Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance

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

Talking about quality: how ‘quality’ is conceptualized in nursing homes and homecare
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Aase I, Ree E, Johannessen T, Strømme T, Ullebust B, Holen-Rabbersvik E, et al.
BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Jan 30;21(1):104-021-06104-0.
BACKGROUND: The delivery of high-quality service in nursing homes and homecare requires collaboration and shared understanding among managers, employees, users and policy makers from across the healthcare system. However, conceptualizing healthcare professionals’ perception of quality beyond hospital settings (e.g., its perspectives, defining attributes, quality dimensions, contextual factors, dilemmas) has rarely been done. This study therefore explores the meaning of “quality” among healthcare managers and staff in nursing homes and homecare. METHODS: The study applies a cross-sectional qualitative design with focus groups and individual interviews, to capture both depth and breadth of conceptualization of quality from healthcare professionals in nursing homes and homecare. We draw our data from 65 managers and staff in nursing homes and homecare services in Norway and the Netherlands. The participants worked as managers (n = 40), registered nurses (RNs) or assistant nurses (n = 25). RESULTS: The analysis identified the two categories and four sub-categories: “Professional issues: more than firefighting” (subcategories “professional pride” and “competence”) and “patient-centered approach: more than covering basic needs” (subcategories “dignity” and “continuity”). Quality in nursing homes and homecare is conceptualized as an ongoing process based on having the “right competence,” good cooperation across professional groups, and patient-centered care, in line with professional pride and dignity for the patients. CONCLUSION: Based on the understanding of quality among the healthcare professionals in our study, quality should encompass the softer dimensions of professional pride and competence, as well as a patient-centered approach to care. These dimensions should be factors in improvement activities and in daily practice.

Evaluating the Implementation of a Pragmatic Person-Centered Communication Tool for the Nursing Home Setting: PAL Cards
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Abbott KM, Heppner A, Hicks N, Hermesch A, VanHaitsma K.
Clin Gerontol 2021 May 31:1-13.
Objectives: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the implementation of a person-centered communication tool in nursing homes (NH). The Preferences for Activity and Leisure (PAL) Cards were developed to communicate residents’ preferences for activities across care team members.Methods: Providers were recruited to assess resident important preferences and create PAL Cards for 15-20 residents and collected data aligned with the RE-AIM framework.Results: Reach and Adoption: A total of 43 providers registered and 26 (60%) providers completed the project. Effectiveness and Implementation: Participants attempted 424 PAL Cards and completed 406. For the 26 providers, the average acceptability of the intervention measure was 4.7 (SD 0.4), intervention appropriateness measure was 4.5 (SD 0.5), and feasibility of intervention measure was 4.6 (SD 0.5) (all out of 5). Maintenance: Providers were able to complete 82% of PAL Card placement over the course of 5 months.Conclusions: The majority of providers were successful in implementing PAL Cards for residents and reported the intervention as highly acceptable, appropriate, and feasible providing necessary data to inform future effectiveness trials.Clinical Implications: The intervention can assist nursing home providers in meeting PCC regulations and contribute to building relationships between residents, family, and staff.

The Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) Impact Framework: Measuring the Real-world Impact of Implementation Science
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Braganza MZ, Kilbourne AM.
J Gen Intern Med 2021 Feb;36(2):396-403.
BACKGROUND: Measuring the health, economic, and cultural gains generated by scientific investments is crucial to reducing waste and improving quality of care. To date, there is no comprehensive framework for assessing the multi-faceted contributions of implementation and quality improvement sciences towards quality, cost, and patient and provider experiences in health systems. OBJECTIVE: We describe the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) Impact Framework and its application to QUERI investments. METHODS: The QUERI Impact Framework adapts and expands on metrics from the National Academy of Medicine, incorporating lessons learned from QUERI initiatives. The cross-cutting impact metrics reflect QUERI’s strategic methodology across five domains of impact (Alignment, Commitment, Tailoring, Informing the field, Observing healthcare changes and generating New questions/projects or ACTION). Key impact metrics, including the number of implementation facilities, number of staff trained, and number of patients served, were derived directly from health system performance plan goals. QUERI applied the Framework by conducting iterative rapid assessments of impacts for QUERI Program centers, which are implementation laboratories that support 3-7 initiatives aligned with a cross-disciplinary goal addressing a national priority. KEY RESULTS: From October 2015 to September 2019, QUERI Programs supported implementation of 49 evidence-based practices and promising innovations across 465 facilities, including 15 facilities that are experiencing quality gaps. As part of these implementation efforts, the programs worked with 71 operations partners to develop 71 tools/toolkits/manuals and support training of 5147 VA staff, serving 250,159 Veterans. CONCLUSIONS: The QUERI Impact Framework aligns multiple stakeholders at different levels of a health system around common metrics, which cross implementation science and quality improvement boundaries. The Framework supports a comprehensive assessment of the short-term and distal impacts of implementation efforts in a health system, allowing both research and operations leadership to understand the value of implementation and quality improvement investments to inform program and policy decisions.

