An environmental scan of an aged care workplace using the PARiHS model: assessing preparedness for change

Authors

  • HEATHER GIBB RN, MPsych, PhD

    1. Associate Professor, Research and Development Unit, Helping Hand Aged Inc Care, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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Heather Gibb
Helping Hand Aged Inc Care
PO Box 66
North Adelaide SA 5006
Australia
E-mail:hgibb@helpinghand.org.au

Abstract

Aim  The environmental scan aimed to deepen our understanding of the aged care work culture and to ascertain the readiness of the workers to advance towards team-based quality care provision.

Background  The workplace context was a high-care unit within a large residential aged care facility.

Methods  We used the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework to assess workplace readiness via interviews, individual surveys and observation of practice.

Results  A profile of current culture emerged as mutually supportive and task focused, but at the same time lacking corporate team features of shared decision-making and feedback for practice improvement. However, latent within the frontline leaders and personal care staff, there was evidence of some embedded knowledge and capacity for corporate team performance.

Conclusions  This study has validated an evidence-based method for conducting environmental scanning in aged care, recommended before any major change is introduced.

Implications for nursing management  Environmental scanning helps gauge workforce capacity and limitations; this information can enable managers to capitalize on identified cultural strengths to fortify change and avoid pitfalls of personal and collective vulnerabilities.

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