Work redesign and re-engineering have become the buzzwords of the 1990s as all sectors of the health care arena struggle to meet the demands of patient care while coping with increasing fiscal constraint. Redesign and re-engineering are terms that describe a wide range of strategies in health care and radically different models of care delivery. These new approaches to care are shifting the way we view care delivery and how it is structured. This paper describes the principles of redesign and re-engineering, common applications in health care organizations, outcomes and evaluation. Multiskilling and use of genetic health care workers are addressed. The potential impact on the practice of oncology nurses is explored as well as strategies to meet the challenges of today's health care environment.
The regionalization of healthcare in Alberta has been instrumental in changing the way we deliver healthcare to the population. In Calgary, the restructuring involved the closing of three acute care hospitals and a significant reduction in beds per capita. This reduction in inpatient beds behooved Senior Management in acute care to be innovative and responsive to the utilization of existing resources. The Department of Patient Transition Services was conceived with a mandate to provide assistance and support in utilization management and discharge planning, administrative coordination, system support and integration support. The evolution of this unique department is described.
This paper describes the administrative process by which the Ottawa General Hospital (OGH) closed 6 beds and used the staff and space resources thus released to set up an acute day hospital (ADH) for the treatment of 8 acutely ill psychiatric patients. Outcome data are presented on the first 160 patients admitted to the ADH.
Demographic and clinical information including diagnostic (DSM-III-R; Global Assessment of Functioning [GAF]) and questionnaire data (Symptom Checklist-90 Revised [SCL-90R]; Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]; State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI]; patient satisfaction) were obtained from 160 ADH patients at admission and discharge. Forty-two of these patients provided follow-up data 3 to 6 months postdischarge. The outcome of ADH patients was compared with that of a retrospectively obtained random sample (n = 100) of inpatients on selected diagnostic and demographic variables.
On clinician-rated and self-report clinical scales, ADH patients showed significant clinical improvement reflected in higher GAF scores and less psychological distress, depression, and anxiety at discharge relative to admission. There were no significant group differences in outcome indices except for shorter length of stay in the ADH group compared with inpatients. The ADH group rated the program highly in help received and quality of service. Short-term follow-up showed that gains made during treatment were maintained 3 to 6 months later.
These results show that a time-limited day hospital program is clinically effective for acutely ill psychiatric patients and leads to a more efficient use of inpatient resources. We believe that partial hospitalization for the treatment of acute psychiatric disorders may have wide application in psychiatric hospital practice.
Consolidation of neurosurgical (NS) services resulted in emergency medical services guidelines mandating transport of head-injured patients to the NS center if the Glasgow Coma Scale score is 3. This study determined what paramedic, system, or patient factors were associated with secondary head-injury transfer.
This study was a retrospective chart review from January 1996 to November 1998.
Ninety-one patient charts were reviewed. The median transport delay to the NS site was 4 hours 22 minutes. After transfer, 79 (96%) patients were admitted, 25 (30%) underwent craniotomy, and 18 (22%) died. The final diagnosis in 35 (43%) cases was subdural hematoma. Triage guidelines were violated in five patients (6%) and the NS center was on diversion in three (4%) cases. Most delays were related to patient presentations; 17 (21%) patients had no history of head trauma.
Unpredictable patient factors were the most frequent reasons patients required secondary transfer; few protocol violations or system factors were identified. No modifications to the current NS triage criteria are recommended.
The first reengineering project undertaken by the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre after adopting a philosophy of patient-focused care was the introduction of a new category of worker: the multi-skilled service assistant. This article describes the experiences of the first two cohorts of service assistants and assesses the changes made to the work itself and the integration of the new workers into the work environment. It concludes by sharing recommendations for introducing a new work role.