Effects of an interprofessional Quality Circle-Deprescribing Module (QC-DeMo) in Swiss nursing homes: a randomised controlled trial
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Cateau D, Ballabeni P, Niquille A.
BMC Geriatr 2021 May 1;21(1):289-021-02220-y.
BACKGROUND: Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are common among nursing homes (NH) residents, as is polypharmacy. Deprescribing has emerged in the past decade as a safe and effective way to reduce the use of PIMs and improve patient outcomes. However, effective deprescribing interventions are expensive, as they require specialised staff and a great amount of time for each resident. The Quality Circle Deprescribing Module (QC-DeMo) intervention was designed to be less resource-intensive than medication reviews, the current deprescribing gold standard. It consists of a QC session in which physicians, nurses, and pharmacists define a local deprescribing consensus for specific PIMs classes, which is then implemented in the NH. The intervention was trialled in a RCT, with the NH as unit of analysis. METHODS: After randomisation, intervention NHs enacted the QC-DeMo at the start of the follow-up year. The primary outcomes were the proportion of PIM galenic units and number of PIM defined daily dose per average resident and per day (DDD/res). PIM status was assessed by a combination of the 2015 Beers list and the Norwegian General Practice-Nursing Home criteria. Secondary outcomes were the number of DDD/res to avoid and to reevaluate; safety outcomes were mortality, hospitalisations, falls, and use of physical restraints. Outcomes were evaluated at follow-up using linear regression models, adjusting for the outcome baseline values. RESULTS: Fifty-eight NHs took part in the trial; no individual residents were recruited. The intervention did not reduce the primary outcomes, but a strong trend towards reduction was seen for the number of PIM DDD/res, which accounts for the doses used. PIM DDD/res to reevaluate were significantly reduced, mostly through a reduction in the use of proton-pump inhibitors. Falls and use of physical restraints were not affected, but a statistical interaction between the mission of the NH (geriatric unit or specialised dementia unit) and the intervention group was seen for mortality and hospitalisations. CONCLUSIONS: The QC-DeMo intervention can reduce the use of some PIM classes, and could usefully complement other deprescribing interventions. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT03688542 ), registered on 26.09.2018, retrospectively registered.

Virtual learning collaboratives to improve urine culturing and antibiotic prescribing in long-term care: controlled before-and-after study
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Chambers A, Chen C, Brown KA, Daneman N, Langford B, Leung V, et al.
BMJ Qual Saf 2021 Apr 14.
BACKGROUND: Urine culturing practices are highly variable in long-term care and contribute to overprescribing of antibiotics for presumed urinary tract infections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of virtual learning collaboratives to support long-term care homes in implementing a quality improvement programme focused on reducing unnecessary urine culturing and antibiotic overprescribing. METHODS: Over a 4-month period (May 2018-August 2018), 45 long-term care homes were self-selected from five regions to participate in virtual learning collaborative sessions, which provided an orientation to a quality improvement programme and guidance for implementation. A process evaluation complemented the use of a controlled before-and-after study with a propensity score matched control group (n=127) and a difference-in-difference analysis. Primary outcomes included rates of urine cultures performed and urinary antibiotic prescriptions. Secondary outcomes included rates of emergency department visits, hospital admission and mortality. An 18-month baseline period was compared with a 16-month postimplementation period with the use of administrative data sources. RESULTS: Rates of urine culturing and urinary antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 resident days decreased significantly more among long-term care homes that participated in learning collaboratives compared with matched controls (differential reductions of 19% and 13%, respectively, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant changes to rates of emergency department visits, hospital admissions or mortality. These outcomes were observed with moderate adherence to the programme model. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of urine culturing and urinary antibiotic prescriptions declined among long-term care homes that participated in a virtual learning collaborative to support implementation of a quality improvement programme. The results of this study have refined a model to scale this programme in long-term care.

