The quality of assessment visits in community nursing



The aim of this study was the measurement of the quality of assessment visits of community nurses in The Netherlands. Process criteria were derived for the quality of the assessment visits from the quality standards of community nursing care established by Appelman et al. Over a period of 8 weeks, a representative sample of 108 community nurses and 49 community nursing auxiliaries at 47 different locations paid a total number of 433 assessment visits. The nursing activities were recorded for each visit. The results suggested that most assessment visits (88%) were paid by community nurses. During the assessment visits, community nurses more often paid attention to questions and expectations of the patient than nursing auxiliaries did. Furthermore, the quality of taking case histories in the actual practice of assessment appeared to be high in general. However, nearly half of the nurses did not enquire whether the patient received care from other health care professionals. The drafting of the care plan was, on average, of a lesser quality. In particular, the re-assessment of patients was not systematically planned.