We have previously studied system failures involved in medication errors using a limited number of root cause analyses as source. The aim of this study was to describe a larger number of medication errors with respect to harm, involved medicines and involved system problems - thus providing information for the development of IT-based decision support. We evaluated 3,520 medication error reports derived from 12 months of consecutive reporting from 13 hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark. We found 0.65% errors with serious harm and 16% with moderate harm. A small number of medicines were involved in the majority of the errors. The problems in the medication error process were heterogeneous. Some were related to specific medicines and others were related to the computerized order entry system. Accordingly decision support targeted at specific medicines and improved IT systems are part of the continuing work to reduce the frequency of medication errors.
The objective of this decision support synthesis was to identify and review published and grey literature and to conduct stakeholder interviews to (1) describe the distinguishing characteristics of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and nurse practitioner (NP) role definitions and competencies relevant to Canadian contexts, (2) identify the key barriers and facilitators for the effective development and utilization of CNS and NP roles and (3) inform the development of evidence-based recommendations for the individual, organizational and system supports required to better integrate CNS and NP roles into the Canadian healthcare system and advance the delivery of nursing and patient care services in Canada. Four types of advanced practice nurses (APNs) were the focus: CNSs, primary healthcare nurse practitioners (PHCNPs), acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) and a blended CNS/NP role. We worked with a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional advisory board that helped identify documents and key informant interviewees, develop interview questions and formulate implications from our findings. We included 468 published and unpublished English- and French-language papers in a scoping review of the literature. We conducted interviews in English and French with 62 Canadian and international key informants (APNs, healthcare administrators, policy makers, nursing regulators, educators, physicians and other team members). We conducted four focus groups with a total of 19 APNs, educators, administrators and policy makers. A multidisciplinary roundtable convened by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation formulated evidence-informed policy and practice recommendations based on the synthesis findings. This paper forms the foundation for this special issue, which contains 10 papers summarizing different dimensions of our synthesis. Here, we summarize the synthesis methods and the recommendations formulated at the roundtable.
Centre for eHealth, Centre for Care Research, Southern Norway, Department of Health and Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Post box 422, 4604, Kristiansand, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telemedicine is changing traditional nursing care, and entails nurses performing advanced and complex care within a new clinical environment, and monitoring patients at a distance. Telemedicine practice requires complex disease management, advocating that the nurses' reasoning and decision-making processes are supported. Computerised decision support systems are being used increasingly to assist reasoning and decision-making in different situations. However, little research has focused on the clinical reasoning of nurses using a computerised decision support system in a telemedicine setting. Therefore, the objective of the study is to explore the process of telemedicine nurses' clinical reasoning when using a computerised decision support system for the management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The factors influencing the reasoning and decision-making processes were investigated.
In this ethnographic study, a combination of data collection methods, including participatory observations, the think-aloud technique, and a focus group interview was employed. Collected data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
When telemedicine nurses used a computerised decision support system for the management of patients with complex, unstable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, two categories emerged: "the process of telemedicine nurses' reasoning to assess health change" and "the influence of the telemedicine setting on nurses' reasoning and decision-making processes". An overall theme, termed "advancing beyond the system", represented the connection between the reasoning processes and the telemedicine work and setting, where being familiar with the patient functioned as a foundation for the nurses' clinical reasoning process.
In the telemedicine setting, when supported by a computerised decision support system, nurses' reasoning was enabled by the continuous flow of digital clinical data, regular video-mediated contact and shared decision-making with the patient. These factors fostered an in-depth knowledge of the patients and acted as a foundation for the nurses' reasoning process. Nurses' reasoning frequently advanced beyond the computerised decision support system recommendations. Future studies are warranted to develop more accurate algorithms, increase system maturity, and improve the integration of the digital clinical information with clinical experiences, to support telemedicine nurses' reasoning process.
To study the implementation of electronic guidelines designed for general practitioners (GPs).
A descriptive 3-year follow-up study.
All new subscribers to Physician's Desk Reference and Database (PDRD) in 1992.
Locations of computers, where PDRD software was installed for the first time in 1992.
Expectations of the program and changes in attitudes towards it, getting started with the system, frequency and continuity of use and estimated usefulness of the program.
