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1.  Evaluation of health care providers’ role transition and satisfaction in hospital-at-home for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations: a survey study 
Hospital-at-home is an accepted alternative for usual hospital treatment for patients with a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbation. The introduction of hospital-at-home may lead to changes in health care providers’ roles and responsibilities. To date, the impact on providers’ roles is unknown and in addition, little is known about the satisfaction and acceptance of care providers involved in hospital-at-home.
Objective of this survey study was to investigate the role differentiation, role transitions and satisfaction of professional care providers (i.e. pulmonologists, residents, hospital respiratory nurses, generic and specialised community nurses and general practitioners) from 3 hospitals and 2 home care organisations, involved in a community-based hospital-at-home scheme. A combined multiple-choice and open-end questionnaire was administered in study participants.
Response rate was 10/17 in pulmonologists, 10/23 in residents, 9/12 in hospital respiratory nurses, 15/60 in generic community nurses, 6/10 in specialised community nurses and 25/47 in general practitioners. For between 66% and 100% of respondents the role in early discharge was clear and between 57% and 78% of respondents was satisfied with their role in early discharge. For nurses the role in early discharge was different compared to their role in usual care. 67% of generic community nurses felt they had sufficient knowledge and skills to monitor patients at home, compared to 100% of specialised community nurses. Specialised community nurses felt they should monitor patients. 60% of generic community nurses responded they should monitor patients at home. 78% of pulmonologists, 12% of general practitioners, 55% of hospital respiratory nurses and 48 of community nurses was satisfied with early discharge in general. For coordination of care 29% of community nurses had an unsatisfied response. For continuity of care this was 12% and 10% for hospital respiratory nurses and community nurses, respectively.
A community-based early assisted discharge for COPD exacerbations is possible and well accepted from the perspective of health care providers’ involved. Satisfaction with the different aspects is good and the transfer of patients in the community while supervised by generic community nurses is possible. Attention should be paid to coordination and continuity of care, especially information transfer between providers.
PMCID: PMC3849519  PMID: 24074294
Hospital-based home care services; Health personnel; Community health nursing; Health care surveys; Professional roles; Job satisfaction
2.  Early assisted discharge with generic community nursing for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations: results of a randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001684.
To determine the effectiveness of early assisted discharge for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, with home care provided by generic community nurses, compared with usual hospital care.
Prospective, randomised controlled and multicentre trial with 3-month follow-up.
Five hospitals and three home care organisations in the Netherlands.
Patients admitted to the hospital with an exacerbation of COPD. Patients with no or limited improvement of respiratory symptoms and patients with severe unstable comorbidities, social problems or those unable to visit the toilet independently were excluded.
Early discharge from hospital after 3 days inpatient treatment. Home visits by generic community nurses. Primary outcome measure was change in health status measured by the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ). Treatment failures, readmissions, mortality and change in generic health-related quality of life (HRQL) were secondary outcome measures.
139 patients were randomised. No difference between groups was found in change in CCQ score at day 7 (difference in mean change 0.29 (95% CI −0.03 to 0.61)) or at 3 months (difference in mean change 0.04 (95% CI –0.40 to 0.49)). No difference was found in secondary outcomes. At day 7 there was a significant difference in change in generic HRQL, favouring usual hospital care.
While patients’ disease-specific health status after 7-day treatment tended to be somewhat better in the usual hospital care group, the difference was small and not clinically relevant or statistically significant. After 3 months, the difference had disappeared. A significant difference in generic HRQL at the end of the treatment had disappeared after 3 months and there was no difference in treatment failures, readmissions or mortality. Early assisted discharge with community nursing is feasible and an alternative to usual hospital care for selected patients with an acute COPD exacerbation.
Trial registration: NetherlandsTrialRegister NTR 1129.
PMCID: PMC3488726  PMID: 23075570
Primary Care

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