Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance

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

Iowa Implementation for Sustainability Framework.
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Cullen L, Hanrahan K, Edmonds SW, Reisinger HS, Wagner M. Iowa
Implementation science : IS. 2022 Jan;17(1):1.

BACKGROUND: An application-oriented implementation framework designed for clinicians and based on the Diffusion of Innovations theory included 81 implementation strategies with suggested timing for use within four implementation phases. The purpose of this research was to evaluate and strengthen the framework for clinician use and propose its usefulness in implementation research. METHODS: A multi-step, iterative approach guided framework revisions. Individuals requesting the use of the framework over the previous 7 years were sent an electronic questionnaire. Evaluation captured framework usability, generalizability, accuracy, and implementation phases for each strategy. Next, nurse leaders who use the framework pile sorted strategies for cultural domain analysis. Last, a panel of five EBP/implementation experts used these data and built consensus to strengthen the framework. RESULTS: Participants (n = 127/1578; 8% response) were predominately nurses (94%), highly educated (94% Master’s or higher), and from across healthcare (52% hospital/system, 31% academia, and 7% community) in the USA (84%). Most (96%) reported at least some experience using the framework and 88% would use the framework again. A 4-point scale (1 = not/disagree to 4 = very/agree) was used. The framework was deemed useful (92%, rating 3-4), easy to use (72%), intuitive (67%), generalizable (100%), flexible and adaptive (100%), with accurate phases (96%), and accurate targets (100%). Participants (n = 51) identified implementation strategy timing within four phases (Cochran’s Q); 54 of 81 strategies (66.7%, p < 0.05) were significantly linked to a specific phase; of these, 30 (55.6%) matched the original framework. Next, nurse leaders (n = 23) completed a pile sorting activity. Anthropac software was used to analyze the data and visualize it as a domain map and hierarchical clusters with 10 domains. Lastly, experts used these data and implementation science to refine and specify each of the 75 strategies, identifying phase, domain, actors, and function. Strategy usability, timing, and groupings were used to refine the framework. CONCLUSION: The Iowa Implementation for Sustainability Framework offers a typology to guide implementation for evidence-based healthcare. This study specifies 75 implementation strategies within four phases and 10 domains and begins to validate the framework. Standard use of strategy names is foundational to compare and understand when implementation strategies are effective, in what dose, for which topics, by whom, and in what context.


The effects of a pharmacist-led medication review in a nursing home: A randomized controlled trial.
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Liou W-S, Huang S-M, Lee W-H, Chang Y-L, Wu M-F.
Medicine. 2021 Dec;100(48):e28023.
BACKGROUND: In this study, an intensive review of pharmaceutical care for elderly patients was conducted in a Veterans Administration nursing home in Taiwan and its effects were evaluated. METHODS: One hundred participants were enrolled in this randomized controlled study with even distribution. The inclusion criteria were age 65 years or older, prescriptions for at least 5 oral medicines daily, and ≥2 chronic diseases, for the period May 2013 to October 2014. Subjects were excluded if they had previously been included in an intensive medication review conducted by a pharmacist. The primary outcomes were numbers of drugs prescribed, potential inappropriate medications, and numbers of drug-related problems. The secondary outcomes were self-reported medical usages, measurements of quality of life, results of a satisfaction survey, and health status. RESULTS: A total of 80 cases (42 in the intervention group with medication reconciliation and 38 in the control group without medication reconciliation) completed the study. Baseline characteristics were not statistically different between the 2 groups. The overall prevalence of potential inappropriate medication was 74.3%. There were no differences between the 2 groups, with the exception of “medical problems,” which showed a significantly higher prevalence in the intervention group (P < .05). The intervention group reported greater satisfaction regarding pharmacist visits and medication compliance (P < .01). The mean number of drug-related problems was significantly lower after the intervention (P < .01). CONCLUSION: In this study, the intensive review of the elderly patients’ medications revealed that the only significant effect of pharmaceutical care was on “all outcomes.” A possible reason for this is the rather advanced ages of some patients who needed a considerable number of medications to treat several chronic diseases. Another reason may be the small sample size. However, participants who received the pharmacist intervention did have higher satisfaction with medication reconciliation and fewer drug-related problems.

