ResearchPad - quality-improvement-report https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[COVID 19 outbreak: organisation of a geriatric assessment and coordination unit. A French example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12480 Older people are particularly affected by the COVID19 outbreak because of their vulnerability as well as the complexity of health organisations, particularly in the often-compartmentalised interactions between community, hospital and nursing home actors. In this endemic situation, with massive flows of patients requiring holistic management including specific and intensive care, the appropriate assessment of each patient’s level of care and the organisation of specific networks is essential.

To that end, we propose here a territorial organisation of health care, favouring communication between all actors. This organisation of care is based on three key points: To use the basis of territorial organisation of health by facilitating the link between hospital settings and geriatric sectors at the regional level.To connect private, medico-social and hospital actors through a dedicated centralised unit for evaluation, geriatric coordination of care and decision support. A geriatrician coordinates this multidisciplinary unit. It includes an emergency room doctor, a supervisor from the medical regulation centre (Centre 15), an infectious disease physician, a medical hygienist and a palliative care specialist.To organise an ad hoc follow-up channel, including the necessary resources for the different levels of care required, according to the resources of the territorial network, and the creation of a specific COVID geriatric palliative care service.

This organisation meets the urgent health needs of all stakeholders, facilitating its deployment and allows the sustainable implementation of a coordinated geriatric management dynamic between the stakeholders on the territory.

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<![CDATA[Improving patient safety during intrahospital transportation of mechanically ventilated patients with critical illness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9095 Intrahospital transportation (IHT) of patients under mechanical ventilation (MV) significantly increases the risk of patient harm. A structured process performed by a well-prepared team with adequate communication among team members plays a vital role in enhancing patient safety during transportation.Design and implementationWe conducted this quality improvement programme at the intensive care units of a university-affiliated medical centre, focusing on the care of patients under MV who received IHT for CT or MRI examinations. With the interventions based on the analysis finding of the IHT process by healthcare failure mode and effects analysis, we developed and implemented strategies to improve this process, including standardisation of the transportation process, enhancing equipment maintenance and strengthening the teamwork among the transportation teammates. In a subsequent cycle, we developed and implemented a new process with the practice of reminder-assisted briefing. The reminders were printed on cards with mnemonics including ‘VITAL’ (Vital signs, Infusions, Tubes, Alarms and Leave) attached to the transportation monitors for the intensive care unit nurses, ‘STOP’ (Secretions, Tubes, Oxygen and Power) attached to the transportation ventilators for the respiratory therapists and ‘STOP’ (Speak-out, Tubes, Others and Position) attached to the examination equipment for the radiology technicians. We compared the incidence of adverse events and completeness and correctness of the tasks deemed to be essential for effective teamwork before and after implementing the programme.ResultsThe implementation of the programme significantly reduced the number and incidence of adverse events (1.08% vs 0.23%, p=0.01). Audits also showed improved teamwork during transportation as the team members showed increased completeness and correctness of the essential IHT tasks (80.8% vs 96.5%, p<0.001).ConclusionThe implementation of reminder-assisted briefings significantly enhanced patient safety and teamwork behaviours during the IHT of mechanically ventilated patients with critical illness. ]]> <![CDATA[Testicular cancer: improving outcomes with national quality performance indicators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N872e8341-9941-415a-bc38-af74ffaeca06 Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young adult men. The prognosis is excellent in limited disease and cure is possible even in advanced disease. Quality performance indicators (QPI) are used in many developed countries as a measure of healthcare performance. We report and discuss the development of a national set of QPIs in Scotland for testicular cancer as a method of gathering demographic data and driving improvement in nationwide testicular cancer outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Improving the documentation quality of point-of-care ultrasound scans in the emergency department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0ba55d45-5afe-45fa-bb20-9786c84adeb0 A point-of-care ultrasound scan (POCUS) is a core element of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) specialty training curriculum. However, POCUS documentation quality can be poor, especially in the time-pressured environment of the emergency department (ED). A survey of 10 junior ED clinicians at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) found that total POCUS documentation was as low as 38% in some examinations.

