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Impact of critical care outreach services on the delivery and organization of hospital care

Baker-McClearn, D and Carmel, S (2008) 'Impact of critical care outreach services on the delivery and organization of hospital care.' Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 13 (3). pp. 152-157. ISSN 1355-8196

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Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of critical care outreach services on the delivery and organization of hospital care from the perspective of staff working in acute hospitals. Methods: One hundred semi-structured interviews were undertaken with hospital staff who were either members of, or who came into contact with, the outreach service in eight hospitals in England. Results: Outreach services had two main impacts on the delivery and organization of hospital care, reflecting the organizational and educational aims of the policy. First, on the organization of patient care: it was suggested that care was more timely, there were fewer referrals to the intensive care unit (ICU) and ICUs felt more able to discharge patients to hospital wards. There were also perceived to be improved links between ward nurses and medical teams and improved morale among ICU nurses. Second, on the confidence and skills of ward staff (nurses and junior doctors): increased contact on the wards resulted in more opportunities to share critical care skills. However, there remained concerns about the sustainability of improved skills and some respondents felt that junior doctors were becoming de-skilled. Conclusion: Critical care outreach services have had a positive impact on the delivery and organization of hospital care. In attempting to share critical care skills, however, these services can experience a tension between the aims of service delivery and education ? a tension which is partly resolved by sharing skills in the clinical and organizational context of direct patient care.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2012 12:04
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:25
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2069

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