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Evaluating and improving a model of nursing care delivery: A process of partnership

      Summary

      Introduction

      Evaluating and improving a model of nursing care is a fundamental part of clinical practice improvement. While Australian nurses are showing increasing interest in improving models of care delivery, more research is needed that addresses and articulates the processes attendant upon evaluating, re-designing and implementing improvements to the provision of nursing care. Providing nurses with an open opportunity to plan, act, observe and reflect on their practice promotes successful partnerships between academics and clinicians.

      Aim

      The aim of this study was to evaluate and improve the model of nursing care delivery to patients in a general surgical ward using participatory action research.

      Method

      Researchers conducted non-participant observations (n = 9) of two hours duration across the 24 h period. Focus groups (n = 3) were used to share non-participant observation data with staff, providing them with an opportunity to reflect on their practice and explore possible solutions. Data was collected in 2008–2009.

      Results

      Two main problem areas were identified as impeding the nurses’ ability to provide care to patients: (i) practices and behaviours of nurses and (ii) infrastructure and physical layout of the ward. An overview of issues within each problem area is presented.

      Conclusion

      Shifting the focus of task-centred care towards a more patient-centred care approach, results directly in improvements in resource utilisation, improved cost-effectiveness and job satisfaction for nursing staff. New ways of thinking about nursing processes and systems, workflow design and skill allocation will guide hospital administrators and managers in the effective and efficient allocation of nursing work in similar settings.

      Keywords

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