This quality improvement project aimed to increase the coverage and quality of POCUS documentation in the ED. This was done by using a plan-do-study-act (PDSA) regime to improve the quality of POCUS documentation from the original baseline to 80%. There were three discreet PDSA cycles and the interventions included improving education and training about POCUS documentation and the introduction of an original proforma, which incorporated six minimum requirements for POCUS documentation as per the joint RCEM and Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) guidelines for POCUS documentation (patient details, indications, findings, conclusions, signature and date).

The project team audited the quality of all documented scans in the resuscitation department of the PRUH against the RCEM/RCR guidelines at baseline and following three discrete PDSA cycles. This was done over an 8-week period, spanning 696 attendances to the resuscitation area of the ED and 42 documented POCUS examinations.

Quality recording of the six RCEM/RCR elements of POCUS documentation was poor at baseline but improved following three successful PDSA cycles. There was a demonstrated improvement in five of six documentation elements: patient details on POCUS documentation increased from 53.3% to the 66.7%, indication from 60.0% to 66.7%, conclusion from 13.0% to 83.0%, signature from 86.7% to 100.0% and date from 46.7% to 66.7%.

These results suggest that the introduction of a proforma and a vigorous education strategy are effective ways to improve the quality of documentation of ED POCUS.

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<![CDATA[Improving blood pressure screening and control at an academic health system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N25a04519-e9c7-44ed-8203-d11f5b3c0c0c The goal of the University of California Davis Health Blood Pressure (BP) Quality Improvement Initiative was to improve the diagnosis, management and control of high BP. Patients aged 18–85 years were included in the initiative. Lean A3 problem solving was used to implement the following evidence-based interventions based on stakeholder interviews, value stream mapping and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts Initiative: staff training on accurate BP measurement, visual cues and reminders for BP screening, virtual case-based videoconferences, standardised clinical management algorithm, academic detailing visits, clinical decision support tools, access to pharmacists for medication comanagement, clinician workflow modification, patient education and access to home BP monitors. Following implementation of interventions, accurate screening of BP increased from 14% to 87% and BP control increased from 62% to 75%. Strategies that contributed the most to improvements were using a team-based approach, adjusting clinic workflow and frequent communication of results to staff.

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<![CDATA[Community-based prehabilitation before elective major surgery: the PREP-WELL quality improvement project]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4151a487-e504-4976-ae23-cfa2e0c4fdad Optimising health and well-being before elective major surgery via prehabilitation initiatives is important for good postoperative outcomes. In a busy tertiary centre in North East England, the lack of a formal prehabilitation service meant that opportunities were being missed to optimise patients for surgery. This quality improvement project aimed to implement and evaluate a community-based prehabilitation service for people awaiting elective major surgery: PREP-WELL. A multidisciplinary, cross-sector team introduced PREP-WELL in January 2018. PREP-WELL provided comprehensive assessment and management of perioperative risk factors in the weeks before surgery. During a 12-month pilot, patients were referred from five surgical specialties at James Cook University Hospital. Data were collected on participant characteristics, behavioural and health outcomes, intervention acceptability and costs, and process-related factors. By December 2018, 159 referrals had been received, with 75 patients (47%) agreeing to participate. Most participants opted for a supervised programme (72%) and were awaiting vascular (43%) or orthopaedic (35%) surgery. Median programme duration was 8 weeks. The service was delivered as intended with participants providing positive feedback. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL; EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) utility) and functional capacity (6 min walk distance) increased on average from service entry to exit, with mean (95% CI) changes of 0.108 (−0.023 to 0.240) and 35 m (−5 to 76 m), respectively. Further increases in EQ5D utility were observed at 3 months post surgery. Substantially more participants were achieving recommended physical activity levels at exit and 3 months post surgery compared with at entry. The mean cost of the intervention was £405 per patient; £52 per week. The service was successfully implemented within existing preoperative pathways. Most participants were very satisfied and improved their risk profile preoperatively. Funding has been obtained to support service development and expansion for at least 2 more years. During this period, alternative pathways will be developed to facilitate wider access and greater uptake.