Implementation fidelity of the Systems for Person-Centered Elder Care (SPEC): a process evaluation study
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Choi H, Jung YI, Kim H.
Implement Sci 2021 May 12;16(1):52-021-01113-3.
BACKGROUND: The Systems for Person-Centered Elder Care (SPEC), a complex intervention, was conducted to examine its effectiveness as a technology-enhanced, multidisciplinary, and integrated care model for frail older persons among ten nursing homes (NHs) in South Korea where formal long-term care has recently been introduced. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation fidelity of the SPEC intervention and to identify moderating factors that influence the implementation fidelity. METHODS: This study was a process evaluation based on an evidence-based framework for implementation fidelity using a mixed-methods design. Quantitative data from consultant logbooks, NH documentations, an information and communications technology (ICT) system, and a standardized questionnaire were collected from April 2015 to December 2016 and analyzed by calculating the descriptive statistics. Semi-structured focus group interviews were held with multidisciplinary teams from the participating NHs. Qualitative data from a semi-structured questionnaire and the focus group interviews were analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: The SPEC program demonstrated good implementation fidelity, and adherence to the SPEC program was strong in all aspects, such as content, coverage, frequency, and duration. Of the participating on-site coordinators, 60% reported that the SPEC model positively impacted needs assessment and the reporting system for resident care. The important facilitating factors were tailored facilitating strategies, assurance of the quality of delivery, and recruitment strategies. CONCLUSION: The effectiveness of the SPEC program was driven by good implementation fidelity. The key factors of good implementation fidelity were tailored delivery of evidence-based interventions over process evaluation work, facilitating strategies, and ICT support. Larger implementation studies with a more user-friendly ICT system are recommended. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN11972147 . Registered on 16 March 2015.

Optimizing Practices, Use, Care and Services-Antipsychotics (OPUS-AP) in Long-term Care Centers in Québec, Canada: A Strategy for Best Practices
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Cossette B, Bruneau MA, Couturier Y, Gilbert S, Boyer D, Ricard J, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2020 Feb;21(2):212-219.
OBJECTIVES: Antipsychotic medications are often used for the first-line management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) contrary to guideline recommendations. The Optimizing Practices, Use, Care and Services-Antipsychotics (OPUS-AP) strategy aims to improve the well-being of long-term care (LTC) residents with major neurocognitive disorder (MNCD) by implementing a resident-centered approach, nonpharmacologic interventions, and antipsychotic deprescribing in inappropriate indications. DESIGN: Prospective, closed cohort supplemented by a developmental evaluation. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Residents of designated wards in 24 LTC centers in Québec, Canada. METHODS: Provincial guidelines were disseminated, followed by the implementation of an integrated knowledge translation and mobilization strategy, including training, coaching, clinical tools, evaluation of clinical practices, and a change management strategy. Antipsychotic, benzodiazepine, and antidepressant prescriptions; BPSD; and falls were evaluated every 3 months, for 9 months, from January to October 2018. Semistructured interviews (n = 20) were conducted with LTC teams to evaluate the implementation of OPUS-AP. RESULTS: Of 1054 residents, 78.3% had an MNCD diagnosis and 51.7% an antipsychotic prescription. The cohort included 464 residents with both MNCD and antipsychotic prescription. Antipsychotic deprescribing (cessation or dose decrease) was attempted in 220 of the 344 residents still admitted at 9 months. Complete cessation was observed in 116 of these residents (52.7%) and dose reduction in 72 (32.7%), for a total of 188 residents (85.5%; 95% confidence interval: 80.1%, 89.8%). A decrease in benzodiazepine prescriptions and improvements in Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory scores were observed among residents who had their antipsychotics deprescribed. Caregivers and clinicians expressed satisfaction as a result of observing an improved quality of life among residents. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Antipsychotic deprescribing was successful in a vast majority of LTC residents with MNCD without worsening of BPSD. Based on this success, phase 2 of OPUS-AP is now under way in 129 LTC centers in Québec.

