The SCHHS hip fracture clinical network experience-Improving care and outcomes through an interprofessional approach

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Puckeridge, G, Terblanche, M & Massey D 2017, 'The SCHHS hip fracture clinical network experience-Improving care and outcomes through an interprofessional approach', International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, vol. 26, pp. 24-29.

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Background: Hip fractures are a major global health care issue, with the 1.26 million estimated cases in 1990 predicted to increase to 4.5 million by 2050. Varying models of care have been developed to improve outcomes following fragility hip fractures. Most of these care models embrace an interprofessional approach to care. Specialist orthopedic nurses play an important role in the management of fragility hip fracture patients and their contribution to the interprofessional health care team is an important predictor of patient outcomes.

Assessment of the problem: The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) is compromised of four hospitals in South East Queensland, Australia however only one large regional hospital provides specialist hip fracture services. Approximately, 350 older hip fracture patients present to the Sunshine Coast Hospital & Health Service (SCHHS) each year. We used Hospital Health round table (HHRT) data to identify and assess key performance care and management of hip fracture patient and outcomes at SCHHS. The HHRT is a nonprofit membership organisation of health services across Australia and New Zealand that aims to provide opportunity for Health Services to achieve best practice, collect analyse and publish information, identify ways to improve and promote collaboration and networking. Exemplars of best practice are also identified in the data so that organizations can adopt similar models of care. HHRT data identified underperformance in management of hip fracture patients in a number of quality indicators at the study site, including length of stay (LOS), time to surgery and relative stay index (RSI).

Strategies for quality improvement: Following review of HHRT data key stakeholders undertook a quality improvement project and formed the Hip Fracture Clinical Network Group (HFCNG). This was established in 2013 with the aim of improving outcomes and achieving key performance indicators for all elderly patients who sustain a hip fracture through active collaboration and regular communication between a broad group of key clinical stakeholders.

Results of the quality improvement project: Following the implementation of the initiative the Relative Stay Index reduced from 88% in 2012/13 to 78% in 2014/15, and the average LOS reduced from 10.4 days to 8.6 days. The percentage of patients receiving surgery within 2 days rose from 85% to 96%; demonstrating consistent outperformance of the time to surgery key performance indicator of 80%. The percentage of patients discharged to their place of usual residence increased from 45% to 54%. The rate of complications reduced slightly from 69% to 66%. Rates of hospital acquired anaemia reduced from 20.7% to 15%. Detection of delirium rose over the reporting period from 22% to 34%, enabling rapid management. We noted during this period that there was no corresponding increase in readmission rates for this group of patients. These data reflect improvement to clinical documentation and the appropriate identification of cognitive changes.

Conclusion: In this quality improvement report, we describe how key stakeholders were engaged to improve communication and collaboration, and how the use of a national benchmarking dataset enabled health care providers to identify care gaps and inconsistencies in clinical practice. This quality improvement project markedly improved collaboration, clinical practice and patient outcomes.

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