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<![CDATA[Reducing readmissions and improving patient experience following urological surgery, through early telephone follow-up]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3436054e-a188-4592-b86a-74ce1ec167ca Readmission from urological surgery is common, with a readmission rate for day case surgery of 3.7% and 26% for robot-assisted cystectomy. Readmission to secondary care and representation to primary care are both expensive and preventable. This project aimed to reduce both and also enhance the care of patients following urological surgery in a large tertiary referral centre, within the National Health Service. A retrospective telephone follow-up (TFU) survey was set up in the early postoperatively period to measure reattendance and readmission rates and perception of care received. Patients were also asked to suggest how improvement could be made. Quality improvement tools were used to optimise and review the methods and timing of TFU. TFU was initiated as a strategy to enhance care and reduce readmission rates. Phone calls were targeted to occur between 48 and 72 hours following discharge. During the intervention period, 484 phone calls were attempted with 343 being successful. Reattendance rates were reduced by 13% and patient satisfaction improved by 19.6%, following TFU. This intervention also generated additional income for the organisation and enhanced patient satisfaction in the early postoperative period.

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<![CDATA[Missed posterior shoulder fracture dislocations: a new protocol from a London major trauma centre]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na83ac4e6-a75e-4909-879b-1e4f52d909fd

Background

A high incidence of missed posterior shoulder dislocations is widely recognised in the literature. Concern was raised by the upper limb multidisciplinary team at a London major trauma centre that these missed injuries were causing serious consequences due to the need for surgical intervention and poor functional outcome.

Objective

To identify factors contributing to missed diagnosis and propose solutions.

Methods

A local quality improvement report was performed investigating time from admission to diagnosis of simple posterior dislocations and fracture dislocations over a 5-year period. Factors contributing to a delayed diagnosis were analysed.

Results

The findings supported current evidence: a posterior shoulder dislocation was more often missed if there was concurrent fracture of the proximal humerus. Anteroposterior and scapular Y view radiographs were not always diagnostic for dislocation. Axial views were more reliable in assessment of the congruency of the joint and were associated with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the injury.

Discussion

As a result of these findings a new protocol was produced by the orthopaedic and radiology departments and distributed to our emergency department practitioners and radiography team. The protocol included routine axial or modified trauma axial view radiographs for all patients attending the emergency department with a shoulder injury, low clinical suspicion for dislocation and a low threshold for CT scan. Reaudit and ongoing data collection have shown significant increase in axial view radiographs and improved diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Closing the gap: actualising shared decision-making through effective medication abortion patient follow-up care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca9ef102-0877-4c6e-8d51-61615b53ebd3

Background

Effective care dearth in USA healthcare systems can be augmented by patient engagement and shared decision-making (SDM). These effective care strategies can facilitate medical abortion follow-up care (ensuring patients are not experiencing a continuing pregnancy) and follow-up options access.

Local problem

The quality improvement project clinic had a state-mandated waiting period, requiring additional visits. This delayed care for all abortion patients, creating travel, and cost barriers. The clinic had some of the lowest medical abortion follow-up rates out of its entire national network.

Methods

Four ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ (PDSA) cycles built on clinical changes, implementing an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality serum human chorionic gonadotropin guideline. Medical abortion patient cohort size doubled during each PDSA cycle.

Interventions

Through four interventions (team engagement, patient engagement, Beta follow-up and contraception SDM), standardised follow-up care was integrated into clinic workflow with contraception SDM tools and an Option Grid.

Results

Most intervention measures were successful, with staff offering follow-up options counselling to all medical abortion patients by the end of the project. The Beta follow-up rate (84%) was higher than the overall follow-up rate (52%–73%), but the goal of a 92% overall follow-up rate was not met. Contraception SDM streamlined counselling but long-acting reversible contraception insertion rates did not increase.

Conclusions

Effective care enabled the majority of medical abortion patients to choose Beta follow-up as their preferred follow-up method, especially those with a travel barrier. Beta follow-up gives assurance to close the follow-up gap over time.

