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Care transitions for frail, older people from acute hospital wards within an integrated healthcare system in England: a qualitative case studyIntroduction: Frail older people experience frequent care transitions and an integrated healthcare system could reduce barriers to transitions between different settings. The study aimed to investigate care transitions of frail older people from acute hospital wards to community healthcare or community hospital wards, within a system that had vertically integrated acute hospital and community healthcare services. Theory and methods: The research design was a multimethod, qualitative case study of one healthcare system in England; four acute hospital wards and two community hospital wards were studied in depth. The data were collected through: interviews with key staff (n = 17); focus groups (n = 9) with ward staff (n = 36); interviews with frail older people (n = 4). The data were analysed using the framework approach. Findings: Three themes are presented: Care transitions within a vertically integrated healthcare system, Interprofessional communication and relationships; Patient and family involvement in care transitions. Discussion and conclusions: A vertically integrated healthcare system supported care transitions from acute hospital wards through removal of organisational boundaries. However, boundaries between staff in different settings remained a barrier to transitions, as did capacity issues in community healthcare and social care. Staff in acute and community settings need opportunities to gain better understanding of each other’s roles and build relationships and trust.
Implementing service improvement projects within pre-registration nursing education: a multi-method case study evaluationBackground: Preparing healthcare students for quality and service improvement is important internationally. A United Kingdom (UK) initiative aims to embed service improvement in pre-registration education. A UK university implemented service improvement teaching for all nursing students. In addition, the degree pathway students conducted service improvement projects as the basis for their dissertations. Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the implementation of service improvement projects within a pre-registration nursing curriculum. Method: A multi-method case study was conducted, using student questionnaires, focus groups with students and academic staff, and observation of action learning sets. Questionnaire data were analysed using SPSS v19. Qualitative data were analysed using Ritchie and Spencer's (1994) Framework Approach. Results: Students were very positive about service improvement. The degree students, who conducted service improvement projects in practice, felt more knowledgeable than advanced diploma students. Selecting the project focus was a key issue and students encountered some challenges in practice. Support for student service improvement projects came from action learning sets, placement staff, and academic staff. Conclusion: Service improvement projects had a positive effect on students' learning. An effective partnership between the university and partner healthcare organisations, and support for students in practice, is essential.