Quality improvement program to enhance after-hours telephone communication between nurses and physicians in a long-term care facility

  • Whitson H
  • Hastings S
  • Lekan D
 et al. 
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Abstract

Examined whether satisfaction of on-site nurses with after-hours
telephone communication with off-site physicians improved in a long
term care (LTC) facility after a quality improvement program.
Participants were 18 registered nurses (RNs) at a Veterans Affairs
extended care and rehabilitation center. Data were collected on RN
satisfaction and telephone call outcomes at 3 monthly intervals before
and after the January-February 2006 implementation of Project CHAT
(Communicating Health Assessments by Telephone), an education-based
intervention consisting of point-of-care decision support tools and
individualized training sessions to aid RNs in symptom assessment and
communication of health information over the telephone. Results show
that the RNs' average satisfaction scores increased on several items,
including those that assessed whether the RN was pretty sure what
pieces of information the physician was going to ask for, felt that
the amount of patient information the physician asked for seemed
reasonable, felt prepared to answer the physicians' questions, and
felt that the process of gathering patient information for the
physician was easy. The percentage of calls that resulted in immediate
evaluation by a physician on-site or in the emergency department
increased from 2.0% before to 8.6% after Project CHAT. (SW) (AgeLine
Database, copyright 2008 EBSCO Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Heather E. Whitson

  • S. Nicole Hastings

  • Deborah A. Lekan

  • Richard Sloane

  • Heidi K. White

  • Eleanor S. McConnell

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