Effecting a national implementation project through distributed leadership in the West Midlands: rising to the spread challenge
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Gillies J, Morton VAH, Jasim S, Fox C, Broggio P, Pillay T.
BMJ Open Qual 2021 May;10(2):e001227. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2020-001227.
We describe the utility and impact of a distributed leadership model to implement a National Health Service (NHS) England Academic Health Sciences national quality improvement programme, in the West Midlands. This model was adopted to address the inherent difficulties of implementing change in practice in a large geographical region with a diverse population of health service personnel. We report on the inclusion of a senior trainee as part of the implementation team, supported by a multidisciplinary clinical consultant team, with equal agency in decision making, acting as mentors and activators in the background.

Multi-disciplinary supportive end of life care in long-term care: an integrative approach to improving end of life
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Harasym PM, Afzaal M, Brisbin S, Sinnarajah A, Venturato L, Quail P, et al.
BMC Geriatr 2021 May 22;21(1):326-021-02271-1.
BACKGROUND: Optimal supportive end of life care for frail, older adults in long term care (LTC) homes involves symptom management, family participation, advance care plans, and organizational support. This 2-phase study aimed to combine multi-disciplinary opinions, build group consensus, and identify the top interventions needed to develop a supportive end of life care strategy for LTC. METHODS: A consensus-building approach was undertaken in 2 Phases. The first phase deployed modified Delphi questionnaires to address and transform diverse opinions into group consensus. The second phase explored and prioritized the interventions needed to develop a supportive end of life care strategy for LTC. Development of the Delphi questionnaire was based on findings from published results of physician perspectives of barriers and facilitators to optimal supportive end of life care in LTC, a literature search of palliative care models in LTC, and published results of patient, family and nursing perspectives of supportive end of life care in long term care. The second phase involved World Café Style workshop discussions. A multi-disciplinary purposive sample of individuals inclusive of physicians; staff, administrators, residents, family members, and content experts in palliative care, and researchers in geriatrics and gerontology participated in round one of the modified Delphi questionnaire. A second purposive sample derived from round one participants completed the second round of the modified Delphi questionnaire. A third purposive sample (including participants from the Delphi panel) then convened to identify the top priorities needed to develop a supportive end-of-life care strategy for LTC. RESULTS: 19 participants rated 75 statements on a 9-point Likert scale during the first round of the modified Delphi questionnaire. 11 participants (participation rate 58 %) completed the second round of the modified Delphi questionnaire and reached consensus on the inclusion of 71candidate statements. 35 multidisciplinary participants discussed the 71 statements remaining and prioritized the top clinical practice, communication, and policy interventions needed to develop a supportive end of life strategy for LTC. CONCLUSIONS: Multi-disciplinary stakeholders identified and prioritized the top interventions needed to develop a 5-point supportive end of life care strategy for LTC.

Optimizing the InterRAI Assessment Tool in Care Planning Processes for Long-Term Residents: A Scoping Review
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Iduye S, Risling T, McKibbon S, Iduye D.
Clin Nurs Res 2021 May 30:10547738211020373.
The aim of this review was to chart and report on existing literature that discusses how the interRAI assessment tool drives care-planning processes for residents in long-term-care settings. This scoping review was informed by the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines for scoping reviews and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews guideline. Relevant studies were obtained from databases search of CINAHL (EBSCO), MEDLINE (Ovid), PsycINFO (EBSCO), Academic Search Premier (EBSCO), Embase (Elsevier), ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Database (ProQuest), Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest), and Social Services Abstracts (ProQuest). Of the 17 included studies, five (29.4%) addressed interRAI’s minimum dataset component as a clinical data-collection tool; five (29.4%) addressed interRAI’s assessment scales and its clinical-assessment protocols as viable health-assessment tools; four (23.5%) considered interRAI’s assessment scales in terms of whether this tool is capable of predicting residents’ health risks; one (5.9%) addressed the effects of interRAI’s care plans on residents’ health outcomes; and the remaining two studies (11.8%) used interRAI’s quality-indicator function for both the performance of and improvements in the quality of care. The scoping review finds that there is no substantial evidence that supports the implementation of interRAI care plans for consistent health outcomes.