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<![CDATA[Enhancing teamwork communication and patient safety responsiveness in a paediatric intensive care unit using the daily safety huddle tool]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9b7211f9-621a-4f80-9f7b-bd270da5530c

Background

Open communication between leadership and frontline staff at the unit level is vital in promoting safe hospital culture. Our hospital staff culture survey identified the failure to address safety issues as one of the areas where staff felt unable to express their concerns openly. Thus, this improvement project using the daily safety huddle tool has been developed to enhance teamwork communication and respond effectively to patient safety issues identified in a paediatric intensive care unit.

Methods

We used the TeamSTEPPS quality approach. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools developed by the US Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality to enhance teamwork and communication. We applied TeamSTEPPS using a tool called the Daily Safety Huddle, aiming at improving communication and interaction between healthcare workers and building trust by acting immediately when there is any patient safety issue or concern at the unit level.

Results

During the period from April to December 2017, the interaction between frontline staff and unit leadership increased through compliance with the daily safety huddle. Initially, compliance was at 73%, but it increased to 97%, with a total of 340 safety issues addressed. The majority of these safety issues pertained to infection control and medication errors (109; 32.05%), followed by communication (83; 24.41%), documentation (59; 17.35%), other issues (37; 10.88%), procedure (20; 5.88%), patient flow (16; 4.7%) and equipment and supplies (16; 4.7%).

Conclusions

Systematic use of daily safety huddle is a powerful tool to create an equitable environment where frontline staff can speak up freely about daily patient safety concerns. The huddle leads to a more open and active discussion with unit leadership and to the ability to perform the right action at the right time.

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<![CDATA[Obstetric care navigation: results of a quality improvement project to provide accompaniment to women for facility-based maternity care in rural Guatemala]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1dcd9836-aa2d-470e-8ffd-f0abe7b19685

Background

Many maternal and perinatal deaths in low-resource settings are preventable. Inadequate access to timely, quality care in maternity facilities drives poor outcomes, especially where women deliver at home with traditional birth attendants (TBA). Yet few solutions exist to support TBA-initiated referrals or address reasons patients frequently refuse facility care, such as disrespectful and abusive treatment. We hypothesised that deploying accompaniers—obstetric care navigators (OCN)—trained to provide integrated patient support would facilitate referrals from TBAs to public hospitals.

Methods

This project built on an existing collaboration with 41 TBAs who serve indigenous Maya villages in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, which provided baseline data for comparison. When TBAs detected pregnancy complications, families were offered OCN referral support. Implementation was guided by bimonthly meetings of the interdisciplinary quality improvement team where the OCN role was iteratively tailored. The primary process outcomes were referral volume, proportion of births receiving facility referral, and referral success rate, which were analysed using statistical process control methods.

Results

Over the 12-month pilot, TBAs attended 847 births. The median referral volume rose from 14 to 27.5, meeting criteria for special cause variation, without a decline in success rate. The proportion of births receiving facility-level care increased from 24±6% to 62±20% after OCN implementation. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and prolonged labour were the most common referral indications. The OCN role evolved to include a number of tasks, such as expediting emergency transportation and providing doula-like labour support.

Conclusions

OCN accompaniment increased the proportion of births under TBA care that received facility-level obstetric care. Results from this of obstetric care navigation suggest it is a feasible, patient-centred intervention to improve maternity care.

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<![CDATA[Quality improvement programme reduces errors in oral medication preparation and administration through feeding tubes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne7369ba8-3790-4862-bffb-022ca63a71d4

Background

Patients with nasogastric/nasoenteric tube (NGT/NET) are at increased risk of adverse outcomes due to errors occurring during oral medication preparation and administration.

Aim

To implement a quality improvement programme to reduce the proportion of errors in oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET in adult patients.

Methods

An observational study was carried out, comparing outcome measures before and after implementation of the integrated quality programme to improve oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET. A collaborative approach based on Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle was used and feedback was given during multidisciplinary meetings.

Interventions

Good practice guidance for oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET was developed and implemented at the hospital sites; nurses were given formal training to use the good practice guidance; a printed list of oral medications that should never be crushed was provided to all members of the multidisciplinary team, and a printed table containing therapeutic alternatives for drugs that should never be crushed was provided to prescribers at the prescribing room.

