OBJECTIVE: This long-term follow-up recorded the prevalence, aetiology and treatment of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcers, and an estimated nurses' time spent providing care, for the years 1994-2005. METHOD: A questionnaire was sent to all district and community nurses in the county of Blekinge, Sweden, during one week in 1994, 1998, 2004 and 2005. Calculating the costs of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcer care was not a primary aim, but the reduction in prevalence and time spent on wound management suggested it was important to illustrate the economic consequences of these changes over time. RESULTS: Estimated prevalence of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcers reduced from 0.22% in 1994 to 0.15% in 2005. Treatment time decreased from 1.7 hours per patient per week in 1994 to 1.3 hours in 2005. Annual costs of leg and foot ulcer care reduced by SEK 6.96 million in the study area from 1994 to 2005. CONCLUSION: Improved wound management was demonstrated; leg and foot ulcer prevalence and treatment time were reduced. The results could be attributed to an increased interest in leg and foot ulcer care among staff, which was maintained by repeated questionnaires, continuous education, establishment of a wound healing centre in primary care and wound management recommendations from a multidisciplinary group. The improved ulcer care reduced considerably the annual costs of wound management in the area.
A Canadian specialty nursing association identified the necessity to examine the role and impact of enterostomal (ET) nursing in Canada. We completed a retrospective analysis of the cost-effectiveness and benefits of ET nurse-driven resources for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds in the community.
This was a multicenter retrospective pragmatic chart audit of 3 models of nursing care utilizing 4 community nursing agencies and 1 specialty company owned and operated by ET nurses. An analysis was completed using quantitative methods to evaluate healing outcomes, nursing costs, and cost-effectiveness.
Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated to determine the average time to 100% healing of acute and chronic wounds and total nursing visit costs for treatment in a community setting. Average direct nursing costs related to management of each wound were determined by number of nursing visits and related reimbursement for each visit. A Monte Carlo simulation method was used to help account for costs and benefits in determination of cost-effectiveness between caring groups and the uncertainty from variation between patients and wounds.
Three hundred sixty chronic wounds and 54 acute surgical wound charts were audited. Involvement of a registered nurse (RN) with ET or advanced wound ostomy skills (AWOS) in community-level chronic and acute wound care was associated with lower overall costs mainly due to reduced time to 100% closure of the wound and reduced number of nursing visits. The differences in health benefits and total costs of nursing care between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid group that includes interventions developed by an ET nurse and followed by general visiting nurses that could include both RNs and registered practical nurses is an expected reduction in healing times of 45 days and an expected cost difference of $5927.00 per chronic wound treated. When outcomes were broken into ET/AWOS involvement categories for treatment of chronic wounds, there was a significantly faster time to 100% closure at a lower mean cost as the ET/AWOS involvement increased in the case. For acute wound treatment, the differences in health benefits and total costs between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid nursing care model were an expected reduction in healing times of 95 days and an expected cost difference of $9578.00 per acute wound treated. Again, there was a significant difference in healing times and reduced mean cost as the ET/AWOS became more involved in the treatment. The financial benefit to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is estimated to increase as the involvement of nurses with ET/AWOS specialty training increases.
The greater the involvement both directly and indirectly of an ET/AWOS nurse in the management of wounds, the greater the savings and the shorter the healing times.
To identify (1) the contribution of non-patient factors to patient classification systems and (2) the explanatory power of nursing care intensity and non-patient factors to Professional Assessment of Optimal Nursing Care Intensity Level workload.
In the Rainio, Fagerström and Rauhala (RAFAELA) patient classification system, nursing care intensity per nurse is measured daily by the Oulu Patient Classification/Qualisan instrument. The optimal nursing care intensity is determined using Professional Assessment of Optimal Nursing Care Intensity Level instrument. However, nurses' workload may be affected by factors other than nursing care intensity. Therefore, RAFAELA contains 12 non-patient questions.
A retrospective study of all 22 somatic wards of a secondary healthcare hospital in Finland.
Non-patient questions were answered in 26% of 4870 questionnaires. They added to workload in 62%. Eight questions were grouped into four factors: administration; staff resources and mental stress; co-operation within and between units. The explanatory value between Oulu Patient Classification/Qualisan and Professional Assessment of Optimal Nursing Care Intensity Level had a median of 0.45. Including the non-patient questions raised it to 0.55.
Non-patient factors affect the nurses' assessments of their workload, but less than nursing care intensity. They contribute valuable information on the functioning and problems of wards.
RAFAELA is a new Finnish PCS, which is used in several University Hospitals and Central Hospitals and has aroused considerable interest in hospitals in Europe.
The aim of the research is firstly to assess the feasibility of the RAFAELA Patient Classification System (PCS) in nursing staff management and, secondly, whether it can be seen as the transferring of nursing resources between wards according to the information received from nursing care intensity classification.
The material was received from the Central Hospital's 12 general wards between 2000 and 2001. The RAFAELA PCS consists of three different measures: a system measuring patient care intensity, a system recording daily nursing resources, and a system measuring the optimal nursing care intensity/nurse situation. The data were analysed in proportion to the labour costs of nursing work and, from that, we calculated the employer's loss (a situation below the optimal level) and savings (a situation above the optimal level) per ward as both costs and the number of nurses.
