Practical Guidelines for the Use of Electronic Applications by Advanced Practice Nurses in the Emergency Department

Morgan, V.A. Journal of Emergency Nursing. Published online: October 20 2016

email-1345921_960_720Although numerous electronic applications are available to health care providers on enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets, these resources remain underutilized. Available literature suggests that utilizing electronic applications provides a number of benefits, including improved ability to make quick yet accurate decisions, improved knowledge of evidence based practices, a corresponding reduction in error rates, and an increase in quality improvement measures. These benefits translated into a reduction in adverse events and hospital lengths of stay.

Read the abstract here

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Outdoor access for people living with dementia

Elaine Argyle, Tom Dening & Peter Bartlett (2016): Space, the final
frontier: outdoor access for people living with dementia, Aging & Mental Health, DOI:
10.1080/13607863.2016.1222351

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Studies have consistently found that access to outdoor space has a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of people with dementia. Benefits are often linked to an affinity with nature and outdoor settings.

Specific benefits of going outside expressed by people with dementia include interaction with others, aesthetic appreciation, exercise and a sense of freedom. For those living in care homes, where privacy tends to be lacking, additional benefits of outdoor access can also potentially include the experience of being alone and in a peaceful place.

This editorial suggests that access to the outdoors is central to the promotion of the human rights and social inclusion of people with dementia. It also explore the barriers and facilitators to the achievement of this access.

Read the full editorial here

New plans to modernise community pharmacies

Changes include a reward system for high quality service and a pharmacy access scheme for isolated areas with higher health needs. | Department of Health

7992-2Plans to modernise community pharmacies, which will ensure a better quality service for patients and relieve pressure in other parts of the NHS, have been announced by the government.

This forms part of the government’s ambition to modernise the community pharmacy sector and make the most of pharmacists’ skills in all health care settings, including GP surgeries and care homes, to provide the highest level of
care to patients.

Read more via Department of Health

Promoting health workers’ ownership of infection prevention and control: using Normalisation Process Theory as an interpretive framework

Gould, D.J. et al. Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: October 13 2016

boy-1299626_960_720Background: All health workers should take responsibility for infection prevention and control (IPC). Recent reduction in key reported healthcare-associated infections in the United Kingdom is impressive but determinants of success are unknown. It is imperative to understand how IPC strategies operate as new challenges arise and threats of antimicrobial resistance increase.

Methods: We undertook a retrospective, independent evaluation of an action plan to enhance IPC and ‘ownership’ (individual accountability) for IPC introduced throughout a healthcare organisation. Twenty purposively selected informants were interviewed. Data were analysed inductively. Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) was applied to interpret the findings and explain how the action plan was operating.

Findings: Six themes emerged through inductive analysis. Theme 1: ‘Ability to make sense of ownership’ provided evidence of the first element of NPT (Coherence). Regardless of occupational group or seniority, informants understood the importance of IPC ownership and described what it entailed. They identified three prerequisites: ‘Always being vigilant’ (Theme 2), ‘The importance of access to information’ (Theme 3) and ‘Being able to learn together in a no blame culture’ (Theme 4) Data relating to each theme provided evidence of the other elements of NPT that are required to embed change: planning implementation (cognitive participation), undertaking the work necessary to achieve change (collective action) and reflection on what else is needed to promote change as part of continuous quality improvement (reflexive monitoring). Informants identified barriers (e.g. workload) and facilitators (clear lines of communication and expectations for IPC).

Conclusion: Eighteen months after implementing the action plan incorporating IPC ownership there was evidence of continuous service improvement and significant reduction in infection rates. Applying a theory that identifies factors that promote/inhibit routine incorporation (‘normalisation’) of IPC into everyday healthcare can help explain success of IPC initiatives and inform implementation.

Read the abstract here

Every Voice Matters: Annual Report to Parliament 2015-16

Heatlhwatch | Published online: 18 October 2016

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Image source: Healthwatch

In 2015/16, the 152 local Healthwatch across England engaged over 380,000 people to find out their views about health and social care, and helped to signpost a further 220,000 people to the right place for their needs.

Collectively they also visited more than 3,500 local hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes to find out if they are working for people, and published over 1,450 reports about what people want and need from health and care.

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Image source: Healthwatch

This demonstrates a substantial public appetite for involvement in shaping health and social care services. Local Healthwatch help to bring people and professionals together to put these views at the heart of changes to the NHS, resulting in services beginning to respond to local people

With big changes ahead, Healthwatch is committed to helping people voice what they expect from future health and care services and supporting those in charge of NHS reforms to act on these views.

Drawing on the wealth of evidence collected by the network, we have been able to bring local views to national attention, helping to inform ongoing changes to primary, secondary and social care services across the country.

Read the full report here

Is mental health crisis care in crisis?

NHS Confederation Briefing, October 2016, Issue 290

This briefing, by the Mental Health Network (MHN), explores the gap between the policy rhetoric around mental health crisis care and reporting on the ground.

Key Points

• Anecdotally, MHN members inform us that there are occasions when there are no
routine acute mental health assessment beds available across the country.
• There is concern that committed government funding for mental health is failing to reach the front line of care.
• There are further concerns that the sustainability element of STP (sustainability
and transformation plans) funding has largely been apportioned to the acute sector.
• People with a mental health problem are three times more likely to attend A&E.
• Suicide by service users under community crisis teams is increasing.
• Peak hours for mental health presentations to A&E are between 11pm and 7am.
• Good practice examples from MHN members show how local areas can operate as a whole
system to benefit individuals and the wider system of care.
• Mental health crisis care needs to be a priority area for transformation.

 

Understanding patient flow in hospitals

The Nuffield Trust, October 2016

This briefing warns that the NHS can no longer find enough bed space to move patients through hospitals quickly and meet key A&E targets – and that its practice of counting patients at midnight means that the true scale of the squeeze is being missed. It estimates that 5.5 per cent of beds need to be free for cleaning and preparation if patients are to be moved through quickly enough to meet the commitment to admit or transfer emergency patients within four hours.