Improving patient and staff outcomes using practice development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 2016, 29 (8), pp. 853 - 863
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© 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a practice development program, “Essentials of Care” (EOC), on patient and staff outcomes, workplace culture and service delivery. Design/methodology/approach: A descriptive study design was used to explore the impact of EOC in a district hospital rehabilitation ward. EOC focuses on embedding a person-centered culture within clinical areas and is structured from practice development methodologies. EOC was implemented in a metropolitan district hospital rehabilitation, older person 20-bed, ward. Findings: Two projects were implemented during EOC. These projects led to nine significant patient and staff outcomes for medication and continence care practices. Outcomes included a reduction in older person complaints by 80 percent, pressure injuries by 62 percent, ward multi resistant staphylococcus aureus infection rates by 50 percent, clinical incidents by 22 percent, older person falls by 14 percent (per 1,000 bed days) and nursing sick leave by 10 percent. There was also a 13 percent improvement in the post nursing workplace satisfaction survey. Research limitations/implications: This is a single site study and findings may not be suitable for generalizing across ward settings and broader population groups. Originality/value: The EOC program led to significant improvements for and in clinical practices, staff satisfaction and ward culture. Specifically, the EOC program also identified significant cost savings and brought together the healthcare team in a cohesive and integrated way not previously experienced by staff. Practice development strategies can champion service quality improvement, optimal patient outcomes and consistency within healthcare.
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