Development and Implementation of an Individualized Turning Program for Pressure Injury Prevention Using Sensor Technology in Nursing Homes: A Quality Improvement Program.
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Maguire J, Hastings D, Adams M, Phillips D, McKenna J, Lin J-R, et al.
Wound management & prevention. 2021 Nov;67(11):12–25.
BACKGROUND: Turning nursing home residents every 2 hours has been a long-held standard for pressure injury (PrI) prevention in individuals with mobility impairments although evidence to substantiate this practice is limited. New guidelines recommend personalizing turning schedules to support person-centered care but lack specific recommendations about which turning frequencies are appropriate for various risk levels. PURPOSE: This quality improvement program aimed to determine the feasibility and outcomes of using individualized turn schedules for newly admitted nursing home residents. METHODS: An expert panel of wound clinicians developed, tested, and implemented a turn frequency tool that allowed staff in 2 nursing homes to select a turning schedule of 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours based on resident risk factors. Turning schedules were operationalized using a wearable sensor-based visual cueing technology that alerted staff to resident repositioning needs. Nonparticipating resident data were collected for comparison of PrI incidence. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all covariates. Significance of differences tests were performed as appropriate. RESULTS: Over 7 months, 154 residents had their turn period individualized, with 56% qualifying for 3-hour (Q3H) or 4-hour (Q4H) schedules. Facility-acquired PrI incidence was 94% lower in participants than in nonparticipants (P < .0001). Use of 3-hour and 4-hour intervals saved roughly 21 and 35 minutes of staff time, respectively, per resident per shift. CONCLUSION: Individualizing turning schedules is feasible. Residents with longer turning intervals did not develop PrIs, supporting previous studies about safely extending turning periods for most residents.

Pragmatic Trial of Personalized Music for Agitation and Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Home Residents With Dementia.
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McCreedy EM, Sisti A, Gutman R, Dionne L, Rudolph JL, Baier R, et al.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2022 Jan;
OBJECTIVE: To test the effect of a personalized music intervention on agitated behaviors and medication use among long-stay nursing home residents with dementia. DESIGN: Pragmatic, cluster-randomized controlled trial of a personalized music intervention. Staff in intervention facilities identified residents’ early music preferences and offered music at early signs of agitation or when disruptive behaviors typically occur. Usual care in control facilities may include ambient or group music. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The study was conducted between June 2019 and February 2020 at 54 nursing homes (27 intervention and 27 control) in 10 states owned by 4 corporations. METHODS: Four-month outcomes were measured for each resident. The primary outcome was frequency of agitated behaviors using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory. Secondary outcomes included frequency of agitated behaviors reported in the Minimum Data Set and the proportion of residents using antipsychotic, antidepressant, or antianxiety medications. RESULTS: The study included 976 residents with dementia [483 treatment and 493 control; mean age = 80.3 years (SD 12.3), 69% female, 25% African American]. CMAI scores were not significantly different (treatment: 50.67, SE 1.94; control: 49.34, SE 1.68) [average marginal effect (AME) 1.33, SE 1.38, 95% CI -1.37 to 4.03]. Minimum Data Set-based behavior scores were also not significantly different (treatment: 0.35, SE 0.13; control: 0.46, SE 0.11) (AME -0.11, SE 0.10, 95% CI -0.30 to 0.08). Fewer residents in intervention facilities used antipsychotics in the past week compared with controls (treatment: 26.2, SE 1.4; control: 29.6, SE 1.3) (AME -3.61, SE 1.85, 95% CI -7.22 to 0.00), but neither this nor other measures of psychotropic drug use were statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Personalized music was not significantly effective in reducing agitated behaviors or psychotropic drug use among long-stay residents with dementia. Barriers to full implementation included engaging frontline nursing staff and identifying resident’s preferred music.

Understanding challenges of using routinely collected health data to address clinical care gaps: a case study in Alberta, Canada.
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McGuckin T, Crick K, Myroniuk TW, Setchell B, Yeung RO, Campbell-Scherer D.
BMJ open quality. 2022 Jan;11(1).
High-quality data are fundamental to healthcare research, future applications of artificial intelligence and advancing healthcare delivery and outcomes through a learning health system. Although routinely collected administrative health and electronic medical record data are rich sources of information, they have significant limitations. Through four example projects from the Physician Learning Program in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, we illustrate barriers to using routinely collected health data to conduct research and engage in clinical quality improvement. These include challenges with data availability for variables of clinical interest, data completeness within a clinical visit, missing and duplicate visits, and variability of data capture systems. We make four recommendations that highlight the need for increased clinical engagement to improve the collection and coding of routinely collected data. Advancing the quality and usability of health systems data will support the continuous quality improvement needed to achieve the quintuple aim.

