The Canadian Cardiology Society recommends that patients should be seen within 2 weeks after an emergency department (ED) visit for heart failure (HF). We sought to investigate whether patients who had an ED visit for HF subsequently consult a physician within the current established benchmark, to explore factors related to physician consultation, and to examine whether delay in consultation is associated with adverse events (AEs) (death, hospitalization, or repeat ED visit).
Patients were recruited by nurses at 8 hospital EDs in Québec, Canada, and interviewed by telephone within 6 weeks of discharge and subsequently at 3 and 6 months. Clinical variables were extracted from medical charts by nurses. We used Cox regression in the analysis.
We enrolled 410 patients (mean age 74.9 ± 11.1 years, 53% males) with a confirmed primary diagnosis of HF. Only 30% consulted with a physician within 2 weeks post-ED visit. By 4 weeks, 51% consulted a physician. Over the 6-month follow-up, 26% returned to the ED, 25% were hospitalized, and 9% died. Patients who were followed up within 4 weeks were more likely to be older and have higher education and a worse quality of life. Patients who consulted a physician within 4 weeks of ED discharge had a lower risk of AEs (hazard ratio 0.59, 95% CI 0.35-0.99).
Prompt follow-up post-ED visit for HF is associated with lower risk for major AEs. Therefore, adherence to current HF guideline benchmarks for timely follow-up post-ED visit is crucial.
Many studies demonstrate a high rate of treatment-related adverse outcomes or adverse events. No studies have prospectively evaluated adverse events in patients discharged home from the emergency department (ED).
To describe the types of adverse events in patients discharged home from an ED.
PATIENTS who were sent home directly from the ED of an urban, academic teaching hospital in Ottawa, Canada.
Patient records were reviewed to identify demographic and medical history information. Two weeks following the ED visit, patients completed a standard telephone interview to record post ED visit outcomes. Two physicians reviewed outcomes to identify all adverse events and their cause.
Follow-up was complete for 399 of 408 enrolled patients. The median age was 49 years (interquartile range 36-68) and 50% were male. The most common diagnosis was "chest pain", occurring in 74 patients (18%), followed by "bone and joint disorders" in 55 patients (14%). 24 patients experienced an adverse event (incidence 6% (95% CI 4% to 9%)), of which 17 were preventable (incidence 4% (95% CI 3% to 7%)). Five of the unpreventable adverse events were medication side effects and two were minor, procedure-related complications. Of all 24 adverse events, 15 (63%; 95% CI 43 to 79%) led to an additional ED visit or a hospitalisation. Preventable adverse events occurred in 5 of 78 chest pain patients (incidence 6% (95% CI 3% to 14%)).
Most adverse events occurring following an ED visit are preventable and often relate to diagnostic or management errors.
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Evidence informed decision making in health policy development and clinical practice depends on the availability of valid and reliable data. The introduction of interRAI assessment systems in many countries has provided valuable new information that can be used to support case mix based payment systems, quality monitoring, outcome measurement and care planning. The Continuing Care Reporting System (CCRS) managed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information has served as a data repository supporting national implementation of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI 2.0) in Canada for more than 15 years. The present paper aims to evaluate data quality for the CCRS using an approach that may be generalizable to comparable data holdings internationally.
Data from the RAI 2.0 implementation in Complex Continuing Care (CCC) hospitals/units and Long Term Care (LTC) homes in Ontario were analyzed using various statistical techniques that provide evidence for trends in validity, reliability, and population attributes. Time series comparisons included evaluations of scale reliability, patterns of associations between items and scales that provide evidence about convergent validity, and measures of changes in population characteristics over time.
Data quality with respect to reliability, validity, completeness and freedom from logical coding errors was consistently high for the CCRS in both CCC and LTC settings. The addition of logic checks further improved data quality in both settings. The only notable change of concern was a substantial inflation in the percentage of long term care home residents qualifying for the Special Rehabilitation level of the Resource Utilization Groups (RUG-III) case mix system after the adoption of that system as part of the payment system for LTC.
The CCRS provides a robust, high quality data source that may be used to inform policy, clinical practice and service delivery in Ontario. Only one area of concern was noted, and the statistical techniques employed here may be readily used to target organizations with data quality problems in that (or any other) area. There was also evidence that data quality was good in both CCC and LTC settings from the outset of implementation, meaning data may be used from the entire time series. The methods employed here may continue to be used to monitor data quality in this province over time and they provide a benchmark for comparisons with other jurisdictions implementing the RAI 2.0 in similar populations.
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To provide an overview of a comprehensive and integrated case-management program that incorporates principles of assertive community treatment and combines effective medical and psychosocial interventions and to present the results of a process and outcome evaluation of the program, with particular emphasis on its impact on service utilization and consumer satisfaction.
Data on demographic, clinical, and several outcome measures were collected on all patients who received care in the program for a minimum of 6 months. For process evaluation we assessed the extent to which the program adhered to its goals and satisfied the patients, their families, and community-service agencies. Outcome-evaluation data on the number and length of hospital admissions were compared for each subject with individual historical data for a period equal to the time spent in the program. In addition, relapses of psychotic symptoms that did not result in hospital admissions were calculated for each patient while in the program.
Demographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics of clients show that the program has succeeded in maintaining its focus on providing services to relatively chronically ill patients with psychotic disorders over a mean period of 3 years. The process-evaluation data indicated a high level of satisfaction by patients, families, and other service agencies with the services received. Information on outcome variable showed that the program achieved significantly lower rates of hospital admissions and relapse of psychosis than expected. There was a highly significant reduction achieved in the utilization of inpatient hospital resources for patients receiving care in the program. Most of the inpatient service utilization was attributed to patients either who were resistant to treatment with antipsychotic agents or who refused to accept or comply with medication.
It is possible to provide effective continuity of care from inpatient treatment to community adjustment for most individuals with psychotic disorders across the spectrum by blending hospital and community resources within an integrated case-management model of care.
The primary objective of this study was to determine the association between longitudinal continuity of care (CoC) in Swedish primary care (PC) and emergency services (ES) utilisation.
A cross-sectional analysis of longitudinal population data.
PC centres, out-of-hours PC facilities and emergency departments (EDs) in Blekinge County in southern Sweden.
People of all ages who lived in Blekinge County and who had made two or more visits per year to a general practitioner (GP) during office hours from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014.
Eight-thousand one-hundred and eighty-five people were included in the study. CoC was quantified using three different indices-Usual Provider of Care index (UPC), Continuity of Care index (CoCI), and Sequential Continuity index (SECON). The CoC that the PC centres could offer their enrolled patients varied significantly between the different centres, ranging from 0.23-0.57 for UPC, 0.12-0.43 for CoCI, and 0.25-0.52 for SECON. Association between the three CoC indices and ES utilisation was computed as an incidence rate ratio which ranged between 0.50 and 0.59.
Longitudinal CoC was shown to have a negative association with ES utilisation. The association was significant and of a magnitude that implies clinical relevance. Computed incidence rate ratios suggest that patients with the lowest CoC had twice as many ES visits compared to patients with the highest CoC.
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Communication between healthcare settings at patient transfers between primary and secondary care, 'handover', is a critical and risky process for patients. Patients' views on their roles in these processes are often lacking despite the knowledge that patient participation contributes to enhanced safety and wellbeing.
This study aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of patients' perspectives about their participation in handover.
Twenty-three Swedish patients with chronic diseases were individually interviewed about their experiences with handovers between three clinical microsystems: emergency room, emergency ward and primary healthcare centres. Data were analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis.
Patients participated within the microsystems by exchanging information, and between microsystems by making contact with and conveying information to their next healthcare provider. Enablers for participation included positive encounters with providers, patient empowerment and beliefs about organisational factors. Patients' trust in their providers, and providers' attitudes were important factors in patients' willingness to communicate. Patients who thought medical records access was shared across microsystems volunteered less information to their providers. Patients with experiences of non-effective handovers took more responsibility in the handover to ensure continuity of care.
Patients participate actively in handovers when they feel a need for involvement to ensure continuity of care, and are less active when they perceive that their contribution is unnecessary or not valued. In acute care settings with short hospital stays and less time to establish a trusting relationship between patients and their providers, discharge encounters may be important enablers for patient engagement in handovers. The advantages of a redundant handover process need to be considered.
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Persons with dementia receive health care and social services from a wide range of professional care providers during the disease trajectory, presenting risks of miscommunication, duplication and/or missed nursing interventions. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to investigate professional care providers' views on conditions for best practice in terms of collaboration and improvement needs in the chain of care from early to end-of-life stage for persons with dementia in Sweden.
The study had a qualitative design based on three focus group interviews. A strategic sample of 23 professional care providers was included. Data were subjected to content analysis based on the three stages of dementia (early, moderate, end-of-life).
The results were divided into five categories: Diagnosis is a prerequisite for specialized dementia care, Creating routines in the chain of care, Competent staff a prerequisite for high-quality care, Day care facilitates transition in the chain of care and Next-of-kin participation is a prerequisite for continuity in the chain of care. It was clear that, according to the participants, best practice in dementia care in Sweden is not achieved in every respect. It appeared that transitions of care between different organizations are critical events which need to be improved. The further the disease progresses, the less collaboration there seems to be among professional care providers, which is when the next of kin are usually called upon to maintain continuity in the chain of care.
The results indicate that, according to the care providers, best practice in terms of collaboration is achieved to a higher degree during the early stage of dementia compared with the moderate and end-of-life stages. Lack of best practice strategies during these stages makes it difficult to meet the needs of persons with dementia and reduce the burden for next of kin. These are experiences to be taken into account to improve the quality of dementia care. Implementation research is needed to develop strategies for best practice on the basis of national knowledge-based guidelines and to apply these strategies in the moderate and end-of-life stages.
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Theatre nurses at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Orebro, Sweden, have since 2001 routinely conducted a follow-up visit to postoperative cardiac patients. A model with a standardized information part and an individual-caring conversation including both a retrospective and a prospective part designed the visit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of the postoperative follow-up visit conducted by the theatre nurses and find out if the quality was related to gender or type of admission. The method was prospective and explorative, including 74 cardiac surgery patients who had had a postoperative follow-up visit by a theatre nurse in Sweden. The instrument measuring quality, from the patient's perspective, measured the quality of the visit, and consisted of 16 items modified to suit the study. The results showed an overall high quality rating, with statistically significant higher scores for six items between patients who had undergone emergency surgery, in comparison with elective patients. When comparing gender, women had statistically significant higher scores in two items. In conclusion, this postoperative follow-up visit by the theatre nurse was a valuable and useful tool especially for the patients who had undergone emergency surgery. In the follow-up visit the theatre nurse creates a caring relationship by meeting the patient as an individual with his/her own experience and needs for information about the surgery, intra and postoperative care, and recovery.