In 2000 the wards had on average 77 days below the optimal level and 106 days above it. In 2001 the wards had on average 71 days below the optimal level and 129 above it. Converting all these days to monetary and personnel resources the employer lost 307,745 or 9.84 nurses and saved 369,080 or 11.80 nurses in total in 2000. In 2001 the employer lost in total 242,143 or 7.58 nurses and saved 457,615 or 14.32 nurses. During the time period of the research nursing resources seemed not have been transferred between wards.
RAFAELA PCS is applicable to the allocation of nursing resources but its possibilities have not been entirely used in the researched hospital. The management of nursing work should actively use the information received in nursing care intensity classification and plan and implement the transferring of nursing resources in order to ensure the quality of patient care.
Information on which units resources should be allocated to is needed in the planning of staff resources of the whole hospital. More resources do not solve the managerial problem of the right allocation of resources. If resources are placed wrongly, the problems of daily staff management and cost control continue.
The objectives of this research were to explore and describe emerging new roles of First-Line Nurse Managers (F-LNMs i.e. individuals who oversee the daily operations of nursing units, regardless of their titles) in one Canadian province, identify their requisite knowledge, skills, competencies, and determine the training and development needs of these managers.
F-LNMs, recognized as key players in health care systems, face major challenges (e.g. continuing organizational change, lack of resources) daily. These challenges affect their ability to achieve quality work experiences for their staff members and quality of nursing care for their patients and for themselves.
The research design entails a triangulation of investigators (nursing and management), methods (interviews and a Delphi Study), samples (interviews with 26 F-LNMs and a Delphi Study with 62 panelists), and data (qualitative and quantitative). Institutions were randomly selected and then F-LNMs were randomly selected to participate in personal interviews and the remaining F-LNMs, along with nominated senior administrators, were invited to participate in the Delphi Study.
Key findings relate to role changes (e.g. job enlargement and emphasis on efficiency), challenges (e.g. staffing and retention, frustrations), and recommendations for administrators (e.g. provide resources, training and development) and educators (e.g. link education to organizational needs). Ultimately, organizational changes and challenges affect how F-LNMs perceive their future professional (e.g. providing quality of patient care) and personal (e.g. high quality of life) satisfaction levels.
This research suggests that the role of F-LNMs continues to evolve, consistent with the changing health care system. F-LNMs face challenges that compromise performance of their functions as they believe their work should be completed. To enhance satisfaction in their roles, F-LNMs express a desire for balance in their professional and personal lives.
The aim of the study was to explore the possibilities of benchmarking with the RAFAELA system. In this study, comparisons are made between: (1) costs for one nursing care intensity point; (2) the nursing care intensity per nurse; (3) the relationship between nursing care intensity per nurse and (4) the optimal nursing care intensity.
During the period from 1994 to 2000 a new system for patient classification, the RAFAELA system, was developed in Finland.
86 wards from 14 different hospitals in Finland took part in the study.
The costs for one nursing care intensity point on the adults' wards were on average 7.80euro. The average workload was 25.2 nursing care intensity points per nurse. The optimal nursing care intensity was exceeded during 49.5% of the days and under during 20% of the days.
The study shows that benchmarking with the RAFAELA system provides many opportunities for the nurse managers' resource allocation and their personnel administration.
This case study describes an ongoing demonstration project that engages nurses and nurse leaders in decision-making with respect to workload management issues at eight practice sites within British Columbia (two per healthcare sector: acute care, long-term care, community health and community mental health). The primary goal of this project is to promote high-quality practice environments by empowering front-line nurses and their leaders: giving them the means to systematically examine and act upon factors that influence their workloads. Examples from practice sites illustrate tangible benefits from the project.
This study was undertaken to test the applicability of using a standardized questionnaire for measuring public health nurse (PHN) job satisfaction and to determine whether or not scores changed over 30 months. The importance of establishing a method for ongoing measurement of PHN job satisfaction was underscored by changing directions in practice and an emphasis on building public health capacity.
A 30-month interval, repeated measures descriptive survey design was used.
A randomly selected sample of 87 PHNs employed within 1 Canadian regional health authority participated.
The survey questionnaire, the Index of Worklife Satisfaction, was designed to measure the importance of and satisfaction with 6 components of job satisfaction.
Pay and autonomy were the most important components; the order of the 4 remaining components changed from first to second surveys. Professional status, autonomy, and interaction were the most satisfying components; PHN satisfaction with professional status and interaction improved significantly over 30 months. A majority of subjects reported that direct client care/client response/making a difference were worklife aspects providing them with most satisfaction.
A valid, reliable questionnaire suitable for ongoing measurement was tested with PHNs, and baseline levels of their job satisfaction were established.
Parents raising children with chronic conditions face the challenge of locating and coordinating appropriate community-based resources and services for their child. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to determine parents' view of the mechanisms used to allocate health, education, and social services to children with chronic illness and disability and their caregiving families. A thematic analysis was conducted on data from interviews with 30 mothers and 13 fathers. These parents described 11 mechanisms that were used to determine eligibility and/or to ration services: diagnosis, age, technology dependence, severity, functional ability, guardianship status, geographic location, financial resources, judged parental coping, failure to inform parents about available services, and cyclical funding. These mechanisms were complex, inconsistent, and subject to change. Mechanisms that are integrated, proactive, flexible, and fair are needed to reduce parents' workload and to ensure more equitable allocation of services.