NPs improve nursing home transfer process, clinical outcomes

Nurse practitioners (NPs) who used evidence-based outcomes significantly improved the transfer process and led to fewer errors and safer care for nursing home residents.

Researchers saw improvements in proactive chronic care management, urgent care and transitional care services, according to findings published in the Annals of Long-Term Care: Clinical Care and Aging. The findings come from the Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Systems: Transforming Institutional Care (OPTIMISTIC) study, a group of clinician-researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute.

“We clearly see the impact of the NPS as a crucial part of the OPTIMISTIC approach to care transitions.,” said Kathleen Unroe, MD, MHA, OPTIMISITIC project director, IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute investigator in a press release. “Impressively, in early stages of Phase One, OPTIMISITC resulted in a 21 percent decrease in hospitalizations according to external evaluators.

Researchers studied nearly 600 transfers from hospitals to and from 19 participating nursing homes. Nurse practitioners completed 515 visits with residents lasting, on average, 102 minutes. NPs visited long-stay nursing home residents within 48 hours to discuss hospital discharge summary review, medication reconciliation, follow-up care and testing, advanced care planning and nursing home resident and family education.

In more than half of those visits, NPs were required to address a potential care issue. They investigated the sources of these care issues and found that 29 percent were traced back to the discharging hospital, 33 percent to the nursing home and 32 percent to physicians providing care in the facility.


Topics: Clinical