Health Care Administration and Organization

Collection of articles on Health Care Administration and Organization is available here.

A qualitative study exploring nursing home care environments where nurse practitioners work.
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Alexander GL, Kueakomoldej S, Congdon C, Poghosyan L.
Geriatr Nurs. 2023 Jan 13;50:44–51.
Research is needed to support the growing nurse practitioner workforce to assure higher quality care for older adults in nursing homes. Nursing homes with optimal care environments that support nurse practitioner roles, increased visibility, independence, and relationships are better positioned to support care of older adults. This study reports findings of thirteen qualitative interviews with nurse practitioners to explore facets of nursing home care environments and adapt a tool to measure care environments. Our team incorporated deductive and inductive coding to identify three major emerging themes impacting care environments: 1) nurse practitioner practice in nursing homes, 2) overall goals of practice, 3) workplace challenges. Themes were derived from seven overarching categories and 33 codes describing aspects of NH care environment important to nurse practitioners. Some of the most highly important survey items measured nurse practitioner and physician relationships. Less important items measured relationships between nurse practitioners and administration.

Struggling with the governance of interprofessional elderly care in mandated collaboratives: a qualitative study.
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Chrifou R, Stalenhoef H, Grit K, Braspenning J.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2023 Jan 11;23(1):26.
BACKGROUND: Governing interprofessional elderly care requires the commitment of many different organisations connected in mandated collaboratives. Research over a decade ago showed that the governance relied on clan-based mechanisms, while lacking formal rules and incentives for collaborations. Awareness and reflection were seen as first steps towards progression. We aim to identify critical governance features of contemporary mandated collaboratives by discussing cases introduced by the healthcare professionals and managers themselves. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews (n = 24) with two regional mandated collaboratives took place from November 2019 to November 2020 in the Netherlands to learn more about critical governance features. The interviews were thematically analysed by the project team (authors) to synthesise the results and were subsequently validated during a focus group. RESULTS: Critical governance features of interorganisational activities in mandated collaboratives include the gradual formulation of shared vision and clear client-centred goals, building trust and acquaintanceship for the advancement of an open collaborative culture, establishing a non-extreme formalised governance structure through leadership, mutual trust and innovation support and facilitating information exchange and formalisation tools for optimal elderly care. CONCLUSION: Trust and leadership form the backbone of interorganisational functioning. Interorganisational functioning should be seen in light of their national embedment and resources that are (being made) available, which makes them susceptible to constant change as they struggle with balancing between critical features in a fluid and intermingled governance context. The identified critical features of (contemporary) mandated collaboratives may aid in assessing and improving interprofessional functioning within integrated elderly care. International debate on governance expectations of mandated collaboratives may further contribute to sharpening the roles of both managers and healthcare professionals.

Quality at nursing homes with high proportion of residents with cognitive impairment.
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Goel AV, Rivera-Hernandez M.
Geriatr Nurs. 2023 Jan 13;50:65–71.
INTRODUCTION: There is limited data on staffing ratings at nursing homes (NHs) serving residents with dementia, despite staffing impacting quality of care. METHODS: Residents’ cognitive impairment status, staffing rating, and facility characteristics were obtained for 11,469 NHs, using data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Long-term Care: Facts on Care in the U.S. The association between the proportion of residents with cognitive impairment and nurse staffing rating was analyzed using multiple logistic regression in a cross-sectional study design. RESULTS: NHs with a high proportion of residents with cognitive impairment were 41% less likely to have a high staffing rating or high RN staffing rating (95% CI: 0.52-0.67) compared to NHs with a low proportion. DISCUSSION: NHs that serve a higher proportion of residents with cognitive impairment have lower staffing ratings, and this disparity is more pronounced in NHs with more minority residents. Increasing staffing levels is a necessary policy measure to improve care in these facilities.

Developing and Testing Digital Ethical Reflection in Long-Term Care: Nurses’ Experiences.
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Jakobsen L, Olsen RM, Brinchmann BS, Devik SA.
SAGE Open Nurs. 2023 Dec;9:23779608221150724.
INTRODUCTION: Nurses working in municipal long-term care face ethical challenges that can lead to moral distress and discomfort for the nurse and affect the quality of patient care. Tools and methods that contribute to increased ethical awareness and support for nurses dealing with moral issues are lacking. Technological innovations may be suitable for ethics work, but little research has been conducted on how such solutions could be designed or their potential benefit. Therefore, this study contributes knowledge about the development and testing of a digital tool for ethics support among nurses. OBJECTIVE: To investigate how digital ethical reflection can support ethics work among nurses working in long-term care. METHODS: A digital ethical reflection tool was designed and tested in nursing homes and home nursing care in collaboration with two Norwegian municipalities. The study used sequential explanatory mixed-methods design. Over a 6-week period, at the end of each shift, nurses digitally reported the ethical challenges they had experienced. Their responses and experiences were described using descriptive statistics. Additionally, focus group interviews were conducted and analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis (TA). RESULTS: During the study period, 17 nurses reported a total of 223 registrations, with 24.8% stating that they had been in an ethically difficult situation. The digital reporting was perceived as practically applicable and helped to increase nurses’ awareness of morally charged situations. The value of the registrations was found to depend on manager participation and the application of the obtained information. The participating nurses become aware that they lacked an arena for meaningful dialogue with and recognition from their manager. CONCLUSIONS: Information obtained through digital reflection can form the basis for ethical reflections at the departmental level. Digital reflection has the potential to become a tool for managers in their support for employees facing ethical challenges when providing long-term care.

