Nursing - Research Publications

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    Creating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and patient-centred care: how nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients use communication strategies when managing medications in an acute hospital setting
    Liu, W ; Gerdtz, M ; Manias, E (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-10-01)
    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This paper examines the communication strategies that nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients use when managing medications. BACKGROUND: Patient-centred medication management is best accomplished through interdisciplinary practice. Effective communication about managing medications between clinicians and patients has a direct influence on patient outcomes. There is a lack of research that adopts a multidisciplinary approach and involves critical in-depth analysis of medication interactions among nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients. DESIGN: A critical ethnographic approach with video reflexivity was adopted to capture communication strategies during medication activities in two general medical wards of an acute care hospital in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: A mixed ethnographic approach combining participant observations, field interviews, video recordings and video reflexive focus groups and interviews was employed. Seventy-six nurses, 31 doctors, 1 pharmacist and 27 patients gave written consent to participate in the study. Data analysis was informed by Fairclough's critical discourse analytic framework. FINDINGS: Clinicians' use of communication strategies was demonstrated in their interpersonal, authoritative and instructive talk with patients. Doctors adopted the language discourse of normalisation to standardise patients' illness experiences. Nurses and pharmacists employed the language discourses of preparedness and scrutiny to ensure that patient safety was maintained. Patients took up the discourse of politeness to raise medication concerns and question treatment decisions made by doctors, in their attempts to challenge decision-making about their health care treatment. In addition, the video method revealed clinicians' extensive use of body language in communication processes for medication management. CONCLUSIONS: The use of communication strategies by nurses, doctors, pharmacists and patients created opportunities for improved interdisciplinary collaboration and patient-centred medication management in an acute hospital setting. Language discourses shaped and were shaped by complex power relations between patients and clinicians and among clinicians themselves. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Clinicians need to be encouraged to have regular conversations to talk about and challenge each other's practices. More emphasis should be placed on ensuring that patients are given opportunities to voice their concerns about how their medications are managed.
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    Communicating about the management of medications as patients move across transition points of care: an observation and interview study
    Manias, E ; Gerdtz, M ; Williams, A ; McGuiness, J ; Dooley, M (WILEY, 2016-10-01)
    RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: As patients move across transition points, effective medication management is critical for patient safety. The aims of this study were to examine how health professionals, patients and family members communicate about managing medications as patients moved across transition points of care and to identify possible sources of communication failure. METHOD: A descriptive approach was used involving observations and interviews. The emergency departments and medical wards of two hospitals were involved. Observations focused on how health professionals managed medications during interactions with other health professionals, patients and family members, as patients moved across clinical settings. Follow-up interviews with participants were also undertaken. Thematic analysis was completed of transcribed data, and descriptive statistics were used to analyse characteristics of communication failure. RESULTS: Three key themes were identified: environmental challenges, interprofessional relationships, and patient and family beliefs and responsibilities. As patients moved between environments, insufficient tracking occurred about medication changes. Before hospital admission, patients participated in self-care medication activities, which did not always involve exemplary behaviours or match the medications that doctors prescribed. During observations, 432 instances of communication failure (42.8%) were detected, which related to purpose, content, audience and occasion of the communication. CONCLUSIONS: Extensive challenges exist involving the management of medications at transition points of care. Bedside handovers and ward rounds can be utilized as patient counselling opportunities about changes in the medication regimen. Greater attention is needed on how patients in the community make medication-related decisions.
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    Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of re-presentation to an Australian inner-city emergency department: implications for service delivery
    Moore, G ; Gerdtz, M ; Manias, E ; Hepworth, G ; Dent, A (BMC, 2007-11-10)
    BACKGROUND: People who have complex health care needs frequently access emergency departments for treatment of acute illness and injury. In particular, evidence suggests that those who are homeless, or suffer mental illness, or have a history of substance misuse, are often repeat users of emergency departments. The aim of this study was to describe the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of emergency department re-presentations. Re-presentation was defined as a return visit to the same emergency department within 28 days of discharge from hospital. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of emergency department presentations occurring over a 24-month period to an Australian inner-city hospital. Characteristics were examined for their influence on the binary outcome of re-presentation within 28 days of discharge using logistic regression with the variable patient fitted as a random effect. RESULTS: From 64,147 presentations to the emergency department the re-presentation rate was 18.0% (n = 11,559) of visits and 14.4% (5,894/40,942) of all patients. Median time to re-presentation was 6 days, with more than half occurring within one week of discharge (60.8%; n = 6,873), and more than three-quarters within two weeks (80.9%; n = 9,151). The odds of re-presentation increased three-fold for people who were homeless compared to those living in stable accommodation (adjusted OR 3.09; 95% CI, 2.83 to 3.36). Similarly, the odds of re-presentation were significantly higher for patients receiving a government pension compared to those who did not (adjusted OR 1.73; 95% CI, 1.63 to 1.84), patients who left part-way through treatment compared to those who completed treatment and were discharged home (adjusted OR 1.64; 95% CI, 1.36 to 1.99), and those discharged to a residential-care facility compared to those who were discharged home (adjusted OR 1.46: 95% CI, 1.03 to 2.06). CONCLUSION: Emergency department re-presentation rates cluster around one week after discharge and rapidly decrease thereafter. Housing status and being a recipient of a government pension are the most significant risk factors. Early identification and appropriate referrals for those patients who are at risk of emergency department re-presentation will assist in the development of targeted strategies to improve health service delivery to this vulnerable group.
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    Prospective validation of a predictive model that identifies homeless people at risk of re-presentation to the emergency department
    Moore, G ; Hepworth, G ; Weiland, T ; Manias, E ; Gerdtz, MF ; Kelaher, M ; Dunt, D (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2012-02-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To prospectively evaluate the accuracy of a predictive model to identify homeless people at risk of representation to an emergency department. METHODS: A prospective cohort analysis utilised one month of data from a Principal Referral Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. All visits involving people classified as homeless were included, excluding those who died. Homelessness was defined as living on the streets, in crisis accommodation, in boarding houses or residing in unstable housing. Rates of re-presentation, defined as the total number of visits to the same emergency department within 28 days of discharge from hospital, were measured. Performance of the risk screening tool was assessed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and likelihood ratios. RESULTS: Over the study period (April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2009), 3298 presentations from 2888 individuals were recorded. The homeless population accounted for 10% (n=327) of all visits and 7% (n=211) of all patients. A total of 90 (43%) homeless people re-presented to the emergency department. The predictive model included nine variables and achieved 98% (CI, 0.92-0.99) sensitivity and 66% (CI, 0.57-0.74) specificity. The positive predictive value was 68% and the negative predictive value was 98%. The positive likelihood ratio 2.9 (CI, 2.2-3.7) and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.03 (CI, 0.01-0.13). CONCLUSION: The high emergency department re-presentation rate for people who were homeless identifies unresolved psychosocial health needs. The emergency department remains a vital access point for homeless people, particularly after hours. The risk screening tool is key to identify medical and social aspects of a homeless patient's presentation to assist early identification and referral.