Hospital restructuring and the changing nature of the physical therapist's role.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify role behavior changes of acute care physical therapists and changes in the organizational and professional context of hospitals following restructuring. METHODS: A Delphi technique, which involved a panel of 100 randomly selected acute care physical therapy managers, was used as the research design for this study. Responses from rounds 1 and 2 were synthesized and organized into exhaustive and mutually exclusive categories for round 3. Data obtained from round 3 were used to develop a comprehensive perspective on the changes that have occurred. RESULTS: Changed role behaviors in patient care and professional interaction, including increased emphasis on evaluation, planning, teaching, supervising, and collaboration, appeared to be extensions of unchanged role behaviors. Reported changes in the structural and professional context of physical therapy services included using critical pathways to guide care, providing services system-wide, and using educational activities and meetings to maintain a sense of community. The importance of professionalism to physical therapists' work was identified and related to specific role behavior changes. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The changing role of physical therapists in acute care hospitals includes an increased emphasis on higher-level skills in patient care and professional interaction and the continuing importance of professionalism. (+info)
Development of clinical guidelines in a health district: an attempt to find consensus.
OBJECTIVE: To formulate consensus based guidelines for antenatal care in a health district. DESIGN: Prospective formulation of draft guidelines by a working group of consultant obstetricians and general practitioners with an obstetric interest, canvassing opinions of all GPs in the district by questionnaire, and revision and final circulation of the guidelines. SETTING: One health district. SUBJECTS: All 160 GPs in the district and members of the working party. MAIN MEASURES: Questionnaire responses to specific proposals within the draft guidelines for managing anaemia, antepartum haemorrhage, and hypertension. RESULTS: 136 GPs responded (response rate 85%); responders and nonresponders did not differ in age, sex, or presence on obstetric list. Overall they favoured more conservative management than suggested in the guidelines. For example, only 38% (44/116) prescribed iron routinely and 34% (38/113) referred to hospital for haemoglobin concentration of < or = 10 g/l; 10% referred women unnecessarily for oedema unassociated with proteinuria; and 20% managed active bleeding progressing to old brown staining as an urgent admission. The guidelines were revised according to the relative weight of the views obtained. CONCLUSION: Establishing guidelines is mainly a political process. Canvassed views influenced guidelines most when internal disagreement existed within the working party. IMPLICATIONS AND ACTION: Regular revising of the guidelines is planned, which, in conjunction with repeating the questionnaire to monitor changing practice, will allow a long term district wide clinical review. (+info)
Clinical audit and the purchaser-provider interaction: different attitudes and expectations in the United Kingdom.
OBJECTIVES: To explore and describe the views on clinical audit of healthcare purchasers and providers, and in particular the interaction between them, and hence to help the future development of an appropriate interaction between purchasers and providers. DESIGN: Semistructured interviews. SETTING: Four purchaser and provider pairings in the former Northern Region of the National Health Service (NHS) in England. SUBJECTS: Chief executives, contracts managers, quality and audit leaders, directors of public health, consultants, general practitioners, audit support staff, and practice managers (total 42). MAIN MEASURES: Attitudes on the present state and future development of clinical audit. RESULTS: Purchasers and providers shared common views on the purpose of clinical audit, but there were important differences in their views on the level and appropriateness of involvement of health care purchasers, integration with present NHS structures and processes (including contracting and the internal market), priority setting for clinical audit, the effects of clinical audit on service development and purchasing, change in behaviour, and the sharing of information on the outcomes of clinical audit. CONCLUSIONS: There are important differences in attitudes towards, and expectations of, clinical audit between health care purchasers and providers, at least in part due to the limited contact between them on audit to date. The nature of the relation and dialogue between purchasers and providers will be critical in determining whether clinical audit meets the differing aspirations of both groups, while achieving the ultimate goal of improving the quality of patient care. (+info)
Essential dataset for ambulatory ear, nose, and throat care in general practice: an aid for quality assessment.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the documentation of care for the usual range of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) problems seen in primary care as a basis for developing a computerised information system to aid quality assessment. DESIGN: Descriptive study of the pattern of ENT problems and diagnoses and treatment as recorded in individual case notes. SETTING: The primary health care centre in Mjolby, Sweden. PATIENTS: Consultations for ENT problems from a 10% sample randomly selected from all consultations (n = 22,600) in one year. From this sample 375 consultations for ENT problems (16% of all consultations) by 272 patients were identified. MAIN MEASURES: The detailed documentation of each consultation was retrieved from the individual records and compared with the data required for a computer based information system designed to help in quality management. RESULTS: Although the overall picture gained from the data retrieved from the notes suggested that ENT care was probably adequate, the recorded details were limited. The written case notes were insufficient when compared with the details required for a computerised system based on an essential dataset designed to allow assessment of diagnostic accuracy and appropriateness of treatment of ENT problems in primary care. CONCLUSION: There is a gap between the amount and the type of information needed for accurate and useful quality assessment and that which is normally included in case notes. More detailed information is needed if general practitioners' notes are to be used for regular quality assessment of ENT problems but that would mean more time spent on keeping notes. This would be difficult to justify. IMPLICATIONS: The routine information systems used at this primary healthcare centre did not produce sufficient documentation for quality assessment of ENT care. This dilemma might be resolved by specially designed desktop computer software accessed through an essential dataset. (+info)
Reducing malpractice risk through more effective communication.