Provision of eye care services and interventions in care homes: a narrative synthesis review.
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Ma N, Kalsi T, Low S, Hasan S, Banna S, Patel S.
Eur Geriatr Med. 2023 Jan 16;1–12.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of eye disease and visual impairment in care home residents is disproportionately higher compared to the general population. Access to eye care services and treatment can be variable for this vulnerable population. OBJECTIVE: This paper reviews the available evidence of services and interventions for delivering eye care to care home residents. The key review questions are: (1) What is the existing evidence for eye care interventions or services (including service configuration) for care home residents? (2) Does the provision of these interventions or services improve outcomes? METHODS: Literature search of EMBASE/MEDLINE for original papers published since 1995. Two reviewers independently reviewed abstracts/papers. Data were extracted and evaluated using narrative synthesis. RESULTS: 13 original papers met the inclusion criteria. Domiciliary optometrist services improved diagnosis and management of eye conditions, with one study showing 53% of residents benefited from direct ophthalmology intervention. Provision of interventions, such as cataract surgery, refractive error correction and low-vision rehabilitation, improved visual acuity and vision-related quality of life but did not improve cognitive or physical function, depression or health-related quality of life. There was little UK-based literature to inform eye service design or interventions to improve outcomes such as falls. CONCLUSION: Care home-based eye assessments improve the management of eye conditions. Interventions improve visual acuity and vision-related quality of life. Further research is needed to better understand current UK services, access difficulties or examples of good practice as well as to identify and test cost-effective service models for this vulnerable group.

Challenges in providing end-of-life care consistent with documented patient preferences.
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Malhotra C, Ramakrishnan C, Yue SMG.
Ann Palliat Med. 2022 Dec;11(12):3610–9.
BACKGROUND: Providing end-of-life care consistent with patient preferences is a major goal for advance care planning (ACP) programs. Despite the promise, many trials have failed to show that ACP improves patients’ likelihood of receiving end-of-life care consistent with preferences. The reasons and challenges to facilitating end-of-life (EOL) care consistent with patients’ documented ACP preferences remain unclear. Using data from Singapore’s national ACP program evaluation, we aimed to understand health care professionals’ (HCPs) perceived challenges in facilitating end-of-life care consistent with patients’ documented ACP preferences. METHODS: We conducted 21 focus group discussions and 1 in-depth interview with HCPs trained in ACP facilitation and advocacy and involved in national ACP program implementation within public hospitals, public primary care clinics and nursing homes in Singapore. Data collection was stratified based on HCPs’ role within the ACP program (ACP leads/champions, ACP facilitators, nursing home heads/ACP administrative staff) and type of institution (hospital, primary care clinic and nursing home). Each discussion included 1 to 8 participants. Discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and checked for accuracy. We analysed the data using thematic analysis framework in Nvivo 11. RESULTS: A total of 107 participants attended one of the discussions of which more than a third (35%) were physicians. We conceptualized five themes describing the challenges in implementing end-of-life care consistent with patients’ documented ACP preferences: (I) conflict between honouring preference for comfort care and extending life; (II) ACP not reflecting patients’ changing preferences or medical condition; (III) lack of health system resources to support and honour patient preferences; (IV) barriers to retrieval of ACP documents; and (V) rigidity of ACP documentation. CONCLUSIONS: Although providing end-of-life care consistent with preferences may not always be feasible, future ACP programs should involve physicians and families for ongoing conversations, frequently update patients’ ACP documents, involve clear and well-resourced plans for implementing patients’ preferences, and incorporate flexible electronic systems to capture ongoing ACP conversations.

Impact of dementia care training on nurse care managers’ interactions with family caregivers.
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Mellinger TJ, Forester BP, Vogeli C, Donelan K, Gulla J, Vetter M, et al.
BMC Geriatr. 2023 Jan 11;23(1):16.
BACKGROUND: Nurse care managers (NCM) operate through care management programs to provide care for persons living with dementia (PLWD) and interact regularly with their family caregivers; however, most do not receive formal instruction in dementia care or caregiver support. CRESCENT (CaReEcoSystem primary Care Embedded demeNtia Treatment) is a telephone-based dementia care intervention adapted from the Care EcoSystem model designed to equip NCMs with these tools. For this study, we aimed to measure intervention fidelity and understand how dementia care training impacted NCMs’ provision of dementia care management services during interactions with caregivers of PLWD. METHODS: We recruited 30 active NCMs; 15 were randomly assigned to receive training. For each nurse, we randomly selected 1-3 patients with a diagnosis of dementia in each nurse’s care during January-June 2021 for a total of 54 medical charts. To assess training uptake and fidelity, we identified documentation by NCMs of CRESCENT protocol implementation in the medical records. To understand how the training impacted the amount and types of dementia care management services provided in interactions with family caregivers, we compared attention to key dementia topic areas between trained NCMs (intervention) and untrained NCMs (control). RESULTS: Within the trained group only, community resources for PLWD, followed by safety, medication reconciliation, and advanced care planning topic areas were addressed most frequently (> 30%), while behavior management was addressed least frequently (12%). Trained NCMs were more likely to document addressing aspects of caregiver wellbeing (p = 0.03), community resources (p = 0.002), and identification of behavior (p = 0.03) and safety issues (p = 0.02) compared to those without training. There was no difference between groups in the amount of care coordination provided (p = 0.64). CONCLUSION: Results from this study demonstrate that focused dementia care training enriches care conversations in important topic areas for PLWD and family caregivers. Future research will clarify how best to sustain and optimize high quality dementia care in care management programs with special attention to the NCM-family caregiver relationship. TRIAL NUMBER: NCT04556097.