Orthopaedic out of Bed Project (OOBP): Improving early mobilisation following femoral fracture using a therapy-led education programme

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Abstract

Delayed mobilisation following hip fracture surgery is detrimental to patients and health systems. Prolonged hospital stay additionally results in decreased function and increased mortality. Our hospital was underperforming against the national metric for mobilisation by the day after surgery and physiotherapists were the primary healthcare professionals expected to do this. The therapy team therefore undertook a service improvement to increase the number of patients mobilised by the day after their femoral fracture surgery. This was through a ward-based education programme aimed at increasing confidence and competence of the trauma ward healthcare assistants (HCAs) to complete this task when appropriate instead of physiotherapists. The model for improvement was used, with two Plan-Do-See-Act cycles completed between 2020 and 2022. On completion of the therapy-led intervention, the percentage of patients mobilised by the day after surgery was shown to have increased from a mean average of 60% in 2019 to 79% in 2022. The number of patients mobilised by HCAs prior to physiotherapy assessment increased from 2% prior to and 30% following the intervention. The programme improved HCA confidence and competence using a rehabilitation ethos to mobilise patients following hip fracture surgery. It also showed a clinically significant improvement in the percentage of patients with hip fracture mobilising by the day after surgery and a large increase in the number of patients mobilised by our trauma ward HCAs prior to an initial physiotherapy assessment. This work has demonstrated implications for orthopaedic trauma services and the patients who receive them. It reduces the single point of failure of relying on a physiotherapist to mobilise a patient through increasing multidisciplinary confidence and capability on the ward to perform the task. In turn, this increases physiotherapy capacity to provide acute rehabilitation, which is another important part of femoral fracture recovery.

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Gray, R., Taylor, M., & Bullock, R. (2023). Orthopaedic out of Bed Project (OOBP): Improving early mobilisation following femoral fracture using a therapy-led education programme. BMJ Open Quality, 12. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjoq-2023-002301

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