Administrator Perspectives on ICU-to-Ward Transfers and Content Contained in Existing Transfer Tools: a Cross-sectional Survey.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The transfer of critically ill patients from the intensive care unit (ICU) to hospital ward is challenging. Shortcomings in the delivery of care for patients transferred from the ICU have been associated with higher healthcare costs and poor satisfaction with care. Little is known about how hospital ward providers, who accept care of these patients, perceive current transfer practices nor which aspects of transfer they perceive as needing improvement. OBJECTIVE:To compare ICU and ward administrator perspectives regarding ICU-to-ward transfer practices and evaluate the content of transfer tools. DESIGN:Cross-sectional survey design. PARTICIPANTS:We administered a survey to 128 medical and/or surgical ICU and 256 ward administrators to obtain institutional perspectives on ICU transfer practices. We performed qualitative content analysis on ICU transfer tools received from respondents. KEY RESULTS:In total, 108 (77%) ICU and 160 (63%) ward administrators responded to the survey. The ICU attending physician was reported to be "primarily responsible" for the safety (93% vs. 91%; p = 0.515) of patient transfers. ICU administrators more commonly perceived discharge summaries to be routinely included in patient transfers than ward administrators (81% vs. 60%; p = 0.006). Both groups identified information provided to patients/families, patient/family participation during transfer, and ICU-ward collaboration as opportunities for improvement. A minority of hospitals used ICU-to-ward transfer tools (11%) of which most (n = 21 unique) were designed to communicate patient information between providers (71%) and comprised six categories of information: demographics, patient clinical course, corrective aids, mobility at discharge, review of systems, and documentation of transfer procedures. CONCLUSION:ICU and ward administrators have similar perspectives of transfer practices and identified patient/family engagement and communication as priorities for improvement. Key information categories exist.
Project description:This article focuses on processes of granting posts and transfers to health care workers and administrators that can be described as 'mission inconsistent (MI)', meaning that they are not conducted in a way that maximizes health outcomes or that respects the norms of health care worker professionalism. We synthesize relevant literature from several different disciplinary perspectives to describe what is known about the problem of MI posting and transfer in the health sector, to critically engage and interrogate these literatures, and to briefly discuss efforts that have been made to maximize mission consistency. The article concludes by suggesting principles for future research that would foster a more complete understanding of posting and transfer practices.
Project description:Targeting the patient's needs and preferences has become an important contributor for improving care delivery, enhancing patient satisfaction, and achieving better clinical outcomes. This study aimed to examine the impact of applying quality management practices on patient centeredness within the context of health care accreditation and to explore the differences in the views of various health care workers regarding the attributes affecting patient-centered care. Our study followed a cross-sectional survey design wherein 4 Jordanian public hospitals were investigated several months after accreditation was obtained. Total 829 clinical/nonclinical hospital staff members consented for study participation. This sample was divided into 3 main occupational categories to represent the administrators, nurses, as well as doctors and other health professionals. Using a structural equation modeling, our results indicated that the predictors of patient-centered care for both administrators and those providing clinical care were participation in the accreditation process, leadership commitment to quality improvement, and measurement of quality improvement outcomes. In particular, perceiving the importance of the hospital's engagement in the accreditation process was shown to be relevant to the administrators (gamma = 0.96), nurses (gamma = 0.80), as well as to doctors and other health professionals (gamma = 0.71). However, the administrator staff (gamma = 0.31) was less likely to perceive the influence of measuring the quality improvement outcomes on the delivery of patient-centered care than nurses (gamma = 0.59) as well as doctors and other health care providers (gamma = 0.55). From the nurses' perspectives only, patient centeredness was found to be driven by building an institutional framework that supports quality assurance in hospital settings (gamma = 0.36). In conclusion, accreditation is a leading factor for delivering patient-centered care and should be on a hospital's agenda as a strategy for continuous quality improvement.