Cost-effectiveness of a Province-wide Quality Improvement Initiative for Reducing Potentially Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care in British Columbia, Canada
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Khowaja AR, Krause C, Kennedy C, Ridout B, Carriere S, Mitton C.
Pharmacoecon Open 2021 Apr 29.
BACKGROUND: Potentially inappropriate use of antipsychotics (PIUA) raises serious concerns about safety, quality, and cost of care for residents in long-term care (LTC). OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the Call for Less Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care (Clear) initiative compared with the status quo (pre-Clear, baseline). METHODS: A model-based cost-utility analysis, from a public-payer perspective in British Columbia, was conducted using secondary data of residents in LTC homes from 2013 to 2019. Residents’ health resource utilization and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) measures were extracted from multiple administrative databases. Six Markov states were modelled for post-antipsychotic progression representing PIUA, appropriate use of antipsychotic, complete withdrawal, and death. The primary outcome was the incremental cost per QALY gained. RESULTS: A cohort of 35,669 residents was included in the primary analysis. The Clear initiative, over 10 years, was estimated to have an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of CA$26,055 (2020 Canadian dollars) per QALY gained at an incremental cost of CA$5211 per resident and a QALY gain of 0.20. In the subgroup analyses, our findings were even more favourable for Clear wave 2 (ICER of CA$24,447 per QALY gained) and Clear wave 3 (ICER of CA$25,933 per QALY gained). At a willingness-to-pay of CA$50,000 per QALY gained, the probabilities of Clear waves 2 and 3 were 82% cost-effective. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated incremental costs and yielded favourable ICERs for Clear compared with the baseline. More research is needed to understand the level of support for individual care homes to sustain the Clear initiative in the long run.

Success and limiting factors in health service innovation: a theory-generating mixed methods evaluation of UK projects
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Leedham-Green K, Knight A, Reedy GB.
BMJ Open 2021 May 25;11(5):e047943-2020-047943.
OBJECTIVES: To explore and explain success and limiting factors in UK health service innovation. DESIGN: Mixed methods evaluation of a series of health service innovations involving a survey and interviews, with theory-generating analysis. SETTING: The research explored innovations supported by one of the UK’s Academic Health Science Networks which provides small grants, awards and structural support to health service innovators including clinical academics, health and social care professionals and third-sector organisations. PARTICIPANTS: All recipients of funding or support 2014-2018 were invited to participate. We analysed survey responses relating to 56 innovation projects. RESULTS: Responses were used to conceptualise success along two axes: value creation for the intended beneficiaries and expansion beyond its original pilot. An analysis of variance between categories of success indicated that participation, motivation and evaluation were critical to value generation; organisational, educational and administrative support were critical to expansion; and leadership and collaborative expertise were critical to both value creation and expansion. Additional limiting factors derived from qualitative responses included difficulties navigating the boundaries and intersections between organisations, professions, sectors and cultures; a lack of support for innovation beyond the start-up phase; a lack of protected time; and staff burn-out and turnover. CONCLUSIONS: A nested hierarchy of innovation needs has been derived via an analysis of these factors, providing targeted suggestions to enhance the success of future innovations.

