Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance

Collection of articles on Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance is available here.

Evidence for publicly reported quality indicators in residential long-term care: a systematic review.
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Osińska M, Favez L, Zúñiga F.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Nov 24;22(1):1408.
BACKGROUND: An increasing number of countries are using or planning to use quality indicators (QIs) in residential long-term care. Knowledge regarding the current state of evidence on usage and methodological soundness of publicly reported clinical indicators of quality in nursing homes is needed. The study aimed to answer the questions: 1) Which health-related QIs for residents in long-term care are currently publicly reported internationally? and 2) What is the methodological quality of these indicators? METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL and Embase in October 2019 and last updated on August 31st, 2022. Grey literature was also searched. We used the Appraisal of Indicators through Research and Evaluation (AIRE) instrument for the methodological quality assessment of the identified QIs. RESULTS: Of 23’344 identified records, 22 articles and one report describing 21 studies met the inclusion criteria. Additionally, we found 17 websites publishing information on QIs. We identified eight countries publicly reporting a total of 99 health-related QIs covering 31 themes. Each country used between six and 31 QIs. The most frequently reported indicators were pressure ulcers, falls, physical restraints, and weight loss. For most QI sets, we found basic information regarding e.g., purpose, definition of the indicators, risk-adjustment, and stakeholders’ involvement in QIs’ selection. Little up to date information was found regarding validity, reliability and discriminative power of the QIs. Only the Australian indicator set reached high methodological quality, defined as scores of 50% or higher in all four AIRE instrument domains. CONCLUSIONS: Little information is available to the public and researchers for the evaluation of a large number of publicly reported QIs in the residential long-term care sector. Better reporting is needed on the methodological quality of QIs in this setting, whether they are meant for internal quality improvement or provider comparison.

Interventions to Increase Patient Safety in Long-Term Care Facilities-Umbrella Review.
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Świtalski J, Wnuk K, Tatara T, Miazga W, Wiśniewska E, Banaś T, et al.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 21;19(22):15354.
INTRODUCTION: Patient safety in long-term care is becoming an increasingly popular subject in the scientific literature. Organizational problems such as shortages of medical staff, insufficient numbers of facilities or underfunding increase the risk of adverse events, and aging populations in many countries suggests that these problems will become more and more serious with each passing year. The objective of the study is to identify interventions that can contribute to increasing patient safety in long-term care facilities. METHOD: A systematic review of secondary studies was conducted in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. Searches were conducted in Medline (via PubMed), Embase (via OVID) and Cochrane Library. The quality of the included studies was assessed using AMSTAR2. RESULTS: Ultimately, 10 studies were included in the analysis. They concerned three main areas: promoting safety culture, reducing the level of occupational stress and burnout, and increasing the safety of medication use. Promising methods that have an impact on increasing patient safety include: preventing occupational burnout of medical staff, e.g., by using mindfulness-based interventions; preventing incidents resulting from improper administration of medications, e.g., by using structured methods of patient transfer; and the use of information technology that is more effective than the classic (paper) method or preventing nosocomial infections, e.g., through programs to improve the quality of care in institutions and the implementation of an effective infection control system. CONCLUSIONS: Taking into account the scientific evidence found and the guidelines of institutions dealing with patient safety, it is necessary for each long-term care facility to individually implement interventions aimed at continuous improvement of the quality of care and patient safety culture at the level of medical staff and management staff.

Safety culture in French nursing homes: A randomised controlled study to evaluate the effectiveness of a risk management intervention associated with care.
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Teigné D, Mabileau G, Lucas M, Moret L, Terrien N.
PLoS One. 2022;17(12):e0277121.
BACKGROUND: French Nursing Homes (NHs) are in the early stages of implementing their Risk Management (RM) approach. A regional structure, which was mandated to provide independent support in RM, designed a training package. OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of the RM training package on safety culture (SC) in NHs and drivers for improvement in SC scores. METHOD AND ANALYSIS: This randomised controlled study targeted French NHs. Inclusion criteria were voluntary participation, no external support provided on the topic of adverse incidents upstream of the project, and the commitment of top management to its implementation. The 61 NHs were randomly allocated to one of two groups: the first benefited from a training package; support was given to the second after the impact measurement. Seven dimensions of SC were measured, at an 18-month interval, using the validated Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire (22 items), which was administered to all of the professionals working in NHs. Eleven variables were captured, relating to the structural profile of the NH, the choices of top management in terms of healthcare safety, and the implementation of the system. Further modelling identified predictive factors for changes in SC scores. RESULTS: 95% of NHs completed both rounds of the questionnaire. The dimension Feedback and communication about incidents (SC = 85.4% before the intervention) significantly improved (+2.8%; p = 0.044). Improvement in the dimension Overall perceptions of resident safety-organizational learning was close to significant (+3.1%; p = 0.075). Drivers for improvement in scores were a pre-existing quality improvement approach, and a steering group that showed RM leadership. CONCLUSIONS: The system appears to have improved several dimensions of SC. Our findings are all the more important given the current crisis in the healthcare sector. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered as NCT02908373 (September 21, 2016).