Project description:Objective:The risk of medical errors increases upon transfer out of the intensive care unit (ICU). Discrepancies in the documented care plan between notes at the time of transfer may contribute to communication errors. We sought to determine the frequency of clinically meaningful discrepancies in the documented care plan for patients transferred from the pediatric ICU to the medical wards and identified risk factors. Materials and Methods:Two physician reviewers independently compared the transfer note and handoff document of 50 randomly selected transfers. Clinically meaningful discrepancies in the care plan between these two documents were identified using a coding procedure adapted from healthcare failure mode and effects analysis. We assessed the influence of risk factors via multivariable regression. Results:We identified 34 clinically meaningful discrepancies in 50 patient transfers. Fourteen transfers (28%) had ?1 discrepancy, and ?2 were present in 7 transfers (14%). The most common discrepancy categories were differences in situational awareness notifications and documented current therapy. Transfers with handoff document length in the top quartile had 10.6 (95% CI: 1.2-90.2) times more predicted discrepancies than transfers with handoff length in the bottom quartile. Patients receiving more medications in the 24 hours prior to transfer had higher discrepancy counts, with each additional medication increasing the predicted number of discrepancies by 17% (95% CI: 6%-29%). Conclusion:Clinically meaningful discrepancies in the documented care plan pose legitimate safety concerns and are common at the time of transfer out of the ICU among complex patients.
Project description:Efforts to detect patient deterioration early have led to the development of early warning score (EWS) models. However, these models are disease-nonspecific and have shown variable accuracy in predicting unexpected critical events. Here, we propose a simpler and more accurate method for predicting risk in respiratory ward patients. This retrospective study analyzed adult patients who were admitted to the respiratory ward and detected using the rapid response system (RRS). Study outcomes included transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) within 24 hours after RRS activation and in-hospital mortality. Prediction power of existing EWS models including Modified EWS (MEWS), National EWS (NEWS), and VitalPAC EWS (ViEWS) and SpO2/FiO2 (SF) ratio were compared to each other using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC). Overall, 456 patients were included; median age was 75 years (interquartile range: 65-80) and 344 (75.4%) were male. Seventy-three (16.0%) and 79 (17.3%) patients were transferred to the ICU and died. The SF ratio displayed better or comparable predictive accuracy for unexpected ICU transfer (AUROC: 0.744) compared to MEWS (0.744 vs. 0.653, P = 0.03), NEWS (0.744 vs. 0.667, P = 0.04), and ViEWS (0.744 vs. 0.675, P = 0.06). For in-hospital mortality, although there was no statistical difference, the AUROC of the SF ratio (0.660) was higher than that of each of the preexisting EWS models. In comparison with the preexisting EWS models, the SF ratio showed better or comparable predictive accuracy for unexpected ICU transfers in the respiratory wards.
Project description:Although most intensive care unit (ICU) admissions originate in the emergency department (ED), a substantial number of admissions arrive from hospital wards. Patients transferred from the hospital ward often share clinical characteristics with those admitted from the ED, but family expectations may differ. An understanding of the impact of ICU admission source on family perceptions of end-of-life care may help improve patient and family outcomes by identifying those at risk for poor outcomes.This was a cohort study of patients with chronic illness and acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation who died after admission to an ICU in any of the 14 participating hospitals in the Seattle-Tacoma area between 2003 and 2008 (n = 1,500).Using regression models adjusted for hospital site and patient-, nurse- and family-level characteristics, we examined associations between ICU admission source (hospital ward vs. ED) and (1) family ratings of satisfaction with ICU care; (2) family and nurse ratings of quality of dying; (3) chart-based indicators of palliative care.Admission from the hospital ward was associated with lower family ratings of quality of dying [? -0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.54, -0.26, p = 0.006] and satisfaction (total score ? -3.97, 95% CI -7.89, -0.05, p = 0.047; satisfaction with care domain score ? -5.40, 95% CI -9.44, -1.36, p = 0.009). Nurses did not report differences in quality of