Conceptualising interventions to enhance spread in complex systems: a multisite comprehensive medication review case study
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Lennox L, Barber S, Stillman N, Spitters S, Ward E, Marvin V, et al.
BMJ Qual Saf 2021 May 14.
BACKGROUND: Advancing the description and conceptualisation of interventions in complex systems is necessary to support spread, evaluation, attribution and reproducibility. Improvement teams can provide unique insight into how interventions are operationalised in practice. Capturing this ‘insider knowledge’ has the potential to enhance intervention descriptions. OBJECTIVES: This exploratory study investigated the spread of a comprehensive medication review (CMR) intervention to (1) describe the work required from the improvement team perspective, (2) identify what stays the same and what changes between the different sites and why, and (3) critically appraise the ‘hard core’ and ‘soft periphery’ (HC/SP) construct as a way of conceptualising interventions. DESIGN: A prospective case study of a CMR initiative across five sites. Data collection included: observations, document analysis and semistructured interviews. A facilitated workshop triangulated findings and measured perceived effort invested in activities. A qualitative database was developed to conduct thematic analysis. RESULTS: Sites identified 16 intervention components. All were considered essential due to their interdependency. The function of components remained the same, but adaptations were made between and within sites. Components were categorised under four ‘spheres of operation’: Accessibility of evidence base; Process of enactment; Dependent processes and Dependent sociocultural issues. Participants reported most effort was invested on ‘dependent sociocultural issues’. None of the existing HC/SP definitions fit well with the empirical data, with inconsistent classifications of components as HC or SP. CONCLUSIONS: This study advances the conceptualisation of interventions by explicitly considering how evidence-based practices are operationalised in complex systems. We propose a new conceptualisation of ‘interventions-in-systems’ which describes intervention components in relation to their: proximity to the evidence base; component interdependence; component function; component adaptation and effort.

Understanding good leadership in the context of English care home inspection reports
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Mongan C, Thomas W.
Leadersh Health Serv (Bradf Engl) 2021 May 28;ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print):10.1108/LHS-11-2020-0098.
PURPOSE: As part of their inspection of care homes in England, the statutory inspector (the Care Quality Commission [CQC]) makes a judgement on the quality of the home’s leadership. Their view is critical as it is intended to inform consumer choice and because the statutory nature of inspection means these views hold considerable authority. The purpose of this paper is to look at the content of a selection of reports and seek to determine what the CQC understands by the concept of “good leadership”. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A purposive sample of recent CQC inspection reports was selected and subjected to a qualitative content analysis. Inspections are structured around five main questions. The resulting themes describe areas of focus within the section of reports that feature the question “Are they well-led?”. FINDINGS: Inspection reports were found to focus on four main themes: safety and quality of care; day-to-day management of staff; governance and training in the home; and integration and partnership working. In the discussion section, the authors reflect on these themes and suggest that the CQC’s view of leadership is rather limited. In particular, while an emphasis is placed within the literature and policy on the importance of leadership in delivering change and quality improvement, little attention is paid to this within the leadership section of inspection reports. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: The authors’ research is based on a small-scale sample of inspection reports; nevertheless, it suggests a number of avenues for further research into the way in which leadership and management capabilities are developed and monitored in the sector. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The analysis in this report offers a view of how the inspection regime implements its own guidance and how it assesses leadership. The reports, as public-facing documents, are artefacts of the inspection regime and critical not just as evidence of the practice of inspection but as influence on care home operations and the choices of care home residents and their families.

Nation-Wide Dissemination of a Digital Checklist to Improve Work Environment in the Eldercare Sector in Denmark
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Munch PK, Jørgensen MB, Højberg H, Rasmussen CDN.
Front Public Health 2020 Dec 3;8:502106.
In this study, we evaluated the dissemination of a digital checklist for improving implementation of work environment initiatives in the Danish eldercare sector. We evaluated the impact of the checklist using the RE-AIM framework. Initiated in 2016, researchers and relevant stakeholders were responsible for disseminating the checklist to all workplaces in the eldercare sector in Denmark through a national campaign. The checklist guided the user to define an action plan to implement, and the checklist covered 11 implementation concept points that should be addressed to reach full implementation of the action in focus. One year after the launch of the campaign almost all municipalities in Denmark had visited the website hosting the checklist (96%), 17% of individual workers within the eldercare responding to a union survey was reached, 4% (n = 199) of all eligible eldercare workplaces in Denmark and 8% of all nursing homes had adopted the checklist. Of the workplaces that used the checklist, 46% typed an action in the checklist. There were 13% of the first time users that used the checklist twice and 29% of the actions were revised (maintenance) after working with the implementation. Finally, the workplaces that had used the checklist showed a higher prioritization of work environment compared to workplaces not using the checklist both at baseline and at follow up. In conclusion, this study employing various strategies, including a 1-year national campaign to disseminate a checklist shows potential to impact implementation of work environment initiatives in the Danish eldercare sector. While dissemination is satisfactory and likely to increase further with time, more efforts is needed to ensure maintenance.