The guidelines were expected to enhance diagnostic accuracy (60% of subscribers), save time (45%), and reduce costs (11%). After 1 year's use, the opinions of the users on these topics had become slightly more positive. Technical problems delayed starting to use the program in 27%. After 1 year 72% were using the program at least weekly. Using frequency was associated with having the computer in the office. The subscribers who renewed their subscription after one year often became regular users.
The study provides insight into the implementation phase of computer-based guidelines in a population of early adopters. Technical support was essential to overcome the barriers associated with computer technology. The perceived need for information was independent of the age and experience of the physicians.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is based on an ever-increasing body of data and knowledge making it a complex task. The PredictAD tool integrates heterogeneous patient data using an interactive user interface to provide decision support. The aim of this project was to investigate the performance of the tool in distinguishing AD from non-AD dementia using a realistic clinical dataset.
We retrieved clinical data from a group of patients diagnosed with AD (n = 72), vascular dementia (VaD, n = 30), frontotemporal dementia (FTD, n = 25) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB, n = 14) at the Copenhagen Memory Clinic at Rigshospitalet. Three classification methods were applied to the data in order to differentiate between AD and a group of non-AD dementias. The methods were the PredictAD tool's Disease State Index (DSI), the naïve Bayesian classifier and the random forest.
The DSI performed best for this realistic dataset with an accuracy of 76.6% compared to the accuracies for the naïve Bayesian classifier and random forest of 67.4 and 66.7%, respectively. Furthermore, the DSI differentiated between the four diagnostic groups with a p value of
Clinicians in Emergency Medicine (EM) are increasingly exposed to guidelines and treatment recommendations. To help access and recall these recommendations, electronic Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) have been developed. This study examined the use and sensibility of two CDSS designed for emergency physicians. CDDS for community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and neutropenic fever (NF) were developed by multidisciplinary teams and have been accessed via an intranet-based homepage (eCPG) for several years. Sensibility is a term coined by Feinstein that describes common sense aspects of a survey instrument. It was modified by emergency researchers to include four main headings: (1) Appropriateness; (2) Objectivity; (3) Content; and (4) Discriminative Power. Sensibility surveys were developed using an iterative approach for both the CAP and NF CDSS and distributed to all 25 emergency physicians at one Canadian site. The overall response rate was 88%. Respondents were 88% male and 83% were less than 40; all were attending EM physicians with specialty designations. A number reported never having used the CAP (21%) or NF (33%) CDSS; 54% (CAP) and 21% (NF) of respondents had used the respective CDSS less than 10 times. Overall, both CDSS were rated highly by users with a mean response of 4.95 (SD 0.56) for CAP and 5.62 (SD 0.62) for NF on a seven-point Likert scale. The majority or respondents (CAP 59%, NF 80%) felt that the NF CDSS was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease the chances of making a medical error in medication dose, antibiotic choice or patient disposition (4.61 vs. 5.81, p=0.008). Despite being in place for several years, CDSS for CAP and NF are not used by all EM clinicians. Users were generally satisfied with the CDSS and felt that the NF was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease medical errors. Additional research is required to determine the barriers to CDSS use.
Healthcare errors among nurses are common because of the fast-paced work environment, in which extensive data must be analyzed and quick decision making is required. Assistive computing devices can help reduce nursing errors by providing timely access to client information and by assisting nurses with client monitoring, decision making, and bedside documentation. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine what assistive computing device features, functions, and input/output modalities nurses would find most useful as support for their nursing duties. Twenty nurses completed a questionnaire that examined their needs and preferences. Data analysis revealed a strong desire for capabilities related to facilitating information access and administering safe medication. The results of this study will be used to develop design criteria for an assistive computing device that will aim to improve the performance of nurses through appropriate information and data support.
We evaluate the international diffusion of the Ottawa Ankle and Knee Rules and determine emergency physicians' attitudes toward clinical decision rules in general.
We conducted a cross-sectional, self-administered mail survey of random samples of 500 members each of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine, Spanish Society for Emergency Medicine, and all members (n=1,350) of the French Speaking Society of Emergency Physicians, France. Main outcome measures were awareness of the Ottawa Ankle and Knee Rules, reported use of these rules, and attitudes toward clinical decision rules in general.