dying. Patients from hospital wards were less likely to have family conferences [odds ratio (OR) 0.68, 95% CI 0.52, 0.88, p = 0.004] or discussion of prognosis in the first 72 h after ICU admission (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.56, 0.91, p = 0.007) but were more likely to receive spiritual care (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.14, 1.93, p = 0.003) or have life support withdrawn (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.04, 1.82, p = 0.025).Admission from the hospital ward is associated with family perceptions of a lower quality of dying and less satisfaction with ICU care. Differences in receipt of palliative care suggest that family of patients from the hospital ward receive less communication. Nurse ratings of quality of dying did not significantly differ by ICU admission source, suggesting dissimilarities between family and nurse perspectives. This study identifies a patient population at risk for poor quality palliative and end-of-life care. Future studies are needed to identify interventions to improve care for patients who deteriorate on the wards following hospital admission.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Strained intensive care unit (ICU) capacity represents a supply-demand mismatch in ICU care. Limited data have explored health care worker (HCW) perceptions of strain. METHODS:Cross-sectional survey of HCW across 16 Alberta ICUs. A web-based questionnaire captured data on demographics, strain definition, and sources, impact and strategies for management. RESULTS:658 HCW responded (33%; 95%CI, 32-36%), of which 452 were nurses (69%), 128 allied health (19%), 45 physicians (7%) and 33 administrators (5%). Participants (agreed/strongly agreed: 94%) reported that strain was best defined as "a time-varying imbalance between the supply of available beds, staff and/or resources and the demand to provide high-quality care for patients who may become or who are critically ill"; while some recommended defining "high-quality care", integrating "safety", and families in the definition. Participants reported significant contributors to strain were: "inability to discharge ICU patients due to lack of available ward beds" (97%); "increases in the volume" (89%); and "acuity and complexity of patients requiring ICU support" (88%). Strain was perceived to "increase stress levels in health care providers" (98%); and "burnout in health care providers" (96%). The highest ranked strategies were: "have more consistent and better goals-of-care conversations with patients/families outside of ICU" (95%); and "increase non-acute care beds" (92%). INTERPRETATION:Strain is perceived as common. HCW believe precipitants represent a mix of patient-related and operational factors. Strain is thought to have negative implications for quality of care, HCW well-being and workplace environment. Most indicated strategies "outside" of ICU settings were priorities for managing strain.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To study the effects of tele-ICU monitoring on interhospital transfers from community-based ICUs to the quaternary care hospital at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. DESIGN:This is a retrospective review of data on interhospital transfers comparing trends prior to tele-ICU implementation to those following implementation. SETTING:Tele-ICU programs are increasingly utilized to fill resource gaps in caring for critically ill patients. How such programs impact population and bed management within a healthcare system are not known. Mayo Clinic serves as quaternary referral care center for hospitals in the region within the Mayo Clinic Health System. In August 2013, we implemented tele-ICU monitoring at six Mayo Clinic Health System hospital ICUs. SUBJECTS:All adult ICU admissions during the study period (preimplementation phase: January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012; and postimplementation phase: January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014) in any of the six specified community ICUs were included in the study. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:Interhospital transfers significantly increased post institution of tele-ICU (p = 0.040) and was attributed primarily to transfer from less specialized ICUs (p = 0.037) as compared with more resource-intensive ICUs (p = 0.88). However, for such patient transfers, there were no significant differences before and after severity of illness scores, ICU mortality, or inhospital mortality. CONCLUSION:In a regional healthcare system, implementation of a tele-ICU program is associated with an increase in interhospital transfers from less resourced ICUs to the referral center, a trend that is not readily explained by increased severity of illness.