Results

Improvement was observed in the following measures: crushing enteric-coated tablets and mixing drugs during medication preparation (from 54.9% in phase I to 26.2% in phase II; p 0.0010) and triturating pharmaceutical form of modified action or dragee (from 32.8 in phase I to 19.7 in phase II; p 0.0010). Worsening was observed though in the following measures: crush compressed to a fine and homogeneous powder (from 7.4%% in phase I to 95% phase II; p 0.0010) and feeding tube obstruction (from 41.8% in phase I to 52.5% phase II; p 0.0950).

Conclusion

Our results highlight how a collaborative quality improvement approach based on PDSA cycles can meet the challenge of reducing the proportion of errors in oral medication preparation and administration through NGT/NET in adult patients. Some changes may lead to unintended consequences though. Thus, continuous monitoring for these consequences will help caregivers to prevent poor patient outcomes.

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<![CDATA[All change: a stroke inpatient service’s experience of a new clinical neuropsychology delivery model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8ad949d5eed0c4849a0c52

Adults presenting to stroke services are frequently faced with the challenge of adjusting to a different life following a stroke. Difficulties often include cognitive impairments, such as memory deficits, attention and language difficulties, and mood disturbances such as anxiety and depression. It has been highlighted that psychological care for this group is just as important as physical rehabilitation. Psychological expertise may therefore be required for the multitude of problems that occur after a stroke. UK National guidelines recommend routine assessment and management of mood and cognition after stroke. The aim of this study was to evaluate a new stroke clinical neuropsychology service developed by the Department of Neuropsychology and Clinical Health Psychology, in order to meet the needs of stroke survivors and their families referred into a large acute hospital. This involved using a different skill mix of staff across one post delivering a service in an acute inpatient stroke unit. This model was evaluated and results revealed that the model delivered increased patient access to neuropsychological support, an expansion in provision of clinical work, along with positive multidisciplinary team feedback. This finding is key as where resources are limited, clinical services may benefit from adopting a ‘skill mix’ model to meet the varying needs of their patients in a timely manner. This model serves to raise the value of psychology to medical services.

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<![CDATA[Reducing acute kidney injury incidence and progression in a large teaching hospital]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1fdd67d5eed0c484e9ddde

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common syndrome that is associated with significant mortality and cost. The Quality Improvement AKI Collaborative at Salford Royal Foundation Trust was established to review and improve both the recognition and management of AKI. This was a whole-system intervention to tackle AKI implemented as an alternative to employing separate AKI nurses. Our aims were to reduce the overall incidence of AKI by 10%, to reduce hospital-acquired AKI by 25% and to reduce the progression of AKI from stage 1 to stage 2 or 3 by 50%.

From 2014 to 2016, several multifaceted changes were introduced. These included system changes, such as inserting an e-alert for AKI into the electronic patient record, an online educational package and face-to-face teaching for AKI, and AKI addition to daily safety huddles. On 10 Collaborative wards, development of an AKI care bundle via multidisciplinary team (MDT) plan, do, study, act testing occurred.

Results showed a 15.6% reduction in hospital-wide-acquired AKI, with a 22.3% reduction on the collaborative wards. Trust-wide rates of progression of AKI 1 to AKI 2 or 3 showed normal variation, whereas there was a 48.5% reduction in AKI progression on the Collaborative wards. This implies that e-alerts were ineffective in isolation. The Collaborative wards’ results were a product of the educational support, bundle and heightened awareness of AKI.

A number of acute hospitals have demonstrated impactful successes in AKI reduction centred on a dedicated AKI nurse model plus e-alerting with supporting changes. This project adds value by highlighting another approach that does not require a new post with attendant rolling costs and risks. We believe that our approach increased our efficacy in acute care in our front-line teams by concentrating on embedding improved recognition and actions across the MDT.

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<![CDATA[Testing of the ‘Always Events’ approach to improve the patient experience in the emergency department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1fdd79d5eed0c484e9e105

Maintaining quality of care and meeting patient expectations in the face of rising demand within emergency departments (ED) is a significant challenge for clinicians. This study tested the Always Events (AE) approach as a means to identify AE’s relevance to patient care in the ED and act on this to address patient concerns. The project team looked to identify aspects of care patients would like to see improved within the minor injuries stream (MIS). Following triage, patients typically have presentations that do not require admission and require a single interaction with a clinician. Interventions seeking to improve patient experience were created and impact was monitored using patient feedback using a quality improvement (QI) framework.

