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Struggling for a feasible tool - the process of implementing a clinical pathway in intensive care: a grounded theory study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centrum för klinisk forskning i Sörmland (CKFD). Department of Patient safety, Mälar Hospital, 631 88, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2867-0490
Institute of Health and Caring Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 457, 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 18, article id 831Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Clinical pathways can enhance care quality, promote patient safety and optimize resource utilization. However, they are infrequently utilized in intensive care. This study aimed to explain the implementation process of a clinical pathway based on a bottom-up approach in an intensive care context.

Methods

The setting was an 11-bed general intensive care unit in Sweden. An action research project was conducted to implement a clinical pathway for patients on mechanical ventilation. The project was managed by a local interprofessional core group and was externally facilitated by two researchers. Grounded theory was used by the researchers to explain the implementation process. The sampling in the study was purposeful and theoretical and included registered nurses (n31), assistant nurses (n26), anesthesiologists (n11), a physiotherapist (n1), first- and second-line managers (n2), and health records from patients on mechanical ventilation (n136). Data were collected from 2011 to 2016 through questionnaires, repeated focus groups, individual interviews, logbooks/field notes and health records. Constant comparative analysis was conducted, including both qualitative data and descriptive statistics from the quantitative data.

Results

A conceptual model of the clinical pathway implementation process emerged, and a central phenomenon, which was conceptualized as ‘Struggling for a feasible tool,’ was the core category that linked all categories. The phenomenon evolved from the ‘Triggers’ (‘Perceiving suboptimal practice’ and ‘Receiving external inspiration and support’), pervaded the ‘Implementation process’ (‘Contextual circumstances,’ ‘Processual circumstances’ and ‘Negotiating to achieve progress’), and led to the process ‘Output’ (‘Varying utilization’ and ‘Improvements in understanding and practice’). The categories included both facilitating and impeding factors that made the implementation process tentative and prolonged but also educational.

Conclusions

The findings provide a novel understanding of a bottom-up implementation of a clinical pathway in an intensive care context. Despite resonating well with existing implementation frameworks/theories, the conceptual model further illuminates the complex interaction between different circumstances and negotiations and how this interplay has consequences for the implementation process and output. The findings advocate a bottom-up approach but also emphasize the need for strategic priority, interprofessional participation, skilled facilitators and further collaboration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 18, article id 831
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-337410DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-3629-1ISI: 000449346000002PubMedID: 30400985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-337410DiVA, id: diva2:1169396
Available from: 2017-12-26 Created: 2017-12-26 Last updated: 2020-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Clinical Pathway Implementation and Teamwork in Swedish Intensive Care: Challenges in Evidence-Based Practice and Interprofessional Collaboration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Clinical Pathway Implementation and Teamwork in Swedish Intensive Care: Challenges in Evidence-Based Practice and Interprofessional Collaboration
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Teamarbete och implementering av standardiserade vårdplaner inom svensk intensivvård : Utmaninga med interprofessionellt samarbete och evidensbaserad praktik
Abstract [en]

Suboptimal quality of care is an evident issue in current healthcare services. Clinical pathways (CPs) have the potential to facilitate evidence-based practice and interprofessional teamwork, and thereby improve patient safety and quality of care.

The overall aim of the thesis was to develop comprehensive empirical knowledge and understanding of CP implementation and teamwork in Swedish intensive care units (ICUs). Four studies were included (I-IV).

Study I was a survey including all Swedish ICUs (N84) and a document analysis of CP examples (n12). In total, 17 (20%) ICUs used CPs and many had implementation plans. The quality, extent and content of the CPs (n56) varied greatly, with sometimes insufficient interprofessionalism, evidence base and renewal.

Study II was a mixed method including ICUs using CPs. The implementation processes were retrospectively explored through questionnaire data (n15) and qualitative content analysis of interviews with key informants (n10). The CP implementation was revealed as a process directed at realizing the usefulness and creating new habits, which requires enthusiasm, support and time.

Studies III and IV were grounded theory studies in an action research project in an ICU. Study III explored everyday teamwork through focus group interviews with registered nurses, assistant nurses and anesthesiologists, as well as an individual interview with a physiotherapist (n38). Teamwork was revealed as an act of ‘balancing intertwined responsibilities.’ The type of teamwork fluctuated as the team processes were affected by circumstantial factors and involved individuals. Study IV prospectively explored the implementation process of a CP during a five-year period through repeated focus groups and individual interviews, questionnaires and logbooks/field notes, including the interprofessional project group, staff and managers (n71), and retrospective screening of health records (n136). ‘Struggling for a feasible tool’ was revealed as a central phenomenon. The implementation process included contextual and processual circumstances that enforced negotiations to achieve progress, which made the process tentative and prolonged and had consequences on the process output.

In conclusion, CP implementation processes are affected by multiple interplaying factors. Although progress has been achieved in evidence-based practice and interprofessional collaboration there is still potential for substantial improvements, emphasizing a need for further facilitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 89
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1425
Keywords
Desicion support, Standardized care plans, Research utilization, Organisation, Caring sciences, Beslutstöd, Vårdplanering, Organisation, Forskningsanvändning, Vårdvetenskap
National Category
Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339967 (URN)978-91-513-0227-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-23, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-26 Created: 2018-01-29 Last updated: 2018-04-03

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Bjurling-Sjöberg, PetronellaWadensten, BarbroPöder, UlrikaNordgren, Lena

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