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Managing the deteriorating nursing home resident after the introduction of a hospital avoidance programme: A nursing perspective
journal contributionposted on 02.01.2018, 00:00 by Barbara O'Neill, Trudy Dwyer, Kerry Reid-Searl, Lynne Parkinson
BACKGROUND: Hospital avoidance programmes aim to reduce the number of emergency transfers from nursing homes to hospitals and facilitate early discharge for hospitalised residents. Nursing staff are at the forefront of these efforts, yet little is known about how the programmes affect them and their management of the deteriorating resident. This information is needed to inform hospital avoidance programmes and better understand their work. AIM: To examine nursing home nursing staff perceptions regarding their management of the deteriorating resident after the introduction of a hospital avoidance programme. METHODS: A thematic analysis was conducted of focus group data collected from nursing staff 14 to 15 months after the introduction of a pilot hospital avoidance programme at an Australian nursing home. FINDINGS: The programme was well received and filled a gap in nursing staff management of residents with deteriorating health by providing structure and support. Staff were more confident and focused on this area of their work. Nursing assistants felt more integrated into the system and were supported and learning from nurses. Workload remained heavy and there was a shift in how time was allocated, but nursing staff preferred to keep residents at the facility. CONCLUSION: Nursing staff welcomed the programme and benefitted from its implementation. However, strategies must be explored to accommodate the staffing needs associated with providing emergency and subacute care in the nursing home setting.