Patient Flow or the Patient’s Journey? Exploring Health Care Providers’ Experiences and Understandings of Implementing a Care Pathway to Improve the Quality of Transitional Care for Older People
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Olsen CF, Bergland A, Debesay J, Bye A, Langaas AG.
Qual Health Res 2021 May 19:10497323211003861.
Internationally, the implementation of care pathways is a common strategy for making transitional care for older people more effective and patient-centered. Previous research highlights inherent tensions in care pathways, particularly in relation to their patient-centered aspects, which may cause dilemmas for health care providers. Health care providers’ understandings and experiences of this, however, remain unclear. Our aim was to explore health care providers’ experiences and understandings of implementing a care pathway to improve transitional care for older people. We conducted semistructured interviews with 20 health care providers and three key persons, along with participant observations of 22 meetings, in a Norwegian quality improvement collaborative. Through a thematic analysis, we identified an understanding of the care pathway as both patient flow and the patient’s journey and a dilemma between the two, and we discuss how the negotiation of conflicting institutional logics is a central part of care pathway implementation.

Nursing home performance in a trial to reduce hospitalizations: Implications for future trials
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Ouslander JG, Reyes B, Yang Z, Engstrom G, Tappen R, Newman D, et al.
J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 May 20.
BACKGROUND: Experience in trials of implementing quality improvement (QI) programs in nursing homes (NHs) has been variable. Understanding the characteristics of NHs that demonstrate improvements during these trials is critical to improving NH care. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial of implementation of a QI program to reduce hospital transfers. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-one NHs that completed the 12-month trial INTERVENTION: Implementation included distance-learning strategies, involvement of a champion, regular submission of data on hospitalizations and root cause analyses of transfers, and training, feedback and support. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcomes included all-cause and potentially avoidable hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits per 1000 NH resident days, and the percentage of residents readmitted in 30-days. We compared multiple other variables that could influence effective program implementation in NHs in the highest versus lowest quartile of changes in the primary outcomes. RESULTS: The 18 high-performing NHs had significant reductions in hospitalization and ED visits, whereas the 18 NHs in the low-performing group had increases. The difference in changes in each outcome varied between a reduction of 0.75 and 2.30 events relative to a NH with a census of 100; the absolute difference in 30-day readmissions was 19%. None of the variables we examined reached significance after adjustment for multiple comparisons between the groups. There was no consistent pattern of differences in nonprofit status, nursing staffing, and quality ratings. CONCLUSION: Our experience and reviews of other NH trials suggest that key factors contributing to successful implementation QI programs in NHs remain unclear. To improve NH care, implementation trials should account for intervention fidelity and factors that have not been examined in detail, such as degree and nature of leadership support, financial and regulatory incentives, quality measures, resident and family perspectives, and the availability of onsite high-quality medical care and support of the medical director.