A total of 1,769 (57%) emergency physicians responded, with country-specific response rates between 49% (United States and France) and 79% (Canada). More than 69% of physicians in all countries, except Spain, were aware of the Ottawa Ankle Rules. Use of the Ottawa Ankle Rules differed by country with more than 70% of all responding Canadian and United Kingdom physicians reporting frequent use of the rules compared with fewer than one third of US, French, and Spanish physicians. The Ottawa Knee Rule was less well known and less used by physicians in all countries. Most physicians in all countries viewed decision rules as intended to improve the quality of health care (>78%), a convenient source of advice (>67%), and good educational tools (>61%). Of all physicians, those from the United States held the least positive attitudes toward decision rules.
This constitutes the largest international survey of emergency physicians' attitudes toward and use of clinical decision rules. Striking differences were apparent among countries with regard to knowledge and use of decision rules. Despite similar awareness in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, US physicians appeared much less likely to use the Ottawa Ankle Rules. Future research should investigate factors leading to differences in rates of diffusion among countries and address strategies to enhance dissemination and implementation of such rules in the emergency department.
Call center nurses triage symptoms and provide health information. However, information alone is not adequate for people facing values-sensitive health decisions. For these decisions, effective interventions are evidence-based patient decision aids and in-person nurse coaching using a structured process. Little is known about the quality of decision support provided by call center nurses.
To identify the barriers and facilitators influencing the provision of decision support by call center nurses to callers facing values-sensitive health decisions at a Canadian province-wide health call center.
A mixed qualitative and quantitative descriptive study from December 2003 to January 2004 using key informant interviews (n= 4), two focus groups (n= 7), a barriers assessment survey (n= 57), and analysis of simulated patient calls (n= 38) were carried out. Triangulation of these data was conducted using a conceptual content analysis method.
Participants indicated positive attitudes toward call center nurses preparing callers facing values-sensitive decisions. Facilitators included decision support resources, nurses' ability to recognize callers having difficulty, and having a supportive organizational infrastructure. The most frequently identified barriers were (a) limited usability of patient decision aids via telephone; (b) lack of a structured process to guide nurses during these types of calls; (c) nurses' inadequate knowledge, skills, and confidence in providing values-sensitive decision support; (d) unclear program direction; (e) organizational pressure to minimize call length; and (f) low public awareness of the services.
Despite call center nurses having positive attitudes, several modifiable barriers were interfering with nurses' current approaches to supporting callers facing values-sensitive decisions. Nurses wanted educational opportunities to further develop their decision support knowledge and skills, and decision support resources that are easier to use via telephone. As well, changes to organizational policies that address identified barriers could further facilitate the provision of decision support.
Decision Boxes are summaries of the most important benefits and harms of health interventions provided to clinicians before they meet the patient, to prepare them to help patients make informed and value-based decisions. Our objective is to explore the barriers and facilitators to using Decision Boxes in clinical practice, more precisely factors stemming from (1) the Decision Boxes themselves, (2) the primary healthcare team (PHT), and (3) the primary care practice environment.
A two-phase mixed methods study will be conducted. Eight Decision Boxes relevant to primary care, and written in both English and in French, will be hosted on a website together with a tutorial to introduce the Decision Box. The Decision Boxes will be delivered as weekly emails over a span of eight weeks to clinicians of PHTs (family physicians, residents and nurses) in five primary care clinics located across two Canadian provinces. Using a web-questionnaire, clinicians will rate each Decision Box with the Information Assessment Method (cognitive impacts, relevance, usefulness, expected benefits) and with a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior to study the determinants of clinicians' intention to use what they learned from that Decision Box in their patient encounter (attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control). Web-log data will be used to monitor clinicians' access to the website. Following the 8-week intervention, we will conduct semi-structured group interviews with clinicians and individual interviews with clinic administrators to explore contextual factors influencing the use of the Decision Boxes. Data collected from questionnaires, focus groups and individual interviews will be combined to identify factors potentially influencing implementation of Decision Boxes in clinical practice by clinicians of PHTs.
This project will allow tailoring of Decision Boxes and their delivery to overcome the specific barriers identified by clinicians of PHTs to improve the implementation of shared decision making in this setting.
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