This activity is designed for physicians, health plan administrators, and other providers. GOAL: To help physicians, health plan administrators, and other providers learn more about the relationship between provider communication behaviors and subsequent negligence litigation and learn how to reduce malpractice risk through improving communication behaviors. OBJECTIVES: 1. To describe research findings concerning the relationship between provider communication behaviors and subsequent claims of negligence. 2. To describe the major interviewing deficiencies that have been identified as precipitants of malpractice litigation. 3. To describe three functions of effective interviewing. 4. To describe training and learning methods that can improve provider-patient relationships, leading to improved clinical outcomes and decreased malpractice risk. (+info)
Turfing: patients in the balance.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the language of "turfing," a ubiquitous term applied to some transfers of patients between physicians, in order to reveal aspects of the ideology of internal medicine residency. SETTING: Academic internal medicine training program. MEASUREMENTS: Using direct observation and a focus group, we collected audiotapes of medical residents' discussions of turfing. These data were analyzed using interpretive and conversation analytic methods. The focus group was used both to validate and to further elaborate a schematic conceptual framework for turfing. MAIN RESULTS: The decision to call a patient "turfed" depends on the balance of the values of effectiveness of therapy, continuity of care, and power. For example, if the receiving physician cannot provide a more effective therapy than can the transferring physician, medical residents consider the transfer inappropriate, and call the patient a turf. With appropriate transfers, these residents see their service as honorable, but with turfs, residents talk about the irresponsibility of transferring physicians, burdens of service, abuse, and powerlessness. CONCLUSIONS: Internal medicine residents can feel angry and frustrated about receiving patients perceived to be rejected by other doctors, and powerless to prevent the transfer of those patients for whom they may have no effective treatment or continuous relationship. This study has implications for further exploration of how the relationships between physicians may uphold or conflict with the underlying moral tenets of the medical profession. (+info)
Tolerance in a rigorous science.
Scientists often evaluate other people's theories by the same standards they apply to their own work; it is as though scientists may believe that these criteria are independent of their own personal priorities and standards. As a result of this probably implicit belief, they sometimes may make less useful judgments than they otherwise might if they were able and willing to evaluate a specific theory at least partly in terms of the standards appropriate to that theory. Journal editors can play an especially constructive role in managing this diversity of standards and opinion. (+info)
How well do GPs and hospital consultants work together? A survey of the professional relationship.
BACKGROUND: The professional relationship between GPs and hospital consultants (sometimes referred to as 'specialists') is important in a healthcare system based upon the generalist as the first point of contact for patients and the gate-keeper for hospital services. This relationship has been the subject of considerable interest over the years, but little empirical research. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to compare the attitudes of GPs and specialists to key issues, and to produce a validated objective measure of their ability to work together. METHODS: We conducted a Likert-style survey based upon statements made in qualitative interviews with GPs and specialists working in the South and West of England. The questionnaire was modified and validated during a multi-stage pilot and was distributed to a stratified random sample of 800 clinicians. RESULTS: GPs and specialists demonstrate a good level of agreement, mutual understanding and respect, though there are significant differences between the two branches of the profession in terms of attitude towards financial parity and direct access to special investigations. CONCLUSIONS: A measure of the ability of GPs and specialists to work together has been developed, with acceptable internal consistency and validity. It may be used in other geographical areas to assess a relationship which is central to the efficient and effective operation of the National Health Service. (+info)