Friday, 13 October 2017

Missed care in the community

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

There is much greater interest these days in missed care. Defined as: 'any aspect of required patient care that is omitted (either in part or in whole) or delayed' missed care clearly leads to poor patient care up to and including avoidable death. The aim of this study from Ireland by Phelan et al. (2017) titled: 'Examining missed care in community nursing: A cross section survey design' and published in JAN was to: 'examine the prevalence of missed care in the community nursing.'

Over 450 nurses working in the community took part by completing an online questionnaire. The questioninare had over 70 items on aspects of nursing care considered to be essential. The care that was missed more than 50% of the time is presented in a table in the article and the aspect of care nost commonly missed was health promotion and next most common were aspects of care management such as liaising with other professionals. Some aspects of msised care were associated with the characteristics of the nurses. For example, younger and  less experienced nurses were more likely to miss aspects of the initial assessment of patients. In summary the study showed: 'The results of the study indicate a high prevalence of missed care in the community nurses surveyed and that preventative care was the type of care most likely to be missed.'

The authors concluded: 'This study is the first to examine the concept of missed care in a
community nursing setting. Nurses who participated in the research are struggling in the multiple and dynamic care responsibilities expected in diverse population groups' and ' levels of missed care need to be regularly monitored in governance systems to ensure a fit for practice service and to promote optimal client health outcomes.'

You can listen to this as a podcast


Phelan, A., Mccarthy, S. and Adams, E. (2017), Examining missed care in community nursing: A cross section survey design. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13466

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