The uptake and use of a minimum data set (MDS) for older people living and dying in care homes: a realist review.
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Musa MK, Akdur G, Brand S, Killett A, Spilsbury K, Peryer G, et al.
BMC geriatrics. 2022 Jan;22(1):33.
BACKGROUND: Care homes provide long term care for older people. Countries with standardised approaches to residents’ assessment, care planning and review (known as minimum data sets (MDS)) use the aggregate data to guide resource allocation, monitor quality, and for research. Less is known about how an MDS affects how staff assess, provide and review residents’ everyday care. The review aimed to develop a theory-driven understanding of how care home staff can effectively implement and use MDS to plan and deliver care for residents. METHODS: The realist review was organised according to RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: and Evolving Standards) guidelines. There were three overlapping stages: 1) defining the scope of the review and theory development on the use of minimum data set 2) testing and refining candidate programme theories through iterative literature searches and stakeholders’ consultations as well as discussion among the research team; and 3) data synthesis from stages 1 and 2. The following databases were used MEDLINE via OVID, Embase, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), ASSIA [Applied Social Sciences Citation Index and Abstracts]) and sources of grey literature. RESULTS: Fifty-one papers informed the development of three key interlinked theoretical propositions: motivation (mandates and incentives for Minimum Data Set completion); frontline staff monitoring (when Minimum Data Set completion is built into the working practices of the care home); and embedded recording systems (Minimum Data Set recording system is integral to collecting residents’ data). By valuing the contributions of staff and building on existing ways of working, the uptake and use of an MDS could enable all staff to learn with and from each other about what is important for residents’ care CONCLUSIONS: Minimum Data Sets provides commissioners service providers and researchers with standardised information useful for commissioning planning and analysis. For it to be equally useful for care home staff it requires key activities that address the staff experiences of care, their work with others and the use of digital technology. REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number CRD42020171323.

Multidisciplinary residential home intervention to improve outcomes for frail residents.
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Steel A, Hopwood H, Goodwin E, Sampson EL.
BMC health services research. 2022 Jan;22(1):58.
BACKGROUND: Residential homes provide accommodation and assistance with personal care only and are not required to have registered nurses on site. However, their residents often have a combination of comorbidity, polypharmacy, frailty and mental-health conditions with poor access to healthcare to meet these needs. Integrated healthcare for older people is a key NHS priority in the Long-Term Plan and the Five-Year Forward View. We describe development and implementation of multi-disciplinary intervention to integrate healthcare and promote interprofessional education. METHODS: A multi-disciplinary residential home quality improvement project in two cycles by a team comprising senior and trainee general practitioners, trainees in geriatrics, psychiatry, pharmacist and residential home senior staff. The intervention was underpinned by the framework for enhanced health in care homes including Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) and mental-health review. Each intervention session included an educational presentation by a team member consideration of each resident in a pre-evaluation multi-disciplinary discussion followed by a structured clinical assessment and discussion of proposed management. RESULTS: Three residential homes participated with a total 34 residents receiving intervention. In one residential home, there was a 75% reduction in admissions for those reviewed and a reduction in overall admission costs. Polypharmacy was reduced by an average of 2 medications per resident across the three sites. There was a 63% increase in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation decisions and 76% increase in advance care planning discussions. CONCLUSION: This was an effective model for multi-disciplinary trainees working with a perceived impact on physical and mental health, and valuable opportunities for sharing learning.

Known in the nursing home: development and evaluation of a digital person-centered artistic photo-activity intervention to promote social interaction between residents with dementia, and their formal and informal carers.
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Tan JRO, Boersma P, Ettema TP, Aëgerter L, Gobbens R, Stek ML, et al.
BMC geriatrics. 2022 Jan;22(1):25.
BACKGROUND: To address the lack of social interaction and meaningful activities for persons with dementia (PWD) in nursing homes an artistic Photo-Activity was designed. The present study aims to develop a digital version of the Photo-Activity and to investigate its implementation and impact on nursing home residents with advanced dementia, and their (in)formal carers. METHODS: First, within a user-participatory design, a digital-app version of the Photo-Activity will be developed and pilot-tested, in co-creation with (in)formal carers and PWD. Next, the feasibility and effectiveness of the Photo-Activity versus a control activity will be explored in a randomized controlled trial with nursing home residents (N=90), and their (in)formal carers. Residents will be offered the Photo-Activity or the control activity by (in)formal carers during one month. Measurements will be conducted by independent assessors at baseline (T0), after one month (T1) and at follow up, two weeks after T1 (T2). Qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to investigate the effects of the intervention on mood, social interaction and quality of life of the PWD, sense of competence of informal carers, empathy and personal attitude of the formal carers, and quality of the relationship between the PWD, and their (in)formal carers. In addition, a process evaluation will be carried out by means of semi-structured interviews with the participating residents and (in)formal carers. Finally, an implementation package based on the process evaluation will be developed, allowing the scaling up of the intervention to other care institutions. DISCUSSION: Results of the trial will be available for dissemination by Spring 2023. The digital Photo-Activity is expected to promote meaningful connections between the resident with dementia, and their (in)formal carers through the facilitation of person-centered conversations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register: NL9219 ; registered (21 January 2021); NTR (