Friday, 21 July 2017

How do we evaluate nursing care?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

As long as I can remember we have been looking for ways to measure nursing care. These parallel discussions for definitions of  nursing and they come and go. Now they have definitely come back. Resources for medical and nursing care are limited worldwide, professional boundaries are becoming blurred and roles are beginning to change. Nurses nearly always work as parts of a multidisciplinary team and it is not always easy to decide what happens as a results of nursing. 

The issue of indicators is the subject of an article from Canada by Dubois et al. (2017) titled: 'Which priority indicators to use to evaluate nursing care performance? A discussion paper' and published in JAN. The aim of the article was: '(a) discussion of an optimal set of indicators that can be used on a priority basis to assess the performance of nursing care'.

By reviewing previous work the authors arrived at a list of 12 indicators which I will not list here; refer to Table 3 of the article. Some of the 'usual suspects' such as pressure ulcers and falls are there but also team composition and length of continuous work. The key references are provided and the evidence is summarised.

You can listen to this as a podcast

Reference

Dubois, C.-A., D'Amour, D., Brault, I., Dallaire, C., Déry, J., Duhoux, A., Lavoie-Tremblay, M., Mathieu, L., Karemere, H. and Zufferey, A. (2017), Which priority indicators to use to evaluate nursing care performance? A discussion paper. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13373

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