Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance

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

Identifying and treating sepsis in older people: a quality improvement project in hospitals and nursing homes in Texas
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K. Calderon, E. Van Landingham, S. Purcell and M. Kennard.
Nurs Older People 2021 Feb 10
Sepsis, if not identified and treated early, can be fatal, particularly in older people. A lack of knowledge and understanding of sepsis among nursing staff can result in a missed or delayed diagnosis, leading to delayed treatment and potentially to patient death. A quality improvement project was conducted in nine hospitals and 200 nursing homes in the Lower and Upper Rio Grande Valley regions of Texas, in the US, to improve the identification and treatment of sepsis by nursing staff. Interventions included educational webinars for hospital staff and train-the-trainer sessions for nurse leaders in nursing homes. All participating hospitals had implemented a sepsis screening tool and sepsis care bundles by the end of the project, and an overall decline in sepsis mortality rates was seen in these hospitals. Among participating nurse leaders in nursing homes, a dramatic improvement in sepsis knowledge was seen. The outcomes of the project support the use of comprehensive nursing staff education on sepsis identification and treatment. Sepsis education needs to be ongoing to maintain optimal levels of knowledge among nursing staff.

Applying the Knowledge-to-Action Framework to Engage Stakeholders and Solve Shared Challenges with Person-Centered Advance Care Planning in Long-Term Care Homes
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G. A. Heckman, V. Boscart, P. Quail, et al.
Can J Aging 2021 Feb 15:1-11
As they near the end of life, long term care (LTC) residents often experience unmet needs and unnecessary hospital transfers, a reflection of suboptimal advance care planning (ACP). We applied the knowledge-to-action framework to identify shared barriers and solutions to ultimately improve the process of ACP and improve end-of-life care for LTC residents. We held a 1-day workshop for LTC residents, families, directors/administrators, ethicists, and clinicians from Manitoba, Alberta, and Ontario. The workshop aimed to identify: (1) shared understandings of ACP, (2) barriers to respecting resident wishes, and (3) solutions to better respect resident wishes. Plenary and group sessions were recorded and thematic analysis was performed. We identified four themes: (1) differing provincial frameworks, (2) shared challenges, (3) knowledge products, and 4) ongoing ACP. Theme 2 had four subthemes: (i) lacking clarity on substitute decision maker (SDM) identity, (ii) lacking clarity on the SDM role, (iii) failing to share sufficient information when residents formulate care wishes, and (iv) failing to communicate during a health crisis. These results have informed the development of a standardized ACP intervention currently being evaluated in a randomized trial in three Canadian provinces.

Improving antibiotic initiation and duration prescribing among nursing home physicians using an audit and feedback intervention: a theory-informed qualitative analysis
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C. Laur, T. Sribaskaran, M. Simeoni, et al.
BMJ Open Qual 2021 Feb;10(1):e001088. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2020-001088
BACKGROUND: In nursing homes, 25%-75% of antibiotic days of treatment are inappropriate or unnecessary and are often continued for longer durations than necessary. In Ontario, physicians can receive a provincial audit and feedback report that provides individualised, confidential, data about their antibiotic prescribing. Objectives of this study were to explore antibiotic prescribing of nursing home physicians and the influence of the report. METHODS: All physicians who received a personalised MyPractice: Long-Term Care report from Ontario Health (Quality) (OH(Q)) in January 2019 (n=361) were eligible to participate in semistructured telephone interviews that were recorded then transcribed verbatim. Recruitment emails were sent from OH(Q) until saturation of ideas. Analysis was conducted by two team members inductively, then deductively using the theoretical domains framework, a comprehensive, theory-informed framework to classify determinants of specific behaviours. RESULTS: Interviews were conducted with n=18 physicians; 78% (n=14) were men, practising for an average of 27 years, with 18 years of experience working in nursing homes. Physicians worked in a median of 2 facilities (range 1-6), with 72% (n=13) in an urban setting. 56% (n=10) were medical directors for at least one home. Professional role and identity impacted all aspects of antibiotic prescribing. Key roles included being an ‘Appropriate prescriber’, an ‘Educator’ and a ‘Change driver’. For antibiotic initiation, these roles interacted with Knowledge, Skills, Beliefs about consequence, Beliefs about capabilities, and Social influence to determine the resulting prescribing behaviour. When considering the impact of interacting with the report, participants’ perceived roles interacted with Reinforcement, Social influence, and Intention. Environmental context and resources was an overarching domain. CONCLUSION: This theory-informed approach is being used to inform upcoming versions of existing audit and feedback initiatives. Appealing to the role that prescribers see themselves offers a unique opportunity to encourage desired changes, such as providing tools for physicians to be Educators and facilitating, particularly medical directors, to be Change drivers.