Project description:Little is known about documentation during transitions of patient care between clinical specialties. Therefore, we examined the focus, structure and purpose of physician progress notes for patients transferred from the intensive care unit (ICU) to hospital ward to identify opportunities to improve communication breaks.This was a prospective cohort study in ten Canadian hospitals. We analyzed physician progress notes for consenting adult patients transferred from a medical-surgical ICU to hospital ward. The number, length, legibility and content of notes was counted and compared across care settings using mixed-effects linear regression models accounting for clustering within hospitals. Qualitative content analyses were conducted on a stratified random sample of 32 patients.A total of 447 patient medical records that included 7052 progress notes (mean 2.1 notes/patient/day 95% CI 1.9-2.3) were analyzed. Notes written by the ICU team were significantly longer than notes written by the ward team (mean lines of text 21 vs. 15, p?<?0.001). There was a discrepancy between documentation of patient issues in the last ICU and first ward notes; mean agreement of patient issues was 42% [95% CI 31-53%]. Qualitative analyses identified eight themes related to focus (central point - e.g., problem list), structure (organization, - e.g., note-taking style), and purpose (intention - e.g., documentation of patient course) of the notes that varied across clinical specialties and physician seniority.Important gaps and variations in written documentation during transitions of patient care between ICU and hospital ward physicians are common, and include discrepancies in documentation of patient information.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ensuring effective clinical management and continuity of TB care across hospital and primary health-care services remains challenging in South Africa. The high burden of TB, coupled with numerous health system problems, influence the TB care delivered by hospital staff. OBJECTIVE:To understand factors from the perspectives of hospital staff that influence the clinical management and discharge of TB patients, and to elicit recommendations to improve continuity of care for TB patients. DESIGN:Participatory action research was used to engage hospital staff working with TB patients admitted to a central public hospital in the Western Cape province, South Africa. Data were collected through eight focus group discussions with nurses, junior doctors and ward administrators. Data analysis was done using Miles and Huberman's framework to identify emerging patterns and to develop categories with themes and sub-themes. The participants influenced all phases of the research process to inform better practices in TB clinical management and discharge planning at the hospital. RESULTS:The emerging themes and sub-themes were categorized into two overall sections: The clinical care management process and the discharge and referral process. Nurses expressed a fear of exposure to TB and MDR-TB due to challenges in clinical and infection-prevention control. Clinical hierarchies, poor interdisciplinary teamwork, limited task shifting and poor communication interfered with effective clinical and discharge processes. A high workload, staff shortages and inadequate skills resulted in insufficient information and health education for TB patients and their caregivers. Despite awareness of the patients' socio-economic challenges, some aspects of care were not patient-centered, and caregivers were not included in discharge planning. Communication between the hospital and referral points was inefficient and poorly supported by information systems. Hospital staff recommended improved infection prevention and control practices and interdisciplinary teamwork in the hospital, that TB education for patients be integrated with hospital staff functions, with more patient-centered discharge planning, and improved communication across hospitals and primary health care levels. CONCLUSIONS:Interdisciplinary teamwork, more patient-centered care, and better communication within the hospital and with primary health-care services are needed for improved continuity of care for TB patients. Further studies on factors contributing to, and interventions to improve, continuity of TB care in similar hospital settings are needed.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To provide a case report of barriers and promoters to implementing a health information exchange (HIE) tool that supports patient transfers between hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. METHODS: A multi-disciplinary team conducted semi-structured telephone and in-person interviews in a purposive sample of HIE organizational informants and providers in New York City who implemented HIE to share patient transfer information. The researchers conducted grounded theory analysis to identify themes of barriers and promoters and took steps to improve the trustworthiness of the results including vetting from a knowledgeable study participant. RESULTS: Between May and October 2011, researchers recruited 18 participants: informaticians, healthcare administrators, software engineers, and providers from a skilled nursing facility. Subjects perceived the HIE tool's development a success in that it brought together stakeholders who had traditionally not partnered for informatics work, and that they could successfully share patient transfer information between a hospital and a skilled nursing facility. Perceived barriers included lack of hospital stakeholder buy-in and misalignment with clinical workflows that inhibited use of HIE-based patient transfer data. Participants described barriers and promoters in themes related to organizational, technical, and user-oriented issues. The investigation revealed that stakeholders could develop and implement health information technology that technically enables clinicians in both hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to exchange real-time information in support of patient transfers. User level barriers, particularly in the emergency department, should give pause to developers and implementers who plan to use HIE in support of patient transfers. CONCLUSIONS: Participants' experiences demonstrate how stakeholders may succeed in developing and piloting an electronic transfer form that relies on HIE to aggregate, communicate, and display relevant patient transfer data across health care organizations. Their experiences also provide insights for others seeking to develop HIE applications to improve patient transfers between emergency departments and skilled nursing facilities.