Impact of a quality improvement intervention on nurses' management of same-day primary care flow

Authors


Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the impact of an interdisciplinary intervention designed to improve the capacity of nurses to manage walk-in patient demand for primary health care.

Background

Implementation of a programme to expand nursing practice is a complex process that requires the application of context-appropriate measures and adaptation when results do not meet expectations.

Methods

A longitudinal, uncontrolled intervention study with a 3-year follow-up, from 2009 to 2012, was carried out in Catalonia (northeast Spain). The intervention included three training periods focused on clinical and instrumentation topics. The capacity of nurses to manage walk-in patient demand was assessed by determining the number of cases resolved and of return visits for the same complaint within 72 hours.

Results

In total, 2751 patient care demands were evaluated. Resolved cases increased (χ2 = 54.624, df = 1, < 0.001) and the number of return visits decreased (χ2 = 54.585, df = 1, < 0.001) significantly from baseline to the end of the study period.

Conclusions

Nurses' capacity to manage walk-in patient demand improved after an interdisciplinary intervention using a mutually agreed upon, locally adapted approach.

Implications for nursing management

To improve outcomes, nurses in management positions should systematically consider the need for skills training, specific academic courses, leadership development and, as appropriate, legislative initiatives.

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