AEs were identified via convenience sampling using a short semistructured survey questionnaire. Patients were asked ‘What should always happen in the Emergency Department?’ Communication and information provision regarding how the department worked were identified as key themes. Two interventions, an educational poster and a video campaign, were designed and implemented. Improvement was assessed via convenience sampling of patient questionnaires using a 5-point Likert scale and free-text responses.

Initial patient satisfaction levels regarding information provision stood at 80%, rising to 88% after our poster intervention and 92% by the end of the video intervention. Understanding of how the ED functions was initially 83% in the baseline sample before rising to 86% following poster and video interventions. Patient questionnaires indicated that information provision directly from staff was variable throughout the study period.

Implementing the AE approach in the MIS has improved patient experience. Our poster intervention had the greatest benefit regarding patient understanding of the ED and information provision. This project has also indicated that the AE method can be successfully combined with a QI tool and applied in the ED to address patient needs.

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<![CDATA[Reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in upper respiratory tract infection in a primary care setting in Kolkata, India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1fdd62d5eed0c484e9dce7

Inappropriate antibiotic use is a key factor in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The majority of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care, where upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is a common presentation. Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in URTI is common globally and has increased markedly in developing and transitional countries. Antibiotic stewardship is crucial to prevent the emergence and spread of resistant microbes. This project aimed to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in URTI in a non-governmental organisation’s primary care outreach clinics in Kolkata, India, from 62.6% to 30% over 4 months. A multifaceted intervention to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use in non-specific URTI was implemented. This consisted of a repeated process of audit and feedback, interactive training sessions, one-to-one case-based discussion, antibiotic guideline development and coding updates. The primary outcome measure was antibiotic prescribing rates. A baseline audit of all patients presenting with non-specific URTI over 8 weeks in November and December 2016 (n=222) found that 62.6% were prescribed antibiotics. Postintervention audit over 4 weeks in April 2017 (n=69) showed a marked reduction in antibiotic prescribing to 7.2%. An increase in documentation of examination findings was also observed, from 52.7% to 95.6%. This multifaceted intervention was successful at reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, with sustained reductions demonstrated over the 4 months of the project. This suggests that approaches previously used in Europe can successfully be applied to different settings.

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<![CDATA[Training: improving antenatal detection and outcomes of congenital heart disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1fdd77d5eed0c484e9e0b2

Objectives

This study describes the design, delivery and efficacy of a regional fetal cardiac ultrasound training programme. This programme aimed to improve the antenatal detection of congenital heart disease (CHD) and its effect on fetal and postnatal outcomes.

Design setting and participants

This was a prospective study that compared antenatal CHD detection rates by professionals from 13 hospitals in Wales before and after engaging in our ‘skills development programme’. Existing fetal cardiac practice and perinatal outcomes were continuously audited and progressive targets were set. The work was undertaken by the Welsh Fetal Cardiovascular Network, Antenatal Screening Wales (ASW), a superintendent sonographer and a fetal cardiologist.

Interventions

A core professional network was established, engaging all stakeholders (including patients, health boards, specialist commissioners, ASW, ultrasonographers, radiologists, obstetricians, midwives and paediatricians). A cardiac educational lead (midwife, superintendent sonographer, radiologist, obstetrician, or a fetal medicine specialist) was established in each hospital. A new cardiac anomaly screening protocol (‘outflow tract view’) was created and training on the new protocol was systematically delivered at each centre. Data were prospectively collected and outcomes were continuously audited: locally by the lead fetal cardiologist; regionally by the Congenital Anomaly Register and Information Service in Wales; and nationally by the National Institute for Cardiac Outcomes and Research (NICOR) in the UK.

Main outcome measures

Patient satisfaction; improvements in individual sonographer skills, confidence and competency; true positive referral rate; local hospital detection rate; national detection rate of CHD; clinical outcomes of selected cardiac abnormalities; reduction of geographical health inequality; cost efficacy.