Nudging healthcare professionals in clinical settings: a scoping review of the literature
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Sant’Anna A, Vilhelmsson A, Wolf A.
BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Jun 2;21(1):543-021-06496-z.
BACKGROUND: Healthcare organisations are in constant need of improvement and change. Nudging has been proposed as a strategy to affect people’s choices and has been used to affect patients’ behaviour in healthcare settings. However, little is known about how nudging is being interpreted and applied to change the behaviour of healthcare professionals (HCPs). The objective of this review is to identify interventions using nudge theory to affect the behaviour of HCPs in clinical settings. METHODS: A scoping review. We searched PubMed and PsycINFO for articles published from 2010 to September 2019, including terms related to “nudging” in the title or abstract. Two reviewers screened articles for inclusion based on whether the articles described an intervention to change the behaviour of HCPs. Two reviewers extracted key information and categorized included articles. Descriptive analyses were performed on the data. RESULTS: Search results yielded 997 unique articles, of which 25 articles satisfied the inclusion criteria. Five additional articles were selected from the reference lists of the included articles. We identified 11 nudging strategies: accountable justification, goal setting, suggested alternatives, feedback, information transparency, peer comparison, active choice, alerts and reminders, environmental cueing/priming, defaults/pre-orders, and education. These strategies were employed to affect the following 4 target behaviours: vaccination of staff, hand hygiene, clinical procedures, prescriptions and orders. To compare approaches across so many areas, we introduced two independent dimensions to describe nudging strategies: synchronous/asynchronous, and active/passive. CONCLUSION: There are relatively few studies published referring to nudge theory aimed at changing HCP behaviour in clinical settings. These studies reflect a diverse set of objectives and implement nudging strategies in a variety of ways. We suggest distinguishing active from passive nudging strategies. Passive nudging strategies may achieve the desired outcome but go unnoticed by the clinician thereby not really changing a behaviour and raising ethical concerns. Our review indicates that there are successful active strategies that engage with clinicians in a more deliberate way. However, more research is needed on how different nudging strategies impact HCP behaviour in the short and long term to improve clinical decision making.

Process Evaluation of the SImplification of Medications Prescribed to Long-tErm Care Residents (SIMPLER) Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial: A Mixed Methods Study
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Sluggett JK, Hughes GA, Ooi CE, Chen EYH, Corlis M, Hogan ME, et al.
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 May 27;18(11):5778. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115778.
Complex medication regimens are highly prevalent, burdensome for residents and staff, and associated with poor health outcomes in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The SIMPLER study was a non-blinded, matched-pair, cluster randomized controlled trial in eight Australian RACFs that investigated the one-off application of a structured 5-step implicit process to simplify medication regimens. The aim of this study was to explore the processes underpinning study implementation and uptake of the medication simplification intervention. A mixed methods process evaluation with an explanatory design was undertaken in parallel with the main outcome evaluation of the SIMPLER study and was guided by an established 8-domain framework. The qualitative component included a document analysis and semi-structured interviews with 25 stakeholders (residents, family, research nurses, pharmacists, RACF staff, and a general medical practitioner). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and reflexively thematically content analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize quantitative data extracted from key research documents. The SIMPLER recruitment rates at the eight RACFs ranged from 18.9% to 48.6% of eligible residents (38.4% overall). Participation decisions were influenced by altruism, opinions of trusted persons, willingness to change a medication regimen, and third-party hesitation regarding potential resident distress. Intervention delivery was generally consistent with the study protocol. Stakeholders perceived regimen simplification was beneficial and low risk if the simplification recommendations were individualized. Implementation of the simplification recommendations varied between the four intervention RACFs, with simplification implemented at 4-month follow-up for between 25% and 86% of residents for whom simplification was possible. Good working relationships between stakeholders and new remunerated models of medication management were perceived facilitators to wider implementation. In conclusion, the one-off implicit medication simplification intervention was feasible and generally delivered according to the protocol to a representative sample of residents. Despite variable implementation, recommendations to simplify complex regimens were valued by stakeholders, who also supported wider implementation of medication simplification in RACFs.

Recommendations to Deliver Person-Centered Long-Term Care for Persons Living With Dementia
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Wagner LM, Van Haitsma K, Kolanowski A, Spetz J.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 May 25.
Person-centered care (PCC) is the standard for the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS). In this article, we summarize the state of the science on meaningful outcomes and workforce development and discuss what is needed to ensure that person-centered LTSS becomes a universal reality. These 2 themes are intimately related: the dementia care workforce’s capacity cannot be improved until care processes and outcomes that are significant to PCC are explicated. The LTSS workforce needs training in PCC as well as pragmatic measures to assess the quality of the care they provide. We conclude with several recommendations for future policy and practice-oriented workforce research.