control Trials ISRCTN06910890
PMCID: PMC2631597  PMID: 19077199
5.  Insights about the process and impact of implementing nursing guidelines on delivery of care in hospitals and community settings 
Little is known about the impact of implementing nursing-oriented best practice guidelines on the delivery of patient care in either hospital or community settings.
A naturalistic study with a prospective, before and after design documented the implementation of six newly developed nursing best practice guidelines (asthma, breastfeeding, delirium-dementia-depression (DDD), foot complications in diabetes, smoking cessation and venous leg ulcers). Eleven health care organisations were selected for a one-year project. At each site, clinical resource nurses (CRNs) worked with managers and a multidisciplinary steering committee to conduct an environmental scan and develop an action plan of activities (i.e. education sessions, policy review). Process and patient outcomes were assessed by chart audit (n = 681 pre-implementation, 592 post-implementation). Outcomes were also assessed for four of six topics by in-hospital/home interviews (n = 261 pre-implementation, 232 post-implementation) and follow-up telephone interviews (n = 152 pre, 121 post). Interviews were conducted with 83/95 (87%) CRN's, nurses and administrators to describe recommendations selected, strategies used and participants' perceived facilitators and barriers to guideline implementation.
While statistically significant improvements in 5% to 83% of indicators were observed in each organization, more than 80% of indicators for breastfeeding, DDD and smoking cessation did not change. Statistically significant improvements were found in > 50% of indicators for asthma (52%), diabetes foot care (83%) and venous leg ulcers (60%). Organizations with > 50% improvements reported two unique implementation strategies which included hands-on skill practice sessions for nurses and the development of new patient education materials. Key facilitators for all organizations included education sessions as well as support from champions and managers while key barriers were lack of time, workload pressure and staff resistance.
Implementation of nursing best practice guidelines can result in improved practice and patient outcomes across diverse settings yet many indicators remained unchanged. Mobilization of the nursing workforce to actively implement guidelines and to monitor the delivery of their care is important so that patients may learn about and receive recommended healthcare.
PMCID: PMC2279128  PMID: 18241349
6.  Implementing nursing best practice guidelines: Impact on patient referrals 
BMC Nursing  2007;6:4.
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.
PMCID: PMC1947981  PMID: 17598917
7.  Fetal health surveillance: a community-wide approach versus a tailored intervention for the implementation of clinical practice guidelines 
The decreased use of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) for healthy women in labour and the increased provision of professional support to all women in labour is recommended by experts. We evaluated the effectiveness of a community-wide approach to transferring research results to practice using a regional committee, newsletter articles and annual conference presentations compared with an additional tailored hospital intervention involving workshops to enhance self-efficacy for nurses, policy review, multidisciplinary meetings, rounds and unit discussions.
We compared the proportion of women at low risk who received EFM and the proportion of nurses' time spent providing labour support before and after the intervention within each of 4 hospitals (2 tertiary and 2 secondary). One hospital of either type was randomly selected to receive the tailored intervention. Randomly selected charts (n = 200) were reviewed for the use of EFM at each hospital before (1995) and after (1996) the intervention. Trained observers at randomly selected times recorded the nurses' activities, including time spent providing labour support before and after the intervention.
>At the intervention secondary hospital, there was a large decrease in the use of EFM, from 90.1% before to 41.0% after the intervention (p < 0.001), but no change in nurses' time spent providing labour support. At the intervention tertiary hospital there was no change in EFM rates, but there was a small, statistically significant increase in time spent providing labour support (23.5% to 29.8%, p < 0.001). A negative effect on time spent providing labour support was found at the control secondary hospital (decrease from 19.6% to 12.8%, p < 0.001), with no change in the EFM rate. At the control tertiary hospital there was a small decrease in the use of EFM, from 99.5% to 91.4% (p < 0.001), but no change in time spent providing labour support.
The results are mixed, and the tailored intervention thus appeared to have limited effects. No association was found between the reduction in the use of EFM and an increase in nurses' time spent providing labour support.
PMCID: PMC121963  PMID: 12240812
8.  Measuring the Effectiveness of Mentoring as a Knowledge Translation Intervention for Implementing Empirical Evidence: A Systematic Review 
Mentoring as a knowledge translation (KT) intervention uses social influence among healthcare professionals to increase use of evidence in clinical practice.
To determine the effectiveness of mentoring as a KT intervention designed to increase healthcare professionals’ use of evidence in clinical practice.
A systematic review was conducted using electronic databases (i.e., MEDLINE, CINAHL), grey literature, and hand searching. Eligible studies evaluated mentoring of healthcare professionals responsible for patient care to enhance the uptake of evidence into practice. Mentoring is defined as (a) a mentor more experienced than mentee; (b) individualized support based on mentee's needs; and (c) involved in an interpersonal relationship as indicated by mutual benefit, engagement, and commitment. Two reviewers independently screened citations for eligibility, extracted data, and appraised quality of studies. Data were analyzed descriptively.
Of 10,669 citations from 1988 to 2012, 10 studies were eligible. Mentoring as a KT intervention was evaluated in Canada, USA, and Australia. Exposure to mentoring compared to no mentoring improved some behavioral outcomes (one study). Compared to controls or other multifaceted interventions, multifaceted interventions with mentoring improved practitioners’ knowledge (four of five studies), beliefs (four of six studies), and impact on organizational outcomes (three of four studies). There were mixed findings for changes in professionals’ behaviors and impact on practitioners’ and patients’ outcomes: some outcomes improved, while others showed no difference.
Linking Evidence to Action
Only one study evaluated the effectiveness of mentoring alone as a KT intervention and showed improvement in some behavioral outcomes. The other nine studies that evaluated the effectiveness of mentoring as part of a multifaceted intervention showed mixed findings, making it difficult to determine the added effect of mentoring. Further research is needed to identify effective mentoring as a KT intervention.
PMCID: PMC4285206  PMID: 25252002
evidence-based practice; mentorship; outcome evaluation; professional issues/professional ethics/professional standards; advanced practice/advanced nursing practice; meta-analysis

Results 1-9 (9)