Results

High levels of patient satisfaction were demonstrated and the professional skill mix in each centre was improved. The confidence and competency of sonographers was enhanced. Each centre demonstrated a reduction in the false-positive referral rate and a significant increase in cardiac anomaly detection rate. According to the latest NICOR data, since implementing the new training programme Wales has sustained its status as UK lead for CHD detection. Health outcomes of children with CHD have improved, especially in cases of transposition of the great arteries (for which no perinatal mortality has been reported since 2008). Standardised care led to reduction of geographical health inequalities with substantial cost saving to the National Health Service due to reduced false-positive referral rates. Our successful model has been adopted by other fetal anomaly screening programmes in the UK.

Conclusions

Antenatal cardiac ultrasound mass training programmes can be delivered effectively with minimal impact on finite healthcare resources. Sustainably high CHD detection rates can only be achieved by empowering the regional screening workforce through continuous investment in lifelong learning activities. These should be underpinned by high quality service standards, effective care pathways, and robust clinical governance and audit practices.

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<![CDATA[Improving the documentation quality of point-of-care ultrasound scans in the emergency department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8b59ff7e-e012-4f9d-bb06-616c7986689e

A point-of-care ultrasound scan (POCUS) is a core element of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) specialty training curriculum. However, POCUS documentation quality can be poor, especially in the time-pressured environment of the emergency department (ED). A survey of 10 junior ED clinicians at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) found that total POCUS documentation was as low as 38% in some examinations.

This quality improvement project aimed to increase the coverage and quality of POCUS documentation in the ED. This was done by using a plan-do-study-act (PDSA) regime to improve the quality of POCUS documentation from the original baseline to 80%. There were three discreet PDSA cycles and the interventions included improving education and training about POCUS documentation and the introduction of an original proforma, which incorporated six minimum requirements for POCUS documentation as per the joint RCEM and Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) guidelines for POCUS documentation (patient details, indications, findings, conclusions, signature and date).

The project team audited the quality of all documented scans in the resuscitation department of the PRUH against the RCEM/RCR guidelines at baseline and following three discrete PDSA cycles. This was done over an 8-week period, spanning 696 attendances to the resuscitation area of the ED and 42 documented POCUS examinations.

Quality recording of the six RCEM/RCR elements of POCUS documentation was poor at baseline but improved following three successful PDSA cycles. There was a demonstrated improvement in five of six documentation elements: patient details on POCUS documentation increased from 53.3% to the 66.7%, indication from 60.0% to 66.7%, conclusion from 13.0% to 83.0%, signature from 86.7% to 100.0% and date from 46.7% to 66.7%.

These results suggest that the introduction of a proforma and a vigorous education strategy are effective ways to improve the quality of documentation of ED POCUS.

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<![CDATA[Improving blood pressure screening and control at an academic health system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7de7f9ab-ea51-47fd-ae28-65341ff37a8f

The goal of the University of California Davis Health Blood Pressure (BP) Quality Improvement Initiative was to improve the diagnosis, management and control of high BP. Patients aged 18–85 years were included in the initiative. Lean A3 problem solving was used to implement the following evidence-based interventions based on stakeholder interviews, value stream mapping and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts Initiative: staff training on accurate BP measurement, visual cues and reminders for BP screening, virtual case-based videoconferences, standardised clinical management algorithm, academic detailing visits, clinical decision support tools, access to pharmacists for medication comanagement, clinician workflow modification, patient education and access to home BP monitors. Following implementation of interventions, accurate screening of BP increased from 14% to 87% and BP control increased from 62% to 75%. Strategies that contributed the most to improvements were using a team-based approach, adjusting clinic workflow and frequent communication of results to staff.

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<![CDATA[Testicular cancer: improving outcomes with national quality performance indicators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6b677afd-b8d9-4eb4-9528-0ae1542d9245

Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young adult men. The prognosis is excellent in limited disease and cure is possible even in advanced disease. Quality performance indicators (QPI) are used in many developed countries as a measure of healthcare performance. We report and discuss the development of a national set of QPIs in Scotland for testicular cancer as a method of gathering demographic data and driving improvement in nationwide testicular cancer outcomes.

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